We love heading to Sentosa or checking out the museums with the kids but nothing beats exploring a new neighbourhood. For an authentic heartlands experience, there’s no better place in Singapore to check than Ang Mo Kio.
One of the Lion City’s oldest ‘hoods, charming little Ang Mo Kio has all the ingredients for a perfect weekend out with the kids. From checking out old school mom-and-pop shops tucked under HDB flats, to participating in the wide variety of kid-friendly activities in the parks and surrounding shopping malls, there’s really no shortage of things to do here.
Hop off Ang Mo Kio MRT, on the NorthSouth line (the red one!). You’ll come face-to-face with a cluster of malls, including Jubilee Square, Djitsun Mall and the biggest one, Ang Mo Kio (or AMK) Hub.
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
One of the main highlights is the picturesque Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. Spanning across both the Bishan and Ang Mo Kio area, this park has massive ponds, an adventure, plus a dedicated dog run. Unfortunately, the lovely water playground is closed until further notice. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other water play areas in Singapore! Keep an eye out for classes and activities held in the park like yoga, inline skating and free Zumba fitness sessions.
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, Singapore 569981; www.nparks.gov.sg
Yio Chu Kang Sports Centre
Located at the back of Yio Chu Kang MRT Station, the Sports Centre comes equipped with a stadium, sports hall, ActiveSG gym and tennis and squash courts. It’s also home to a swimming complex which has a competitive pool, a teaching pool for swim lessons and a huge wading pool for little ones complete with water play equipment.
Yio Chu Kang Sports Centre, 200 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9, Singapore 569770; www.myactivesg.com
Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West
Ang Mo Kio Garden West has two playgrounds for kids, one of which is conveniently located beside the McDonald’s drive-thru. There’s also a huge lotus pond with a pergola if you’re looking to escape the heat. If the kids are up to the challenge, they can climb the 120-step staircase to get a bird’s eye view of the park. Cut through the open field and head to the other side of the park until you reach block 159 Ang Mo Kio Ave 5. If you’re there on a Sunday between 9.30am and 12pm you’ll get to meet the The Kebun Baru Birdsinging Club.One of the largest songbird display arena in Southeast Asia, this weekly meet up showcases more than 1000 bird cages and their resident songbirds perched on 20ft high poles. It will definitely be a treat for your senses.
Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West, Opposite Ang Mo Kio Town Library, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, Singapore 567740; www.nparks.gov.sg
Located on the top floor of AMK Hub, Cathay Cineplex is the place to go to catch a flick with the kids.
Cathay Cineplex, 53 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, AMK Hub, Level 4; www.cathaycineplexes.com.sg
At AMK Hub, kids can travel around the mall in style on an life-sized machanical animal known as a ZooMoov. Junior will have a blast riding on an animal of his or her choice, whether it’s an animal straight from a safari, a prehistoric dinosaur or even Chase from PAW Patrol. Parents can also jump on, so you don’t have to worry about losing your child in the crowd.
ZooMoov, Ang Mo Kio Hub, 53 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 #03-03, Singapore 569933; www.zoomoov.com
If the kids have always wanted to know what it’s like working at a digger site, they can hop into one of these kid-sized excavators and operate a robotic digger to pick out items in the pit. Or they can just get stuck in the sand, it’s fun either way!
Mini Excavators, Ang Mo Kio Hub Level 3 (in front of Kiddy Palace); www.amkhub.com.sg
Gamers big and small will love the arcade on the top level of AMK Hub. ZONE X is chock-full of game machines, photo sticker machines and claw machines for scooping up all those eye-catching prizes. You’ll have to set a cash limit for your little gamer though, or they’ll end up spending all their pocket money, and then some!
Zone X, 53 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, AMK Hub, #04-02A, Singapore 569933; www.facebook.com/zonexSG
Ang Mo Kio Town Library
Wind down with a spot of reading at the Ang Mo Kio Public Library. Settle into one of the many kid-sized tables and chairs or snuggle up with your sweetie in a plush couch as you read aloud a picture book. There are also activities and events like English and Chinese story-telling sessions. Check the National Library website for more details.
Ang Mo Kio Town Library, 4300 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, Singapore 569842; www.nlb.gov.sg
Canopy Garden Dining
If you’re taking the kids to Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park for a roll around the playground, pop by Canopy for a relaxing all-day weekend brunch which goes all the way until 4pm. Take the furkids along too, it’s a super dog-friendly cafe!
Canopy Garden Dining, 1382 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Bishan Park 2, Singapore 569931; canopygardendining.com.sg
You can expect a fair number of kid-friendly family restaurants around the Ang Mo Kio area serving up kiddy meals alongside steaks, fish and chips and rosti, like Collin’s, Jack’s Place and Buddy Hoagies.
But to really indulge in all the kid-friendly local cuisine the heartlands has to offer, head to any of the hawker centres at Ang Mo Kio Central, AMK Avenue 4 and Avenue 6. Our go-to dishes are the fried beehoon and Nasi Briyani from Avenue 4… yummmmmm
If you’re just looking for a quick bite, there’s always the McDonalds across the road from Ang Mo Kio library. Not only does it have its own indoor play area with tunnel slides, the McDonalds is also right next to Ang Mo Kio Garden West Park, which has a massive outdoor playground complete with a sandpit and swings.
McDonald’s, 10 Ang Mo Kio Street 12, Singapore 567740; www.mcdelivery.com.sg/sg
Top image credit: Choo Yut Shing via Flickr
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