Is Singapore the city that never sleeps? Not quite, considering our malls pull down the shutters for the day by 10pm, and the idea of late night fun for most of us equals knocking back beers or shots at the many bars and clubs across the island.
But if you ever find yourself in a New York state of mind, wondering what to do besides Netflix and chill at midnight, we’ve got you covered. After combing through the city for all the late night shenanigans that have nothing to do with booze and beats in a dimly-lit space, here’s our list of top things to do in the wee hours of the morning – from spa treatments and ghost hunts to indoor baseball and midnight shopping.
Catch all the prawns you can and grill them fresh
Prawning sessions are ideal for people with infinite patience (i.e., not us) – unless you go with a group of boisterous buddies who’ll entertain you while you wait for the marine creatures to nibble on the bait.
To take part in the super chill (well, it eventually gets exciting when someone hooks a crustacean) after-dark activity, hit up 24-hour prawning joints like Hai Bin, Riviera Prawn Fishing, or ORTO. Even if you fail to reel in the prawns, stay on to grill your friends’ catch and feast on the fresh seafood.
Cycle across the island while everyone’s asleep
Besides the fact that you won’t be drenched in sweat under scorching sunny rays, night cycling also means cool breezes and practically empty roads.
You can either join cycling groups like JoyRiders, or take to the streets with a couple of friends to cover trails like the Round Island Route, a 150km park connector that takes you around Singapore, and the Eastern Coastal Loop, which brings you through the beaches of East Coast Park and Pasir Ris Park.
Fly an LED kite in the night sky
Invest in an LED kite – like those by Kite Culture or GoFlyKite – and take your new gadget to the greenery of Marina Barrage (or any park near your home, we suppose) for a quiet red-eye flight without the usual hordes of families.
Gear up for ghost hunting
We all know Singapore’s full of haunted places – who needs Halloween when you can get spooked any day of the year? If you’re the type to get a thrill from a spine-tingling, hair-raising night out, put your brave foot forward and check out eerie places like Old Changi Hospital, Bukit Brown Cemetery, Pasir Ris Park, and Nee Soon Rubber Estate.
But do so at your own risk, please, or contact groups like the Singapore Paranormal Investigators for help before you venture into the unknown. Alternatively, read our beginner’s guide to ghostbusting in Singapore for the lowdown on the supernatural world.
Go on a midnight shopping spree
Retail therapy is soothing, no matter what time of the day (or night) it is. And with the opening of Japan’s massively popular Don Don Donki at Orchard Central, now we’ve got options for 24/7 shopping besides Little India’s legendary Mustafa Centre.
So the next time you’re hit with a bout of insomnia, go forth and shop for snacks, electronics, household products, and other random stuff to your heart’s content.
Hit a home run
At Homerun Baseball, you can swing your bat in the indoor baseball and softball batting cage till as late as 1am on Fridays or 3am on Saturdays. And did we mention it’s quite the calorie-burning exercise?
Throw yourself vigorously into the activity, and you’ll work out your core, arms, and shoulders, not to mention unleash all the stresses of the week into the balls that come whizzing in your direction.
Host a game night
You don’t have to invite everyone over to your place when The Mind Café at Dhoby Ghaut stays open in the unearthly hours of the morning. Hang out till 6am on Fridays and Saturdays at the cozy space, which offers a wide selection of board games, as well as free flow snacks and drinks to keep you awake and alert.
Alternatively, Settler’s Café at Clarke Quay closes a little earlier at 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Indulge in a pampering session
The oasis that never shuts its doors, g.spa is a haven of tranquility, with facilities such as hot and cold pools, steam rooms, saunas, VIP rooms, a café, and even a relaxation lounge where you can unwind and chill. Slightly rundown it may be, but the spa offers everything from aromatic massage treatments and prettifying manicures to invigorating body scrubs and anti-aging facials to help you sleep better when your head finally hits the pillow.
Alternatively, the newly-opened Spa Nes is another 24-hour paradise, with a thermal pool, a steam room, a sauna, and a lounge that you can luxuriate in just by purchasing the Spa Pass (S$38/one hour, S$68/three hours).
