SINGAPORE - There is an upside to going nowhere during this pandemic.
While borders stay shut and leisure travel remains a forlorn hope, whopping discounts and deals can be found for attractions in one's own backyard.
Domestic tourism was given a great big push recently, with a $45-million campaign launched to drive local spending.
The nine-month SingapoRediscovers campaign by the Singapore Tourism Board, Enterprise Singapore and Sentosa Development Corporation aims to give local lifestyle and tourism firms a much-needed boost amid the coronavirus recession.
While social distancing and Covid-19 restrictions are still in place, discounts and freebies, amounting to hundreds of dollars in some cases, help sweeten the no-travel deal.
So put on your sunglasses and vacation clothes and nab some bargains.
Here are 15 discounted or free attractions and activities to check out.
1. UP YOUR IG GAME
Take an #Instawalk by Tribe, an agency that offers local tours.
Wow your followers by learning influencer tricks for taking photos on a guided tour of Bugis (right), Waterloo Street and Kampong Glam.
Admission: This "Buy 5 Pay for 4" deal works out to $44 a person, a discount of 37 per cent from the original price of $70.
2. GO FISH
Looking for a new hobby? Learn to fish in a day on tranquil Lazarus Island with the Beginner Angler's Course by My Fishing Frenzy Academy.
Admission: $85, down from $100. Use the promo code "SGUnited" from now till the end of the month.
3. GHOST STORIES TOUR
Curious about things that go bump in the night? The Creepy Tales of Singapore tour takes you to a cemetery and World War II sites. Organised by Oriental Travel and Tours, participants will be armed with candles and equipment used to detect paranormal activity.
Admission: $315 for a group of five, down from $750, a discount of close to 60 per cent. From Aug 19 to Sept 16, to mark the Hungry Ghost Festival. Use the the promo code "ST30" when booking online. Other discounts may apply outside of these dates.
4. BATTLE ZOMBIES IN VR
Enter Undead Arena by Zero Latency at Suntec City which offers multi-player virtual-reality gaming experiences.
Your mission is to battle zombies in front of a bloodthirsty crowd presided by a game-show host. You may need to recall lessons learnt from The Hunger Games (2012 to 2015) and the Train To Busan (2016) films.
Go with four friends a session as Covid-19 restrictions apply, even in zombie warfare.
Admission: Use promo code "YAYNEWGAME" for a 30 per cent discount on online bookings till Aug 14. For example, an off-peak ticket that costs $48 is now $33.60.
5. CYCLE UNDER THE STARS
Take in twinkling lights reflected in dark water, as well as skyline icons like the National Stadium, on the Marina Bay Night cycling tour organised by Let's Go Tour Singapore.
Admission: $50, reduced from $60. Offer valid till the end of next month.
6. HAVE A BLAST WITH OBSTACLES
Kids can romp in a series of play zones at Nerf Action Xperience at Marina Square. Besides shooting Nerf blasters with foam ammunition, the youngsters can climb ropes, scale walls and navigate obstacle courses.
Admission: Get four tickets for the price of three at $147. The offer is valid till the end of the month.
7. EXPLORE JEWEL'S ATTRACTIONS
Even if you cannot hop on a plane, you can enjoy a mini-break at Jewel Changi Airport.
Bounce on massive nets five storeys above the ground and lose yourself in mazes at Canopy Park, or learn what makes the airport tick at Changi Experience Studio, a digital attraction.
Admission: Get 55 per cent off attractions at Jewel till the end of this month. For instance, a child's ticket for the Manulife Sky Nets, which costs $16, is now priced at $7.20.
Info: Buy tickets for Canopy Park attractions at this website.
For Changi Experience Studio, go to this website.
8. GET UP CLOSE WITH ANIMALS
For the National Day period, Singapore residents visiting the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, River Safari or Jurong Bird Park can get 55 per cent off a second admission with every paying adult. The promotion is valid from Monday (Aug 3) to Aug 31, except between Aug 8 and Aug 10.
9. RIDE THE LUGE FOR LESS
Good deals beckon in Sentosa for those looking to ride the Skyline Luge, a wheeled vehicle on purpose-built tracks.
Until next month, all healthcare workers in Singapore can get a complimentary Luge Play Pass, which usually retails at $40, by showing valid healthcare identification at the Skyline Luge Sentosa ticket desk.
The Luge Play Pass, which is valid for a year, offers perks such as unlimited Luge rides at $5 each. The general public can purchase the pass at a 15 per cent discount this month.
Admission: Use the promo code "playpass15" to buy an annual pass for $34.
10. FUN IN THE SNOW
If you are dreaming of a ski holiday, Snow City in Jurong offers a taste of winter entertainment. Roughhouse in sub-zero temperatures or slide down a three-storey slope. An upcoming attraction at this indoor snow centre will feature target shooting with paintball markers.
Admission: Get 30 per cent off snow play sessions for one or two hours. This online promotion is valid till the end of next month. Discounted prices start at $8.40 for a child ticket.
11. TRY IMPROV
Embrace the freedom of unscripted moments with the Improv for Everyone taster sessions - workshops on improvisational theatre conducted by The Improv Company. Boost your creativity and self-confidence by trying improv games and creating and performing stories on the fly.
12. FREE-FALL INDOORS
Experience indoor skydiving at a discount with iFLY Singapore in Sentosa.
Admission: The original price of $89 for the Teaser Package, which comprises one skydive, has been cut to $56. It now comes with a free upgrade - a second skydive. Participants have until Aug 10 to book this promotion online under "First Timers' Experience".
13. PLAY, STAY AND DINE AT RWS
Resorts World Sentosa is offering discounts for its many attractions and dining venues, as well as staycations.
Admission: National Day promotions for this month include tickets to Universal Studios Singapore at$59, down from $77. A two-day staycation package at Hotel Michael, which includes two adult tickets to S.E.A. Aquarium, starts at $328, down from $600.
14. VISIT MUSEUMS ON-SITE AND ONLINE
The upcoming National Day weekend will see National Day-themed activities on-site and online at the National Museum, Asian Civilisations Museum, Indian Heritage Centre, Malay Heritage Centre and Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall.
Highlights include the newest permanent galleries at the Asian Civilisations Museum, showcasing fashion, jewellery and ceramics. These halls can also be viewed on mobile devices.
15. SOLVE AN ONLINE MYSTERY
If you are seeking an adrenaline rush, but do not want to get out of bed, check out virtual escape room The Search For The National Symbols.
Until Aug 14, travel back in time to solve an online mystery involving the music score for the National Anthem, which has been stolen.
Other National Day contests and quizzes can also be found on the Instagram account of the Preservation of Sites and Monuments (@nationalmonuments_sg), a division of the National Heritage Board.