Lifestyle

Fill your schedule with these family-friendly weekend activities in Singapore

Have a blast with your loved ones at these cool family-friendly places on the island
 

family activities

Photo: 123rf

Family time is always precious and should always be cherished, but it can be easy to forget what’s important when life is overrun with daily stress, what with work and other adult responsibilities.

So what better day to showcase your love and appreciation for your family than on International Day of Families on May 15? Make an effort to really celebrate them and show your gratitude towards their love and support by carving out some time to be with them meaningfully. After all, without our family, where would we be?

We’ve rustled up some weekend (or weekday!) activities that will be fun for all the family — on the premise you might be working on the day itself.

 

1. Picnic in Singapore Botanic Gardens

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Families with children can head down to the Singapore Botanic Gardens and visit the newly-opened Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden extension! With the new two-hectare extension, the Garden doubles in size to four hectares, making it the largest children’s garden in Asia. It offers attractions and programmes geared towards youngsters up to 14 years old, enabling them to learn about a range of eco-systems._ To celebrate the opening of the extension, we are organising the first Singapore Botanic Gardens Children’s Festival for children to experience the new attractions, and families to enjoy a series of fun-filled activities starting tomorrow (11 Nov) for over two weeks._ Check out our webpage for more info www.nparks.gov.sg/childrensfestival Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance @LawrenceWongST officiated the opening of the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden extension and launched the Children’s Festival this morning.

A post shared by National Parks Board (@nparksbuzz) on

It might sound cliche and perhaps you’ve already done it before, but a real family-friendly day out that doesn’t cost very much is a simple picnic in a park, say at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. This heritage site is a place we all love, thanks to its scenic surroundings, abundance of nature and breezy, green fields that are just perfect for sprawling. So take the gang there for an outdoorsy day, and pack a basket full of yummy treats such as sandwiches, iced tea, biscuits, and perhaps even wine. Don’t forget to bring along some garden games, such as rounders, a frisbee, or a football.

Remember to stop by the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, a spot dedicated to the kiddos with an aim to educate and instill a love for nature in children. It’s a fun space for exploration, adventure and play, with a suspension bridge, a farm, an orchard, tree-houses, and a forest with its own stream and ponds.

At 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569. Visit: https://www.nparks.gov.sg/sbg

 

2. Put your heads together to escape

There are many escape rooms in Singapore and all offer a different, but no less exciting, experience. There’s Trapped Escape Room, The Escape Hunt and The Escape Artist, but we’re recommending new entrant Captivate Escape Rooms because it offers a cool 75-minute session (instead of the usual 60) that will send you and your fambam on a thrilling adrenaline rush. Like the others, you’ll need to work together and utilise everyone’s skills to solve puzzles to ensure you get out of the room within the allotted time frame.

With seven different rooms to choose from, room themes include Kellar’s Magic Emporium, Alien vs Human and CSI (Crime Scene Investigation). Each escape room holds up to 12 people in a team (Murder on the Singapore Express holds a maximum of eight), so if you come from a large family, you can even split into teams and go head to head with each other to see who escapes first.

Once you all resurface, you would have learnt so much about each other, had lots of fun (hopefully) and created special stories that you can regale over and over at gatherings in future.

At #06-28, Singapore Shopping Centre, 190 Clemenceau Avenue, Singapore 239924, tel: 9182 2552. Visit: http://www.captivateescaperooms.com/

 

3. Join the Elephant Parade and paint your own

The Elephant Parade is a social enterprise that runs the world’s largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues. Created by artists and celebrities, each Elephant Parade statue is a unique art piece. The life-size, baby elephant statues are exhibited in international cities and raise awareness for the need of elephant conservation. Sure, you cannot buy the life-size elephants, but you can purchase the limited edition, handcrafted replicas in store, at Haji Lane’s store.

But why not go one step further to both help elephant conservation and get a unique piece of art by painting your own elephant! At just $49 per medium-sized elephant, let your creativity go wild at the painting corner in the store. Fun for both adults and little ones alike, you get to create good memories together and take home a very special creation at the same time.

At 30 Haji Lane, Singapore 189223, tel: 6909 7301. Visit: https://www.elephantparade.com/

 

4. Get cool in Snow City

snow city

Photo: Snow City’s Facebook

There’s no need to travel up to Japan during winter or far West to The Alps for some cold and snow — just head to Jurong East for Singapore’s first indoor snow centre that offers a snow chamber with a sub-zero environment. Divided into five zones, you can enjoy an Arctic snow playground, snow field and snow slide, and even experience what it is like living as an Inuit. Snow City’s famous slide will send you racing down a hair-raising 60 metre long, three-storey high snow slope.  Children also get to meet special characters such as a snowy owl, polar bear and even a husky. Tickets prices are reasonable too — there are one hour and two hour snow sessions at $12 per child / $15 per adult and $18 per child / $25 per adult respectively.

