Plenty of green spaces, a huge swimming complex, library spanning five floors, IKEA, and... stuffed doughnuts? Yep, Tampines has everything you could ever dream of – and more!
So there’s this thing in Singapore where its citizens constantly compare which part of the island is the “best side”. Sure, the West of our tiny red dot has swimming pools with awesome water play features, pram-friendly walks for a leisurely family hike, the awesome Holland Village and Bukit Timah… the list just goes on! But don’t be so quick to wave off the East… it has its charms and fab family attractions too! One of our fave neighbourhoods in the East? Tampines! It’s one of the most populous (and thriving, we may add!) estates in eastern Singapore. So here’s everything you’ll want to see and do with the family in Tampines.
Things to do and see in Tampines
1. Do everything at Our Tampines Hub
If you can’t spare much time to tour Tampines, this behemoth should nab the top spot on your ‘to visit’ list. Spanning 5.7 hectares, this integrated community and lifestyle complex houses so many things to see, do and eat that you don’t need to go anywhere else, really.
Our Tampines Hub, 1 Tampines Walk, Singapore 528523
2. Run amok at Festive Play
The littlies will love this indoor mini playground located in basement one of Our Tampines Hub. The entire floor is soft padded (no fears of injuries here) and parents can get a brief respite while the kiddos burn off their energy running about with new friends on the slide and see-saw. Did we mention that it’s indoors too? Hello air conditioning!
Inside Our Tampines Hub
3. Go bowling at Orchid Bowl
Knock down some pins and be bowled over by this alley! The smaller tots will love the Highway 66 sessions, which is basically miniature bowling with shorter lanes, automated bumpers, and lighter bowling balls for tiny hands. Roll a bowling ball down a Dragon’s Ramp and see whether you can get a strike! For something a little more funtastic, how about some rounds of cosmic bowling? Glow-in-the-dark ten-pin bowling complete with disco lights and danceable tunes, that’s mighty fun if you ask us!
Orchid Bowl, #B1-50 Our Tampines Hub
4. Grab a book at Tampines Regional Library
Libraries are always a hit with us at HoneyKids, and this regional library is deffo one place where we don’t mind staying put for a few hours! Explore the five floors filled with books, magazines, audio-visual materials, references (good for those school projects), and more. There’s also an indoor playground for the kiddies, a dedicated space where folks can come together to learn, create and share skills, and an exhibition gallery… all within the library! It’s so spacious, we heard you can even go cycling in it!
Tampines Regional Library, #02-01 Our Tampines Hub
5. Watch a flick at Festive Arts Theatre
We daresay this is the complex’s best-kept secret. Why? Because, apart from playing host to theatre performances, it also screens movies! Even though its selection is modest compared to other cinemas, the theatre more than makes up for it in terms of crowd size. It doesn’t get crazy busy, even when you’re catching the latest blockbuster flick. Now you know where to go for your next movie date night!
Festive Arts Theatre, South Plaza, Lobby H, Level 2 Our Tampines Hub
6. Bounce and crawl at the inclusive playground
There’s no such thing as too many playgrounds… in fact, you’ll find another one on the second level of this integrated complex! Located at Level 2 Sky Terrace, this soft padded play area is great and safe for your bub. They can bounce around on the colourful trampolines, crawl and climb over play structures, and take a ride on the merry-go-round. We also appreciate the inclusive swing at the other end of the playground.
Sky Terrace, level 2 Our Tampines Hub.
7. Climb and conquer at The Rock School
Get ready to rock and roll at this first-ever climbing school! Children as young as four can participate in its programmes, spanning from introductory classes, parent and child rock climbing sessions, and even “Camp Hero”, where kids can climb and collect hero stamps in exchange for exclusive merchandise. All activities are conducted by qualified instructors, so you are in great hands.
The Rock School, #02-81 Our Tampines Hub.
8. Unleash your inner Spiderman at Clip ‘N Climb
Oh, how we love this indoor play area! With its 19 themed climbing walls in varying difficulty levels, Clip ‘N Climb is an action-packed climbing theme park that is suitable for wannabe Spideys of all ages (minimum weight is 10kg). There’s also Lit ‘N Climb on Friday and Saturday evenings, where your climbs are accompanied by chart-topping hits and cosmic lighting. Fun, fun, fun!
Clip ‘N Climb, HomeTeamNS Tampines, #03-03 Our Tampines Hub.
9. Battle it out at Laser Quest
Suitable for kiddos aged eight and up (the equipment is too heavy for smaller tots), this action-packed all-out fun zone is a great challenge for the whole family. So suit up and battle among yourselves to see who will emerge the winner! Planning a cool birthday celebration? This one’s perfect for tweens and teens!
Laser Quest, HomeTeamNS Tampines, #03-03 Our Tampines Hub.
10. Get planting at the Eco-Community Garden
Go up to the fifth level of Our Tampines Hub and make a beeline for the community garden, located alongside the elevated running track. Cared for by volunteers, the garden grows a wide list of spices, fruits, and vegetables. The harvested produce is then used in the Hub’s culinary classes. We spotted pumpkin, papaya, chilli, bitter gourd… there’s even a Tempinis tree being grown in the garden too, which is what Tampines is named after!
Eco-Community Garden, Level 5 Our Tampines Hub.
11. Take a dip at Tampines Swimming Complex
Round off your Tampines Hub adventure with a cooling dip at the swimming complex on level 6. Kiddos can shoot, splash, and slide at the huge water play area while parents can soak in the jacuzzi. Wanna practise your strokes? Head over to the lap pool, or the competition pool if you prefer a quieter and more ‘serious’ swim… or, if you just want to imagine being an Olympic swimmer!
Tampines Swimming Complex, Level 6 Our Tampines Hub.
12. Get back into nature at Tampines Eco Green and Quarry
Even though the Tampines estate may look like any other sprawling urban town, there are still plenty of green spaces and lots of nature to explore! Head on down to Tampines Eco Green, where there are hiking trails that let you discover flora and fauna, spot butterflies and dragonflies, and watch birds perched near the ponds. Don’t forget the insect repellent to ward off those pesky mozzies!
For the adventurous ones looking for something off the beaten path, make your way down to Tampines Quarry. The path is steep as well as muddy, so be sure to put on some sensible shoes. And pay attention to your surroundings – we’re told that there are venomous snakes in the area. Yikes!
Tampines Eco Green, Tampines Avenues 9 and 12, Singapore 529787
Tampines Quarry, Tampines Avenue 10, Singapore 529781
13. Explore the parks
If you prefer somewhere less rustic (and safe), there are recreational parks for you to choose from. When you’re done frolicking with nature at Eco Green, head towards Sun Plaza Park just a stone’s throw away. Spend some time at the Sense Discovery Garden, which has 10 stations of interactive play features. Fun for the whole fam! The kids can also run amok at a nearby sand-based playground, which is hard to find in Singapore nowadays.
Then, directly behind Our Tampines Hub is Tampines Central Park, which features the iconic watermelon and mangosteen playgrounds. These oh-so-cute fruit-themed playgrounds pay homage to the fruit farms that once existed in Tampines many years ago. If you have doggos, bring them along to a fenced-off dog run area where your furkids can run about freely within.
Psst! It’s said that by 2022, four additional parks will be ready. This is part of Tampines’ bid to continue transforming itself into a garden town. Sounds exciting!
Sun Plaza Park, Tampines Avenues 7 and 9
Tampines Central Park, 858 Tampines Avenue 5 (behind Our Tampines Hub), Singapore 520858
14. Shop, shop, shop till you drop!
Tampines Mall. Century Square. Tampines 1. These are the three shopping centres situated within earshot of one another at Tampines Central. There’s something for everyone in the collective malls, including toy stores, fashion outlets, cinemas, and supermarkets. And yes, the bubble tea shops too! Tots can enjoy mall time too, by way of free water play fun at Tampines 1’s rooftop playground (temporarily closed, unfortch).
Tampines Mall, 4 Tampines Central 5, Singapore 529510
Century Square, 2 Tampines Central 5, Singapore 529509
Tampines 1, 10 Tampines Central 1, Singapore 529536
15. Up your Instagram game at these cool spots!
Tampines may be one of Singapore’s “mature estates”, but don’t be fooled by that moniker! There are hidden gems within the housing blocks waiting to be discovered. Come up with an exploration trail a la Amazing Race – we think it’s a cool and fun way to go around the neighbourhood! Things to look out for:
- The off-air TV screen (ubiquitous with Singapore’s broadcasting in the 80s and 90s) at Tampines Street 42,
- The black-and-white, Tudor-inspired HDB blocks at Tampines Avenue 9,
- The geometrical structure and elevated walkway of Tampines Cultural Hub
- The Tampines Maze Garden just in front of Block 945, Tampines Avenue 5.
