Fun museums, delish food, shrimping and hangs with furry friends – get ready for an action-packed 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 neighbourhood 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 ‘hood for all the fun stuff your little ones will 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…
Things to do in Bugis with kids
1. Start the day with a yummy breakfast
Start your morning of exploring right by filling those bellies up with some delish 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!
Where: 31 Purvis St, Singapore 188608, p. 6684 4845
2. Visit a museum (or four!)
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. And don’t forget to stop over at Food for Thought for a quick snack break!
Where: 93 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178897, p. 6332 3659
– Singapore Art Museum
Although this place is currently under renovation until 2023, it’s our go-to for 20th-century Southeast Asian art. We especially love its offerings during Children’s Season (remember Imaginarium?) and how it transforms Singapore Art Museum at 8 into a treasure trove of kid- and kidult-friendly art!
Where: 71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189555, p. 6332 3222
– Mint Museum of Toys
Although the kids (sadly) can’t play with the collectibles at Mint Museum of 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!
Where: 26 Seah Street, Singapore 188382, p. 6339 0660 (currently under renovation)
– 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 2021 though, so you’ll need to park this idea for now!
Where: 23B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807, p. 6337 3888
3. Stop off for a family-friendly lunch
All that treasure-hunting and culture-vulture jazz can sure work up an appetite. Luckily for you, there’s lots of kid-friendly restaurants and 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 in.
For dog-lovers, 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.
6. 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!
Love this list of things to do in Bugis with kids? Check out our guide to Haji Lane too!