16 Things To Do In January 2021 – Sanrio Beach Exhibit, Singapore Art Week & Largest Dog Waterpark

Things to do in January 2021

2020 has been one roller coaster of a ride and for the most part, our days were kept entertained with stay-home activities from multiplayer games and Animal Crossing

Although not a terrible way to go about our days, this January 2021, we welcome a slew of new things to do for a fresh start to the year. From a neon-lit Sanrio exhibit along Sentosa Beach, to hide and seek at an otter-themed pop-up, here are some activity ideas for upcoming weekends:

1. Scale new heights with a Pasir Ris’ new rock climbing gym

Routes are split into five levels of difficulty from 5c to 7a+
Image credit: @climbodachi

For those tired of fighting for slots at popular climbing gyms, Pasir Ris now has a new rock wall, UpWall Climbing, which opened quietly at the end of last year. It’s since flown more or less under the radar, which is a surprise considering its scenic location, next to a four-storey-tall glass window that provides a great view of the surrounding area as you scale your way to the top.

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UpWall Climbing

The gym’s also a beginner-friendly one with many introductory courses available, and it has auto-belay routes if you and your climbing buddies haven’t yet gotten your Level 1 certification. Everything you need can also be rented here from belay devices ($3) to climbing shoes ($20) – just be sure to bring your own socks for hygiene purposes!

Price: $20/session or $160/10 sessions (sessions are now limited to 2H until further notice)

UpWall Climbing
Address: 1 Pasir Ris Close #01-105, Singapore 519599
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 10AM-8PM | Sat & Sun 9AM-9PM
Telephone: 8028 7028
UpWall Climbing website 

2. Take a 5-star escapade at the Bali-like Dusit Thani Laguna resort

Image adapted from:

Many of us are in need of some serious pampering after the fiasco that is 2020. For a quick escapade, visit the new and luxurious Dusit Thani Laguna resort. Due to its proximity to Changi Airport, there are no skyscrapers in sight, providing a spacious, almost Bali-like experience.

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The upscale resort was initially slated to open sometime in 2013, but was pushed back to late last year for unannounced reasons. But as they always say, good things take time and we certainly aren’t complaining about a new staycation haunt that offers access to Championship golf courses, picturesque swimming pools, tennis courts, a gym with a view and a luxury spa.

Deluxe Laguna City
Image credit: Dusit Thani Laguna

Prices begin from $294/night for a Deluxe Laguna City room for two. Otherwise, those ballin’ can email the resort to book opulent suites with open deck terraces, outdoor terraces and views of the golf course for a full-out pampering sesh.

Dusit Thani Laguna
Address: 11 Laguna Golf Green, Singapore 488047
Telephone: 6841 8888
Dusit Thani Laguna website

3. Enjoy a rooftop water park and A&W at the new Canberra Plaza

Northies, you now have a new weekend haunt with the opening of the new Canberra Plaza that’s just a stone’s throw away from Canberra MRT. Some might say the area is ulu, but now, hit back with the fact that you now have a highly-coveted A&W within the mall, where you’ll be able to enjoy the iconic root beer floats without a trip down to Jewel.

The mall is also home to a new Daiso, enrichment centres and a rooftop water play area that kids are bound to love. The latter will be open soon so stay tuned to Canberra Plaza’s Facebook page for updates! 

Check out our first look at Canberra Plaza here.

Canberra Plaza
Address: 133 Canberra View, Singapore 750133
Opening hours: 8AM-11PM, Daily
Canberra Plaza website

4. Visit Sentosa beach after dark for neon Sanrio-themed displays

Come for Sentosa’s beaches during the day but stay for the Sentosa Island Lights, this time featuring neon-lit Sanrio characters along the shores of Siloso Beach. Previously available till 3rd January, the exhibit featuring larger-than-life inflatables of Hello Kitty and Little Twin Stars has been extended to 10th January 2020, so there’s an extra week for fans to visit.

My Melody slides, inspired by Fantasy Island

Entry is F.O.C but before heading down, be sure to book a slot online to secure an entry. Reservations are available in one-hour slots from 7.30PM onwards and can be made up to five days in advance. We recommend booking ahead especially if you’re headed down during the weekends!

Read about our visit to Sentosa Island Lights 2020.

Sentosa Island Lights 2020
Address: Sapphire Pavilion, Siloso Beach, Sentosa
Opening hours: 7.30PM-10.30PM
Sentosa Island Lights website

5. Play hide and seek and take IG shots at an otter-themed pop-up

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Gardens By The Bay has now been overrun by utterly adorable otters in the Otah & Friends pop-up, available from now till 26th February 2020. Featuring a 45-minute hide-and-seek game, the limited-time attraction is a vibrant haven for kids to run amok, looking for Otah the cartoon otter, and completing tasks before the timer runs out. 

