There are always more celebrations of Chinese New Year in Asia, Singapore is no exception.
A few weeks before Chinese New Year, Chinatown Singapore will have night bazzars selling Chinese New Year goodies. Although the price of the products increase every year, possibly due to rents, the crowds do not seem to care.
Weekends and days before Chinese New Year will bring extra large crowds to Chinatown. Every year, the products sold is the same, over priced new year goodies, made in China. Squeezing through the crowd is an experience, so if you have not done it, it is worth a try.
In Singapore, on the eve of Chinese New Year till the second day of Chinese New Year, many shops are closed. However, there are also some Chinese New Year specific events to go to.
1) River AngPao.
This event is held on the Singapore River. Typically beside Esplanade at the F1 Building floating platform. There will be lots of "lanterns" and the 12 zodiac signs on display and of course, this free event draws huge crowds too.
There are also many shows at River AngPao, but these shows are rarely worth the wait. Its usually some Chinese groups dancing and singing folk songs, and besides having nice costumes, the performances are rarely spectacular.
2) Free Museum Visits. (National Museum of Singapore) is usually free on Chinese New Year.
3) Istana Open House. -- Free entry, and open to visits on first day of Chinese New Year.
4) Floral Displays. -- Used to be at RWS (Resorts World Sentosa) but it is now at Gardens by the Bay, and it is not free. Normal Admission applies.
5) Sentosa Events. -- Acrobatics, Lion Dance and Dragon Dance, along with the parade of "God of Fortune" is an annual event at RWS. Admission to the Island is $1 via board walk and the outdoor events are free.
Crowds to these free event will be huge, and toilets are rare and hard to locate. The performances in Sentosa is much better than River AngPao, but you need to find out the schedule and arrive early.
Coming to Singapore for Chinese New Year is a rather interesting experience, but it can be pricey as everything costs more than the usual. (Being the 7th most costly city, things are not cheap to start with)
Definitely lots of interesting things to do and see. (But lots of shopping closed for 3 days)
-- Robin Low