Frugal Holiday Part 1 : Free Museum Activities For June School Holiday 2013

children season

Admissions to the National Museums and Heritage Institutions will be free from this Saturday (18 May 2013) onwards, in conjunction with NHB’s Children’s Season 2013, as well as International Museum Day .

There are altogether 8 museums available for visit under the new program and 2 more to be added when they are ready in 2015; National Art Gallery and Indian Heritage Centre.

It’s a great to be able plan some of the free museum activities into our June school holiday plan, especially since the museums are running Children’s Season 2013.  I took down (cut and paste) some notes on the FREE activities available at various museums and archive them here for easy reference.

Address : 93 Stamford Road S(178897)
Tel : 6332 3659
/ 6332 5642
Opening Hours
Singapore History Museum (10am – 6pm)
Singapore Living Museum (10am – 8pm)

Children’s Season – Island Adventures 2013
Concourse & Craft Zone, Level 1
18 May 2013 – 21 Jul 2013

“…Children’s Season – Island Adventures 2013 explores our multi-racial and multi-cultural society through the themes of Food, Film & Wayang, Fashion, and Photography. Children can be an old-time hawker and invent a unique ‘Singapore dish’, watch wayang peep shows, be a tailor of different cultural costumes, and learn how photo studios of a bygone era produced coloured prints in the 1950s and 60s. Each child gets a complimentary activity book^, and parents can purchase an optional Craft Kit ** for additional hands-on activities. There will also be roving acts and story-telling sessions at selected timings throughout the season, with outdoor film screenings of Walt Disney classics The Aristocats and Pinocchio, in June.” .. MORE

**About Optional Craft Kits
– Available at $5 which includes programs, Island Adventures – Roving Acts and Island Tales.

– Admits one parent and one child into Island Adventures Craft Zone which includes programs – Roving Acts and Island Tales.
– This ticket is valid on the stipulated date only.
– Limited to one craft kit per ticket
– Children of all ages must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Island Adventures – Roving Acts
Concourse and Craft Zone, Level 1
Every Friday | 10am and 11:30am | 30 minutes
Every Saturday and Sunday | 11:30am and 2:30pm | 30 minutes

Join us on our island adventure and meet mysterious characters from the past! Young visitors will get to meet interesting people who are skilled in different trades, and find out what they do for a living.  Created to be interactive and educational, our popular roving acts will delight visitors of all ages.

Island Tales
Concourse and Craft Zone, Level 1
Every Monday and Wednesday | 10am and 11:30am | 30 minutes Every Saturday and Sunday | 10:30am and 1:30pm | 30 minutes

Let our storytellers inspire the young ones with intriguing and colourful tales from the past! With engaging dramatisation and interaction, these sessions are a wonderful introduction to Singapore’s history.

Traditional Rattan Basket Weaving Demonstration
26 May
3.30pm – 4.30pm

Witness the skills of the traditional rattan basket weaver and try your hand at weaving one yourself. Rattan baskets are cost-effective storage solutions, as the only raw material necessary is the rattan palm, and in the past all these baskets had to be made by hand.

Wayang Kulit Performance
25 May
3.30pm – 4.30pm

In this performance, let the Dalang, or “Puppetmaster” tell you the story of how Singapore got its name through the enchanting world of wayang kulit (shadow puppetry). The first story, Singapura, is the tale of how Sang Nila Utama, the Prince of Sumatra, came to an island that was then known as Temasek. It was there that he saw a lion, or “Singa” in his native tongue, and decided to name the island “Singapura” (Lion City).

The second story comes from the Indian epic Ramayana. Join us and learn how Prince Rama, who was the incarnation of the God Vishnu, struggled to free his beautiful wife Sita, who had been abducted by the horrible ogre, King Ravana.

Both performances will be brought to you by Sri Warisan, a performing arts company founded by renowned cultural Medallion recipient Madam Som Said.

Address : 71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189555
SAM at 8Q :
8 Queen Street, Singapore 188535.
Tel : 6332 3222
Opening Hours : 10am – 7pm (Fri till 9pm)

The International Museum Day event at SAM takes place this Saturday, and there are so many activities to choose from:

International Museum Day
18 May 2013
“Celebrate International Museum Day at SAM with a series of fun, hands-on activities for everyone in the family that are free and centred around the ever-popular Art Garden and President’s Young Talents exhibitions.The activities are:

Hourly from 11am – 6pm
Location: SAM at 8Q Level 4
Create a diorama of your own intriguing landscape using the mixed media technique. This activity is inspired by the NUS Architecture students’ work LANDscape in the Box.

