With just a few weeks before the summer ends, Singapore’s tree-laden roads and clean streets are filled with nooks of adventure that make for a perfect quick summer family destination.
My husband Armand del Rosario and I recently took a trip to Singapore with our 4 daughters. It was a small vacation, a little less than a week to recharge and bond with one another. We chose Singapore because it was close enough that the flight wouldn’t be too long, yet far enough to feel like we were somewhere completely new and different. What I like about the small country is that it feels as though it was made for young families. It is so clean that some have used the adjective ‘sterile,’ to describe the uncluttered streets. But for me, what better place you introduce your child to street food than in a place where you are sure it is sanitary? It is also known to be very safe, so when you are 2 adults and 4 children, you want to be somewhere where you aren’t on edge, having to look over your shoulder every 2 minutes. Lastly, Singapore is jam-packed with fun activities for children, and most of these have educational value, whether it is through art, culture, technology, or learning about the planet.
That being said, I want to share my top 5 places to enjoy with your children in sunny Singapore.
1. ARTSCIENCE MUSEUM, Marina Bay Sands
This was my absolute favorite activity in this trip to Singapore. The ArtScience Museum showcases technology through an interactive space in an absolutely perfect way for children to appreciate. There was a dark room in which you could draw anything you wanted and, after, a computer would transmit it and turn it into light and bounce it off the floors and the walls, allowing your drawings to come to life. Images that lit walls could be touched by your hand and transformed right in front of you. There was one room with what felt like a million twinkle lights that was so magical in its simplicity, but made you want to get lost in its exquisiteness.
The installations and activities in the Artsccience museum change seasonally so you can keep returning and experience something new each time. For more information or to book your visit, check out: http://www.marinabaysands.com/museum.html#WiKBGlxlYj3VERXm.97
2. S.E.A. AQUARIUM, Sentosa
Our family frequents the beach so taking our girls through an “under the sea” experience was a must. I highly recommend the S.E.A. Aquarium to see beautiful marine life. The enclosed aquarium has an abundance of fish, dolphins, sharks, jellyfish, seahorses, and so much more. It is calm and peaceful, displaying the most stunning colors against the deep blues of the sea. This tour made my husband and I feel relaxed, even if we had our baby with us as she was so captivated by the surroundings. My children especially liked touching the pretty starfish and seeing the ultra colorful hues of ocean life.
To book your tour, visit: http://www.rwsentosa.com/language/en-US/Homepage/Attractions/SEAAquarium
3. HAWKER CENTERS
I believe one way to truly immerse yourself in a certain culture is to sample their local fare. And if there is something Singapore is known for it is as one of the largest food hubs in Asia, fusing many Asian cultures together through technique and flavor. We were lucky enough to have a wonderful tour guide who took us to his favorite hawker center, and suggested what to order. Though I personally have always been a fan of the giant grilled chicken wings, popiah, and chili crab, he also suggested we try the sate, sambal stingray and savory carrot cake, which were all delicious.
You can find Hawker Centers all over - just ask your hotel or a local, which is closest to you.
4. THE FLOWER DOME AND CLOUD FORREST AT GARDENS BY THE BAY, Marina Bay Sands
You cannot visit Singapore and not see Gardens By The Bay and Cloud Forest. Both make learning about nature’s wonders up-close-and-personal, which is always a good thing when it comes to children. The world’s largest greenhouse carries flora and fauna from around the world. Aside from the educational value, it is a treasure trove of beautiful sights, with blooms that you will only see all in one place. The cloud forest is another great attraction because in warm Singapore, the drop in temperature inside this enclosed space due to the massive waterfall brings about an exciting chill. Learn about the atmosphere, temperature, and so much more about the earth’s surface here.
And if you’re like me, photo-obsessed, it makes an awesome backdrop for your most precious family photographs. Learn more here: http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/attractions/flower-dome/visitor-information.html
5. TRICKEYE MUSEUM, Sentosa
Situated in the heart of Sentosa, the Trickeye Museum is a place for exciting illusions and fantastic imagery. As soon as we walked in, I could already feel the level of intrigue increase in each of my girls, even from my baby who was then only 6-months old. On one hand, it is a fun place for your child to literally enter a place of fantasy, where their imagination’s can run wild -- for a child to be able to insert themselves in the installations and see it translate into something different in digital form is a great experience. On another hand, a museum such as this can expose your child to art that is understandable to them at a young age. Developing an appreciation for art is something that I feel is so important in today’s vastly changing world. It adds a level of culture that otherwise could be difficult to instill.
Check out its website and book here: http://www.rwsentosa.com/language/en-US/Homepage/Attractions/TrickEyeMuseum
Other fun spots to check out:
The Singapore Zoo
The Sultan Mosque
SPECIAL THANKS TO PAUL DEL ROSARIO FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHS.