Can a big city be family-friendly?
If we are talking about the island nation of Singapore, then we got the answer covered. With its variety of tourist attractions that includes museums, art galleries, gardens, high-rise buildings, parks, and studios, the city-state situated in the Southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula has more to offer to travelling families. Despite its size and its reputation as the world’s most expensive city to live in, the city-state is still a frontrunner as one of the top tourist destinations in Asia.
Singapore is not only known for its world-class living environment, but also for its numerous kid-friendly and enticing attractions. It’s more than just a transit hub for travelers. It’s a beautiful, eclectic city with diverse culture, where people of different beliefs and ethnicities coexist. So, whether you prefer your kids to see the beautiful city skyline that is home to some of the world’s most fascinating architectural masterpieces or want them to learn about the city history, you will be spoiled for choice with a never-ending list of must-see attractions.
If you are heading over to the region or happen to be in Singapore but have limited time, below are the things that you and your kids can enjoy and places you can visit in as little as 48 hours.
Chinatown – Chinatown gives a beautiful contrast to the highly-urbanized Central district of Singapore. The difference is so sharp that your family can experience a piece of the Chinese culture while staying in the middle of the bustling cosmopolitan. This place erects shops where you and your kids can enjoy traditional cuisine such as the Michelin-starred meal best known for its delicious chicken rice. Your kids can freely wander the streets to admire the beautifully preserved heritage shophouses, and shop for souvenirs among the street stalls and tiny boutiques on Pagoda Street. While you are in the neighborhood, the Chinese Buddhist and Hindu temples and museumsare must-visit sites.
Well-decorated Pagoda Street in Singapore’s Chinatown.
Singapore’s Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle store.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum.
Tip: Visitors and locals flock to the entrance of Michelin-starred chicken rice, so make sure to be there early.
Art Science Museum – Adjacent to other tourist spots such as the Merlion Park and Marina Bay Sands in the waterfront area is the Art Science Museum. You and your kids will not miss this attraction because of its uniqueness and strategic location. This lotus-shaped building is a true architectural masterpiece that houses several gallery-spaces, including its permanent exhibition “Future World: Where Art Meets Science” with an entrance fee of $17.00.
Lotus-shaped Art Science Museum.
Entry passes for Future World exhibition at the Art Science Museum.
Tip: It could be dark inside the museum, so make sure to bring a good quality camera with you.
Merlion Park – This is the kind of lion that kids will not be afraid to see. Merlion has become Singapore’s most known tourism icon.That is why several statues have been installed within the city. The most famous among them is the one in Merlion Park in the Marina Bay area. When visiting the park, you will be welcome by this well-loved local.
The view of Merlion Park at night.
Tip: Visit the Merlion at night to avoid the crowd when taking the must-have holiday snapshot.
Gardens by the Bay – Gardens by the Bay is a kid-friendly park in Singapore’s new downtown area. Just a few walks away from Marina Bay Sands, your family and kids can see the towering Supertrees up-close and personal. Entry passes to the uniquely shaped dome conservatories called “Flower Dome” and the “Cloud Forest” can be purchased online or at the park ticket booths for only $28. These air-conditioned conservatories offer a different “forest” experience because of its wide collection of flora and fauna. Depending on the time of the year, your family might be lucky to see some tulips and cherry blossoms in full bloom.
People walking on the Cloud Forest’s skywalk.
Tip: Enter the park from the Dragonfly bridge to take perfect snaps of the Supertrees, Singapore Flyer, and Marina Bay Sands.
Marina Bay Watershow – If your family is visiting Singapore for the first time, then there is no reason to miss this light and water show in Marina Bay called Spectra. The experience starts at 8 p.m. and showcases a 15-minute light and water show. The amazing images on the water mist can be seen from all sides of the waterfront, and the use of lasers to create all these images is something the young and the old will enjoy! Best of all, the show is completely free. It’s a good way for your family to cap the night off.
The image of a mother and her baby on display during the water and light show.
Tip: Be early so you can get the best spot to watch the show.
Singapore Zoo (Option A) – This place is definitely a must-visit place for your kids, and a perfect family activity in Singapore. Singapore Zoo would not be named as the world’s best rainforest zoo for no reason. Set in a natural rainforest environment, the zoo is an example of an “open zoo” concept, where animals can freely walk around spacious landscaped enclosures. It houses more than 2,800 animals, over 300 species, various exhibits, and entertaining and education shows. To top it all off, your family can expect word-class service from the accommodating tour guides and staff, while you explore activities that await you and your family. Idle time is a foreign concept to zoo goers because of the list of activities for everyone to experience from the time the zoo opens at 9 a.m.until it closes at 6 p.m. Whether you’re there to go behind the scenes to feed the animals or learn about the wildlife, the entire family, the young and the old, will surely have fun!
The playful Inuka takes a dip in the icy cold water.
Tip: With a $33 entrance fee for adults and $22 for kids, you can already meet Inuka, the first polar bear born in the tropics.
Universal Studios (Option B)- If your family and kids are the adventurous type, then Universal Studios Singapore, locally known as USS, is the place for you. For only $76, the entire family can enjoy the 24 enticing rides, shows, and attractions featured in the seven themed zones. Shrek, Transformers, and The Mummy movie theme parks are a total hit for kids and kids-at-heart. If your heart is brave enough, you can join your kids while riding Battle Galactica’s extreme roller coasters. Aside from being Southeast Asia’s first and only Universal Studios, USS is definitely a major tourist magnet in Singapore.
Everyone is welcome to visit Shrek’s castle.
Tip: The park is busiest during holidays and on weekends, so purchasing Express Passes (prices range between $30 to $50) for yourself and your family would be a good idea to avoid the long wait on the line.
This article is part of our popular series, Place To Go With Kids!