Stay calm, stay indoors

This story was first published in The Straits Times on June 21, 2013


Keep fit indoors at the Via Ferrata climbing wall at Orchard Central.

Via Ferrata means "iron way" in Italian and refers to the iron rungs, steps and ladders the climbers use to ascend the wall or mountain side.

Orchard Central shopping mall is home to the tallest indoor via ferrata wall in the world at 30m high.

You must be at least 13 years old to climb the via ferrata wall but there is also an easier, shorter rock-climbing section for those aged seven and above.

Climbers must book their hour-long rockclimbing and 90-minute via ferrata sessions three days in advance by calling 6509-1300 or e-mailing

Where: Orchard Central, 04-22, 181 Orchard Road

When: By appointment, rock climbing daily from 4 to 8pm, via ferrata daily from 4 to 8.30pm

Admission: $21.40 on weekdays and $26.75 on weekends for an hour of rock climbing, $32.10 on weekdays, $37.45 on weekends for 11/2 hours on the via ferrata wall

Info: Go to


Venture away from the usual, crowded shopping malls this weekend and browse unique crafts, prints and designs at two indoor flea markets in Middle Road.

One is the roaming monthly Public Garden flea market which will take place at the Stuttgart Blackforest Boutique S-Cafe (141 Middle Road) from 1 to 9.30pm tomorrow and Sunday.

Organised in conjunction with the cafe's Sommerfest Beer Festival, shoppers can check out some 25 crafts and apparel vendors while enjoying $5 beers and a free flow of beer and a buffet of German food for $50 a person, available throughout the day.

If you are looking for practical design, head across the street to the Art + Design Market at Sculpture Square (155 Middle Road). Thirteen vendors, including printing company The Gentlemen's Press and design studio When I Was Four, will showcase their wares at the market inside the square's historic Chapel Gallery from 10am to 8pm tomorrow.

Where: 141 and 155 Middle Road

Admission: Free

Info: Go to or


Trendy threads and tunes join forces tomorrow at the first ever Asia Style Collection, a celebration of Korean, Japanese and Singaporean music and fashion. About 8,000 people are expected to attend the event organised by online fashion magazine StyleXStyle.

It kicks off at 3pm with a free-to-enter carnival comprising about 20 stalls selling beauty products, fashion items and food and drinks.

This is a warm-up to the main event: a 41/2-hour concert and fashion show featuring performances by Girls' Generation, 2NE1, AI, Thelma Aoyama and Mai Kuraki, and designs from a dozen fashion labels including Azul by moussy and Olive des Olive from Japan, Dint and Tom & Rabbit from Korea, and Reckless Ericka and Ong Shunmugam from Singapore.

Where: Singapore Expo Halls 3 and 4, 02-01, 1 Expo Drive

When: Tomorrow, from 3pm

Admission: Free admission to the carnival. Tickets for the concert and fashion show cost $188 to $268

Info: Go to


This weekend is the launch of Food-O-Philia, a new programme curated by The Arts House.

Focused on the relationship between food and national identity, the programme includes exhibitions, plays, film screenings and book launches, all revolving around food, Singapore's favourite national pastime.

This weekend, art lovers and makan-enthusiasts can check out Edible Lit, a photographic exhibition of recreated literary food scenes (until July 31, 10am to 10pm, free admission).

Or catch a live performance of Rojak, a play about immigrant workers navigating homesickness, cultural differences and hostility, set in a Serangoon Gardens workers dormitory (today, 7.30pm, $30 a ticket from

The Arts House will also screen a few food- themed movies this weekend including The Carrot Cake Conversations (today, 7.30pm, free admission), about a failed American actress and three Singaporeans sharing their views on life, love, and carrot cake; Sweet Dreams And Turtle Soup (tomorrow, 3pm, free admission), about a 16-year-old girl who dreams of escaping work at her mother's turtle soup stall; and Chicken Rice War (Sunday, 7.30pm, free admission), a local adaptation of Romeo And Juliet into an inter-family chicken rice feud.

According to Mr William Phuan, director of The Arts House, "being safe and healthy is key at this point" so The Arts House will be distributing free face masks to visitors and installing air purifiers to mitigate the effects of the haze.

Where: The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane

When: Till July 31

Admission: Varies by event

Info: Go to


Enjoy nature indoors at the cool Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome and Cloud Forest conservatories, which boast a new flower display this month.

Titled Flight Of Fancy, the display includes miniature hot air balloons, aeroplanes and kites to complement flight-related facts about flying machines, animals and wind-borne pollination and seed dispersal.

The display will run until July 21, but Singapore residents who visit the gardens by next Friday will receive a discount on the cost of admission in conjunction with Children's Season - $20 instead of $28 for adults, and $12 instead of $15 for children.

Where: Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive

When: 9am to 9pm daily

Admission: Entry to both conservatories at $28 (adults) and $15 (children). Discount available to all residents of Singapore. Identification such as work permits or identity cards must be shown.

Info: Go to


Learn how Asian fairy tales differ from Western ones and about the unique animals of Asian fairy tales at the Animals In Asian Tales children's exhibition at the Woodlands Regional Library this weekend.

In addition, many public and regional libraries have indoor activities for both kids and adults over the weekend. These include storytelling sessions where professional story-tellers read their favourite children's stories in English (tomorrow, 10.30am, Queenstown Public Library, 53 Margaret Drive) and Mandarin (tomorrow, 12.30pm, Sengkang Public Library, 1 Sengkang Square).

For more times and locations of these sessions, go to the National Library Board website.

Or try designing and sculpting a new face for the Gingerbread Man at a craft session in Geylang East Public Library (Sunday, 11am, 50 Geylang East Avenue 1). The free programme is limited to 20 children aged five to 10. Pre-register at the library or via the NLB website.

Where: The Animals In Asian Tales exhibition takes place at Level 4, Asian Children's Literature Room of the Woodlands Regional Library, Woodlands Civic Centre, 01-03, 900 South Woodlands Drive

When: 10am to 9pm daily, closed on public holidays

Admission: Free

Info: Go to

This story was first published in The Straits Times on June 21, 2013

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