Saturday, May 18, 2013

Fun Free Activities For A Friday Night - ZeeloTips

Friday. It's that magical day where the most of us will go to work or school for the last time during the week before heading to a great, although short, weekend. After the last day of work or school for the week, what we want is to finally take a breather because working for 5 days straight is tough to cope. However, don't let that get the better of you because there are some things you can do after work or school on a Friday to help you relax. In this edition of ZeeloTips, I will provide you with some suggestions on all the fun and FREE activities you can carry out on a Friday right after work or school before starting the weekend.

Head to the National Library (Or any Public Library)

The library is a great place to take a breather on a Friday night after school or work. It allows you to read, relax, enjoy the air-con comfort and gain more knowledge. Try visiting the National Library or any public library for that matter. However, it's much better to head to the National Library due to the vast amounts of reading materials available throughout the whole building and some other great features not found at regular public libraries. You can come here to read a variety of reading materials ranging from non-fiction to fiction to magazines and so much more. If you want to gain even more knowledge, head to the upper levels of the building where you get to check out tons of reference books and materials.

The National Library is mainly separated into two libraries. One is the Central Public Library which acts like a regular library with lots of reading materials, roving exhibitions and borrowing facilities. It even has plenty of seats for you to relax and indulge in your reading. The other is the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library which is, obviously, a reference library and it's located on the upper floors. There are tons of categories for you to look through such as the Asian Collection, Singapore Collection and so much more. There is even one floor where it's like a mini museum and another floor, called the Rare Materials Collection, where it's only restricted to people who have special permission. Sometimes, there will also be roving exhibitions outside the Reference Library. Do note that books found in this Reference Library are not for borrowing. If you have borrowed a book from the Central Public Library and want somewhere peaceful to read, you can head over to any of the two outdoor gardens available. A full write-up of the National Library can be found here. This is definitely one of the places to visit on a Friday night thanks to the reading materials for you to browse and read through for your entertainment. Admission is totally FREE.

Visit the Singapore Art Museum

Another place you can visit on a Friday night is the Singapore Art Museum. It's totally free on Friday nights from 6pm all the way to the closing time. Plus, starting from 18 May 2013, most of the National Heritage Board Museums will provide free admission to Singapore citizens and permanent residents. Located at the old St. Joseph's Institution, the Singapore Art Museum is a popular museum among art enthusiasts and artists alike. You get to see a bunch of amazing and beautiful pieces of artwork done by both local and international artists all in a classical building.

Here is an example of a piece of artwork found at the Singapore Art Museum. You can find a lot of these great pieces of artwork here at various parts of the museum. There are all sorts of medium being used such as short films, interactive artworks and the regular but beautiful static artworks. It's a great place to spend the night away and it's a great place to bring your kids (although some artworks may be in appropriate for children) to learn more about art. It's located just right beside the Bras Basah MRT Station on the Circle Line so there is no excuse. If you are an artist and you want some inspiration for some new artwork, the Singapore Art Museum is a great place to do exactly that.

Watch Free Concerts at the Esplanade

The Esplanade Theatres is well known for its wide array of concerts and performing arts performances. Some of them are by local artistes while some are international. However, if you want to spend the Friday night away listening to some great independent music without shelling out expensive tickets, watch the free concerts. They are just as good and talented as the paid ones and best of all, they are free. This is one of my most favourite things to do on a Friday night because I get to watch and listen to talented musicians all in the breezy open air outdoor theatre. Every weekend at around 7 to 11 in the evening, there will be performers performing here at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre in an event called On The Waterfront. It's a great place for families to come together and spend time while listening to great independent music. In the background, you can even see the skyscrapers at Raffles Place and Marina Bay all being lit up at night which contribute to the beautiful night scenery.

If you want a smaller scale performance and air-con, you can visit the Esplanade's Concourse. The Concourse is located near the main entrance of the Esplanade Theatres and it's also another great venue to watch free concerts. Performances are usually held here around 7 in the evening just like the performances at the Outdoor Theatre. However, unlike the one at the Outdoor Theatre, the performances are held here on a daily basis at around the same time. Timings do vary so I recommend you to check the Esplanade's official website to see who will be performing and what time they will be performing. (This also applies to performances held at the Outdoor Theatre). This is such a great way to spend the Friday night away. Listening to great music for free on a Friday night is a totally amazing fun and free activity.

