Try this list of fun activities to keep your small, medium, and large elves busy during the Christmas holidays - an idea for every day of the month!
And just like that, 2021 is almost at an end. No doubt your keen young learners are all set to graduate to a new grade: right after the rather lengthy Christmas school holidays! If you haven’t yet booked them into an end-of-2021 camp (AKA an itinerary to keep them out of your hair!), then you’re going to need some fun and free activities to keep the kids busy during the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Alas, we’ve come to your rescue with our list of things to do with kids of all ages during the end of year Christmas school break. Consider it our holiday gift to you!
Things to do with kids during the Christmas 2021 school holidays
1. Watch a Christmas classic
Quell all that squabbling with a movie night at home. Catch ALL the Christmas movies while indulging in a handful or ten of homemade popcorn. Our top picks include Home Alone (all three, if you’ve got the time), the classic Muppets Christmas Carol and both Frozen films.
2. Take the kids to see a Christmas show!
Likewise, buy yourself a few hours of peace (because it’s the season of peace and goodwill after all) by bringing the kids to see a Christmas show. While many aren’t taking place this year, there’s still a handful to choose from, including online shows too!
3. Give back by doing good
Dedicate your time to volunteering during the Christmas season. Spend a day with the kids sorting out all the unused and unloved toys cluttering up their closets and making a pile of things to donate to charity. And once you’re done with their stuff, move on to the kitchen cupboards and cast out the tins of soup you’re never going to use, before heading to your nearest Food Bank with them. It’ll help the kids feel connected to the community and besides – it’s the season of giving!
4. Take them to an indoor play centre
Small humans are rather notorious for loving an indoor soft play centre, but choose wisely and plump for one with a cafe. It’s the perfect chance for you to snatch a mum-time moment with a good book (or a bit of online Christmas shopping)and a cup of coffee. Or, you can join in the fun too – Jumptopia: Holiday Village is great for some festive family bonding time!
5. Go on a hide and seek adventure with Otah and friends!
It’s not only Santa Claus who’s visiting Singapore this December 2021. Otah & Friends are also in town! Explore Otah’s super-cute house and be the first to spot him in this fun take on hide and seek. Be rewarded with complimentary cookies and lemonade post escapade too. You’ll find Otah’s house in our favourite Gardens by the Bay, so you can make a day of it! He’s also at Suntec City AND the National Museum of Singapore!
6. Look out for fantastic critters this Children’s Season
The ever-popular Children’s Season is in town! Running until 31 December, there’s loads of family-friendly offerings and over 90 exhibitions, programmes and activities taking place at museums across Singapore (so you’re never going to be bored). Pick up your Fantastic Critters booklet and hit the participating museums. Complete a series of activities based on the museums’ collections and artefacts, and get rewarded with stickers that can be exchanged for a Fantastic Critters face mask.
7. Get crafty and Christmassy!
With the Christmas countdown well underway, it’s definitely time to break out the craft kit and work your way through our festively good list of Xmas craft ideas. While you’re busy crafting, set aside some time to create your own advent calendar and Christmas cards too. Plenty of Christmas craft fun to be had!
8. Shop till you drop at a Christmas market
And while you’re still in a jingle bells kinda mood, persuade the kids that they really do want to pop along to a merry market. Lots of the Christmas fairs have kids’ entertainment, carollers and mince pies aplenty as part of the line-up. There are virtual fairs this year too!
9. Say hello to Santa Claus!
If the kids really are playing hardball on the market score, appease them with the promise of a visit to Santa in Singapore. Always a good parenting tactic to use for guaranteed good behaviour – naughty or nice? Try the Portable North Pole app until Father Christmas comes to town.
10. Perch your elf on the shelf
While we’re talking about good behaviour, we’ve got another trick up our sleeve when it comes to persuading the kiddos to be nice to us, each other, and pretty much everyone (because kindness is free after all). Step it up a notch with Elf on a Shelf. These sentinels of festive fun will make sure the kiddos stay nice, at least until Christmas.
11. Feast at a themed cafe
Going to a restaurant or cafe in Singapore with kids can be a hit-and-miss affair (which is why we love a kids eat free offer). But throw in the promise of something fun for the kids and, bingo, they’re suddenly on board. One fool-proof strategy? The theme cafe. Minion cafe, anyone?
12. Get busy with an indoor activity
With so many rainy days trying to dampen our spirits lately, you’re going to need our giant list of indoor adventures and downpour survival activities to get you through to the other side of the monsoon…
13. Make smile and playdough
Alternatively, make your own slime and playdough. It’s parenting suggestions like this that will elevate you to ‘best ever’ status quicker than you can say ‘galactic glitter playdough’. And if the DIY efforts don’t pan out, try your hand at rock art instead. Also cool.
14. Search for Singapore’s wildlife
If you have kids who love animals, then you’re going to need our list of where to spot Singapore’s weirdest and wildest residents for a day or two of exploring the greenest pockets of the island. Pack a picnic and a sense of adventure. And probably some mozzie spray and welly boots.
