Even though I’ve been to Singapore multiple times this is the first time I’ve had to factor the kids into the equation. And as you can imagine, they are a big variable. So the question is: how do you have a decent holiday with a toddler and a baby in Singapore?
Well so far, an ideal day for us would be having early breakfast at our AirBnb apartment, a kids activity in the morning followed by lunch with friends/family, then back home for an afternoon nap, and finishing the day with dinner with more friends/family. But most days we meet people for brunches and lunches, afternoon teas and dinners, so the kids take turns napping in the stroller or the baby carrier. Yeah, even on holidays, I am still learning to rest…
Luckily, we have lots of friends and family here who have been giving us brilliant suggestions for places that they have tried and tested, so despite still having quite a packed schedule for a young family, it has been an absolute joy and delight. Hubby and I have a rule that it can’t be all about the kids, so we try to take them to places that all 4 of will enjoy. So here are our top 3 activities for young families in Singapore:
- S.E.A. Aquarium (or South East Asia Aquarium)- the largest aquarium in the southern hemisphere housing more than 100,000 marine animals. Need I say more? It’s both exciting and educational. I am sure that my cortisol levels dropped whilst watching all the vibrant marine life. Our family favorite was the jelly fish. Delicate, transparent, dancing parachutes were given a chromatic makeover with changing colourful lights. During our visit we were blessed to witness a choir from Australia. The enchanting jazzed-up version of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ made these Aussie tourists feel a little more at home :)
- Gardens By The Bay is a visual spectacular on any day- rain or shine. But lucky for us, it’s currently Children’s Festival so we were able to ‘catch’ half a dozen of colourful and motorized dinosaurs that moved during the day and lit up at night. There was also a park with fun (and expensive) kid rides including a carousel, a ferris wheel, a train and much more. The light show was mesmerizing for us but a little scary for our toddler so we hurried back up the rather congested lift to get back home for a late night…
- Our cousins introduced us to The City by Littlez at Liang Court. This interactive learning playground nurtures children’s imagination and creativity through role-play and play. Kids get the opportunity to try fun occupations such as doctors, cooks and policemen, and dress up as princesses or superheroes. Created by an interior designer who is passionate about enabling children to learn through play in a fun and safe environment. The City is clean and not too crowded and there’s even free Wifi for the parents! Woot! The puzzles are pretty fun too, so we can all enjoy some quality play. Afterwards, we had an unforgettable authentic Japanese lunch at Okinawan Diner. The ramen noodles were hand-made! Be sure to try the wasabi squid too!
- And of course, our favourite place to hang out as a family is at friends’ homes. We were lucky enough to have a friend invite us over for lunch as well as giving our kids free-range access to their kids’ toys. Oh happy day!
Something interesting I learnt at the Aquarium is this- clownfish (think Nemo) frequently swim between sea anemone to desensitize themselves to the poisons of the stinging anemone. Initially, the clownfish are stung by the tentacles, but over time, they acclimatise to the stings by forming a mucus coat over their skin. The sea anemone in turn protects the clownfish from the dangers of the sea.
Talk about a literal translation of ‘thick skin’! Once again, adversity proves to be a formidable friend, not merely a foe, to those who are willing to embrace it, rather than to fight it. Sorry, I digress. But in a way, travelling with a toddler and a baby fits into the category of ’embracing stinging anemones’? It’s not comfortable, but hopefully, I grow stronger from the experience?!
It’s been an amazing week in Singapore. Its culture and people have taught me so much, I’m looking forward to writing that blog post soon! We’re off to Taiwan tomorrow and back to Singapore again after that so I’ll write a part 2 of ‘how to entertain your toddler and baby in Singapore’ then. In the meanwhile, foodie city here we come!