Singapore HeritageFest 2023 Invites Families to Uncover Lesser-known Stories of Our Heritage!



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The 20th edition of Singapore HeritageFest returns over four weekends from 1 to 28 May 2023 with a focus on Singapore’s vibrant sporting and public transportation history!

Venue: Various venues
Dates: 1 to 28 May 2023

Presented by the National Heritage Board (NHB), the Singapore HeritageFest (SHF) 2023 invites everyone to uncover the lesser-known stories about our unique history and heritage.

SHF 2023 will celebrate Singapore’s vibrant sporting and public transportation history, which is fitting as this year concurrently marks the 50th anniversary of SBS Transit and SportSG, the 40th anniversary of Singapore Sports Museum, the 35th anniversary of the launch of the MRT system and the 30th anniversary of NHB, among other national milestones.

Families can expect heritage and cultural trails, hands-on workshops, tours, talks, exhibitions and film screenings that illuminate the evolution of sports and public transport in Singapore. With a dynamic line-up of over 80 programmes, here's our pick for families looking to create family fun mixed with history! 

What To Expect

The festival involves more than 60 community partners this year. New partners include Children’s Museum Singapore, Football Association of Singapore, Land Transport Authority, SBS Transit, Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT), Singapore Silat Federation, Sport Singapore, The Kalari Academy, and the different community festivals (e.g. Singapore Hokkien Festival, Ho Yeah Festival etc.) which are presenting a plethora of exciting activities, with something suitable for Singaporeans of all ages and interests. 

Registration

This is a long list, so before we continue, do note that SHF 2023 programmes will be open for registration from 20 April 2023, 12 pm. Tickets sell out quite quickly, so do stay tune to www.sgheritagefest.gov.sg for more information on the programmes, and how to register.  

Let's carry on with the introduction of programmes for families.

Homeground

Venue: National Museum Singapore, Stamford Gallery
Dates:¬†28 Apr ‚Äď 4 Jun 2023
Admission: Free

The Stamford Gallery at National Museum Singapore has been transformed into a vibrant and colourful street! Little-known facts from 10 of the Top Heritage Trails have been selected to invigorate your senses, spark freshinterest in Singapore, and empower your meanderings around the city.

Quizzes, storytelling sessions and other drop-in activities promise an engaging encounter for all.

Closing Weekend Sports Day

Venue: Lawn of National Museum of Singapore
Dates:

  • Sat, 27 May | 9am - 6pm
  • Sun, 28 May | 9am - 6pm

Admission: Free

Ready, set, go! Join the SHF for a weekend of sporty throwbacks as we recreate the school sports day experience on the lawn of the National Museum! Dust off the cobwebs and throw on your old PE attire. We’ve organised a Sports Day for one and all! You can take part in a relay, hop to the finish line in a gunny sack, or play main lereng, an old school game where players guide a bicycle rim across the finish line with a stick. Just like Co-Curricular Activitiesor CCA day, you’ll also get to try out for sports like table tennis!

But don’t worry, you won’t be doing all the work. Master practitioners and experts in wushu, silat and silambam will treat you to a showcase of their special skills and admirable sporting chops on the lawn of the National Museum in what we’re calling a Martial Artstravaganza! 

The special event caps off a month of activities celebrating our sporting history.

Changing Shift

Photo Credits: The ETCeteras

Venue: National Museum of Singapore, Banyan Tree (bus bay for wet weather)
Dates:

  • Sat, 6 May 2023 | 5pm - 5:30pm & 6:30pm - 7pm¬†
  • Sun, 7 May 2023 | 5pm - 5:30pm & 6:30pm - 7pm

Admission: Free

Changing Shift is a fun and light-hearted play where real encounters of kindness are narrated by a taxi driver whose optimistic persona inspires passengers to rethink dilemmas and perspectives on life from within the comforting confines of his cab. Apart from shedding light on the everyday experiences and challenges faced by transport providers, the play will also trace the evolution of public transport in Singapore and the impact of modernisation on both ends of the spectrum with the rise of on demand booking services.

Bring along your mats and enjoy this outdoor performance!

