SNF2016-keyframes2

The Singapore Night Festival is all set to light up the Bras Basah.Bugis (BBB) precinct this August. Here’s our review, providing a sneak peek at what families and kids can enjoy here over this and the next weekend.

By day, walking around Singapore’s arts and heritage district is interesting and educational. But as the sun sets and the Singapore Night Festival (SNF) takes over – it happens on 19-20 and 26-27 August this year – the area turns into a magical wonderland!

For those who haven’t been to previous editions, SNF has grown over the years, from a simple festival designed to liven up the BBB precinct, to a full-fledged world-class festival on the international calendar. It attracts local visitors and travellers from overseas with unconventional light art installations, immersive activities and roving street performances.


My journey – I was fortunate to be able to attend the media preview – began at the grand old dame herself, the National Museum of Singapore. After a short reception where we got to try some of the food that will be on offer at the Festival Village during the event, the tour began. This year’s festival is quite aptly themed ‘Inventions and Innovation’, which can quite clearly be seen throughout the festival programme.

Because I know time is always limited for parents, I’ve narrowed down the list for you. Below, you’ll find outlines of festival highlights in each zone that will appeal most to families with children. So do try to take the kids there at least once during the festival. Oh, and even though most of the action only happens on the two Fridays and Saturday nights, the outdoor light installations can still be enjoyed throughout the week.

Here’s the festival map that shows where everything is taking place:

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-map-thumb

Zone 1 – National Museum of Singapore

1. KEYFRAMES by Groupe LAPS

Façade
19, 20, 26, 27 August: 7.30pm-2am
21-25 August: 7.30pm-11pm

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-keyframes

Always a crowd favourite are the light installations on the stately façade of the National Museum. This year, you’ll find animated LED figures and their energetic movements bringing the static building to life.

Click to watch this video:

My favourite part was how the stick men seemed to be reenacting retro arcade games like Space Invaders. Even babies too young to understand the stories will be entranced!

2. Invasion by Close-Act

Front Lawn
26, 27 August: 9.45pm-10.15pm, 11.30pm-12am

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-invasion

Imagine entering a mythical world where large creatures roam around you and even a prehistoric bird flies overhead. Fun? Well, just like in Jurassic Park the movie, you’ll find that chaos will follow when these magical animals flock in and you have the choice of whether to run from them or follow their lead.

3. The Wheel House by Acrojou

Mainground
19, 20 August: 8pm-8.25pm, 9.25pm-9.50pm, 10.50pm-11.15pm

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-wheelhouse

Don’t be surprised when a circular ‘home’ comes trundling towards you. The Wheel House is a rolling theatre show where the audience is invited to walk alongside. Graceful acrobats tell their story that’s set in a dystopian future.

A preview of rolling acrobats The Wheel House at the Singapore Night Festival 2016 #sgnightfest2016

A photo posted by SingaporeMotherhood (@singaporemotherhood) on

It’s fascinating, tender, surprisingly physical and also comical at times. Just don’t forget to give the ‘wheel’ plenty of room.

4. The Story Box by A DandyPunk

Gallery 10
19, 20 August: 8.30pm-8.40pm, 10pm-10.10pm, 11.15pm-11.25pm

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-dandypunk

So a DandyPunk is a fictional character who grew up b-boying, free-running and drawing graffiti on the rooftops of Victorian London, and then taught himself the art of light alchemy. In this case, this steampunk dandy interacts with The Story Box, a Pandora’s box of creatures and light, in a projection-mapped live performance.

5. Fun Cycling II by Bikes 4 Fun

Concourse, Level 1
19, 20. 26, 27 August: 7.30pm-2am

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-cycling

Kids will love trying out modified bicycles in this Fun Cycling installation and see how traditional two-wheeled contraptions can be used for so much more than just cycling around. It will spur their imaginations on and encourage them to find potential in ordinary things.