Have fun and snap loads of pics!
16. IKEA, Giant, Courts
This holy mega shopping trinity is located at Tampines North Drive 2, a little further away from the town centre. Step into IKEA first and fulfil your Swedish cravings (furniture included) and indoor playground for the kiddos, then take a quick peek at Courts, before moving over to Giant to stock up your fridges and secret snacks boxes (we know you have at least one!). The hypermarket is open 24 hours, i.e. you can drop by at 2am to hoard toilet paper and instant noodles (okay we kid, don’t do that).
IKEA, 60 Tampines North Drive 2, Singapore 528764
Courts, 50 Tampines North Drive 2, Singapore 528766
Giant Hypermarket, 21 Tampines North Drive 2 #03-01, Singapore 528765
Where to eat in Tampines
1. Hawker centres
Whichever part of Tampines you end up in, and you’re feeling peckish, refuel at any one of the hawker centres dotting the town. There’s plenty of local dishes to choose from, everything is almost always wallet-friendly, and you get to experience a small slice of life in the eastern region.
Feeding hungry tiny humans? You can’t go wrong with chicken at Nandos – that’s what it’s famous for! Fill up those tummies with sweet potato chips for starters, before moving on to the mains. Make it a family feast by ordering the jumbo platter, which is good enough for four to six people. Wowza! Don’t forget to drizzle its peri-peri sauce, which ranges from plain to extra hot, all over your food.
Nandos, Tampines Mall, 4 Tampines Central 5 #01-46, Singapore 529510
3. Kenny Rogers
Here’s another casual dining restaurant for your nom-sideration if your little ones are picky eaters (we feel you). Its Rotisserie-roasted chicken is the go-to meal, though the Nasi Lemak, which has been cooked with healthy extra virgin coconut oil. It gets the thumbs up from us! Get the Kids Meal to satiate the littlies, or Jumbo Platter to feed the whole fam and save the rest for supper.
Kenny Rogers Roasters, Century Square, 2 Tampines Central 5 #02-20/27, Singapore 529509
4. Guzman y Gomez
Mexican food? In Tampines? You betcha. CBD mainstay Guzman y Gomez has ventured into the heartlands and set up shop in Our Tampines Hub. The menu has remained the same other than the omission of pork in its list of proteins. That’s fine, all the more reason to encourage the kiddos to eat their veggies!
Guzman y Gomez, Our Tampines Hub, 1 Tampines Walk #01-99, Singapore 528523
Tampines is supposedly a bubble tea haven for fans of the sugary Taiwanese drink – there are more than 10 bubble tea outlets in Tampines Central alone! But which one gets the HoneyKids stamp of approval? This humble South Korean brand. Aside from the standard milk tea and its variations, 19Tea also sells more interesting thirst quenchers such as Injeolmi Milk and Ice Grapefruit Green Tea. Top tip: pair with its famed jiggly souffle pancake, which rivals other well-known wobbly pancakes in the country. Trust us on this one… you won’t regret it!
19Tea, Our Tampines Hub, 1 Tampines Walk #01-K7, Singapore 528523
6. Puffs and Peaks Bakery
If you love doughnuts, better get queuein’ at this small neighbourhood bakery in Tampines Central. This mother-daughter founded shop specialises in bomboloni, stuffed with enticing flavours that change every week. Yum! There are other bakes that you can sink your teeth into if stuffed doughs are not your thing. Everything is sold in limited quantities, so we suggest you be there when it opens (10.30am from Thursdays to Sundays, FYI) to avoid disappointment. Else, check out its website for weekly preorders, which open every Monday evening.
Puffs and Peaks Bakery, Tampines Central Community Complex, 866A Tampines Street 83 #03-03, Singapore 521866
7. Three’s a Crowd
This dessert shop predicted how busy it would get – it’s always crowded (more than three!) whenever we pass by! If the weather gets unbearably hot and you’re within the shop’s vicinity, nip in for some ice cream to cool you down. Should a single scoop not be enough, top it up with either Horlicks or churros waffles for more crunch. The place also serves other bakes and savouries, if your stomach has space for more noms.
Three’s A Crowd, Block 802 Tampines Ave 4 #01-11, Singapore 520802
Enjoy your journey around Tampines, folks. And remember to let us know if east side is the best side!
Top image: Our Tampines Hub via Facebook