27 Awesome Things to Do in Singapore This January

Boom. It’s 2019 everyone. Let that sink in for awhile. But don’t take too long, as there’re lots to look forward to in this first month of a brand new year. The first weekend alone sees a music festival and a vintage flea happening, while a massive food festival and a Middle East film fest ramps things up many notches by the second weekend.

Throughout the month, many Singapore Art Week 2019 events will keep you occupied (like the return of Art After Dark), as we all await the return of i Light Singapore come the last week of January.

Here’s a list of all things to look forward to from our friends over at SG Magazine:


Lend your support for local passions made possible at architect-turned-art teacher Tay Zhiyong’s debut solo art show Brush Diary. Featured in this debut are familiar scenes from Tay’s daily business of living—like the Fullerton Waterboat House, Marina Bay Financial Centre; even a bridge at Tampines River. Part of Singapore Art Week 2019.

  • Event Date: Jan 3-29 

Travelling dating disasters comedy show Story Party Tour is coming to Singapore, and you’ll definitely wanna be there for this. Laugh at real-life stories of Tinder date fails, heart-break tales, and more, all delivered by comedic pros at Kilo Lounge.

  • Event Date: Jan 10-12

Get your tissues ready, the Middle East Film Festival is back with more tear-jerking and emotionally gratifying screenings. Expect seven films in the lineup this year, with six of them making their Singapore premieres at the festival.

  • Event Date: Jan 10-16

Like Artbox but with just the food stalls, the second weekend of January sees the start of the inagural Eatbox taking over the Open Plaza space at Downtown East. Expect over 50 local and regional vendors offering their yummy treats, as well as an impressive lineup of DJ performances by Eatmepoptart as part of parallel event Bacon Beats.

  • Event Date: Jan 11-13, 18-20

Brace yourself for a disturbing visual experience at contemporary video artist Toh Hun Ping’s first solo show Dance of a Humble Atheist. In it Toh marries his self-invented techniques of bleaching, scratching and recycling filmstrips, with more than 600 handmade ceramic pieces—for a painstakingly made, frame-by-frame stop-motion masterpiece. Part of Singapore Art Week 2019.

For more ongoing 2019 exhibitions, check out our roundup here.

  • Event Date: Jan 11-Feb 17

At Hatch Art Project’s ongoing Deciphering clothes: The Troublemaker’s Wardrobe exhibtion, 12 emerging Asian artists showcase their wardrobes through a mix of mediums—featuring a plethora of garments and objects you wouldn’t typically find in your hetero, cisgender closet. Be prepared to feel uncomfortable as your peruse their wares.

  • Event Date: Until Jan 12

Diner/bar/community space Telok Ayer Arts Club’s next showcase, tell me how they kiss you, tell me how you kiss, is gonna be a raunchy one. Spanning multiple mediums, the eight-week exhibition features three local artists who will be presenting ceramic sculptures, paper drawings and photography accompanied by artist-led events and live music. Go for a sex toy workshop, listen in on an artist talk, or just chill with a themed cocktail (like the cheeky A Whole Lot of Head, a creamy, frothy take on the classic Ramos Gin Fizz) in hand.

  • Event Date: Until Jan 12

A box-office hit in South Korea, Mandarin production Musical TARU features life-sized dinosaur skeletons, an impressive museum set and a catchy soundtrack that will have you singing along. You’ll find many familiar faces among the cast that is set to bring you on a big adventure promising plenty of laughs, tears and drama.

  • Event Date: Until Jan 13

Next up in Telok Ayer Arts Club’s roster of artists is Dawn Ng with 11, an experiential performance piece on human relationships that involves bringing together 11 pairs of strangers. Pay for a ticket and become part of the performance, in a social experiment-type show that combines audience participation with speed dating.

  • Event Date: Jan 17-Feb 14

Set to the theme “Image and Sound of Fragrance”, the fifth Artwalk Little India returns this year to the buzzing heritage district with more experiential works, where guests get to admire public art displays, wall murals, performances and more, all happening in the real-world stage of Little India. Part of Singapore Art Week 2019.

  • Event Date: Jan 18-Feb 2

Undoubtedly one of the most anticipated concerts of the year (looking at how tickets sold out so quickly), the world’s hottest K-pop boy band BTS is ready to set the stage ablaze with their chart-topping hits and impressive moves as part of their sold-out concert at the National Stadium.

  • Event Date: Jan 19

Having been around for 20 years, Taking Back Sunday has come a long way since their debut in 2002. Fans can look forward to favourites as well as hits from their recent discography Tidal Wave. In addition, the post-hardcore band might also be performing two of their newest tracks from their new compilation album titled Twenty, which drops eight days before the concert.

