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The Time Out Singapore hotlist

The biggest and best things to do in Singapore this week

Photo: Walter Lim

Looking for things to do? Read on for our guide to the week's best events and recommended things to do. If you manage to tick off all ten, head back to our home page for daily updates on the best restaurants, events and whatever else Singapore has to offer before our next hotlist is published on Monday.


Geylang Serai Bazaar 2017

Brace yourselves for the heat – and a grease feast – as you flock to the annual food market to binge on Ramly burgers, otah-otah and other sinful street snacks (err, candyfloss burritos and 'rainbow planet' ice cream buns, anybody?). Keep an eye out for massive Instagram-worthy installations inspired by the Malay culture and heritage, including a 4.4m-tall wau display, planted along the stretch.

There's also plenty of activities held in conjunction with the market, such as free movie screenings, gigs, a pop-up museum and a heritage race, where participants can learn more about Hari Raya celebrations as they dash around the precinct. The bazaar spans around the Geylang Serai market, Joo Chiat Complex and along Haig Road, from May 25 to June 24. The official light-up ceremony is on May 20.

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Singapore City , Singapore Until Saturday June 24 2017

Children's Biennale

The inaugural Children's Biennale features ten interactive art showcases in collaboration with artists from Singapore and around the world. Immerse your little ones in teamLab's 'Homogenizing and Transforming World' exhibit that allows them to experience a digital and multi-sensory world wlthout physical boundaries. Then make for photographer Robert Zhao's showcase of 39 animals, plants and environments that have been manipulated by humans – a lesson for kids on the issues of morality and ethics. 

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National Gallery Singapore , City Hall Until Sunday October 8 2017

Blue Beauties

Fun fact: true spectrum blue is a relatively uncommon colour in plants. As Gardens by the Bay turns five, marvel at the mega floral display featuring fresh blooms in this rare hue. Think French-inspired gardens peppered with topiaries among bright fields of agapanthus, hydrangeas and delphiniums.

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Gardens by the Bay , Bayfront Until Friday June 30 2017


A seemingly perfect family is torn apart when Jayden’s adoptive father, Kenneth, is forced to return to Singapore from idyllic suburban England to care for his ailing father. This quickly triggers a butterfly effect that escalates into a national emergency rife with a tsunami of secrets, skeletons and sequins – and, quite suddenly, Jayden is tossed into a world where the realities of ‘happily ever after’ seem out of reach. Penned by local playwright Joel Tan and directed by Tracie Pang, be swept into a poignant fable about the father-son dynamic, and the events that unfold in the face of trials and tribulations.

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Drama Centre Tuesday May 30 2017 - Sunday June 4 2017

Pesta Ubin

Get in touch with nature at Pesta Ubin, the annual month-long celebration of Pulau Ubin. Organised by volunteer groups, the festival aims to highlight things you can do in Ubin including nature walks, camping and experiencing kampong life. The event also seeks to raise awareness of the issues facing the people and environment on Ubin.  Check their website for the schedule of events. Read our Guide to Pulau Ubin for more things to do and most instagram-worty spots on the island.

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Pulau Ubin , Singapore Until Sunday July 16 2017

Imaginarium: To The Ends Of The Earth

Get the kids out of the house and let them explore immersive, tactile and interactive landscapes at Singapore Art Museum's annual family-friendly exhibition. The theme this year explores how people, flora and fauna change to adapt to their environment. Walk through hanging objects in Mary Bernadette Lee's Wanderland, explore Unchalee Anantawat's Floating Mountain, and watch the performance piece Lizard Tail by Hiromi Tango that explores the themes of adaptation and survival. A series of short films, workshops and tours are also available as part of the exhibition.

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8Q SAM , Bras Basah Until Sunday August 27 2017

Playeum's 'Making It Home'

Playeum's Children Centre for Creativity launches its fourth interactive exhibition, 'Making It Home'. Perfect for kids between one and 12, watch spaces transform into different rooms such as 'The Central Space', 'The Bedroom' and 'The Kitchen'. Children get to live their dreams in make-believe plays, construct an idea of their future in movable cubes and experiment with kitchen instruments among many activities.

