I haven’t really found a restaurant or venue with a special Valentine’s Day meal that is, what I would consider, value-conscious. It seems that most places just by virtue of adding the three words, “Valentine’s Day Special” double their prices while giving you maybe just slightly more than their usual offerings. But I have found several free events and activities, for those who want to do something other than (or in addition to) having a nice meal. Here are my top suggestions for free or inexpensive things to do on Valentine’s Day or during the following weekend.
1. For the Romantic: Picnic under the stars at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. There will be music performances by former Singapore Idol contestant Mathilda D’ Silva, and the “Karen Carpenter of Singapore” Wendy Chin. The Travelling C.O.W (Chef on Wheels) with be selling picnic baskets and mats starting at $60 (these need to be reserved), but you can just bring your own picnic basket and mat there for a more personal touch.
(14 Feb, The Bontanic Gardens Bandstand, 7pm, free)
Alternately, you can picnic at Gardens by the Bay, where Corrinne May will be performing soulful tunes under the Supertrees
(14 Feb, Garden by the Bay Supertree Grove, 8-8.30pm & 9-9.30pm, free)
2. For the Movie Buff: DBS will be screening two movies – Crazy, Stupid, Love on 14 Feb & Fast Five on 15 Feb for their Movies by the Bay Programme. The screening is free, and the first 50 who register on their site can even get free popcorn! They usually have movie screenings every third Friday and Saturday of each month, but for this month, it takes place on the 2nd Friday (but 3rd Saturday).
(14 & 15 Feb, Adjacent to The Shoppes at MBS, 7:30pm, free)
3. For the Single Ready to Mingle: Lovestruck.com will be hosting a free event called the Lovestruck Laissez-faire Mixer at Loof with happy hour from 5pm to 8pm, during which select drinks are priced according to the hour on the clock. No entry fee or RSVP required.
(12 Feb, Loof Rooftop Bar, 6pm, free)
For the cynic, Lucha Loco will be hosting an Anti-Valentine’s Party for singles complete with piñata bashing and dancing to anti-Valentine’s ballads.
(14 Feb, Lucha Loco, 9pm, free)
*** The next 3 events all take place at Gardens by the Bay ***
4. For the Dance Beginners: Salsa Night Out is an event which includes a free introductory salsa workshop at the Supertree Grove. No experience or even partner needed. The workshop is then followed by a session of dancing together.
(15 Feb & 16 Feb, Gardens by the Bay Supertree Grove, 5.30-7.30pm, free).
5. For the Nature Lover or Photographer: See some of the best photographed landscapes at the GardenScapes Photography Exhibition on display until 27 Feb (The Colonnade @ Gardens by the Bay). While you’re there, you can also watch the OCBC Garden Rhapsody show (7:45pm & 8:45 pm) where dazzling lights and sound bring the Supertrees to life.
(Daily, Photo Exhibit at Gardens by the Bay Colonnade, Light Show at Supertrees at 7:45pm and 8:45pm, free)
6. For the Sports Fan: Singapore will be hosting the 28th Southeast Asian Games along with the 8th Para ASEAN Games next year, but the launch party will be taking place this year on 15 Feb at Gardens by the Bay. Come support and meet athletes from Team Singapore as well as local media artistes and local talent.
(15 Feb Gardens by the Bay Meadow, 5:30-11:30pm, free)
7. For the Humanitarian: Want to give something that is truly unique and from your heart? Then why not give blood on Valentine’s Day and help to save lives? I remember watching an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 way back in the early 90s, and this was how two of the main characters in the show spent Valentine’s Day. I can’t think of a more meaningful, thoughtful, and memorable thing to do on a day meant to celebrate love, being loved, and giving love. (Click here for location and hours, free)
8. For those heading to Sentosa: There are two free shows in Sentosa, which you can catch on the same day, that are worth watching if you haven’t already seen them. At the Waterfront, you can watch the Crane Dance, a 10-minute show with stunning light and water effects which starts at 9pm. Afterward, you can head toward the Resorts World Casino and watch the Lake of Dreams Show with flaming dragons, water cannons, and laser special effects at 9:30pm. Both shows are free, but if you enter via the boardwalk, you’ll have to pay the usual $1 entry fee (There are ways of getting around this which I will write about in a later post).
(Daily, Crane Dance at WaterFront, 9pm; Lake of Dreams at FestiveWalk, 9:30pm, free).
9. For the Athletic: Kampong Chai Chee CC is organizing their annual flagship programme, the Bedok Reservoir Valentine Run. Entry fees are $18 (single), $15 per person (couple), and $12 per person (for groups of 3 or more). All participants get a goodie bag, and are entered into a lucky draw for exercise equipment from AIBI. Female participants also get a rose.
(16 Feb, Bedok Reservoir Park Floating Platform, 4-7pm)
10. For the Thrill Seeker: There will be thrilling aerobatic flying stunts from around the world at the Singapore Air Show, along with exhibits and aircrafts on display. Tickets are $22 for adults and $9 for children (age 12 and below) with free shuttle service from Expo MRT Station. If you just want to see the aerobatic stunts, you can get a great view of it for free if you’re by Changi Village or Changi Beach Park.
(15 Feb & 16 Feb, Changi Exhibition Centre, 9:30am – 5pm with flying displays at 10:25-11:25am and 3-3:30pm, free*)
11. For the Fitness Enthusiast or Dancer: SAFRA will be hosting a Dance Fiesta 4,000-Hour Dance-A-Thon at *SCAPE to raise awareness for the Society for the Physically Disabled. As of 11 Feb, registration is now free. In addition, thanks to generous sponsors, $10 will be pledged to the Society for Physically Disabled for each registered participant. There will be a variety of dance styles, from Zumba to Kpop, with changes at each hour. So dance for a good cause, and dance for those who are unable to. For the programme schedule, please visit their website.
(15 Feb, *SCAPE Ground Theatre, 10am-6pm, free )
12. For the Lighthearted: Arteen Furteen will be hosting their Open Mic Night – Valentines Special filled with live performances from singing, to standup comedy and poetry, all performed by local talented young artistes.
(15 Feb, Canberra CC , 7-9pm, free)
13. For the Classical Music Lover: As part of the Faculty Recital Series, The Schubert Cycles: Die Schöne Müllerin will be performed on 14 Feb at the School of the Arts Concert Hall. Tickets are free through Eventbrite and must be reserved in advance.
(14 Feb, School of the Arts Concert Hall, 7:30-9:30pm, free)
14. For the Chinese Music Lover: The Esplanade is presenting two special Valentine’s Day programmes called “In the Mood for Love”, which features songs from familiar Chinese movies performed by Singaporean flutist Sin Jin How; and “Love Songs”, a collection of popular Mandarin love ballads performed by HuiBing, Junxiong, Jixiang, Boon Chye and Peter.
(In the Mood for Love: 14 Feb, Esplanade Concourse, 7.15pm, 8.15pm & 9.15pm, free)
(Love Songs: 14 Feb, Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, 7.30pm, 8.45pm & 10pm, free)
For those who enjoy classical Chinese music, the Radin Mas String Orchestra will be performing popular Chinese classics and festive tunes in celebration of springtime at the Esplanade Concert Hall.
(16 Feb, Esplanade Concert Hall, 3pm, free)
15. For the Clubber: Beats And Beyond, a monthly event that celebrates the best of funk, hip hop, rap and boom bap, will take place this month at Gem Bar & Lounge. There will be appearances by DJs Funk Bast*rd, William J, Marco Weibel and RAH.
(14 Feb, Gem Bar & Lounge, 10pm, free)