Last Updated on November 14, 2020 by Travels with Kids
Singapore is an extremely kid-friendly place to visit in Asia. When you start to plan your Singapore with kids’ trip, you will be overwhelmed with just how much there is to do in Singapore! You could spend a couple of weeks easily. On the other hand, Singapore is not a cheap destination. You will likely be restricted to the number of days you can spend in Singapore. We’ve made it easy for you: here are 6 DON’T MISS things to do in Singapore with kids.
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What To Do In Singapore With Kids Tips And Advice
Singapore With Kids Has One Major Challenge
Singapore with kids is likely to be a challenge due to the heat. Located near the equator, Singapore is extremely hot and steamy. In the middle of the day, it exceeds 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) and is often about 85% humidity. It’s not a place that you want to spend during the middle of the day outdoors.
Our first suggestion to rock Singapore with kids is to organize your itinerary so that the middle of the day is inside, and in the air conditioning! This was vital to keep our family functioning and is a MUST KNOW for visiting Singapore with kids.
One great way to research information for your Singapore with kids’ family vacation is to read guide books. Here are a few of our family loves. Click each one for current prices on Amazon.
Places To Visit And What To Do In Singapore For Kids
There are many places to visit in Singapore for kids – but if you are like us you want to know what are the most memorable, offering wow and a whole lotta AMAZING then this is what we chose! our list is full of family specific advice, or if this is a great overview of the gorgeous and varied Singapore neighbourhoods.
Gardens By The Bay
This spectacular megastructure on reclaimed land at the foreshore of Singapore needs absolutely no introduction. The stunning Supertrees are one of the most photographed places in the world and were high on our bucket list for several years.
We didn’t want to miss anything during our Gardens by the Bay visit, so we visited over 3 days while combining our visit with other places in Singapore. We’ve put together a super useful post, How To Get The Best Out Of Your Gardens by the Bay Visit With Kids.
Marina Bay Sands
When we arrived in Singapore, the Marina Bay Sands were not even on our list of things to visit. After all, it is an excessively expensive hotel and shopping center full of designer labels like Armani and Versace.
However, the MIT (metro) station has you arriving at Marina Bay Sands, and I am glad we visited because it was a unique experience. Also, the Marina Bay Sands with kids is free and one of the very different sites that Singapore offers!
One of the best things for kids at the Marina Bay Sands is the Digital Light Canvas. While not free, it is quite affordable. If you also visit the Art Science Museum it is free; so worth doing both.
The Digital Art Canvas is located in the North Promenade of the Shoppes and was created by the folks at teamLab who made the amazing Future World exhibition in the Art Science museum. Expect light sculptures and 4D vision tech that makes you go WOW.
I don’t want to give away too much; it’s enough to say that the Marina Bay Sands is an interesting architectural masterpiece with indoor waterfalls, sand pans and lots of air conditioning.
Yes, it also has fancy expensive shops and gorgeous restaurants. However, don’t rule out the Marina Bay Sands with Kids. It offers at least an hour or more of wandering in the cool air-conditioning and that makes it a winner in our book!
From the Marina Bay Sands, we went out onto the concourse and had incredible views across Singapore, including the Merlion. Instead of taking the children to the Merlion itself, we opted just to get pictures from across the bay and then were able to jump right back into the cool air conditioning of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. A lot of our visit to Singapore with kids was like that – in and out of the aircon.
Visiting The Observation Deck At The Marina Bay Sands
When we are on holiday with kids, we are limited by budget and also the kid’s attention spans. We would have LOVED to take a super-fast elevator to the top of the Marina Bay Sands hotel and had views across Singapore. However, we couldn’t justify another SGD 160 (USD 119) when the kids were tired and overwhelmed.
If you think your kids can cope with the heat (ours couldn’t at that point) you can do a tour on the Singapore River. We thought it would be fun to see the city from the river and hopefully get a cool breeze as we traveled around; read how we planned to incorporate this into our 5 Days In Singapore Itinerary (including a cheap hack to save some $$).
Little India Singapore
Visiting Little India Singapore was high on our priority list while visiting Singapore with kids. Why? Singapore is a flagship for cultural diversity and that’s something that we wanted to highlight to our kids.
We started our ‘cultural diversity’ tour of Singapore in Little India, the home of the Indian population, and a great place to visit with many colorfully restored shops, houses, and other artworks and murals.
Let’s be honest, the degree of interest that a nine-year-old and five-year-old will truly show in the cultural mix of Singapore and the heat is minimal. We spent about an hour around little India’s main streets. In that time they did get a sense of what India is like. The main tourist areas (between the Little India MRT stop and Tekka Centre) have been painted beautifully and we stumbled upon some great murals as well.
We ate at the Tekka Center food market, which was extremely authentic and our cheapest meal at $19 for all of us, but it certainly would not be for everybody, as being a very authentic Singaporean hawker market.