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Playeum's Children's Centre for Creativity , Labrador Park Tuesday May 30 2017 - Sunday October 29 2017

HDB Homes Of Singapore: The Photo Exhibition

Ever wanted to peek into someone else’s house? Now you can, at this exhibition where selected images from HDB Homes of Singapore are on display. The 700-page photobook is the result a three-year journey documenting HDB homes by Eitaro Ogawa and Tame Iwasaki, the husband and wife team behind Keyakismos, and their collaborator Tomohisa Miyauchi, who captured the images in the book. The selected images are for sale and you can buy the 5kg book at SPRMRKT, too.

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SPRMRKT Until Tuesday June 27 2017

A Moment in Time

Fresh at UOB Art Gallery, A Moment in Time is a representation and collection of objects and places seen through the perspectives of Carey Ngai, winner of the 2016 UOB Painting of the Year. Ngai’s paintings, done in the classical realism style, transport the viewer to the images and landscapes that have inspired his pieces. Expect to see six ink sketches and 21 oil-on-canvas paintings including his award-winning masterpiece titled ‘Industry 2.0 III’.

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UOB Art Gallery , Raffles Place Until Monday July 24 2017

Hong Kong Shop Cats exhibition

Take a closer look at Hong Kong’s busy trades and the cats that rule their retail shops through a series of photographs. It began when Dutch photographer Marcel Heijnen moved to Hong Kong and started photographing cats in shops, markets and alleyways. Oh, and the occasional shop dog makes an appearance, too. These are catalogued on his Instagram and website Chinese Whiskers, and will be on display at Artistry as part of the exhibition's first showcase outside of Hong Kong. Some of these images have been collated into the first photobook in the series, Hong Kong Shop Cats, which will be available for sale at Artistry. Come meet the artist during the opening night on April 13. Heijnen will be promoting his book and selling limited edition prints of the felines for your keeping.

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Artistry , Bugis Until Saturday June 3 2017

Creativity in Pulses

Chinese traditions and modernity are given a boost at the newly opened Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre. Steep yourself in the works of illustrator Lee Xin Li, Supermama founder Edwin Loh, filmmaker Kirsten Tan (of Pop Aye) and more. There’s art installations, photographs, short films and graphic art pieces to be admired, each exploring the values and beliefs of local Chinese culture through the eyes of the modern generation.

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Singapore City , Singapore Until Saturday September 30 2017

Precious Eggs: Of Art, Beauty and Culture

Wax, crystal, chicken, marble, reindeer horn and ostrich: if you’re wondering what these have in common, they're all part of an exhibition featuring 148 one-of-a-kind eggs. And not just any eggs, but ornate and delicate pieces – some of which were even hand-carried – from the Liechtenstein National Museum. Admire a glass egg containing ashes from the Mt Helena volcanic eruption of 1980; a chicken egg with tiny horseshoes nailed onto its surface; and a pair of imperial porcelain factory eggs from 1914 that survived the civil revolutions and World War I.

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Singapore Philatelic Museum , City Hall Until Sunday October 8 2017

Durian Fiesta at Goodwood Park Hotel

Goodwood Park's annual Durian Fiesta is back, this time with six brand new tantalising creations. There will be a total of 14 premium cakes and pastries, each made with only the best D24 or Mao Shan Wang durians. Our favourites include the D24 Starry Starry Night Ice Cream Cake (from $13), a new cake with a durian ice cream centre wrapped in charcoal sponge. Popular picks like the D24 mousse cake (from $11), D24 puff (from $9) and Mao Shan Wang ice cream tubs ($19) are also available. During Durian Fiesta, Goodwood Park's Sichuan and Cantonese restaurant, Min Jiang, will also offer D24 fried sesame balls (from $11.80), a crispy dim sum dish stuffed with warm durian pulp.

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Goodwood Park Hotel , Orchard Until Monday July 31 2017

The Universe and Art

Have a glimpse of humanity's fascination with the universe at this exhibition, jointly curated and organised by Mori Art Museum and ArtScience Museum, which features artefacts from the Asian Civilisations Museum. Divided into four sections, you'll get to peruse historical religious texts on the cosmos and learn about the birth of astronomy. Then, explore new astronomical advances, black holes and dark matter, as well as questions about alien life, robotics and the future of mankind through artworks. Finally, view and ponder about art pieces that are specifically designed to be flown and exhibited in space. There's also a host of activities including guided tours, workshops and a screening of Look at the Earth from the Universe – a compilation of videos that looks at humanity from the viewpoint of the cosmos, as interpreted by artists. 

