Singapore has so many amazing museums, and even better, most are kid-friendly, making for the perfect family day out. Yay!
We love visiting Singapore’s museums with the kids in tow – and we’re spoilt for choice with so many fab exhibits right on our doorstep. From delving into Singapore’s history, as well as nations near and far, to getting up close with wildlife and learning about different habitats – there’s a kid-friendly museum for all interests right here in Singapore! Museums never mean boring either. Oh no, we’re talking interactive, all-singing-all-dancing exhibits, making any museum trip super-fun and educational. Honestly? We can’t think of a better day out with the family. So without further ado, here are our favourite museums and exhibits in Singapore for your next family outing…
KID-FRIENDLY MUSEUMS & EXHIBITS IN SINGAPORE
1. Asian Civilisations Museum
The Asian Civilisations Museum offers up loads of learning opportunities to discover Southeast Asia from a time gone by. We also love their “Let’s Learn About…” series, which introduces a new topic every month specifically for the littlies. As well as highlighting the relevant artefacts related to that topic for the kids to hunt down in the museum, there’s also a whole host of online activities to keep them busy! Also, don’t forget to grab one of the colourful activity booklets (complete with stickers and postcards) and try out the museum trails.
The exhibit – Life in Edo | Russel Wong in Kyoto
If Japan is one of your favourite countries to travel to, then you shouldn’t give this exhibit a miss. Life in Edo takes a look at traditional and contemporary Japan, and how the two often converges into each other. Sign up for the weekend workshops inspired by the exhibition, such as woodblock printing and building your own Japanese garden.
When: Until 19 September 2021
Where: Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555
2. National Museum of Singapore
The National Museum of Singapore has always been one of our favourite kid-friendly museums to visit, with plenty of permanent and one-off exhibits to entertain the kids. Don’t forget to download your Get Curious: My Family’s Stories kit before your visit to accompany your trip for the perfect family day out! Here are some of our favourite exhibits to have on your list:
The exhibit – The Glass Rotunda: Story of the Forest
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 mimics the sights and sounds of Southeast Asia’s lush tropical rainforests. It transforms 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!
When: Permanent exhibit
The exhibit – Singapore, Very Old Tree
Once you’re done with interactive heaven at Story of the Forest, 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.
When: Permanent exhibit
Where: National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897
3. National Gallery Singapore
The National Gallery Singapore is worth a trip for the building alone! And then you’ve got a collection of fab exhibits, and of course, our all-time favourite: Keppel Centre for Art Education. The latter is filled with hands-on activities to keep all ages entertained, good luck leaving. Here’s the lowdown on must-see exhibits for planning your outing:
The exhibit – City Hall: If Walls Could Talk
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.
The exhibit – Keppel Centre for Art Education
This interactive space encourages imagination, creativity and self-led exploration for kids. The little ones can play at this dedicated kids section of the museum. From designing their own virtual sculptures to attending workshops, there’s plenty of space to roam around and let their imagination soar.
When: Permanent exhibit
Where: National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
4. 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. Check out the permanent exhibits showcasing the colourful history and culture of the Malay community in Singapore. There are five galleries spread over two levels, so plenty to keep everyone busy! Don’t miss My Babak’s Studio, where you can explore the workplace of a Banjarese diamond trader and jeweller. Complete the trip by purchasing the mini briefcase activity pack! Afterwards, roam outside and take photos with the Paw-verbs on the Lawn.
Where: Malay Heritage Centre, 85 Sultan Gate Singapore 198501
5. Indian Heritage Centre
Ever wanted to know how the Indian population in Singapore came to be? Find out at the Indian Heritage Centre with its exhibits full of facts and colourful displays documenting the incredible journey from the Indian sub-continent to Southeast Asia. The exhibit will have you setting off on your own little adventure too, as you explore history from the 1st century right up to the 21st century.
Where: Indian Heritage Centre, 5 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209924
6. 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. Not only that, but they have loads of one-off kid-friendly exhibits taking place throughout the year, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled!
Where: 12 Tai Gin Road, Singapore 327874
7. ArtScience Museum
You’ll know ArtScience Museum from its iconic home along Marina Bay. As well as having some serious Insta credentials from the outside, there are loads to snap inside too. Have your cameras at the ready! We’re also big fans of how interactive the exhibits are, especially Future World: Where Art Meets Science. See below for all the full deets!
The exhibit – 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 at Future World. 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. Fun and totally kid-friendly.
