National Museum of Singapore’s National Day open house features SIA, Goodwood Park hotel-inspired pop-up rooms

Here are six things to do at NMS for Singapore’s 58th birthday.

Kelly Chin

Gets emotionally attached to fictional characters.

Published: 2 August 2023, 4:37 PM

Looking for something fun to do with friends and family in the week leading up to National Day?

From Aug 4, the National Museum of Singapore (NMS) will open two new pop-up rooms that will complement the ongoing NMS Disco Room, and hold its National Day open house programmes and activities on Aug 9.

In celebration of Singapore’s 58th birthday, here are six things to do at NMS this National Day week.

1. Travel-themed pop-up rooms and audio tour

Inspired by the themes featured in the museum’s latest exhibition, Now Boarding: Experiencing Singapore through Travel, 1800s–2000s, the new pop-up rooms will run from Aug 4 to Nov 19 at the National Museum’s Glass Atrium.

One such pop-up room takes inspiration from Singapore Airlines (SIA) Raffles Lounge which was first launched in 1976.


The room spotlights three unique amenities and services that were offered on SIA flights from the 1970s to the 1980s. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE


It includes Slumberettes, custom divans that could be turned into beds located on a separate deck of the Boeing 747, which were precursors to the convertible flat beds on the first class seats; live in-flight entertainment performances on selected routes; and SIA’s one-of-a-kind dining experience, Hugo’s in the Sky.

Modelled after a Goodwood Park Hotel room from the 1980s, the next pop-up showcases recreated hotel lobby, corridor and hotel room.


Visitors will get to walk on the ‘walls’ of the room, pose for pictures on the bed and enjoy the natural lightning. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE


Alongside the recreated hotel lobby, the room has a selection of objects specially loaned from the hotel’s collection including key cards, advertisements and postcards from the 1900s to 1970s.

Accompanying the pop-up rooms is an immersive audio tour titled That Weekend in the Lion City, which will take visitors on a self-guided exploration of the rooms, through the recollections of a first-time traveller to Singapore in the 1980s.


The audio tour features engaging dialogue and soundscapes of the vibrant and bustling scenes of yesteryear Singapore. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE


At the end of the tour, visitors are encouraged to continue their exploration at the Now Boarding exhibition, and complete the protagonist’s story by solving a mystery. 

Entries with the most creative responses stand a chance to win a range of prizes, including a 2D1N staycation at Goodwood Park Hotel. The audio tour will be available till Nov 19.

Admission to the pop-up rooms is free, while visitors interested in the audio tour may reserve their preferred time slot for $5.

2. National Day Parade live telecast

NMS will also hold an outdoor live screening of the National Day Parade (NDP) on the museum’s front lawn from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. Visitors are to be seated by 5.15pm.


Visitors are recommended to bring their own picnic mats to the screening event. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE


Held under the iconic banyan tree, the live screening is a free, highly-anticipated annual event for all to enjoy. Visitors can also get a view of the firework displays from the Padang.

3. NMS light-up facade

From now till Aug 9, visitors can catch the museum come alive with a light-up facade at 7.30pm to 12am daily.


Visitors can watch the light-up display for free every night. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE


The ongoing façade light-up features snippets of the commissioned short film on the life and values of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the colours and symbols of Singapore, and the National Day theme of Onward As One.

4. National Day scavenger hunt

Visitors can discover something new about Singapore through the National Day scavenger hunt on Aug 9 from 10am to 5.30pm.


Participants will need a mobile device or tablet with internet connection fo the scavenger hunt. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE


The special hunt will take visitors through the museum’s galleries and special exhibitions Semangat yang Baru and Now Boarding.

Those who complete the hunt can stand a chance to redeem a National Day souvenir, which features local treats and brands. 

The scavenger hunt is free, and pre-registration is encouraged, with walk-in participation subject to availability. Registration and redemption stations will be closed for lunch from 12pm to 1pm and last registration at 4.45pm.

5. Jio you for kopi!

Kopi lovers can look forward to a hands-on kopi-making session with A Lighter Side of History: Jio you for kopi! on Aug 9 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.


The kopi is provided by local traditional coffee brand Nanyang Old Coffee. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE


Through the workshop, participants can find out more about Singapore’s traditional coffee culture, learn how to make their own pot of traditional kopi and the ordering lingo used in Singapore’s coffeeshops.

The workshop is priced at $28 per participant or $50 per pair. Interested participants can pre-register their slots on Peatix.

6. Writings on the wall

To end off the day, visitors can share their thoughts of the various exhibitions, galleries and National Day celebrations on the museum’s LED wall.


Visitors’ responses will be projected onto the LED wall. PHOTO CREDIT: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SINGAPORE


Visitors are also encouraged to revisit their favourite stories and exhibits at the level 2 galleries of the National Museum before they close for a revamp from Sep 4.

Admission to NMS is free for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents.

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