What you can do on car-free Sunday in the CBD

Join a mass yoga session in the Civic District, have a breakfast picnic and walk or cycle on the roads on the first Car-Free Sunday SG

On Sunday evening, Ms Cheong Mei Yan, 24, will be doing yoga in a mass outdoor session at the Esplanade Park.

And, unlike on a typical weekday, she will not see busy executives hurrying through the park or hear the noise of traffic.

Sunday is the first Car-Free Sunday SG, where the Civic District and parts of the Central Business District (CBD) will be closed to traffic. The initiative is part of a move towards a car-lite Singapore.

The car-free day will take place on the last Sunday of every month till July. The roads that will be closed include a stretch of Fullerton Road - from Connaught Drive to Maxwell Road - Robinson Road and Connaught Drive.

The roads will be given over to walkers, joggers and cyclists.

The mass yoga session is among a slew of activities - most are free - lined up for that day to liven up the Civic District and parts of the CBD, which is usually deserted on weekends.

Ms Cheong, an assistant e-marketing manager, says: "I like doing yoga outdoors because the air is fresh. With the noisy cars gone, I'm sure it will be easier to relax and focus.

"Doing yoga in an iconic park, surrounded by many of Singapore's historical landmarks, will also be an experience. Going car-free is beneficial to the environment and I'm sure the activities will be fun."

Her mother, a 58-year-old freelance personal trainer, will join her at the free session.

Mr Woon Taiwoon, 40, co-founder of cycling group Love Cycling SG, will lead a group of cyclists in a mass walking, jogging and cycling session from 7 to 9am.

More than 60 people have signed up, but he is open to others joining them during the event.

He says: "We will be cycling at a leisurely pace, so those on rollerblades and skateboards, as well as those cycling with family members or have pets with them, can join us.

"This meaningful event makes the city more liveable and is a pleasant way to experience the city."

Other activities include walking tours, street performances and concerts.

There will be a breakfast picnic and night stalls selling local fare. Several eateries will also open earlier to cater to the morning crowd.


Exercise

MASS WALKING, JOGGING AND CYCLING SESSION

This will take place along a 4.7km route, including stretches along Shenton Way and Robinson Road. It will be flagged off by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, who is also Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure, and National Development minister Lawrence Wong.

Where: Flag-off in front of National Gallery Singapore

When: 7 to 9am

Admission: Free, no registration needed

Info: ura.sg/carfreesundaysg

AEROBIC-INFUSED MIXED DANCE FITNESS WORKOUTS

The Health Promotion Board and Sport Singapore will jointly organise free sessions in the morning for zumba (11/2 hours), piloxing (45 minutes) and KpopX fitness (45 minutes) at the Empress Lawn, in front of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall.

The health board will also organise hour-long zumba and Bollyrobics sessions in the evening at Connaught Drive.

Where: Empress Lawn(morning sessions); Connaught Drive (evening sessions)

When: 7.30am (zumba), 9am (piloxing) and 9.45am (KpopX fitness); 5pm (zumba) and 6pm (Bollyrobics)

Admission: Free, no registration needed

Info: ura.sg/carfreesundaysg

YOGA SESSIONS

Yoga company Yoga Seeds will hold two hour-long sessions – in the morning and in the evening.

Where: Esplanade Park When: 7.30am (hatha yoga) and 5.30pm (sunset yoga flow)

Admission: Free, registration is encouraged

Info:To register, go to carfreesundayyoga.eventbrite.sg

MODIFIED VERSIONS OF POPULAR SPORTS

You can play basketball, football, mini tennis and traditional sports such as chaptek for free.

Ex-national football stars Aleksandar Duric and T. Pathmanathan will be present to conduct football activities for children.

Where: Esplanade Park, the Padang and Empress Lawn

When: 7am to noon

Admission: Free, no registration needed

Info: ura.sg/carfreesundaysg

CYCLING

Cycling group Love Cycling SG is organising a bike-to-work buddy initiative to encourage experienced riders to cycle from three heartland locations – Kembangan, Clementi and Bishan– to the event.

The Bishan group is starting at the McDonald’s outlet in Bishan Park. It will not accept any more participants.

The other two groups will start at Kembangan and Clementi MRT stations.

All three groups hope to reach the Padang by 8.10am.

Bicycles can be rented from bike rental companies listed on ura.sg/carfreesundaysg.

Rollerblades, unicycles, wheelchairs, prams and skateboards are also allowed on the roads, but not motorised transportation devices, such as hoverboards, e-bikes and Segways.

Where: Kembangan and Clementi MRT stations

When: 7am

Admission: Free with registration

Info: To register, go to www.facebook.com/groups/ lovecyclingsg/events


Family-friendly fun

ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS


Head to the Esplanade Park on Sunday to take part in child-friendly activities. PHOTO: ST FILE

Children can enjoy origami, sketching and plant propagation activities.

