Singapore may be one of the most expensive cities to live in, but we've rounded up the best free activities to do with your kids on this tropical island. You'll want to bookmark this!
Here in Singapore, there are always exciting and new activities to do with kids every weekend. And, there are always plenty of holiday camps happening around the island, too. But, if you’ve run out of ideas, or if your wallet’s feeling the pinch, we’ve got great suggestions for you that won’t cost a cent, so you can save your money or use it on the next fancy dinner date without the kids. And yes, we’ve even split them into free things to do indoors and free things to do outdoors, so you can find a budget-friendly family activity no matter what the weather in Singapore!
Check out our Growing Pains podcast mini-episode 1 on the best free things to do in Singapore:
FREE THINGS TO DO INDOORS WITH KIDS IN SINGAPORE
1. FREE: Register now to attend fun workshops at our Go Green event!
18 – 19 November 2023, Forum the Shopping Mall
The world’s first modular edible green wall is coming to Forum The Shopping Mall and we’re super excited about it! Created by Grobrix, this edible wall is filled with delicious fresh produce that can be grown indoors. Just think of it: a wall of lettuce, kale, and even chilli padi – right in the centre of a mall on Orchard Road! Come and see it and join in a super fun workshop with the fam – and it’s free entry! Register now
2. Gateway Arts storytelling Saturdays
3. Check out a free museum or art gallery!
A great way to escape the heat (or rain) is to head to a museum or art gallery. The good news is there are several free options, and others have heavily discounted or free children’s entry, making them an affordable day out. A firm fave on our list is Keppel Centre for Art Education which has loads of interactive displays and is housed in the beautiful National Gallery Singapore. The bonus is it’s completely free!
4. Hang out at the library!
Singapore has a host of fab, kid-friendly libraries to take little bookworms to, and they are free to visit! One of our faves is the library@harbourfront, with over 200,000 books, magazines, and audio-visual materials in a 3000 sqm space! library@harbourfront is the largest shopping mall library in Singapore, and the best part? It’s got an awesome Children’s Zone where kids can check out digital books and activities in the Tumblebook stations. Alternatively, they can immerse themselves in the Stories Come Alive Room. Plus, there’s also a Tinker Truck children’s maker space where kids can get their hands on DIY crafts and puzzles.
5. Explore a mall (with indoor playgrounds!)
Malls are not just about the shops; oh no, there are plenty of fun and free things to do in Singapore to keep the kids entertained. Many are home to some pretty cool playgrounds (we love Paragon in Orchard for this!), and then there are the super-cool displays for big events such as Chinese New Year and Christmas. Malls such as Vivocity also have plenty of outdoor space (head up to level 3) where the kids can burn off energy, and you can take in those views over to Sentosa!
6. Visit a temple
Another great indoor option for free things to do with kids in Singapore is to visit a temple! There are so many beautiful temples to explore. We especially love The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, a four-storey Buddhist temple and museum complex found in the heart of the Chinatown district. The temple is based on the Tang dynasty architectural style and built to house the tooth relic of Buddha. This place is ornate, opulent and full of fascinating tales and history. Make sure you catch one of the free guided tours for this must-see temple and museum.
7. Visit a functioning fire station
Does your little one dream of being a firefighter one day? Earn some cool mum points and bring them to a real-life fire station open house where they’ll get to learn the different roles in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)! Too cool.
8. Whisk yourself off to Jewel Changi Airport
Changi Airport has loads to keep the kiddos busy – both airside and open to the public. Visit Jewel to marvel at the Rain Vortex – the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Meanwhile, the Viewing Malls at Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are the perfect places for plane spotters of all ages.
9. Get crafty at home – art, baking, storytime and movie marathons for the whole fam
When it’s rainy season, and you need ideas for indoor play at home, we got you covered! Check out these themed craft ideas to keep the kids busy for hours, or take a look at these fun and easy recipes to while away some time in the kitchen. Get that popcorn ready and cosy up on the couch with these fam-friendly movies or spend some quiet time reading your favourite books – we even have a list of Singapore stories to share with the kiddos!