Visit the National Museum

Just like the Singapore Art Museum, the National Museum also grants free admission to everyone every Friday evening. Like what I have mentioned earlier, the National Museum along with some National Heritage Board Museums, will offer free admission to Singapore citizens and permanent residents no matter the admission time starting from 18 May 2013. Back to the topic of the National Museum, this is a great place to learn about the history of Singapore in full detail and it's another great free activity for a Friday night. The National Museum is also located in this classical building although with a little bit of modern architecture mixed together.

The National Museum has tons of exhibits including permanent ones like the Living Galleries and the temporary ones. The museum has great architecture, the exhibits are interactive, it gives you great insights of Singapore and if you visit the Singapore History Museum, you get to learn more about the history of Singapore in greater detail. However, do take note that on Friday evenings, you are only granted free access to the Living Galleries (although this may change soon). If you do come here during the day time on a day other than a Friday, you can visit the Fort Canning Park, formerly known as Bukit Larangan (Forbidden Hill in Malay), a beautiful historical park that's conveniently located just right behind the museum. The National Museum is another great museum to visit on a Friday evening. Or, you can kick it up a notch and visit both the Singapore Art Museum AND the National Museum all on the same Friday night, but do take note that the closing time varies for both museums. A full detailed article of the National Museum can be found by clicking here.

Watch the OCBC Light and Sound Show at Gardens By The Bay

Gardens By The Bay is one of my favourite public parks in Singapore and it's home to a great amount of features and attractions. One example is the OCBC Light and Sound Show at the SuperTree Grove of Gardens By The Bay. In the day time, the SuperTree Grove (as seen in the picture above) already looks beautiful and eye-catching whereas at night, it looks even more beautiful with the lights on. On certain evenings at around 7 plus, there will be a light and sound show whereby the lights found on the SuperTrees (tall and man-made structures made to look like actual trees), will flash and light up like a bunch of spotlights and they will synchronise with the music that's being played.

Personally, I have not seen the actual show so this picture is the best picture I can show you. When the light shows are over, the lights will still be switched on but they will just, so called 'blink'. Only when the show has started, then all the action will start to show up. You can find tons of videos on YouTube showing the light and sound show in motion. Don't worry though, one day I will witness the event, record it with my camera and upload it right here on Frenzeelo for your viewing pleasure. For now though, it's better to watch the show in real life. You can find the showtimes at the official Gardens By The Bay website and if you want to see a full write up of the amazing Gardens By The Bay, click here.

Watch the Marina Bay Sands Wonder Full Show

Recognise this wonderful architectural marvel? It's the Marina Bay Sands, a modern hotel and casino which was established in 2010. Every evening, there will be a light and sound show, similar to the OCBC Light and Sound Show at Gardens By The Bay, called the Wonder Full Show. The laser lights will be in sync with the music being played and there will also be a giant projection screen (something like a hologram) that shows all kinds of videos and imagery. For the finale, there will be bubbles blown from a machine that, you know, blows bubbles which are perfect for the kids.

As you can see, not only will you get some videos and amazing imagery featured in the projection, water fountains will also spout water in sync with the music. It's sort of like a mixture of some holograms, a fountain show, a laser light show and some classical concert all jumbled up into one short 15 minute show. It's another great way to spend the Friday night together and don't forget to bring your family along to watch this awesome free performance. The children will definitely have a great time with the bubbles blown out through the bubble-blowing machines.

All in All

All in all, these are some great ways to spend the Friday night away. If you want to gain more knowledge and entertain yourself, head to the Singapore Art Museum, National Museum or the National Library. If you are interested in listening to great music and watching some cool and high tech laser light shows, visit the OCBC Light and Sound Show at Gardens By The Bay, free concerts at the Esplanade Theatres or the Marina Bay Sands Wonder Full Show. There are many fun ways to end the work week and start the weekend. Furthermore, they are all free (unless otherwise stated). Get your friends, family or you can even visit these places solo if you prefer and have some fun. You have worked for 5 days straight right? Reward yourself by giving yourself a short break through any of these free Friday night activities.

ZeeloTips is a monthly article series whereby I talk about how to make your stay in Singapore a fun one. You can check out previous and future ZeeloTips articles in the ZeeloTips label. If you want to know how to get to these places featured in this edition of ZeeloTips, you can look up the full articles of these places right here on Frenzeelo.

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