15 best things to do in Singapore in January 2019

Kick off the new year with exciting events, festivals, exhibitions and concerts including Singapore Art Week, M1 Singapore Fringe Festival and BTS
Artwalk Little India, Singapore Art Week
Artwalk Little India, Singapore Art Week
By Cam Khalid and Time Out Singapore editors |
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Stuck in the New Year-Chrimbo limbo? Start 2019 in Singapore the right way with plenty of fun things to do in January. Put on your art goggles for a string of workshops, talks and exhibitions during Singapore Art Week, meander through the National Gallery Singapore and ArtScience Museum for Minimalism, catch a theatre production at the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, unleash your inner kidult at the Prudential Marina Bay Carnival, catch the biggest K-Pop group BTS live and more. And if you're looking to burn all those calories you put on during the festive period, break a sweat at Yogafest. Here's your January all sorted.

RECOMMENDED: The definitive guide on things to do in Singapore

Things to do

Rainforest Lumina

icon-location-pin Singapore Zoo, Mandai
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Take a walk to the wild side at the Singapore Zoo where only virtual animals and humans roam. Follow the lush and luminous path that leads you to a quirky group of animals called the Creature Crew where they'll take you on a whimsical adventure. The Creature Crew features the orangutan, the pangolin, the flying fox, the white tiger, the hornbills, the otter, the chameleon and the sloth. Each animal takes on the role of protecting our rainforest. Stay #woke on eco issues and discover the enchanted world of the immersive multi-sensorial Lumina Rainforest.

Things to do, Markets and fairs

Prudential Marina Bay Carnival

icon-location-pin Bayfront Event Space, Marina Bay
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A thrilling good time awaits at this gargantuan carnival. Unleash the kid in you and take a whirl on 50 rides and game stalls. After all, it's Singapore's biggest carnival ever with a plethora of rides like roller coasters and rotating towers with swinging chairs, as well as game stalls to keep the fun going. Fuel up by grabbing a bite at the food stations and be entertained by live performances courtesy of local buskers throughout the night. Alternatively, indulge in a bit of art with a curated series of art and craft workshops by local creators.   

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minimalism, Olafur Eliasson
Photo: Anders Sune Berg
Art

Minimalism: Space. Light. Object.

icon-location-pin National Gallery Singapore, City Hall
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Held within the confines of the two iconic museums – National Gallery Singapore and ArtScience Museum – the experiential exhibition gives visitors the freedom to view, interpret and experience the immersive displays in a variety of ways – allowing for different ways to appreciate the aesthetics of Asian and Western minimalist art. Championing the art of 'less is more', feast your eyes on captivating paintings, impressive sculptures, spatial installations and other masterpieces by key artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Frank Stella, Kim Lim, Mona Hatoum, Anish Kapoor and Ai Wei Wei, as well as special commissions by Sopheap Pich and Jeremy Sharma.

Theatre

M1 Singapore Fringe Festival

icon-location-pin Singapore City,
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The 2019 edition of The Necessary Stage’s annual performing arts festival displays pieces by acclaimed and up-and-coming local and international artists. Highlights include This is Where, a photography exhibition featuring migrant workers, Angkat: A Definitive, Alternative, Reclaimed Narrative of a Native, a production that mixes pop culture and Malay folk stories, and Jogging: Theatre in Progress, a title that follows a middle-aged actress in Beirut. The festival covers various locations including the Esplanade, NAFA Studio Theatre, Black Box, Centre 42 and more.

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Art

Singapore Art Week

icon-location-pin Singapore City,
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Think you can chin-stroke your way through nine days of art and tell your Warhols from your Hirsts? Then you won't want to miss a myriad of exhibitions, tours, talks, film screenings and music performances showcasing everything that span the visual arts from traditional to contemporary practices during Singapore Art Week. Immerse yourself in over 100 events taking places at multiple galleries, institutions, museums and non-profit spaces. 