Join the supper club
In a nation obsessed with food, naturally we’d be crammed with countless supper joints to appease those hunger pangs at the stroke of midnight.
So ditch your McDonald’s speed dial for legendary eateries across the country such as Swee Choon Tim Sum, Mr Prata, Rochor Original Beancurd, Beach Road Scissors Cut Curry Rice, The Ramen Stall, and loads more.
Kick back and watch a midnight movie
When all else fails, you can always count on the cinema to have your back on a night when you simply don’t have the energy to do anything, but you’re reluctant to head home just yet.
Granted, not all theatres screen late night flicks — and even then, only a few popular titles are chosen for after-11pm slots, so you’ll have to settle for limited choices at Golden Village and Cathay Cineplexes.
Play a few rounds of retro arcade games
Clarke Quay is admittedly all about drinking and dancing, but there’s more than that at Level Up, a neon-lit space displaying all your favorite retro arcade games, including Metal Slug, Street Fighter, and Time Crisis. Damn, the nostalgia just hit us hard like a well-timed shoryuken.
For more fun bars the old school way, get your game on at any of the i Darts outlets across the country or head over to Forest Darts Café on Ann Siang Road to challenge one another to a round of, you got it, darts.
Sing like no one’s watching
Karaoke bars are fabulously fun, especially when you’ve had a drink or two and all your inhibitions have flown out the window. So gather your rowdiest group of social butterflies for a wild night of microphone antics, ridiculous dance moves, and cheeky tunes to serenade one another with. Plus, some karaoke joints offer Wi-Fi, free-flow drinks and snacks, and the best cheesy songs.
Sip on lattes over a quiet conversation
If caffeine doesn’t do a damn thing to your system, find a seat at any of the 24-hour Starbucks scattered across the island when you feel like pouring your heart out to a friend without being interrupted.
Besides outlets at the airport, the coffee chain also opens its doors all day and all night at places like Liat Towers, Northpoint, Plaza Singapura, Raffles City, Tampines Mall, The Cathay, and United Square, where you’ll find its first Starbucks Reserve Coffee Bar.
Stay up late and admire the sunrise
After you’ve waved goodbye to your night owl buddies, slot in some “me time” with your camera to watch the sunrise in peace, before the rest of Singapore awakens. Secluded spots for a tranquil morning include Changi Beach, Sembawang Park, Lorong Halus, and Kranji Reservoir.
Strap in for the ride and fly through the air
If you’re all too familiar with the Clarke Quay nightlife scene, you’re probably thinking, “ugh, not that tourist trap”. But if you’re looking for a jolt of adrenaline in the middle of the night, then yeah, this ride’s for you. Just don’t go superbly insane like what this guy famously did in back in 2015.
The GX-5 Extreme Swing will set you back $45 just for a few electrifying seconds of slicing through the night sky, so those on a budget can try the Trampoline Bungy at $10 for five minutes instead.
Stroll through Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site
Before the sun rises, take a walk amidst the hushed flora and fauna of the Botanic Gardens, which opens its gates at 5am daily for visitors to roam around the Healing Garden, Foliage Garden, and Learning Forest.
For more greenery, make the trek to Gardens by the Bay, which also welcomes explorers to its outdoor gardens from 5am.
Watch the world go by at Changi Airport
Obviously, one of the world’s best airports stays awake 24/7 with the hustle and bustle of travelers and restaurants that never sleep. You don’t have to buy a plane ticket to spend a leisurely night hanging out at any of Changi’s brightly-lit terminals, amidst the sleek art sculptures and quiet corners for insomniacs (or students) to wander around in.
Work up a sweat
If you’re a workout enthusiast and a night owl, head over to 24-hour gyms at Gymmboxx or Anytime Fitness. The former has outlets that never close at Bishan and Bedok Point, while the latter offers 24/7 access to more than 30 locations in Singapore.
Not only will you practically have the entire fitness facility to yourself in the dark of night, you also won’t have to feel self-conscious about someone else judging your every move – plus you get to be the first one at work rejuvenated and as fresh as a daisy.
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