Best museums and exhibitions for kids in Singapore 2018

One of the many artworks at SAM Presents Imaginarium: Into The Space Of Time
Laugh, learn and play at these hands-on, educational exhibitions and museums around the Little Red Dot...

With so many exciting things to see and do in Singapore, it’s no surprise that this city is teeming with fun-filled indoor and outdoor activities for the little ones. We love that we’re always being spoilt with thrilling carnivals, pop-up exhibitions and family-friendly festivals. We’re also super lucky to have so many museums and exhibitions on the island: From interactive science exhibits, to a virtual reality jungle, these year-round activities are a great way to spend the weekend. Children’s Season has pretty much wrapped up for this year, but there are still some exhibits open. Be sure to catch them before they finish– you’ll be missing out on a real treat if you leave it too late!

SAM Presents Imaginarium: Into The Space Of Time
Until 26 August
The Singapore Art Museum’s family-friendly contemporary art exhibition is back! Bring the kids to Imaginarium, one of our favourite rainy day activities, to explore the tales and theories that shape our memories and futures. The abstract idea of time will be introduced to little ones through immersive and interactive artworks by 10 different artists. Don’t miss out on ‘Passage’ by The GedAze Project  it’s constructed entirely out of fabrics using an incredible 200 rolls of yarn. That’s enough yarn to reach space! What’s more, the kiddos can enjoy various art workshops while adults can catch daily screenings of award-winning animations and short films at the museum’s cinema: all based on the concept of time, of course.
SAM at 8Q, 8 Queen Street, Singapore 188535;

Kids will love rolling, clambering and exploring the playspace at The Artground

Rolling@Tag, The Artground
Until 19 August
The Artground has been a regular indoor play spot for our kiddos for a while now, so we’re loving the current exhibit, Rolling@Tag that guarantees to will have small adventurers clambering, rolling balls and hiding in tunnels for hours. In this smart-interactive playspace, spontaneous and self-directed play are encouraged through exploration: and it’s all free!
The Artground, 90 Goodman Road, #01-40, Block J, Singapore 439053;

Marvel Studios: Ten Years of Heroes, ArtScience Museum
Until 30 September
ArtScience Museum has a super plan for this Children’s Season. Discover your superpower through workshops and join Superhero Me with some inclusive and fun-packed arts and craft. Next up? Find out the inspirations behind some of your favourite Marvel superheroes or create your very own superheroes at a cartoon and comic drawing workshop. Our favourite part? Posing next to Stan Lee himself in the ultimate Marvel wefie at the end – we’re part of the Marvel universe now. Find out how superheroes are taking over ArtScience Museum by diving into our full family guide to the adventures.
ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974;

The Dynamic Lines of Our Nest by Matali Crasset, National Museum
Until 30 September 2018
Step into The Dynamic Lines of Our Nest (pictured up top), an interactive installation by French artist Matali Crasset where art meets playtime. This inclusive installation is designed for tots with a penchant for discovery. Made up as a giant playpen complete with a mobile-like canopy, toddlers can explore in a contained (hurrah) environment while parents chill out and ‘nest’ in the shared space around the pen.
National Museum, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897;


Indoor jungles and giant soil pits at Playeum! Photography: Tracy Tristram

Going Play-ces: A Wanderful Exploration of New Lands!, Playeum, Children’s Centre for Creativity
Until 28 April 2019
Don’t think it’s possible to see the world in one room? Think again! Playeum’s new interactive exhibit will have toddlers and kids up to around 12 years exploring oceans, playing with light, whizzing through space, crawling through jungles, building cities and even imagining the future. They’ll stretch their imagination and creativity to the limits and find new ways to engage with their surroundings and how science and environmental conservation play a part in everyday life. Check out our review on all the awesome before heading over!
Playeum, 47 Malan Road, #01-21/22/23, Singapore 109444;