Art

Light to Night Festival

icon-location-pin National Gallery Singapore, City Hall
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The Civic District comes to life once more with vibrant artworks and performances during Light to Night Festival 2019. This year's bumper edition spans six weeks, making it one festival, but with two unique experiences. The Singapore Art Week edition (Jan 18-27) focuses on art inspired by personal narratives and memories, while the Singapore Bicentennial edition (Jan 28-Feb 24) sees artists, writers and performers reinterpret our country's past and retell Singapore's story in their own special way based on the theme of Traces and Echoes. There are close to 50 programmes that showcase art and history through all the five senses, capturing the hearts and minds of guests from day to night. 

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Music

BTS

icon-location-pin National Stadium, Kallang
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One of the world's biggest music group is setting the National Stadium ablaze with its fiery set of infectious chart-toppers and slick dance moves. BTS Army, brace yourself – the K-Pop giants are heading our way as part of their Love Yourself Tour to showcase their acclaimed latest album which even received a congratulatory tweet from South Korean President Moon Jae-in. With major global success, sold-out shows around the world and a recent 2018 MTV EMA win for 'Biggest Fans Award', this seven-member K-Pop sensation is showing no signs of slowing down.  

EarthFest
Photo: Harsha Poojari
Things to do, Festivals

EarthFest

icon-location-pin Marina Barrage, Marina Bay
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Celebrate sustainability at this festival that features organic food, sustainable local businesses, workshops and more. EarthFest brings to the table planet-friendly nosh – that's food that requires fewer resources to grow – talks and film screenings about fair trade, organic goods, transportation and other #woke topics.

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Comedy, Stand-up

Jim Jeffries

icon-location-pin Capitol Theatre, City Hall
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One of the most prolific comedians is taking the Capitol Theatre stage with his razor-sharp wit. The Aussie wisecracker is known for his late-night comedy show The Jim Jeffries Show and Netflix specials including the latest This is Me Now. With his controversial stand-up style, prepare for some gasps but mostly roaring laughter.

Nightlife, Clubs

CÉ LA VI presents Bob Sinclar

icon-location-pin CÉ LA VI, Marina Bay
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Start the year with a killer set – CÉ LA VI brings out the big guns with French electronic music producer and DJ, Bob Sinclar, who is taking over the decks and dancefloor on January 25. Having started out at 17, the dance music wunderkind first dabbled with the funk and hip-hop genres and later evolved his sound to French house music, which relies heavily on disco strings. His track sampling of Jane Fonda's Gym Tonic catapulted his career in the late 90s he's worked with some of the best names in music like Sean Paul, Pitbull, Shaggy, Lionel Richie, Snoop Dogg, Sugarhill Gang and even launched the world-renowned burlesque inspired party series, Paris by Night, which has been featured in top party destinations such as Ibiza, Paris, Miami and Los Angeles.  Mark your party calendar for a night with Bob Sinclar at CÉ LA VI. Presale tickets are available at $28 and at-the-door tickets at $38. Book your tickets here. Time Out Singapore in partnership with CÉ LA VI

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gillman barracks
Photo: National Arts Council
Art

S.E.A. Focus

icon-location-pin Gillman Barracks, Bukit Merah
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Take your art appreciation even further at S.E.A Focus. As part of the Singapore Art Week, the inaugural event is serving art aficionados a boutique art fair and special pop-ups dotted around Gillman Barracks, focusing mainly on Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art via exciting collaborations between international and local galleries.

Art, Arts centres

Art After Dark

icon-location-pin Gillman Barracks, Bukit Merah
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Hop between new exhibitions and exciting programmes by resident galleries and the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore at the visual arts precinct’s late-night open house event. While you’re at it, shop unique and quirky paraphernalia at pop-up stores, grab some tasty bites at the eateries on-site and groove to the live music on the dancefloor under the stars amid a range of impressive artworks.

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Things to do

Psyche! by Phoenix

icon-location-pin Capitol Theatre, City Hall
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Australia's award-winning mentalist, hypnotist and magician, Phoenix, is bringing his bag of mind-bending tricks to the Capitol Theatre. The 'Rockstar of Mind Reading' was a finalist on Australia's Got Talent where he turned even the most skeptic of judges into believers with his mind-reading skills. His highly-raved show Psyche! features micro-expression training, psychological tricks, body language reading and lie detection to predict and influencethe audience’s thoughts and abilities. Combined with stunning visual effects, magical finesse and incredible stunts like performing a water escape twist, Phoenix's show is one not to be missed.  

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