Singapore is definitely one of the most family-friendly destinations in Asia. Traveling with kids is easy to this clean and green metropolis. The easy public transport system, great hotels, varied cuisines, multiple attractions all make Singapore a great family holiday destination.
I took my 2-year old baby to Singapore for a weekend en route to Bali, and I remember even as a toddler, she had a fab time at the Singapore Zoo. The city has many more attractions and interesting places for older kids.
Also, read – Family-friendly holiday destinations in Asia
Best attractions in Singapore with kids –
The large and beautiful Botanic Gardens are a must on any Singapore itinerary and a great attraction, especially when traveling with kids.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens are no ordinary gardens – they are the first and only tropical garden to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also Singapore’s first listing.
These gardens are massive and families can easily spend hours enjoying the beautiful flowers and plants, having a picnic or just running around. There is a lot to see as the Botanic Gardens consists of several small gardens, lakes and even a small tropical rainforest.
Kids will love The Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden – a small section designed especially for children. Here you will find all sorts of fun and educational activities for children including a farm, tree-houses, suspension bridge, and play areas including water play. Families on a budget will be pleased to know the gardens are free to visit (except for the National Orchid Garden which charges a small admission fee).
Singapore is hot and humid so I would recommend visiting the gardens early in the morning to avoid the strong midday sun. Also, bring umbrellas or light rain jackets as it frequently rains in Singapore (although not for very long).
Contributed by Matilda | The Travel Sisters | Follow Matilda on Facebook
Chinatown is one of the places you should not miss when in Singapore. As Chinese is the largest ethnic group in Singapore. The Chinese influence is predominant spanning from the architecture to the local food in the city.
Why is this place highly recommended for kids, you ask? As much as we want our kids to enjoy thrilling rides and fun activities, immersing and opening their eyes to other cultures while traveling is as important.
Singapore Chinatown is a huge complex, complete with national heritage sites that are up for conservation, food places, shopping places, and beautiful temples that you can enter with your kids for free.
One of the most notable structures is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, which not only has amazing architecture but also contains actual artefacts such as bones and the canine tooth of Buddha. If this is the first time that your kids would see a temple like this, be prepared to answer tens of their questions while strolling down the 4 floors of the temple.
Aside from touring around, kids can also have fun getting their own personalised names painted with colourful Chinese drawings and characters. These surely are beautiful souvenirs you can bring back home, and would not cost much.
For food, you can choose from the many stalls in Chinatown Food Street. Chicken rice is a popular choice for the youngsters, paired with fresh sugarcane juice, squeezed right before your eyes. Honestly, how food is made in Singapore is a whole new topic with the kids.
Chinatown is easily reachable by public transport, you can either take the MRT and exit Chinatown Station or take the local buses that pass through the area which makes Singapore Chinatown quite convenient for families.
Gardens by the Bay
I visited Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay last spring, not once, but twice in a 5-day trip. This is an interesting place in Singapore for a family to visit together. I had a blast and can only imagine having loved it just as much, if not more, as a child.
In a world where our environment is threatened by mankind’s creations, the gardens provide exciting learning opportunities for kids to learn and develop eco-friendly habits, too.
The Gardens by the Bay property includes enormous Super Tree complexes outdoors, two giant flower domes, a sky-walk, and chances to spot city-wildlife at one of Singapore’s most popular attractions.
The two domes were multi-story greenhouses packed to the brim with every type of plant I could imagine. One dome is filled with vibrant flowers and foliage, colorful greens, and several-stories-tall central column, every inch covered with shrubbery. The other dome was the desert dome, with every manner of succulents imaginable. There were teeny tiny guys the size of your fingernail to ones taller than myself, grown over decades of years. The desert dome is a great place to see some wild looking plants and take some fun family photos.
Gardens by the Bay is a huge complex with plenty of room to walk or run around inside its property. They also offer some dining options to refuel and a theater area that warns about the dangers of destroying our environment. (Pro-tip: you can’t bring food or drink into the flower domes.)
It’s a perfect place to entertain the kids in the group while providing an enriching learning experience at the same time. Plus, it’s an attraction the parents will enjoy as much as the children. Go in the afternoon to see the park switch from day to night – the lights make for an incredible, and quite a different view. This is a must-do in Singapore whether you are visiting the city for 24 hours or longer.
Contributed by Sarah Swank | Suitcase Six | Follow Sarah on Facebook
Sentosa Island with a toddler
We visited Sentosa Island when our daughter was 3 years old. The sheer size and variety of amusement parks in Sentosa were overwhelming. We took some help from our local friends to narrow down options suited with a toddler. Apart from theme parks, Sentosa has excellent resorts to stay if you have the time and inclination. You can get into the island from the HarbourFront MRT station through Sentosa Express (via VivoCity Mall) or by cable car. There are free buggies to take visitors around the island.
