Incorporate enjoyable family bonding this long weekend!
As 2012 draws to a close, Singaporeans can rejoice in the fact that not only is the Mayan doomsday apocalypse false, there are a whopping 5 long weekends to look forward to in 2013! The Ministry of Manpower has marked 11 days as public holidays and 5 of these holidays fall on a Sunday, Friday or a Monday resulting in 5 long weekends for 2013!
The public holidays which produce a long weekend are Chinese New Year, Good Friday, Vesak Day, National Day and Deepavali. Furthermore, since New Year’s Day and Hari Raya Haji fall on a Tuesday, another 2 long weekends can be created if you choose to apply leave on the Monday before the public holiday. The Asian Parent recommends 5 things for you to engage in some family bonding to do so as to make 2013 an enjoyable and fun-filled experience for everyone!
The 5 long weekends of 2013:
Chinese New Year: 10th and 11th February (Sunday and Monday)
Good Friday: 29th March (Friday)
Vesak Day: 24th May (Friday)
National Day: 9th August (Friday)
Deepavali: 3rd November (Sunday)
Family bonding suggestion – 1) Istana Open House
While the public is usually forbidden from visiting the Istana, the Istana will opens its doors to the public 5 days annually. The Istana is usually opened on the second day of Chinese New Year and the actual days of Deepavali, Hari Raya Puasa, Labour Day and National Day. Parents should take the opportunity to bring their families to the Istana to partake in a myriad of activities and create some quality family-bonding time. Visitors can take a stroll through the beautiful Istana grounds and enjoy the spectacular scenery with their families.
Visitors also take a tour for just $2 inside the Istana building itself where precious gifts from other countries will be on display. Families can also organise a picnic in the Istana or enjoy some of the dance performances that will be on happening. There are numerous photo opportunities for visitors who can take a photo with the Istana Presidential Guards, the many animals on display such as parrots, swans and ponies and if you are lucky, you might even be able to snap a photo of the President himself, Dr Tony Tan! Best thing is, there is no admission fee for Singaporeans or permanent residents and only a small charge of $1 for tourists. Parents should however take note that the Istana is usually very crowded during the Istana Open House so you must be prepared to queue for quite some time first before getting inside.
Family bonding suggestion – 2) Take a holiday!
Singaporeans are known to have very hectic lifestyles and it is not often that one has the opportunity to embark on a holiday. The 5 long weekends in 2013 are however, practically screaming at you to go on a vacation! Take this chance to bring your family overseas to relax, chill out and just enjoy each other’s company. Furthermore, it is always advisable to plan your vacation early so as to be able to enjoy better deals.
Soak up with the family during one of those long weekends!
Family bonding suggestion – 3) Book a chalet!
Instead of going overseas to enjoy a holiday, Singaporeans can simply book a chalet and create their own local holiday! Simply invite all of your friends and family and if everyone chips in, you will barely even notice the cost. Chalets offer you the chance to celebrate the holidays with your friends and family and offer everyone the opportunity to catch up with one another. There are numerous chalets available in Singapore depending on your budget and requirements but bear in mind that popular chalets often sell out quickly. So get in touch with your friends and families immediately and start planning early in order to enjoy your long weekend to its full potential.
Family bonding suggestion – 4) Visit all the tourist attractions.
Image source: iStock
Singapore is increasingly becoming a popular tourist spot and it is easy to see why. There are numerous tourist attractions available catering to all age groups from the classic attractions like the Singapore Zoo and Botanic Gardens to the newer ones like Universal Studios and Gardens by the Bay. So if your kids haven’t had the opportunity to visit these star attractions, the long weekends in 2013 give you the perfect opportunity to bring your kids out and have an awesome time!
Family bonding suggestion – 5) Get in touch with the Arts!
It’s always nice to expose your children to the artistic side of Singapore once in a while since they are probably bombarded with maths and science in school. The long weekends provide the perfect opportunity for you to get your children in touch with the Arts. Bring your kids to view exhibits in museums such as the Asian Civilisation Museum or the Singapore Art Museum. Alternatively, book a show through SISTIC to check out the many shows on offer catered to kids during the public holidays. These include ‘KIDSFEST 2013: ROOM ON THE BROOM’ or ‘INCANTO’ the magic show during Chinese New Year. Just remember to lookout for anymore upcoming shows during the long weekends of 2013 to make it an enjoyable weekend for the whole family.
Hope you enjoyed our suggestion on family activities to do during those long weekends!
Feel free to read more articles on family bonding:
Making time for your family
Eating together as a family
52 Weekend Places of Family FUN in Singapore!