SINGAPORE - The Istana grounds will be open to the public on Sunday, Aug 18, 2013, from 8am to 6pm, in celebration of Hari Raya Puasa and National Day.
Several family-oriented activities have been lined up for visitors. Among them are the On-The-Spot Art Competition jointly organised by the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and the President's Office from 8.30am to 1.30pm (please visit SAM's website at www.singaporeartmuseum.sg for more information) and the Arts and Heritage Village comprising activity booths set up by 11 museums and institutions.
Visitors will also be entertained by performances by the Singapore Armed Forces' Music and Drama Company, Maha Bodhi School and East Spring Secondary School Symphonic Bands and volunteer groups from the People's Association (PA).
Members of the public can also tour selected function rooms in the Istana main building to view a display of gifts presented to the President and the Prime Minister by foreign dignitaries. Guided tours of the Istana main building will be conducted by volunteers from the Preservation of Monuments Board.
For the first time, visitors can learn about designated landmarks on the Istana ground via a self-guided tour using the "Istana Garden Walk" phone application that can be downloaded from the Apple Store or the Google Play Store.
Entry to the Istana ground is free for Singaporeans and Singapore permanent residents. Others visitors are required to pay an entrance fee of $1 per person. Entrance to the Istana ground is via the main gate at Orchard Road. The nearest MRT station is Dhoby Ghaut.
Proceeds from the entrance fees collected will be donated to charity.
In the event of unhealthy air quality due to haze, all scheduled programmes and activities for the Istana Open House will be cancelled though the Istana ground will remain open to visitors. The Istana Open House will be cancelled if air quality is in the very unhealthy range. Information on the status of the Istana Open House will be provided on the Istana Website at www.istana.gov.sg.