NDP 2018 is one of the best National Day Parades

NDP 2018 is one of the best NDPs! The best NDP could still be SG50, when LKY Singapore’s founding Father passed on. (Visit our NDP blogs here)

We have star powers like Joanna Dong, the usual fighter jets, but it was the poignant story-telling which touched our hearts.

The whole NDP has a Cinematic effect, human to human connections, stories of how we overcome hardships and strive for our Goals. As the Singapore story slowly unfolds infront of us, there is a segment for everyone.

NDP 2018 Moments for us  (YouTube link)

Let us share our favourite moments from NDP 2018.

We had not been successful with balloting (for 6 pax) for the last 8 NDPS. But we were very lucky to be gifted the NDP tickets, thanks to Daddy’s previous Accord engagement.

Watching National Day Parade together as a family at the venue is an awesome feeling. It is different from watching behind a television screen. You need to be at the venue to feel the raw emotions.

NDP 2018
NDP 2018

For NDP 2018, We noticed songs were more youthful, and we did not know most of the bands. But our teenagers liked the renditions.

As the bands led us through the favourite NDP songs through the years, we heard beatboxing too.

Before we proceed, NDP 2018’s theme is “We Are Singapore”.

Image credit Ndp.org.sg

 

Let our story unfold on the big screen (50m wide!), we noticed the LCD “panels” can swing and reveal “Arts Museum” in the background too, interesting (feels like a transparent mirror).

 

18 tote bag designs, crafted by special needs students. This can be a collecter item 🙂

..with the usual goodies and NDP props.

Families all deck in Red and White. Although this is only a “rehearsal”, it is as real as it can get 🙂

 

Introducing the mascots from yesterday, how many do you remember?

Funny host Gurmit was seriously late for Singapore’s biggest party. For some reason, he met Mr Brown and hitchhike in his pickup, help Macik with groceries until IMM (Jurong), and was eventually lifted by some muscled seniors to reach NDP at the Floating Platform (also known as NS Square).

If not for the Red Lions and Navy Divers, Gurmit’s zodiac boat entry should be the most stylish.

 

We love this placard gimmick, just listen to command Up/Down and the audience will form “We ♥ SG”!

Families love flipping the placards 🙂

 

NDP 2018 is the Naval divers’ first free fall event in National Day Parade. How did they jump and land with 50kg of load and flippers! The way they land in the water looks graceful and slow motion too.

The Red Lions has been jumping since 1989! And their wing-suit antics raised the bar, imagine soaring 200kmh+ through the air!

 

 

Above All, RSAF’s Heron is providing a sustain oversight for us.

As audience HooHah and Oh Oh Oh, our elite soldiers gathered to salute the spectators.

Military tattoo is a usual crowd favourite. Not easy for band members to march and perform at the same time, and the MP’s rifle-swinging drills are SPOT ON!

Commands for the contingents.

Many families were clearly enjoying the atmosphere.


 

The traditional National Flag flypast and us singing Majulah Singapura 🙂   

Some other interesting sights at NDP 2018.

“Simulation” MP, DPM and even “Mr Goh” paying their roles. Audience like to cat call and disturb the part-time ministers haha. A gentle reminder to pack our rubbish before leaving the parade venue.

We did noticed there are some spectators along Benjamin Sheares bridge, hope they get a bird’s eye view of the NDP performance, and fireworks too.

 

 

As Defence Minister inspect the contingents, our RSAF assets flew overhead and 25 Pounder rock the skyline.

In case you are wondering why every air assets are displayed, it is RSAF50 #RSAF50. Singapore Air Force celebrates its 50th anniversary 🙂

Come 11, 12Aug, catch more planes over Marina Barrage!

As the jets soared pass, the last beam of Sun set behind CBD. We got ready our special light bulbs and heavy Techno blasted “Majulah Singapura”, quite COOL! especially with the special effects lightings.

There are no Army military convoys at NDP 2018, we only have a few trucks to pickup the Samsui women 🙂

Our pioneers build our towns and industries. These are the folks who left their countries and sink their roots in Singapore.

Watching the scenes unfold before us, we sometimes wonder is the theatre set Under the Sea, or in the Galaxy above us?