Where: Esplanade Park

When: 7am to 7pm

Admission: Free

Info: ura.sg/carfreesundaysg

SCAVENGER HUNT

Organised by the Land Transport Authority, participants are encouraged to look out for five posters along the route around the Padang and within the CBD.

They are asked to take photos with these posters and share the photos on Instagram with the hashtag #walkcyclerideCBD.

After they have found all the posters, they can go to the organiser's booth in Connaught Drive to claim a prize.

Participants do not need to form groups, but are welcome to take part in the activity with their families and friends.

Where: Throughout the CBD

When: 7am to noon

Admission: Free, no registration required

Info: ura.sg/carfreesundaysg


Pamper yourself

SPA TREATMENT

The Fullerton Spa in The Fullerton Hotel has introduced two new spa packages to coincide with Car-Free Sunday.
 
Its Back To Mile Zero treatment refreshes and supports tired feet with a specially selected combination of essential oils. 

The 45-minute session costs $80, which is the usual price for a 30- minute treatment.

There is also the Post Office treatment to relieve stress in the back, shoulders, arms and head, using de-stress muscle gel and de-stress massage oil infused with rosemary, lavender, black pepper and ginger. The 60-minute treatment costs $128.

The packages will still be available at the spa after Sunday.

Where: The Fullerton Spa, 1 Fullerton Square, The Fullerton Hotel

When: 10am to 10pm

Prices: $80 (Back To Mile Zero) and $128 (Post Office)

Info: To book, call 6877-8182 or e-mail thefullertonspa@fullertonhotel.com 


Eat

BREAKFAST@EMPRESS

Stalls set up at the Empress Lawn will sell local delights such as roti prata, nasi lemak and mee rebus. 

Where: Empress Lawn

When: 7am to noon

Admission: Free, pay for food

Info: ura.sg/carfreesundaysg


Grab grub from food trucks, such as that of Coffee Bandits (above), to be stationed in Connaught Drive. PHOTO: COFFEE BANDITS

FOOD TRUCKS

A truck from The Travelling C.O.W., which has a cafe at CT Hub in Kallang Avenue, will sell seafood laksa pasta ($8), chilli crab nachos ($6) and mini burgers ($6).   

Another truck from Coffee Bandits will sell its speciality coffees ($4.50 to $6), coney dogs ($6) and nachos with cheese sauce ($5).

This truck can be found at SLF Building in Thomson Road on Thursdays and at Fusionopolis 1 near One-North MRT station on Fridays.

Where: Connaught Drive

When: 8am to 7pm

Admission: Free, pay for food

Info: thetravellingcow.com, coffeebandits.sg

NATIONAL GALLERY 

Two of its eateries will open earlier. Padang Cafe, which opened three weeks ago, serves dishes such as rendang chicken-spiced sandwiches and veggie quiches. It will open 11/2 hours earlier at 8am.

The Gallery & Co museum store, which houses a cafeteria and bar, will open an hour earlier at 9am. It will have two promotions on Sunday. Customers get a free nonalcoholic drink if they spend $25 or more at the store and those who buy a beef brisket and kimchi burger can top up $5 for a bottle of Asahi beer (usual price $10) or $10 for a bottle of craft beer (usual price $16).

The store’s marketing manager, Ms Cheryl Ho, 31, says: “We are introducing these promotions to catch some of the crowd on Car-Free Sunday. Hopefully, they will join us for lunch and maybe stay on after that. This area is usually a little quiet on Sunday mornings, but we hope many more will show up this Sunday.”

Padang Cafe

Where: 1 Saint Andrew’s Road, National Gallery Singapore

When: 8am to 5pm

Gallery & Co

Where: 1 Saint Andrew’s Road, National Gallery Singapore,  City Hall Wing, 01-05

When: 9am to 10pm

Info: www.nationalgallery.sg/see-do/shopping-and-dining

ASIAN CIVILISATIONS MUSEUM

The Prive cafe, which serves items such as eggs Benedict, home-style buttermilk pancakes and its signature wagyu beef burger, will open an hour earlier at 8am. The cafe offers a 10 per cent discount to museum visitors.

Empress restaurant, which serves Chinese cuisine such as its triple roast platter of char siew, crackling roast pork and sweet and sticky pork ribs, will open as usual.

Prive ACM

Where: 1 Empress Place, 01-02

When: 8am to 10.30pm

Info: www.priveacm.com.sg

Empress

Where: 1 Empress Place, 01-03

When: 11.30am to 3pm, 6 to 11pm

Info: www.empress.com.sg

FULLERTON BAY HOTEL

The Clifford Pier restaurant will serve a heritage dim sum brunch, with classics such as steamed siew mai with tobiko roe, steamed pork ribs in fermented black bean sauce and steamed custard buns.

The brunch spread also consists of hearty local delights such as Nonya popiah, kueh pie tee, laksa with tiger prawns, fried carrot cake, Hainanese chicken rice, soup kambing and rickshaw noodles with braised pork belly.