Another of our cultural forays in Singapore with kids was to Chinatown. We did this on a different day than little India and headed there later in the day when it was cooler. Chinatown Singapore is a very touristy area (more than Little India) and there was a celebration on at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple at the time. We watched the followers follow the procession into the temple and admired all the different offerings. You can also visit the Sri Mariamman Temple which is Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple.
For our kids, Chinatown Singapore was all about street shopping. They enjoyed the markets offering all kinds of souvenirs, from cheap electronics to clothes and Singapore souvenirs.
We ate at the Chinatown Food Street (located along Smith Street). Even though you are eating on the street, it is covered and offers a hygienic feel. We had a delicious meal for about USD 50. If you are feeling the heat, you don’t have to eat outside on the street and can opt for air-conditioning inside the many restaurants.
We had tired kids, so we then jumped on the MRT at Chinatown and headed home.
Kampong Glam With Kids
Our highly recommend hotel, the Village Hotel Bugis, was in Arab Street, so we spent the most time wandering Kampong Glam. Each of our visits was about 1-2 hours long, so all up we spent a total of 6 hours in Kampong Glam with the kids.
For those who have traveled through the Middle East, despite its’ name Arab Street is not particularly Arab, apart from a few shops selling Turkish carpets and lamps. On the other hand, the golden domes of the Masjid Sultan at the heart of the neighborhood add a very Middle Eastern feel to the whole area.
Haji Lane is a very hip and happening shopping street. If you branch off and follow the laneways around Haji Lane you will discover some amazing artworks and murals which we absolutely adored. During our 5 day Singapore itinerary we were pleased to visit the top spots for cultural diversity in Singapore!
Kampong Glam is a great area to stay in while in Singapore. As we mentioned, one of our most highly recommended Singapore hotels for families, the Village Hotel Bugis, is located in that area. I researched a lot of family hotels in Singapore prior to our trip and am glad that we settled on this particular hotel. It is moderately priced (for Singapore standards), in a central location close to public transportation, and was an overall great accommodation for our family. We can highly recommend this hotel for family travelers to Singapore. Read our full review Village Hotel Bugis Review – Singapore.
Two kid-friendly attractions in Kampong Glam that we didn’t get to:
The Malay Heritage Centre – The Malay Heritage Centre is about 100m from the Masjid Sultan and features lots of hands-on exhibitions that help you to learn about Malay culture. Learning made fun is the name of the game over at the Malay Heritage Centre where the whole family will love finding out about Malay culture here in Singapore. Expect different interactive and hands-on exhibitions throughout the year.
Meomi Cat Café – This is located at the top end of Haji Lane (extremely close to the Village Hotel Bugis) and if you have pet lovers in your family they will love to hang out with the fluffy felines while the folks grab a caffeine hit in the air-conditioning.
Art Science Museum Singapore
The Art Science Museum Singapore was everyone’s favorite place in ALL of Singapore. Truly it was a highlight for everybody, both young and old. It’s located directly off the Marina Bay Sands, and you could combine a visit to the Art Science Museum with a visit to the Marina Bay Sands.
The Art Science Museum offered three different installations – the most interactive and best for the kids was Future World. We spent 2 hours in this permanent exhibit that engages all ages in how to perceive the future of our world. It sounds incredible – and yet it was totally understandable for a 5-year-old!
We spent a whopping 4 hours at the Art Science Museum. We even could have even spent more as there were so many interactive and active exhibits. Without reservation, if there was one thing that we would do again, it would be visiting the Art Science Museum in Singapore.
Changi Airport With Kids
Changi Airport, and in particular the Jewel Terminal is known worldwide. We were lucky to have a transfer of five hours. This is what we learned: Changi Airport is very big. Many of the Changi Airport with kids’ attractions that you see listed on the internet are past the security checks!
For example, the famous sunflower garden is in Terminal 2. If your flights are not leaving from Terminal 2 forget it! The giant slide can ONLY be accessed if you purchase something.
So we are here to cut through the ‘chatter’. Prioritize what is TRULY great at Changi and that is the Jewel terminal. The Rain Vortex at the Jewel is stunning. However, in terms of the best activities in Changi with kids, head to the top level of the Jewel terminal. Here you will find a range of different priced attractions; we didn’t do them all because we spent too much time wandering around the other terminals!
The Canopy Park, including the Discovery Slides, and Petal Gardens cost $5SGD/$3.75USD entry. They have to be the best indoor playground in Singapore! The Petal Garden is fully accessible and is reminiscent of Gardens by the Bay’s amazing flower displays. Your kids might fly through this if you have already enjoyed Gardens by the Bay!
Need To Know: The Canopy Park does not include crossing the Canopy Bridge which has an $8 SGD/$5 USD entry fee. We understand that to do both the Canopy Bridge and Canopy Park you would need 1 hour comfortably.
The Canopy Bridge takes you close to the Rain Vortex which is claimed to be the World’s tallest indoor waterfall. Again, this is another experience similar to the walkways at the Cloud Forest Dome at Gardens by the Bay – EXCEPT a portion of the walkway has a glass bottom. So definitely not recommended for those who don’t enjoy heights!