FREE THINGS TO DO OUTDOORS WITH KIDS IN SINGAPORE
10. Explore Fort Canning and Fort Siloso
Eager to give your tot a little history lesson without them zoning off? Fort Canning is filled with stories to tell and sights to see with its nine historical gardens. These gardens also include trail guides that will allow you to plan your adventure for your child and explore the vast space at your own pace! There’s also an awesome playground with swings, slides and climbing frames to burn off any extra energy.
While you’re on the hunt for history, why not check out Fort Siloso at Sentosa? Singapore’s only well-preserved coastal fort, the on-site military museum, contains a treasure trove of WWII memorabilia, including coastal guns, the remains of fortified military structures and tunnels, as well as interactive video documentaries. There are even wax figures of Japanese and British soldiers at the Surrender Chambers, which add to the immersive experience!
11. Hike the trails
No matter what your stamina is – or your kid’s interests, for that matter – hiking is a super-cool way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Not only is it free, but it’s also good exercise! Some trails are pram-friendly, ones that are great for beginners and those that are off the beaten path. Plus, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views and fresh air: rejuvenating for the soul and a great family bonding activity.
12. Cool off at a water park
Free water parks are perfect on a hot summer’s day! In Singapore, that means most days of the year. So beat the heat and let the kiddos take a dip in the cool waters. There are more than just fountains and splash pools, you can find water slides and water playgrounds, and some are even themed with flowers or dinosaurs!
13. Visit Gardens by the Bay
A must-visit? Far East Organization Children’s Garden at Gardens by the Bay (read our guide to the Gardens here). There’s a dedicated play zone just for toddlers and two rainforest treehouses with a 130-metre-long canopy trail just for the older kids. Don’t forget the sunblock and swimwear, plus bikes or scooters for the boardwalk!
14. Nighttime fun – catch a free light show
We love seeing our little ones’ faces light up as they see the fairy lights sparkle at the free light shows in Singapore. Garden Rhapsody at Supertree Grove within Gardens by the Bay happens nightly at 7.45pm and 8.45pm. The lights are set to music, and the theme changes regularly, from classical music to movie theme tunes – check the website for details!
You can also see Spectra, a free light and water show, at the Marina Bay Event Space every evening at 8pm and 9pm. The 15-minute outdoor show unfolds before your eyes in a four-part story. Set to a beautiful symphony orchestral soundtrack, there are dancing fountain jets, colourful visual projections, advanced lasers, and lava and mist effects, sure to wow the kiddos (and you!).
15. Take a stroll through the Singapore Botanic Gardens, enjoy a picnic and visit the Joseph Ballas Children’s Garden
There is loads of fun to be had in the Singapore Botanic Gardens for kids, from spotting wildlife like giant monitor lizards, swans, fish and wild chickens to playing at the nature-based playgrounds. Pack a picnic to enjoy under the shade of a tree, and stop to read the signs that share information about the plants and Singapore’s history. Keep an eye out for free workshops, like crafts, sketching and caring for plants, that happen on the first Saturday of the month.
16. Have fun at an awesome playground
Kill two birds with one stone: get your retail therapy fix and bring the kids out to a mall playground! The possibilities are endless – these playgrounds exist in almost every mall on the island. But if you’re looking for the best outdoor playgrounds in Singapore, then you’re in for a treat, too, with so many to pick from! Head up to Admiralty Park – home to the widest and longest slide in Singapore and diverse wheelchair-accessible play equipment for kids of all abilities to enjoy. Check out our piece on inclusive playgrounds while you’re at it, too.
17. Cycle or scoot around the city’s parks
One of the best things about living in Singapore is easy accessibility to the free, public, beautiful parks. And with a large interconnected network of park connectors, why not spend the day scooting or cycling from one park to another? You could even stop for a picnic, fly a kite, head to the skate park to shred, spot some animals or bird watch!
Our favourite spots? Punggol’s Coney Island for some peace and quiet away from the city. The older kids and daredevils can also visit the various mountain bike parks at Bukit Timah, Pulau Ubin or MacRitchie for some extreme fun. Gnarly, dude. Don’t forget to bring your mozzie repellent, lots of water and dress appropriately for the occasion!
