Thanks to Phase 2, some museums are now open for you and bubs to visit! See what's open and what's still closed around town.
We’re so happy to be living in Phase 2 and have enjoyed trips to restaurants and parks with the kids. While we’ve missed hanging out in Singapore’s prettiest outdoor places, sometimes the weather just isn’t on our side for heading out and about. But that’s okay, because if you didn’t already know, the museums are open! Yes, that means we get to dress the tykes in clothes other than their pyjamas and bring them to see cool exhibits around town. Certainly beats lying around the house watching TV all the time! Plus, it’s a fun socially-distanced activity to do. Read on for our guide to the best kid-friendly museums and exhibitions in Singapore right now… then get planning!
Asian Civilisations Museum
The good news: this kid-friendly museum is now open! Temperature screening will be taken prior to entry, and you’ll have to check-in with the SafeEntry QR code, too.
Where: Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555
Southeast Asia in the World
The Asian Civilisations Museum now has permanent galleries on Christian Art, Islamic Art and Ancestors and Rituals to highlight the importance of Southeast Asia in the World. The exhibits focus on art that demonstrates an exchange of ideas and cultural interactions within Southeast Asia and between Asia and Europe. Grab one of the colourful activity booklets (complete with stickers and postcards) and try out the new museum trails to discover how faith and belief have spread across Asia through religious art.
National Museum of Singapore
The National Museum of Singapore has always been one of our favourite kid-friendly museums to visit. If you’re thinking of taking the little ones along, take note: you’ll be subjected to temperature taking and will have to check-in using the SafeEntry QR code prior to entering its premises. As such, there may be a delay. Psst, while the museum may be open, its hands-on exhibits will be closed until further notice.
Where: National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897
The Glass Rotunda: Story of the Forest and Singapore, Very Old Tree
Our kids can’t get enough of the larger-than-life, interactive exhibit that is Story of the Forest at the National Museum of Singapore! The installation at this kid-friendly museum 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 Gallery Singapore
As well as awesome exhibits, the National Gallery is famed for having multiple entrances, making accessing this kid-friendly museum super easy! However, due to the current Covid-19 situation, there will be designated entrances and exits for museum visitors. Likewise, the museum will be taking the temperatures of each guest and will require guests to check-in using their NRIC or via QR code before entering as well. Events, programs, guided tours and any hands-on activities within the museum are cancelled but will resume at a later date.
Psst: If you love the National Gallery Singapore as much as we do, you’ll want to take advantage of its promotion on its Gallery Insider membership. It is currently for FREE for all Singaporeans and PRs, and a 1-for-1 promotion for non-Singaporeans. The offer stands till the 31 October 2020 so don’t miss it!
Where: National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
City Hall: If Walls Could Talk
On until 29 August 2021
Travel back in time in this multimedia experience and get front-row seats to defining events in City Hall: If Walls Could Talk. From the swearing-in of the nation’s first president to the unveiling of the national flag, get an insight into pivotal moments of Singapore’s history through augmented content and an interactive digital wall.
Small Big Dreamers at Home
Till 28 March 2021
If you’re not heading into the museum, partake in the first online art festival for kids at home! Small Big Dreamers at Home allows kids to play, learn and create with art. The arts festival will run till next year, and is a free-to-access learning resource for families that helps kids look at art more closely. Plus, the festival boasts refreshed content throughout the year, so you know the kids will be entertained all year long.
Malay Heritage Centre
Going to the Malay Heritage Centre? The kid-friendly museum will be resuming its operations on July 3, and will implement temperature taking and safe distancing measures in light of the current Covid-19 situation.
Where: Malay Heritage Centre, 85 Sultan Gate Singapore 198501
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!
Indian Heritage Centre
Good news: the Indian Heritage Centre will be reopened on July 3! Pop round to explore its exhibitions if you haven’t already seen them. Be sure to mask up and practice social distancing while you’re there, too.
Where: 5 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209924
Indians in Singapore
Ever wanted to know how the Indian population in Singapore came to be? Find out in this permanent exhibition that depicts the history of Indians in the Indian sub-continent to Southeast Asia from 1st century right up to the 21st century. And, learn more about the experiences of South Asians in Southeast Asia, too.
Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
Why study communist China from your social studies textbook when you can just visit a museum instead? If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the Chinese culture – specifically Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s revolutionary activities in Southeast Asia and his contribution towards Singapore during the 1911 Revolution, you’ll want to take a peek into the galleries at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall. Be sure to mask up and practice safe distancing measures when you visit from July 3!
Where: 12 Tai Gin Road, Singapore 327874
Thinking of bringing the children to this kid-friendly museum? If you are, take note: the museum will be opening several of its exhibits in July. Stay notified of any potential changes by checking out its website or Facebook page for updates.
Where: ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974
2219: Futures Imagined
Why dwell on the past when you can explore the future? At this exhibition, discover the possible futures of Singapore 200 years from now in a series of interactive experiences, films, sculptures and paintings at 2219: Futures Imagined. There’s also a drop-in workshop that’ll teach you how to make special paper beads using recycled materials. A cool exhibit for kids of the older ilk!