Children’s Festival: Small Big Dreamers, National Gallery Singapore
Until 9 September 2018
National Gallery’s Children’s Festival is set to complement the Children’s Biennale and inspire little ones to reimagine the world through creativity and play. Small Big Dreamers will feature the works of Lee Wen, one of Singapore’s pioneer performance artists, for a special commissions, A Waking Dream: Sun Boy and Yellow Man which has been inspired by his own life. The dream-like interactive exhibit lets kids compose their own symphony in and challenge themselves in an obstacle course of ribbons and gazebos. Sounds like one us grown up folk would have fun with too!
National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Road;

Wandering in Black and White, Art Playscape, National Gallery
We’ve already checked out the woods and enchanted forests over at Art Playscape, and now homegrown artist, Tang Ling Nah, has introduced cool new works at the Keppel Centre for Art Education at National Gallery Singapore. Wandering in Black and White will take kids on a journey through fantastical cities where they’ll be able to explore and even build their own cities, and discover the relationship between light, object and space. Perfect for little kids with big imaginations.
National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Road;

Angkor: Exploring Cambodia’s Sacred City, Asian Civilisations Museum
Until 22 July 2018
Go on a trail through Angkor Wat in the Asian Civilisations Museum where, for the first time ever, ACM is presenting one of the world’s most masterful architectural wonders – Angkor Wat. Created as part of a series of exhibitions saluting Southeast Asia, ACM will be exhibiting more than 140 sculptures and art on loan from Guimet Museum Paris – a museum world famous for its outstanding collection of Asian art. This is a one-off chance to check out Cambodia’s long and fascinating history through the eyes of French explorers, international artists and Khmer art, and a fantastic intro for kids to appreciating history through art. Look out for the awesome activity booklets plus the arts and crafts stations designed for kids to get a feel (literally!) for the architecture they’ve been looking at. One thing’s for sure, it will definitely inspire you to want to visit Cambodia yourselves (and lucky for you, we have a guide to Angor Wat with kids.)
Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555;

The Little Prince: Behind the Story, Singapore Philatelic Museum
Until 17 March 2019
We’re taking to the stars and uncovering the story behind The Little Prince over at the Singapore Philatelic Museum. Learn about Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and how his travels led to the creation of such a charming and heartfelt tale. Don’t forget to pose with your favourite characters recreated through sculptures by French artist Arnaud Nazare-Aga, and enjoy art workshops for all ages.
Singapore Philatelic Museum, 23-B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807;

Games of Yesteryear, Singapore Sports Museum
Until 12 August 2018
Remember the easy play days before iPads, smartphones and gadgets took over childhood? For a look back at the retro games of bygone days, head to The Singapore Sports Museum and catch Games of Yesteryear for an interactive history lesson of kampong (village) games including congkak, capteh or gasing. Such fun might even persuade the kiddos that there IS life beyond a screen! Make your own gold medal at the children activity workshops happening during the school holidays for kids aged 4 and up to remind yourselves that old school is still cool.
Changing Gallery, Singapore Sports Museum, 6 Stadium Walk, Singapore 397698;


This exhibit on Italian Contemporary art is just the ticket for teens who love art. Photography: Parkview Museum, Sea by Nicola De Maria

Challenging Beauty – Insights into Italian Contemporary Art, Parkview Museum
Until 19 August 2018
Fans of contemporary art can step into this beautiful exhibit of Italian contemporary art that challenges the viewer to look beyond surface beauty. We’re big fans of the haunting yet compelling Underconstruction Series by Marina Paris, which depict haunting abandoned spaces ready to be demolished. This is a great exhibition to inspire your usually inert teens to really think real beauty vs beauty within. Younger kids will definitely love the more colourful pieces, especially Nicola De Maria’s work, Sea – pretty!
Parkview Museum, 600 North Bridge Road, Parkview Square, Level 3, Singapore 188778;

Installation in Progress
Until 26 August
How is an exhibition made? Get the lowdown on all the secrets of a museum, how art is commissioned, adapted and loaded. Let SAM take you through its history of development and changing collections and exhibitions. Aspiring museum curators can plan their very own exhibition as part of the commissioned artwork by Michael Lee.
SAM Curve at the Singapore Art Museum, 71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 188555;

