Get your little ones perked up before the school term returns with these fun-filled, hands-on activities.
Sure, Orchard Road is home to dozens of malls, restaurants, and bars, but Singapore’s premier shopping belt is also bursting with indoor playgrounds, toy shops, and family-friendly attractions. Here are just a few of them.
Don’t be fooled by its unassuming entrance — this jungle gym is huge. It has mazes, slides, suspension bridges and every obstacle you can imagine that’ll keep your pint-sized explorers busy for hours. The centrepiece of the playground is a 10-metre-tall climbing labyrinth, filled with nets and trampolines for your kids to pretend to be Spider-Man for a day.
While the main play area is suitable for kids aged three to 12, Amazonia has a separate area meant for toddlers: it’s filled with all manner of toys and a ball pit. A bistro attached to the venue lets parents grab a quick cuppa. If you prefer to have some hands-on fun with the kids, check out the two play rooms — you can play a round of miniature golf or shoot foam balls at glow-in-the-dark targets.
Amazonia is located at #03-08 Great World City Mall, 1 Kim Seng Promenade.
Opening hours: 10am-9.30pm daily.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
The city’s grandest park was conferred the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site just last year. And if you ask us, it’s been a long time coming. This wide swathe of green in the heart of Singapore is a breathtaking example of just how diverse and colourful tropical flora can be. Ferns, trees and plants of all shapes and sizes border several ponds (with swans, no less) and walking trails for the young ’uns to explore. Did we also mention the Botanic Gardens is the perfect picnic spot?
While the park is great for a few hours of free and easy time, you should sign the children up for a guided tour if you have a couple more hours to spare. The Flower Trail gives them the chance to learn more about flowering plants, and the Rainforest Trek lets them roam a six-hectare jungle that’s home to more than 300 species of plants, many of which are endangered. Venture further north to the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, and you’ll find installations, suspension bridges, a farm and activities that will keep the kids enthralled for hours.
Singapore Botanic Gardens is located at 1 Cluny Road.
Opening hours: 5am-12am daily.
The Better Toy Store
You won’t find run-of-the-mill toys and games here. High-quality, educational and downright gorgeous objects line the shelves of The Better Toy Store. There are ride-on vehicles that look better than the real deal, adorable plush toys modelled after food, too-cute animal hand puppets and colourful puzzles, among plenty more. We won’t blame you if you bring home one of the magical snow globes or music boxes on sale.
The Better Toy Store is located at #01-11/12 Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road.
Opening hours: 9am-9pm daily.
For years now, Jamie Oliver has been working to make school meals in the UK healthier, so it comes as no surprise that the local branch of his Italian eatery pays a lot of attention to its kids’ menu. The menu even comes in the form of a toy viewfinder, so fidgety children will have fun just picking what to eat. If that isn’t enough to keep the tots occupied, there are also colouring sheets, stickers, and badges the service staff will be happy to provide.
Not that the kids will need much else for entertainment once the dishes arrive. Main courses such as Jamie’s Proper Picnic Box and Happy Chicken Lollipops are fresh and loaded with nutritious ingredients. Each comes in two sizes: one for little kids, and another for bigger ones.
Jamie’s Italian is located at Forum The Shopping Mall, 83 Orchard Road.
Opening hours: Fri & Sat 11.30am-11pm, Sun-Thu 11.30am-10pm.
Little Planet Playland
Step inside this ‘pretend play’ wonderland, and you’ll be instantly transformed into Gulliver. There’s a miniature supermarket, forest, pond, farm, castle and kitchen where the kids can be the boss of their very own operation. All the play areas are interconnected too, so they can hop from one zone to another easily. For creative kids who want to try their hands at arts and crafts, Little Planet Playland has a craft corner where they can let their imaginations run wild.
Little Planet Playland is located at #02-21 The Centrepoint, 176 Orchard Road.
Opening hours: Sun-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-8pm.
Got jumping beans for kids? Then take them to this trampoline park, where they can bounce off walls and soar through the air. For tinier tots, accompany them in the Free Jumping Area, where 28 interconnected trampolines — some of which are angled at about 45º — will keep them hopping and springing around like acrobats. Slightly older kids can try to scale The Wall. A cross between a skateboarding half-pipe and regular trampolines, BOUNCE’s most popular feature lets visitors ‘run’ on vertical walls when they jump on cleverly positioned trampolines.
BOUNCE Singapore is located at #09-01 Cathay Cineleisure, 8 Grange Road.
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 10am-10pm, Fri 10am-11pm, Sat 9am-11pm, Sun 9am-10pm.