Istana open to the public for Chinese New Year; live performances, guided tours to be held

Visitors can also look forward to the enhanced Swan Pond.

Benjamin Chew

Only drinks bubble tea with 100% sugar.

Published: 16 January 2023, 5:51 PM

Members of the public can visit the Istana on Monday (Jan 23) as it opens its doors in celebration of Chinese New Year.

The Istana Open House (IOH), held from 8.30am to 6pm, will feature a series of live performances, activity booths and Istana tours. Visitors can also check out the enhanced Swan Pond with a new viewing deck and garden stream.

The activities include candle-making, Chinese calligraphy and Henna, and the booths can be found at the Main Tent from 8.30am to 5.40pm.

Several live performances by students have also been prepared as part of the celebrations.

The Ceremonial Plaza will see four performances held throughout the day, including Chinese drum performances by Nan Hua Primary School and Maris Stella High School and dance performances by students from NAFA School of Young Talents and alumni of Hwa Chong Institution.

A band performance by Montfort Secondary School will also take place in the Main Tent at 2pm to 3pm, as well as a musical by NAFA School of Young Talents at 3.40pm to 4pm in the Reception Room.

Those interested in exploring the Istana grounds can sign up for guided tours at the ticketing booth in the Ceremonial Plaza.

The Istana Main Building guided tour, conducted by volunteers from the National Heritage Board, will take place every 30 minutes. The slots are at 10am, from 11am to 2.30pm, and from 4.30pm to 5pm.

There will also be nature guided tours, available every hour from 10am to 4pm, conducted by volunteers from NParks.

Both the Nature guided tours and Istana Main building tours will cost $4 per adult and $2 for children aged four to 12, and will be free for children younger than four.

Alternatively, visitors can opt for self-guided tours at the Istana’s Main Building at $2 for Singaporean Citizens and Permanent Residents.

During the IOH, visitors can purchase snacks and merchandise found at or near the Main Tent. The merchandise booths offer limited-edition Istana souvenirs like keychains, mugs and caps, and the proceeds from the sale will be donated to charities supported by the President’s Challenge.

Entry into the Istana grounds is free for all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, but will cost $2 for other visitors aged four and above.

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