Bella is the founder of Kidzcationz.com, a travel review website for kids. Here she shares her tips for an unforgettable family holiday in Singapore.
Tip 1: The ArtScience Museum is one of the largest museums I’ve been to and it’s located close to Marina Bay and the DC Super Hero café. I only mention that because that is where I ended up straight after we visited the museum, so it was the best day ever!
The new ‘Future World’ exhibit is the place where art and science meet. It’s all about being interactive with art and you can use your own creativity to create your own designs! I also saw other kids draw pictures and then scan them into a computer so they could be projected on the wall, becoming part of a larger art display. It was so much fun! I also enjoyed playing virtual hopscotch and Future World’s ‘Crystal Universe’ will leave you breathless.
Tip 2: Food Playground is a fun hands-on cooking activity for all ages and I loved sharing this experience with my parents.
For kids new to cooking, don’t be scared to try new things! I am a bit of a fussy eater at times and I’m not much of a cook so I was originally hesitant but Lydia and the culinary team at Food Playground were there to help.
We cooked delicious Coconut Chicken Curry, Roti Jala (also known as Net Crepes) and sweet Kueh Dadar.
I loved it so much that when I got home I used the recipes Lydia gave us and had a go at cooking them myself, and it was quite easy!
Tip 3: Forest Adventure is so much fun, there are courses to suit all skill levels and each ends in a zip line! Choose the level best suited to your ability because while they may look easy from the ground, it can sometimes be a different story when you are up in the trees. Allow at least 3 hours to be able to complete the course without rushing and make sure you wear enclosed shoes and tie your hair back.
Tip 4: I wasn’t sure what to expect when visiting the newly opened KidZania Singapore, however I was soon blown away by the concept of a city built for kids. It’s not just a playground though, rather a place where children of all ages can gain real life skills. In KidZania, kids are safe to explore the world of adults; getting a “job” and earning money to purchase what they want to buy. There are even no go zones for parents! If you want something to eat and you don’t have enough Kidz currency, you can earn the money you need and then purchase what you want.
I had so much fun making hamburgers from simulated ovens with plastic meat which actually smells like real meat cooking! I was in awe watching the kid “security guards” deliver cash to the shops – they took their job very seriously ensuring nothing got in their way of making their delivery! We also walked past a building which was “on fire”. The children police quickly turned up, blocking the road so the kid fire fighters could access the building to put the fire out. It was very clear to see that all the kids were having an absolute blast and all I can say is I wish I had a KidZania near me when I was younger!
Tip 5: Orangutans are my favourite animals so you can imagine how excited I was to be able to dine with them during the Jungle Breakfast at Singapore Zoo. We had a front row seat and could almost reach out and touch them from our table! They often made eye contact with us and gave us cheeky grins.
The keepers give you lots of time to watch the orangutans interact with each other and show off for the cameras, so there was plenty of time to take a cute and cuddly photo of these creatures.
When it was time to have our photo, we were right in front of them - in fact, one of the female orangutans thought she was funny, pulling crazy faces for the camera. It was hysterical and so wonderful being in their habitat. Honestly, if you have no time for anything else when visiting Singapore, then you MUST make it to the Jungle Breakfast.
Tip 6: Gardens by the Bay is simply incredible! The theme changes regularly so no matter when you go, you will find something new to discover including different plant life from all around the world.
I particularly loved seeing the big cactus in the Sun Pavilion, which we often see in old Western movies - I always thought they were props but they are in fact real! The Cloud Forest is also very cool. It felt like I was walking through the clouds!
Also, don’t miss the Garden Rhapsody Light Show - it is just spectacular! The supertrees light up during a wonderful show of colour and music that matches the floral display theme. For the best view, find a spot and lay on the ground - it may sound odd but you won’t regret it!
Tip 7: Make sure you allocate a full day to enjoy Universal Studios Singapore as they offer over 20 rides!
From adrenaline pumping rides to captivating shows, everything is awesome here! My favourite was Transformers: The Ride, which was the first ride of the day for me. Always popular amongst kids is the Far Far Away (Shrek) land and Madagascar Crate Adventure, but make sure you also visit The Lost World, which is divided into two themed areas; Jurassic Park and WaterWorld, both of which are great for the whole family.
To really make the most of your time buy a front of line pass that helps you skip the line on each ride. When the queues have a long wait time, you will appreciate this tip as you get to have more fun!
Tip 8: Mount Faber, Singapore’s second highest hill, is 100 metres above sea level and is known as the “Mountain of Happiness”.
Here you can enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the spectacular views of Singapore by day or night. Oh and ladies… I have to tell you, the view from the ladies toilet is unbelievable and quite well known!
Don’t forget to ring the “Bell of Happiness” and purchase your own bell to hang on the fence. Mount Faber Station is also where you catch the cable car to Sentosa Island. You travel right through a building, which is really cool! I am a little scared of heights but as the views across Singapore are breathtaking and there was so much to see, I forgot to be scared.
Tip 9: This was a really fantastic place to stay! Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa is made for family holidays and a place where everyone can relax.
There are kids clubs for all ages and they offer endless options for fun; go kayaking, take the Flying Trapeze or just sit around the pool and relax. Oh and did I mention the resort is the only one with its own beach in Singapore?! When us kids are off being kids, parents can enjoy some relaxation at Chi, the Spa.
There are also peacocks wandering around the grounds and roosting in the trees at night and if you are lucky, you’ll see one of the resident monkeys roaming around looking for treats - but don’t feed them!
Tip 10: Whatever you want to eat, you can find it in Chinatown. The streets are filled with amazing food stalls and hawker centres. Speak to the local stallholders and ask them to explain each dish and offer you a small sample to taste.
You will also find some amazing shops full of all kinds of wares, including beautiful calligraphy and personalised stamps. As you wander the streets of Chinatown, call into one of the many teahouses where people are happy to share a table and have a chat. There is also free Wi-Fi in Chinatown so you can upload your photos and share with your friends back home in real time.