Building History: Monuments in Bricks & Blocks, Marine Parade Library
Until 30 December
Ever wanted to see Singapore’s National Monuments at eye-level? Now you can at this travelling exhibit featuring eight of Singapore’s architectural and cultural landmarks recreated using Lego bricks. See mini sculptures of Sultan Mosque, National Museum and our favourite, the Thian Hock Keng temple as they go library-hopping across Singapore until 30 December. The exhibit is currently at Central Library and will be available to view in Marine Parade Public Library from 1 July to 30 July.
278 Marine Parade Road, #01-02 Marine Parade Community Building, Singapore 449282;

The More We Get Together 1930-2030, National Museum
Until 30 September
A museum exhibit all about celebrating playgrounds that have been, that are and that will be? Count us in! From the sand pits of iconic dragon playgrounds we all know and love to the soft rubber-floors of today’s inclusive playgrounds, kids love them all and they definitely hold a special place in our memories. Check out just how playgrounds have influenced society and see what playgrounds are coming next. Kids (and you) will even get to design a dream playground of your own!
National Museum, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897;

nene-estate-by-mash-up Honeykids Asia Singapore

Check out this colourful pineapple shaped house around the Gillman area and keep an eye out for talks, workshops and performances happening there. Photography: DISINI

DISINI, Gillman Barracks
Until 30 September 2018
DISINI, Malay for ‘over here’, is a festival of programmes, outdoor sculptures and murals portraying the rich heritage of Asia. Capturing the history of the Gillman area, which dates as far back as 1349, take the kids on a trip to visit the historical landmarks around the area including freaky but fun Haw Par Villa and the jungles and coast at Labrador Park, all while admiring outdoor artworks. Head to Gillman Barracks for more workshops and pop-up stores once you’re done exploring.
Gillman Barracks, 9 Lock Road, Singapore 108937;

You’ve Got Mail!, Singapore Philatelic Museum
Until 31 December 2018
The kids are sure to fall in love with snail mail after this two-part exhibition. Explore unusual stamps from around the world from scented, to lenticular (we’ll let you Google that) and even embossed. Check out the world’s first beaded stamp (from Singapore!) and even Spain’s 3D Star Wars stamps, and then get some serious calligraphy-envy at Art on Envelope where you’ll find 200 award-winning handwritten envelopes from the Washington Calligraphers Guild’s annual Graceful Envelopes Contests on display. Time to get a penpal!
Singapore Philatelic Museum, 23-B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807;

Imaginarium: Into the Space of Time, Singapore Art Museum
Until 26 August 2018
Singapore Art Museum has pulled out all the stops with its newest exhibit, Imaginarium: Into the Space of Time. Enjoy animated films, live performance art by Artist Lee Mei Ling and art workshops for toddlers by Jelly Bean Attic. See if you can spot all 14 of the bright red megaphones from the ‘Megaphone Project’ around SAM. Yes, you can yell into them too!
Singapore Art Museum, SAM at 8Q,8 Queen St, Singapore 188535;

Singapore Art Week Light to Night teamlab-Walk-Walk-Walk-Search-Deviate-Reunite Honeykids Asia Singapore

Walk along with the quirky characters in teamLab’s interactive installation. Photography: National Gallery.

Walk, Walk, Walk: Search, Deviate, Reunite, National Gallery
Until 12 August 2018
Enter a wondrous labyrinth where reality and fiction converge in the immersive Walk, Walk, Walk: Search, Deviate, Reunite exhibit by the creative folk from teamLab. Visitors will be teased by virtual protagonists who will react to movement, body heat and voices in a display that will bring the human and digital world together. It will also encourage you to really think about what path you would take when faced with a number of differnt , and sometimes difficult, choices. Fascinating stuff!
National Gallery, City Hall Wing, Level B1, The Ngee Ann Kongsi Concourse Gallery;

Phobia, The Science of Fear, Science Centre Singapore
Most of us have a phobia (spiders, yuck!) and this new addition to Science Centre Singapore’s is a permanent exhibit exploring fear from a historical, cultural and psychological perspective. Kids will be taken on a journey through the different types of fears, from the fear of being buried alive to monsters under the bed and even every student’s worst fear – exams! Better prep the kiddos for some hair-raising moments.
Singapore Science Centre, 15 Science Centre Road, Singapore 609081;