6. Young Inventors Lair

The Canyon, Basement
19, 20, 26, 27 August: 7.30pm-11pm (last admission at 10.30pm)

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-inventors

Kids (and accompanying parents) are invited to the Canyon in the basement of the National Museum, where they can become inventors themselves. Using basic craft materials, they will learn to make some simple inventions and get to take their creation home as a souvenir. Hopefully, this will be the start of Singapore’s next generation of innovators!

(See also: 12 Free Learning Activities for Kids to Enjoy in Singapore All Year Round!)

7. Tap to Donate

Platform, Level 2
19, 20, 26, 27 August: 7 pm-12.30 am
21-25 August: 7 pm-10 pm

If you enjoy this year’s festival, do your part to help ‘build’ next year’s. Tap your EZ-link card to make a $2 donation, collect a LEGO brick and add it to the LEGO wall installation. All donations go towards Singapore Night Festival 2017, which incidentally will be its 10th edition. Oh, you’ll also receive Candylicious candy for your contribution. The first 250 festival-goers who ‘tap to donate’ get a generic EZ-link card as well.

8. Collector’s Edition EZ-Link Card

Visitor Services counter
15-27 August

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-ez-link

Speaking of EZ-link cards, isn’t this one pretty? You can get at the Visitor Services counter at the National Museum from now till 27 August. You’ll also be entered into a lucky draw where you might win one of the 55 prizes at stake – the top prize is a two-night weekend staycation package at Grand Hyatt worth $2000!

Zone 2 – Armenian Street

9. Movement 2 Moments A Parkour Performance by ADD Academy Singapore

The Peranakan Museum façade
19, 20 August: 8.45pm, 10pm

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-peranakan

The Peranakan Museum’s façade will be coming to life too. Be amazed by energetic and invigorating performances of l’art du déplacement, a form of parkour or free-running, yes, off the museum walls! Kids and adults alike will be held spellbound – just don’t try it at home!

10. Singapore Night Festival at the Peranakan Museum

The Peranakan Museum galleries
19, 20, 26, 27 August: 6pm-2am (open house); 7pm-11pm (activities)

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-fan

Explore the Peranakan Museum after hours. After learning about Nyonya beadwork and embroidery in the special Needlework exhibition on Level 2, get your photos printed instantly just by tagging #tpmsg on Instagram and Facebook. Then head to Level 3 and be a Peranakan Fan – or well, pick up a fan and colour in the designs inspired by the Needlework collection.

(See also: 20 Fun September Holidays Activities + Kaboodle Kids Passes!)

11. Let’s Celebrate by Close-Act

Along Armenian Street
26, 27 August: 8pm-8.30pm

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-closeact

It’s going to get hot along Armenian Street – which will be closed to traffic, by the way – as a parade of stilt-walking drummers and fire performers move among the crowd. Expect surprises along the way as the theatrical act welcomes positive spirits into our world.

12. The Siege: A Lightsaber Battle Experience by Fightsaber

Main stage
19, 20 August: 9.30pm-10pm, 11.30pm-12am

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-fightsabre

Star Wars fans will love this. Watch as Jedi knights, Sith lords, bounty hunters and other characters come together in a battle of good versus evil. Their mesmerising fight choreography is also inspired by Chinese martial arts and Western action films, as each fighter brings their stories – and lightsabers – along.

Zone 3 – Cathay Green, School Of The Arts and Prinsep Street

13. House of Curiosities by Sweet Tooth by CAKE

Cathay Green (field opposite The Cathay)
19, 20, 26, 27 August: 6pm-8pm, 8.30pm-10.30pm, 11pm-1am
Admission: $16 per adult, $13 per student/senior citizen (tickets from Sistic)

A sneak peak into steampunked The House of Curiosities #sgnightfestival2016

A photo posted by SingaporeMotherhood (@singaporemotherhood) on

This year, festival-goers can step into the House of Curiosities, a flamboyant world of adventure and discovery based on the storyline of The Mechanical Heart. Settle into one of the comfy beanbags with a bag of popcorn and follow Professor Chambers and his son Christopher as they travel in time to solve a mystery.

