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.
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
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.
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)
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
Where: 9 Empress Place, Victoria Theatre
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
Admission: Tickets at $20 from Sistic
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
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
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
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
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
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