Hyped for the annual National Day celebrations?
This year hold an extra-special meaning for Singaporeans as we commemorate Singapore’s Bicentennial - 200th year anniversary of Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival in Singapore. With a wide range of activities aimed at reminiscing, educating, inspiring and bringing together the nation in full swing, now’s a better time than ever to pick a couple of events and spend some quality time together as a family and celebrate together, being Singaporeans!
Whether you’re looking to bring the kids a little more up-to-speed with a slice of Singapore’s colourful history or just an evening out with your spouse, you can be sure to find something to do for everyone.
Hop on the bandwagon and read on more for events that help us rediscover our personal connections to the past by piecing together intriguing stories of our shared journey as one nation, one Singapore.
1. My Dawson Heritage Tour
Date: Various dates; please check event website for more details.
Time: 8:30am (please arrive 15mins before)
Venue: Queenstown MRT Station Exit B (next to 7-11)
Website: My Dawson Heritage Tour
Want to get your feet moving? Then how about a visit to Singapore’s first independent community museum in Queenstown? On this guided tour, enthusiastic volunteers will recount the history of Singapore’s first satellite town, where it had its humble beginnings as a port city in 1819 before eventually transforming into a modern residential town. In addition to regaling tales about places like rubber plantations, the Botanic Gardens and military encampments, you’ll also get a tour of iconic buildings in Queenstown, such as the former Tanglin Barracks and St. George’s church, as well as intimate exchanges with long-time residents from Tanglin Hall eager to share their stories.
2. BALIKSG: Reflections of Singapore
Time: All Day
Venue: Fort Canning Park & Singapore River
Website: BALIKSG: Reflections of Singapore
After a traditional guided tour around Queenstown, it’s time to let technology lead the way and spend some quality time with the fam. Tech-savvy kids can take the lead by downloading the BALIKSG mobile application for this exciting new augmented reality (AR) experience. You’ll be taken around two key routes – Singapore River and Fort Canning Hill, where you can scan markers at various spots to immerse yourselves in and interact with historical events and early settlers of those in the area. Observe the signing of the 1819 treaty at the Padang, listen to revisited conversations between Sir Stamford Raffles and Major William Farquhar and more when you spend your afternoon with the BALIKSG experience.
3. From Singapore to Singaporean: The Bicentennial Experience
Date: Until Sun, 15 September 2019
Time: Mon: 8:30am to 5:30pm, Tues to Sun: 8:30am to 10pm
Venue: Fort Canning Centre
5 Cox Terrace, Singapore 179620
Website: From Singapore to Singaporean: The Bicentennial Experience
Immerse yourselves in the retelling of Singapore’s past through a breathtaking exhibition. The star experience, a sublime indoor cinematic journey titled Time Traveller, takes you on an hour-long journey through 700 years of Singapore’s history. Without spoiling the 5 acts too much, you can expect to experience the familiar tale of how Raffles arrived in Singapore – told through the eyes of native wildlife!
360-wraparound screens with moving platforms, the grim re-enactment of the Japanese Occupation in Singapore and more. Exit Time Traveller with a renewed appreciation of our history, then plunge yourselves into Pathfinder, an outdoor exploratory trail with 8 stunning pavilions that highlight different facades of Singapore’s history with interactive stations and gorgeous visuals. From Singapore to Singaporean: The Bicentennial Experience is a thought-provoking journey truly one that should not be missed, and is suitable for all ages five and above.
4. Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019
Date: Until 29 December 2019
Time: Sat – Thur: 10am-7pm, Fri: 10am-9pm
Venue: National Gallery Singapore
Website: Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019: Embracing Wonder
Whisk the little ones away into a multisensory experience of creativity at the Gallery Children’s Biennale 2019: Embracing Wonder. Held at the National Gallery Singapore, this expansive exhibition is artfully curated for families to get together and have fun with 11 artworks produced by 13 Singaporean and Southeast Asian artists. Create Chance music with giant musical instruments, dance amongst the lanterns at Kenangan Kunang-Kunang, marvel at intricate fantasy worlds at the Every World exhibition, sail away with stories of the old at Dayung Sampan and more. Get ready to spend hours at this stunning display of visually engaging and interactive exhibits with your family today!
5. Singapore City Gallery
Date: Until 31 December 2019
Time: 9am – 5pm (closed on Sundays and PH)
Venue: Singapore City Gallery, The URA Centre, Level 2
45 Maxwell Road, Singapore 069118
Website: Singapore City Gallery
If you’re into urban planning, then celebrate Singapore’s rapid evolution from a humble trading port to a first-world metropolis at the 3-storey Singapore City Gallery, where in conjunction with Singapore Bicentennial has reopened with more enchanting interactive exhibits for visitors to re-discover our development history. Visual learners, be sure to catch a new permanent exhibit that traces the country’s evolution through maps in the gallery before you and your loved ones head over to the famed Maxwell Food Centre for some chow!
6. From Singapore to Singaporeans – Pioneers and Descendants
Date: Until 31 December 2019
Time: Mon – Fri: 10am – 5:30pm, Sat: 9am – 1pm
Venue: Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre
140 Telok Ayer Street Singapore 068604
Website: From Singapore to Singaporeans – Pioneers and Descendants
This one’s for families with tweens and teens – if you’re looking for a peaceful afternoon with your older ones, this exhibition is it. From Singapore to Singaporeans – Pioneers and Descendants is a compelling showcase of 100 stories of pioneers who first set foot on Singapore during the maritime era and how they have adapted to various hardships in their journey to make Singapore their home. The exhibition primarily features the Muslim community’s heritage with 23 photo essays featuring pioneers of other faiths such as Taoism, Sikhism and Baha’I faith.