8 Free, Fab & Fun Things to Do in Singapore
September 2, 2015
You don’t have to fork out a cent to enjoy a new wave of free leisure activities that go beyond walks in parks and museum visits. MANDY LIM BEITLER lets you in on where you can play, relax and work out with like-minded people.
1. LISTEN TO LIVE MUSIC
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay holds scaled down performances every weekend and public holiday evening at its concourse, as well as at its breezy outdoor amphitheatre by the river. There is something for every gig aficionado with genres from Asian instrumental music to alternative beats by local bands. Also without charge are its monthly Sunday concerts in its grand Concert Hall. The next one (on September 13, 2015) features the Braddell Heights Chinese Orchestra. Look out for traditional Chinese street opera performances along the Esplanade Waterfront at the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations from September 25-27, 2015 – a throwback to olden-day Singapore.
2. CATCH A MOVIE UNDER THE STARS
MovieMob’s gratis movie screenings bring back the romance of the drive-in cinema – just tune your car’s radio to the designated FM station for the movie’s audio track. No car? Unroll your picnic mat in a specified area to watch the show under the stars. The fortnightly screenings – including non drive-in nights – take place all over Singapore, from the Marina Barrage (above) to Gillman Barracks. There are usually vendors to purchase food from, so you won’t go hungry. Go to the MovieMob Facebook page to see when and where the next movie will be screened.
3. PICK UP A NEW SPORT
You don’t need to pay for gym membership to train under qualified professionals. Try sports like netball, dodgeball or speedminton (a racket game combining elements of badminton, squash and tennis) under the guidance of certified coaches at Singapore Sports Hub’s Learn-To-Play sessions for both adults and kids. There are also daily FITness sessions (above) from Zumba and pilates to kickboxing and even functional training.
4. TRY YOGA IN THE PARK
Reconnect with nature at Urban Yogis’ yoga sessions held, without charge, at the lush Singapore Botanic Gardens every Sunday morning. Kathy Cheng, who founded Urban Yogis two years ago in Paris, shares that “it isn’t just restricted to yoga, but is a chance for people from all walks of life to come together and share all kinds of knowledge”. Veteran practitioners and beginners are both welcome. Just bring your own yoga mat or beach towel.
5. JOIN A WALKING TOUR
Passionate volunteer guides at Indie Singapore show a side of the country not typically covered by guidebooks. They’ll share with you the colourful stories and legends on their walking tours of popular tourist sites like Chinatown. You can also ramble through graffiti-walled enclaves in the Kampong Glam district, or learn more about Singapore’s colonial past at the civic district. The guides will share their own favourite spots to eat and relax. Tipping is optional but welcome.
6. BARTER GOODS AND SERVICES
Leave your wallets at home when you visit the Singapore Really Really Free Market (SRRFM). It’s a flea market based on the age-old concept of bartering that also carries an underlying message of reducing waste. You can exchange resources, whether handmade crafts, pre-loved goods or skills like tarot card reading or shoulder massages. The next SRRFM will pop up at the Marina Barrage on September 26, 2015. Do bring an open heart and something of your own to share, though you can still enjoy the goods and services there – for free – even if you don’t.
7. PARTY WITH THE FAMILY
Yes, Singapore does have an alternative party scene, and it may as well be the antithesis of the glitzy nightclubs around the CBD where Moet flows. There are fun workshops and plenty of activities for kids at this unpretentious gathering, which also happens to be dog friendly. On Sundays at the Training Shed – a lush, hidden spot near Labrador Nature Reserve – bands and local DJs pipe out everything from reggae to jungle beats through the day. Talented graffiti artists enliven walls with their eye-popping artwork, while partygoers can indulge in food and drinks from various vendors on their own dime. The next parties are on September 13, October 11 and November 15, 2015.
8. SING IN PUBLIC
If you would like to take the stage, belt out your own musical compositions in front of an encouraging audience at OOOM. It’s an acoustic open mike event that welcomes wannabe performers. The next edition of OOOM's originals-only series will take place at the library@esplanade on September 3, 2015. There won’t be any Simon Cowells dishing out snarky feedback, we promise.