When: Permanent exhibit
The exhibit – Star Wars Identities
Pick up your lightsaber and hotfoot it down to this Star Wars Identities exhibit. A must-visit for all Star Wars fans young and old, there are over 200 artefacts from the original Star Wars movies to peruse. What’s more, you can also create your own unique Star Wars character in this interactive exhibition!
When: Until 13 June 2021
Where: ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974
8. 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 a boat ride down the Amazon River Quest for an exciting, scenic end to the day.
Where: River Safari, 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
9. 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. You’ll be treated to mini Singapore in all its 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.
Where: Madame Tussauds, Sentosa, 40 Imbiah Road, Singapore 099700
10. Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is one of our favourites for a family day out. There’s plenty of outdoor space, amazing (and free!) water play, and a range of food choices. Plus, there’s plenty of indoor options, perfect for when you need to cool off or the weather goes array.
The exhibit – Floral Fantasy
We’ve explored every inch of Gardens by the Bay, including the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. And that’s why we’re excited to have not one, but four new garden landscapes to explore at Floral Fantasy. 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!
When: Permanent exhibit
The exhibit – Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom
Get up close with majestic large-scale glass installations and sculptures by renowned artist Dale Chihuly, which are placed throughout the two conservatories and outdoor gardens. The beautifully blown pieces fit in very nicely within Gardens by the Bay, we’re definitely in awe of them! There will be plenty of walking and exploring involved so don’t forget to bring necessities – especially insect repellant.
When: Until 1 August 2021
Where: Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
11. Science Centre Singapore
The Science Centre Singapore has exhibits galore for all ages, from the toddlers, right the way through to the reluctant (but sure to be impressed) teens. Make a day of it and be sure to have these fabulous exhibits on your radar:
The exhibit – Omni-Theatre — SE Asia’s First 8K 3D Digital Dome Theatre
Head over to the Omni-theatre at Science Centre Singapore to watch the current screening of Superpower Dogs. You’ll be wowed by the spectacle alone, and that’s before you’ve taken in the amazing feats of our favourite four-legged friend, Fido!
The exhibit – Future Makers
The permanent exhibition at the Science Centre 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!
The exhibit – 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.
The exhibit – 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 farts smell and pose for a picture with the porcelain royal throne!
The exhibit – Butterflies Up-Close
Hands up if your kids made you read one of our 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.
Where: Science Centre Singapore, 15 Science Centre Road, Singapore 609081
12. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
One of our favourite kid-friendly museums, the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum 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 are dinosaur fossils?
Where: Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, 2 Conservatory Drive, Singapore 117377
13. 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 at this kid-friendly museum to count.
Where: Trick Eye Museum, 26 Sentosa Gateway, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore 098138
14. Marina Bay Sands
Thought The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands were just about, well, shops? Think again! Make a beeline for the amazing light sculpture and LED floor, all part of Digital Life Canvas, a collaboration with teamLab. Expect some pretty impressive light imagery. Think birds flying through the light sculpture while fish dart about beneath your feet, and flowers blooming underfoot. It’s all part of the fun!
Where: Marina Bay Sands, The Shoppes, 10 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018956
15. Singapore City Gallery at the Urban Redevelopment Authority Centre
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. Plus, take a journey through Singapore’s hidden urban systems in ‘How Our City Works’. Family winner for sure.
Where: The URA Centre, 45 Maxwell Road, Singapore 069118; Open by appointment only.
16. Singapore Maritime Gallery
Sea voyagers, sailors, and those curious about the sea, the Singapore Maritime Gallery is where you can learn about Singapore’s maritime heritage. Keep a lookout for 10 fun facts as you explore the place. Don’t forget to pick up an activity booklet so that you can discover more through quizzes, puzzles, and other fun stuff.
The exhibit – The Sea Show
Did you know that the sea covers over two-thirds of the Earth’s surface? This fun, colourful, and eye-catching show celebrates life at and in the ocean, while also drawing attention to the threats that it’s facing. There are plenty of opportunities to take photos in this space – keep a lookout for installations featuring sharks and rubber duckies! Complete a specially designed activity booklet by finding clues and answers hidden within the exhibits and you get a complimentary copy of EYEYAH! magazine’s Sea issue.
When: Until 13 July 2021
Where: Singapore Maritime Gallery, Marina South Pier, 31 Marina Coastal Drive Level 2, Singapore 018988
See you at the museum, folks!