Best museums and exhibitions for kids in Singapore 2018

Laugh, learn and play at these hands-on, educational exhibitions and museums around the Little Red Dot...

We’re always on the lookout for cool adventures to try with (and without!) the kids in tow, and interactive exhibits and awesome museums for families are aways a surefire activity winner. We really are spoilt for choice when it comes to hands-on culture opps for kids here in sunny Singapore! And while Children’s Season has pretty much wrapped up for this year, there’s still plenty of kid-friendly exhibits to catch. Be sure to scope them out before they finish– you’ll be missing out on a real treat if you leave it too late, and lots of these beauts are finishing by the end of September (sad face). What are you waiting for? 

Wind Walkers: Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests, ArtScience Museum

Until till 30 September 2018
Think sculptures are boring? What about when they start walking? All 30 of Dutch sculptor, Theo Jansen’s wind-powered Strandbeests (pictured top) or ‘beach animals’ are wind-propelled. Originally created to roam beaches and push sand to form natural barriers against rising sea levels, watch these man-made creatures come to life. Check the reanimation schedule for timings of when the Strandbeests will take their next step and see if you can predict just how these oddities will move.
ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974; www.marinabaysands.com

to have a home, Esplanade

You can even take these cuties home! Photography: Esplanade

Until 11 November 2018
Here’s an exhibit for all the pet-lovers out there – to have a home is an exhibition of 120 fibreglass sculptures depicting stray animals in various hues. You can adopt one of these adorable sculptures, or be inspired to adopt a real abandoned dog or cat to give them a furever home.
Esplanade, 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981; www.esplanade.com

A.I. You Ready, Science Centre Singapore

Until 8 September 2018
Are you smarter than a machine? What about a machine that can learn? Find out all about Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) in this interactive exhibit and gallery trail. There will be talks, workshops and activities for scientists big and small to discover everything there is to know about coding and machines happening. Extra brownie points for coinciding with the upcoming local school holidays. A.I. you ready?
15 Science Centre Rd, Singapore 609081; www.science.edu.sg

The Current/s We Call Home, Asian Civilisations Museum

Look how they sail! Photography: Asian Civilisations Museum

Until 2 December 2018
Come face to face with young seafarers in this poignant exhibit, Arus Berlabuh Kita. Created by Indonesian artist Kabul and Singaporean artist Mintio, the exhibit depicts families who live and travel between Indonesia and Singapore as images on ship sails.
Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555; www.acm.org.sg

Hullabaloo, The Artground

Until 6 January 2019
The Artground is creating a real Hullabaloo of colour with this exhibition. Inspired by her sister, Aisha, who has autism, artist Yellow Mushmellow has created a sneak peak into Aisha’s world through her sister’s drawings. Immerse yourself in plenty of magic, colour, patterns and shapes in a space where kids can run, hide and explore.
The Artground, Goodman Arts Centre, 90 Goodman Rd, Singapore 439053; theartground.com.sg

Rainforest Lumina, Singapore Zoo

Rainforest Lumina SIngapore Zoo Honeykids Asia Singapore

Book early for your slot to this fantastic experience. Photography: WRS

Until December 2018
When night falls, the fun doesn’t stop. Embark on a multimedia adventure through the brand new Rainforest Lumina to see what the animals get up to in this virtual audio-visual experience. Choose an animal to guide you and let them steer you down a path dotted (literally) with lights and mesmerising projections through a tropical rainforest. The kids will have a blast spotting the friendly guides and playing with the interactive light pads. Book your slot beforehand and remember to turn up 10 minutes early.
Rainforest Lumina at Singapore Zoo, 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826; rainforestlumina.wrs.com.sg

Indonesia: Land of Treasures Exhibition, Changi Airport

Until 7 October
Dreaming of a short getaway to Indonesia? Prepare to be transported to the Land of Thousand Islands at Changi Airport’s Indonesia: Land of Treasures Exhibition. You’ll get to meet the largest lizard on the planet, the Komodo Dragon, admire the beautiful scenery of Belitung an UNESCO World Heritage site Borobudur Temple in Yogyakarta and swing above the waters of Lombok. There’s even a carnival awaiting you at Terminal 3 Departure Hall, Row 11. That’s another one to add to the list of things to do with the kids at Changi Airport!
Changi Airport, Terminal 3, Departure Hall, Central Immigration, changiairport.com/indonesia

untitled 2018 (the infinite dimensions of smallness), National Gallery Singapore

Photography: National Gallery Singapore

Until 28 October 2o18
Does getting lost in a maze sound intriguing? What about a hand-built bamboo maze with a special treat located at its centre? Now that we’ve got your attention, we dare you to navigate through National Gallery Singapore’s interactive exhibition, a collaboration with internationally renowned artist Rirkrit Tiravanija. Kids do love a maze!
National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Rd, Singapore 178957; nationalgallery.sg

