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Smoke & Mirrors
Photograph: Smoke & Mirrors

The best things to do in Singapore this April

Look forward to more physical events including live music performances, a Songkran water festival, and our very own bar hop

By Cam Khalid
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No April fool's joke – there are more physical events to mark in your calendar this month. And we're buzzing. It seems that things are looking up with the good news that more people will be allowed to attend live performances and sports events with pre-event Covid-19 testing from April 24 onwards. This comes as part of easing restrictions under Phase 3.

Nonetheless, there are a couple more things to look forward to this month such as the long Easter weekend, Songkran, Ramadan, Earth Day, and the return of The Chivas x Time Out Bar Hop. There's also a myriad of opportunities to shake up your routine and try something new. Beyond Easter-themed afternoon teas and egg hunts, take this time to embrace the joys of playing tourist in your own backyard and discover a different side of Singapore.

RECOMMENDED: The definitive guide on things to do in Singapore and 101 best things to do in Singapore

April highlights

MO Bar
MO Bar
Photograph: MO Bar

Chivas x Time Out Bar Hop 2021

Bars and pubs Singapore City, Raffles Place

Embark on a whisky-filled night filled with great cocktails from five of the top Singapore bars. This April, the Chivas x Time Out Bar Hop experience returns for three nights of great fun. Look forward to sampling five specially crafted Chivas Mizunara cocktails, complete with bar bites and plenty of fun. Participating bars include MO Bar, Roxy, Nutmeg and Clove, Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall, and Smoke and Mirrors. Tickets start from $95, and will include transport between each location, plus a limited-edition goodie bag and a bar hop passport that qualifies you for a lucky draw. Keen on joining the fun? Just save the date with us.

Sikhs in Singapore
Sikhs in Singapore
Photograph: Indian Heritage Centre

Sikhs in Singapore – A Story Untold

Things to do Cultural centres Indian Heritage Centre, Rochor

Some of the first Sikhs in Singapore came from the Punjab region of India in the late 19th century, sailing from the port of Calcutta to join the Sikh Police Contingent under the colonial administration here at the time. But that's not the only story to tell. Uncover the lesser-known-stories of migration and settlement, and celebrate the rich heritage and culture of the Sikh community in Singapore with the Indian Heritage Centre's second community co-created exhibition: Sikhs in Singapore – A Story Untold. It's also the centre's first-ever exhibition on Sikh heritage.

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The Curious Case of the Missing Peranakan Treasure
The Curious Case of the Missing Peranakan Treasure
Photograph: Crispian Chan / Raffles Hotel Singapore

The Curious Case of the Missing Peranakan Treasure

Theatre Interactive Raffles Hotel Singapore, City Hall

Get acquainted with the storied halls of our grande dame via a play set in the iconic Raffles Hotel Singapore. The first-of-its-kind virtual interactive play invites you to be part of an enthralling detective whodunnit tale and investigate the missing Peranakan treasure – the crown jewel of the hotel's fictional "Treasures of the Straits" exhibition. With the magic of 360-degree virtual reality (VR), you'll also get to explore the hotel's historic grounds and venture through its illustrious halls that have hosted important moments in history – all while piecing the clues together and deciding how the story unfolds. 

Songkran Music Fest
Songkran Music Fest
Photograph: Downtown East/Facebook

Songkran Water Fest

Things to do Festivals Wild Wild Wet, Pasir Ris

Songkran is the Thai New Year, which takes place on April 13, with a holiday period that extends until April 15. And if you've been to Thailand during this period, you'd be familiar with the massive water fight. Bringing a slice of Thailand to our shores, Wild Wild Wet transforms into a Thai-themed attraction for the all-new, month-long Songkran Water Fest. Look forward to special interactive features, Instagram-worthy corners, pumping music, and flavoursome Thai cuisine for a refuel. Go forth and arm yourself with your best Super Soaker.

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Textures: The Bottled City
Textures: The Bottled City
Photograph: The Arts House

Textures: The Bottled City

Things to do Literary events Singapore City, Raffles Place

Bookworms, rejoice – literary arts festival Textures returns to champion Singapore literature (Sing Lit) and its diverse community. Unlike its predecessors, this year's edition takes on the form of a mobile installation and travelling library, with the theme The Bottled City. The installation kicks off at The Arts House before moving into the heartlands including Jurong, Yishun and Toa Payoh. Fix your eyes on the books, miniatures, papercut sculptures, terrariums and cross-stitch of the eye-catching display, and learn more about the scenes and landscapes that colour the vibrant Sing Lit scene.

The Migrant
The Migrant
Photograph: Anaïs López

The Migrant

Art Photography Objectifs Centre for Photography & Filmmaking, Rochor

Spotlighting the Javan mynah, Dutch photographer Anaïs López's multimedia exhibition uses the bird's journey as a vehicle to discuss migration, identity, belonging, human-animal relationships, and the 'other'. Expect audio, video, text and photography on display, along with perspectives from biologists, political scientists, and even gun enthusiasts weaved in together to provide a well-rounded account of the complex relationships between humans, animals and the consequences of rapid urbanisation. The exhibition also schools viewers on Southeast Asian history, as well as the position of the unwanted outsider.