A Showcase of Public Transport Memorabilia

Photo Credits: Matthew Tay, Bus Enthusiast 10

Venue: National Museum of Singapore, Salon
Dates: 
6 May 2023 | 1pm - 6pm
Admission: Free

Hear from Matthew Tay, Naz Farihin and other bus enthusiasts as they share more about their personal collections of items relating to public transport. From bus guides to signages of the yesteryears, there’s probably something that might catch your eye and bring that sense of nostalgia. Join us and take the chance to also reflect on how public transportation in Singapore has evolved over the years.

Land, Sea and Air! A Fun Scavenger Hunt

Photo Credits: Children's Museum Singapore

Venue: Children's Museum Singapore (23-B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807)
Dates:

  • 6 & 13 May 2023 | 9am - 11am
  • 7 & 14 May 2023 | 9am - 11am
  • 20 & 27 May 2023 | 11am - 1pm
  • 21 & 28 May 2023 | 11am - 1pm

Admission: $8 per child. Free for accompanying adult

Join us on a fun-filled scavenger hunt to discover the various modes of transportation on land, sea and air at the Children's Museum Singapore! Get ready to sail on a time-travel ship or hop on a scooter as you spot these little treasures in the galleries with your little one to learn more about Singapore and the evolution of transportation. 

Upon completion of your mission, redeem a gift sponsored by The LEGO Group.

Bundle Programme: Going Places ‚Äď A Dramatic Storytelling Time and Scavenger¬†Hunt!

Photo Credits: Children's Museum Singapore

Venue: Children's Museum Singapore (23-B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807)
Dates:

  • 6 May & 13 May 2023 | 11am - 1pm & 4pm - 6pm
  • 7 May & 14 May 2023 | 11am - 1pm & 4pm - 6pm

Admission: $35 per child. Free for accompanying adult

Many years ago, ships brought our forefathers from different lands across the sea in search of a new life in Singapore. On this shared land, we explore hidden finds, exchange cultures and going places was easier and more convenient with various modes of public transport. 

Join us for a fun-filled two-part programme where participants go on a scavenger hunt in search of all-things-transportation in the galleries, followed by an artist-led dramatised storytelling and craft session.

Mystery Box Challenge ‚Äď An Imaginative Loose Parts Play!

Photo Credits: Children's Museum Singapore

Venue: Children's Museum Singapore (23-B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807)
Dates:

  • 6, 13, 20 & 27 May 2023 | 2pm - 4pm
  • 7, 14, 21 & 28 May 2023 | 2pm - 4pm

Admission: $12 per child. Free for accompanying adult.

Do you enjoy challenges? Join us for an hour of fun as you receive a mystery box of items and experiment to make something that goes on land, sea or air through loose parts play. Let your imagination run wild and bring back your very own creation inspired by objects found in the Children's Museum!

Upon completion of your challenge, redeem a gift sponsored by The LEGO Group.

Undisclosed

Photo Credits: Matthew Tay

Venue: Boon Lay MRT Station
Dates: Sat, 13 May 2023 | 7.30pm - 8.45pm & 9.30pm - 10.45pm
Admission: $15 per pax (register: http://shfundisclosed.peatix.com)

You will not be told where you are going! Simply hop on this bus trip and trust the crew to bring you on a bus route like no other. Empty paths, dim streetlights, dense vegetation, is there even a bus route like this in Singapore? Join us on this mystery tour to find out more... if you dare!

On the Move: A Visual Chronicle of Singapore’s Vintage Transportation

Venue: National Museum of Singapore, Longer Concourse, Level 1
Dates:¬†27 May ‚Äď 3 Jun 2023 | 10am - 7pm
Admission: Free

From the rickshaw to trishaw, the way people have travelled around Singapore ‚Äď be it for¬†leisure or non-leisure purposes ‚Äď have changed over the years. Look for the different modes¬†of transportation that can be found in the museum, and learn about the different ways of¬†travelling around Singapore in the past. Take a snapshot and share with us your own¬†experience and stories of travelling in these modes of transport!

All Aboard! SMG Tour to Bus Depot

Photo Credits: SBS Transit

Venue: Singapore Mobility Gallery & Ulu Pandan Bus Depot
Dates: 13 May 2023 | 12:45pm - 4:30pm
Admission: Free

A guided tour to the Singapore Mobility Gallery and Ulu Pandan Bus Depot to
discover how we keep our public transport network moving! Go behind-the-scenes on an exclusive guided tour with us and SBS Transit to Ulu Pandan Bus Depot! 

