Music festivals, vintage fleas and feel-good parties to welcome the first weekend of 2019

We're in 2019 proper now, and if you're still dreading heading back to the daily grind, don't – there are plenty happening this weekend to look forward to. From more pensive book launches and educational hikes to upbeat parties and festivals, start filling up your new calendars with these events. 

Independent publishing house and music collective Half Mystic is celebrating the launch of its latest journal at BooksActually, and this sixth issue surrounds the theme of interludes. Take a pause from your usual routines and come for this gathering of musical minds where the likes of Alving Pang, Ethel Yap and Jocelyn Suarez will be presenting various performances and readings. There's an open mic too, so sign up if you feel like sharing your pieces to a captive audience. Jan 4

Start the new year on a positive note with the first ever festival here dedicated to being happy at the Happiness Fest 2019. There'll be workshops, talks and a marketplace all channeling the positivity that mindfulness, gratitude and fresh perceptions bring. Jan 5   

The first Gimme Shelter party of the year is going down at The Projector's Intermission Bar this Saturday, so come relive forgotten dance anthems and discover lost sounds as DJs throw record after record on the turntables. The only rule? Everybody gotta dance. Jan 5 

Combine a healthy trek with an educational tour of Bukit Brown at this guided introductory walk. By the end of it, you'll find out for yourself why the place is more than just an old cemetery, but a space steeped in culture, heritage and natural bounties. Jan 5

Support the local music scene while tuning in to both emerging and established musicians (like Linying and Sezairi) alike at The Outer Limits, a music festival held at *Scape dedicated to raising funds for budding musicians here. While there, stay fuelled at the Hendrick's Gin and Al Capone's booth, or lick up free popsicles courtesy of Popsical Karaoke. Jan 5

Old habits die hard, and if your habit is to collect vintage trinkets others might see as junk, meet up with fellow collectors instead and swap or barter new finds at the Mini Vintage Collectors Flea Market. Grab a coffee or a bite at Old Habits boutique cafe while you're at it. Jan 6

If you’ve always dreamt of walking the beautiful palace grounds of Chateau de Versailles in France, your time is now. New exhibition Virtually Versailles at ION Orchard showcases the exquisite beauty of the royal residence, in a mix of immersive graphics and stunning technicolour. Did we mention it’s free? Through Jan 6

This Christmas, the S.E.A. Aquarium is getting a glow-up, literally, as it gets transformed into a luminescent underwater world filled with glowing animals, stunning light art installations, and a first-of-its kind underwater LED dive appearance. Check out five different zones and interact with the displays while going oooh and ahhh as illuminated sea creatures swim by. Through Jan 6

Remember how the toys all came to life in the story of The Nutcracker? Now you too can play a part in the magical Christmastime tale, as immersive theatre company Andsoforth brings the classic story to life in their latest theatrical feast, Marie and The Nutcracker. Journey through four rooms in a secret location with The Nutcracker himself, defeat the Mouse King, and reap your sweet rewards in the Kingdom of Sweets at the end. Through Jan 6

At Hatch Art Project's ongoing Deciphering clothes: The Troublemaker’s Wardrobe exhibtion, 12 emerging Asian artists showcase their wardrobes through a mix of mediums—featuring a plethora of garments and objects you wouldn’t typically find in your hetero, cisgender closet. Be prepared to feel uncomfortable as your peruse their wares. Through Jan 12

Diner/bar/community space Telok Ayer Arts Club's next showcase, tell me how they kiss you, tell me how you kiss, is gonna be a raunchy one. Spanning multiple mediums, the eight-week exhibition features three local artists who will be presenting ceramic sculptures, paper drawings and photography accompanied by artist-led events and live music. Go for a sex toy workshop, listen in on an artist talk, or just chill with a themed cocktail (like the cheeky A Whole Lot of Head, a creamy, frothy take on the classic Ramos Gin Fizz) in hand. Through Jan 12

A box-office hit in South Korea, Mandarin production Musical TARU features life-sized dinosaur skeletons, an impressive museum set and a catchy soundtrack that will have you singing along. You'll find many familiar faces among the cast that is set to bring you on a big adventure promising plenty of laughs, tears and drama. Through Jan 13

Local artist John Toh is showcasing watercolour pieces of iconic Singapore landmarks old and new, such as Temple Street, Keong Saik and the Supertrees, in a new solo exhibition titled Cityscapes, Ancient and Present. Held at Pan Pacific Singapore's public art space. Through Jan 28

Lend your support for local passions made possible at architect-turned-art teacher Tay Zhiyong’s debut solo art show Brush Diary. Featured in this debut are familiar scenes from Tay’s daily business of living—like the Fullerton Waterboat House, Marina Bay Financial Centre; even a bridge at Tampines River. Part of Singapore Art Week 2019. Through Jan 29 

Celebrating our hawker culture and protecting the men and women toiling behind each stall has never been more pertinent. Pledge your support to induct this beloved part of our everyday life into the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage at the travelling Our SG Hawker Culture Exhibition popping up at various hawker centres and community venues around Singapore. Through Jan 31

Peranakan Museum's latest exhibition, Amek Gambar: Peranakans and Photography, delves into the Southeast Asian history of photography through the pictured lives of the Peranakan community in the region. Through Feb 3

From Cold Storage to Tiger Balm, come chart the evolution of print advertising in Singapore from the 1830s to 1960s at Selling Dreams: Early Advertising in Singapore. Aside from just print advertisements, the exhibition at the National Library also includes interactive multimedia stations for you to experience life as a consumer in early Singapore. Through Feb 24

The second coming of the Prudential Marina Bay Carnival is here, set to transform the Marina waterfront into a colossal fairground filled with rides, games, food, and of course, plenty of pretty lights. This time, entry is free, and with more rides to check out than before. Through Mar 24

Trace the Polaroid camera’s fascinating history at the National Museum of Singapore’s latest exhibition, In an Instant: Polaroid at the Intersection of Art and Technology, featuring over 200 Polaroid artefacts and artworks from the original collection. Through Mar 31

The ground-breaking Minimalism: Space. Light. Object exhibition spanning National Gallery Singapore and ArtScience Museum traces the origins and evolutions of the Minimalist art movement, in more than 150 works loaned from all over the world. Check out our quick picks hereThrough Apr 14

One of Singapore’s smallest minority communities is finally having their moment in the spotlight at Chetti Melaka of the Straits: Rediscovering Peranakan Indian Communities. Come hear the lesser-known stories of the Chetti Melaka, also known as Peranakan Indians—descendants of early South Indian migrants who to Singapore in the 15th and 16th centuries, and married local Chinese or Malay women. Through May 5