Fun museums, delish food, shrimping, fun times with furry friends – get ready for a fun-filled day in Bugis with the littlies in tow!
There’s no doubt about it: raising kids in such a wonderful city (aka Singapore) is just awesome sauce. You’ll never run out of things to do, places to eat nom-worthy food and cool spots to explore. Our fun pick this time around? Bugis! Yep, you heard it right. Although most people wouldn’t consider Bugis kid-friendly (it’s actually considered to be more teen-friendly than anything), we’ve scoured the joint for all the fun stuff your little ones would love. The best part? We’ve got enough to pack in a whole day’s worth of activities. So hop on your favourite bus and get the lowdown on Bugis…
Start your morning of exploring right by filling those bellies up with some good ol’ brekkie. Our fave place? Clinton St Baking Company on Purvis Street. We swear by its pancakes (we love the blueberry kind) with warm maple butter and crispy bacon on the side. The servings are quite generous, so be sure to come with an empty stomach. Also, we suggest making a reservation beforehand because it can get quite packed!
Clinton St.Baking Company, 31 Purvis St, Singapore 188608, p. 6684 4845
Visit a museum (or two or three)
If there’s one thing we love most about Bugis, is that it’s home to the city’s most treasured museums and art schools. In fact, every August, it throws the biggest night art celebration in town – The Singapore Night Festival. So, when there are kids involved, you need to focus on one thing above all else: fun! Here are the museums that deliver it in spades:
The National Museum of Singapore
Get a lesson in all things Singapore and head over to the National Museum of Singapore over on Stamford Road. Every last Saturday of the month, it plans fun activities such as interactive tours, storytelling sessions, family workshops, drop-in craft activities, captivating performances and more. If you’ve got smaller kiddies, whisk them over to the Glass Rotunda for teamLAB’s Story of the Forest exhibit. Don’t forget to stop over at Food for Thought for a quick snack break!
National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178897, p. 6332 3659
Singapore Art Museum
Although this place is currently under renovation for the next three years, it’s our go-to for 20th-century Southeast Asian art. We especially love its offerings during Children’s Season (remember last year’s Imaginarium?) and how it transforms SAM at 8 into a treasure trove of kid- and (kidult-) friendly art!
Singapore Art Museum, 71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189555, p. 6332 3222
Mint Museum of Toys
Although the kids (sadly) can’t play with the toys, your older ones might appreciate this world-class collection of vintage toys and childhood memorabilia. Talk about getting your dose of history, play, culture and education in one spot!
Mint Museum of Toys, 26 Seah Street, Singapore 188382, p. 6339 0660
Singapore Philatelic Museum
When it comes to entertaining the little ones, the folks at the Singapore Philatelic Museum have got you covered. There are fun interactive displays for the kids to tinker around with and learn all about the art of collecting stamps. It’s closed till December 2020 though, so you’ll need to park this idea for now!
Singapore Philatelic Museum, 23B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807, p. 6337 3888
All that treasure-hunting and culture-vulture jazz can sure work up an appetite. Luckily for you, there’s lots of kid-friendly choices to be had when it comes to food in Bugis. For drool-worthy crispy tonkatsu, why not head to one of the best cutlet joints in town, Ma Maison at Bugis Junction? If that isn’t enough to kick that Japanese food craving, head over to Ramen Champion at Bugis Plus where you’ll be spoilt for choice with the crazy selection of ramen. Looking for something with more local flavour? Check out Chin Chin Eating House on Purvis Street for Hainanese chicken rice that can’t be beat.
Ma Maison, 200 Victoria Street #02-51 Bugis Junction, Singapore 188598; Ramen Champion, Bugis+ #04-10, 201 Victoria St, Singapore 188067; Chin Chin Eating House, 19 Purvis Street, Singapore 188598, p. 6337 4640
Do some shopping!
Your mini-shopaholics will love Bugis! There’s just wayyyyyy too much to choose from – apart from mainstays like Uniqlo, MUJI and Pull & Bear there’s also more niche merch to check out. For Japanese Harajuku-style clothing, Akihabara Japan Products at Bugis Junction is worth a visit while the BHG department store always has great deals. For stylish local designer clothing, Kapok at the National Design Centre is equally great (don’t forget to get a cup of coffee at the cafe). If your kids are in the teenage-range, you can try braving the crowds at Bugis Street for trendy clothing, shoes and accessories. Looking for watches? The Bencoolen has an awesome selection of Seiko and Casio watches at affordable prices. We also love the crystals at Kang Li Mineral Kingdom at Fu Lu Shou complex. If you have the time (and if the kids are being nice and patient), try out their aura-reading services.
Akhibara Japan Products, 200, 03-20 Victoria St, Singapore 188021; BHG Bugis Junction, 200 Victoria Street #01-100, #02-17 & #03-11, Singapore 188021; Kapok, #01-05 National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road, Singapore; The Bencoolen, 180 Bencoolen St, Singapore 189646; Kang Li Mineral Kingdom, 149 Rochor Road, Fu Lu Shou Complex #01-08/24/25, #02-08/09, Singapore 188425
Go (kind of) wild!
If you don’t have any pets at home, why not make some furry friends? If you’re a cat person, pad on over to The Cat Cafe on Victoria Street. Unlike other cat cafes that charge by the hour, all you need to do is pay an entry free, which includes a soft drink ($15). Do take note that only children above the age of six are allowed. For the dog-lovers out there, We are the Furballs have pint-sized cuties to cuddle with. You can stay as long as you want and even feed the pups (for a minimal fee, of course!) When you’re done, head over to Fish @ Bugis + to try your luck at shrimping. And, as a bonus, you can take home all the multi-legged critters you’ve fished! For the brave, you can get your fish foot spa fix here, too.
The Cat Cafe, 241B Victoria Street, Singapore 188030, p. 6338 6815; We are the Furballs, #07-07, Bugis+, 201 Victoria Street, Singapore 188067; [email protected]+, #07-05, 201 Victoria Street, Singapore 188067
Check out Bras Basah Complex
Known as the Book City of Singapore, Bras Basah Complex has been around since the 1980s and is known as a centre for arts and books. It’s also conveniently located right next to the National Library – one of our fave libraries for kids! To this day, it houses many well-known bookstores including Basheer Graphic Books for artsy coffee-table books and Maha Yu Yi for Mandarin picture books. Take your time exploring the place – there are heaps of awesome second-hand books for sale, as well as school supplies stores. We also hear there’s a playground on level 5 – score!
Basheer Graphic Books, Bras Basah Complex, 231 Bain Street, #04-19,Singapore 180231; Maha Yuyi, Bras Basah Complex, 231 Bain St, #03-07/#03-11, Singapore 180231