Not only can you take a peek at how our buses are maintained but also enjoy a bus ride through a bus washing bay! 

All Aboard! SMG Tour to SMRT Mandai Train Depot and the Singapore Rail Discovery Centre

Photo Credits: LTA

Venue: Singapore Mobility Gallery & SMRT Mandai Train Depot
Dates: 17 May 2023 | 1pm - 4:30pm
Admission: Free

Join our guided tour to Singapore Mobility Gallery and the Mandai Train Depot with SMRT to discover how we keep our public transport network moving. Don’t miss our exclusive guided tour to the Mandai Train Depot (home to the Thomson-East Coast Line) with SMRT!

At Singapore Rail Discovery Centre (SRDC), located within the Mandai Depot, discover the history and transformation of Singapore’s rail network as it developed from humble beginnings with just five stations, into the world-class rail system that it is today. At the Train Depot workshop, find out what goes on behind the scenes to get the trains ready for their daily journeys across the island.

A shuttle bus will bring participants from the Singapore Mobility Gallery to the Mandai Train Depot. The programme will conclude at Woodlands MRT Station.

Letterpress Guided Tour - Remembering the Bus Ticket

Photo Credits: TYPESETTINGSG

Venue: Block 1013 Geylang East Avenue 3 #05-130, Singapore 389728
Dates: 1 - 28 May 2023 | 10:30am - 12pm & 1.30pm - 3pm
Admission: $15 for Students, $20 for Adults

These days, the pastel-hued bus tickets from 1970s through 1990s Singapore are sold as collectors items and can be found on platforms like Etsy and Carousell. Here's your opportunity to discover the ticket printing production process.

The Journey of NEL ‚Äď Talk + Lego Building Workshop

Photo Credits: Indian Heritage Centre

Venue: Activity Room, Indian Heritage Centre
Dates: 

  • Sat, 13 May 2023 | 10:30am - 12:30pm & 2:30pm - 4:30pm
  • Sun, 14 May 2023 | 10:30am - 12:30pm & 2:30pm - 4:30pm

Admission: $38 per pax

Join this fun lecture-demonstration workshop as part of SHF 2023, whereby participants will get to know interesting facts about the North-East Line (NEL) and get to construct their very own NEL LEGO train.

Wheels on the Bus: Horses & Heritage in Singapore

Photo Credits: Bukit Timah Saddle Club

Venue: Bukit Timah Saddle Club
Dates: 

  • Sat, 20 May 2023 | 9:15am - 11:30am & 3:45pm - 6:00pm
  • Sun, 21 May 2023 | 9:15am - 11:30am & 3:45pm - 6:00pm

Admission: $15 per pax

Enter the world of horses and equestrian sports at the new home of Bukit Timah Saddle¬†Club in the ‚Äúneighhh-bourhood‚ÄĚ of Kranji. Journey through the past, present and future of equestrian sports in Singapore and see how far we‚Äôve come today. Discover the role the¬†Club has played in transforming horse riding, dressage and show jumping landscape since¬†its establishment in 1951.

Behind the Turf: An Exclusive Tour of the Jalan Besar Stadium

Venue: Jalan Besar Stadium (100 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore 207542)
Dates: 

  • Sat, 20 May 2023 | 11am - 12:30pm
  • Sun, 21 May 2023 | 11am - 12:30pm

Admission: $15 per pax

Acquaint yourself with one of Singapore's significant places for football and revel in the exuberance of our very own unique brand of sportsmanship! Walk the stadium’s hallowed grounds this SHF! This tour grants you special behind-the-scenes access to its locker rooms and a chance to step into the shoes of yesteryear athletes, reliving the blood, sweat and tears of some of Singapore’s most epic football matches.

Sports Inclusion ‚Äď Introduction & Try-Outs

Venue: Enabling Village and Delta Sport Centre.
Dates: 20 May 2023 | 2pm - 6pm
Admission: Free

Sports Inclusion ‚Äď Introduction & Try-Outs is a half-day interactive session for participants¬†to gain a deeper appreciation of parasports.

