Asia, Travelling with Kids

Singapore with Kids

If you are searching for a clean, family friendly city with endless sunshine, then look no further. Singapore is a modern metropolis with people at its heart. From city planning to public amenities, everything has been so well thought through! The streets are free from litter, public toilets are spotless and recycling is widely promoted across the city.

Compared to neighbouring countries, Singapore is a very expensive place to visit, but we would still highly recommend it.

This quick guide includes:

  1. Where to stay
  2. Top three must-do activities for kids
  3. Getting around with kids
  4. Baby and toddler supplies

Where to stay

We spent six nights in beautiful serviced apartments at ST Residences Novena (formally Forest by Wangz). For S$182 (£103) per night we stayed in a beautiful one-bed apartment with a fully fitted kitchen, balcony, bathtub and shower room. Breakfast was included along with access to the pool and gorgeous rooftop garden. This was far above our usual budget for accommodation but Singapore is expensive and it was a treat after the ‘back to basics’ time on Tioman!

Top 3 things to do with kids

There’s an enormous range of things to so with kids in Singapore, from the exciting Sentosa island to the giant wheel in the marina. Here are our absolutely favourite things to do in Singapore with a toddler and baby!

1. Gardens by the Bay

Cost: Free

Length: 1-2 Days

No visit to Singapore would be complete without a visit to the Gardens by the Bay. These huge gardens host an array of diverse plantlife and three huge “cooled conservatories” (or ‘giant glass domes’ as we called them) along with places to eat, a splash pool and a playground. We spent two full days exploring the gardens and still didn’t manage to see everything.

Everywhere in the Gardens by the Bay was accessible with a pushchair, even the conservatories, and there’s a shuttle bus you can pay to catch across the gardens if you’re less mobile.

Here’s our quick guide to visiting the Gardens with kids:

Splash pool and playground: Head over to the Far East Organisation Children’s Garden near the Cloud Forest for the free splash pool and playground.

Light and Sound: Each evening at 7.45pm and 8.45pm there’s a light and sound display under the trees at Supertree Grove. The performance lasts for 15 minutes and is spectacular. Lay down under the trees or watch from the sky walk for an incredible evening display.

Cooled Conservatories: The three giant domes are the Cloud Forest, Floral Fantasy and the Flower Dome. It’s quite expensive to all three (S$46) so if you only pick one, make sure it’s the Cloud Forest!

  • Cloud Forest: The tallest dome which simulates plant life high up in the mountains. Follow a meandering path past the largest indoor waterfall in the world, up through the canopy levels and across the skywalks. There are meat eating plants, sensory areas with strong smelling plants, sculptures and water features. We bypassed one section on the environmental impact of man which, whilst it’s an important subject, had graphic imagery we deemed not suitable for Fin (aged 3). We spent around 2 hours weaving our way up into the Cloud Forest and back down again. Every two hours the dome is “misted” where water is sprayed to keep the air and plants moist which is fun to watch.
  • Floral Fantasy: This relatively new attraction costs S$20 to enter and you are given a specific one-hour time slot for your visit. The flower displays are stunning and the water features are hypnotic. The dome itself is quite small and once you have finished the short walk through, you exit and cannot return. We went back and forth a few times but ultimately spent about 20mins there which didn’t seem long for the cost. At the end there is a fun 4D cinema experience included called ‘Flight of the Dragonfly’ where you explore the Gardens by the Bay from a dragonfly perspective… occasionally getting splashed with water or pecked by birds. The film itself was essentially a promotional video for the Gardens but was quite enjoyable… although Fin was terrified!
  • Flower Dome: As it’s name suggests, this is a large dome full of flowers… along with some cacti, baobab trees and various other plants. If you are really into plants then give it a whirl but the kids weren’t thrilled to be wandering round looking at plants for an hour!

Food & Drink: Beside the Cloud Forest you will find a lovely Cafe and a McDonalds. Further into the park there is Satay by the Bay which is essentially an outdoor covered food court! There are many small food stalls to choose from serving a range of delicious dishes including satay (of course!), dumplings, seafood and burgers. Satay by the Bay is a great place to grab some quick food in the evening if you are staying to watch the light and sound show.

Accessibility: The Gardens and Conservatories are all completely pushchair and wheelchair accessible.

Facilities: You can hire a stroller (S$2) and there are lockers too. There are toilets/baby change and water fountains located throughout the park.

2. Singapore Zoo

Cost: S$35 adult / S$23 child

Length: Full Day

A little way out of the main city, you will find Singapore Zoo. The zoo is one of the best we have visited, with large enclosures and a strong focus on conservation and the environment. Some animals, such as the orangutans, roam freely in the treetops which is a refreshing approach to keeping animals. There were educational talks throughout the day and the keepers were incredibly knowledgable.

Breakfast with the Orangutans: We paid S$35 per adult (under 6s free) in addition to the entrance fee to join the Orangutans for breakfast. We were a little sceptical, but Fin really did enjoy it. Firstly you tuck into a buffet breakfast which has a range of foods and drinks to choose from. The orangutans are then allowed into a forested area next to the restaurant which has a large table where they are given their breakfast of fruit. We were lucky to have a table very close to the animals but other people were seated further away so didn’t get a great view. The Orangutans hang round for half an hour during which time you can queue up for a photo with them which was a very quick / efficient process. You can then either purchase a photo (S$30) or simply ask them to take a snap on your camera for free. Other animals like snakes are brought out for the children to look at too. After a short visit, the Orangutans leave but are generally free range around the whole zoo so you bump into them a few times during your day at the zoo!

Food: There’s a snack bar and cafe in the centre, and also a McDonalds on site so you won’t go hungry!

Accessibility: The centre is pushchair friendly but there are some areas where you need to leave the stroller outside, such as the mirror maze.

Facilities: You can hire a stroller (S$6) and there are lockers too in case you’re on the way to the airport!

3. Science Museum

Cost: S$12 adult / S$8 child

Length: Full Day

On a whim we popped to the Science Centre and honestly had the best time!! It was much more fun and interactive that the London Science Museum, with hands on experiments and demonstrations throughout the day. You can easily spend a whole day here without any of the optional extras that are offered (butterfly garden, cinema etc).

Fin’s absolute favourite things to do at the Science Centre included:

  • Optical illusions exhibition
  • House of mirrors
  • Splash park (don’t forget swimmers!)
  • Fire Tornado and Tesla Coil demonstrations

Food: There’s a snack bar and cafe in the centre, and also a McDonalds on site so you won’t go hungry!

Accessibility: The centre is pushchair friendly but there are some areas where you need to leave the stroller outside, such as the mirror maze.

Facilities: You can hire a stroller (S$6) and there are lockers too.

Getting around

Singapore has an extensive and easily navigable public transportation system. We hopped on the underground and buses which were very straight forward to use. We also used the Grab app to book taxis – similar to Uber.

The streets are well paved and almost everywhere is wheelchair accessible so strollers can be taken around with ease. If you don’t want to take your stroller, they can be hired at most places for a few dollars!

Baby and toddler supplies

Singapore has many supermarkets and small shops where you can pick up baby food, bibs, wash cloths etc. We did have some difficulty finding nappies but it was still possible!

In Novena there’s an entire shopping centre full of kids shops where you can buy clothes, toys and all sorts of supplies!

Eating

We mostly self catered in Singapore which was incredibly easy to do. Supermarkets are easy to find, however even to self cater was quite expensive with the price of food being similar to the UK.

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