Free guided tours, craft activities and a concert in the park at Heritage Festival 2023


If trees could talk, the ones at our Botanic Gardens would probably have lots to say. After all, the grand dame of parks is home to a 150-year-old Tembusu tree (as seen on our $5 note), making it the only living object to witness all the highs and lows of modern Singapore history. 

Similarly, Fort Canning Park is another one of our historic green spaces. Before its conversion into a fort in 1860, the hill was a site for royal palaces of ancient Malay rulers going back to the 14th century.  

As two of Singapore’s oldest parks, Fort Canning and the Botanic Gardens are guardians of our heritage and the perfect places to discover the stories that shaped Singapore. Therefore, why not head down to the parks this weekend (July 1, 2) and join in the festivities at the Heritage Festival? For convenience, there will be a complimentary shuttle bus service between the two sites from 9 am to 6 pm.  

Besides guided tours, educational workshops and craft activities for the little ones, one can also indulge in some Glastonbury vibes at Fort Canning Green on Saturday. Part of the NParks Concert Series, Rockestra®! will feature live performances by local bands of our favourite retro dance hits. And the best part – admission is free! So let your hair down and boogie the night away.  

Remembering our green heritage  

In addition to the festivities, remember to check out the Heritage Museum at the Botanic Gardens, which has reopened after a three-month refurbishment. Packed with new installations and interactive exhibits, the museum traces the various milestones of the Botanic Gardens’ 164-year history – from its origin as a scientific garden developed by Sir Stamford Raffles himself to its growth into a botanical institution that is also our first UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

 Sharing his excitement in a Facebook post, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee noted that the museum is a fitting tribute to the pioneers who laid the foundation for the Gardens to be a leading institution for tropical botany and a green space well-loved by Singaporeans.  

Moreover, added the Minister, the refreshed museum is timely as Singapore commemorates 60 years of greening this year.  

It began in 1963 when our founding Prime Minister planted a Mempat tree at Farrer Circus. But more than just routine gardening, Mr Lee sowed a vision. One that saw Singapore transform into a lush, green metropolis that is more garden than a city.  

And throughout our greening efforts, the Botanic Gardens have played a crucial role, helping to introduce plants of horticultural and botanical interest. Today, the century-old garden is more than just an attraction and an educational centre. It is our source of pride, joy and a vehicle that drives our environmental development to help us become stewards of nature. 

Photo Source: NParks/Desmond Lee/Singapore Botanic Gardens via Facebook