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In Singapore for a short trip with young children or toddlers and looking for ways to have fun as a whole family? Try some of these activities which are listed in no particular order
Everyone loves the zoo and the Singapore Zoo is one of the most well-managed zoos in Asia (perhaps the world!). The animals have large spaces and are not caged up. Rather, you get to see them in a mini-natural environment. The zoo also has a large primate area and you will see many of the smaller species roaming free amongst the tree tops around the zoo (very safe, no worries!).
For small and young children, there is a kidsplay section within the zoo that has a very large waterplay area, a carousel, petting zoo, horse carriage ride and pony rides. The zoo also provides stroller rentals and even small motorised buggy rentals so that you can roam in the zoo in style. You can also hire Radio Flyer wagons which seat 2 children. The entire zoo is stroller-friendly. If you get tired and didn't hire a motorised buggy, you can always catch the tram that goes around the zoo until about 5pm. The tram rides cost more but if you have a young one, it's probably worth paying for it.
The zoo opens at 9am and closes at 6pm. Then you can head over to the Night Safari (you can buy discounted tickets if you intend to visit both the zoo and the Night Safari and/or Jurong Bird Park). Children under 3 go free for all these 3 attractions.
The Night Safari is next to the Singapore Zoo and opens when the Zoo closes. The Night Safari is not just the regular Singapore Zoo conducted in the dark. It's a completely different zoo and the animals are not caged but there are natural "fences" such as moats or hedges to prevent the larger animals from getting out. You can walk around the Night Safari comfortably but with a toddler, it's better to take the tram. I'd say that the Night Safari is really only exciting to anyone older than 3. We've been there 3 times because of my husband, not my kids!
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a big place. For babies and toddlers, head over to the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden which is open from 8am-6pm everyday except Mondays. Children up to 12 can enter for free and must be accompanied by an adult. The entrance to the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is from Bukit Timah Road. If you enter from another entrance it will be a long walk. The Children's Garden has its own parking lot and entrance.
There's lots to do - playground equipment, lawns for picnics, treehouses. There's also nature and environment education. Plants and trees are all labeled and little signs show the importance of plants in our eco-system, how they reproduce, and help the environment, etc.
The entire park is stroller friendly. There is also a taxi rank out front and it is also served by the public bus system. Unfortunately, the MRT does not go here.
Paragon is a shopping mall along Orchard Road. Its top 2 floors are dedicated to children's boutiques and shops. There's also an indoor playground on the top floor which toddlers from 1.5 can enjoy under the watchful eye of a guardian.
Go to Clarke Quay for a late afternoon walk. Take a walk along the promenade and pedestrian mall along the Singapore River. The area is very stroller-friendly and on a nice day, you'll see many families enjoying walks, romantic couples hand-in-hand, joggers with their mp3 players. There's lots of cafes to stop at along the way for refreshments. Your toddler can run around the area safely as it is car-free. A nice relaxing way to spend a late afternoon.
Clarke Quay is accessible via MRT.
For toddlers and pre-schoolers, it doesn't get any better than the Underwater World in Sentosa. They will have a chance to watch a dolphin show and see a large aquarium on an automatic walk-alator. There's even pink dolphin at the Dolphin Lagoon!
If you have older children who want to go to USS, don't worry, as there are a few rides which cater to toddlers who are above 90cm tall. There's the carousel at Madagascar and the Dino-Rider in Jurassic Park. Other than that, there's also a water play area in Jurassic Park - bring a change of clothes! Toddlers who recognise Shrek and Kungfu Panda will also have a blast taking pictures with them.
This is a very kid-friendly beach in Sentosa. There is a waterplay area and the sand is soft and ideal for castle-building! There's also a suspension bridge which older kids will enjoy walking across.
Lots of eateries and facilities at the beach for the family.
Have a family picnic by the beach. East Coast Park is a long stretch of greenery, beach, organised picnic and bbq. There are even bungalows for rent if you'd like to spend a night. There are pedestrian friendly trails that meander through the entire park. Joggers, skaters, cyclists come here for exercise and there are dedicated lanes for them. There are also skates and bicycles (even tandems and with child seats) for rent. There are bbq pits which you can pre-book as it gets really busy on weekends. There are also ponds, playgrounds, and of course sand to keep the little ones busy.
It's one of the best ways to spend a Sunday in Singapore with the family. Best of all, it's free.
Toddlers and pre-schoolers all adore birds, especially multi-coloured ones that can speak! They have a very impressive and cute show with the birds which all kids will love. The different species of birds are astounding and many are uncaged. Instead, there's a huge net that serves as a very high ceiling. Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for children up to 12 and kids below 3 go for free. There's a pano-rail that goes around the park which is quite expensive. However, my recommendation is to walk around the park. It is the largest bird park in the entire world with different areas - Bird Discovery Centre, African Waterfall Aviary, Lory Loft Aviary, Southeast Asian Birds Aviary and the award-winning African Wetlands.
To cool off, there's a kid's zone area with waterplay, just like at the Singapore Zoo. There's a wet and dry area so children who do not want to get wet can go through different activity stations. There are changing facilities at the Splash N Slide area.
We were introduced to both Go-Go Bambini and Fidgets when friends had birthday parties for their kids at these locations. My toddler loved going to Go-Go Bambini at Dempsey Road (opposite Gleneages Hospital). There are ball pools and jungle gym and 3D mazes. There's a small cafe for parents and babies under 1 go for free. Children 1-2 pay $6 and 2-12 pay $17. It's not cheap and I wouldn't bring my kids there unless a party was being hosted! But if you're looking for something to expend your kids' energy on a rainy day, it's a great idea.
Fidgets is at the Singapore Turf Club and is bigger.