Digital Life Canvas Marina Bay Sands Honeykids Asia Singapore

teamLab has done it again! Their mesmerising work of art comes to life in this fantastic installation. Hope it’s here to stay. Photography credit to Marina Bay Sands

Digital Life Canvas, Marina Bay Sands, The Shoppes
We may have lost (for now) one of the few ice skating rinks we have in Singapore, but we’ll let that go because its replacement is really pretty awesome! Where there was once fake ice, there is now an amazing light sculpture and LED floor, all part of Digital Life Canvas, a collaboration with teamLab. Expect some pretty impressive light imagery – birds flying through the light sculpture while fish dart about beneath your feet, and flowers blooming underfoot are all part of the fun. 
Marina Bay Sands, The Shoppes, 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956, p. 6688 8888;

The Maritime Experiential Museum
The Maritime Experiential Museum has reopened, having undergone a massive overhaul and complete reconceptualisation. Featuring all new exhibits that integrate technology and interactive exhibits, older kids will love admiring the ships, encountering pirates, and experiencing a typhoon in all its 4D multi-sensory sound and fury. We especially liked the little surprise ending after the typhoon!
8 Sentosa Gateway, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore 098269,

Omni-Theatre — SE Asia’s First 8K 3D Digital Dome Theatre
Asia’s first ever 8K 3D Digital Dome is screening five fantastic shows in a totally immersive experience across a 23m seamless screen: a learning journey like no other! Check out all things robotic, be mesmerised by the riveting beauty of the Northern Lights, explore the moon and visit worlds not visible to our naked eye. All without leaving Singapore!
Singapore Science Centre, 15 Science Centre Road, Singapore 609081,

Museums-and-exhibits URA

Kids will love checking out their ‘hood in miniature at the Urban Redevelopment Authority

Singapore City Gallery, Urban Redevelopment Authority
If you’ve ever wished for the ability to see into the future then you’re in luck! Head over to the Singapore City Gallery exhibit, where you’ll find the fascinating story of Singapore’s massive urban renewal and also get a look at the future plans for our small, but mighty city. Kids will love getting a bird’s eye view of large-scale architectural models where they will keep busy trying to find their home on the island-wide model! Our personal highlights? Interacting with the old and new streetscapes while discovering the history behind some of Singapore’s heritage gems at the ‘A Brush With History’ exhibit, and being wowed by the interactive ‘A Day in Singapore’ dawn to dusk 270-degree panorama scenes. Family winner for sure.
The URA Centre, 45 Maxwell Road, Singapore 069118;

Malay Heritage Centre
Head over to Istana Kampong Gelam (aka the Malay Heritage Centre), the former home of the Sultanate of Singapore, for a cool history lesson and to check out the permanent exhibits showcasing the colourful history and culture of the Malay community in Singapore. There are six galleries spread over two levels, so plenty to keep everyone busy with!
Malay Heritage Centre, 85 Sultan Gate Singapore 198501;

Story-of-the-Forest museums and exhibits

Story of the Forest will have kids mesmerised for HOURS!

The Glass Rotunda: Story of the Forest and Singapore, Very Old Tree, National Museum of Singapore
Story of the Forest has arrived at the National Museum of Singapore in its full larger-than-life interactive glory, and our kids can’t get enough of it! The installation mimics the sights and sounds of Southeast Asia’s lush tropical rainforests by transforming 69 drawings (from the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings collections) to life in a virtual experience that will blow the whole family away. Get up close and personal with awesome flora and fauna: watch out for our favourite, the Malayan Tapir! Once you’re done with interactive heaven, do check out Singapore, Very Old Tree: a phenomenal photography exhibition by renowned local artist, Robert Zhao. The 17-piece collection explores the nation’s identity as a ‘Garden City’ by shining the spotlight on some of the most iconic trees across the island. Perfect if you’re still feeling patriotic after SG52!
National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897, p. 6332 3659;

