Cheery Family Activities to Get You into the CNY Spirit
Published 17 January 2022 at 17:34
Chinese New Year is a time when families gather to celebrate together and there is an overall feeling of happiness in the air. From baking, crafting, decorating to attending festivals and having themed family photo sessions, every element of the season brings a smile to your face and warmth to your heart. It is truly the most wonderful time of the year. We’ve put together a list of fun and cheery family activities to partake in and spend some quality time together.
Photo Credit: White Room Studio
Chinese New Year calls for reunions, and one of the best ways to celebrate this festive season is to spend time with your loved ones and bring home family portraits you can keep for a lifetime!
Having photographed more than 9,000 families over 13 years, White Room Studio is the finest natural light photo studio in Singapore – renowned for its impressive space and stellar customer service.
Their spacious 2400 sq ft shophouse can host large families if you plan to invite your relatives for some quality time. When you arrive at the third floor of the studio, you will be greeted by 30 beautiful handcrafted lanterns, each one carefully suspended from the ceiling. Cherry blossoms and firecrackers also fill the hall, making an enchanting contrast against the studio’s modern elegance!
If you prefer to enjoy the outdoor breeze or admire unique heritage décor, White Room Studio’s iconic Perankan corner and open-air balcony overlooking the greenery of Fort Canning are incredible photo spots as well.
When you book a shoot with White Room Studio, you’ll even get access to their brand new guest lounge and changing room, both of which are designed for ultimate comfort. If that doesn’t convince you, they also have dedicated studio assistants on hand to ensure each shoot runs smoothly.
Photo sessions this year can include up to 20 pax unmasked from different households. The CNY family package starts at $490 for up to four pax ($20/extra pax) and the sessions are 1.5 hours each. You can photograph in 3 outfits and choose 4 diverse settings in their studio. Here’s something special for TickiKids readers: use the code “WRS100OFF” to take $100 off your package on weekdays from January to February!
Watch traditional Dragon & Lion Dance shows
Photo Credit: Depositphotos
Bright and spectacular lion and dragon dances are an integral part of the Chinese New Year because they are believed to bring prosperity and good luck for the upcoming year. This iconic dance is a definite must-see as Singapore is famous for the world-class performances of this cultural phenomenon.
You can try your luck and witness it on the streets so just listen to the sounds of drums and follow them! There is a pretty good chance that you will see a lion dancing in front of the local stores, plucking the greens to bring good luck and fortune, and waiting for a hongbao!
Or, search no further and use our list of places where lion dances will take place!
- Visit the Wan Qing Festival of Spring 2022 at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall. There it will be possible to watch a lion dance on the 1st of February (bring into the notice that the number of spaces is limited!).
- Attend the National Museum of Singapore on the 4th of February in the morning. There, you will see a spectacular lion dance performance, and the experts of the museum have also prepared a presentation about lion dances with hands-on activities!
- Esplanade launches Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts 2022 located at Esplanade Outdoor Theatre with multiple free events, workshops, and online programs. The grand opening of the festival will take place on the 11th of February with a breathtaking lion dance performance on high poles by the award-winning Yiwei Athletic Association. It will be live-streamed, available online until March 6th.
- Become a lion dancer yourself! CapitaLand raffles off 15 $88 eCapitaVoucher among the participants of their challenge. Scan the QR codes at Molly display, share your lion dance on Instagram with their AR lions, tag @CapitaLandMallsSG and win!
- Or, you can ask some of the best dancers to perform the lion dance for you! For example, Tian Eng Dragon & Lion Dance Centre has more than a decade of experience in performing these spectacular dances. Their performances are a cultural landmark of Singapore!
Choose the best presents for your nearest and dearest
Photo Credit: Depositphotos
Children adore getting gifts, that’s true. But, such festive occasions like Chinese New Year can show them that presenting gifts can be fun and pleasant too! And, it is the perfect way to introduce them to some cultural traditions connected to this holiday! As in all things, presents have a symbolic meaning in Chinese culture, so selecting the right present is almost an art.
For example, one of the most traditional presents is hongbao, a red envelope with a monetary gift. Usually, it is presented by adults to children as a symbol of good fortune and protection against evil spirits.
Flowers also have different meanings and extend good wishes. Orchids, for instance, signify fertility and abundance. Lucky bamboo can top all plants in terms of meaning as each quantity of stems has its own meaning from true love to good luck, good health, and powerful blessing. Potted plants with miniature oranges or kumquats are the most-favored symbol of abundance and happiness as oranges are associated with the sun and the yang principle. Peonies, a flower of riches and honor, are often presented as a symbol of innocence, affection, and charm. Or, you can go even further and present your beloved ones with "future" flowers that they can grow in their gardens. For example, the hummingbird flower plant is a set of local flowers that are easy to maintain, bloom for three seasons, and do not need chemicals to grow.
