• Blog
  • Things to Do

The best things to do in Shanghai this Dragon Boat Festival

Three days off, four days of brunch – what more could you want?

Photograph: Mae Mu via Unsplash
If you're not skipping town for a quick getaway for Dragon Boat Festival this long weekend, there's still plenty to do in Shanghai. Celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month in the lunar calendar, the festival day itself is tomorrow (Thursday 25), with the official days off from Thursday to Saturday and the unpleasant custom of a working weekend day on Sunday 28.

Beyond stuffing yourselves with the traditional festival snack of zongzi (sticky rice dumplings) – check these local spots for them – there are plenty of ways to celebrate your days off. Brunch every day, party til dawn and cap it off with some arts and culture.

Brunch all holiday long

Brunch all holiday long

It's not a Shanghai holiday without brunch every day. Area 501, The Bull & Claw, Cantina Agave, El SantoLe Cafe Des Stagiaires, Tomatito and The Rooster, are all offering four days of it – each with free-flow options – from Thursday to Sunday. Heritage by Madison is also launching its new brunch The King is Back, available for the four days as well. Plus, there are also special one-offs like Suga'hai's NOLA-inspired pop-up Big Easy Brunchin' at Kartel and on Saturday, Tomatito's free-flow barbecue with the Ferran Adria beer INEDIT Damm.

And after you brunch, eat and drink some more

And after you brunch, eat and drink some more

Lots of other eating and drinking opportunities abound beyond brunch this holiday, too. Bird is popping up with a barbecue at hidden-away funky beer garden Beer Barrel on Saturday 27. Area 501 has two-for-one jerk chicken on Thursday 25 to Saturday 27. Tacolicious' original outpost celebrates its second birthday with a big bash and both its locations are extending happy hour from open to close on Thursday 25 to Saturday 27. El Bodegon is offering its 38RMB happy hour on Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 from midday to 7pm and Charcohol has a free-flow offer (188RMB for prosecco, 158RMB for beer) from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 during lunch and brunch time.

Stay out late

Stay out late

Start your long holiday weekend tonight dancing up a storm at Kuai Le Da Wang's one-year anniversary at Elevator or at ALL where avant-garde party series FunctionLab and SVBKVLT are teaming up. The rest of the weekend sees a rooftop party by SHFT and a night of live music spread across MAO Livehouse and LOFAS complete with party bus transport. Dress in your worst (there's a contest) for Specters' annual Hot Trash Prom Nite or keep the party going well into the early hours to deep melodic techno beats at after-hours club Celia.

Do Dragon Boat things

Do Dragon Boat things

While most of the usual Dragon Boat races aren't scheduled for this year, there's plenty of themed activities at tourist spots around the city. Shine gives a rundown of what to expect, like a replica Dragon Boat Festival market from ancient times in Jiading district's Zhouqiao area, traditional watertown wedding ceremonies on boats in Jinshan districts's Fengjing watertown and two Dragon Boat races at Chenshan Botanical Garden. Want to make zongzi yourself? Try your hand at making a vegan version using Omnipork with Vegans of Shanghai on Saturday.

Spend a day museum-hopping

Spend a day museum-hopping

Use your days off to get some culture in you and hit up the shows you've been meaning to see. The massive Anna Sui retrospective spans her 40-year career over at the Modern Art Museum Shanghai and Fosun Foundation looks back at Alex Katz's prolific body of work (advance purchase necessary). Take a tour through Asian abstract art at the Long Museum (pre-registration through WeChat required) and catch provocative multimedia exhibition The Mirror Will Soon Disappear in The World by Chen Zhou before it closes early next month.

Get outside!

Get outside!

The forecast may not be for sunny days ahead, but pull on your rainboots and pop open your brolly. Historic Shanghai is hosting two holiday walks, one in the city's old theatre district and a day out in Pudong's historic town of Chuansha, or join for food tour company Untour on its Night Eats (Thursday 25), Speakeasy (Friday 26) or Street Eats Breakfast (Saturday 27) routes. Spend some outdoor time with your pup under the covered terrace at Perch's Dogtails afternoon of cocktail deals and dog treats.

You might also like

Comments