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. Amazonia has mazes, slides, suspension bridges and every obstacle you can imagine that’ll keep your pint-sized thrill-seekers busy for hours. The centrepiece of the playground is a ten-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.
Great World City Mall. 1 Kim Seng Promenade #03-08, Singapore 237994. +65 6836 2544.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
The city’s grandest park was conferred the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. And if you ask us, it’s been a long time coming. This wide swathe of green in the heart of Singapore is a breath-taking 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 ones to explore. Did we also mention the 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. 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569. +65 1800 471 7300.
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.
Tanglin Mall. 163 Tanglin Road #01-11/12, Singapore 247933. +65 6836 2450.
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 of Jamie’s Italian 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.
Forum The Shopping Mall. 583 Orchard Road #01-01/04, Singapore 238884. +65 6655 7676.
Mon-Thu & Sun 11.30am-10pm; Fri & Sat 11.30am-11pm.
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.
The Centrepoint. 176 Orchard Road #02-21, Singapore 238843. +65 6268 6595.
Mon-Fri & Sun 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. Parents with tinier tots can accompany them through 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.
Cathay Cineleisure. 8 Grange Road #09-01, Singapore 239695. +65 6816 2879.
Mon-Fri 10am-10pm; Sat & Sun 9am-10pm.