By: Rachael Wheeler
If you’ve decided to stay in Singapore for the August public holiday (many folk zip off for short breaks in nearby countries), then you’ve simply got to get into the National Day spirit on August 9 2014. There are all sorts of options to choose from when it comes to the country-wide celebrations, with most of them focusing around the official display in Marina Bay.
Only citizens can get seats for the official Singapore National Day Parade (with tickets being dolled out via a lottery system), but there is heaps of other cool stuff that everyone can enjoy. The best part is the military air and water display in Marina Bay, which features acrobatic parachutes, roaring fighter jets and speedy boats (er, otherwise known as speed boats). If you don’t fancy attending one of the many viewing events or parties listed below, head down to the bay in the early evening to make the most of the atmosphere and get a good spot before the display kicks off at sunset.
Of course, the official celebrations end with a huge firework display over MBS, because that’s how Singapore rolls.
If you don’t fancy watching the action unfold from the ground (and dealing with the crowd), there are plenty of ways to take in the party from the skies or the water. Take a look through the below for lots of brilliant National Day ideas…
The posh Westin Hotel has two great bars and restaurants that look across Marina Bay and will be offering special menus in honour of the nation’s big day. Seasonal Tastes on level 32 will have a set dinner for $62++. Plus, to commemorate SG’s birthday all guests born on 9 August, 1965 will dine for free. Bar Cook & Brew on the 33rd level will be serving up cheap drinks – shots will be $4.90, five beers will be $49 and a food platter will set you back $49.
Asia Square Tower 2, 12 Marina View. For Seasonal Tastes call 6922 6968 and for Cook & Brew call 6922 6948
For relaxed open air dining experience, sit back and enjoy the breeze at OverEasy while waiting for the parade to start. All while with a Singapore Sling in hand, of course. This chilled out diner and bar serves American style food with a twist. Truffled mac and cheese with wild mushroom anyone? Sure.
1 Fullerton Road. Call 9129 8484 to book a table.
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
The Greenhouse restaurant is close to the National Day Parade, and they’ll be laying on a local-themed buffet dinner for $88pp, which will be discounted by a themed (and good-value!) 49% after 9pm.
7 Raffles Avenue. Call 6434 5288
Ku De Ta
Standing 200 metres above the ground and facing into the city, Ku De Ta Club Lounge offers a pretty breathtaking view of the National Day celebrations. It’ll feel like you’re inches away from the action during the aerial fly-past. And while there’s a DJ set that’ll see you through the night, this event caters for families too. Kids under 12 get free entry before 9pm, with face paint and other goodies to keep them occupied.
From 5.30pm (dress code and age restrictions from 9pm). $48pp at the Sky Bar, $38pp at the Club Lounge. 1 Bayfront Avenue, Sands SkyPark, Marina Bay Sands.
When it comes to making the most of National Day at Level 33, you’ll need to take up the mindset of divide and conquer. While one of you stakes out a spot at the outdoor terrace, the other should be at the bar grabbing a top class lager or ale. Level 33 has a craft brewery in their penthouse suite 156 metres above ground level, so none of this champers nonsense. Hit the beer while enjoying the panoramic sight of Singapore’s skyline, which offers full views of the light shows and fireworks going down over at Marina Bay.
8 Marina Boulevard, #33-01 Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1.
The Singapore Flyer is a pretty unique way to catch the celebrations, plus you can get a special ‘Champagne Flight’ ticket on August 9. Just be sure to time your trip with the fireworks if you can! Other events will be taking place around the Flyer, such as singing and dancing. Lovely.
30 Raffles Avenue. Regular ticket is $33, special Champagne flight ticket is $88. Call 6333 3311.
Stellar at 1-Altitude
If you’re not a fan of having your ‘do mucked about with when you’re at a rooftop bar/restaurant, Stellar at 1-Altitude is for you. The super-high eating spot offers a 180 degree view of the island while protecting you from Mother Nature. With a brilliant menu, window seats and the tallest view of them all, this evening at 1-Altitude is the stuff over-dramatic proposals were made of.
1 Raffles Place. For inquiries please contact 6438 0410
This edgy Japanese bar and restaurant is a good night out at the best of times, so make the most of their rooftop view of the bay and throw some fireworks into the mix. For $549 per eight-person table, you’ll get two bottles of Moet and a bottle of spirits.
70 Collyer Quay, reserve at 6533 3471
The Pan Pacific
Book a room at the Pan Pacific and get access to their VIP Pacific Club lounge on the 38th floor, which has cracking views of the show and fireworks. The hotel also overlooks the National Day show, so you can enjoy the dancers from the comfort of your suite or the posh bar.
7 Raffles Boulevard, call 6336 8111
The Pelican is a trendy seafood bar and grill that sits next to the water at Fullerton One. Watch the show unfold from one of their outdoor tables by snapping up one of their National Day deals; A four course set dinner for $120pp (with a free glass of bubbly) or a table for eight, which includes two bottles of champers and a bottle of spirits, for $549 per table.
1 Fullerton Rd, book ahead on 6438 0400
This gorgeous restaurant overlooks Marina Bay from One Fullerton and will host a buffet dinner with three hours of free-flow from $208pp. Help yourself to pasta, oysters, wagyu and endless prosecco while the skies light up.
6pm – 9pm. 1 Fullerton Rd
The Outdoor Theatre at the Esplanade will be hosting live performances all weekend, with all sorts of activities and games to enjoy. It’s also a great spot to catch the fireworks next to the water (if you can get close enough!).
Free. 1 Esplanade Drive. 8- 10 August, 5pm onwards
Catch whole shabang from the vantage point of Catalunya, which is practically in the water at the Marina Bay display. Set along the Fullerton Pavilion, this contemporary Spanish restaurant is set inside a glass-encased dome that offers diners a 360-degree panoramic view of the city. Eat up, drink up (you must try the sangria) and stare out of the window, before the party really kicks off with a DJ.
From 5pm. Collyer Quay, The Fullerton Pavilion.
This posh Italian restaurant has a fabulous view across Marina Bay, and serves up cuisine from the 43 floor rooftop of the Ocean Financial Centre. Get stuck into their set four-course meal while taking in the display.From S$98++ per person. 10 Collyer Quay. Call 6509 1488
Gardens by the Bay
While you might be a little away from the Marina Bay water display, taking a picnic blanket and bottle of wine to the Gardens By The Bay for the air show and fireworks is a jolly nice idea.
18 Marina Gardens Drive
If you’re keen to stay away from the crowds and catch the fireworks from a distance, you can hike (or cab!) to the top of Mount Faber, which sits 105 meters above sea level and looks across the city. There are a few bars up there, so settle in with a vino and enjoy the show.
109 Mount Faber Road