Where: 80 Collyer Quay

When: 11.30am to 2.30pm

Admission: $48 (adult), $24 (child)

Info: www.fullertonbayhotel.com/dining/the-clifford-pier

COSTA COFFEE

Its outlets in the Central Business District will open on Sunday as usual.

Where: 30 Raffles Place, Chevron House, 01-37; 252 North Bridge Road, Raffles City, 01-45;  35 Robinson Road, Sofitel So, 01-05

When: Various timings, go to www.costacoffee.com.sg

SATAY NIGHT LIVE

This is the only pre-event activity and takes place tomorrow instead of on Sunday. 

Feast on satay and other local fare while enjoying performances by home-grown live bands Jack & Rai and Jive Talkin’.

A song request station will take requests from the audience.

Where: Empress Lawn

When: Tomorrow, 6 to 10.30pm

Admission: Performances are free, pay for food

Info: ura.sg/carfreesundaysg


Cultural activities

VICTORIA THEATRE AND CONCERT HALL

It will open  at 7am, three hours earlier than usual. Performances on Sunday include a play by Pangdemonium, The Effect, a psycho-romantic comedy-drama about a beautiful psychology student and a charming slacker who are “guinea pigs” in an experiment.

Classical music concert Dohanyi & Shostakovich will also take place at the Victoria Concert Hall.

The Effect

Where: 9 Empress Place,  Victoria Theatre

When: 3pm

Admission: Tickets at $40, $50  and $60 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg)

Dohanyi & Shostakovich

Where: Victoria Concert Hall

When: 4pm

Admission: Tickets at $20 from Sistic


Take a tour at the National Gallery Singapore. PHOTO: NATIONAL GALLERY SINGAPORE

NATIONAL GALLERY SINGAPORE

It will open an hour earlier at 9am. Do not miss two new exhibitions, A Fact Has No Appearance: Art Beyond The Object, which opened last month and investigates the impact of new ideas on South-east Asian art in the 1970s; and Earth Work 1979, which recreates an original 1980 exhibition by Singapore artist Tang Da Wu.

Where: 1 Saint Andrew’s Road, 01-01

When: 9am to 7pm

Admission: Free for Singaporeans and permanent residents, $20 for non-Singaporeans

Info: www.nationalgallery.sg

BUILDING HIGHLIGHTS TOUR

The one-hour tour is conducted by docents from the National Gallery Singapore and covers highlights of the building’s facade, including stories of the friezes and tympanum. There is also a brief introduction of the Civil District and the gallery. 

Where: Meet outside the gallery’s Padang Atrium entrance

When: 9.30 and 9.45am (English); 10am (Mandarin)

Admission: Free, no registration required

Info: www.nationalgallery.sg/about/news/press-room/car-free-sunday-2016

ASIAN CIVILISATIONS MUSEUM

It will open at 9am, an hour earlier than usual. Check out the museum’s new galleries, which opened in November.
The Khoo Teck Puat Gallery, for example, houses the famous Tang Shipwreck Collection – a virtual time capsule of treasures from 9th- century China that was discovered in 1998. 

The new Kwek Hong Png Wing has a Scholar in Chinese Culture Gallery, which focuses on objects associated with revered Chinese scholars, as well as the courts of emperors and merchants who sought to emulate them.

Where: 1 Empress Place

When: 9am to 7pm

Admission: Free for Singaporeans, permanent residents and children aged six and younger; $8 for others

Info: acm.org.sg

STREET PERFORMANCES

Performers such as lion dancers, stilt walkers, martial arts performers, Chinese drummers, instrumentalists, mime artists and balloon sculptors will take to the streets.

Where: Connaught Drive, Esplanade Park and Empress Place

When: 9am to 6pm

Admission: Free

Info: www.nparks.gov.sg/civicdistrictevents

MONUMENT TRAIL

Conducted by NParks, this 11/2-hour guided tour features historical landmarks as well as heritage and interesting trees in the Civic District. 

The tour starts at Cavenagh Bridge, near the mouth of the Singapore River, which was once the heart of Singapore’s commercial activity and entrepot trade. It goes through Empress Place and Esplanade Park before ending at the War Memorial Park.

Where: Meet at the entrance of Cavenagh Bridge on the side of the Asian Civilisations Museum

When: 10 and 11.30am and 4pm

Admission: Free, no registration needed

Info: www.nparks.gov.sg/civicdistrictevents

FULLERTON MONUMENT TOUR

Organised by The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, this hour-long tour takes participants to discover the history of the former Fullerton building, now The Fullerton Hotel, which has been gazetted as Singapore’s 71st national monument.

Limited to 20 people, the tour ends with a local breakfast experience, which includes kaya toast, soft-boiled eggs, soya bean milk and local coffee, at the hotel’s Post Bar.

Where: Meet at The Fullerton Hotel’s concierge

When: 8 to 11am

Admission: $18 (adult), $9 (child); registration is required

Info: peatix.com/event/150041

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 26, 2016, with the headline 'Car-free in the city'. Print Edition | Subscribe