Button It Up!
Hourly from 11am – 6pm
Location: SAM, Glass Hall, Level 1
Transform everyday items such as buttons into beautiful collages that are inspired by nature. Participants can make their collage into badges too.

Flowers in Your Hands Balloon Sculptures
Duration: 11am – 6pm
Location: SAM, Outside Glass Hall, Level 1
Enjoy flowers made from bouncy balloons.

Paint a Garden on Your Face
Duration: 11am – 2pm, 3pm – 6pm
Location: SAM, Chapel, Level 2
Choose your favourite item from the garden, get it painted and walk through the Art Garden with us.

Guided Tour of SAM
Timings: 11am, 2pm, 3.30pm
Venue: SAM Front Desk
Take some time out to enjoy a guided tour of the exhibitions at SAM.

{Program Source: Singapore Art Museum}

Art Garden 2013
SAM at 8Q
17 May 2013 – 1 September 2013

Wander through fairy tales, get lost in dreams and stretch your imagination, as Art Garden comes back for the fourth year running! This ever-popular exhibition for the young, and the young at heart, features exciting new commissions, mesmerising artworks, short films as well as animations by local and international artists. Explore the exhilarating world of contemporary art through these installations, and take part in the delightful activities specially designed by SAM and the artists. Get ready to be surprised!” .. MORE

Address : 1 Empress Place S(179555)
Tel : 6332 7798
Opening Hours : Mon (1pm – 7pm), Tues – Sun (9am – 7pm), Fri (till 9pm)

The Young Collecter
8 & 9 June
Activities from 1pm to 5pmExplore the special exhibition Devotion and Desire and catch exciting dramas in the galleries. Enjoy enchanting cross-cultural performances and create one-of-a-kind crafts for your own art collection.  

The Asian Civilisations Museum’s website has a program resources page useful for parents who like to making the visit a fruitful learning journey with their kids.

Available for downloading are fun interactive worksheets that kids can use to explore various galleries, e.g. Asean Trail, China Gallery Trail, South East Asia Trail.

museum01 museum02
{Source : Asian Civilisations Museum)

Free scheduled Guided Tours of the permanent galleries are also available daily according to the website.

Address : 39 Armenian Street Singapore 179941
Tel : 6332 7591
Opening Hours : Mon (1pm – 7pm), Tues – Sun (9am – 7pm), Fri (till 9pm)

Art Attack!
22 and 23 June 2013
Activities from 1pm to 5pm
Be one of the first to view and take part in the new contemporary art installation, Luminous Depth.Watch the premiere Rempah Sayang, a film presented by Big Eyes, Big Minds as part of this year’s Singapore International Children’s Film Festival. Enjoy storytelling sessions, demonstrations of Peranakan pastimes, and hands-on activities.

Just like Asian Civilisations Museum, The Peranakan Museum’s website also has a resource page for worksheet downloads, or follow the free daily guided tours.

{Source: The Peranakan Museum}

Address : 85 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198501
Tel :
6391 0450
Opening Hours :
Museum – Tues – Sun (10am – 6pm)

ter-ba-BOM!: Children’s Season @ MHC
31 May – 29 June
Specific timings availableGet ready for a month of thrilling adventures and creative fun at the Malay Heritage Centre during the June school holidays! Returning for the third year, ter-ba-BOM! takes you on a Heritage Hunt around Kampung Gelam and offers interactive storytelling sessions and craft activities for the family!Heritage Hunt
Malay Heritage Centre & Kampong Gelam district
Fridays & Saturdays, 31 May – 29 June 2013
10am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm
Recommended for children aged  7 to 13 years oldThe residents of Kampong Gelam have been afflicted by mysterious ailments! Armed with a map and a trusty guide, participants will embark on a quest around Kampong Gelam to find traditional cures for different ailments afflicting the human body.Limited to 30 participants per session. To register, please call 6391 0450  or email Nights @ MHC
14 and 15 June

Don’t miss an evening of movie magic under the stars at the Malay Heritage Centre!  In support of Children’s Season 2013, MHC will organise free outdoor screenings of Magika (Friday, 14 June) and Nujum Pak Belalang (Saturday, 15 June) on our lawn at 8.30pm.

Note: In the case of inclement weather, all screenings will be cancelled.

Magika is a fun and hilarious film through which the young can discover and be acquainted with Malay legends and heroes. As Malaysia’s first musical film, Magika tells the story of two siblings who enter a world of fantasy and magic where they meet characters from Malay folklore such as Orang Bunian, Nenek Kebayan, Badang, Hang Tuah and many others.

