7 Free & Affordable Date Ideas To Huat Together This LNY 2024

Welcome fortune, happiness and prosperity together on budget-friendly dates this Lunar New Year season.

By Mandy Lim Beitler        6 February 2024

The Year of the Dragon may only be taking flight on 10 February, but the festivities are well underway. So, we continue our popular ‘paktor’-on-a-budget series by jumping head- into all the Chinese New Year fun. From hongbao-chasing sprees to opportunities for #OOTDs in matching couple wear, prepare to usher in fortune, happiness and prosperity together.

Go bowling and strike a windfall

Whether you’re an avid bowler or have never hit the lanes before, there’s good reason to head to SuperBowl this season. Firstly, bowling is a fun activity that builds muscle strength and hand-eye coordination. Couples trying their hand at the easy-to-learn sport for the first time can also expect to have a ball of a time. But most importantly, you get a shot at SuperBowl’s Ang Pow Draw from 10 to 24 February – simply strike the coloured pin to win a prize!

SAFRA members enjoy special rates from just $4.30 per game or $24 per hour. Find out more at safra.sg/promotions/superbowl-ang-pow-draw-2024

SAFRA Mount Faber: 2 Telok Blangah Way, #02-06, Singapore 098803
SAFRA Tampines: 1/A Tampines Street 92, #03-01, Singapore 528882
SAFRA Toa Payoh: 293 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, #03-02, Singapore 319387

Go museum-hopping to collect hongbaos

Museum Roundtable Lunar New Year Hongbao

Need an excuse to date your crush? How about 43 of them? Because the Museum Roundtable Lunar New Year Hongbao Campaign is back. From now till 9 February, swing by 43 National Heritage Board museums, galleries and heritage institutions and complete a few easy steps to snag snazzy hongbaos depicting the zodiac dragon. Each set of eight red packets is uniquely themed to the museum you visit. They’re free but only while supplies last, so hurry if you want to complete the collection.

Whether you’re visiting museums or relatives, new shoes are a must for the New Year. SAFRA members enjoy up to 15% off at Skechers and Bata. Find out more at safra.sg/promotions/skechers-2024 and safra.sg/promotions/bata 

Various museums islandwide; go.gov.sg/MRHongbao2024 

Visit Chinatown at least once

Chinatown Singapore during Chinese New Year 2024

There’s no place quite like Chinatown at this time of year. With brilliant lantern installations lining the streets, vibrant weekend stage shows and breathtaking lion dance performances, there’s so much to do and see. Not forgetting the bustling festive fair lining the pedestrianised streets, where you’ll find everything from melon seeds and pineapple tarts to artists showcasing calligraphy and traditional paper-cutting skills. Don’t miss the countdown party on 9 February.

For more CNY gifts and goodies, continue shopping at Noel Gifts and Lim Chee Guan Bak Kwa. SAFRA members enjoy 10% off at both. Find out more at safra.sg/promotions/ng-cny and safra.sg/promotions/whyq-cny2024 

Various locations around Chinatown; chinatownfestivals.sg

Dive into River Hongbao

River Hongbao 2024

Prepare for a romantic rendezvous as River Hongbao returns to Gardens by the Bay from 8 to 17 February. Bask in the festive vibes and admire giant lantern sets led by a 140-metre flying dragon. Besides the dazzling firecrackers show, nightly stage performances, carnival rides, a cultural exhibition and food street, the celebrations even extend into the cyber realm. Meet Xiao He, River Hongbao’s new virtual sweetheart, for a chance to win special-edition collectibles and take part in an AI art contest.

While you’re there, take a stroll through Dahlia Dreams – Gardens by the Bay’s annual Chinese New Year floral display – at the Flower Dome, and don’t miss the special Spring Blossoms edition of Garden Rhapsody light-and-sound show amid the Supertrees.

Admission to River Hongbao is free, but you can get your tickets to the Flower Dome and other attractions via Klook. SAFRA members enjoy $15 off all activities. Find out more at safra.sg/promotions/klook-sg

Gardens by the Bay; riverhongbao.sg

Relive your childhood with BeLONG

Hop over to the rooftop of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre and let your inner child out at BeLONG’s Art Playground. Inspired by our beloved HDB dragon playgrounds, the interactive installation is full of festive photo ops. You can also watch an illuminated dragon come to life, get your zodiac forecast, catch cultural acts galore, solve lantern riddles and shop at the Spring Bazaar. You might even score freebies like SCCC hongbaos and an exclusive BeLONG CNY wall decor!

Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, 1 Straits Blvd, Singapore 018906; Tel: 6812 7222

Meet Mononoke Dinos disguised as dragons

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

Till 25 February, be greeted by a pair of 4m-tall dragons in auspicious colours of red and orange when you visit the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall. The quirky duo are actually local artist Ziqi’s popular Mononoke Dino characters in disguise, specially reimagined for the Wan Qing Festival of Spring 2024. Also look forward to lion and dragon dance performances, rubbing shoulders with the God of Fortune, learning about your heritage and enjoying springtime shows on the lawn.

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, 12 Tai Gin Rd, Singapore 327874; Tel: 6256 7377

Immerse in Chinese arts at Huayi

Huayi Festival 2024

Share more heartwarming moments with your significant other at Esplanade’s Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts. Timed to coincide with Chinese New Year, it offers a mix of free and ticketed programmes from 16 to 25 February. For starters, there’s the lion dance curtain-raiser by Yi Wei Athletic Association. Then delve into Cantonese opera, chuckle at witty crosstalk, see fresh interpretations of age-old classics, join craft workshops and sway to concerts featuring artists from Singapore and beyond.

Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981; Tel: 6828 8377

Save more with SAFRA! Enjoy special deals and discounts on dining, entertainment, travel, fitness and more from over 1,500 merchant outlets islandwide. Sign up or renew your SAFRA membership for one year at $43.60 inclusive of GST) and get two years FREE! Plus, get your spouse and children on board to enjoy the same privileges too at $5.45/year. Visit safra.sg/savemore for more details.

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