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It’s not limited to kids, and the young-at-hearts are also very much welcome to participate in the games and take photos against their beautiful colour-block backdrops.

Price: $15/pax or $60/ groups of five

Otah & Friends
Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive Bayfront Plaza, Singapore 018953
Opening hours: 9AM-9PM, Daily
Otah & Friends website

6. Walk through a Kpop-like neon bridge at Lite On!

While heartland malls are not known to be the most IG-worthy spots, Downtown East switches things up with a neon-themed exhibition, Lite On! featuring installations created by homegrown artists. The best part? Anyone can enjoy these F.O.C!

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Running from now till 21st March 2020, the exhibition features eye-catching works such as a rainbow neon “tunnel” that resembles a scene out of a Kpop music video. Fun fact: this used to be a dull link bridge that connects the mall to the carpark!

Somewhere Out There – neon blue lights
Image credit: @sy4ddyy

Continue exploring the mall and you’ll also come across a neon blue-lit tent reminiscent of “Tron: Legacy” – i.e. the backdrop for your next hypebeast photo. 

Lite On! at Downtown East
Address: 1 Pasir Ris Close, Singapore 519599
Telephone: 6589 1688
Lite On! website

7. Treat your doggo to a splash at SG’s largest dog waterpark

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Dog parks aside, dog owners now have a new spot to bring their fur babies to for a day out in the sun. The newly-opened Wag & Wild Dog Waterpark is Singapore’s largest waterpark for dogs featuring a large pool, flamingo floats and mushroom waterfalls for dogs to have a ball of a time.

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Your pup won’t be the only one having fun either – pet owners are also allowed to take a dip in the pool with their furry friends. No worries about mucky waters, as all dogs required to be bathed before entering, to keep the waters as clean as possible.

Price: $28/hour for one dog and two people

Wag & Wild Dog Waterpark
Address: 2 Jurong Gateway Road, #01-13, Singapore 608512
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 8.40AM-11AM | Sat & Sun 8.40AM-7PM
Telephone: 6749 8858
Wag & Wild Dog Waterpark website

8. Explore Singapore’s forgotten lighthouses

Lighthouses may serve the very practical function of guiding ships to a harbour, but most are pretty aesthetic as well. 

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If you’re looking for a fresh activity idea away from the Phase 3 crowd, take a trip to Raffles Marina’s Lighthouse, for a romantic spot to catch the sunset. From the vantage point, you’ll be able to spot Tuas bridge and the outline of Johor Bahru.

Else, there’s also Fort Canning Lighthouse at Sentosa, Berlayer Point Lighthouse at Labrador Park and Fullerton Lighthouse at Harbourfront – all of which lie in close proximity to one another so you can clear them all within a day.

Read our recently-updated article on lighthouses in Singapore for more.

9. Board a 1930s train at Gardens By The Bay

As much as we love our MRTs, you could say it’s a small fry compared to the world-famous luxury train, The Orient Express, which regularly chugged the 2,740 kilometers between Paris and Istanbul in the 1900s. You may have heard of some of the the novels it’s inspired, such as Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie. 

While the service is no longer around, those intrigued can now check out the original train carriages, parts and antiques at the Once Upon A Time On The Orient Express pop-up at Gardens By The Bay.

Explore the insides of the well-preserved carriages, shop souvenirs and enjoy the unique experience of dining in a 1925 Anatonilla dining car replica. In the near future, there’ll also be a murder mystery game, so stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates.

Price: From $25/adult

Once Upon A Time On The Orient Express
Date: Until 13th June 2021
Time: Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat 10AM-9PM | Wed & Thu 10AM-7PM | Sun 10AM-10PM
Venue: Gardens by the Bay, West Lawn (next to Bayfront Plaza), 18 Marina Gardens Drive Singapore 018953
The Orient Express website

10. Explore three new exhibitions at Asian Civilisations Museum

Things to do in January 2021 – Asian Civilisations Museum

If you’ve more or less cleared the permanent exhibits at the Asian Civilisations Museum, now’s the best time to pop by once again as they’ve got not just one but three new exhibitions to wander through.

Perfect Stranger
Image credit: Asian Civilisations Museum

Unlike usual exhibits, Faith Beauty Love Hope is a selection of ACM artifacts that’s been curated by staff who work behind-the-scenes at the museum. Through this showcase, you’ll get a new perspective on relics as contributors reflect on their significance during this time of challenges.

While you’re there, explore local artist Dawn Ng’s Perfect Stranger and thINK: Chinese Calligraphy, Connoisseurship, and Collecting, both of which capture human relationships in a new light.