Into the Wild: An Immersive Virtual Adventure, ArtScience Museum
Take your little wild things to the super cool Into the Wild exhibit over at ArtScience Museum (pictured up top), where virtual reality meets a lush virtual rainforest exploration adventure. At this free exhibit, kids will use a specially-created smartphone device to transport them from Singapore to Sumatra at the touch of a button. Visitors of all ages will adore the mesmerising virtual world of lush jungles and endangered animals (look out for the cute pangolin!). We’re absolutely on board with the environmental awareness lessons this amazing exhibition brings to our little explorers as well.  
ArtScience Museum,  6 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018974;

Best indoor play in Singapore: FUTURE WORLD at the Art Science Museum

The FUTURE WORLD exhibit at the Art Science Museum is mesmerising. Don’t miss it! Photography: Selina Altomonte

FUTURE WORLD, ArtScience Museum
Permanent exhibit (hooray!)
We’ve told you how much we love FUTURE world at the ArtScience Museum: we think it’s one of the best things to come along for kids here in Singapore, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, GO NOW! Spanning over 1,500m, kids can discover Singapore’s largest interactive digital playground, Future World, where their creative sparks will be ignited by a fully-immersive digital universe. Little ones will be amazed when their colouring efforts are scanned and displayed around the exhibition, or that they can “catch” the virtual whale “swimming” on the ground.
ArtScience Museum,  6 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018974;

Get up close with the butterflies at the Science Centre’s interactive kid-friendly exhibit

Butterflies Up-Close, Science Centre Singapore
Hands up if your kids made you read one of the all-time favourite classics, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a gazillion times as part of the bedtime routine? Little ones LOVE following the story of that greedy little critter all the way through to its transformation into the prettiest butterfly in the garden. Now they can meet a small army of caterpillars and butterflies (more than 500 at the last count) that have crawled and fluttered their way over to the Science Centre’s colourful, interactive display: Butterflies Up-Close.
Science Centre Singapore, 15 Science Centre Road, Singapore 609081;

Madame Tussauds
Are your kids big fans of football stars and heart throb boy bands? Take them on a trip to celebville at Madame Tussauds, where they can share the stage with One Direction, test their sporting skills against heroes like David Beckham or shake hands with the world’s biggest political leaders. For a nice breather after an afternoon of fawning over wax versions of your idols, take a boat ride through an enchanted Singapore forest where you’ll be treated to mini Singapore in its all swanky splendour.
Madam Tussauds, Sentosa, 40 Imbiah Road, Singapore 099700;

LeeKongChianNaturalHistoryMuseum Honeykids Asia Singapore

Find out more about one of the natural wonders of the world, the Christmas Island Red Crab migration. Photography: Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
Learn all about Christmas Island RED, a beautiful tropical island off Singapore. It’s also home to more than 200 species of animals, including the Christmas Island Frigatebird, the Coconut Crab and the Christmas Island Red Crabs that are famous for their migration during the wet season. The two-storey gallery is the place to go if you’re keen to learn more about the Earth’s history and diversity, plus get up close and personal with iconic specimens of Singapore’s geology.
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, 2 Conservatory Drive, Singapore 117377;

Amazon Flooded Forest, River Safari
Travel to the Amazon, the second longest river in the world, at River Safari’s Amazon Flooded Forest exhibits. This enormous freshwater aquarium transports you straight into the flooded waters of the river and offers different immersive experiences thanks to its multi-levels of viewing. We’d also suggest ending the day with a boat ride down the Amazon River Quest for an exciting, scenic end to the day.
River Safari, 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826;

Trick Eye Museum Guide to Sentosa Honeykids Asia Singapore

Optical illusions galore at Trick Eye Museum

Trick Eye Museum
For an afternoon of giggles and optical illusions, head to the Trick Eye Museum. This place is all about the art of turning two-dimensional paintings into three-dimensional scenes – just watch how the surfaces of the museum walls, floors and ceilings come alive! Arm yourself with a camera, get creative with your poses and go nuts creating the wackiest visual narratives at the various themed galleries. We’ve taken too many hilarious photos here to count.
Trick Eye Museum, 26 Sentosa Gateway, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore 098138;

Photography (top image): The Dynamic Lines of Our Nest by Matlia Crasset, credit to National Museum

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