The mid-year school holiday will start this weekend and there is no lack of outdoor activities on our sunny island, a great opportunity for the little ones at home to get connected with nature or outdoor sports. I always fully embrace the idea of playing a local tourist at home as a frugal mom, so I have listed some events that have caught my eyes at the end of this post.
Let me first jump the topic to my homemade insect repellent as this is a must-have in my outdoor bag with the entire family being walking mozzie magnets. To start, let’s find a spray bottle.
Remember these handy mosquito repellents that the schools and RCs distributed a few years back? Check the expiry dates, they have probably passed their effective period. But don’t throw them away yet, the spray bottles can be refilled with a homemade Deet-free natural version, recipes and instructions can be easily found online like this, this, this and this.
Most of these recipes require just 2 or 3 of the following ingredients.
++01. Essential Oil
An essential oil or mix that repels mosquitoes and bugs: choose from Citronella, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lavender, Peppermint, and Neem just to name a few. My favorite combination is 70% citronella + 20% tea tree + 10% eucalyptus. If you are new to essential oils, stick to Citronella and try it out before getting more. Always, always dilute essential oils before use.
++ 02. Witch hazel, or distilled water.
Some recipes use only witch hazel, some mix equal part of witch hazel to water. I choose the cheapest/convenient way, only boiled water that has cooled down.
++ 03. The optional ones:
// Vegetable glycerin as an emulsifier. I happen to have glycerin at home so I add it to my latest batch. For some reason, this works much better than just essential oil diluted with water.
// A carrier oil like sweet almond to bind the repellent better to our skin. I don’t usually a carrier oil, but an oil based repellent’s effectiveness will last longer without regular reapplication. When I need something stronger and don’t have time to reapply the water base repellent every hour, I will make a rub-on repellent instead by adding essential oil directly to the carrier oil and store this a brown bottle, away from light.
// Vodka is sometimes suggested to be added as a preservative. Since I don’t make the repellent spray in bulk, usually just enough for half a day outer activity, I don’t add it as well.
Now that the worry of getting bitten by bugs is out of the way, let’s run through to the outdoor activities for the coming school holiday:
+ Car Free Sunday on 28 May 2017. Wake up early and kick off the school holiday the car-free way!
+ Pesta Ubin 2017: Happening since May 10, but there are still plenty of free activities being organized every weekend.
+ Nparks Concert Series in the Park at Fort Canning on 3 June. It’s retro theme with music from the 60s to 90s this time.
+ DBS Marina Regatta from 1-4 June. Interesting activities such as trying out dragon boating and participating in various fitness sessions are available with pre-registration required.
+ SPH Gift of Music at Singapore Botanic Gardens on 10 June featuring Singapore Chinese Orchestra.
+ Kranji Farmer’s Market on 11 June. While you are there, take a self guided tour to explore the heritage trail that covers 14 historical and agricultural trail markers, such as Kranji War Memorial and Thow Kwang Industry that house the last dragon kiln in Singapore.
+ Gardener’s Day Out on 17 June at Hortpark.
+ Opera in the Park on 17 June at Singapore Botanic Gardens.
+ Weekends in the Park on 17 June at Pasir Ris Park.
+ Ecolife at Coney Island Park on 24 June , a guided tour with pre-registration required.
+ Istana Open House on Hari Raya Day 25 June.