Price: Free for Singaporeans

Faith Beauty Love Hope – Our Stories, Your ACM and Perfect Stranger
Date: Until 28th February 2021

thINK: Chinese Calligraphy, Connoisseurship, and Collecting
Date: Until 25th April 2021

11. Visit Kusu Island’s tortoise sanctuary & empty beaches

Singapore has more than 10 islands for a getaway but if you’re looking for a quick respite from the crowds this January, consider Kusu Island. It’s quaint, quiet and home to several attractions to check out if you’d like something to do other than be a total beach bum. 

On the 8.5-hectare island is a vibrant temple constructed in 1923, along with a Malay shrine and a tortoise sanctuary where hundreds of the adorable reptiles reside. Read our newly-published guide on how to explore Kusu Island to prepare for your day trip down! 

Getting there: Purchase a ticket from any cruise operator at Marina South Pier, or book in advance on Klook ($14/ticket to both St. John’s and Kusu Island).

12. Be a tourist at home with your SingapoRediscovers vouchers

Don’t just make a beeline for the hotels – your $100 SingapoRediscovers vouchers can also be used for hundreds, if not thousands of activities from the adventurous to more family-friendly itineraries. For those who like the notion of playing local tourist, try spending a day with a local tour to unveil the lesser-seen aspects of Singapore. 

Image credit:
Lets Go Tour Singapore

Offering a fresh take on our tiny country we think we’re so familiar with, some of the unique tours we’ve spotted include disappearing trade tours where you can find out how traditional bread and paper houses for the dead are made. Ghost tours are also available for the brave and gung ho, alongside tea appreciation sessions, Vespa sidecar rides and photography tours.

Check out our compilation of unique SingapoRediscovers tours for more.

13. Enjoy buffets from $19.90 at Chinatown Food Street

Image credit: Chinatown Food Street

The news might have flown over most of our heads during the chaos of 2020, but Chinatown Food Street has recently been revamped and reopened with 17 dining concepts to try out.

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Those with a black hole for a tummy, you might be glad to know that this includes six buffet options with mookata from $21.90/adult, mala hotpot from $19.90/adult and KBBQ from $23.90/adult. Otherwise, if you’re just feeling peckish, Famous Eunos Bak Chor Mee and Katong Keah Kee Fried Oysters are also available to snack on here.

Chinatown Food Street
Address: Smith Street, Chinatown Food Street, Singapore 058938
Opening hours: 11AM-11PM, Daily
Chinatown Food Street website

14. Plan a non-mainstream staycay with rooftop farms & fishing

It seems like everyone in Singapore is going on a staycation, but yours doesn’t have to be a dime in a dozen. Instead of the usual BnB affair, impress boo or fam by levelling up any staycation with one of our curated non-mainstream staycation itineraries. 

We’ve matched hotels with nearby unique activities to take it up a notch. For example, if you’re quite the foodie couple, pair a romantic staycay at The Vagabond Club with a whirlwind tour of authentic Indian dining spots in the area.

Adventure-loving families can enjoy a comfy stay at Crowne Plaza with a nearby longkang fishing experience before trying out rooftop gardening at Siglap.

Read our guide to non-mainstream staycations to find out more.

15. Spot artworks around SG during Singapore Art Week 2021

Submerged artwork at Singapore Art Museum
Image credit: @singaporeartmuseum

Let your artsy fartsy side come to life this January 2021 as the Singapore Art Week will soon be back in town.

Over the nine days, expect artwork displays at stops along the route of bus 175, installations at Gillman Barracks and exhibits scattered around Funan Mall. This year will also feature an extensive list of digital activities you can enjoy without leaving home, with documentaries, talks and live events that’ll be streamed on their website.

Singapore Art Week
Date: 22nd – 30th January 2021
Singapore Art Week website

16. Indulge in theatre with The More Further Adventures of Dick Lee

Things to do in January 2021 – theatre
Image credit:
Singapore Repertory Theatre

Good news for theatre-loving folks, The More Further Adventures of Dick Lee will hit KC Arts Centre for a limited time this January. 

This 90-minute solo recital follows the untold stories of the Singaporean playwright and composer as he made his way up in the arts scene through the 90s. If you love the NDP song Home, you might also be glad to know that more Dick Lee originals will also be unveiled during the show.

Price: From $100

The More Further Adventures of Dick Lee
Date: 19th – 24th January 2020
Time: 7PM-8.30PM
The More Further Adventures of Dick Lee website

Things to do in January 2021

For all of us more than happy to leave 2020 behind, the new year is a chance for all of us to start afresh. So don’t just visit your usual haunts, or stay at home all day – start the year with a bang with these fresh activity ideas this January 2021.

For more things to do in Singapore, also read:

Cover image adapted from: @thetravellingbelly, @ginaisoffthegrid, @thesmartlocalsg

Kezia Tan

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