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-curiosities

You can also enter the ‘time machine’, wander through a tunnel of mirrors, ‘invent’ a mechanical heart at craft booths and even take part in a unique fashion parade.

14. Cirque The Cathay Roving LED Light Twirlers

Outside The Cathay
19, 21, 26-28 August: 8.30pm-9pm, 9.30pm-10pm

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-cirque

For more spellbinding entertainment, catch the roving LED light twirlers at ‘Cirque The Cathay’. The spinning lights ‘dancing’ to the beats are fun and hypnotic at the same time. This is another one that the kids will be fascinated by as their little minds try to wrap around how it’s done.

15. Artists’ Night Out by National Parks Board

Dhoby Ghaut Green
26, 27 August: 12pm-10pm

Be inspired by the talent on offer at the green field by Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. Talented artists are getting together to create a medley of workshops, interactive installations and an art market. Drop by to show your appreciation for their labours of love and pick up some knick knacks along the way.

Zone 4 – Singapore Management University

16. Festival Village: Eat & Shop

Campus Green and University Square
19, 20, 26, 27 August: 6pm-1am

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-festival-village

With almost 30 specially curated flea market and food and beverage stalls at this year’s Festival Village, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Which is great considering everyone will be hungry and thirsty after exercising both the feet and the imagination. You’re bound to find unique goodies for the shopping bag as well.

17. Festival Village: Stage

Campus Green and University Square
19, 20, 26, 27 August: 6pm-1am

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-festival-stage

Support local musicians at the Festival Village stage in between eating and shopping. There will be an eclectic mix of sounds from the likes of Ciao Turtle, Linying, Sam Driscoll, HubbaBubbas, The Lost Box, Singapore Char Siew Bao! and many more. Also making an appearance are Australian acts Frida , Alice Ivy and Tali Mahoney.

Zone 5 – Singapore Art Museum, Queen Street, Waterloo Street and National Design Centre

18. Journey by NOVAK

Façade, Singapore Art Museum
19, 20, 26, 27 August: 7.30pm-2am
21-25 August: 7.30pm-11pm

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-journey

Science-fiction fans, it’s time to introduce your kids to the inventive Victorian world of Jules Verne. This dynamic performance reinterprets seven of his novels and projects it onto the façade of Singapore Art Museum, affectionately known as SAM.

Click to watch this video:

The undersea part of the journey that will be projected on the facade of SAM #sgnightfestival2016

A video posted by SingaporeMotherhood (@singaporemotherhood) on

Using invention to enable adventure, go on a magical journey through the scenes and landscapes of Verne’s classics, including the one in this video of the undersea world − my guess is that it’s inspired by Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea.

19. PRANI: the breath by Papermoon Puppet Theatre

Level 4, SAM at 8Q
26 August: 3pm, 5pm, 7pm
Admission: $30 per adult, $15 per child aged 6-12 years (tickets from Sistic and SAM)

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-prani

If the kids enjoyed Imaginarium: Over the Ocean, Under the Sea at SAM, you won’t want to miss this one-day special by the team behind the exquisite hand-made puppets at the exhibit. Each performance runs for about an hour, including 15 minutes for visitors to interact with the artists and puppets. If you haven’t taken the kids to the exhibition yet, this is the best time to do it!

20. River of Time by Mascots and Puppets Specialists

SAM Glass Hall
26 August: 10pm-10.30pm

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-river

Using lights, shadows and various puppetry styles, River of Time reflects the birth and evolution of sea creatures and how it relates to mankind. This immersive show was created especially for this year’s SNF and will take the kids into the underwater world of Finding Dory.

21. Camping Wonderland by Campers’ Corner

#01-01, 51 Waterloo Street
19, 20, 26, 27 August: 6pm-10pm

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-camper

For SNF, outdoor gear store Campers’ Corner will be hosting an interactive light display called Camping Wonderland – the perfect opportunity for a breather. Grab a mat, lie beneath the tents and look up at the ‘stars’. Or kick back on hammocks along the corridors. Camping without the hassle!

