Spending a day by the river but not sure where to go? We've got you covered with our family guide to Robertson Quay...
Robertson Quay is an absolute buzzing hub of family activity right on the Singapore River! A short walk from Clarke Quay, it’s a favourite haunt, along with Holland Village, for families with kids – locals and expats alike. Robertson Quay’s main attraction is family-friendly restaurants and a village-style square, complete with fountain and awesome places for the kids to head out with their scooters. Hop on an iconic bumboat for a round trip along the river, and if you’re lucky you’ll spot the resident family of otters frolicking along the shady, tree-lined shores. Criss-cross over one of the many unique and zany Robertson Quay bridges, and spend the day burning off bucket-loads of energy.
Aside from cafes and restaurants, Robertson Quay is bound by three great little malls complete with drop-in activity gyms and child-centred stores. A decent, but manageable walk from Somerset MRT, Clarke Quay MRT and Fort Canning MRT, Robertson Quay is also home to some great childcare and early learning centres. Here’s the inside story on some great things to do in the neighbourhood with kids:
A small mall with a few child-friendly cafes, Cold Storage and home to lots of activity centres for kids. See our list of play centres below for details. 81 Clemenceau Avenue, Singapore 239917; www.uesquare.com
An amazingly compact little mall filled with our Japanese favourites, including Kinokuniya bookstore (their children’s book section is great!), Uniqlo, and sushi train restaurants. Also home to great kids’ activity centres; see below for details. 177 River Valley Road, Singapore 179030; www.liangcourt.com.sg
Great Word City (GWC)
After Tanglin Mall, this would have to be the next favourite go-to for expat parents! Including a massive Cold Storage, this mall is home to Starbucks, ABC and Cedele bakery, Zara (with a great kids’ range!), Toys”R”Us, M&S, MothersWork and Jones the Grocer. Across the road from GWC you have one of Singapore’s favourite hawker’s centres, Zion, with some of the best carrot cake and kway teow on the island! 1 Kim Seng Promenade, Singapore 237994; www.greatworldcity.com.sg
Clarke Quay Central
Yippee for 24-hour supermarkets – Clarke Quay Central finally has its own Don Don Donki (peach smoothies, here we come)! We also love the ramen at Marutama, the cool boutiques and the ultimate toddler haven at one of our fave indoor play centres: Joy of Toys. 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, Singapore 059817; www.shopfareast.com.sg/en/retailers/clarke-quay-central
Kith Cafe (open breakfast and lunch)
Kith Cafe, located on the river, has its own unique courtyard space complete with toys. With smoothies and toasties on the menu and staff that really love kids, this is our favourite little breakfast spot. 7 Rodyk Street #01-33, Singapore 238215; www.kith.com.sg
Diabolo Cafe (open breakfast and lunch)
A new kid on the block, this French hole-in-the wall right next to Kith serves some seriously divine crêpes, both savoury and sweet. The added bonus is the soft-serve machine, which the kids can operate before loading up with toppings of their choosing. It’s an intimate space, best suited for a one-on-one date with your kiddo. 7 Rodyk St #01-30, Singapore 238215; www.diabolo-cafe.com
Toby’s Estate (open breakfast and lunch)
With both indoor and outdoor seating options, the kids can scoot up and down while you refuel on some of the best coffee on the island. 8 Rodyk Street #01-03/04, Singapore 238216; www.tobysestate.com.sg
ABC Artisan Boulangerie Co (open breakfast to dinner)
A fantastic bakery complete with sandwiches and cakes, located in a small child-friendly square along the river. A little closed-in ball pit is a major drawcard! 60 Robertson Quay, The Quayside #01-05/06/07, Singapore 238252; www.artisanbakery.com.sg
Carrotsticks and Cravings (open breakfast and lunch)
Tired of giving your kids chicken nuggets and fries? You’ll love the healthier options over at Carrotsticks and Cravings. We’re talking smashed avo toasties, gluten-free cakes, and acai bowls – yum! Ooh, they also have cars for kids to scoot around in!
7 Rodyk St, #01-34, Singapore 238215; www.carrotsticksandcravings.com
The Book Cafe (open breakfast to dinner)
We at HoneyKids are big fans of anything book- and caffeine-related, so finding a place where you can enjoy both definitely gets a big thumbs-up from us. It’s made up of two main areas – one for dining and another for sofas for reading and chilling out. The extensive menu will please even the pickiest of eaters. If you’re bringing the kids along, don’t worry. They’ve got toys and books to entertain your tots too!
