Music, games and more as guests enjoy at Istana Open House

Visitors to the Istana Open House on Labour Day braved a brief downpour in the morning but were rewarded when the sun emerged at 10.30am and the lawns burst into activity.

Children flocked to the face-painting and game booths while adults strolled and took pictures amid upbeat music in the background.

President Halimah Yacob and her husband, Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee, appeared at 11am and walked around the Istana grounds, talking to and taking photos with excited visitors and vendors.

They also watched handbell and band performances, looked at a python and two Indian star tortoises at a Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) booth and visited activity booths by the Lifelong Learning Council.

Titus Neo, 10, who was visiting the Istana for the first time with his parents and younger brother, was excited.

He described the Istana as "grand" and said he enjoyed playing the games and stroking the bearded dragon Tangy, which the WRS brought in.

"I was quite scared at first when I saw it. But it was okay and not that scary," he said.

Teacher Chew Hui Fang, 33, who was having a picnic with two of her friends, her husband and two young daughters, was "pleasantly surprised" whenMadam Halimah stopped to chat with them.

"We just came to enjoy the area and didn't expect to meet the President," she said, adding she would visit the Istana again.

The Istana will be open to the public again this year on Hari Raya Puasa (June 15), a week and a half before National Day (July 29) and on Deepavali (Nov 6).

Team Singapore