How to explore Singapore with kids
Puja Disha Bharwani | TRAVEL IDEAS | April 06, 2015

Singapore is known for its cleanliness, green stretches and fantastic infrastructure, all of which make it ideal for families and children. From stroller-friendly access to parks and museums, convenient nursing and diaper changing rooms in most malls to play areas in restaurants—it’s like the city was made for parents who roam the streets with their kids in tow. In addition to easy navigation, Singapore offers unique adventure sports, amusement parks and carefully selected museum exhibits for children of various ages. To me, one of the most important things about Singapore is its safety and relatively low crime rate. This is a major pull factor for families who are looking for a secure place to travel with their little ones. As a mother of two kids—ages two and five—I feel fortunate to live in such a child-friendly environment. Sometimes, I take this haven for granted, until I travel outside of it! If you’re a parent to toddlers looking at Singapore as your next holiday destination, here are some itineraries I’ve compiled for kids of different age groups to make the most of your time in the Lion City.


When to go: Morning/afternoon
Where: Port Of Lost Wonder (POLW) at Palawan Beach, Sentosa Island
What to do: The Pirate-themed water park is equipped with water cannons and slides—all the makings of a wild adventure. Have one of Portbelly’s picnic baskets for lunch and then head to Curiosity Island to familiarise your kids with plants, animals and birds. Admission charges (only applicable for children under 12, accompanying adults aren’t charged) are S$13 (Rs605) on weekdays and S$20 (Rs930) on weekends.

When to go: Evening
Where: Robertson Quay
What to do: After freshening up, take a stroll down one of Singapore’s most iconic river walks, dotted with characteristic bridges, cafés, restaurants and bars. Once you’ve built up an appetite, hit Super Loco for delicious Mexican street food that your kids will love.

When to go: Morning
Where: The Children’s Garden at Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore.

The Gardens by the Bay look even more stunning at night. Photo: Martin Westlake

What to do: A tree house at a height of 24.5ft and interactive water tunnels are the main attractions here, with a separate play area for toddlers. Stop by Café Crema for some gourmet coffee and a decadent slice of cake. Later, take a walk through the Supertree Grove on the 22m high, 128m-long OCBC Skyway for stunning views of the Gardens and the Marina Bay skyline. Grab lunch at one of the many options in the Gardens before your next stop.

When to go: Afternoon
Where: S.E.A. Aquarium, Resorts World Sentosa

S.E.A. Aquarium, Singapore.

Treat yourself to a dramatic spectacle of manta rays and other creatures.

What to do: If you have a stroller and are pressed for time, this particular activity can be completed in about 90 minutes on weekdays. Attractions at this massive, breathtaking aquarium include Shark Seas—a shark colony, Ocean Journeys—a stunning jellyfish display and Open Ocean—a dramatic spectacle of manta rays. Adult tickets are priced at S$50 (Rs2,330), and kids from 4 to 12 enter for S$37 (Rs1,720).

When to go: Late afternoon
Where: BOOKABURRA at Forum Galleria
What to do: Browse through a vast collection of children’s books at this specialist bookstore in Forum Galleria. The mall also houses a Toys R’ Us, a Stride Rite for children’s shoes and an Early Learning Centre for educational toys and supplies for arts and crafts.

When to go: Evening
Where: Benjamin Brown’s at Forum Galleria
What to do: Settle down at Benjamin Brown’s Bistro, where the meat is organic, and bread, freshly baked. Opt for the Sticky Date Pudding or the Valrhona Chocolate Tart for the perfect ending to a fun day.

When to go: Morning
Where: Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore Botanic Gardens.

There’s plenty to do at the Singapore Botanic Gardens: scooter, cycle or walk around, or just gawk at giant trees.

What to do: Scooter, cycle or walk through the gardens, gawk at giant trees—some of which look like they have seen pre-historic times—feed the fish or play ball with your kids. Afterwards, walk down to Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar for kiddie favourites such as mac and cheese. They have high chairs for toddlers and plenty of space for strollers. It’s free entry, and the park is open from 5am to midnight.

When to go: Afternoon
Where: Jurong Bird Park

Jurong Bird Park.

Visit the Jurong Bird Park simply for the flamingos and the surreal setting. Photo: 123Rf

What to do: Among my favourites at this park are the flamingos and Pelican Cove. Their surreal setting seems more natural than manmade. Plan your visit to coincide with bird shows such as the High Flyers—featuring parrots, hornbills and macaws—to get the most out of your experience.

When to go: Evening
Where: Marina Bay Waterfront

Marina Bay Waterfront, Singapore.

Hit any of the several vantage points for panoramic views of Singapore. Photo: 123Rf

What to do: Catch a water taxi from Robertson Quay to Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade and end your day with a walk around the immaculate landscaped area. There is a small water play area for kids at Gardens by the Bay and plenty of dining options with a panoramic view of the city.


When to go: Morning
Where: Universal Studios at RWS

Universal Studios, Singapore.

Enter the world of your favourite movies, with a variety of rides themed on them.

What to do: Experience various rides and say hello to characters such as Optimus Prime of the Transformers and Sesame Street’s Big Bird. The park is compact enough to be fully explored in one day. Buy a day pass online to avoid long queues. Adult passes cost S$98 (Rs4,560), and it’s S$72 (Rs3,350) for kids under 12. Strollers are available on rent.

When to go: Afternoon
Where: Universal Studios at RWS

Sci-Fi City, Singapore.

Sci-Fi City is where you’ll find the Transformers ride and the Battlestar Galactica Cylon.

What to do: After lunch, head to Shrek’s Far Far Away Land for a 4-D show and various kiddie rides. For slightly older children, Sci-Fi City is home to the famous Transformers ride and the Battlestar Galactica Cylon, on which your legs are suspended from the track as the coaster speeds through inversions and vertical loops. Adult passes are priced at S$98 (Rs4,560), while it’s S$72 (Rs3,350) for kids from 4 to 12.

When to go: Evening
Where: Pizzeria Mozza at Marina Bay Sands
What to do: Go to world-famous chef Mario Batali’s Pizzeria Mozza for the ultimate comfort food. But drop by at the Kenko Reflexology & Fish Spa, located nearby, for a pre-dinner foot massage. The kids can allow the Garra rufa fish to nibble on their toes—definitely an unforgettable experience! Reservations for both places are a must.

When to go: Morning
Where: Gallop Stable at Bukit Timah
What to do: Gallop Stable is one of the largest public riding spaces in Singapore, with over 140 horses and ponies. Choose between two types of sessions: group or private. Experienced riders can ask about getting a horse for the day. Pony rides start at S$60 (Rs2,790) for 20 minutes.

When to go: Afternoon
Where: PasarBella at The Grandstand
What to do: PasarBella—an artisan farmer’s market at The Grandstand—is a great place to grab a fresh, organic meal. Spread over 30,000sqft, it features food stalls from around the world. The weekend sees a larger selection of vendors to choose from.

When to go: Evening
Where: Zoom Park Singapore
What to do: Zoom Park—an indoor trampoline park—consists of 10 ‘activity zones’ spread over an area of 20,000sqft. Choose from trampolines, dodgeball and basketball or go rock climbing. Throwing yourself onto a bed of foam from the top of the rock wall is a major thrill for kids. For experienced jumpers, there is a special area for flipping. Rates start at S$10 (Rs465) for 30 minutes. Anti-slip socks, available for S$3 (Rs140) per pair, are compulsory for jumpers. Advance bookings are recommended.

When to go: Night
Where: Dempsey Hill

Chilli crab, Singapore.

Satisfy those chilli crab cravings at Jumbo Seafood or Long Beach Seafood.

What to do: A trip to Singapore is not complete without some fresh seafood. Pick from Jumbo Seafood or Long Beach Seafood—both at Dempsey Hill—to satisfy those chilli or pepper crab cravings. Both establishments are known for their authentic flavours. The waiters at Long Beach will even de-shell your crabs for you, on request.

When to go: Morning
Where: Forest Adventure at Bedok Reservoir
What to do: Book in advance and start your day at an obstacle course especially designed for children from ages 5—10. With 16 crossings through hanging ropes and a zip-line, it’s fun and helps instil a sense of adventure. Children are harnessed to a safety line and released only on landing. For kids, it’s S$42 (Rs1,955) per hour and S$13 (Rs605) for an additional round. Accompanying adults pay S$26 (Rs1,210).

When to go: Afternoon
Where: River Safari

River Safari Cruise, Singapore.

Visiting the river-themed park? The River Safari Cruise is a must.

