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7 Best Mid-Autumn Festival Events To Visit In 2023 – Lantern Displays, Marketplace & Carnival Games

Mid-Autumn Festival events 2023

We’re not sure how time works, but it’s already September. That means Mid-Autumn Festival is upon us, so it’s goodbye ghosts and hello mooncakes! If you’ve been cooped up at home keeping safe from hantus during Hungry Ghost Festival, it’s time you ventured out.

Don’t worry, we’ll make it worth your while. This year’s festivities don’t just include the usual mooncake fairs. There’re also giant light-up displays, lantern walks, and pasar malams to check out:

1. Wan Qing Mid-Autumn Festival – Chonky panda lanterns

mid-autumn festival 2023 - wan qing panda lanternsImage credit: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

Step aside, Kai Kai, Jia Jia, and Le Le – there are new pandas in town. Make your way to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall for a peek at these inflatable chonky panda lanterns that are on display in the front lawn for Mid-Autumn Festival.

mid-autumn festival 2023 - wan qing open houseImage credit: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall

The pandas are part of the Wan Qing Mid-Autumn Festival event, an open house with activities for the whole family. Participate in storytelling sessions about the festival’s legends and even have a mooncake taste-testing session with a side of tea. Little ones can also sign up for a lantern-making workshop and play team games at an extra cost.

Admission: Free with ticketed events

Venue: 12 Tai Gin Road, Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, Singapore 327874Dates: Now till 1st October 2023Time: 10am-9pm, DailyContact: Wan Qing Mid-Autumn Festival website

2. VivoCity – Sanrio-themed garden & mooncake fair

It doesn’t matter if you’re 8 or 80, one’s obsession with this iconic cat will never end. If you’re one of those who willingly queues up to get ahold of Hello Kitty toys, then you’ll surely want to visit the Garden of Lights rooftop display as part of VivoCity’s Mid-Autumn Festival event.

mid-autumn festival 2023 - vivocity hello kitty garden mazeThe Hello Kitty Garden Maze.Image credit: VivoCity 

Set your phone cameras to night mode to capture the cute Sanrio-themed light-ups featuring popular characters like Hello Kitty, Pom Pom Purin, Cinnamoroll, and Gudetama. Get yourself in there for new display pics for your socials too. We hear the Sanrio tunnel, garden swing, and Hello Kitty Garden Maze are the best spots for candid shots to take with bae or even solo.

mid-autumn festival 2023 - vivocity garden of lightsImage credit: Dewi Nurjuwita

It isn’t Mid-Autumn without mooncakes. If you’ve yet to place your orders, head down to the Level 1 Atrium for the Mooncake Fair. You’ll find vendors from hotels and independent bakeries selling traditional baked, snowskin, and decadent durian mooncakes filled with fresh Mao Shan Wang flesh.

Admission: Free

Venue: 1 Harbourfront Walk, Vivocity, Singapore 098585Dates: Now till 1st October 2023 (Garden of Lights) | Now till 29th September 2023 (Mooncake Fair)Time: 10am-10pm, DailyContact: VivoCity website

3. Lakeside Garden – Handcrafted lanterns from China

mid-autumn festival 2023 - lakeside gardenImage credit: NParks

Westies – there’s a Mid-Autumn Festival celebration right in your backyard. Lakeside Garden is hosting its annual Lights by the Lake event yet again. This time round, expect 3 installations of handcrafted lanterns from China portrating scenes like a light-up savannah with giraffes and flamingos, giant stalks of orchids, and even an icon of the lake itself – the twin pagodas. 

mid-autumn festival 2023 - lakeside garden lights by the lakeImage credit: NParks

Lanterns aside, festivities also include classical Chinese musical performances at the Wave Plaza on Fridays and Saturdays. If those days have been snapped up in your calendar, you can still visit any other day of the week for riddle guessing games with chances to win prizes. P.S. Come with an empty stomach – there’s a pasar malam selling snacks and drinks.

Admission: Free

Venue: 106 Yuan Ching Road, Singapore 619616Dates: Now till 1st October 2023Time: 7pm-11pm, DailyContact: Lights by the Lake website

4. Chinatown Point – White Rabbit lantern & mooncake fair

mid-autumn festival 2023 - chinatown point

Any kid growing up in Singapore will remember White Rabbit – the old-school snack with paper you can eat. If you’re feeling nostalgic for the sweet, you can check out a giant inflatable version outside Chinatown Point. You can even get your hands on merch like tote bags and mugs bearing the iconic blue-and-white wrapper at the pop-up store inside the mall.

But that’s not all to the Chinatown Point Mid-Autumn Festival event. There’s a Mooncake Fair happening from now till 29th September with deals from popular brands like Eu Yan Sang, Duke Bakery, and Thye Moh Chan. 