With knowledge of the meaning of flowers, you can even make a quest for your kids to choose the most personalized present for your dear ones! Discussing the presents and searching for the most appropriate gift for each member of the family can be the perfect bonding time and a possibility to get to know each other better.
Photo Credit: ToTT Store
Chinese New Year is famous for its traditional delicacies so why not to try and bake them on your own? And the experts of ToTT Store’s CNY Special baking workshops for families with kids will help you with that. Even if you have zero skills in baking and cooking, celebrated chefs are here to lend you a helping hand! Attend 1-for-1 workshop where you will learn to bake Kueh Lapis or open and closed apple tarts ($138 SGD per class) on January 19th. Or, you can learn to bake ark Chocolate Sables with Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Bean Butter Shortbread Cookies, and All Oat Cookies at Claire’s Favorite Cookies Hands-on Pair Work Class ($158 SGD per class) on January 22nd. Chef Julie Lee will teach you to make pineapple tarts ($138 SGD per class) and dainty cookies ($138 SGD per class) on January 26th, and on January 27th get ready for the old school tarts ($138 SGD per class) and Kueh Lapis ($128 SGD per class). And the CNY Baking series will be finished by Butter Cakes Hands on Class ($138 SGD per class).
All workshops take place at fully equipped ToTT kitchens with quality kitchen equipment, ToTT apron, all the ingredients for the class, and detailed recipe printout enabling you to recreate the magic at home.
Be sure to consult the comprehensive ToTT Store website for booking information, discounts and class description.
Photo Credit: Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
A word in your ear: the annual Chinese Festival of Arts Huayi is back to celebrate contemporary Chinese arts in the Lunar New Year. Presented by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, it’s the largest annual CNY art festival of its kind.
With a plethora of theatre, music, dance events, workshops, online and free programs everyone can find a pastime to one’s liking. And if you are searching for an interesting show to watch with a whole family, search no further as The Universe According to Niu is the one you need!
This puppetry production tells a story of an intelligent young man Niu who became an underdog and found himself facing a choice to give up or try and save his beloved kingdom.
Featuring an array of lively characters captured from different camera angles, this digital screening makes for a memorable adventure for all in the family.
The Universe According to Niu is told through a mix of modern and traditional Chinese puppetry and keeps young audiences enthralled as they find out what it takes to soldier on. The young ones will also learn more about Ox-related Chinese idioms in a fun and engaging way.
This theatre production will be available online from January 13th to March 6th.
Psst! Can you spot three Ox-related idioms hidden in the illustration?
Cook Family Reunion Dinner Together
Photo Credit: shutterstock.com (Dragon Images)
What better way to celebrate the Chinese New Year than with the whole family? This provides an opportunity to meet, celebrate and spend time with not only immediate members of the household but the wider family, grandparents, aunts, and uncles and their families. One way to cement this gathering is to cook together.
This can take the form of initially bringing prepared dishes that can be safely stored at the appropriate temperature. The next step is a preparation of a communal meal, this can be the preparation of food, cooking, and mixing. Cakes, pastries, and other such foods are great for little ones as there is squidgy fun to be had in stirring and kneading dough-like mixtures and even adding food colorings where appropriate.
For teenagers and adults, tasks requiring more care and skill are appropriate. You can share the activities of preparation of meat and vegetables, frying, and roasting. This provides time together in a communal space for catching up on life and laughter whilst sharing the pleasure and challenge of making a shared meal.
Finally, the meal can be enjoyed by everyone, taking pride in a delicious meal produced by their shared efforts. Bon Appetit!
Photo Credit: freepik.com (Foodiesfeed)
CNY is a great time to relax and enjoy good food with family and friends. What better time to enjoy a feast with specially prepared food requiring precious ingredients and exemplary culinary skills? This is where take-outs from restaurants come to the fore, you are safe in the knowledge that the food is made by professional chefs, and the quality of the dishes prepared is guaranteed. You simply enjoy eating. Simple and satisfying.
A variant of the takeaway meal is the semi-prepared meal. These are sometimes available from restaurants where they carefully gather the finest ingredients and carefully prepare them for you. You are provided with clear and simple instructions on the final steps such as frying, roasting, or boiling. Complicated sauces are made for you as are complex food preparation techniques done by professional chefs. This gives you an easy shortcut to creating restaurant standard food at home and has proved popular.
Photo Credit: shutterstock.com (Imtmphoto)
Does your Lunar New Year spirit need a bit of pepping up? Singapore shopping malls are bringing some much-needed festive cheer and merrymaking with the Spring Festival Season. From photographing with the God of Fortune and Bull Mascot, festive gifts, deals and rewards to a visual feast of colourful lanterns, gigantic Wheel of Fortune and Chinese Zodiac forecast on display, there is a bumper crop of the best places in Singapore for CNY shopping in 2022 to turn the experience from a nightmare into a great day out.