Skip the malls, and head for the park. Held at Esplanade Park from May 18 to June 2, this year’s Singapore Arts Festival Village will host plenty of free activities for all.

Besides the live music and dance line-up, here are five key festival events to look forward to:

Singapore Arts Festival 2012: Flux

1. Spot centaurs a-roaming at the park
It’s definitely not a sight to be missed: be sure to keep an eye out for two “centaurs” on the festival grounds. At 8pm from May 18 to 23, Théâtre du Centaure’s Flux will see a pair of performers will roaming about the village on two large and majestic horses.

2. Walk in twos during this 1-hour “sound walk”
Let your ears be your guide: plug on your earphones and listen to the sounds of the city with An Umbrella for Two, a walk conducted by French arts collective Espaces Sonores.

Make your way around City Hall just a bit differently on this hour-long trek. You’ll be asked to carry an umbrella and share the MP3 player with a friend; it contains a sound recording that will lead you in and out of malls, through the station and other sights about the area.

Do note that you’ll need to pre-register to join this walk; simply visit the info booth at the festival village to find out more.

3. Visit a cafe with dancing waiters  
Bridge Cafe Project at Singapore Arts Festival VillageSit down and have your cup of coffee or ice cream; only to be abruptly interrupted by dancing waiters. You’ll enjoy the interlude, we assure you.

While these hijinks have actually been pre-rehearsed, it’s still good fun to be surrounded by these entertaining waiters.

Through this Bridge Cafe Project, an elderly group of waiters start out lip-syncing and dancing to tunes like “We are the Champions” and other anthemic tracks, with their younger colleagues joining the fray moving to the beat of chart-topping club hits.

They start their song and dance numbers every 20 minutes, so you know where to go for a coffee break.

4. Join the kids
This time, the kids take charge: they’ll sing, dance, share ghost stories with you at the Kids Arts Village. Meet at the Rainbow Canopy on Fridays and Saturdays, where a sprightly group of children will take you through classic horror stories and brand new tales of their own.

Designs by Tiramisuzi at Public Garden, Singapore Arts Festival 20125. Shop at a weekend artisanal flea market
Find unique handmade buys at this flea market every weekend during the Singapore Arts Festival.

If you missed past events by The Public Garden, be cheered to hear that they’ll be hosting this flea market at the Esplanade Bridge, so expect to see plenty of creative knick-knacks by Singapore and international artists.

Featured on the left: Designs by Tiramisuzi at the Public Garden.

This year’s Festival Village is held at Esplanade Park The Singapore Arts Festival 2012 runs from May 18 to June 2, between 4pm to 1am. Visit www.singaporeartsfest.com for more information.