Admission: Free

Venue: 33 New Bridge Road, Singapore 059413Dates: 25th September – 1st October 2023Time: 10am-10pm, DailyContact: Chinatown Point Mid-Autumn Festival website

5. GBTB – Chinese mythology lanterns, food street & carnival

mid-autumn festival 2023 - gbtb magpie bridgeMagpie Bridge.Image credit: Raewyn Koh

Trust Gardens By The Bay to come in strong this Mid-Autumn Festival with their larger-than-life lanterns this year. Their Garden of Blooms event features 9 different lantern setups depicting stories from Chinese mythology, like the romance between Cow Herd and Weaver Girl on the Magpie Bridge, as well as the Butterfly Lovers.

mid-autumn festival 2023 - gbtb carnivalImage adapted from: Raewyn Koh

Apart from taking endless pics, there’s plenty of other things to do. Stop by the Supertree Grove for carnival rides and a mini pasar malam selling street food from Taiwan and Thailand. If you’re here on Fridays to Sundays, you can even catch performances at the Pavilion lantern.

Admission: Free

Venue: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Gardens By The Bay, Singapore 018953Dates: 16th September – 1st October 2023Time: 6pm-10pm, DailyContact: Garden of Blooms website

6. Chinatown Street – 8m-tall dioramic centrepiece

mid-autumn festival 2023 - chinatown street bunny lanternsImage credit: MustShareNews

It’s the year of the rabbit but that’s not why you’ll see a bunch of bunny lanterns all over Chinatown Street this year. Legend goes that a hare tried to sacrifice itself for the Jade Emperor, who then blessed it with immortality for its selfless act. The rabbit now accompanies Chang’E on the moon, the woman responsible for this whole festival in the first place.

mid-autumn festival 2023 - chinatown street dioramaImage credit: MustShareNews

Chang’E makes an appearance in this year’s lantern display too. You can spot her at the 8m-tall diorama on ​​Eu Tong Sen Street. She’s hidden in the moon shining down on the family celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival in a garden. If you want a good look at all the lanterns at Chinatown this year, join in on the Lantern Walk around the district on 23rd September.

Lantern WalkPrice: $5/pax

Venue: 33 New Bridge Road, Singapore 059413Date: 23rd September 2023Time: 7.30pm-9.30pmContact: Lantern Walk website

7. SCCC – Makers’ market, craft workshops & rooftop stargazing

mid-autumn festival 2023 - sccc marketImage credit: Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre

If you thought this festival was just mooncakes and lanterns, then hopefully Mid-Autumn Family Fun at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre will change your mind. For starters, there’s a makers’ market where you can get handcrafted accessories, collectibles, and stationery from local and overseas crafters. 

mid-autumn festival 2023 - sccc stargazingStargazing with a telescope.Image credit: Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre

You can even participate in festival traditions like the guessing riddles and moon and stargazing on the rooftop. Those who must have their share of mooncakes and lanterns can take part in crafting workshops to make mooncake ornaments and LED lanterns. Best of all, these events are all free.

The event does have a few extra ticketed activities for those who really want to learn more about Mid-Autumn Festival. Join in on a tea-brewing workshop, sit in on crosstalks, and even sit back and listen as the Asian Cultural Symphony Orchestra plays familiar tunes and nursery rhymes that mention the moon. A full schedule of events is available on the Mid-Autumn Family Fun website.

Admission: Free, with ticketed events.

Venue: 1 Straits Boulevard, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, Singapore 018906Dates: 29th September – 1st October 2023Time: Various timings, check website for detailsContact: Mid-Autumn Family Fun website

Bonus: The Dragon Chamber – Adults-only Mid-Autumn Festival party

mid-autumn festival 2023 - the dragon chamber live musicImage credit: The Dragon Chamber

Mid-Autumn Festival seems like it was designed for children, since most of the festival often involves all our fave childhood things like sparklers and battery-operated lanterns. But this time round, the festivities are only for those 18 and up at a hidden bar in Singapore.

mid-autumn festival 2023 - the dragon chamber drinking gamesImage credit: The Dragon Chamber

The Dragon Chamber is hosting a Mid-Autumn party for adults only on 30th September from 8pm till late. Expect to raise the roof to the spinning of tracks by DK KiDG in the neon-lit dungeon. In between sets, you’ll even be able to dabble in party games like beer pong and dice rolls for your chance to win shots.

Walk-ins are free but you can secure a spot for you and your friends by booking a table for 6 (from $328), which includes 1 bottle of spirit and 2 wines.

Venue: 2 Circular Road, Singapore 049358Date: 30th September 2023Time: 8pm till lateContact: The Dragon Chamber website

Where to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival in 2023

Beyond all the lore behind it, Mid-Autumn Festival is also a chance for families to gather together for quality bonding time. For those who want a bit more than just sitting around a table eating mooncakes and drinking tea, use this list to try out something new for the occasion. There’s plenty to do for families, kids, couples, and friends too.

For more things to check out in Singapore:

Now Is Not The Time exhibition on Mr Lee Kuan YewPay-per-use swimming pools in SingaporeChalets to book on St John’s Island

Cover image adapted from: Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, VivoCity, NParks


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