#01-02 Seng Kee Building, 20 Martin Rd, Singapore 239070, p. 6887 5430;www.carrotsticksandcravings.com
Boomarang (open breakfast to dinner)
This big, bold and brash Aussie sports bar is a winner with families. The staff at Boomarang are welcoming to kids, and there are all the essentials: high chairs, children’s dinnerware and a kids’ menu. With its big comfortable seating options, this is a great one for a family feed, or a mum-group date. 60 Robertson Quay #01-15 The Quayside, Singapore 238252; www.boomarang.com.sg
Super Loco (open for dinner during the week; lunch and dinner on weekends)
It’s always time for a Mexican fiesta at Super Loco! There’s plenty of room for the kids to run around in the adjacent square and along the riverside. Don’t worry, the kid-friendly tacos and quesadillas keep them from wandering too far away. 60 Robertson Quay, The Quayside #01-13, Singapore 238252; super-loco.com
Alt. Pizza (open for lunch and dinner during the week; breakfast to dinner on weekends)
On the same small square as ABC bakery, the cosy American diner booths, outdoor play areas and design-your-own pizza are perfect for a family date night. 60 Robertson Quay #01-06, Singapore 238252; altpizza.com.sg
SummerLong (open for lunch and dinner)
This new kid on the block, taking over where Soi 60 once was, offers comfortable couches and Mediterranean comfort food. The soft serves get a big thumbs-up from the kids!
60 Robertson Quay #01-04, Singapore 238252; www.facebook.com/Summerlongsg
Dabbawala (open for dinner)
Formerly Curry Culture, this Indian restaurant serves a butter chicken that will silence the kids from the first bite. The stationary Dabbawala tuk-tuk out the front invites the kids for a good-fashioned session of make-believe.
60 Robertson Quay #01-10/11, Singapore 238252; www.thecurryculture.com.sg
Decker Barbecue (open for lunch and dinner)
When your kids ask for burgers and chips, take them to Decker for some quality barbecue flavours! Tucked away at the back of the main river concourse, the kids can run amok in the adjacent square to their heart’s content.
60 Robertson Quay, The Quayside #01-17, Singapore 238252; www.deckerbarbecue.com
Bar Bar Blacksheep (open for lunch and dinner)
Cheap as chips, this knock-about place combines three kitchens under one roof and offers western, Thai, Indian and Spanish cuisine.
86 Robertson Quay #01-04, Singapore 238245; www.bbbs.com.sg
Lucca’s Trattoria (open breakfast to dinner)
Pizza, pasta and all the kids’ favourites on the Robertson Walk square, which is always buzzing with energy.
11 Unity St #01-12, Singapore 237995; www.luccastrattoria.com
Bangkok Jam at Great World City (open for lunch and dinner)
Thai treats that the whole family will enjoy.
1 Kim Seng Promenade, Great World City #02-26, Singapore 237994; www.bangkokjam.com.sg
Mondo Mio (open for lunch and dinner)
A neighbourhood can never have too many Italian restaurants! Another one for a good night of pizza and pasta with the kids.
30 Robertson Quay, Riverside View #01-02A, Singapore 238251; www.mondomiosingapore.com
Ryoshi Sushi Ikeikemaru at Liang Court Mall (open for lunch and dinner)
What child doesn’t love a sushi train? Liang Court’s where it’s at for fresh, good quality meals on a conveyor belt!
177 River Valley Road, Liang Court #B1-31, Singapore 179030; www.facebook.com/ikeikemaru.sg
Three Buns (open for lunch and dinner)
Get your burger fix at one of the best burger joints in town. Fans of the delish gourmet burgers at Potato Head will be happy to know there’s a standalone restaurant dedicated to these bad boys. Our personal fave? The Kool Herc burger paired with truffle fries!
60 Robertson Quay, #01-01, Singapore 238252;www.threebuns.com
PS.Cafe (open for lunch and dinner)
We think PS.Cafe has the best truffle fries and chocolate cake in town. And having it within walking distance is just plain dangerous. Like all PS. Cafe outlets, the Martin Road location is both cosy and chic and perfect for date night.
38 Martin Road, #01-01, Singapore 239059, www.pscafe.com
Waka Waka by The Polliwogs at Furama Annex
A large natural light-filled, soft indoor play centre complete with trampoline, climbing structures and separate toddler play zone. The kids can refuel at the light and airy cafeteria after their Waka Waka mega-session.
