By: Oscar Cheng
With a bit of know-how, keeping small children entertained in Singapore needn’t be a hassle. On the contrary, the possibilities for fun and frolics are endless. Singaporean parent, Oscar Cheng, plans his ideal weekend in Singapore, custom-made for those travelling with little ones.
If Saturday morning starts early, with your bundle of joy up bright and early ready for outdoors entertainment, a great compromise on a hot humid day is the cool-dry conservatory, the Flower Dome, located at Gardens by the Bay. Before going in, stop at Café Crema near the entrance for a quick coffee for mum and dad and some Blueberry pancakes for the young ones. Helpings here are quite generous so you probably won’t go hungry either.
A stroll through the Flower Dome is ideal to walk off a big breakfast. It’s not often you can stroll around Singapore under the mid-morning sun without breaking a sweat, but this is exactly what the dome offers. The award-winning glasshouse structure provides a stunning setting for an even more impressive variety of plants from temperate regions around the world.
Don’t miss the baobab trees on the second floor – most impressive is the African Baobab, which apparently weighs more than 32 tons. This should spark a reaction from the kids!
Outside the dome, head over to the Children’s Garden. Bring your swimwear so you can spend an hour splashing around in the water play area, which includes a Toddler Play Zone with mini fish fountains and water tunnels. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, there’s lots to eat in the area. Our family favourite is just a five-minute walk from the gardens in Marina Bay Sands.
Located on level B1, Pizzeria Mozza is our go to pizza restaurant in Singapore and never disappoints – if you like authentic thin crusty Italian pizza, it’s a must-try.
If the young have renewed energy after lunch, head to Fidgets City, just a few doors along from Pizzeria Mozza. Fidgets City offers a multi-level play structure, which provides endless fun for little ones, especially the three-way slide. There are also staff on-hand to help out at the art and craft stations, where kids can test their art skills, giving you time to have a relaxing coffee.
One of the best things about Singapore is its size – you’re never far from anywhere. A short drive from MBS is the Katong neighbourhood, where the newly launched Amped Trampoline Park offers an activity centre that’s great for kids who like to bounce around. Book a one-hour session for the little ones and take a well-earned rest.
Once energy levels are well depleted, head to Drink & Dine @ Parkland Green nearby. This new development in East Coast Park offers lots of casual cafes, restaurants and bars to choose from. Blessed with sea views and breezy terraces, it’s an ideal place to end the day with sunset drinks and a relaxed dinner.
Kids favourites like risotto, pasta, chicken nuggets and pizzas are balanced out with mum and dad favourites like fruits and veggies – all nicely cut into toddler bite-size pieces. Perfect! After eating, kids can have fun face painting and exploring the arts and crafts available.
After a hectic day Saturday, Sunday should be more relaxing. What better way to ease into the day thana morning walk in the Botanic Gardens, a highlight for any resident or visitor to the ‘garden city’.
After communing with nature, head toThe Four Seasons nearby. On Sundays, the hotel has a fantastic Children’s Playland in the Hotel’s Ballroom. This supervised meal features a children’s buffet created by Chef Nicholas Owen. Kids favourites like risotto, pasta, chicken nuggets and pizzas are balanced out with mum and dad favourites like fruits and veggies – all nicely cut into toddler bite-size pieces. Perfect! After eating, kids can have funface paintingand exploring the arts and crafts available.
After lunch, Orchard Road is just a short walk away should you require some retail therapy. At Forum Mall on weekends, the Hip Kids Club Playground is open in the morning and afternoons. One of the best indoor playgrounds in Singapore, this offers lots of fun including a ball pool, climbing frame and playhouse, in a safe secure environment.
For a pick-me-up before hitting the malls, PS Café in Palais Renaissance opposite is an outpost of the Dempsey stalwart, providing the same quality coffees and pastries. As well as the usual indoor air-conditioned section, this branch also has a lovely first floor patio with outdoor seating, recommended for enjoying your cake and caffeine fix.
Just up Orchard Road, the ideal shopping location for families is the upmarket mall Paragon. With another play area on the 5th floor, there are lots to keep toddlers happy while one of you escapes for a quick shop. Once everyone is worn out, head to Din Tai Fung for some Sunday dumplings, a weekend institution. The combination of friendly staff who love kids and mini dumplings with paper-thin wrappers and savoury fillings make this the perfect end to the weekend.
Gardens By The Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive, www.gardensbythebay.com.sg
Pizzeria Mozza, 2 Bayfront Avenue, #B1-42/46 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, tel: 6688 8522, www.pizzeriamozza.com
Fidgets City, B1 57 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, tel: 668 87406, www.fidgets.com.sg
Amped Trampoline Park, 369 Tanjong Katong Road, www.ampedsingapore.com
Parkland Green, 920 East Coast Parkway
Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, www.sbg.org.sg
The Four Seasons, 190 Orchard Boulevard, tel: 6734 1110, www.fourseasons.com/Singapore
Hip Kids Club Playground, 585 Orchard Road, Forum The Shopping Mall
PS. Café, 390 Orchard Road, Palais Renaissance, tel: 9834 8232, www.pscafe.com
Paragon, 290 Orchard Road, tel: 6738 5535, www.paragon.com.sg
Din Tai Fung, Paragon Shopping Centre, tel: 6836 8336, www.dintaifung.com.sg
One of the restaurants topped for big things in 2015