Singapore is big and noisy, but there is a lot of fun to be had as a family visiting Singapore. I have made a list of three fun things to do in Singapore with kids based on our own trip to this beautiful futuristic island in Southeast Asia.
1: Sentosa Island
Sentosa Island is a 500-acre island dedicated to making all your dreams (only the ones fit for daylight) come true. Sentosa Island is “Asia’s Leading Leisure Destination” – or so it says on the official website, and Sentosa Development Corporation, the brain behind the park, has in its own words created a “vibrant island resort for business and leisure”. In other words – if you have money and you can think it, you can buy it: Clap a dolphin, do a bungy jump, skydive in the worlds biggest indoor wind tunnel, visit Universal Studios, Madame Tussauds, Sentosa 4D AdventureLand or S.E.A Aquarium which is home to more than 100.000 sea animals. If you are into high tech, you can buy tickets to see “Crane Dance“, a love story between two cranes (??!!) told through sound, light and water effects, or you can bring your kids to MOSH! where you create fantasy worlds in Singapore’s first interactive edutainment park (I love it when hardworking marketing people come up with words as “edutainment”. Because, you know, if my kids are doing something “edutaining”, it must be good. My kids also only eat edu(c)andy, drink edu(w)ater and watch edu(v)isuals). If all the excitement tires you out, you can visit one of three beaches that all have a sharply defined target-group. You can go to the family-friendly beach Palawan Beach (her you can listen to parents argue, change shitty diapers and stare enviously over at Siloso Beach – the beach for people without stretch marks and house mortgages). At Siloso Beach you can flirt, drink drinks and play ball with all the other 20-year-olds. Finally, you can also choose to spread out your towel on Tanjong Beach,which is “a favorite with guests who treasure its tranquility and solitude”. God, that sounds good when you are struggling at Palawan Beach!
Well, we ended up on Palawan Beach, as you might have guessed, and it is actually a very nice beach. It is clean, the facilities are good and the playground is fun. I just have one word of warning – there can be stonefish hiding in the water, and stings from a stonefish are both potentially lethal and extremely painful. It would be wise to bring some sort of swimming shoes to the kids, if they want to play in the water.
As you might have noticed, I’m not really sure how I feel about gigantic theme-parks. To me, it is at the same time impressive and thought-provoking how skilled the people behind Sentosa Island have been at creating the perfect consumption-paradise. It speaks directly to the “buy-center” in every child and adults brain. Nothing is random, and I’m sure all sorts of analyses have mapped out your route before you even know it yourself.
Well, I buried my skepticism, and the day after we went to the beach, off we were again to Sentosa Island. This time to visit Adventure Cove Waterpark. It is easy to drown skepticism in cold water when the temperatures just keep going up, up, up. And I have to say – Adventure Cove Waterpark was fun.
2: Adventure Cove Waterpark
At the waterpark, you can try high-speed water slides, drift on a lazy river, snorkel with 20,000 tropical fish over a colorful reef, wade among rays and much more. The park is, as everything else in Singapore, clean, in good condition and well-run. There is something to do for kids of all ages, and we personally enjoyed the wave pool. In the park, you can borrow swim vests for the kids, and the whole place feels like a very safe place for children to be in. The price is a bit steep, but we really enjoyed our day. Check out opening hours and ticket prices here: Adventure Cove Waterpark
How to get to Sentosa Island
There are a lot of different ways you can get to Sentosa Island from Singapore’s city center. You can either go by car, cable car, on foot or by public transportation. Find info on prices and tickets here: How to get to Sentosa Island.
3: Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is a futuristic nature park “where wonder blooms”, according to the official website. And yes, it really does! The park is all about botanic, biodiversity and green-tech all wrapped up in some amazing architecture that makes your jaw drop. In the park, you find Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden, super Bay Central Garden, supertrees and some of the worlds biggest greenhouses. The vision for the park is to have a “world of gardens for all to own, enjoy and cherish”, and Gardens by the Bay is part of the government’s long-term goal to raise the quality of life for the citizens of Singapore by giving them access to green areas and “natural life” in the city.
Even if you are not interested in botanic, Gardens by the Bay is a “must-see”. If not for anything else – then for the supertrees. The trees tower between 25m/82ft and 50m/164ft into the air, are covered in more than 162,900 plants such as bromeliads, orchids, ferns and tropical flowering, and at night the canopies come to life with sound and light. If you are not afraid of heights, you can take a walk along the 22m/72ft-high OCBC Skyway, a 128m/419ft-metre aerial walkway that connects two of the supertrees. Tickets to the skywalk cost $8 for adults and $4 for children, which is not all that much, but the queue was really long, so we decided against it. As far as I can see there is no getting around the queue like buying tickets in advance, so if you want to see Gardens by the Bay from the sky there is nothing to do but bite the bullet, buy the tickets and get in line.
Bay South Garden
If you want to explore more of the gardens you can go to Bay South Garden, the largest of the three gardens at 54ha/130ac. The garden aims to showcase the best of tropical horticulture and garden artistry, and in it, you find two of the worlds biggest greenhouses – the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest.
The climate in the Flower Dome is mild and dry and features plants found in the Mediterranean and other semi-arid tropical regions. Cloud Forest replicates the cool moist conditions found in tropical mountain regions between 1000m/3300ft and 3000m/9800 ft above sea level, found in South-East Asia, Middle- and South America.
We chose not to enter the greenhouses, but they looked extremely impressive from the outside. Instead of going all in on botanic (our kids would have punished us severely) we took a stroll around the gardens, and the atmosphere is really nice and relaxed. You don’t have to be afraid of stepping on rare plants, which is really nice when you bring kids.
Far East Organization Children’s Garden
Close to Cloud Forest find the Far East Organization Children’s Garden, which was a very welcome sight for us in the sweltering heat. Our kids were getting impatient, and Jes had sweat beads the size of chicken eggs on his forehead when we stumbled upon the little oasis called Far East Organization Children’s Garden. In the garden, you can pull out your swimwear and play around on a small but greatly made “water-playground”. It was just pure heaven to cool of after a full day walking around in the gardens.
3. Little India
Little India in Singapore is often described as one of the noisiest and dirtiest but also most colorful areas in Singapore. That was very much our experience as well. The smell can at times make your nose hair fall out, but Little India is so “strange” and unlike anything else in Singapore, that it becomes an attraction. Our children, being Scandinavian children, were taken aback by the many colors (we like white in Scandinavia), sounds and smells in Little India, and I am so happy we brought them to see something so different from their own world.
In Little India, we visited the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple at Serangoon Road, one of the oldest temples in Singapore. The front of the temple is covered in colorful and intricate statues, and inside you find “shrines” dedicated to different Hindu gods. We were fortunate enough to be at the temple when a ceremony took place, and it was practically impossible to drag our boys out of the temple. Oh – and the questions we got afterward: Why do their gods look like that, how is their god different than ours, why do they play all those instruments???
So – there you have it: A list of three fun things to do in Singapore with kids. I hope you found the information useful. If you need more inspiration go to this website: Visit Singapore.
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