National Day 2018 celebrations: 53 things to do in Singapore with the kids

things to do for SG53 HERO
To celebrate SG53, we've put together a list of 53 awesome things to do with the kiddos here in sunny Singapore...

Turning 53 years old is a pretty big deal, so to celebrate SG53, we’ve come up with a list of 53 things to do in Singapore with kids this summer, from the iconic to the obscure. We’re talking kid-friendly exhibits, gloriously green pockets of the island, cool activities for fussy teens and quintessential Singaporean fun for all ages and budgets. Happy birthday, Singapore!

1. We never need much of an excuse to head to one of our fave kid-friendly spots in Singapore, The National Gallery, but right now there’s even more fun afoot with the Children’s Festival: Small Big Dreamers happening!

2. It’s always a hip hip hooray kinda day when we wake up and find the sun shining: the perfect excuse to hop on a bum boat for a family adventure over at Pulau Ubin.

3. Cooling off at a free water playground is always a sure fire activity winner, even more so when you get to combine it with flower domes, great local eats and scooting opportunities galore: Yep, we’re talking about you, Gardens by the Bay.  

4. Uncover Singapore’s colourful history through displays, interactive exhibitions and activities at the Singapore Discovery CentreThink a Merlion who raps, an Army Museum, a paintball arena and a digital dance studio: and that’s just for starters!

5. Dive under the deep blue sea with a fishy excursion to S.E.A. Aquarium, where you’ll catch Nemo and friends amongst the 800 species of marine life on display.

things to do for SG53 MACRITCHIE

Conquer the Treetop Trail at MacRitchie! Photography: Tracy Tristram

6. If you have small monkeys with seemingly boundless energy, then it’s time you challenged them to the Treetop Trail at MacRitchie Reservoir. You’ll definitely spot real monkeys along the way, so don’t get them confused with your kids!

7. Take to the high seas for a spot of island hopping around Singapore and discover some beautiful beaches and adventure opportunities without having to jet away on an actual family holiday.

8. Tweens and teens are notoriously hard to please, but when it comes to things teenagers want to do in Singapore, we think Mega Adventure Park on Sentosa fits the bill. Who’s up for some zip lining?

9. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is where you should be heading with small dinosaur fans and wannabe paleontologists. Browse the fascinating botanical and zoological collections before checking out the star players: the dinos! Admission is limited per session, so best to book to save tears.

10. For a quintessentially Singaporean day out packed with history, culture and colour, we say go on a temple trail around the island. So much gold, history, legend and adventure. Especially cool for when you have the grandparents in town.

 

things to do for SG53 CRACKITT

The Professor Crackitt Mirror Maze at the Science Centre. Photography: Darissa Lee

11. There’s never a dull moment at Singapore Science Centre: Bring out the inner geek in the whole famalam by checking out cool exhibits including Butterflies Up Close, Dino Robot Factory and Professor Crackitt Mirror Maze, the largest mirror maze in Asia.

12. For a slice of larger-than-life adventure head to Haw Par Villa theme park where you’ll find legendary stories brought to life amongst huge folklore-inspired statues. The Courts of Hell are an especially great alternative to time out if the kids are playing up…

13. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road and breath in the tranquil peace and quiet that is Singapore Botanic Gardens. Well as peaceful as it can be with kids in tow… Look out for the resident swans and head to Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden for playground action.

 

things to do for SG53 SCOOTING

Family fave East Coast Park is perfect for little scooters to perfect their moves. Photography: Selina Altomonte

14. Whether you fancy an overnight camping trip or a good ol’ fashioned day at the beach, East Coast Park never lets us down when it comes to quality family time.

15. For an afternoon of giggles and optical illusions, head to the Trick Eye Museum, arm yourself with a camera and create some hilarious photos to flood your Insta-feed with.

16. There’s so much fun on offer at the Art Science Museum that it’s hard to know where to start! Future World always gets a huge thumbs up from our own junior reporters, and superhero wannabes will definitely love the Marvel Studios: Ten Years of Heroes exhibition.