What to do: Stroll through the river-themed park, which is home to 6,000 animals, including resident giant pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia. Explore the various river adventures and ride aboard the River Safari Cruise. For adults, it’s S$33 (Rs1,535), and S$21 (Rs975) for kids aged 3 to 12.

When to go: Evening
Where: Ngee Ann City
What to do: Choose between Chinese restaurants Crystal Jade and Imperial Treasure for an authentic meal. Then, visit Japanese bookstore Kinokuniya (in the same shopping complex) for a wide variety of kids’ books, with adequate space for browsing. Squeeze in some retail therapy for yourself in the mall afterwards.


When to go: Morning
Where: Adventure Cove Waterpark in Sentosa

Adventure Cove, Singapore.

Water slides, wave and plunge pools, snorkelling—perfect for an aqua adventure.

What to do: Adventure Cove Waterpark is home to Southeast-Asia’s first hydro-magnetic coaster water slide and some really fancy wave pools. You will need a whole day to get the most from this park. Attractions include the Pipeline Plunge and the Tidal Twister to keep your adrenaline levels pumping. Follow them up with a calming activity such as snorkelling over a colourful coral reef with thousands of fish. A day pass costs S$48 (Rs2,230) for adults and S$25 (Rs1,160) for children aged 4 to 12. Express passes cost an additional S$13 (Rs605) per person at non-peak hours and S$26 (Rs1,210) per person at peak hours.

When to go: Evening
Where: Quayside Isle at Sentosa Cove
What to do: Hop onto the internal Sentosa shuttle bus service to Quayside Isle. Pick from dining options such as Picotin Express or Kith. Stop for some fresh gelato at Note di Sicilia.

When to go: Morning
Where: Kinetics Climbing at Paya Lebar
What to do: Kinetics has a spacious rock climbing area that has been designed for top-rope climbing. It’s a safe, clean, family-friendly environment that caters to all levels of climbers. Courses and clinics are conducted by certified, experienced instructors. Charges are S$48 (Rs2,230) for adults and S$44 (Rs2,050) for kids. Best to book in advance.

When to go: Afternoon
Where: ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands

ArtScience Museum, Singapore.

This grand museum hosts some carefully selected and well-planned exhibitions. Photo: Vincent Chong

What to do: The ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands plays host to some carefully selected and well-planned exhibitions. Currently, the Da Vinci: Shaping the Future exhibit is on till May 2015. One of the highlights of their style of exhibitions is the little interactive games, craft and construction areas that are interspersed with the displays. For adults, rates are S$33 (Rs1,535), and for kids it’s S$20 (Rs930). Family packages are also available.

When to go: Evening
Where: Din Tai Fung at MBS Shoppes
What to do: The casual Taiwanese dumpling chain is known for their signature Xiao Long Baos (steamed pork and soup dumplings). Make sure they have cooled down before putting them whole in your mouth. The restaurant has an open kitchen, so you and the kids can watch as their army of chefs tug and knead each ball of heaven into 18 intricate folds of perfection.

When to go: Morning
Where: Singapore Science Centre
What to do: There are multiple exhibitions on simultaneously at the Science Centre. so you will need to choose between exhibits or visit more than once. The Science Center also houses an IMAX theatre. Check the website for admission charges of various exhibits. Basic entry is S$16 (Rs745) for adults and S$10 (Rs465) for children.

When to go: Afternoon
Where: Madame Tussauds at Sentosa Island

Madame Tussauds, Singapore.

You know where to strike a pose with Brangelina in Singapore. Photo: Facebook page of Madame Tussauds Singapore

What to do: The attractions at the newly opened Madame Tussauds have been divided into different categories: Sports, Music, Film and A-list. Have your kids pose with Brad Pitt, Michael Jackson or Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, amongst the local and international icons on display. The entry fee is S$46 (Rs2,140) for adults and S$33 (Rs1,535) for children aged 3 to 12.

When to go: Evening
Where: Jamie’s Italian at VivoCity

Jamie's Italian, Singapore.

Wild mushroom and smoked mozzarella risotto at Jamie’s Italian.

What to do: If Jamie Oliver’s recipes or cookbooks haven’t entered your kitchen yet, they might after you visit this restaurant. This concept restaurant was started in Oxford only four years ago, and Jamie’s Italian now has more than 30 branches worldwide. Charming rustic furniture, a herb garden, and a delectable menu offering well-prepared cocktails and Jamie’s signature style of cooking form an experience both you and the kids will enjoy. Reservations are an absolute must and should preferably be made online, well in advance.