Amek Gambar: Peranakans and Photography, Peranakan Museum

Until 3 February 2019
Here’s a cool history lesson for the kids, and great for anyone curious about the early days of Singapore. This exhibition at the Peranakan Museum will showcase some of the rarest and earliest images of Peranakans in history and covers more than a century and half of photography.
Amek Gambar: Peranakans and Photography, Peranakan Museum, 39 Armenian St, Singapore 179941; www.peranakanmuseum.org.sg

Marvel Studios: Ten Years of Heroes, ArtScience Museum

Until 30 September 2018
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; www.marinabaysands.com

The Dynamic Lines of Our Nest by Matali Crasset, National Museum of Singapore

The Dynamic Lines of Our Nest by Matali Crasset is one exhibit the kids won’t want to leave. Photography: National Museum

Until 30 September 2018
Step into The Dynamic Lines of Our Nest, 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; nationalmuseum.sg

Going Play-ces: A Wanderful Exploration of New Lands!, Playeum, Children’s Centre for Creativity

Playeum-JUNGLE-AND-DIRT

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

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; www.playeum.com

Children’s Festival: Small Big Dreamers, National Gallery Singapore

A ceiling of laterns right beside a maze? We’re there! Photography: 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. If you haven’t caught it yet, do so pronto. It’s wrapping up in a couple of weeks time!
National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Road; www.nationalgallery.sg

Wandering in Black and White, Art Playscape, National Gallery Singapore

Ongoing
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; www.nationalgallery.sg

The Little Prince: Behind the Story, Singapore Philatelic Museum

Uncover the history behind this much-loved story. Photography: 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; www.spm.org.sg

Building History: Monuments in Bricks & Blocks, Jurong Regional Library (moving to Tampines Regional Library on 1 September)

kid-friendly museums

Singapore in mini-form!

Until 30 December 2018
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 Jurong Regional Library and will be moving to Tampines Regional Library from 1-29 September.
Jurong Regional Library, 21 Jurong East Central 1, Singapore 609732; www.nhb.gov.sg

The More We Get Together 1930-2030, National Museum

Until 30 September 2018
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; nationalmuseum.sg

DISINI, Gillman Barracks

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

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; www.disini.art

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; spm.org.sg

Walk, Walk, Walk: Search, Deviate, Reunite, National Gallery Singapore

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 Singapore.

Until 9 September 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 Singapore, City Hall Wing, Level B1, The Ngee Ann Kongsi Concourse Gallery; www.nationalgallery.sg

Phobia, The Science of Fear, Science Centre Singapore

Ongoing
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; www.science.edu.sg/exhibitions/Pages/Phobia2.aspx

Digital Life Canvas, Marina Bay Sands, The Shoppes

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

Ongoing
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; www.marinabaysands.com

The Maritime Experiential Museum

Ongoing
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, www.rwsentosa.com

Omni-Theatre — SE Asia’s First 8K 3D Digital Dome Theatre

Ongoing
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, www.omnitheatre.com.sg

Singapore City Gallery, Urban Redevelopment Authority

Museums-and-exhibits URA

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

Ongoing
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; www.ura.gov.sg

Malay Heritage Centre

Ongoing
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; www.malayheritage.org.sg

The Glass Rotunda: Story of the Forest and Singapore, Very Old Tree, National Museum of Singapore

Story-of-the-Forest museums and exhibits

Story of the Forest will have kids mesmerised for HOURS!

Ongoing
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.
National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897, p. 6332 3659; www.nationalmuseum.sg

Into the Wild: An Immersive Virtual Adventure, ArtScience Museum

Ongoing
Take your little wild things to the super cool Into the Wild exhibit over at ArtScience Museum, 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; www.marinabaysands.com/museum.html

Butterflies Up-Close, Science Centre Singapore

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

Ongoing
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; www.science.edu.sg/exhibitions/Pages/ButterfliesUp-Close.aspx

Madame Tussauds

Ongoing
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; www.madametussauds.com/Singapore

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

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.

Ongoing
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; www.lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg

Amazon Flooded Forest, River Safari

Ongoing
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; www.riversafari.com.sg/wild-amazonia/amazon-flooded-forest.html

Trick Eye Museum

Trick Eye Museum Guide to Sentosa Honeykids Asia Singapore

Optical illusions galore at Trick Eye Museum

Ongoing
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; www.trickeye.com/singapore

Photography (top image): Siamesis, Wind Walkers: Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests, via ArtScience Museum

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