We’ve been exploring, folks, and now we’ve finished our adventures in Little India, been on an expedition to Coney Island, and worn the kids out at East Coast Park, we’ve been taking a look way even further east at the family-friendly neighbourhoods of Simei and Tampines. With plenty of open green spaces, great heartlands playgrounds, cinemas, indoor play centres, kid-friendly dining and even the chance for kids to go indoor rock climbing, there really is something for everyone in this buzzy part of town.
The Polliwogs offers sure-fire fun for kids from toddlers up to around 12 years. Slides, climbing and ball pools galore will keep them entertained all day long. Added bonus? The in-house coffee lounge is kitted out with CCTV so that you can keep an eye on your kiddies while you sneak in a caffeine hit.
The Polliwogs, Eastpoint Mall, Simei p.6376 8097; www.thepolliwogs.com
Clip ‘n’ Climb
Oh how we love this new indoor play addition to the Tampines area, and with its 19 themed climbing walls , Clip ‘n’ Climb is an action-packed climbing theme park that is suitable for wannabe Spideys of all ages (minimum weight is 10kg). Check out our full review of indoor climbing for kids at Clip ‘n’ Climb Singapore!
Clip ‘n’ Climb, HomeTeamNS Tampines, 51 Tampines Ave 4, #03-03 Tampines Hub Singapore 529684; www.hometeamns.sg
Suitable for kiddos age eight and up (the equipment is too heavy for smaller tots), this action-packed all-out-fun zone is a great challenge for the whole family.
Laser Quest, HomeTeamNS Tampines, 51 Tampines Ave 4, #03-03 Tampines Hub Singapore 529684; www.hometeamns.sg
IKEA? On a list of fun things to do with the kids? Yup: we love this place not only for a cheap ‘n’ cheerful lunch, but also so we can chuck the kiddos in the supervised play centre, Smaland, for an hour while we pick up plastic pots and meatballs. Everyone’s happy.
IKEA, 60 Tampines North Drive 2, Singapore 528764; www.ikea.com
If your kiddos fancy riding around the shops on mechanic lions, giraffes or elephants then head to ZooMoov. Look out for its cool arts ‘n’ craft station too, where small hands will love making squidgy pictures out of colourful dough.
ZooMoov, Eastpoint Shopping Mall, Simei, www.zoomoov.com
Check out the latest blockbusters at not one, but two cinemas to be found in Tampines. Choose between Golden Village (the bigger, shinier pick: it’s freezing though, so take your winter woolies!), or Century Cineplex (the retro, comfy velvet chair option).
Golden Village, 4 Tampines Central 5, 04-17/18, Tampines Mall Shopping Centre, Tampines Mall, 529510; www.gv.com.sg or Century Cineplex, 05-00 Century Square, 2 Tampines Central 5, Century Square, 529509; www.shaw.sg
Tampines Regional Library
Bring your small bookworms down to Tampines Regional Library, where you will find special activities for kids age four and up. Check out the fun programmes which include craft sessions, story telling and puppet shows.
Tampines Regional Library, 31 Tampines Avenue 7, Singapore 529620; www.nlb.gov.sg
Cool off after a busy afternoon of shopping with a trip to the roof of Tampines 1 Mall where you’ll find a water playground with a polar bear theme including mini water slides where kids of all ages are sure to have a blast. Don’t forget your swimmers!
Tampines 1 Mall, 10 Tampines Central 1, 529536; www.tampines1.com.sg
Bedok Reservoir Park
We recently ended up at Bedok Reservoir by mistake (we took the wrong bus!) but ended up having great fun! Located between Bedok and Tampines, kiddos will love getting into the great outdoors amongst over 14,000 wetland plants and spotting kingfishers, herons and swallows along the banks. Water sports enthusiasts can take part in dragon boating, kayaking or wake boarding.
Bedok Reservoir Park, Bedok Reservoir Road; www.nparks.gov.sg
Take your mini-Mowglis for a treetop extravaganza over at Forest Adventure where you’ll find three fun-packed aerial adventures for the kids. The courses are designed with children of all ages in mind, and feature everything from zip lines to wobbly bridges, trapezes to Tarzan swings. We tried this out ourselves and there’s nothing like zip-lining over Bedok Reservoir after conquering that obstacle course!
Forest Adventure, Bedok Reservoir Road, 479244, t. 8100 7420; www.forestadventure.com.sg
Tampines Swimming Complex
Singapore has some amazing public pools, which make for a cheap and cheerful day out with the kids. Take your water babies to make a splash over at Tampines Swimming Complex, where you’ll find water slides, water playgrounds, lap pools, learner pools and lots of other wet fun. It’s cheap as chips too with entrance costing from as little as 50 cents!
505 Tampines Ave 5, Singapore 529652; www.singaporeswimming.com
Sun Plaza Park
Tampines MRT is a park brimming with cool stuff the whole family will be on board with. Check out the Sense Discovery Garden where kiddos will find ten interactive play features including talking tubes, a ladder wall, chimes and an organic texture walk. If doing rather than feeling is more your bag, then head over to the beach ball court or woodball course for fun ‘n’ games, or ramp up the adventure with an hour or two at the sandy playground.
Sun Plaza Park, Tampines Avenue 7; www.nparks.gov.sg
WHERE TO EAT IN THE ‘HOOD
Din Tai Fung
Is there a kid in Singapore who doesn’t love Din Tai Fung? Quick, easy and always tasty, this is our go-to when we have dim sum and wanton craving. Did someone say hot and sour soup? It gets super busy so try and avoid peak times.
Din Tai Fung, 4 Tampines Central 5, Tampines Mall, #02-01, Tampines Mall, 529510; www.dintaifung.com.sg
Another tasty but easy choice that even the pickiest of eaters will love is tried-and-tested fave: Nandos. We love that they whack some veg or fruit on the kids’ platters in the quest to get small people eating healthy.
Nandos, 4 Tampines Central 5, #01-46, Tampines Mall, Tampines Mall, 529510; www.nandos.com.sg
Simei and Tampines are chocker-block with hawker centres, both indoors and out, on literally every street corner! We particularly love the old-style one near Simei MRT for yummy chicken rice and gorgeously crispy roti pratas.
Imperial Treasure Nan Bei Restaurant
This delectable Chinese restaurant has queues out the door and for good reason: the food is authentic, delicious and sure to be a hit with the whole family. Dreaming of its amazing Peking Duck now…
Tampines 1, #02-04 10 Tampines Central 1, Singapore 529536; www.imperialtreasure.com
Get your dessert fix and sugary treats at Alt-Yard where this joint collaboration between the folks from Fluff Bakery and Penny University serves up crispy churros in a heap of delectable flavours.
Alt-Yard, Tampines West Community Club, Tampines Avenue 3, Singapore 529705; www.facebook.com/pages/Alt-Yard
French artisanal cuisine with a Japanese twist? We are not sure who dreamt up such a combo, but it certainly does work deliciously. Expect an East-meets-West fusion of dishes the whole family will love including French toast, curry rice and pastas.
Miam Miam, #B1-05 Tampines 1, 10 Tampines Central, Singapore 529536; www.miam.sg
Photography (top image): Savio Sebastian