With its squeaky-clean streets and English-speaking population, Singapore is a hassle-free destination for a family holiday. It’s also home to some world-class attractions that kids will go crazy for. In fact, there are so many family-friendly attractions in Singapore I’m breaking this post into two parts. This one will cover the Botanic Gardens, Singapore Zoo and Science Centre & Snow City.
Head to the Singapore Botanic Gardens to learn how bananas grow and marvel at tropical plants with leaves bigger than your head. Even if your kids aren’t interested in flora, the gardens’ grassy hills and open spaces are a safe place to let them run around. On weekends you’ll see Singaporean kids learning to rollerskate or playing catch, so if you packed any outdoor toys bring them along. The lakes at the Botanic Gardens are inhabited by turtles and fish, and for S$1 you can buy pellets to feed them. In the centre of the park is the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden which is especially for children under 12 with interactive exhibits, a treehouse slide, and a splash park. Admission to both gardens is completely free.
It’s a proven fact that 99.9% of kids love animals, and the Singapore Zoo is one of the best in the world with its rainforest setting and bar-free exhibits (don’t worry about safety – the zoo uses natural barriers like moats instead). All of the favourites are there like elephants, tigers and bears as well as uniquely Southeast Asian critters like big-nosed proboscis monkeys and Komodo dragons. There are also animal shows and feeding times with a chance to participate. The zoo is huge and little legs will quickly tire, so it’s worth investing in a tram ticket. The zoo also has family-friendly restaurants, abundant washrooms and a splash park to cool down.
Just because your kids are on holiday doesn’t mean they can’t be learning, so head to the Singapore Science Centre for hands-on exhibits about space exploration, the human body, and the chemistry of candy. To make this an all-day outing, buy a combination ticket to see an IMAX documentary at the Omni-Theatre and play in real snow at Snow City. Putting on a winter coat and boots then sledding in real snow when it’s 35C outside is an experience that kids won’t soon forget.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
1 Cluny Road, Singapore
T: 6471 7138
80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore
T: 6269 3411
Singapore Science Centre & Snow City
15 Science Centre Road, Singapore
T: (65) 6425 2500
By Tanya Procyshyn
Last updated on 15th November, 2014.