The Straits Times 25 April 2008 – THE labour movement has a public holiday. So do each of Singapore’s major religions. So why not one for families?
The chairman of the National Family Council floated that idea yesterday during a media conference, when he announced that May 24 would be the inaugural Family Day Out.
Although Mr Lim Soon Hock made no guarantees, he said that if Singaporeans came forward and participated in the event, ‘at some point in time, we’ll lobby for (a public holiday)’.
Family Day Out, to be held on the fourth Saturday each May, is meant to provide a platform for families to spend time together and build strong bonds.
To celebrate the day, 15,000 free rides on the Singapore Flyer, Singapore Ducktours, Hippotours and Rhinotours will be given out. Each ride costs between $16 and $33 on regular days.
Those who are interested have to answer a simple question on www.nationalfamilycelebrations.sg
To qualify for the free tickets, families must go with a child aged below 13 or an adult above 55.
Families can also visit the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and Jurong BirdPark at a discounted rate. For every two paying adults, one child can enter free.
Housewife Donna Cheng, 33, whose family went on a preview of the free Ducktour yesterday, said she was keen on the idea of Family Day Out.
‘There are a lot of logistics to get the family out. With more activities planned, we can just take the kids there. It takes the thinking out of it,’ said the mother of two.
She also added that going out as a family of five was generally quite costly: ‘An attraction costs about $20 a person and for five, that’s $100, not including meals.’
National Family Week, which was established in 1985, will also be rebranded the National Family Celebrations (NFC), which will feature a host of activities for the family.
‘National Family Week was a misnomer,’ said Mr Lim, who co-chairs the NFC 2008 organising committee. ‘It’s been a month-long campaign for years, so we’re using the opportunity to rejuvenate the campaign and take it to a higher level.’