If you’re anything like us, you’ll be looking forward to the next public holiday: National Day on 9 August! If you’re planning to stay in Singapore or haven’t made any staycation or getaway plans, don’t fret as there are so many great things to do around the island. Whether it’s seeing a show at the theatre or having a hearty meal with the fam, you’ll be all set for an enjoyable holiday with this roundup of activities.
Things To Do
Catch a theatre production
Iconic production Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress returns to the Esplanade Theatre this August. Last staged in 2002, the successful home-grown musical tells the powerful tale of a young concubine as she navigates the Forbidden City and comes into contact with the legendary and infamous Empress Dowager Cixi. Renowned director Steven Dexter is at the helm, and the music was penned by internationally renowned local songwriter and composer Dick Lee, with lyrics by the late Stephen Clark. The cast consists of international and local names including Kit Chan, Sebastian Tan, Cheryl Tan, and Broadway stars Earl Carpenter and Steffanie Leigh.
“Putting my love for Singapore and adulation of SRT to one side for a moment; my delight in being a part of Forbidden City is for the memory of a wonderful talent who sadly passed away last year — the show’s lyricist, Stephen Clark. Having worked and shared many laughs with Stephen on the UK premiere of Zorro, I can’t think of a better opportunity to pay my respects!” – Earl Carpenter
Grab a great deal at auction
You won’t need to break the bank to get one-of-kind items for your home if you take part in one of the auctions at HotLotz Auction House. It holds both in-room and timed online-only auctions. Take part in the weekly Interiors & Antiques auctions that offer a mix of furniture and home décor items, or their regular specialist auctions. New items arrive weekly so there’s always something new to check out.
Speaking of which, why not pick up something new during the HotLotz 100×100 timed online auction? From 31 July until 15 August, 100 items will be up for bidding, all with reserves of less than $100. Choose from an eclectic mix of items – vintage costume jewellery, tableware, art, and even a flower press! One highlight is a lovely mid-twentieth-century English Burleigh Ware coffee service that would be marvellous for afternoon teas.
Watch a movie under the stars
Unwind over drinks and gourmet eats at Films At The Fort this National Day. The open-air cinema event will be screening Baywatch, a light-hearted action film based on the popular American drama series of the same name. The film follows a lifeguard (Dwayne Johnson) and his new recruit (Zac Efron) as they uncover a local criminal plot. You can also look forward to delicious food by The Providore, from hot meals and snacks to desserts, plus a bar serving up wines, beer and cider.
Head to the circus
Expect a thrilling and heart-stopping performance when you catch Cirque du Soleil KOOZA, a mix of acrobatics and the art of clowning held in a blue and yellow Big Top Tent. With a talented international cast of 50 acrobats, musicians, singers and actors from 19 countries, it’s a journey of discovery and the chance to meet some eccentric characters.
Book your tickets for the 3pm show on 9 August now.
Feast your eyes on orchids
Did you know that the Vanda Miss Joaquim Orchid is Singapore’s national flower? This National Day, head to the Orchid Extravaganza Floral Display at Gardens by the Bay to see orchids of all shapes, colours and types, including the Phalaenopsis, Vanda, Dendrobium, Grammatophyllum and others. The exhibit tells the story of Singapore using the analogy of a butterfly’s life cycle – and don’t miss the sculpture of 52 butterflies made in celebration of the nation’s birthday.
Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay
Enjoy special menus, drinks and more
What better way to spend Singapore’s birthday than taking part in the country’s number one hobby: eating! Check out some of these great places for good eats and the best views of the fireworks.
Get ready for a spectacular line-up of dishes inspired by Singapore culinary favourites at Me@OUE. You’ll also enjoy unparalleled views of the fireworks display, the Red Lions parachuters and the state flag flypast. Food-wise, there’s pop-up live roast stations, sushi counters and a delectable selection of canapés and desserts. Try the charcoal-grilled Japanese “Robatayaki” skewers stacked with Me@OUE’s signature Kumamoto A4 wagyu beef cube, tiger prawns, dried rubbed Greater Omaha angus tomahawk and prime rib and more. Also, stop by the oyster bar for fresh Saint Vaast oysters from Normandy.
Hot Deal… The National Day Edition package is priced from $188 per head with free-flow cocktails, wines, beers and soft drinks. Dinner starts at 5.30pm. Enjoy a 25% discount if you’re one of the first 100 guests who makes payment at the restaurant. Children aged 7 to 18 are also entitled to a 50% discount.
Enjoy the fireworks and dig into locally-inspired Italian dishes at Monti. A special National Day menu will feature cocktails and champagnes crafted by Monti’s resident mixologist, Joseph T. Millar. A unique creation for the occasion, the chilli crab agnolotti is bound to be a favourite with its spicy chilli crab sauce, curry leaves and sawakani (Japanese freshwater crab). Pair it with a Kampong Boy Cocktail, which contains lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, passionfruit, grapefruit, rum, triple sec and tequila. Vegetarians will be pleased with the tasty five-course menu that includes dishes such as pumpkin tortelli and azuki panna cotta.