Held at Enabling Village, Segment 1 will begin with sharing the history of the local parasports scene. Homegrown local Para Athletes will also be invited to share first-hand about their own sporting journey and discuss the various parasports pathways available in Singapore.

Segment 2 is a parasports Try-out session held at the newly reopened Delta Sport Centre. The Try-outs allow participants to get experience of a variety of parasports such as Goalball, Para Canoe, Blind Football, and many more.

Indian Heritage Centre Open House

Photo Credits: Indian Heritage Centre

Venue: Indian Heritage Centre
Dates: 

  • Sat, 13 & 20 May 2023 | 10am - 6pm
  • Sun, 14 & 21 May 2023 | 10am - 6pm

Admission: Free

Indian Heritage Centre celebrates SHF! From 13 to 21 May 2022, join us for fun and engaging weekend programmes specially curated for you along the themes of public transportation and sporting history! Enjoy free admission, take part in free craft activities, pose with insta-worthy backdrops, sign up for special programmes, and get to visit the museum galleries.

Silat Cultural Open House 2023

Venue: TBC
Dates: Sat, 20 May 2023 | 12pm - 6pm 
Admission: Free

The Silat Cultural Open House offers a unique opportunity to learn about the traditional Southeast Asian martial art - from its rich cultural heritage to its dynamic kicking and punching techniques. Get hands-on training from experienced practitioners, witness demonstrations, and immerse yourself in the artistic and physical aspects of Silat.

Indigenous Indian Arts: Silambam

Photo Credits: Kalari Academy

Venue: Kalari Academy Studio (448 Serangoon Road #03-01, Singapore 218138)
Dates: 

  • Sat, 20 May 2023 | 2pm - 3pm & 4pm - 5pm¬†
  • Sun, 21 May 2023 | 10am - 11am & 2pm - 3pm

Admission: $25 per pax

Once only accessible to men, the Indian martial art of silambam, where a practitioner wields a bamboo stick to thump and strike attackers, has been gaining popularity among women. The Kalari Academy in Little India is the only place in Singapore to pick up the ancient southern India sport and they will be hosting an hour-long workshop to share about its history and detail basic techniques and spins such as the vettu for attacking and vaaral for defending.

Zoom to the Past with Classic Car Club Singapore

Photo Credits: TPM

Venue: Armenian Street Park
Dates: 

  • Sat, 13 May |¬†10 am¬†- 7 pm
  • Sun, 14 May | 10 am¬†- 7 pm

Admission: Free

Take a stroll down picturesque Armenian Street and feast your eyes on classic cars and motorcycles on display, brought to you by Classic Car Club Singapore. Interact with the owners and discover the stories behind these vehicles. For one weekend only!

Storytime in the Galleries! 

Venue: Lobby, Peranakan Museum
Dates: 

  • Sat, 13 May | 12 - 6pm
  • Sun, 14 May | 12 - 6pm

Admission: $18 / pair, $10 / single

Go on an epic interactive tour of two siblings feuding over their grandfather’s favourite car. In this journey, they reminisce their childhood with their grandparents in their Peranakan home through songs, witty banter, and some games along the way.

Sailing At The Bay

Venue: Marina Bay
Dates: Various Dates and Times
Admission: Free (Register here)

Did you know that Marina Bay used to be nothing but open sea? Its transformation over the decades into a vibrant financial, entertainment and community hub has been nothing short of remarkable! 

Join the DBS’ Sailing At The Bay programme and experience the bay like never
before! Come sail with us and discover historical trivia about iconic waterfront landmarks and transport modes in the past, while enjoying Singapore’s skyline from the water.

Please note that participants must be above 7 and below 70 years of age.

Down the River, Along the Streets of ACM

Phoro Credits: ACM

Venue: Various locations indoors and outdoors at the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM)
Dates: 

  • Sat, 27 May 2023 | 10am - 7pm
  • Sun, 28 May 2023 | 10am - 7pm

Admission: Free

Journey through time along the iconic Singapore River for this year’s SHF. Hop on a bumboat or embark on walking tours to witness the transformation of the river and its surroundings. Catch interactive storytelling sessions and performances to experience the sights and sounds of the river during its heyday.



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This article is prepared by

Jiarong Yu
Daddy to 2 adorable little ones. Misses them the moment they are not around, regrets missing them the moment they are around.

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