Aug 18, 2016

Top Picks of Singapore Night Festival 2016 for Families

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For the next 2 weekends, there is a perfect excuse for kids to stay up late! That's when one of the monkies' (and mine) favourite festivals, Singapore Night Festival 2016, returns for the ninth year.

Held over two weekends of 19 & 20 August, and 26 & 27 August 2016 (7.30pm to 2am). the Singapore Night Festival brings a nocturnal extravaganza right in the heart of the heritage district of the Bras Basah.Bugis precinct.

Scattered at different spots of the precinct, this year's festival celebrates the passion of creation with this year’s theme, Inventions and Innovation. Join the revelry as science fiction and fantasy intertwine in spectacular outdoor performances, music bands, dance troupes, amazing art installations and of course the highlight of the festival, the light installations transforming facades of various Museums into wallpaper of mesmerising lights.

With so many performances and installations to catch at this year's festival, here are my top picks for Singapore Night Festival 2016 that families with kids should never miss.

To make things simpler, know that the Singapore Night Festival is essentially divided into 5 zones:

Zone 1: National Museum of Singapore (Main festival zone)
Zone 2: Armenian Street (Dance parties, Experimental performances & Light installations)
Zone 3: Cathay Green, SOTA & Prinsep Street (Ticketed local performances at Cathay Green, & Night Buskers)
Zone 4: Festival Village (SMU Campus grounds with local bands, flea market and food kiosks)
Zone 5: Singapore Art Museum, Queen Street, Waterloo Street & National Design Centre (Artistic performances & Light installations)


The Wheel House
by Acrojou (United Kingdom)
Date: 19 and 20 August 2016
Time: 8pm – 8.25pm, 9.25pm – 9.50pm, 10.50pm – 11.15pm
Venue: National Museum of Singapore Mainground

A “tender, post-apocalyptic love story”, The Wheel House is a unique, rolling acrobatic theatre show, which unfolds inside and around a stunning circular home as it travels with the audience walking alongside.

The enchanting story is set in a gently comic dystopian future at a time where survival depends on sharp eyes, quick hands and, above all, friendship. Join these traveller-gatherers on the road to nowhere: treading lightly, enduring quietly and always moving onwards.

Into Pulsar
by Ryf Zaini (Singapore)
Date: 19 August – 2 October 2016
Time: 19, 20, 26, 27 August, 10am – 2am | 21 to 25 August, 10am – 7pm
Venue: Level 1, Rotunda, National Museum of Singapore

Into Pulsar investigates the evolution of the wheel—the invention responsible for land mobility since its inception before 3500 BCE. Into Pulsar is juxtaposed with elements of the bicycle, its motorised successor and technological advancements in the two-wheeled domain, and initiates a dialogue between the inventions of the past and the cutting-edge developments of today.

The installation was still in the midst of being set up during the preview but from what I understand, visitors will be able to activate the coloured lighting in the structure by pedalling the bicycle, tricycle and hand-cranked device. Almost clockwork-like, the pedalling then further activates the gears, sprockets and the wheels fitted at the top of the structure. Kids will dig this, I'm sure!

LeS AquamenS
by Machtiern Company (FR)
Date: 19 Aug & 20 Aug
Time: 8pm - 8.30pm, 9.30pm - 10pm, 11pm - 11.30pm
Venue: Roving locations - 8pm - 8.30pm (National Museum of Singapore to SOTA to SAM) | 9.30pm - 10pm (Festival Village at SMU) | 11pm - 11.30pm (Armenian Street to National Museum of Singapore)

An absurd, poetic and disturbing image of two men whose heads are stuck inside a jar of swimming goldfish. They wander about town, questioning passers-by who thus become participants in this comical yet disconcerting act. Dressed in suits, they could be ordinary tourists if not for the bowl around their heads, rendering communication next to impossible. The question asked is a fundamental one – how do we connect with each other when barriers are up?

