The best things to do in Shanghai this February

The Super Bowl, Valentine's Day and a slew of stand-up comedy, international music acts and film releases

Photograph: Yang Xiaozhe
Can you believe it's February already? While the first week of the month may well be dominated by all things Chinese New Year, once you're done drowning in hongbao and battling the crowds at airports and railway stations across the country, there's still a lot to be getting on with this month. The Super Bowl is on Monday, Valentine's Day is right around the corner and there's a slew of stand-up comedy, international music acts and film releases to keep you occupied until it's warm enough to do things outside again. Read on for our picks for the month ahead.

Food & Drink

Stone Beer University – February Workshop

Get educated at the second-ever Stone Beer University workshop, a guided tasting event featuring Stone and their fellow craft brewing comrades. You’ll be able to enjoy complex, hard-to-find beers, meet local brewers to get some behind-the-scenes insights into the beer brewing process in China, and sip on six beer tasters. 

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Stone Brewing Tap Room Shanghai , 1107 Yuyuan Lu 20 Feb

Valentine's Day dining in Shanghai

Treat your main squeeze with one of the many Valentine's Day dining specials on offer in Shanghai. Check out our list for where to wine and dine to your heart's content this Thursday 14 February.

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Cocktail Cinema: Fight Club

The latest edition of Cocktail Cinema will be screening the 1999 classic Fight Club. As usual, they'll be mixing three bespoke cocktails inspired by the movie, paired with snacks and soft drinks. The location of the screening will be revealed 24 hours prior via email.

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TBA 23 Feb

CNY Specials at Milkstand by Pâte

Pâte's new Taikang Terrace location is open every weekend during the month of February with a new specials menu each week. During CNY (Feb 2-3 and Feb 9-10), it'll have festive specials like 'edible hongbao' and citrus tarts, along with in-house speciality Tart Tatin.

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Milkstand by Pâte , First Floor, 169 Jianguo Zhong Lu, near Ruijin Er Lu. Every weekend

Music & Nightlife

New Shake City II: The '90s R&B Concert Sequel

Critics' pick

Beepers, baggy pants, crop tops, floppy disks, Lexus sedans and another round of '90s R&B. Shanghai's house of funk and soul Shake is taking it back with a set featuring the music of Mary J Blige, Blackstreet, Janet, Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey, Faith Evans and more.

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Shake , 46 Maoming Nan Lu Every day except Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Sunday


Upon releasing their new album, Politics of Living, UK Platinum-selling Irish band Kodaline (perhaps best known for their song ‘All I Want’ featured in The Fault of our Stars soundtrack) are coming to Shanghai for the first time.

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Bandai Namco Shanghai Base Dream Hall , 179 Yichang Lu, near Jiangning Lu (宜昌路179号, 近江宁路) Putuo Shanghai Shanghai 20 Feb Buy tickets

Craig David’s TS5 Tour

Y2K-era UK garage legend Craig David is set to play in Shanghai. Fast-fast-forward to 2018 and he's transformed himself from a skinny R&B singer based in Southampton, to a muscle-bound, Miami-based DJ spinning at some of the city's most exclusive pre-parties.

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Jing'an Sports Center , 116 Wenshui Lu (汶水路116号) Jing'an Shanghai Shanghai 22 Feb Buy tickets

Things to Do

Museum of Failure

Critics' pick

Touring a collection of arguably terrible ideas and excellent ideas that were horribly implemented, the Museum of Failure has arrived on the third floor of Shanghai’s No 1 Department Store (B3), bringing with it a bunch of creations that crashed and burned in the annals of innovation, from Colgate's microwave meals to spray-on condoms and fish-flavoured cat water.

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Shanghai No 1 Department Store , 830 Nanjing Dong Lu 18 Jan - 17 Mar

Yuyuan Lantern Festival

Critics' pick

See Yu Garden lit up for the Year of the Pig at the 24th annual festival where the area is decked out with huge displays of brightly coloured lanterns. Be prepared to face the crowds.

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Yu Gardens , 137 Anren Jie 21 Jan - 22 Feb

Brian Aylward: Stand Up Comedy Live in Shanghai

Dubbed 'one of Asia's most influential stand-up comedians' by the Korea Times, Canadian stand-up comic Brian Aylward is coming to Shanghai. He's performed in excess of 2,600 shows in more than 20 countries in a career spanning over a decade. In 2016 he was named Best Stand-Up Comic of the Year at the Canadian Comedy Awards, joining an illustrious list of names that includes Russell Peters. We can't confirm if he's bringing the cat...