  • Event Date: Jan 19

Working at the intersection of art and technology, local artist Andre Wee presents a solo exhibition of traditional and new media works (where both oil paintings and digital creations alike shine) with Within Without, held at the Mulan Gallery. Part of Singapore Art Week 2019.

  • Event Date: Jan 19-Feb 23

The fourth and largest EarthFest is here, this time, with over 130 vendors, more performers and new speakers taking the stage. Come and show your support for a sustainable lifestyle, or simply have a good time learning more about going green.

  • Event Date: Jan 20

Gillman Barracks’ Art After Dark open house series is back. The format remains the same – resident galleries open up till late for visitors to peruse the exhibitions while pop-up food and drink stalls keep everyone satiated for the evening. Part of Singapore Art Week 2019.

  • Event Date: Jan 25

Inspired by the history of its immediate surroundings, the Asian Civilisations Museum is gathering a series of interactive artworks for display in a two-weekend showcase titled Light to Night Festival. Walk through a giant time capsule, revisit nostalgic games and come out knowing more about the Civic District than you did before.

  • Event Date: Jan 25-26, Feb 1-2

Whether you like your local kopis or espresso-based coffees, La Kopi Singapore is the place to be to have ’em both. It’ll be a gathering of coffee aficionados from around the world, including Taiwan’s Taster’s Coffee, and Singapore’s own Coffee Break and Homeground Coffee.

  • Event Date: Jan 25-27

Australia’s top mentalist and mind reader will be in town to deliver a one night only mind-bending show, Psyche! Be amazed by his ability to divine your inner-most thoughts through perceptive abilities alone, then continue to be thrilled as spectacular visual effects and a water escape finale leaves you gasping from the edge of your seats.

  • Event Date: Jan 26

Local artist John Toh is showcasing watercolour pieces of iconic Singapore landmarks old and new, such as Temple Street, Keong Saik and the Supertrees, in a new solo exhibition titled Cityscapes, Ancient and Present. Held at Pan Pacific Singapore‘s public art space.

  • Event Date: Until Jan 28

Sustainable light art festival i Light Singapore returns for a massive bicentennial edition commemorating 200 years of being colonised Singapore’s founding. A total of 32 artworks set to the theme “Bridges of Time” will be on display, and will be for the first time include being installed on six iconic bridges around the Singapore River and Marina Bay. Expect a larger festival area too, with installations extending to Fort Canning Park.

  • Event Date: Jan 28-Feb 24

Celebrating our hawker culture and protecting the men and women toiling behind each stall has never been more pertinent. Pledge your support to induct this beloved part of our everyday life into the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage at the travelling Our SG Hawker Culture Exhibition popping up at various hawker centres and community venues around Singapore.

  • Event Date: Until Jan 31

Peranakan Museum’s latest exhibition, Amek Gambar: Peranakans and Photography, delves into the Southeast Asian history of photography through the pictured lives of the Peranakan community in the region. Through Feb 3

Lighthouse of Time. Credit: i Light Singapore

From Cold Storage to Tiger Balm, come chart the evolution of print advertising in Singapore from the 1830s to 1960s at Selling Dreams: Early Advertising in Singapore. Aside from just print advertisements, the exhibition at the National Library also includes interactive multimedia stations for you to experience life as a consumer in early Singapore.

  • Event Date:  Until Feb 24

The second coming of the Prudential Marina Bay Carnival is here, set to transform the Marina waterfront into a colossal fairground filled with rides, games, food, and of course, plenty of pretty lights. This time, entry is free, and with more rides to check out than before.

  • Event Date: Until Mar 24

Trace the Polaroid camera’s fascinating history at the National Museum of Singapore’s latest exhibition, In an Instant: Polaroid at the Intersection of Art and Technology, featuring over 200 Polaroid artefacts and artworks from the original collection.

  • Event Date:  Until Mar 31

The ground-breaking Minimalism: Space. Light. Object exhibition spanning National Gallery Singapore and ArtScience Museum traces the origins and evolutions of the Minimalist art movement, in more than 150 works loaned from all over the world. Check out our quick picks here.

  • Event Date:  Until Apr 14

One of Singapore’s smallest minority communities is finally having their moment in the spotlight at Chetti Melaka of the Straits: Rediscovering Peranakan Indian Communities. Come hear the lesser-known stories of the Chetti Melaka, also known as Peranakan Indians—descendants of early South Indian migrants who to Singapore in the 15th and 16th centuries, and married local Chinese or Malay women.

  • Event Date:  Until May 5