Mooncakes, lantern walks, stories of Chang’e – we’ve reached September, the month of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Many families prefer to keep it nice and simple, by just going for a lantern walk around their neighbourhood, eating mooncakes, and spending some quality time together. If you’d like to elevate that experience and learn more about the culture and legends surrounding this festival, these places can capture your kids’ attention and match their energy levels, while you relax and immerse yourself into the festive atmosphere.
1. Wan Qing Mid-Autumn Festival 2023
If your family is a fan of pandas, catch the Wan Qing Mid-Autumn Festival Open House, which has a giant panda installation quirkily titled Mid-Autumn Paw-trait. It features two giant panda lanterns, a collaboration with toymaker 52TOYS’ Panda Roll series and WWF-Singapore (World Wide Fund for Nature Singapore).
At the Wan Qing Mid-Autumn Festival Open House, attend the free arts-&-crafts or calligraphy stations, or register for the Hokkien and Teochew workshops to encourage your kids to pick up a few phrases in your dialect. Watch the dialect culture performances, try some mooncakes, and get competitive with trivia at the Family Fun Contest. With a full list of things to do, you’ll definitely find it worthwhile.
While you’re there, visit Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall (SYSNMH) to learn more about Chinese heritage and culture. The visiting hours have been specially extended to 9pm every weekend leading up to Mid-Autumn Festival and the very day itself.
Happening 10am to 9pm daily until Oct 1, at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, 12 Tai Gin Road, Singapore 327874. Free admission with paid activities on various days. Visit its website for more information.
2. Lights by The Lake @ Jurong Lake Gardens
For the Westies – what better place to walk with your lanterns at night, other than the serene Jurong Lake Gardens? Admire the lantern displays hand-crafted by artists from China, which visually illustrate Singapore’s rich history. Challenge your kids’ knowledge at the Lantern Riddles, and stand to win a prize! Support our local artists’ music and orchestral performances on various days.
Happening at various timings from Sep 16 to Oct 1, at Jurong Lake Gardens, Yuan Ching Road. Visit its website for more information.
3. Garden of Blooms @ Gardens By The Bay
If you haven’t been to Gardens By The Bay at night to see its lit-up groves and structures, this Mid-Autumn period is a good time to visit in conjunction with the Garden of Blooms. Colourful lanterns inspired by Chinese mythology adorn the gardens, lighting up every footpath with a soft glow The lanterns aren’t the only thing here – performances, carnival games, and street food will be awaiting you and your family! Have a night of fun and culture with your family amidst the beautiful lanterns.
Happening 6-10pm daily from 15 September to 1 October, at Gardens By The Bay. Visit the website for more information.
4. Mid-Autumn Chinatown Festival 2023
Chinatown hosts a huge Mid-Autumn Festival event annually, well-known for its large scale and bustling crowds. If you’re planning to go all in with the celebrations, Chinatown is one of your best bets to soak up all the culture and tradition. Pomelos, mooncakes, piggy biscuits, DIY lanterns, and playing with sparklers — it’s set to be a happening night.
There’s also a Lantern Painting Competition that takes place on Sep 10 (9am to 2pm) at Chinatown Point. Not to worry about unfair competition, because there are five age categories. Time for your child to tap on their creativity and stand to win attractive prizes!
Happening 7pm on Sep 15 in Chinatown. More information will be released soon — visit its Instagram page for updates.
5. Mid-Autumn Festival 2023 @ Buona Vista
For families who live in cheery Buona Vista, this Mid-Autumn is likely your nearest one! Go for any DIY Balloon Sculpting, DIY Lantern Marking, Arts-&-Crafts, traditional game booths, and more – if you sign up early before all slots are taken, you might just be able to partake in all of them!
The $2 entrance ticket comes with a free mooncake, lots of food, games and workshops. This event is curated for young families and students who are also interested in art, music, dance and of course, fun.
Happening 6.30-9.30pm on 23 September, at Blk 7B Commonwealth Ave Deck 5B, Singapore 142007. Visit OnePA website for more information.
6. The Race Around The Moon
Join Chang’e, Jade Rabbit, and Wu Gang as they frolic in the clouds, before setting off on a race with each other around the moon. Only the victor will be granted the privilege of returning to earth – this race will surely challenge their wits and skills, but will this trio’s friendship make it past the test? Follow their shenanigans with this 40-minute performance, which is followed by a 20-minute post-performance activity. Children above 18 months old require a ticket for entry. Children under six must be accompanied by an adult.
Standard tickets are priced at $32. Members of the Gateway Kids Club get 10 per cent off.
Happening 2pm and 5pm on Sep 23, 2023, at Sky Garden, Gateway Theatre, 3615 Jalan Bukit Merah, Singapore 159461. Visit the website for more information.
7. Garden Of Lights With Sanrio @ VivoCity
This is for the Sanrio Lovers in your family! Vivocity has decorated its Sky Park with all things Sanrio, from Hello Kitty to Little Twin Stars, and My Melody. Themed Garden of Lights, these life-sized decorations definitely make great photo spots for fun family pictures. After having a hearty dinner at Vivocity, you can come back up to see the decorations at night, all lit up to mark the end of the day. Displays will be lit up from 6.30pm every evening, with the event open to guests from 10am to 10pm daily.
Happening daily from Aug 31 to Oct 1, at VivoCity Sky Park, 1 HarbourFront Walk, Singapore 098585.