Singapore is packed with things to do with little ones. But sometimes it can feel overwhelming knowing where to go. Especially when it’s a super hot day and you don’t feel like braving the heat and getting hot and sweaty, or it’s tipping it down with rain. Below is a list of places I love to take Marlowe, aged three, and Roo, 10 months, to. There’s a selection of indoor and outdoor suggestions so take your pick and delve into what’s on offer!
I N D O O R
The National Gallery. Oh where would I be without the National Gallery? The Keppel Centre for Art Education is a free, dedicated space within the gallery with some lovely interactive activities for children. Fantastic for a rainy day or if you want to hang out somewhere with air con. We usually spend an hour exploring all the different sections and then go for a coffee at Gallery & Co, a cafe on the ground floor with loads of highchairs and a children’s menu. The prices are really reasonable too! Cost saving tip- I’ve taken a packed lunch for Marlowe and Roo before and bought a coffee for myself and they don’t seem to mind. After that we’ll take a wander along the quay, a short walk away from the gallery, and go river boat spotting.
What I love? The interactive art projections that encourage children to colour in cultural drawings on a computer which then get projected up onto the wall. It’s always fun to spot which one they drew!
Sandy Dandy This is a cutesy (think bunting, pastel colours) indoor play area complete with a pretend play caravan, mini trampoline and a large sandpit with slide on the third floor of the Forum Shopping Mall. It costs $20/child (babes in arms go free) so can get pricey if you’re paying for more than one, but for the occasional treat it can make a lovely morning or post afternoon nap activity.
What I love? Unlike some indoor play areas in Sinagpore, Sandy Dandy is small and enclosed and it has a lovely cafe where you have a clear view of your child playing. So no hopping up every two seconds to check where they are. Take a friend and enjoy a guilt-free catch up!
Power Kids Gym We’ve loved the one hour free play at Power Kids Gym where the little ones can go mad. It’s right next to Cold Storage so you can nip in to do a spot of grocery shopping after your play session too!
What I love? Air con, enclosed space, the section with tables and chairs so you can bring a packed lunch. And shhh, I hear the gym also provides babysitting services for 3+ year olds for $25/hour. Pretty good!
O U T D O O R
The Botanic Gardens. My favourite entrance at the moment is at the Nassim Gate Visitor Centre (it’s the entrance you go to for the Shaw Symphony Stage). If you walk up towards the Halia restaurant, there’s a lovely shaded loop of a board walk called “The Rainforest Walk” which we’ve recently discovered. And as the name suggests, it’s just like walking through a rainforest. We’ve spotted monitor lizards, squirrels and a whole range of birds. The walk takes around 20 minutes with benches for rest stops and is perfect for strollers and scooters. It brings you out near a little ice cream shop which I can never seem to distract Marlowe from.
What I love? That it’s a short loop in the shade! Perfect for a post nap walk. And there’s a lovely bench located beneath a large tree about half way through the rainforest walk which is perfect for picnics. We’ve even taken a couple of rugs and laid them out on the timber!
The Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden in the Botanic Gardens. This is the largest children’s garden in Asia and is absolutely superb! It has lots of activities for children- a play park, sandpit, swinging suspension bridge, treehouse, a water play area… and much more. Completely stroller friendly and it’s all free!
What I love? The cutesy cafe Food For Tots! So you can spend a couple of hours in the children’s garden before popping for a spot of lunch. Reasonable prices and there’s a small enclosed play area too!
Palawan Pirate Ship, Sentosa. Ahoy there! This pirate-themed water play area makes for a fantastic day out. Gushing fountains, slippery slides and splashing water. And best of all, admission is free.
What I love? The buckets of water that come splashing down from the pirate ship.
Singapore zoo/ night safari
Children’s Garden at Gardens by the Bay. Free and great for water play and interactive activities.
The Southern Ridges– lovely canopy walks and pram friendly. Just make sure you go early morning or late afternoon when it’s not too hot.
Coastes beach bar, Sentosa. What’s great about Coastes are the picnic tables on the sand (perfect for little ones itching to build sandcastles) and you are a stone’s throw away from the sea for some pre/post dinner swimming. A lot of the beach bars on Sentosa are a bit of a walk from the sea so it’s lovely to have the opportunity to be right on the shoreline. And the menu has pizza on which our children love. Our perfect time to go is around 3.30pm on a Sunday. We usually stay all afternoon into the early evening, and finish off our stay with a moon-lit swim.
What I love? If you stay long enough, you’ll catch the fireworks from the nearby Wings of Time display. What better way to end a lovely afternoon on the beach?
Jurong Bird Park. Top tip: pay the little extra to get the tram around the park. You can hop on and off. And don’t forget your swimwear- there’s a great water play area inside the park.