Hot Deal… The National Day menu features a choice of a five- or six-course set (including two glasses of champagne) from $188 and $228 respectively. National Day menu diners are also eligible to 50% off minimum spend for drink packages at the rooftop bar.
Edge Pan Pacific Singapore
Savour local favourites at Edge’s National Day Heritage Dinner Buffet and take your pick from seven live food stations. Diners can look forward to a delectable spread of heritage dishes including otak fried rice, Singapore chili crab with golden mantou, and Nyonya king prawn laksa. Other cuisines such as Japanese, Indian and Peranakan will also be on offer, and there will be local desserts with a modern twist, from gula melaka chiffon cake to durian banana caramelised chocolate cake. The regular line-up of international desserts will also be available.
The National Day Heritage Buffet at Edge is $88 per adult and $44 per child (six to 11 years). It includes free-flow of local beverages, coffee and tea.
Indulge in Singaporean delights and international cuisine at Marriott Cafe, as the hotel restaurant offers a National Day Lunch Buffet, National Day High Tea Buffet and National Day Dinner Buffet. Lunch will include the likes of chicken rice, char kway teow and laksa, and, if meats are your thing, plenty of Angus beef sirloin, roast duck and more. At the High Tea, you’ll find local delights such as oyster omelette and carrot cake, and you can help yourself at the build-your-own nasi lemak station. There’s also Cantonese dim sum as well as Western delights such as freshly baked scones and finger sandwiches. Dinner features plenty of seafood cooked in local style, from iconic Singapore chili crab to barbecue sambal stingray. There’ll also be other international eats such as seafood paella and crispy pork belly.
The National Day Lunch buffet is priced from $78 for adults and $38 per child (five to 12 years) inclusive of free-flow drinks. The High Tea Buffet costs from $48 for adults and $30 per child (five to 12 years). The Dinner Buffet is priced from $80 per adult and $40 per child.
Head to 1-Altitude for the National Day celebrations and enjoy a special Red Dot 52 cocktail. The concoction combines the creamy and honeyed blend of Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve with swirls of spiced orange, vanilla and apricot. And, since this is a family-friendly affair, little ones will be able to whip up their own National Day mocktail. Groove along to resident live band 1 Avenue as well as DJs X-Treme and Leonard T, alongside emcee J Soopa. If you’re early, you might be able to witness the state flag flypast.
Cover charge is $40 from 5pm to 9pm (inclusive of one standard house pour and a Red Dot 52 cocktail) and $45 from 9pm onwards (inclusive of one premium house pour and a Red Dot 52 cocktail). Also, since 9 August is a Wednesday, ladies can enjoy complimentary entry after 9pm!
1919 Waterboat House
Be treated to a front row view of the National Day fireworks at The Rooftop at 1919 Waterboat House, and indulge in an “All You Can Eat & Drink” seafood buffet. Dig into a wide selection of fresh seafood and festive dishes such as cioppino (“Fisherman’s Stew”) and tom yum mussel pots, and pair them with free-flow drinks, including wines, beers, soft drinks and juices. If you’re not in the mood for feasting, opt for a walk-in drink.
The seafood buffet costs $150++, or $130++ for early birds. The walk-in cover charge is $40 nett and includes one complimentary cocktail.
Drop by Sear Steakhouse for its National Day three-course dinner and enjoy tantalising dishes such as wagyu tri-tip served with charred corn and baby root vegetables, or buttered poached atlantic wolffish with chilli pancetta braised chickpea stew. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, don’t miss the dark chocolate l’orange chocolate mousse with orange cremeux, beautifully designed atop the Singapore flag.
The three-course dinners costs $65, or $52 for early birds. For an additional $38, enjoy four hours of free-flow drinks including wines, beers and juices. Dinner guests are also granted access to Angie’s Oyster Bar viewing platform, and complimentary entry into Empire Lounge.
Enjoy the stunning fireworks this National Day at Zafferano, with a four-course dinner menu specially curated by Chef Marco Guccio. Dishes include Hokkaido scallop tartare with pomegranate jelly, pumpkin and potato gnocchi, and a choice of pan-fried Norwegian salmon trout or a succulent 150-day Black Angus beef tenderloin. Rounding things off is a decadent chocolate mousse made from 70% Valrhona chocolate. The restaurant will be offering a live screening of the National Day parade, too
The four-course set dinner is priced at $128 per person, or add $42 for wine-pairing. You can also catch the fireworks at the Terrace Lounge for $68, from 5.30pm to 8.30pm.