Photo credit: Illyana Foo

How to celebrate National Day without being at the Padang

We give you five alternative ways to celebrate National Day this year.

Nadia Illyana Foo

Published: 7 August 2019, 12:00 AM

We all know how difficult it is to get tickets to catch the National Day Parade (NDP) on 9 August every year.

Or the pains of camping out in our humid weather with 2,308 other Singaporeans just to get a tiny glimpse of the fireworks near the Padang – trust us, we’ve been there.

Here are some ways you can celebrate NDP without being at the Padang this public holiday!

1. Get to know more about our history

Many Singaporeans may know the story behind how our nation was founded and its independence.

But we’re pretty sure the last time you read about Sang Nila Utama and Sir Stamford Raffles was during Social Studies lessons in primary school.

On this special day, give yourself a refresher course about our nation’s history – from when it was founded to the vibrant and cosmopolitan city she is today – at our museums.

The National Museum of Singapore has more than 10 exhibitions to help you recall Singapore’s rich history. You can also head to the Colonial History Walking Trail at Fort Canning Park to educate yourself on Singapore’s most historical moments.


Admission is free! Head down to the National Museum in red and white and get your patriotic mode on.
Photo credit: Vernon Raineil Cenzon


2. Camp out at these secret vantage points

At every NDP, everyone dreams of having an uninterrupted view of the fireworks *coughs* for the gram.

While most people usually gather near the Padang to catch the fireworks, did you know that there are other vantage points near the area?

Alternative locations include the Marina Barrage and the Merlion Park.


Catch the fireworks while overlooking the Singapore skyline.
Photo credit:


Disclaimer: Most areas near the Padang will be crowded on Aug 9 anyway, so come early to chope your spot!

3. Hit the heartlands

If you cannot be at the Padang this year, how about spending some time in your good ol’ neighbourhood? There are similar celebrations held at most estates, but on a smaller scale.

On Aug 10, the National Day celebrations will continue at five heartland locations – Bishan, Geylang Serai, Jurong East, Punggol and Woodlands – with fun carnivals, firework displays, and the highly anticipated Mobile Column.


Several vehicles from the Singapore Armed Forces and Home Team will be travelling to the heartlands, giving you a rare, close-up view of our nation’s assets.
Photo credit: National Day Parade 2019 Executive Committee


4. Head to your nearest beach

It is our responsibility as Singaporeans to create a safe and clean environment for our country. If you don’t usually celebrate NDP, how about gathering your friends and family for a fun day out in the sun?

Grab a pair of gloves, tongs, and trash bags and you’re all set for a quick beach clean-up.


From cracked glass bottles to unused fishing nets, it has become a common sight to see our beaches littered with trash.
Photo credit: Illyana Foo


Even if you’re not at the Padang to witness the parade, you know that this fulfilling activity will help our environment in some ways.

5. Celebrate NDP at home

This is inarguably the best way to catch the NDP if you prefer the comfort of your own home.

You won’t need to fight for vantage points or huddle with other sweaty Singaporeans while waiting for some NDP action.

We recommend organising a steamboat party at home to commemorate this joyous day while watching the NDP on TV – easy and fuss-free.


Gather in front of the TV as proud Singaporeans.
Photo credit: Lim


No matter how you choose to celebrate Singapore’s birthday, you should always remember how we became independent 54 years ago.

Happy 54th Birthday, Singapore!

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