When to go: All day
Where: Marine Life Park at RWS

Marine Life Park, Singapore.

Gorgeous marine life at the world’s largest oceanarium.

What to do: The world’s largest oceanarium is a good start to deep-sea scuba diving for those who have never done it before. At the Marine Life Park, the environment is calm, controlled and totally safe, with instructors guiding small groups underwater. Choose from the Sea Trek Adventure, the Shark Encounter, the Ray Bay or the Open Ocean Dive—this one is supposed to resemble the real ocean the most. Prices start at S$50 (Rs2,330). The minimum age for all activities is 12 years.

When to go: Morning
Where: Forest Adventure at Bedok Reservoir
What to do: Book in advance and start your day at the Grand Course, an advanced obstacle course for anyone above 12 years of age. However, those under 18 must be supervised by an adult. The obstacle course consists of four sites with bridges, trapezes, unstable logs and a big Tarzan swing, known as the ‘leap of faith’. Each site ends with a long zip-line that passes over the reservoir. Rates are S$56 (Rs2,605) for kids and S$58 (Rs2,700) for adults.

When to go: Afternoon
Where: PS. Cafe Petit at Martin Road
What to do: A great place to head to for a laidback brunch, PS. Cafe does gourmet versions of classics. The truffle shoestring fries and the egg and bacon bunwich are delicious, as are their desserts and juices.

When to go: Late afternoon/Evening
Where: Esplanade Theatre
What to do: Introduce the magic of the arts to your kids by picking from one of many performances at Singapore’s world class Esplanade Theatre. Besides, there are plenty of post-performance meal options by the bay. One of them is the Makasutra Gluttons Bay for its hawker-style food, such as chicken wings and fried carrot cake, in an alfresco setting. Check the website for more details, and book in advance.

When to go: Morning
Where: iFLY at Siloso Beachfront, Sentosa

iFLY, Singapore.

The indoor wind tunnel simulator at iFLY gives you the feeling of falling from 12,000ft.

What to do: Spend your morning seeking thrills and adventure in Sentosa. iFLY simulates skydiving through an indoor wind tunnel simulator, giving you the feeling of falling from a height of 12,000ft. Walk-in rates start at S$132 (Rs6,140), and it’s S$106 (Rs4,930) for super off-peak hours, for two dives.

When to go: Afternoon
Where: MegaZip Adventure Park at Imbiah Hill Road, Sentosa Island

MegaZip Adventure Park, Singapore.

Zip-line swinging at its most extreme.

What to do: This is zip-line swinging at its most extreme. An exhilarating 450m line takes you 245ft above ground level at high speeds, across the jungle and the sea, to finally land you on Siloso beach. A minimum height and weight requirement applies to some of the other activities here, such as the ParaJump and the ClimbMax. Tickets for single sports start at S$25 (Rs1,160).

When to go: Late afternoon
Where: Wave House Sentosa

Wave House Sentosa, Singapore.

Surfing on your mind? Look no further than Wave House Sentosa.

What to do: If your kids are keen on surfing in Singapore, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place for it than Wave House Sentosa. Their crowning jewel—the FlowBarrel wave— is a mammoth sheet wave which reaches a height of 10ft at its highest level. A basic version—the Double Flowrider—is a sheet of continuous flowing water that’s better suited for kids and beginners. The riding surface is made up of a special proprietary membrane designed to absorb impacts, greatly reducing risk of injury. After they’ve had enough of the waves, grab a bite to eat—food and refreshment options abound. Hourly sessions on the Double Flowrider cost S$46 (Rs2,140) on weekdays and S$53 (Rs2,465) on weekends. A half-hour session on the FlowBarrel costs S$40 (Rs1,860). Check the website for ongoing deals and promotional offers before you go.

When to go: Evening
Where: National Museum of Singapore

National Museum of Singapore.

Currently, the museum is hosting an exhibition on the 700 years of Singapore. Photo: National Heritage Board

What to do: Catch Singapura: 700 years, an exhibition (on till August 2015) featuring the journey of Singapore’s transformation from a humble fishing village to the modern city it is today. This display walks you through the history of Singapore in its defining moments. Museum tickets cost S$4 (Rs185) for students and S$8 (Rs370) for adults.