18. Listen to music at free concerts
Love the vibes at live concerts but can’t bear to fork out heftily-priced tickets for the whole fam? Well, you’re in luck – the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) regularly performs free lunchtime concerts at Victoria Concert Hall, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Botanic Gardens and other places around the country. And, unlike enjoying a night in a fancy-schmancy concert hall, you can totally bring your kids and a picnic basket to enjoy the experience together as a family! Another top spot for free music concerts is at The Esplanade – its concourse regularly holds free performances featuring local and overseas artists.
19. See Singapore’s cultural and religious landmarks
One of the many highlights of living in Singapore is its cultural diversity – and we’ve got the landmarks to prove it. Take a stroll around Singapore and hit the temple trail at Little India, starting with one of Singapore’s oldest (and probably most colourful) Hindu temples, the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Move on to Chinatown and visit the architecturally stunning Thian Hock Keng Temple before heading to the iconic Masjid Sultan in the heart of the Kampong Glam district. Then, pop around to St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Singapore’s oldest Anglican cathedral, and see its gorgeous church grounds and stained glass windows.
20. Live that farm life
Remember visiting a goat farm on a school excursion? Well, you can reminisce about the good ol’ days with a farm visit! Take the kids to Hay Diaries to learn how a farm operates. They’ll be thrilled to see how goats are milked, and you can even take goat milk home with you too! Or, head to Jurong Frog Farm to learn more about bullfrogs! Then, drop by Bollywood Veggies to reconnect with nature, and spot different veggies and wildlife!
21. Check out Singapore’s ‘hoods!
Singapore may be a small country, but we’ve got plenty of culture-rich neighbourhoods. And we’ve got our handy guides to help you discover them, too! From Bugis, Joo Chiat and Katong to Roberston Quay, Chinatown, Punggol and Little India, there’s so much to explore and see. Oh, and don’t forget the dioramas and statues at the Chinese mythology park of Haw Par Villa – we suggest visiting this strange oddity during the day with the kids.
22. Hit the beach!
What better free thing to do with kids in Singapore than take a trip to the beach! Yep, we love packing up the bucket and spades (and the kitchen sink, which is usually the case with any trip out with kids) and heading down for some sun, sea and sand! From sunny Sentosa to beautiful East Coast Park, there are loads of beaches to discover in the Little Red Dot!
23. While you’re there… check out the Central Beach Bazaar
Located at the heart of Sentosa’s beaches, Central Beach Bazaar is a new attraction that offers a day-to-night carnival beach experience, featuring the return of the iconic Sentosa Musical Fountain, which is augmented by the tallest fountain in Southeast Asia, the Sentosa SkyJet. Central Beach Bazaar will be the highlight of your day at the beach, more than just the sun, sand and sea!
24. You can also snap a pic with the giants on Sentosa!
Another fantastic free thing to do with kids in Singapore! There are four new visitors to Sentosa’s Palawan Beach. As part of a new art installation (with a focus on recycling – love that), you and the kiddos won’t want to miss snapping a pic with the ‘Explorers of Sentosa‘. Based on a poem written by artist Thomas Dambo, the art tells the story of a family of giants living at Palawan Beach and their discovery of ‘eternity material’. Made from recycled timber (and weighing in at 5.5 tonnes – that’s the same as three family-sized cars!), they make for a great family photo opp and a fun day out.
25. Let’s go fly a kite
One of our favourite free things to do with kids in Singapore is to head outside. Pick a perfect windy spot and enjoy some kite-flying adventures! There are plenty of strong-wind spots around Singapore. We love Marina Barrage, Punggol Waterway Park, Sembawang Park and Jurong Central Park. Best of all, it’s completely free! So dust off your kites, and don’t forget to slap on some sunblock before taking off!
26. Embark on a heritage trail
Bring the kiddos out for a scenic walk as well as a crash course on Singapore’s heritage. There are plenty of heritage trails to choose from! Explore popular landmarks around neighbourhoods like Hougang, Little India and Tiong Bahru. Plan your routes and make sure to keep you and the littlies well-hydrated!
27. Hunt for dinosaurs around Singapore!
Love dinos? So do we! And there are loads of places to see dinosaurs in Singapore (some free, some not). Special exhibitions, museums, theme parks, playgrounds, and on TV – there’s no shortage of dinosaurs to be found in Singapore! We’ve rounded up everywhere we spotted a dino into one handy list – happy dino hunting!
Looking for more fun things to do with kids? Check out what’s on this weekend!