17. Check out the newly opened Rainforest Lumina at Singapore Zoo and see just what the animals get up to after dark.

18. Pack a picnic, bring a kite and spend a day in the fresh air atop Marina Barrage. Make it extra special by bagging a spot during the National Day rehearsals or National Day Parade to get a great view of the aerial displays and fireworks.

things to do for SG53 FORT CANNING

The whole of Fort Canning Park is one big history lesson. Photography: Tracy Tristram

19. For a real glimpse into Singapore’s history head over to Fort Canning Park and set the kids free to run on the hills that were once the site of 14th Century Malay palaces. Visit the Battlebox, a British command centre located underground, for a World War II history lesson, before heading to Flutes for one of the best brunches in town!

20. Soak up Singapore’s cultural history and go on a trip around Singapore with the help of our handy guide to all the areas that celebrate who we all are. Add to the fun by jumping on and off a public bus!

21. Kids who have aspirations for a future career as a pilot will adore the airport themed play space with a view of an actual runway over at The Oval @ Seletar. Plenty of room for running and plane spotting! Take them to Changi Airport for a wet-weather aero-themed alternative. 

22. There are more farms in Singapore than you might think, and we have a special fondness for Jurong Frog Farm after watching Disney’s The Princess and the Frog once too often. Kissing optional.

things to do for SG53 PLAYEUM

Indoor jungles and giant soil pits at Playeum! Photography: Tracy Tristram

23. Another stalwart of the HoneyKids weekend go-tos is interactive play space, Playeum. Check out the new exhibit, Going Play-Ces: A Wanderful Exploration of New Lands for hands-on fun the whole fam will love.

24. Find out what life was like for a soldier from times of old over at Fort Siloso with a visit to the Surrender Chambers to witness historic surrender moments that changed life in Singapore during WWII.

25. Flock over to Jurong Bird Park for a thoroughly feathery fun day out amongst over 400 species of birds. Don’t forget to bring swimmers to make a big splash in the water playground.

26. We recently tried (and failed) an escape room mission which proved to be great family fun. We gave The Morgue at XScape a go, and we may have even made it out had we not wasted so much time being scared…

things to do for SG53 CAT CAFE

Cat cafes are the purr-fect alternative to a pet of your own. Photography: Cat Cafe Neko No Niwa.

27. If the kids are hounding you for a pet but aren’t quite ready to commit to adopting a furry friend here in Singapore, then pet cafes are the next best thing. Purr-fect for kids age six and up.

28. For a one-stop destination and a whole ton of family fun, go over to Orto Park where you’ll find prawn fishing, longkang fishing, go-karting, trampolining, paintballing and more.

29. An oldie but a goodie (it’s been around since 1887), the National Museum of Singapore  is one of the best ways to learn about Singapore. Make sure you catch The More We Get Together featuring Singapore’s iconic mosaic playgrounds until 30 September.

30. Walk the plank for some seriously soggy adventures over at The Palawan Pirate Ship. You’ll save some bounty for other treats too: it’s free!

31. Coney Island is a rustic, green space perfect for a leisurely day of cycling, picnicking and spotting the local wildlife residents. Brush up on all things Coney Island with our handy guide before packing the kids off for a day of outdoors adventure.

32. While we all call Singapore our home, how much of it do we really pay attention to it on a daily basis? We say be a tourist in our city for day and board a River Cruise, and then a Hippo Bus or Duck Tour and rediscover just how stunning the Lion City is.

33. Find out how our brave men and women in blue work to keep Singapore safe from fire with a fun, free, informative day out at a Fire Station. The programme runs every Saturday across the island – read about our own visit to Changi Fire Station before you blast a hose and ride a fire truck.

34. If you’re the rugged kind of family who love getting outdoors, then Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve might just be your thing. Look out for cool wildlife including water monitors, mudskippers and, if you’re really lucky (or unlucky), the ferocious estuarine crocodile.

 

things to do for SG53 WAVEHOUSE

Surfing in Singapore? Can, lah! Head over to the Wave House! Photography: Wave House

35. Surf’s up! Pack your rashies and goggles and take the family for a surfing safari at Wave House. Choose your wave and perfect your skills in this action-packed pick. No sharks. 

