Just like Taylor Swift said: August slipped away into a moment in time! We’ve reached the last week of August, which is packed with a great deal of activities for you and your family. We’re down to the last few days to catch the vibrant lights at the Singapore Night Festival, and you’ve also got A Date With Tradition to explore the rich diversity of Singapore’s multicultural heritage.

If you loved Joanna Ampil for her theatre skills in Miss Saigon and Les Misérables, catch her amazing music performance right before your eyes at the Viva Fiesta, along with Thailand’s pop-opera musical group FIVERA. Not forgetting the educational side of life — the Mother Tongue Language Symposium is waiting to immerse your children in the wonders of its languages. Quite a way to end this August with a bang, isn’t it?

Viva Fiesta

Credit: VIVA Foundation

Two worlds collide this Sunday, as the acclaimed West End thespian Joanna Ampil and Thailand’s first and only pop-opera musical group FIVERA take the stage together at the Viva Fiesta. Organised by VIVA Foundation, this concert is held to raise awareness for children with cancer, as well as to raise funds to help such people in need. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs George Yeo will be the Guest of Honour for this concert. Head to Singapore Botanic Gardens this Sunday with your family for a picnic and enjoy the musical performance by renowned talents, while supporting a good cause. 

Happening 6-7.15pm on 27 August, at Singapore Botanic Gardens Symphony Stage, 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore 259569. Please be seated by 5.30pm. Visit their website for more information, and to donate if you’d like. 

Singapore Night Festival 2023

In case you missed it, Singapore Night Festival is back, but only for a little while longer!

Organised by the National Heritage Board and presented by Samsung, this year’s theme is “Singapore, the Great Port City”. The vibrant and interactive installations are scattered across the Bras Basah-Bugis (BBB) precinct, featuring Singapore’s stories from the past to the present. There are performances, artworks, talks and programmes – there’s much to absorb about Singapore’s heritage and local talent.

Don’t miss your chance to roller skate at the rink in the National Museum, part of the Highlight Act “Time is a Black Circle” by local artist Dawn Ng. This is not recommended for beginners, as there are no handrails to aid you.

Happening 7.30pm-12 am from 18-26 August, at various locations along Bugis and Bras Basah. Majority of the exhibitions are free admission. Visit their website for more information.

A Date With Tradition

Held in conjunction with the Singapore Night Festival, programmes from A Date With Tradition are only operating this weekend. Organised by Arts House Singapore, this event has been thoroughly planned to showcase Singapore’s rich and diverse culture of people from numerous backgrounds. Catch performances by Chinese Opera and Indian classical dance, or try your hand at Batik Painting and traditional Chinese coin knot.

Perhaps your kids may be more interested in making glow-in-the-dark stickers inspired by the Phinisi Vessels, and running around the life-sized version of five stones and pick-up sticks at the UPSIZED Fun and Games. These are easy to learn with friendly professionals guiding you, and your family will definitely enjoy yourselves amidst the arts and crafts. 

The best part? Admission is free. Some activities require online registration to RSVP – do check the website for details. 

Happening at various timings from 5-11pm on 25-26 August at Stamford Arts Centre, 155 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187962. Visit their website for more information.

Margaret Market

Credit: The Straits Times

Commonwealth Avenue Wet Market and Food Centre has been revamped into the new Margaret Market, a two-storey modern space with food, fitness and health services. Officially opened in mid-August, it is a five-minute walk away from Queenstown MRT station. Head down to admire the barrel roof of the building, and to support local small businesses and first-time vendors stationed here. Although small, it has everything you need in a mall – fresh fruit and vegetables, tacos, ice cream, health and wellness facilities, and of course, Singapore’s staple breakfast chain: Ya Kun Kaya Toast. Great for a casual day out exploring with the family.

Open from 7am-12am daily, at Margaret Market, 8 Margaret Dr, Singapore 141038. 

Mother Tongue Languages Symposium (MTLS)

Preserving and practising our mother tongue is key to our heritage. If your child doesn’t find value in their mother tongue, or finds it difficult to pick it up, bring them to Suntec this Saturday for the Mother Tongue Languages Symposium (MTLS). Packed with sharing sessions and interactive workshops about Mandarin, Bahasa Malayu, Tamil and English, you’ll walk away enlightened with tips and tricks to get your children into their mother tongue. FYI: Singaporean actress Fann Wong will be one of the speakers at the MTLS to share her experience in creating ways for children to use and learn Chinese in their daily lives. 

Take your time with the 42 exhibition booths from schools and community partners, where your children can participate in fun activities, collect stamps and win prizes. The four centrepiece stations (Xiao Tao’s Farm, Sani’s Castle, Kavin’s Forest, and Peppy’s Confectionery) also allow children to explore their Mother Tongue Languages by helping the MTLS characters in their adventures. 

If you’re a forward-looking parent who’s already planning your child’s educational journey, visit the MOE Curriculum Booth for the relevant information needed from preschool to Junior College.

PS: The first 5000 children get a goodie bag!

Happening 10am-9pm on 26 August at Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre Hall 404-405, 1 Raffles Blvd, Singapore 039593. Admission is free – visit the website for more information.

Cloud Forest: Orchids of Machu Picchu + Avatar The Experience

Credit: Gardens By The Bay

Catch both the Orchids of Machu Picchu and Avatar The Experience with one ticket! 

The Orchids of Machu Picchu is a collaboration between Gardens by the Bay and the Embassy of Peru and Inkaterra to feature an alluring display of orchids, found only in the region of the UNESCO world heritage site. Inspired by the Inca Trail, the display mimics the path taken by a 15th-century emperor on his pilgrimage, surrounded by such beautiful uncommon orchids. All the way from Peru to Singapore, take a leisurely stroll to admire the beauty and ancestry of Peruvian flora.

While you’re already in Cloud Forest, you can also pop by Avatar: The Experience. Cloud Forest brings Avatar out of the screen and into Gardens By The Bay to highlight nature’s role even in fictional settings. As you immerse yourself in the alluring culture of the Na’vi, take a closer look at the bioluminescent environments and you’ll notice the plants that look so otherworldly in this enchanting exhibition.

Tickets to Cloud Forest are $27 for Adults, and $23 for Children (Singapore Residents).

Orchids of Machu Picchu and Avatar the Experience are happening 9am-9pm daily at Cloud Forest, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, #03-02/03, Singapore 018953. 

Click here for more information on the Orchids of Machu Picchu.

Avatar the Experience ends on 30 September. Click here for more information.

Changi Beach Discovery: A Young Intertidal Explorers’ Skit

Credit: Waves of Change Festival

As part of the Waves of Change Festival 2023 this August to raise ocean awareness, Changi Beach Discovery is an engaging performance for kids to learn about marine animals and subsequently the importance of caring for the marine ecosystem. Watch the two main characters embark on a journey to Singapore’s very own Changi Beach and encounter fascinating marine animals on shore. Your kids will walk away from this one-hour session with a newfound love and wonder for the ocean, as well as the crucial 3Rs to protect the earth.

This event is recommended for children aged 4-12. Admission is free, but you are required to pre-book your slot on EventBrite.

Happening 1-2pm on 27 August, at ArtScience Cinema on Level 4 of ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974. Visit the website for more information on the programmes list for the Waves of Change Festival.