Future World: Where Art Meets Science
Is this the best exhibit in Singapore? Quite possibly! Immerse yourself in a world of art through digital interactive installations by teamLab. Each themed zone of the exhibition has several installations that tell a unique story, with interactive family activities to participate in. For example, head to the Sketch Piston to create your own symphony of sounds. Or, pop by the Sketch Aquarium, where you’ll get to see aquatic animals come to life on a screen. You’ll be able to add to this aquarium by submitting your own drawing of an underwater animal of your choice, too. Fun and totally kid-friendly.
ICYMI: The ArtScience Museum has resumed its on-site film screenings as part of its flagship moving image program, ArtScience on Screen. Head round to the Rainbow Room to watch four international short films featuring young inventors and their extraordinary creations, and get the kids inspired to invent their own creations, too. These screenings are free, but are on a first-come, first-served basis, and it’s limited to 10 people per screening.
Planning to head to the River Safari? Good news: the River Safari is open! Make sure you book your timed-entry tickets online before visiting.
Where: River Safari, 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Amazon Flooded Forest
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.
Looking to see some celebs in the flesh? Well, they’re mostly made out of wax. But regardless, you’ll be able to see them in person at Madame Tussauds! Make sure to get your tickets online before heading out.
Where: Madame Tussauds, Sentosa, 40 Imbiah Road, Singapore 099700
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.
Plus, don’t miss the Virtual Images of Singapore exhibition, a 1.5-hour learning journey where kids can learn about the history of Singapore! Follow a time-travelling host as you’re transported to different iconic moments in our country’s life.
Gardens by the Bay
Hooray, for Gardens by the Bay is open, as well as the Far East Organization’s Children’s Garden! Psst: You must book your timed-entry tickets to the Flower Dome in advance, as physical ticketing counters will not be open.
Where: Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
Floral Fantasy, Gardens by the Bay
We’ve explored every inch of Gardens by the Bay including the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, which is why we’re excited to have not one, but four new garden landscapes to explore at Floral Fantasy, including a 4D ride as a dragonfly (currently closed though; see above). Dance, drift, waltz or float away on bubbling brooks, past waterfalls, hanging plants and more at this attraction. Super kid-friendly – be prepared to take plenty of photos!
Science Centre Singapore
It’s one of our fave kid-friendly museums, and the exhibits are pretty cool, too! And fortunately, the Science Centre Singapore is open! Make sure you pre-book your tickets.
Where: Science Centre Singapore, 15 Science Centre Road, Singapore 609081
Omni-Theatre — SE Asia’s First 8K 3D Digital Dome Theatre
Head out to the Omni-theatre at Science Centre Singapore to watch We are Stars, and learn everything about the universe. This documentary will feature insights from leading scientists, cosmologists, astrophysicists, astrochemists, planetary scientists and astrobiologists.
The permanent exhibition at the Science Centre, one of our fave kid-friendly museums, will wow children and all little engineers. Once you’ve been briefed on your mission, you can check out the interactive exhibits and earn secret codes to play an escape room. Put your piloting skills to the test at the special drone-rover arena; you can even bring your own drone or RC car to pilot. It’s a dry-weather activity only so be sure to go when the sun’s out!
Phobia: The Science of Fear
Most of us have a phobia (spiders, yuck!) and this addition to Science Centre Singapore 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.
Know Your Poo
Be sure to bring the kiddos to this fun exhibition about poo and all things related to bodily function. Learn the history and evolution of sanitation and toilets through interactive exhibits! Identify what you should or shouldn’t flush down the toilet, learn what makes fart smelly and pose for a picture with the porcelain royal throne. It’s an entertaining exhibit that will blow you away!
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. 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.
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
One of our favourite kid-friendly museums, the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum has reopened. Make sure you pre-purchase your tickets.
Where: Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, 2 Conservatory Drive, Singapore 117377
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 and ecosystem. From a slice of the rare (and now locally extinct) Changi tree, to the Singapore sperm whale, examine the weird and wonderful from our very own shores. Did we mention there’s dinosaur fossils?
Trick Eye Museum
One of the best kid-friendly museums in Singapore has reopened once again! Psst, buy your tickets online before going down!
Closed until further notice
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 at this kid-friendly museum to count.
Where: Trick Eye Museum, 26 Sentosa Gateway, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore 098138
Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands’ stores are open, and has safe distancing and contact tracing measures in place, as well as temperature screening of guests. If you’re visiting the mall, be sure to head early to avoid disappointment and long wait lines.
Where: Marina Bay Sands, The Shoppes, 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956, p. 6688 8888
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.
Similarly to Playeum, Ion Sky is currently closed till further notice. In the meantime, check out Ion Orchard’s website for updates.
Where: Ion Sky, Orchard Turn, Level 56, Singapore 238801
Adventures in Food Wonderland
Closed until further notice
We bet you didn’t know about this projection light show in the heart of Orchard Road! Bring the kids round to Ion Sky and get to know Ang Ku Kueh Girl and her friends in this exhilarating adventure through food wonderland. See whether you can spot local delights like nasi lemak, roti prata, pineapple tarts and more as you walk through the gallery.
Urban Redevelopment Authority Centre
Similar to other attractions and several museums, the Urban Redevelopment Authority Centre is closed to visitors for now. Until next time!
Where: The URA Centre, 45 Maxwell Road, Singapore 069118
Singapore City Gallery
Closed until further notice
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 journeying through Singapore’s hidden urban systems in ‘How Our City Works’. Family winner for sure.
Top image: National Gallery Singapore