Travel: our Singapore Top 10 Family Fun Hotspots


Our trip home to Singapore was brief, eventful and memorable. My son got to meet his grandparents and extended family for the first time.

He also ran a very high viral fever over 40 degrees and we were in and out of A&E at KK hospital twice. All good and the culprit was the Adeno virus which Dr Google says very scary things about. Despite the string of stressful events, it was so nice to be home and rediscover home through the lens of my toddler.

Singapore is wonderful for kids – there’s so much to do and so much of it is FREE and easily accessible. I struggle often to do the same in Hong Kong, perhaps a part of it is because I live in midlevels and it’s definitely not as pram friendly as it is in Singapore.

1. Esplanade Pips playroom

A wonderful, inclusive collection of children’s books that reflects Singapore’s multi-racial, multi-cultural community.

I never knew about this wonderful space – FREE entry until my friend told us about it. It’s tucked away in a corner of Esplanade with plenty of activities to do – from Narnia’s cabinet and floor to ceiling built in cabinets with a million drawers to open to a colouring and crafts table for older kids.

2. The Artground at Goodman Arts Centre

Photos courtesy of TAG

The current Masak Masak (cooking in Malay) food theme installation by The Merry Men Works features all the local foods and our favourite childhood snacks. Ticketed entry is free with allocated time slots.

Exhibitions rotate every 9 months, so check in for fun new programmes. Activities are curated for children 0-9 years old.

Photos courtesy of TAG
Photos courtesy of TAG
Photos courtesy of TAG

3. Heights Park water play at Toa Payoh Lorong 22

This new-ish water park was a riot. It’s so cleverly designed, right in the middle of the heartlands in Toa Payoh. There are no public toilets but showers to clean up and change the kids. It’s really new and clean. The water runs at intervals and there’s a push button to activate it. Such a great way to cool the kids down in the playground in this sweltering heat.

We took a taxi here, but I checked the public transport access, it’s not a long walk from the bus stop. Next to the pirate/sea theme water playground is a huge treehouse playground, and another section with a sandpit and swings. Checks all the boxes for a day out.

4. Gardens by the bay water play

This was on our list to visit but our plans got derailed with the raging fever. It would be a nice idea to combine a morning with a visit to the cloud forest, check out the Art sculpture and cool down with water play.

5. National Gallery Kids!

This was on my list to do – many of the activities seem more suitable for older children but I think there are some fun engaging and interactive activities for toddlers 2 and under. There are many free activities as well as ticketed special exhibitions (like the Children’s Art Biennale).

6. Fire station fire engine demo across different fire stations in Singapore

If your son is a textbook boy and into all things vehicles and wheels, this would be a fun experience. We went to the Central Fire Station on Hill Street (opposite Funan Centre). Don’t forget to visit the heritage gallery too – lots of cool pictures of vintage fire engines and equipment!

The kids get to climb into and sit behind the wheels of a real fire engine truck and ambulance! There are demonstrations on victim extraction (with a saw to rescue victims trapped under metal/car) and a real life demo of the water hose putting out the fire.

7. Coastal Playgrove in East Coast Park

The former Big Splash that we spent out childhood weekends at has turned into Coastal Playgrove, a nice and fancy version of its former shell. Another FREE activity to spend a day out with the kids. Very easily accessible by public transport.

8. Jacob Ballas at Botanical gardens

We gave this a miss this time because it was so hot and the water play area was closed. It’d be fun to combine this with a morning walk in the gardens.

9. Immersive children’s theatre workshop Andsoforth Junior “Around the world in 80 days” (ticketed admission – toddlers under 2 pay $1)

Kids get to line up and purchase their “tickets” before boarding the ship, quizzed at every part of the way. So much interactive and crafty fun to learn and play.

While my 19 month old toddler was a little young to fully enjoy the workshop segments, we had so much fun on this “trip”.

We learnt how to tie knots
On a train in “Hong Kong” very Oriental Express-esque
In a jungle in Goa

10. Tampines water play area

Another water play area in the heartlands by the mall on a rooftop. It’s only just reopened and we missed it.

The Zoo, Jurong Bird Park and Night Safari are an absolute must. We checked out the River Wonders but found it pretty random (and just another poorly thought through marketing idea to charge for extra tickets – doubt there will be longevity on this one) with the Pandas as a highlight. It was pouring rain when we went so we didn’t get to go on the river boat cruise. We wouldn’t have been able to either way because there’s a minimum height of 1m for children and my toddler wasn’t tall enough.

I’m always confused with the spots

I absolutely love the zoo and have loved the many iterations it has seen since I was a kid. I also used to volunteer at Jurong Bird Park with lories and penguins and really love that space, a little nostalgic and sad that they will be relocating to the zoo’s Mandai site.

I didn’t get a chance to go to the night safari with the toddler this time because it’s past his bedtime, but definitely saving that up for the next trip when he’s older and when I’m brave enough to stretch bedtime occasionally.

I’ll also add Sentosa to the list – the aquarium (it was closed on the day we went – closed on a Wednesday!) beach and cable car can be something fun to do.


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