FunCycling II
by BIKES 4 FUN (Singapore)
Date: 19, 20. 26, 27 August 2016 
Time: 7.30pm – 2am
Venue: Concourse, Level 1, National Museum of Singapore

Come and see how bicycles can be used for so much more than just cycling, as Bikes 4 Fun explores the limitless possibilities of these traditional two-wheeled machines! Participants are invited to interact with the modified bicycles in an installation that guarantees you will never again underestimate the potential of the ordinary.

Young Inventors Lair
Date: 19, 20, 26, 27 August 2016 
Time: 7.30pm – 11pm, last admission at 10.30pm
Venue: The Canyon, Basement, National Museum of Singapore

Come show off your flair for invention with these simple craft activities suited for children. Kids will learn how to make some simple inventions from basic craft materials. Participants get to bring their craft items home as a souvenir of the Singapore Night Festival 2016 and perhaps even be inspired to create your own invention! *Children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

by Close-Act (Netherlands)
Date: 26 and 27 August 2016
Time: 9.45pm – 10.15pm, 11.30pm – 12am
Venue: National Museum of Singapore Front Lawn

Only happening on the weekend of 26 & 27 Aug, this is one performance kids should not miss... especially if they love prehistoric animals! Invasion is an unforgettable, moving street spectacle that immerses the audience in a magical atmosphere. A mythical world comes alive with large animals roving among the public and a prehistoric bird flying overhead.

by Groupe LAPS (France)
Date: 19 - 27 Aug 2016
Time: 7.30pm – 2am (19, 20, 26, 27 Aug) | 7.30pm – 11pm (21 – 25 Aug)
Venue: National Museum of Singapore Façade

The centrepiece of Singapore Night Festival 2016, KEYFRAMES offers narration in the city – urban stories where bodies and their movements play main roles upon the stately National Museum of Singapore facade.

Part animation and part moving sculpture, the LED figures and their routine imbue static buildings with energy and excitement... complete with its retro gaming soundtrack.


Singapore Night Festival at the Peranakan Museum
Date: 19, 20, 26, 27 August 2016
Time: 6pm – 2am
Venue: Armenian Street

Explore the Peranakan Museum after hours with your family and friends while you enjoy ‘inventions and innovation’ at the Singapore Night Festival. Be sure to visit our special exhibition Nyonya Needlework: Beadwork and Embroidery in the Peranakan World.

The Bloc Party @ Armenian Street
Date: 19, 20, 26, 27 August 2016
Time: 7.30pm – 2am
Venue: Armenian Street

The Bloc Party @ Armenian Street will be THE party to be at during the Singapore Night Festival 2016. Come explore the coming together of an assortment of electrifying programmes at the Armenian Street ranging from motorcycle convoys to a selection of back-to-back music acts called Isms & Schisms presented by The Substation. This year, visitors to The Bloc Party @ Armenian Street are set for a multi-disciplined treat.

On the first weekend, listen out for the deep rumbles of the motorcycle convoy led by Harley Davidson Singapore, hold your own in a light saber battle by FightSaber Singapore, and dance to the beats of roving percussion band Rhythm de Passion. Then, return on the second weekend for the acapella tunes of Vocal XTC, and watch Main Wayang at the Main Stage on Armenian Street brought to you by Peranakan Museum.

by Max Pagel & Jonathan Hwang
Date: 19 - 27 August 2016
Time: 7.30pm - 2am (19, 20, 26 and 27 Aug) | 7.30pm – 11pm (21 – 25 Aug)
Venue: Armenian Church

:Samara reflects on the duality of progress and sacrifice. What are we willing to give up in order to advance? Sometimes we regret accepting the cost of progress and try to recreate past experiences that have been lost forever.

Inspired by the loss of the artist's favourite tree, :Samara is an interactive illuminated tree sculpture created to give closure to a lost space. :Samara invites us to reflect on the authenticity of using modern technology to recreate what we lose in our fast-changing environment.

by VJ SUAVE (Brazil)
Date: 26 and 27 August 2016
Time: 7.30pm – 2am
Venue: Roving - 7.30pm – 8.15 pm: National Museum of Singapore to PoMo | 9.00 pm – 9.45 pm: PoMo to National Design Centre | 10.45 pm – 11.30pm: National Design Centre to Armenian Street

Be mesmerised by characters flying and running across buildings and open spaces in the city. Mixing animated stories with real life, a tricycle beaming animated stories traverses open spaces, lighting the surrounding buildings, trees and sidewalks, adding a playful interactivity with the public as the artists manipulate video in real time. 