At 21 Jurong Town Hall Road, Singapore 609433, tel: 6560 2306. Visit: http://www.snowcity.com.sg/

 

5. Enjoy a ‘Miraculous’ night show and family dinner out

Did you know Singapore’s cable car is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year? As part of the year-long celebration, One Faber Group has created a brand new multi-media night show called ‘Miraculous’. With two cheeky squirrels at the helm, the show is cast onto a heart-shaped Angsana tree at Arbora — the Mount Faber’s newest restaurant which opened in October 2018. So if you’ve yet to experience Arbora, why not make an evening out of it and take the family out for some dinner to watch the epic sunset views from Mount Faber Peak. Then once bellies are full, turn to the tree to enjoy the Miraculous show.

The new nightly show is complimentary for all cable car riders, diners at Faber Peak and Faber Licence members and runs four times a day at 7:30pm, 8:00pm, 8:30pm and 9:00pm.

At Arbora, Level 2, Faber Peak Singapore, 109 Mount Faber Road, Singapore 099203, tel: 6377 9688. Visit: https://www.onefabergroup.com/miraculous

 

6. Have a purrfect time at the Cat Cafe

If your family adores our furry friends but you don’t yet have any pets of your own, why not check in to the Cat Cafe at Boat Quay for some tasty bakery treats (don’t worry, they’re not made by the cats) and a hot cuppa joe? A minimum time frame of an hour is required to allow the kitties time to warm up to you, and that costs $12. The good thing is you can then stay on for another 30 minutes after that at just $5. Alternatively, book out a three hour slot for your family to fully soak in the feline fun at just $24. The tasty treats and beverages also come in at a decent price, with te cakes from artisanal bakers starting at $3.30 and premium tea and coffee starting at just $2.50.

At Neko no Niwa, 54A Boat Quay (Level 2), Singapore 049843, tel: 6536 5319. Visit: http://www.catcafe.com.sg/cafe-cats/

 

7. Have mega fun at the Mega Adventure Park

If you’re the kind of family that can’t sit still, then Sentosa has a whole host of awesome options for you. But we’re recommending the exhilarating Mega Adventure Park that comprises the MegaClimb, MegaJump, MegaZip and MegaBounce.

MegaZip sits at Imbiah Hill, 75 metres high, and is a fun zip ride that descends down 450 metres towards Sentosa beach, with adrenaline junkies reaching speeds of up to 60kph. The views are just breathtaking — you get to soar above the treetops with a panoramic view of the beach and ocean too. There are three wires running parallel, meaning you can pit against your family members to see who manages to descend the quickest.

As for the MegaClimb and MegaJump, these two are part of the high ropes adventure found within the jungle hilltops of Sentosa. The highest point of the high ropes challenge is 15 metres, which is where you’ll find the MegaJump: Take a leap of faith (with a harness on) and free fall to the floor. Finally, for the little ones in your fam, the MegaBounce is an 8 metres high set of 4 trampolines on the beachfront where children can enjoy some bouncing good fun too. You can purchase tickets for individual activities or a package combining two or three activities if you and your family are daredevils.

At 10A Siloso Beach Walk, Singapore 099008, tel: 6722 3785. Visit: https://www.sentosa.com.sg/explore/attractions/mega-adventure

 

8. Wonderland, ArtScience Museum

art science museum wonderland

Photo: Marina Bay Sands

Brand new to Singapore’s ArtScience Museum is this whimsical Wonderland interactive exhibition that is perfect for a family-friendly day out. Based on the famous novel Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, you can all follow Alice down the rabbit hole and dip into the fantastical world of Wonderland. Join the Mad Hatter’s tea party, take a peek into the looking glass and enjoy the general magic by unlocking exhibition surprises as you journey through. Wonderland also includes over 300 artefacts and objects including first edition books, drawings, original costumes, films, magic lantern projectors, animation and puppetry.

From April 13 to Sept 22 at ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974. Visit: https://www.marinabaysands.com/museum/wonderland.html

 

9. Step back in time at Fort Canning Battlebox

Not just a heritage nature park in the middle of the city, Fort Canning houses a WWII museum called the Battlebox. Built in 1936, it is a former British underground command centre inside Fort Canning Hill that was part of the headquarters of Malaya Command — the army which defended Malaya and Singapore during the war. Now, it’s a unique ‘real life’ museum where guests can enter and walk in the exact spots the soldiers did many years ago. You can only access the museum via a guided tour which is not suitable for children seven years or below. If you have older kids or older relatives who would like a walk down memory lane, this would be perfect.

At For Canning Park, 2 Cox Terrace, Singapore 179622, tel: 6338 6133. Visit: http://www.battlebox.com.sg/

 

10. Glamp overnight at East Coast

Tired of the typical hotel staycations? Fancy getting the family outdoors for a mini adventure, but stuck for ideas on how? How about some glammed up camping! Along the East Coast Park you’ll find large white glamping tents that you can hire out for the ultimate luxury camping experience. There are two tent sizes that cater for families — one for up to six adults (the family suite) and another for up to eight adults (the jumbo tent).

Aside from the accommodation, you can pay for add-on packages, such as an outdoor picnic, birthday decorations or a romantic candlelight set-up. You can even customise a theme yourself. Whether it is just one night of fun or for a long weekend, get the family together for a unique staycay that also provides the fun activities that East Coast offers too.

At East Coast Park, tel. 9651 1114. Visit: https://www.glampingcity.com/

 

ALSO READ: 8 FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES TO DO IN LONDON ON A BUDGET

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