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Lifestyle

5 Alternative Ways To Spend Chinese New Year If You Are Not Visiting

Skip out on the nosey relatives, binge-eating and ang pow-giving this year.

Have one too many aunties asking you when you are getting hitched/having a baby/(insert inappropriate question here)? Or do you just need a break from the Lunar New Year visiting and gorging on the usual treats?  If you’ve left booking that CNY getaway too late (let’s face it: flights are beyond exorbitant by now) this Year of the Pig, here are our choices of things to do over the two-day holiday on February 5 and 6.

1. Play Mini-Golf
Putt your best foot forward at this newly-opened, two-storey Clarke Quay mini-golf club where you can imbibe while trying your hand at 27 differently-themed holes, with smile-inducing pop culture references ranging from Game of Thrones (said throne made of golf clubs, no less) to The Simpsons, across three courses.   Besides Instagram-worthy backdrops at every turn, there’s also a whimsical food and drink menu — check out their OTT candy-heavy cocktails like Electric Blue ($21++) and Sugar Caddy ($19++), which will almost make you forget those pineapple tarts.   Mini-golf sessions start from $20 per head for nine holes.   Where: Holey Moley is at 3B River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, Singapore 179024.  2. Staycation in style
Missed out on that long weekend getaway this year? A great staycay will just have to suffice. You may still even get those CNY #feels if you choose to put up at the Pan Pacific Singapore, which is offering a staycation package specifically so you can catch the Lunar New Year fireworks — from the comfort of your hotel room, of course.   Valid until Feb 10, the package extends to selected room categories, and includes breakfast for two, wifi, local calls, parking, among other amenities. A quick check for a two-night stay starting Feb 4 showed rates starting from $570++ per night. Talk about starting the New Year on an indulgent note.   Where: Pan Pacific Singapore is at 7 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039595.  3. Look at the lights
And we’re not talking about the traditional Chinatown light-up, which is often overcrowded, as spectacularly colourful and exciting as the whole thing may be.   Instead, check out this year’s edition of i Light Singapore, Asia’s leading sustainable light art festival, which will be held in conjunction with the Singapore Bicentennial commemoration. It runs from Jan 28 to Feb 24 and will see 32 artworks illuminating key areas including Marina Bay, the Civic district and the Singapore River.   Highlights include Lighthouse of Time, which transforms the ArtScience Museum into a lighthouse with dancing lights, and The Rainbow Connection, which incorporates upcycling and solar light modules to create a fantastical dreamscape.   Where: i Light Singapore – Bicentennial Edition will be held from Jan 28 to Feb 24 from 7.30pm to 11pm daily with extended hours to 12am on Fridays and Saturdays. General admission is free.  4. Immerse yourself in minimalism
If you haven’t already been to the Minimalism exhibit at the National Gallery, then you are truly missing out. Not only is it the source of the many Instagram posts you’ve been scrolling through, but it is also a great place to get away from the buzz of daily life and engage yourself in some deep thought — especially on a day where everyone else is bound to be anywhere but here. Running till April 14 (even on PHs), consider heading here if you don’t have to make your rounds.    Where: National Gallery Singapore–Minimalism: Space. Light. Object now till April 14, from 10am to 7pm daily with extended hours to 9pm on Fridays. General admission is free for Singaporeans and PRs.  5. Get into a different festival spirit
Celebrate Singapore Art Week with yet another light extravaganza — the Light to Night Festival, which transforms the Civic District into a kaleidoscope of colour. Judging from last year’s night festivals, whether you choose to take a  casual walk or are bent on exploring the exhibits, one thing’s for sure: you’re in for a fun, intriguing experience.   Where: National Gallery Singapore, The Arts House, Asian Civilisations Museum, the Esplanade Park, Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall. From Jan 28 to Feb 24, 5pm to midnight. General admission is free.