15. Have a Sci-sational Christmas at Science Centre Singapore
There are loads of festive happenings taking place in the run-up to Christmas over at Science Centre Singapore. How about checking out Santa’s Surprise Party to get you in the festive mood this weekend? This 30-minute show sees two elves busy planning a surprise party for Santa. As well as cleaning and decorating, they need to prepare his fave food and drinks. But will they do it in time for the big surprise? Watch to find out!
16. Get stuck into an escape room
Looking for a way to occupy sloth-like teenagers? Challenge them to an escape room experience. Teamwork, logic and a big dose of mystery is just the thing to keep teen boredom levels at bay during the holidays. Then check out this guide written for teens by a teen for affordable activities for teenagers in Singapore.
17. Whip up some Christmas treats
Dust down the counters and create a jingle in the kitchen by whipping up some Christmassy snacks and treats with your small chefs. And while they’re busy thinking mince pies and gingerbread houses, we say crack open a bottle of mulled wine or whip up some non-alcoholic tipples to get you in the spirit of things (and to get you through the clearing up afterwards).
18. Spend a day (or night!) at Sentosa
We’ve long been fans of hopping onto the colourful monorail to Sentosa and wearing the kids (and us) out with a day out at Universal Studios Singapore. And why stop at one day? There’s so much going on at Sentosa that we think it’s well worth making a staycay of it. Use those SingapoRediscovers vouchers before they expire. Psst, check out the newly opened SkyHelix Sentosa!
19. Jet off on a virtual vacation!
Although there are so many easy peasy short getaway options from Singapore including plenty of VTL approved destinations too, not all of us can travel to them right now. Instead, treat yourselves to a virtual vacation – it’s wallet-friendly too!
20. Island-hop to a Singapore pulau
If you’re not planning to travel overseas via the VTL scheme, how about a little island-hopping closer to home? There are a fair few islands to visit just a stone’s throw from Singapore. Passports not required!
21. Gaze at glittery Christmas lights
Brighten up your day with a trip to Orchard Road. You’ll see all the festive displays and Christmas lights once the sun has gone down! And don’t forget to refuel at one of our fave fam-friendly restaurants for kids in the Orchard area!
22. Cool off at a water playground
If the sunshine ever comes back, cooling off at a free water playground is a surefire school holiday winner. Even more so when you get to combine it with flower domes, a Christmas Wonderland, great local eats and scooting opportunities galore! Yep, we’re talking about you, Gardens by the Bay.
23. Get creative at Keppel Centre for Art Education
Visit Keppel Centre for Art Education this holiday, for a fun-filled artsy extravaganza! You’ll find loads of immersive spaces, where the kids can let their imagination run wild. There’s also a great line-up of programmes for a range of ages. We love Story Corner to listen, dance and sing along to stories inspired by the artwork in the gallery. Don’t forget to check out their website, Gallery Kids, for lots more creative activities to enjoy at home. While you’re at the National Gallery, have a look around the physical form of the Children’s Biennale.
24. Head over to Changi Airport
Changi Airport has long been one of our favourite places to take the kids – even if we’re not jetting off on an overseas vacay. With all that space to run, tons of decent eateries and even a soft play centre, this is a day out full of adventure without the need for a big spend. Plus it’s looking very jolly with the Christmas lights switched on!
25. Then hop over to Jewel
While you’re in the Changi airport area, we think it’s definitely worth it to hop over to Jewel. For Christmas, it’s pulling out all the stops with a festive market, dinosaurs and even snowfall! Kids and adults will love Canopy Park and all the holiday-themed photo opps.
26. Check out a cool exhibit at the National Museum of Singapore
Looking to learn more about Singapore’s yesteryears? Visit the National Museum of Singapore’s latest exhibition: New, Great and Happy. Kiddos will get to find out how children in the olden days have fun in Singapore (hint: amusement parks!) while parents (and grandparents too!) get to relive fond memories. That’s not all – check out the other exhibitions and do a building tour using this kid-friendly guide and quiz. We’re pretty sure Mum and Dad will learn a few things too!
27. Pack your bags, you’re going overseas!
If options 19 and 20 are not for you, how about this one? Now that more countries are being added to the VTL scheme, you’re kinda spoiled for choice on where to go for an actual Christmas vacay! Skiing on the slopes in South Korea? Or how about having a barbie on the beach in Sydney? We’d love to visit the Christmas markets in Germany! Definitely welcoming news to cap off this year and dive into 2022.
28. Make furry friends at a pet cafe
29. Stock up on Christmas books
For a cost-effective, quiet day with the kids, head on over to your favourite bookstore or library and find books filled with all things Christmas. Perfect bedtime fodder for the end of a few busy weeks!
30. Get festive at the ArtScience Museum
Spend the Christmas school holidays with a slew of activities at this museum. Future World is all decked out with some Yuletide cheer, with the iconic Sketch Town being transformed into a virtual Christmas wonderland. Check out Virtual Realms: Videogames Transformed and experience reimagined videogames as large-scale, immersive installations. Prefer to get busy? Join the mini holiday camps on coding and video games.
31. Do something non-Christmassy!
If Christmas isn’t your bag, never fear. We’ve compiled a fun and alternative list of all the ways to spend the festive season sans snowmen, Santa, reindeer and mistletoe.
So, feeling ready for the Christmas school holidays? You’ve got this, parents! And just think, January will be here before you know it…