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Asian Civilisations Museum
Asian Civilisations Museum
Photograph: Shutterstock

Life in Edo x Russel Wong in Kyoto

Art Asian Civilisations Museum, City Hall

Japanophile or not, Asian Civilisations Museum's latest exhibition will have your heart set on a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. But first, explore Japanese art and culture of the past and present through woodblock prints and photography. The exhibition is split into Edo (present-day Tokyo and the current capital) and Kyoto (the old capital) – the former presenting lifestyles and trends in Edo from 1603 to 1868, and the latter focusing on the beauty of nature and architecture of Kyoto today. The exhibition also captures the vanishing traditions of the geisha ('geiko' in Kyoto dialect) through the lens of local photographer Russel Wong.

Through the Eyes of a Child: Art by Quek Hong Shin
Through the Eyes of a Child: Art by Quek Hong Shin
Photograph: Quek Hong Shin

Through the Eyes of a Child: Art by Quek Hong Shin

Art Drawing and illustration Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC), Tanjong Pagar

No fancy time machine involved – get ready to step back in time with the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre's new exhibitionWitness the vanishing collective memories – from a time when coconut trees towered over attap houses, and children played in the busy back-alleys of old Chinatown – come back to life. It also spotlights the people and places inspired by the artist while he was growing up, as well as 14 artworks from his popular book series The Amazing Sarong, The Incredible Basket, The Brilliant Oil Lamp and The Marvellous Sugee Cake, along with new illustrations created specially for this showcase.

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Hershey's at Changi Airport
Hershey's at Changi Airport
Photograph: Changi Airport Group

Hershey's Amazing Chocolate Machine

Things to do Quirky events Changi Airport, Changi 

Your April is about to get even sweeter with Hershey's takeover at Changi Airport. Gather the kids and kidults for a chocolatey affair that involves cocoa, games, Instagram-worthy installations, and loads of family fun at the first-in-Changi chocolate experience with the iconic American brand. Highlights include the Amazing Candy Machine, modelled after the New York store's centrepiece. The Singapore version, however, has three-metre-tall dispensers carrying eight varieties of Hershey's classic flavours and newly launched ones.

The Sea of Tiki, S.E.A. Aquarium
The Sea of Tiki, S.E.A. Aquarium
Photograph: Resorts World Sentosa

The Sea of Tiki

Things to do SEA Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa, Sentosa

If you're looking for a Polynesian escape without leaving the tropical island of Singapore, head to SEA Aquarium as it transforms into The Sea of Tiki. The word 'tiki' traces back to New Zealand and the Marquesas Islands, and is referred to sacred images of gods and creation. Based on this, the aquarium invites you to follow five legendary tikis along an enlightening trail and befriend the tropics’ most fascinating marine animals – keep your eyes peeled for a majestic volcano at the end of the trail. Plus, the long-awaited dive feed is making its comeback after its downtime since the circuit breaker.

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Once Upon A Time On The Orient Express
Once Upon A Time On The Orient Express
Photograph: Once Upon A Time On The Orient Express

Once Upon A Time On The Orient Express

Art Contemporary art Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay

Hear ye, hear ye, the Orient Express is in town. Following the 2014 exhibition in Paris, marking the 130th anniversary of the legendary train, the pop-up attraction Once Upon A Time on The Orient Express takes over the West Lawn of Gardens by the Bay with a series of showcases that unveils a fairy-tale universe related to travel, culture and gastronomy. Fix your eyes on some of the most extraordinary objects and documents to showcase centuries of history that retraces the legacy of the train, allowing you to discover events that transformed the world and shaped the map.

AndSoForth, Around the World in 80 Days
AndSoForth, Around the World in 80 Days
Photograph: AndSoForth/Facebook

Around the World in 80 Days

Theatre Singapore City, Raffles Place

Local theatre company AndSoForth returns to take you on a globe-trotting adventure with its reimagination of a Jules Verne classic, Around the World in 80 Days. But don't expect another immersive theatrical dining experience. Instead, the company is hosting its first-ever book analysis workshop. Staying true to its whimsical roots, the intimate session takes you from one wondrous room to another where you'll feast your eyes on colourful costumes and attention-grabbing set designs. You'll also be feasting further on the cuisines of the country you are 'visiting'.

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Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition
Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition
Photograph: Lucasfilm Ltd

Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition

Things to do Exhibitions ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay

You don't have to wait until May the Fourth to be the ultimate Fanboy. Get to know the characters of Star Wars on a whole new level as The Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition finally lands on our shores, making Singapore the final stop of its global tour. The Force is strong with close to 200 original props, costumes, models and artwork from the film franchise occupying the ArtScience Museum. It's not your typical movie exhibition either – it takes you on a customised, interactive identity quest to gain new insights into how the characters were developed, and gives you the opportunity to discover your own personal identities in the Star Wars galaxy.

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