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Shanghai Comedy Bunker , 428 Jiangning Lu 22 Feb

Comedy UN presents: Kurt Dunsing – Clown Syndrome

Chicago native and Shanghai comedy stalwart Kurt Dunsing headlines Comedy UN with his latest show Clown Syndrome. The 2018 China International Festival Festival runner-up, who has performed across China, Hong Kong and Japan, will be supported by Eric Alexander, Erica Switzer, Nate Johns and host Ben Frank. 

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Comedy UN , 549 Yanan Zhong Lu 22 Feb

All-natural candle making and floral high tea


Enjoy an aromatic afternoon courtesy of frou:frou, sipping on floral teas and learning the art of natural ingredient candle making with eco-designer Tiffany Pattinson. You'll make three soy wax teacup candles to take home. All teas and materials are included in the price. Visit to register.

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TBA 24 Feb

Unravel: Waves

Live storytelling group Unravel is back for its first show of 2018, this time in collaboration with The Shanghai Literary Review and comic book collective Shaving in the Dark. As well as the usual stories from the latest batch of Unravelers, TSLR and SITD will be releasing a limited edition comic book collaboration. The theme of the stories this month is 'waves.'

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Yuyintang Park , 1398 Yuyuan Lu 28 Feb Buy tickets


Deadpool 2

Deadpool is back with a vengeance, and this time it's for die-hard fans only. With its steady stream of butt gags and CGI viscera spliced in between self-commentary and several hundred in-jokes, no film has been as unforgiving to latecomers since Alfred Hitchcock locked tardy Psycho ticket holders out of theaters when the opening credits rolled...

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Cinemas around Shanghai 29 Jan - 25 Feb

Dead Pigs

Critics' pick

Director Cathy Yan's debut film Dead Pigs makes an ensemble movie out of today's Shanghai and the people we know in it: a young busboy, an ambitious American architect, an apathetic rich girl, a farmer and a no-bullshit ayi who refuses to sell her property. Their disparate lives converge and come to a head when, mirroring real-life events, thousands of rotting pig carcasses are found floating in the Huangpu River, Shanghai's drinking water source.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 25 Jan - 01 Mar

The Wandering Earth

Critics' pick

Adapted from a short story by renowned sci-fi writer Liu Cixin, director Frant Gwo's much-anticipated The Wandering Earth is being hailed as China's biggest sci-fi movie to date and is set for release on Chinese New Year's Day. The premise? As the sun is about to die out, humanity sets a plan in motion to launch planet Earth out of orbit and to find a new home in space.

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Cinemas around Shanghai 05 Feb - 10 Mar


Critics' pick

Set for a China release at some point this month (according to Douban, though the actual date is still tba) Mexican auteur Alfonso Cuarón's deeply personal b&w marvel Roma unhurriedly observes the smallest parts first, before expanding to gradually reveal the social and political canvas of 1970s Mexico City, where he grew up in a middle-class neighbourhood called Roma.

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500 Years of Western Paintings – Collection of Tokyo Fuji Art Museum

A comprehensive exhibition tracing 500 years of Western art history from the Renaissance to Post-modernism comes to Powerlong Art Museum. You'll see works from well-known artists – think Morandi, Rubens, Manet, Turner and Van Gogh. The art has been selected from the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum collection, which houses around 30,000 works from Japan, other Asian countries and Europe.

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Powerlong Museum , 3055 Caobao Road Every day except Monday

Post Contemporary Urban Graphics 7019

Graffiti art is rare in Shanghai, and so is the opportunity to see a ton of it in an art museum. MoCA is presenting urban graphics from eight graffiti artists, and you'll be able to see street art that originally appeared in the metro stations of New York during the American presidential election, and graffiti scattered around Paris streets too. Artists include Shepard Fairey (Obey), Qiong Wan (JonOne), John Matos Crash, ZEVS, L’atlas, Vhils, M, Chat, and Tanc (Tancrede Perrot).

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MoCA on the Park , 231 Nanjing Xi Lu Every day except Monday


NT Live: Coriolanus (Screening)

Critics' pick

National Theatre Live will broadcast the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Coriolanus, Shakespeare’s searing tragedy of political manipulation and revenge, with Tom Hiddleston in the title role and Mark Gatiss as Menenius, directed by the Donmar's Artistic Director Josie Rourke.

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Huangpu Theatre , 780 Beijing Dong Lu 20 Feb Buy tickets

School of Rock the Musical

Andrew Lloyd Webber's unexpected Broadway hit (based on the 2003 film with Jack Black) is about Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn an extra bit of cash by posing as a supply teacher at a prestigious prep school. 

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Shanghai Grand Theatre Lyric Theatre , 300 Renmin Da Dao, near Huangpi Bei Lu (人民大道300号) Huangpu Shanghai Shanghai 22 Feb Buy tickets

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