Singapore is a city of contrast. The perfectly preserved shop houses of China Town and bustling streets of Little India back up against the cities ultra-modern architecture, creating an interesting juxtaposition of not only cultures, but also moments in time. Singapore is a city racing for the future, but glimpses of its romantic colonial past can be had around every bend.
Singapore is also an easy and interesting place for families to travel to, not only because it’s safe, but also for the ease of transportation and the abundance of family friendly things to do.
Here’s our go to list for family fun activities in Singapore.
Ride the Singapore Flyer
Kids and adults alike will enjoy a bird’s eye view of Singapore and Marina Bay from the world’s largest observation wheel. One full rotation on the wheel lasts approximately 30 minutes, (so plan bathroom trips accordingly) and puts you 165 meters above the ground at its highest point. The ride is particularly enjoyable at night, when the city is lit up. If you can, plan to ride around 8 or 9:30 p.m., when the Marina Bay Sands 15-minute long laser and light show begins.
Explore at the Night Safari
Singapore’s Night Safari is the first of its kind, and since opening in 1994 now hosts 1.1 million visitors each year. It almost feels like spying, seeing the animals nightly activities. While there are walking trails, the guided tram ride is recommended for families visiting with little ones – it takes you through 7 geographical zones of the world – as the Night Safari doesn’t open up until 7:30 p.m., and stays open way past bed time. More nocturnal animals are highlighted in the Creatures of the Night Show, as well as tribal fire dancers in the Thumbuaker Performance.
Play at Sentosa Island
A great place to spend a whole day, Sentosa Island has it all. And yet it’s only about 20-minutes away from the shops of famous Orchard Road. The SEA Aquarium, Universal Studios and the beach are our top picks. Many visitors opt to make Sentosa their home base thanks to the numerous hotels and restaurants, the abundance of activities and golf courses.
Run around at the Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Botanic Gardens are huge, both in size and popularity. Join in with the locals walking and jogging the well-kept paths zigzagging the 74-hectares, or playing in the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. The Children’s Garden features a rope bridge, waterfall, slides, a shrub maze and a sprinkler feature – all great for a sunny day. But if you happen to be caught in the rain the covered café – with children and adult sized tables – is a great place to wait it out.
Learn at the Chinatown Heritage Center
There is no better place to see what life was like for Singapore’s Chinese immigrants during the 1950s than the Chinatown Heritage Center. The Center consists of three incredibly restored shop houses along Chinatown’s Pagoda Street. Pictures, artifacts and first hand accounts tell the hardship of immigration beautifully, and seeing the life-sized recreations of the less than desirable living conditions (think cramped quarters and narrow passageways) make it easy to explain to kids.
Overall, Singapore is a fascinating experience for all ages. And while it sits on the expensive side of Southeast Asia, the mixing of cultures, prominence of the past and promise of the future make it well worthwhile.