The Lion King animated film in 1994 was such a huge hit that it has led to musical adaptations that continue to captivate people of all ages. In fact, the movie was, for many of us, a highlight of our childhood. Who can forget the iconic Pride Rock scene when the wise mandrill Rafiki dramatically raises lion cub Simba high above all the animals, to the soaring chorus of “The Circle Of Life”?
Fast forward more than two decades later, many of the original film’s young fans are now grown up — some have even become parents. And they will soon get to relive precious childhood memories of the movie with the all new Disney’s The Lion King in cinemas 18 July.
While waiting for its release on the big screen, drum up some excitement for family and friends with a visit to the Circle of Life Festival, a collaboration by the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari with Disney, from now till August 31.
Reel to real life experience
The Circle of Life Festival celebrates all creatures big and small and the important roles that we all play in maintaining the health of the ecosystem.
The centrepiece of the festivities is a savannah-themed moving trams with musical performers. Feel your heart pound with child-like wonder and excitement, and keep your eyes peeled as the performance makes its way from the Singapore Zoo’s Wild Africa zone, past animals such as the meerkat, mandrill and lion — the real life inspiration of everyone’s favourite movie characters Timon, Rafiki and Simba.
Along the way, try to spot as many animals from the movie as you can. (Hint: there are more than 10 around the entire zoo!) The themed trams and performers will stop at three locations to do a short interactive storytelling performance of how lions go through life’s journey. Don’t miss out on insta-worthy photo points.
Think you know all about animals? Then flex your mental and physical prowess at the 15th instalment of Zoolympix — the zoo’s signature school holiday activity — which is themed around the Circle of Life Festival. Embark on an adventurous self-guided trail and complete challenges to learn about the important ecological roles of animals — from tall giraffes to tiny invertebrates — and earn exclusive animal pins. You might even unleash the Steve Irwin in your little ones!
We’ve all had childhood dreams of being on a safari and getting to feed wild animals. Now’s your chance to immerse yourself in an unforgettable interactive wildlife experience on the Circle of Life wildlife tour, where you will get to feed white rhinoceros, meerkats and even a cheetah! Finally, bare your teeth and test your mettle and witness the pull force of a full-grown lion.
Walk on the wild side
At dusk, continue your adventure at Night Safari — you’ll definitely want your kids to stay up past bedtime for this! Join in the jubilant festivities as tribal drummers kick off the night’s bustling mood, accompanied by a high-octane fire dance by Night Safari’s Thumbuakar performers. Set your inner animal free as you don your favourite animal-inspired markings with glow-in-the-dark face paint, and make your way to its Naracoorte cave for an insta-worthy photo.
Don’t miss the token feeding sessions of the Night Safari’s lions and spotted hyenas. Observe their feeding behaviours, as you learn fascinating facts and listen to anecdotes on them from the keepers.
Click here for more information on the Circle of Life Festival.
A day with enchanting songbirds
Remember when you were small and loved dancing and singing along to children’s songs and nursery rhymes?
Jurong Bird Park is bringing back the soundtrack of your childhood with its Singing Forest event starring the Chirpies 5 — the group consists of the threatened Bali Myna, Black-winged Starling, Greater Green Leafbird, Blue-crowned Laughingthrush and Straw-headed Bulbul songbirds.
The Singing Forest runs from now to June 30. One of the highlights that will delight your kids (in addition to the child in you) is The Chirpies 5 Guided Tour at Wings of Asia, where you can listen to the melodious birdsongs of these threatened songbirds — for free! Satisfy your curiosity by asking avian experts any questions you have about these intriguing birds.
Take yourself back to the simpler times of yesteryears on The Singing Forest Trail at the Penguin Coast and Wings of Asia. Put your birdwatching and listening abilities to the test as you try to spot the Chirpies 5. Complete the trail and redeem an exclusive songbird pin.
If you’re a photography buff, you must register for the Songbirds Flutter Photography Clinic on June 16. From 9am to 12pm, you can get up close and personal with the enchanting songbirds, discover the best photography spots and pick up photography tips from Shutter Journey Singapore.
Feeling inspired after enjoying the enthralling tunes of the songbirds? Get your fingers busy and learn to create your very own musical instruments using everyday materials — just as you did during art class when you were young — at the free The Chirpies 5 Musical Craft Workshop at the Songbird Terrace.
Then, it’s time for your kids to shine! Let them be the star of the show as they perform a remix of a new nursery rhyme and be regaled by an extraordinary tale in the interactive storytelling. These will take place at the sing-along sessions of Tweet Along with the Chirpies 5 at the Songbird Terrace.
Don’t forget to end your visit on a sweet note — make a pledge to save endangered songbirds and South-east Asian forests. Pen down your wishes and hang them up on the Pledge to Save Songbirds wall and be a wildlife hero!
Click here for more information on timings and venues of the activities.