A recent trip to Singapore offered so many family first moments for Armand, the girls, and myself. For a start, it was our first time travelling together as a complete family with the new-born, so that in itself was special.
We wanted a mini vacation to bond with our children and Singapore was an easy choice as it is close to the Philippines, has great weather, and is very accessible.
Above all, it is known for all the wonderful experiences that cater to children of all ages.
As we have a preteen, a grade schooler, a pre-schooler and a newborn, we needed a destination that could offer us variety in our itinerary and Singapore provided all of that.
From exceptional animal sighting, to garland making, scent mixing and a smorgasbord of cuisine and culture, there’s so much to do and discover.
If you are considering a fun family trip to Singapore’s balmy shores, here is my shortlist of places to explore!
1. 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 instill.
2. Singapore Zoo, River Safari, and the S.E.A Aquarium
These attractions grant visitors close encounters with animals and marine life and are places that children will no doubt enjoy and be able to learn from.
Our favourite moment at the Singapore Zoo 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.
Though both locations are a bit of a drive away, they are not to be missed. As a tip, I would suggest getting a van for the day just for convenience. If you have time in the afternoon, I highly recommend the S.E.A. Aquarium, to see beautiful marine life. This enclosed aquarium has an abundance of fish, jellyfish, seahorses, and so much more.
The girls liked it especially as it was calm and peaceful, displaying the most stunning colors 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!
3. EatPlayLove Cafe
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.
You must have the Yakult smoothie, it is absolutely delicious.
4. 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 which 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.
5. Hawker Center
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.
I hope you can experience Singapore with your little ones as well. I can promise it will be a trip to remember, and a place you will want to re-visit over and over!
Photographs by Paul Del Rosario
Hair, make-up and grooming by Muriel Vega Perez
This feature is brought to you by Singapore Tourism Board.
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