407 Havelock Rd #05-01, Singapore 169634; thepolliwogs.com
Power Kids Gym at UE square
For kids aged 4 months to 10 years of age, this high-energy indoor soft play centre offers fun classes but also ‘open-gym’ times for free play.
81 Clemenceau Avenue, UE Square #02-12, Singapore 239917; www.powerkidsgym.com
Can’t stop the kids from jumping off the walls? You won’t have to at this fantastic indoor trampoline park complete with Ninja Warrior Course and foam pits. Don’t forget to wear socks!
46 Kim Yam Road, River Valley #02-11, Singapore 239351; ampedsingapore.com
Joy of Toys
On the third floor of Clarke Quay Central, you’ll find Joy of Toys, a toddler’s dreamland filled with playthings from wooden developmental toys to family games. Bonus: It has lots of comfy couches for mums and dads to rest on!
Joy of Toys, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, #03-51 Clarke Quay Central (Yellow Zone), Singapore 059817; www.joyoftoys.com.sg
Amazonia in Great Word City
This well-used and well-loved indoor soft play centre has been a favourite with the kids for years, and we can see why. The super high slide and double storey climbing gym are an adrenaline rush the kids will go back for over and over again! The in-house cafe and game rooms also make this centre a winner.
1 Kim Seng Promenade, Great World City Mall #03-08, Singapore 237994; www.amazoniafun.com
NURSERIES AND PRESCHOOLS
Blue House Infant & Toddler Atelier at UE square
This Reggio Emilia inspired centre runs programs for kids aged six-36 months, but also has generous parent accompanied drop-in sessions on the weekends.
83 Clemenceau Avenue, UE Square #01-35/36, Singapore 239920; www.bluehouseatelier.com
EtonHouse (Robertson Walk)
EtonHouse preschool follows its unique Inquire Think Learn Curriculum (ITL), inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. Boasting an innovative indoor playground and workspaces promoting Art, Light and Music, the campus at Robertson Walk provides a holistic and well-rounded environment for children to learn and exercise their creativity.
11 Unity Street, Robertson Walk #02-20, Singapore 237995; www.etonhouse.com.sg
SuperLand (UE Square)
In addition to being a Montessori-based bilingual program aimed at nurturing the joy of learning, SuperLand’s newly built UE Square campus aims to bring the garden into the city with its interactive garden decor, climbing frames and rock climbing wall. SuperLand also has a language program catered towards a bevy of international students offering Japanese, Korean, French and Hebrew in addition to English and Chinese.
81A Clemenceau Avenue #04-15/16, Singapore 239918; www.superland.com.sg
MindChamps (Liang Court)
At MindChamps, children both local and international will thrive in cheerful and challenging environment that promotes exploration and sets the foundation for the development of thinking skills and strategies. Children will be involved in Crafted Play and high-level problem solving that will have them ready and raring for Primary One.
177 River Valley Road, Liang Court #05-01, Singapore 179030; www.mindchamps.org
Cambridge Pre-school (Robertson)
Utilising the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Cambridge identifies and nurture every child’s unique talents, helping to pave the way to future opportunities. Other than project work and arts and crafts, the centre at Robertson even provides Japanese Culture and Enrichment classes with in-house Japanese teachers.
11 Unity Street, Robertson Walk #02-01, Singapore 237995; cambridge.school
OTHER FUN STUFF
Catch the bumboat to Robertson Quay and either scoot, walk, run or bike along the river. In one direction you’ll go past Clarke Quay right into Boat Quay and the CBD, or veer off towards UE mall to historic Fort Canning parkland. In the other direction you’ll hit the Alexandra Canal with some small park areas along the way. Look out for STPI art gallery. It’s small, free of charge and the perfect way to escape the heat. The SPRMRKT cafe within STPI does wicked juices and shakes – our favourite is the peanut butter and chocolate treat!
Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) located at Robertson Walk often puts on plays for children and serves as an exciting introduction to theatre.
Fort Canning‘s just had a makeover and we’re loving the new Jubilee Park playground that’s just opened. Hop on the long slide down to the park where you’ll find swings (bucket swings too, yay!), see-saws, logs to climb and balance on, and a wide open space for performances and events.
Photography (top image): Selina Altomonte
Like this story? Here’s more we think you’ll enjoy:
Dempsey Hill Singapore: Best guide to restaurants, cafes, shops and spas
Best family friendly dining in Singapore
Family-friendly neighbourhoods in Singapore: why we love where we live
Great spots in Singapore to go scooting with the kids