Let’s Celebrate
by Close-Act (Netherlands)
Date: 26 and 27 August 2016
Time: 8pm – 8.30pm
Venue: Armenian Street

Be treated to a parade of drummers in silver costumes on stilts and fire performers bearing hand flares, in this celebration to honour and welcome positive spirits into our world. 


by Sweet Tooth by CAKE (Singapore)
Date: 19, 20, 26, 27 August 2016
Time: 6pm – 8pm, 8.30pm – 10.30pm, 11pm – 1am
Venue: Cathay Green (field opposite The Cathay)
Prices: Standard $16 | Concession (Students (full time, with valid student pass issued by enrolled institution), senior citizen (60yrsand above, with valid identity pass showing proof of age), NSF (with valid 11B pass) $13
*Tickets are available for purchase from 27 July onwards via SISTIC or at the door.

The House of Curiosities is an event featuring performance, activities and more. Based on the storyline of The Mechanical Heart, it is a story of adventure, curious man-made machines and the wonderful capacity of the human mind and spirit to discover and invent.

Professor Chambers is a celebrated explorer and inventor. With his son Christopher, he builds a time machine that takes them on an expedition to find crystal caves in the subterranean depths. On the journey back, a monstrous octopus attacks them, injures Christopher and escapes. The devious octopus is a man-made contraption, but who is behind it? Find out in this exhilarating performance.

As an added bonus, there is a playground set-up within the performing grounds for kids too!

REVOLUTION – Arts Busk 2016
by PoMo
Date: 19, 20, 26 and 27 August 2016
Time: 7pm –10pm
Venue: PoMo Walkway @ 1 Selegie Road

PoMo is proud to present REVOLUTION – Arts Busk 2016. Immerse yourself in this steampunk-inspired event filled with fun activities! Enjoy free snacks while appreciating street performances, or hop around the Makers Market featuring more than 20 stalls with locally crafted design products.

Programme Schedule:

Intune Music Performance
19, 20, 26 and 27 August 2016 | 7pm – 8pm
This special four-night gig will kickstart the event with local bands/singers shining under the moonlit street of PoMo.

Drumstuck Studios Performance
19 and 20 August 2016 | 8pm – 9pm
Drumstruck Studios will charge up the atmosphere by the PoMo Walkway with their solo drum performances!

Cirque The Cathay Roving LED Light Twirlers
Date: 19 – 21 August 2016, 26 – 28 August 2016 
Time: 8.30pm – 9pm, 9.30pm – 10pm 
Venue: The Cathay

Be spellbound by the spinning lights and stick beats happening outside The Cathay!


If you are hungry, this is the place to be! Eat @ Festival Village will be home to a wide range of delectable delights on 19, 20, 26 & 27 August 2016 between 6pm and 1am.

And while you are there, boogie to the tunes of accomplished buskers too! The stage at the Festival Village will be home to local buskers to strut their stuff.


by NOVAK (United Kingdom)
Date: 19 - 27 Aug 2016
Time: 7.30pm - 2am (19, 20, 26, 27 Aug) | 7.30pm – 11pm (21 – 25 Aug)
Venue: Front Lawn, Singapore Art Museum

Catch the dynamic projection-mapping performance inspired by the world of Victorian novelist Jules Verne, known for his creation of a world reflecting the future of Victorian invention and fantasy. NOVAK reinterprets seven of his novels to create a unique adventure dynamically projection-mapped to fit the façade of SAM, including an exploration of Singapore’s art and culture.

Highlighting the use of invention to enable adventure, the viewer will be taken on a magical adventure through a series of scenes, each depicting a different landscape, relating to the environments that feature so vividly in Verne’s classic novels.