36. Head west to the beautiful Chinese Garden and Jurong Lake Gardens for gorgeous architecture and landscaping, plus a ton of space for busy little legs to run, run and then run some more!

37. Our essential guide to Universal Studios Singapore is just the ticket you need for a fun-packed, thrills ‘n’ spills day out at the island’s biggest theme park. Don’t forget to check the height restrictions to save yourself tears at the front of the queues.

38. We can’t have a list celebrating the coolest things to do in Singapore without mentioning The Merlion! Head over to Sentosa and discover the secrets of the Merlion.

39. For a big splash of cheap-as-chips awesome, dive into one of the splashtastic public pools with water slides dotted around Singapore. 

40. If the kids are bugging you for a day out then why not flutter your way over to Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom? Kids of all ages will be fascinated by all the bugs, beetles and butterflies on display. Creepy crawlies galore.

41. Go up, up and away for a bird’s eye view of the city skyline by taking to the skies on the Singapore Flyer, Asia’s largest observation wheel. Or ditch the kids in favour of a date night with a difference: The Sky Dining packages are wheel-y great.

42. Take advantage of the free aircon and catch the latest blockbusters to hit the silver screen at a Golden Village cinema. Try Gold Class if you fancy a splurge! You can’t beat M&Ms served in a cocktail glass! If you have ants-in-their-pants toddlers, look out for the regular Mums & Babies and Kids Flix sessions run for families with young children.

things to do for SG53 FOREST

Look up! Fun for the whole fam at Forest Adventure. Photography: Tracy Tristram

43. Here’s an activity for the whole fam: pick your route and tackle obstacle courses and age-appropriate challenges over in the treetops at Forest Adventure. The braver amongst you will love the thrill of the 300m zip line across the water (we recently navigated a particularly stylish Bridget Jones-moment when trying this out for ourselves…).

44. We’ve long loved the soaking screamers on offer at Wild Wild Wet, and with a massive overhaul last year, this water theme park in the east has soggy picks for kids – and grown ups – of all ages.

45. It has to be said, Singapore likes a theme. Whether it’s matching tees for the whole family, or a top-to-toe themed birthday bash, it’s something we’re all on board with. Next step up: theme cafes! With everything from DC Comics Superhero Cafe to Hello Kitty Cafe, there’s sure to be a theme that takes your fancy.

46. Encourage your little bookworms to read up on Singapore’s history, or discover locally set stories by Singaporean authors when you visit one of our favourite libraries in Singapore.

47. If you haven’t been to The Artground yet, what are you waiting for? We love everything about this creative indoor play spot: think sensory play, experiential art, an urban garden and even a theatre space!

48. Jet over to Paya Lebar Airbase and get up close and personal to fighter planes and helicopters at The Air Force Museum, and find out all there is to know about the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) through interactive displays and activities.

49. For a feast that’s big on taste and light on the wallet, we say munch your way through as many of the delish local and international offerings available at Lau Pa Sat. Wash it down with a kopi or teh and then go for a wander snapping photos of this wonderfully iconic hawker centre.

50. Discover Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle where you’ll find one of the last two dragon kilns in Singapore! Apart from the fascinating and humungous dragon kiln itself, we say spend an afternoon rummaging through its vast collection of pottery, or sign up for a pottery workshop.

51. Rub shoulders with the stars at Madame Tussauds where you and the littlies can strike a pose on the red carpet with the likes of Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. You definitely won’t feel a dummy for picking this great family day out!

Tick off all the iconic playgrounds around Singapore. Photography: Ben Ho SG via Flickr

52. Singapore totally knows how to do playgrounds: check out our guide to the best slides, swings and roundabouts found in local neighbourhoods – including that dragon playground!

53. The ice skating rink at The Shoppes might have retired but teamLab’s Digital Life Canvas is well worth the trek through for a fun digital art experience. And if it’s ice skating you’re after, skate into our guide to where the rinks are at before heading out for a chilly adventure.

Like this story? Here’s more we think you’ll enjoy:

What we love about raising a family in Singapore
Affordable activities and play centres in Singapore
Easy activities to do at home with the kids
Where to watch the fireworks in Singapore

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