Children are oh-so-expensive, so we’re always looking for ways to whack less of a hole in our wallets when it comes to entertaining them. But the hardest age of all to keep busy on a budget? Teenagers! And while many teens can get part time jobs here in Singapore, they still always seem to be using us parents as a The Bank of Mum and Dad for expensive days hanging out with their mates. Well, no more! We’ve sent our teenage reporter, Jack, on a mission to find activities for teens for pocket money prices, and here’s what he came up with:
1. Hire a football pitch
I love playing football but I struggled to find places to play that didn’t involve joining a club or hiring a pitch for loads of money until I discovered Skypark Arena, right next to King Albert MRT station. It’s a rooftop pitch that only costs $30 per hour on a weekday, and $50 per hour on the weekends. Gather together a group of friends and it works out pretty affordably per person.
2. Strike out with your mates
Arrange a little friendly (or not-so-friendly!) competition at your nearest bowling alley! It’s the perfect sport for Singapore if you don’t like running around outdoors and getting sweaty, and it’s an affordable pick even for teenagers at around $4 per game. Check out the HoneyKids guide to bowling alleys all around Singapore before donning your funky shoes and showing your mates how to ace a strike.
3. Get into the great outdoors
When I was at my international school in Orchard, most of my friends lived all over Singapore so meeting at the Botanic Gardens was a good central option for us all. It’s free to get in and there’s lots to see and do there. There are often free concerts happening at the weekends, so keep an eye on the NParks schedule. Bring a picnic and snacks to make it even more affordable (raiding your parents cupboards is totally acceptable).
4. Head over to the coast
If you’re feeling full of energy then head over to the East Coast Park with your roller blades or bike (you can hire them if you don’t own). The sea breeze will keep you going along 42km of cycle trails along the coast!
5. Go back in time
It’s hard to believe that Singapore was ever filled with kampong villages rather than skyscrapers and shopping malls, so it’s great to get over to Pulau Ubin for a glimpse of what Singapore was like once upon a time. Hire bikes or take a stroll around the island and look out for the flora and fauna along your trails. Probably best to pack your water, sunscreen and mozzie spray! Bring snacks and a packed lunch to keep the cost down even more.
6. Cool off at a water park
While us teens love a day out over to Adventure Cove or Wild Wild Wet, sadly the pocket money doesn’t stretch to these kinds of entrance fees. All is not lost! If you haven’t been to Jurong East Swimming Complex yet then you’re missing out: it’s one of THE best swimming pools in Singapore. It costs just $1.50 during the week and $2 at the weekends to get in, and inside you’ll find huge water slides, a wave pool and even a bubble jet station.
7. Challenge your mates to a skate off
Bring your rollerblades, skateboards or scooters show off your skills (or not!) at Xtreme SkatePark, the biggest skatepark in Singapore. It’s over on the East Coast Park and is great whether you’re a beginner or an expert. There are always loads of teens over there so it’s also a good spot to make new friends if you are new in Singapore. Try the Streetcourse if you’re just starting out, the Combo Bowl if you’re a bit of a pro and the Vertical Bowl if you’re feeling brave! It’s free admission – don’t forget your water and your sunscreen. It’s hotter than the sun over there and there’s hardly any shade. If you can’t be bothered to schlepp over to the coast, there’s also a decent alternative near Orchard Road. Somerset Skate Park isn’t as big and bold, but it is in a great area for hanging out after you’re done showing off your moves.
8. Game on!
If you’re a gamer then St Games’ Cafe is a pretty cool place to hang out either on your own or with some friends. You’ll find the latest video games in the gaming stations on decent consoles. Bring your student card to bag the student package which is 2.5 hours of gaming for just $10 (prices usually start from $5 per hour). There are also board games in the cafe if you’re feeling retro and want to challenge your friends to an offline kind of game.
9. Sing it loud
I have to say this one is definitely NOT up my street at all, but I do have a lot of friends who like to get together and sing karaoke style. The popular ones seem to be the Family KTV outlets all over Singapore which charge from $10 per person. I keep being asked to come along, and I am told there are also pool tables there, but so far it is definitely a no from me…
10. Hang out at the beach
Head over to Sentosa (there’s no charge to to get onto the island if you walk across the Boardwalk from Vivo) and make your way to the beach. Tanjong Beach is good for a free game of volleyball and the water is pretty clear there for a swim, or if you’re game you can rent a stand up paddle board from $40 per hour. You can also bring your dog to this patch of sand if you have one! Other decently priced things to do on Sentosa include The Luge (from $23 for two rides), a Segway Fun Ride (from $17.50) or the Trickeye Museum (from $21 if you book online).
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