Light Force, Night Falls
by GSM Project (Singapore)
Date: 19 - 27 Aug 2016
Time: 7.30pm - 2am (19, 20, 26, 27 Aug) | 7.30pm – 11pm (21 – 25 Aug)
Venue: Water Feature, National Design Centre

Play on a series of drums to illuminate a waterfall and experience the shimmering light effects created as multi-coloured reflections and refractions dance across the water surface. Combining sensors, lights and the movement of water, this interactive installation explores our creative abilities to enliven and transform our environment through play and self-expression, as sound and movement are translated into dazzling light patterns.

by LiteWerkz (Singapore)
Date: 19 - 27 Aug 2016
Time: 7.30pm - 2am (19, 20, 26, 27 Aug) | 7.30pm – 11pm (21 – 25 Aug)
Venue: Design Gallery 1, National Design Centre

Step through the shower curtains and into a boundless darkness scattered with infinite illuminated bubbles. As a modern-day translation of the classic eureka moment, #showerthoughts evokes the unexpected inspirational moments we often experience when showering. The sensory experience of the space invites visitors to relax as if in a shower and explore the boundless creativity of their inner thoughts and ideas.

The Very Wishing Story – The Waterfalls, the Cave and the Forest
by Very Small Exhibition and Sum Qian Yu (Singapore)
Date: 19 - 27 Aug 2016
Time: 7.30pm - 2am (19, 20, 26, 27 Aug) | 7.30pm – 11pm (21 – 25 Aug)
Venue: Waterloo Centre Artsplace, Supermama @ SAM, National Design Centre

A boy and a girl separately discover a magical marble, which opens up a new world of adventure. This narrative is the basis of the three-part The Very Wishing Story, which transforms Queen Street into a canvas for Night Festival 2016. Featuring a parallel narrative, this three-part experience starts at opposite ends of Queen Street – one at Supermama@SAM (“The Cave”), relating the girl’s journey, another at National Design Centre (“The Forest”), relating the boy’s journey. Both journeys converge at a lighting installation at Waterloo Centre Artsplace (“The Waterfalls”), where the characters meet other children in the story and create a magical world together.

Camping Wonderland
by Campers’ Corner
Date: 19, 20, 26 and 27 August 2016
Time: 6pm – 10pm
Venue: 51 Waterloo Street #01-01 Singapore 187969

Camping Wonderland, an interactive light display by Campers’ Corner Outfitters Pte Ltd. Kick back and enjoy the wonderful feeling of camping at this year’s Singapore Night Festival. Grab a mat and sit down, or better yet, lie down underneath lit tent displays. Marvel at the LED light displays, or rest on hammocks along the corridors and soak in the festive atmosphere.

READY TO HEAD DOWN TO SINGAPORE NIGHT FESTIVAL 2016? HANG ON... Here are a few tips for parents who are thinking of bringing the kiddos down:

- If you have limited time, stay at Zone 1 where the bulk of kid-friendly activities are. There are lots of activities happening within National Museum of Singapore too, so pop in for some air-conditioned comfort should it get too hot outside.

- The Festival Village (Zone 4) is directly opposite National Museum, which makes it an ideal location to pick up some food and drinks. Musical performances happen regularly at the Festival Village stage too.

- A lot of the light installations and wall projection shows are also happening on the Sundays of 21 and 28 Aug, as well as on weekdays. If you wish to avoid the crowds, it makes sense to head down at those dates. Do check the schedule beforehand though - most of them start at 7.30pm and end at 11pm

- For past editions, we parked at the SMU car park which charges $3 per entry after 6pm. The location is pretty central to the main bulk of the activities happening at the Night Festival.

At Singapore Night Festival 2016, see a different side of the precinct and partake in the night activities that have been specially curated to be a feast for your senses and to keep everyone past their bedtime. Plus, most of it are FREE!

Useful Information

Singapore Night Festival 2016
19, 20, 26 & 27 Aug 2016
7.30pm - 2am
Various locations in Bras Basah.Bugis Precinct
FREE Admission
Stay updated at Bras Basah.Bugis' Facebook page

*For an interactive map that showcases all of the above highlights and more, visit

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Anonymous said...

Typo in ur date "2013".

Kelvin Ang said...


Thanks for pointing it out! Have made the amendment.

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