Nothing to do this Deepavali?
The Istana will be open to the public on 12 November to celebrate the holiday.
That’s not all.
Members of the public can enjoy live performances, activity booths and guided tours as well.
What to Expect
This will be the first Istana open house under President Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
The Istana will be open to the public from 8.30 am to 6 pm on Sunday, giving you plenty of time to head down.
Students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, St Margaret’s School, Yishun Secondary School and Bukit Timah Primary School will be holding instrument, dance and band performances.
Furthermore, the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society and Team Fusion, a band, will also be performing.
Moreover, local award-winning flautists Ghanavenothan Retnam and Tan Qing Lun will be performing a special fusion of Indian and Chinese classical music.
If performances aren’t your thing, there will be hands-on activities like henna art, candle-making and balloon sculpting for you to express your creativity.
If you’re more of a history geek, volunteers from the National Heritage Board will be conducting guided tours of the Istana main building.
The tours will take place from 9.30 am to 5 pm, where visitors can view selected function rooms and admire the collection of state gifts presented to Singapore’s leaders.
Each tour group is limited to 15 people and departs at 30-minute intervals.
There will also be a guided tour showcasing the Istana’s flora and fauna.
Volunteers from NParks will conduct these tours, which will be available from 10 am to 4 pm.
Each tour is limited to 15 people and departs every hour.
Those who want to be adventurers can go on self-guided tours instead.
Foodies will be pleased to know that there will be food stalls and a food truck at the open house.
Furthermore, booths will be selling merchandise, limited-edition Istana souvenirs and President’s Challenge souvenirs.
Only cashless payments like credit cards, debit cards or QR codes will be accepted.
Visitors can enter the Istana grounds through the main gate at Orchard Road.
Singaporeans and permanent residents can enter the open house for free.
However, all other visitors must pay an entrance fee of $10 per adult or $2 per child (ages four to 12) via cashless methods.
Both guided tours will be priced at $4 for Singapore Citizens and Permanent residents (Adults) and $2 (children aged four to 12).
All other visitors must pay $10 for the guided tours if they are adults and $2 for children.
All children below the age of four can attend the guided tours free of charge.
Proceeds from the entrance fees, tours and booths will go towards charities supported by the President’s Challenge.
Notably, the President’s Office cautioned that entry may be restricted due to capacity, inclement weather or other reasons.
Another Exciting Thing
Take the North East line from Dhoby Ghaut to Little India if you want something to do at night.
From 30 September to 3 December 2023, Serangoon Road and part of Race Course Road will be lit up for the Deepavali Light Up 2023 in Singapore.
The light-up begins in front of Tekka Centre.
Since Monday is a public holiday, this is a good time to bask in the festivities.