It does not Matter, just use our imagination and enjoy the scene.

Wow, got Joanna Dong too, NDP 2018 got the concert FEEL 🙂

Our Hopes Our Aspirations floated from Singapore River.

 

Tears well up in my eyes when I heard 93 years old Uncle Tan playing the violin. It felt so good and I was super proud to be a Singaporean, kids did not see my tears under the blue hour.

Secretly, I am wondering whether our kids understand how much Singapore has gone through to reach this stage? So much sacrifices from our pioneers.

Sharing the same stage was Jazz musician Jeremy Monteiro, and a beautiful backdrop.

 

Themes like Home and Family kept coming across, from the patriotic songs too. Kit Chan’s (Home) always raised our spirits during sing-along sessions.

We all know about NDP 2018 theme song (link), watch the MTV played out on the Floating Platform stage. (Composer Charlie Lim and Creative Director is Boo Junfeng)

Honour the everyday heroes! Really touching when we see how everyday Singaporeans overcome their own challenges, and reach out to help each other. Quoting the Samsui Ah-Ma ” 有饭吃饭有粥吃粥”.

 

 

The volunteers did a good job, kudos! They were waving Good Nights and shouting “Thank you” to all the spectators 🙂

 

We hope your family will enjoy the story telling behind NDP 2018 too 🙂

Singapore is only 53 years old, we can be proud of our achievements, and we must strive for higher peaks. Do not leave anyone behind.

Additional tips:

-No1 tip, do not drive to Marina Square and Flyer area. We got stuck in a jam (in carpark) and along Raffles Boulevard  for 1 hour, and this was after we had our dinner! You may wish to park at Kallang Stadium and take the train to NDP venue.

-Do visit our previous NDP experiences here http://sengkangbabies.com/tag/ndp

-How to take Fireworks photos tips

–Visit NDP Website and Fanpage for the latest updates

-Baby and toddler will need individual tickets too, you will not be able to bring your stroller into the venue

-For those with young kids, do not rush to exit after after the event. Stay for 20 minutes  before you make your way out. The stairways around Floating Platform can be quite narrow and congested.

Flowers Galore SGF 2018

Singapore Garden Festival SGF 2018 is running till 03 Aug. Gardens By The Bay have been transformed into a magical wonderland.

(Do read our 2016 SGF experience here)

Video: Let us share our favourite features from SGF 2018. This blog post is photos intensive.

1st tip : Families with young kids,  you must visit “Learning garden and Secret Garden (edibles) ” .

Flower Field

SGF 2018
SGF 2018

The sunflowers are a huge magnet for families, get ready your wefies. The grasshopper, bees and ladybird are out in force to share their stories again.

Look closer at the meadow and you will see real bees buzzing around too, they are as excited as the humans 🙂

Meadows are not complete without mouse and some strawman. Look around, there are many gnomes hiding and playing around the meadow.

(Photo below) These stretch of corridor is for new house owners, you will get plenty of ideas to decorate your Balcony. Some designs are ingenious but would require a green finger to nurture and maintain.

From every corner of SGF 2018, look up and you will see some high rise buildings, enveloped by greens and rich flora.  Truly, Singapore is a City in a Garden.

The green lawn was inviting and we saw some folks sitting and resting on the greens 🙂

Floral Designing Competition

Award winning art decorations and landscaping are featured here. Mind boggling details and intricacies.

Although some are very abstract, one need not an artist to appreciate the artwork and decorations, many stuffs triggered our curiosity.

Bottom right plant looks like Durian! Thorny too.

So many test tubes, each tube is different, each one holding a life. When they start to sway due to wind draft, quite a picturesque and calming sight.

 

Kids trying to be abstract :p

Photo below conjures image of “motion and strength” to me, the flowers are blooming through the parquet floor!

 

Love The rotating Eye. I thought it was static until I saw petals dropping inside the slow-rotating cylinder.

So mesmerising and intriguing! Go closer and we realised sclera is made of 滿天星 Man Tian Xing! The Eye feature literally pulled us closer to inspect.

The mini buttons flowers look like Emoticons to me, each one with a different expression.

In general, everyone has different opinions and viewpoints, and the beautiful plants really stretch our imagination.

