Monday 18 December 2017

Visiting Singapore with the family

Visiting Singapore with the family and young children

We've recently returned from a holiday to Asia, during which we spent a week in Singapore. My husband and I visited Singapore ten years ago, and while we were there I spent a great deal of time hoping that one day I'd be able to return with children, as I saw so many things that I knew a child would love. So it was a wonderful experience for me to share it with the children. It was also amazing just how much Singapore had changed in ten years, for much of the time I couldn't even recognise it! So here are some of our favourite attractions in Singapore for young children.

Sentosa Island

There is so much to do on Sentosa Island that you could spend days here. We gave the theme parks a miss as we had spent two days at Hong Kong Disneyland the week before, and instead concentrated on some of the smaller attractions. We bought a ticket which enabled us to visit five attractions and managed to squeeze them all into one day. We visited the S.E.A. Aquarium (which counts as two visits), the Trick Eye Museum, the Merlion and KidZania Singapore.

The children loved all the places that we visited. The Trick Eye Museum was a lot of fun, the Aquarium was amazing and we chose the Merlion because it was the one thing that we could remember from our previous visit, fortunately the children enjoyed it too!

Trick Eye Museum, Sentosa, Singapore

Their favourite attraction was KidZania, and our ticket allowed us to spend two hours there. We went right at the end of the day on a weekday in term time. During the day it had been very busy with school groups, but later on they had all gone and it was almost empty. The children were able to try out lots of different things without queuing, even flying the plane which is the most popular activity!

KidZania Singapore

You can see a little video of our day at Sentosa Island here and all the fun that we had!

Singapore Zoo and Night Safari

Singapore Zoo was another place that we had fond memories of from our first visit, and we weren't disappointed. Singapore Zoo really is fabulous, the animal enclosures are so well designed that you really feel as though you are amongst the animals.

Singapore Zoo and Night Safari

The Night Safari is a separate zoo that opens after sunset, and after taking a guided tram ride around the zoo you can follow a series of walking tours to see the animals and how they behave after dark. It's an amazing experience, and you can see a video of our day at the zoo below.

The Science Centre Singapore

We spent a whole day at the Science Centre Singapore and there was so much to do. As well as the science museum itself there is also the indoor Snow Dome and Kids Stop, a brilliant indoor play centre for young children.

Singapore Science Centre

You can see a video showing some of our highlights below:

Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay is a brilliant place to visit. During the day you can explore the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest, conservatories filled with all sorts of plants from around the world. The Supertrees are enormous tree sculptures which come alive at night in the Garden Rhapsody light and sound show, and while you pay to enter the conservatories you can walk around the rest of the area for free, meaning you can come back at different times of the day to enjoy it fully.

Singapore city view by night

The domes are packed with interesting sights. The Flower Dome was all decorated for Halloween when we visited, and they were just starting to change into the Christmas displays. We timed our visit to the Cloud Forest with the 'misting' which takes place every couple of hours, make sure that you are at the very top when it starts and then and you can walk down through the clouds.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

There is a brilliant playground outside with lots of play equipment and also a massive water play area and seating for picnics, we spent ages here!

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, water play area

You can see a video of our visit here, with a good look inside both conservatories:

Little India and Chinatown

For a flavour of some of the different cultures that make up Singapore, visiting Little India and Chinatown is a must.

Little India, Singapore

There are several large temples within easy walking distance of each other, including the Buddha Tooth Temple and the Sri Mariamman Temple, so you can spend a few hours exploring and experiencing some really beautiful and interesting sights. The children have visited temples in the UK but it really was quite a different experienc efor them and they found it all fascinating. There are also lots of markets to look around selling both familiar and unfamiliar things, definitely worth a visit.

Temple in Singapore

Singapore Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens are huge, so if you are visiting with children it's best to aim for the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden, where we spent most of our time. There are play areas, a maze, a pond with terrapins and lots to see and do. It's also free to visit - bonus!

Botanic Gardens, Singapore

Art and Science Museum

We visited the Art and Science Museum on our final day before a late flight and it was perfect. On the day that we visited children were free which did make it better value, as the exhibition when we visited - Future World - was very much aimed at children. There were a series of interactive art installations - a room full of bean bags and surrounded with screens showing crashing waves, a room with projections that made you feel like you were flying, an enclosure filled with huge light up bouncy balls. There was a brilliant area where you could design your own buildings and vehicles, sea creatures and other animals, then scan them into a computer to watch them appear projected onto the walls as part of a city or seascape, the children spent ages here. Then they could take their drawings and have them turned into a printable paper craft for them to assemble at home.

Art and Science Museum, Singapore

The Pinnacle@Duxton

There are several places that you can visit for high rise views across the city, but if you are looking for a cheaper and much less touristy option I can recommend The Pinnacle @ Duxton. It's a residential complex formed of seven towers, and the 50th storey sky bridge is open to both residents and the public. You just need to take your EZ Link card and some $6 cash per person to the person at the front desk and they will validate the ticket so that you can go through the gate at the top of the lift.

Pinnacle Tower, Singapore

There is a daily limit to the number of people that can go up but it's not that popular, and when we visited we only saw one other couple. You can walk all the way across the top of the buildings and see across from each side. It's lovely - quiet and peaceful with some nice places to sit and enjoy the views. Just make sure you come back down the way you went in!

View from Pinnacle Tower, Singapore

Spectra Light and Water Show at the Marina Bay Sands

This is a nightly free show that takes place just outside the amazing Marina Bay Sands Hotel. There are two or three shows daily, and a large and comfortable seating area for viewing. The show is a symphony of music, water and light, with projections across jets of water, and it really is fantastic. We watched it several times!

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