Nujum Pak Belalang
Nujum Pak Belalang is a film that portrays the challenges of growing up as the child assuming the responsibility of adulthood. The clash of roles is illustrated in a relatively light mood in which the genre of this film is comedy. It also discusses issues of class and status.

Makmal Rekaan (Creative Lab)
Gallery 1, Malay Heritage Centre
Saturdays, from 1 June  – 29 June
12pm – 1.30pm & 3pm – 4.30pm
Recommended for children aged  6 years old and below with accompanying adults

Play a heroic character from Malay folklore in Makmal Rekaan (Creative Lab), our interactive workshop that combines storytelling, acting and handicraft activities to create props and costumes!

Limited to 30 participants per session. To register, please call 6391 0450  or email

Neighbourhood Sketches
Bussorah Mall, Kampong Gelam
28 Jun 2013 – 29 Jun 2013
8.30pm to 9.30pm

Neighbourhood Sketches return this year with more vibrant performances along the bustling esplanade of Bussorah Mall!

This popular series of street performances will continue to showcase different aspects of traditional and contemporary Malay artistic expressions such as kerongchong (Malay folk music originating from Java), angklung (a musical instrument consisting of two or four bamboo tubes), kulingtang (wooden xylophone from Sulawesi), wayang orang (Javanese theatrical performance) and more.

All performances will  be held at Bussorah esplanade on every last Friday and Saturday of the month from 25 January 2013 to 31 August 2013.

Galleries Alive!: An Afternoon of Traditional Malay Music
02 May 2013 – 29 Aug 2013
First and last Thursdays of the month from May 2013 until August 2013; 12.30pm to 1.15pm, 3.30pm to 4.15pm

Learn more about various traditional and syncretic Malay music forms through our live performances in the galleries on selected Thursdays. There will be post-performance discussions with the musicians and visitors will also have the chance to try their hands at selected musical instruments found in MHC’s Muzik Gallery!

Address : 23-B Coleman Street S(179807)
Tel : 6337 3888
Opening Hours : Mon (1pm – 7pm), Tues – Sun (9.30am – 7pm),

There are four permanent galleries (Orange Room, Purple Room, Room of Rarities and Heritage Room) that we can explore on our own for free.

  • 4 chargeable activities are currently listed on its website for the June 2013 holidays HERE.

Address : 12 Tai Gin Road S(327874)
Tel: 6256 7377
Opening Hours : Tues – Sun (10am – 5pm)

Learn About Dr. Sun Yat Sen Through Storytelling
19 May 2013, 2pm – 3.30pm
This is a light and entertaining workshop for kids below the age of 12 where storytelling and simple games are the mode through which children learn about Dr. Sun Yat Sen and the 1911 Revolution

Princess Iron
19 May 2013
10am – 12pm
Princess Iron Fan is the First Chinese animated feature film produced in 1941 by the Wan brothers i.e. Wan Guchan and Wan Laiming and it is based on the well known Chinese novel Journey to the West.

Clay Figurine-making Workshop
26 May 2013
10am – 12pm
Learn to make your own clay figurine! It can be a snake, a rabbit, a mouse or even an Angry Bird!

Tile Painting Workshop
26 May 2013
2pm – 4pm
Design and colour your own tiles of which you can use it as a home-deco or even a gift for your friends & family!

In Search of Balestier’s Memories
15 June 2013
10am – 4.30pm
Ever wondered about the history of Balestier – where the memorial hall is situated at? Learn about the stories of people living in Balestier, their memories and recollections of this place. Also check out the documentary film on Balestier made by ITE students and participate in activities & workshops suitable for the young and the old.

Chinese Painting Workshop for Parents and Kids
23 June 2013
10am – 12pm
Appreciate Chinese art and culture as you learn how to paint in this workshop. Parents and kids are welcome to sign up as a pair for this activity.

Address : 31-K Pepys Road S(118458)
Tel :
6375 2510
Opening Hours : Tues – Sun (9am – 5pm

Children’s Season Open House at RBC
Reflections at Bukit Chandu
18 May, 22 and 23 June
9am – 5pm
Visit Reflections at Bukit Chandu and relive the Battle of Pasir Panjang, where 1,400 brave soldiers from the Malay Regiment heroically defended the last stand against a 13,000-strong Japanese army during World War II.

Program Information were sourced through:

  • Museum’s respective websites

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