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ArtScience Museum , Promenade Until Sunday July 30 2017

On Sharks and Humanity

This travelling art exhibition marks the launch of Parkview Museum, a new art space in Parkview Square. Highlighting environmental issues such as shark protection and ocean conservation, the exhibition also explores the links between sharks, humans and the environment. Expect over 30 artworks from contemporary artists all over the world, including Germany, Singapore and Hong Kong.

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Parkview Museum , Bugis Until Monday June 26 2017

5:5 pop-up store

Get your dose of hallyu fashion at this multi-label concept store that’s curated according to five themes: Bare Essentials, Hue New, Liquid Dream, Pink Permeated and Ready Set Glow. It carries items from 25 Korean independent labels such as Salad Bowls, Brown Breath, Sculptor and Lápiz Sensible. The catch? There are only 25 pieces of each item – so the early bird catches the worm. 

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Suntec City Mall , Promenade Until Friday June 30 2017

Into the Wild

A rainforest sprouting from the floors of the ArtScience Museum? You'll get just that, thanks to a virtual reality adventure that'll take you on an immersive journey into the thick of South-East Asia's rainforests. Spot orangutans and endangered Sumatran tigers, then plant a virtual tree – because for every one planted, an actual tree's planted in Rimbang Baling, Sumatra.

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ArtScience Museum , Promenade Until Sunday December 31 2017

Surviving the Japanese Occupation: War and its Legacies

To mark – not commemorate – the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore, there'll be an exhibition set in the Old Ford Factory, which was where the British surrendered to the Japanese forces on February 15, 1942. Spread across four zones, take in the diary entries, identity cards and war campaign documentary paintings on display, then reflect on the solemn beginnings of our nationhood.

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Singapore City , Singapore Until Friday May 31 2019

LOCK ROUTE: Public Art @ Gillman Barracks

Inspired by Gillman Barracks' address and the 24-km march route all army recruits have to go through, LOCK ROUTE features 16 installations, murals and sculptures. Artists featured include China’s Chen Tianzhuo, Vietnam’s Oanh Phi Phi, Cleon Peterson of America and Singapore’s very own Gerald Leow, Sheryo+Yok, Acit Salbini and Stephanie Jane Burt.

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Gillman Barracks , Labrador Park Until Friday June 30 2017

Collecting Magic: From Stamps to Wands

Relieve the magic world of Hogwarts at Singapore Philatelic Museum's Potter-themed exhibition. Harry Potter stamps from all over the world, including the first licensed stamp set issued by Taiwan, are on display alongside other collectibles and movie memorabilia including a statue of the beloved Dobby the house elf, a replica of the Monster Book of Monsters and an intricate Gringotts Wizarding Bank done up in LEGO bricks. There are interactive multimedia exhibits involving wands and moving portraits to engage the younger ones as well. Of course, don’t forget your cameras – you get to hop onto Platform 9 ¾ and ‘fly’ like a Quidditch player in the photo section. 

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Singapore Philatelic Museum , City Hall Until Sunday June 18 2017

Future World

The ArtScience Museum’s first-ever permanent exhibition is a world of high-tech, immersive digital art installations. Featuring 15 works by award-winning Japanese art collective teamLab, Future World will be constantly updated with new works over the years. Highlight pieces include 'Crystal Universe', where visitors can enter a room filled with over 170,000 LED lights that change colours, and 'Universe of Water Particles' – an 8-metre-tall digital waterfall whose water particles tumble down logs in accordance with the laws of physics.

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ArtScience Museum , Promenade Until Sunday December 31 2017

Studio Ghibli Artworks at Polar Bear Gallery

Studio Ghibli fans, get excited: a selection of original celluloids from director Hayao Miyazaki are on permanent display at Polar Bear Gallery, including scenes from My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Admire them alongside works by Japanese fantasy artist, Naohisa Inoue, who’s behind the surrealist background art for Whisper of the Heart, a Studio Ghibli filmIf you’ve got some money to spare, prices start from around $6,000 for a Miyazaki film celluloid or an Inoue artwork.

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Polar Bear Gallery , Bugis Friday June 2 2017 - Sunday July 29 2018