What is the Singapore Discovery Centre? Is it a museum? A history classroom? An amusement centre? What can we “discover” there? In fact, it is in part all of the above.
Sitting imposingly beside a man-made lake along Upper Jurong Road, Singapore Discovery Centre puts Singapore in the spotlight. Filled with interactive exhibits, it provides an interactive way for people to become a participant in Singapore’s past and gain a view as to how they can shape future.
Singapore Discovery Centre: Look Back, Look Forward
Singapore Discovery Centre went through a renovation in 2020, reopening to the public in October of that year. Among the refreshed exhibits are multi-storey escape rooms and laser tag rooms.
Inside the building, the journey through Singapore Discovery Centre’s main galleries starts at an upward-sloping ramp just beside the entrance doors. Singapore citizens and PRs enjoy free admission to the gallery by simply presenting their identify cards.
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Through The Lens Of Time
The Through the Lens of Time gallery at Singapore Discovery Centre takes visitors on a journey through key moments in Singapore’s history. It recounts historical events such as the pre-colonial era and Singapore during the Japanese Occupation.
At In The Beginnings, set sail on a visual journey as they hear the story of how Singapore came about and grew into a thriving maritime emporium and a British colonial port. The exhibition also features iconic figures such as Sang Nila Utama and others.
The Turning Point offers a glimpse of stories of courage and resilience amid the overwhelming hardships of war. Visitors can learn about the accounts of the war from the survivor’s perspective and there is a short film exploring the horrific war through the eyes of a young girl in the “Days Of Darkness’ section.
It is an emotional journey through our nation’s history.
Resistance And Resilience and Undying Valour drive home the need for resilience in the face of difficulties.
The next section of the exhibition on the second floor of Singapore Discovery Centre is dedicated to Singapore’s fight for independence.
In Head-to-head, visitors can find out about the ambush of Singapore’s soldiers in the dense jungles of Kota Tinggal.
The events of the Konfrontasi, including the bombing of MacDonald House, are also covered, highlighting the perils that Singapore faced.
The Building Our Foundations section remembers milestones in Singapore’s developmental years. Visitors will revisit the tragic event of the 1983 Cable Car tragedy as well as the rescue mission that went along with it. This event was Singapore’s worst civil disaster since the Spyros oil tanker explosion in 1978.
Visitors can then jump in front of a green screen and place themselves back in time to various historic events and try reporting on these milestone events.
One floor below, the Sandbox exhibition area takes us from the past to the present and future.
The first section pay homage to the men and women of the uniformed services.
The room then opens up to a multimedia playground with different interactive stations for visitors to engage in.
At Battlefield Command, visitors can imagine taking charge of an attack helicopter, frigate or tank, or commanding the overall action.
There is also the Situation Room where visitors can put their crisis management skills to the test.
For something less edgy, try the interactive game Trends.
There are also different nooks where visitors can learn quirky and interesting Singapore facts such as the story behind People’s Park Complex.
The exit from Singapore Discovery Centre’s exhibition hall is through a shop.
An interesting thing of note is that the Singapore Discovery Centre shop stocks up a wide variety of table top games like Saboteur.
Singapore Discovery Centre is also home to an XD Theatre. This is a 5D motion experience that integrates motion, special effects, and sound to visuals.
The XD Theatre provides an immersive multi-sensory experience to visitors.
Black Lake: Escape Room and Laser Tag
Spanning 13 rooms across 4 story chapters, visitors can get themselves intertwined in the captivating narrative of the mysterious Black Lake Facility. Named after the iconic lake in Singapore Discovery Centre itself, enter these two facilities and expect one adventure after another!
The Black Lake Laser Battlefield is where visitors can play laser tag in a virtual arena unlike any other. The Singapore Discovery Centre is the first laser tag arena to use cutting-edge revolutionary projection mapping on as large scale a scale as they have to create multiple gameplay scenarios featuring cyborg, extra-terrestrial and post-apocalyptic realms.
Their Escape Room, named Black Lake Facility is also another attraction that will bring levels of fun to all who visit. Currently the largest multi-storey escape room attraction in Singapore, visitors will be faced with many creative puzzles and themes that suit different age groups. The stories are also all interconnected and so be sure to visit them more than once to understand the full story of the mysterious ancient relic in the Black Lake Facility.
The Singapore Discovery Centre also houses a 344-seater cinema in its premises for friends and families to catch the latest blockbuster movies.
Bottle Tree Café
What was once a canteen is now transformed into lifestyle café. Bottle Tree Cafe by Sembawang Eating House Seafood Restaurant offers main tze char-style dishes as well as local kopi and other drinks.
Outside and to the rear of S’pore Discovery Centre is Crossfire Paintball. Open to the public, participants need to be at least 14 years old and advance booking is required.
Sustainability Initiatives at Singapore Discovery Centre
Did you know that to date, the has installed a total of 2,325 solar panels? These can be found on the roof, the lake and also the sheltered walkway of the centre and currently help to offset nearly half of the centre’s electrical consumption.
The floating platform walking trail installed around the solar panels on the lake will allow visitors to view 672 solar panels up-close.
The Singapore Discovery Centre aims to be a “zero energy building” (a building which can produce enough energy on its own to run itself).
Singapore Discovery Centre
Where: 510 Upper Jurong Road, Singapore 638365
You may also be interested in reading about the Singapore Navy Museum, the first service museum to be incorporated into Defence Collective Singapore, the collective of defence-inspired museums in Singapore.