Besides the main designated exhibition areas, creative displays are dotted across Gardens by the Bay.

We would not mind getting lost in the forest garden.

This passageway near to the SuperTree Grove makes my heart flutters,  over-arching branches have form a green “corridor”.

Some SGF 2018 events and exhibitions are under the Grove.

.. flowers everywhere,  from orchids to hibiscus to “trumpets” . Kids know Orchids are Singapore’s National Flower, and they learned that Hibiscus is Malaysia’s.

Landscape Design Challenge

If you have a garden, would you be inspired to craft a Green identity?

Community Gardening

Community “farmers and gardeners” proudly showcase their produce and efforts 🙂

And we saw some huge plants and melons around Community corner, I am impressed that Singapore can grow so much crops (in view of our land constraint). Kids understood that future padi, vegetables might all be housed in vertical farms, where climate, nutrients and water will all be AI automatically controlled.

Kids: Imagine a farmer who does not work under the sun 🙂

Singapore needs to self sustain in producing some greens for our own consumption, majority of our vegetables and fruits are all imported.

   Learning Garden

First tip, grab the booklet for some challenges. Let the kids solve the clues hidden around the “Learning Garden”.

Learn about the birds and bees, pollination and even seed dispersal in the natural world.

Interesting to know that Nparks are able to pair birds and insects to plants 🙂 Quite a fruitful relationship between flora and fauna.

Flowers need fertilisation and they have ovaries too (thank you bees and butterflies for helping to spread flowers’ DNA)

Kids know about different birds nests. Some nests can be quite elaborate. Do visit our own HDB sunbird story (blog post)

(picture below) These bamboos samples can actually house a bee too.  Cute animation to illustrate how insects live.

 

Secret Gardens (Edibles)

Smell, touch, and ask more questions.

Seriously, strawberries and grapes in the tropics! This was a first for many parents too. Innovation means Tropical Singapore can grow all sorts of fruits.

Beyond the exhibition ares, visitors were admiring beautifully curated plant species. You can spot concentration of flowers, just like SGF’s ambassadors, welcoming us along the walkways.

Vanda Valley

Just behind Meadow entrance, lies Vanda Valley. All kinds of colourful Orchids ready to greet visitors. Violet, purple, pink, orange and many more colours.

We spent 3 hours exploring Singapore Gardens Festival SGF 2018 searching for our favourite exhibition and flowers, and we could only cover 60% of the exhibition grounds (SGF 2018 is on 10 hectares of land!)

Kids enjoying their buggy ride. Ride is FOC if you have a SGF 2018 ticket.

Fantasy Garden

We left the best for last. We knew from experience that “Fantasy Garden” is always bewildering, just like walking into a fairy tale setting. Ok, another excuse is we wanted to enjoy the aircon after a long walk.

Spotted a sunset and reflection too, but it is extremely difficult to capture the contrast in our camera.

African Thunder must be the most spectacular, the lightings and visual special effects.

Do take note that your ticket entitles you to one or two domes (Flower Dome and Cloud Forest). You might be interested to know that Flower Dome is running “Orchid Extravaganza” concurrently till 22 Aug. More details here.

We would like to thanks Nparks and Gardens by the Bay for the interesting invite. We had a fun family afternoon together, appreciating the green culture and landscape. It is an eye opening trip for parents too.

We did not shop at Marketplace, but we believed it will attract many families too.

Additional Details :

-SGF 2018 runs from 21Jul to 03Aug, from 10am to 10pm
-We would recommend minimum 2 to 4 hours stay
-SGF 2018 tickets start from $12 + and $6 + for adult and child respectfully
-Buy your tickets online to avoid the queues
-SuperTree Glove (GPS 1.281590, 103.863710)
-Ticket categories would bundle one or two Domes inclusive, if you are going to Cloud Forest, do visit during the “mist release
-Car park will always be crowded (main events are near to Meadows)
*SGF 2018 website https://www.singaporegardenfestival.com

Our photos cannot do justice to the creative landscaping, you must view the exhibits upfront to appreciate the awesome Flowers displays.

More photos uploaded to our Facebook album (link)
Our Gardens by the Bays posts are all documented here.