22. Light Force, Night Falls by GSM Project

Water Feature, National Design Centre
19, 20, 26, 27 August: 7.30pm-2am
21-25 August: 7.30pm-11pm

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-lightforce

Play on a series of drums and watch how multi-coloured shimmering lights reflect and refract on a waterfall. This interactive installation lets us transform our environment through play and self-expression. Collaborate with the kids to create a dynamic light and sound performance of your own.

23. #showerthoughts by LiteWerkz

Design Gallery 1, National Design Centre
19, 20, 26, 27 August: 7.30pm-2am
21-25 August: 7.30pm-11pm

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-showerthoughts

Just about every child daydreams in the shower. Well, at #showerthoughts, you are encouraged to. Step though the shower curtains and into darkness broken only by an infinite number of illuminated bubbles. The sensory experience lets you relax as if in a shower, a perfect space for your next ‘eureka’ moment!

24. The Very Wishing Story – The Waterfalls, the Cave and the Forest by Very Small Exhibition and Sum Qian Yu

Waterloo Centre Artsplace, Supermama @ SAM, National Design Centre
19, 20, 26, 27 August: 7.30pm-2am
21-25 August: 7.30pm-11pm

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-wishing

This three-part experience starts at opposite ends of Queen Street – a girl at ‘The Cave’ at Supermama@SAM and a boy at ‘The Forest’ at National Design Centre. Follow them as each finds a magical marble that opens up an adventure. Both journeys converge at ‘The Waterfalls’ at Waterlook Centre Artsplace where they meet other children and create a fairytale world together.

25. SUAVECICLO by VJ Suave

Various locations (roving performance)
26, 27 August: 7.30pm-2am

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-suaveciclo

You can’t help but follow along as a tricycle beaming animated stories traverses open spaces, lighting buildings, trees and sidewalks as it goes. As the artists manipulate video in real time, you’ll be entranced by characters flying and running across buildings and around you.

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-suaveciclo2

Catch them from 7.30pm-8.15pm as they go from National Museum to PoMo, then at 9pm-9.45pm from PoMo to National Design Centre, and finally from there to Armenian Street from 10.45pm-11.30pm.

Behind The Night – Creations Workshops

26. Bike Innovation for Kids by Bikes 4 Fun

National Museum of Singapore, Activity Space, Level 3
20 August: 4pm-5pm
Admission: $28 per pair comprising a child (above 5 years) and a parent/guardian (tickets from Sistic)

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-bike-innovation

Apart from all the fun happening after sundown, festival artists are also holding a series of talks and workshops. If the kids enjoy the interactive installation Fun Cycling II, they’ll love this workshop where they can put together various handlebars, frames, forks and wheels to come up with their own bicycle invention to bring home as a souvenir.

27. Drawing with Light (Scratchboard workshop) by Jerry Teo

National Museum of Singapore, Activity Space, Level 3
23, 25 August: 7.30pm-9pm
Admission: $28 per adult, $23 per student/senior citizen (tickets from Sistic)

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-scratchboard

Using the Scratchboard, participants of this workshop will learn to draw by scratching away the light and leaving the shadows behind instead. It seems a perfect representation of the SNF, as is the fact that this is a walking – and drawing – tour. You’ll get to bring these creations home too.

28. Draw it Alive (Tagtool workshop) by VJ Suave

National Museum of Singapore, Activity Space, Level 3
27 August: 11.30am-1pm
Admission: $30 per pax (tickets from Sistic)

Singapore Night Festival SNF2016-tagtool

Brazilian artists VJ Suave shows kids and adults how to paint using the Tagtool application, animate their digital drawing and project it in real time. iPads will be provided for participants’ use during the workshop. You’ll get to watch your doodles come to life!

Information:

Dates:
Friday, 19 August and Saturday, 20 August
Friday, 26 August and Saturday, 27 August

Opening hours:
7.30pm-2am

Admission to Singapore Night Festival programmes and installations are free unless otherwise stated

Address: Bras Basah.Bugis Precinct

Click here to view the interactive Singapore Night Festival 2016 map for detailed directions

Website: www.nightfest.sg

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