Paint the town red and white

Head to the Marina Barrage for a mass picnic (left) on the roof and drop by Clifford Square for a food heritage exhibition, SG50: Deliciously Singaporean (above). Celebrate Singapore's jubilee in the city - at the Esplanade (left), which will host fr
Celebrate Singapore's jubilee in the city - at the Esplanade, which will host free performances.PHOTO: PUBLIC UTILITIES BOARD
Head to the Marina Barrage for a mass picnic (left) on the roof and drop by Clifford Square for a food heritage exhibition, SG50: Deliciously Singaporean (above). Celebrate Singapore's jubilee in the city - at the Esplanade (left), which will host fr
Celebrate Singapore's jubilee in the city - at The Fullerton Hotel, which is projecting a video on its facade.PHOTO: THE FULLERTON HOTEL
Head to the Marina Barrage for a mass picnic (left) on the roof and drop by Clifford Square for a food heritage exhibition, SG50: Deliciously Singaporean (above). Celebrate Singapore's jubilee in the city - at the Esplanade (left), which will host fr
Drop by Clifford Square for a food heritage exhibition, SG50: Deliciously Singaporean. PHOTO: NATIONAL HERITAGE BOARD
Head to the Marina Barrage for a mass picnic (left) on the roof and drop by Clifford Square for a food heritage exhibition, SG50: Deliciously Singaporean (above). Celebrate Singapore's jubilee in the city - at the Esplanade (left), which will host fr
Head to the Marina Barrage for a mass picnic on the roof.PHOTO: NPARKS
Botanic Gardens will host a carnival alongside live music performances.
Botanic Gardens will host a carnival alongside live music performances.PHOTO: NPARKS
The Malay Heritage Centre is among the museums that will host various cultural activities during the jubilee weekend.
The Malay Heritage Centre is among the museums that will host various cultural activities during the jubilee weekend.PHOTO: MALAY HERITAGE CENTRE

Why stay home during Singapore’s jubilee weekend when there are free concerts at the Esplanade, picnics in the parks and discounted tickets to various attractions?

The flags are out in full force and Singapore is awash with red and white as the nation gears up for its 50th birthday party on Aug 9.

Even if you do not have tickets to the National Day Parade at the Padang, fret not, as the whole city will be buzzing with activity during the jubilee weekend, which spans Aug 7 to 10.

Hang out in the Marina Bay area if you want to soak up the festivities spilling over from the parade, with live screenings at multiple locations, such as the Marina Bay Sands event plaza and Merlion Park, and fireworks over the bay.

Landmarks in the area, including Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands, will host an array of programmes, from a vertical marathon at Marina Bay Sands hotel to free music and art performances and installations at the Esplanade.

 
 
 
 

For those intending to stay away from the crowds in the city, there are many activities taking place elsewhere, such as a carnival at Botanic Gardens, picnics in various parks and community events right in the neighbourhood.

The festivities extend to Sentosa, where activities include an overnight camp and electronic music party happening at the Wave House.

Many of the activities are free or discounted as event venues are offering promotions to mark the jubilee weekend. For example, admission to the ArtScience Museum is free from Aug 7 to 9 for Singaporeans and permanent residents. Also, Singapore residents can enjoy half-price tickets to the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest in Gardens by the Bay.

Social worker Izzaty Ishak, 24, who had intended to avoid the crowds by staying at home might change her mind. "The programmes seem pretty interesting. I might join the crowds in the end," she says with a laugh.

She is interested to try new sporting activities at the Sports Hub's SG50 Carnival, which takes place on Aug 8 and 9. It features tryouts for novel sports such as human bowling.

"It's not every day that the country celebrates in such a big way. It's a big party, I might as well join in the fun."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2015, with the headline 'Paint the town red and white'. Print Edition | Subscribe