Istana grounds open to public on Sunday to mark National Day

The exterior of the Istana, which will be opened to visitors who can expect musical performances, art activities and guided tours on Sunday.
The exterior of the Istana, which will be opened to visitors who can expect musical performances, art activities and guided tours on Sunday.ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW

The Istana grounds will be open to the public on Sunday from 8.30am to 6pm to celebrate National Day, the President's Office said in a statement on Wednesday.

Visitors are encouraged to wear red and white. They will be able to take part in various activities at the Istana, which will feature National Day decorations.

There will be musical performances by the Singapore Chinese Girls' School, the Down Syndrome Association (Singapore), So Drama! Entertainment and a silat performance by APSN Tanglin School.

President Halimah Yacob will also launch a logo competition to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Istana in 2019.

Various art activities will be held during the open house, including a community art project by the National Gallery Singapore and various craft activities at the Museum Roundtable Arts and Heritage Village by the National Heritage Board (NHB).

Visitors can contribute "spin art", which is made by dripping paint onto a spinning canvas, to an art installation with the theme "We Are Singapore". Children can also learn stamp printing and dinosaur puppet-making, as well as colouring on a Children's Festival flier. The coloured flier can be exchanged for an art pack from the National Gallery's children's festival titled Small Big Dreamers.

Other attractions will include a National Day tattoo booth and a balloon-sculpting booth. There will also be booths selling Istana merchandise, snacks, drinks and Udders ice cream.

The public can also sign up for guided tours, including a nature walk organised by the National Parks Board and a tour of the main building by the NHB.

Visitors can also opt to go on a self-guided tour of the main building with the aid of a smartphone application.

Guided tours for both the nature walk and the building tour will cost $2 each for all children aged between four and 12. Adult Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) will pay $4 each, while other adult visitors will be charged $10 each.

 
 
 

Family packages for four are available for $12 for Singaporeans and PRs, and $30 for others. These are available only for guided tours.

Tours of the main building will take place every 20 minutes from 9am to 3pm and are limited to 15 visitors per group. Nature walks are limited to between 12 and 15 visitors per group and will take place every hour from 10am to 4pm.

Fees collected will be donated to charity.

Unguided tours will cost $2 each for children, adult Singaporeans and PRs. Other adult visitors will be charged $4 each.

Visitors who make a donation to the President's Challenge during their visit can get various memorabilia such as leather key chains, luggage tags, notebooks, bookmarks and magnets.

Entry to the Istana grounds is free for Singaporeans and permanent residents. Others visitors pay $2 each. Visitors can enter through the main gate in Orchard Road, near Dhoby Ghaut MRT station.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2018, with the headline 'Istana grounds open to public on Sunday to mark National Day'. Print Edition | Subscribe