We walked around the Imbiah lookout and the Merlion statue, stopping for photo ops and a quick bite. Singapore is hot through the year, so do keep caps and sunglasses handy. We visited the S. E. A. Aquarium. It has a vast collection of marine animals from various habitats – different varieties of sharks, a giant coral reef column with colourful fishes, luminescent sea jellies, eels.
A section displayed deep-sea fish that live in the darkness below the sunlit surface waters and haven’t evolved much in the last thousands of years – I found these particularly eerie.
We watched a pink dolphin show as well that my daughter enjoyed immensely.
Next, we popped into the Port of Lost Wonder (renamed the Palawan Pirate Ship). It is a large water play area in the form of a pirate ship (no points for guessing that!) apt for kids from age of 3 to 10 years. It is now free for all guests. It has a lovely restaurant that offers basic pasta and snacks along with drinks – we had a quick and fuss-free lunch. With splash pools, sprinklers and slides, my daughter was occupied for a good 2 hours, while we sunbathed on the deck chairs and caught up on our holiday reading.
Contributed by Shweta Markandeya
Skyline Luge (at Sentosa)
When exploring Singapore with children you will, of course, want to hop over to Sentosa island to explore all the fun attractions on offer to excite both young and old. I suggest taking the Mount Faber cable car to Sentosa for a fab birds-eye view of the island on the way there, and a great look back at Singapore’s CBD. As you step off the cable car our favourite attraction in Sentosa is right in front of you – the Skyline Luge!
The Luge is such a great adrenaline rush as you grab a tray, learn the basics of how to go, brake and turn before earning your ‘competent rider’ stamp, and you’re off sliding down the hill!
With four different courses of twists, turns and tunnels you’ll soon agree with their slogan that once is never enough (we rode them all!).
It is worth noting that children under 6 and 110 cm in height are not allowed to ride solo, however, may accompany an adult, which is still lots of fun.
On busy days it’s worth buying a skip the line pass that will help you skip the queues, especially for the first ride. If you can visit mid-week the queues are much shorter, and for the second (and third, and fourth) time riders there wasn’t any queue at all, perfect for impatient excitable kids. Tickets include rides on the Skyride, a chairlift, to get you back to the top of the Luge ready to ride again.
Universal Studios (at Sentosa)
I think the one thing that everyone (adults and children) looks forward to in Singapore is the Universal Studios park on Sentosa island.
This theme park is designed for adults and children alike.
It features numerous rides that take you through famous scenes in movies produced by Universal Studios. Rides that follow the theme of Shrek, Puss in Boots, the trolls, Jurassic Park, the Mummy and so much more makes Universal Studios a whole day’s activity. Depending on the ride that you wish to partake in, there are height restrictions (as with all theme parks).
Make sure you pick a map and check them before you head that way, or you will have a bawling, disappointed child to deal with. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of rides and there is something for children of all ages.
A few tips to help you along the way:
- Make sure that you reach early. The park is big enough that you want all the time you have so you can tackle all the rides.
- Try an avoid holidays (and weekends) as Universal Studios gets crowded and getting on a ride takes forever. If you don’t have the luxury to choose a day in the week, try and get the express pass. It will help you fast track through the lines.
- Don’t forget to grab a map and the show schedules. There are plenty of shows to watch and the kids love to meet and greet the characters.
Read more on Universal Studios in Singapore.
Contributed by Penny | GlobeTrove | Follow Penny on Facebook
The Night Safari is one of the most popular attractions in Singapore for families, winning the Best Attraction category awarded by the Singapore Tourism Board on 12 occasions. Opened in 1994, Night Safari is the world’s first safari park for nocturnal animals. Home to over 2,500 animals of over 130 species, it spans across 35 hectares of forests.
With over 1.1 million visitors to the attraction on an annual basis, Night Safari is bursting at the seams.
To ensure the whole family has a great time, it is vital to be well prepared. This tourist attraction is highly overcrowded and pre-purchasing tickets don’t help much with shorter queues. The most popular time slot is at 7.15pm when you get on a tram for about 40 minutes followed by the Creatures of the Night Show at the open amphitheatre. It may be a better option to watch the 7.30pm show followed by the 8.15pm or 9.15pm tram slot to try and beat some of the crowds.
The Night Safari also has walking trails if you prefer to do this instead of the trams. Many families choose this option as it’s pram friendly and you can avoid the queues. Perhaps embark on a short stroll before jumping on a tram later on in the night.
If you’re not familiar with the Singaporean weather, the heat can be stifling which is further exacerbated by the incessant mosquitoes that come hand in hand with a tropical climate. Dress appropriately, have lots of cold water and be well armed with insect repellents.
At the end of the evening, instead of taking public transport home, I recommend getting a taxi. After a long night of queueing and the heat, an air-conditioned taxi is a welcome respite. The taxi rank was also virtually devoid of taxi goers which meant we got home quickly and in comfort. Despite all of the above, we had a great time and my 8-year-old daughter said she was happy to do all that waiting again just so she could get on the tram to admire the nocturnal animals all over again!
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Have you visited Singapore? Do suggest a great family destination that you loved in the comments below.
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