Go on an educational excursion with your family, with the help of this one-day itinerary that explores Singapore’s cultural neighbourhoods.
Traveling with the little ones is a chance to relive your own childhood, and we've got some good news for you here as model/magazine editor/food blogger/wedding planner Georgia Schulze-del Rosario, together with her husband Armand del Rosario, and daughters Nadia, Sonia, Katia, and Irina give us a tour around the city and share some of their recommendations in Singapore that cater to both the young and the kids-at-heart adventurers.
Trick Eye Museum
Situated in the heart of Sentosa, the Trick Eye Museum is a place for exciting illusions and fantastic imagery. Not only can the kids enter a place of fantasy and let their imagination run wild here, the museum provides a very accessible and fun way for children to be acquainted with the arts. Developing an appreciation for art is something that I feel is important in today’s vastly changing world. It adds a level of culture that otherwise, could be difficult to instil.
Singapore Zoo and River Safari
The Singapore Zoo comprises hectares of land dedicated to the preservation of wildlife. It is one of the most remarkable zoos in the region, with world-class amenities, natural habitats, and immersive experiences. Aside from providing kids with fun experiences, the zoo is also big on wildlife conservation, which was something we wanted for our kids—for them to respect and appreciate the animals, with whom we share our planet with.
Our favourite moment was definitely the giraffe feeding session. Though the giraffes’ tongues were thick and slimy, it was a joy feeding them as they were sweet and gentle and really happy to be fed! A close second to this was seeing the gentle Giant Pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia, up-close at the River Safari.
With more than 100,000 species of aquatic creatures, the most spectacular feature of the largest aquarium in South East Asia is the giant viewing panel standing at 118ft wide and 27ft tall, which allows you to sit back and marvel at the sweeping ocean scenery. The girls liked it especially as it was calm and peaceful, displaying the most stunning colours against the deep blues of the sea. There are some interactive elements to the aquarium, and my girls especially liked the Discovery Touch Pool where they got to touch a starfish!
EatPlayLove Craft Café
This simple café has a wide array of arts and crafts for the little ones while offering delicious bites for all. We really enjoyed this place as we liked the proposition it offers—to encourage kids to look away from screens and to get their hands dirty to create meaningful keepsakes and knick-knacks. Apart from the child-friendly offerings, the food they serve is delicious too—fusing Singaporean fare with continental touches, as seen from dishes such as cheese fries and the Milo Dinosaur waffles.
Gardens by the Bay
You cannot visit Singapore and not make your way to Gardens by the Bay. Over here, you can find two cool conservatories, namely the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest. The former allows one to enter a world of perpetual spring, where unique plants bloom in an ever-changing display of flowers reflecting different seasons, festivals and themes while the latter mimics the mountainous terrain not typical of Singapore with its 35-metre tall “man-made Cloud Mountain” and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Our favourite part of Gardens by the Bay is the Supertrees. These 9 to 16-storey tall vertical gardens feature a stellar variety of plants and are topped with aerial walkway that allows visitors for a bird’s eye view of the park. Do stay on if you’re there in the evening, as you will be treated to the Garden Rhapsody, a dazzling light and sound show takes place nightly amid these super structures.
Kidzania is probably one of the most enjoyable activities for children. What began in Mexico is now a worldwide phenomenon, allowing kids to roleplay in ‘grown up’ jobs and have a go at earning money. The girls got to try many professions—from runway models (because mommy was one once upon a time), to museum curators and even working in a traditional barbequed meat shop where they learned to make the famed Asian pork jerky ‘Bak kwa’.
When traveling with the children, we always make sure to take the opportunity to really immerse them in the country’s culture. The Sultan Mosque, with its stunning traditional architecture and massive golden domes, sets a beautiful backdrop which reminded the girls of the setting in the Disney adaptation of Aladdin.
A visit to one of the city’s largest Indian temples (in Little India) showed the girls that though our beliefs may be different, each religion teaches about goodness and faith.
Indulging in local cuisine is the best way to learn a new culture. And if there is something Singapore is known for, its food scene is definitely it. Singapore’s multi-ethnic culture and heritage has served up a multitude of colourful cuisines, each with its own unique flavour and aroma, and the best part, they are really affordable and accessible! My children particularly enjoyed spotting the similarities between Singapore cuisine and the local Filipino dishes that they are familiar with such as their version of the fresh Lumpia—Popiah, and yummy barbecue or Satay.
Singapore is a great destination for family-friendly vacations, and no matter where you travel, there is always plenty of things for kids to do.