If you have more than 2-3 hours then consider a Bundle Package. This includes the Canopy Bridge, Park, and, the highlight of the Jewel, the Manulife Sky Nets! A combo package will set you back around $55 SGD/$41 USD for a couple of hours of fun.
I can’t believe we didn’t have time to do the Manulife Sky Nets! The internet tells me that there are two options – walking and bouncing. Kids have to be 1.1m to enter. The bouncing nets are lower and “easier” than the walking and therefore would be more suitable for small kids. The walking nets are taut or firm. They hang 25 meters above the ground and reviews indicated that it was scarier than the bouncing nets. Please let us know if you have an opinion below in the comment. The Manulife Sky Nets have separate entry fees to the rest of the Canopy Park. The fees are around SGD 20, depending on which option you choose. Or, if you have allowed enough time the Bundle Package is the best option for sure!
Note: You need to dress sensibly for the Skynet due to the ropes being ‘scratchy’. Think covered shoes and pants!
Visit An Island
Besides the well-known Sentosa Island (more below), there are so many amazing islands near Singapore. There are so many activities in Singapore for kids and families that it can be exhausting. We love to fit in downtime during our family vacations. Plus, who doesn’t look forward to a little rest and relaxation when you are on vacation?
There is so much to do in see in Singapore that fitting in a getaway at one of the island resorts near Singapore takes planning. However, if a short getaway from Singapore sounds enticing we have done the research for you. The Best Islands Near Singapore For Families has plenty of information and recommendations to help you plan your perfect beach getaway.
What About Sentosa Island, Singapore?
When you read about Singapore attractions for kids you will see Sentosa Island mentioned as a MUST do Singapore with Kids activity. Sentosa is an island resort which is just off Singapore and described as an exciting, fun, action-packed Island Playground.
Key attractions in Sentosa are Universal Studios, Kid Zania, and a range of exciting rides like a Skyrail, downhill luge, and more.
So, why did we choose not to go to Sentosa Island?
- We like to slow travel. A key aspect of slow travel is making decisions about what we want to see. This means lots of planning and research from this travel Mumma.
- We were already seeing one theme park (Legoland Malaysia) and felt that was our “Theme Park” for this particular trip. Universal Studios can come when the kids are older. Whether we visit the Singapore Universal studios or another one, like in Hollywood.
- We are *mostly* realistic in our itinerary planning, and in this case, had 5 days in Singapore. If we were to have added Sentosa we would have: a) added significant travel on 1 or more days b) had to change hotels.
- It seemed it would add significant expense.
The hotel the Village Hotel Sentosa – FAMILY POOL VIEW ROOM was only $50 a night more than our Bugis hotel, plus a stay included entry to a couple of attractions like the Trickeye Museum, Cable Car Sentosa Line, or Sentosa Merlion (this seemed reasonable value for money).
However, Universal Studios Singapore cost for a family of 4 was around SGD 285 (2019) / USD 212. Kidzania Singapore was another SGD 194 (2019) / USD 144 not considered a full day attraction by many reviews. Further, my older daughter is quite shy and unlikely to have relished in the independence of the activities. So I decided to save it for a later trip.
We decided that we would save Sentosa for a future visit to Singapore. Ultimately we wanted to focus on was in other areas.
Honorable Mentions – Interesting Places In Singapore For Families
Our travel style is to limit our activities and not overstress the kids (or the parents)! In the heat of Singapore, traveling with a baby, this was vital.
Things that we had on our ‘to-do list” were:
Jacob Ballas Gardens – This is the children’s playground at the botanical gardens. My brother and his family visited that several weeks before. They said it was an incredible playground and the botanical gardens were absolutely beautiful.
Singapore Zoo – My brother and his family said the zoo was amazing, though it was hot during their visit. Before our visit to Singapore with kids, we had been traveling in North Queensland Australia, and would after be traveling to Thailand. Both of these destinations also offered animal experiences and we decided not to visit Singapore Zoo for this reason.
Singapore Night Safari – We are all about doing things we haven’t done before. The Singapore Zoo Night Safari fits that description. We simply ran out of nights and time. However, we did do a lot of research which you can read here in, What To Do In Singapore At Night With Kids.
What Are the Best Singapore Hotels For Families
Because Singapore isn’t a particularly cheap destination, and there is so much to do and see, we did a lot of research on the best Singapore hotels for families before our trip. As mentioned above, we settled on the Village Hotel Bugis which was fabulous.
However, there were several other hotels that seemed like equally great options. Take a look at our post Best Singapore Hotels For Families for all the information.
The Verdict – What To Do In Singapore With Kids
Ultimately, what to do in Singapore with kids will depend on your time, budget, and how you like to travel.
If you like to travel slowly and allow the kids time to play, then you will need to make some decisions. What are the places to visit in Singapore for kids that work for you and your family?
However, Singapore is a great family destination. There are many attractions for kids in Singapore. Do your research, decide on your must-see Singapore activities, and have a great time.
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