Toddling in Singapore

We just came back from a short three-day trip to Singapore. It was just my dad, Evan and I. Yes, you can talk about the elephant in the room, I am that terrible mother who leaves her 9 month-old home with daddy. It just worked out better this way and Joshua was at home with his daddy who took the day off to take him to his classes and spend time with him.

Now, that the guilt trip prelude is over with, I have to say that traveling with a toddler is awesome! Not only is it fun, and easy but it is really really cheap if you do it the right way. It turns out if you have a two-year old like I do most of the attractions are still free! The great thing is that the toddler actually enjoys what he’s doing and we are not yet at the paying end of the scale. Free metro, free rides on the cable car, free food (well not really, but we can still share our meals with him). Not so cheap, the endless toys he wants us to get for him or the little souvenirs he breaks and we have to pay for :/

Singapore, I have found, is a toddler’s paradise. The simple act of riding the metro is an adventure by itself and being able to walk on the wide clean streets is a huge treat for my usually apartment building confined son. Enjoying a theatrical mise-en-scene of the Cat in the Hat, visiting a nice and clean China Town vs. Glodok (more on that later), riding on a Cable Car with Angry Bird companions, eating endless amounts of noodles and sipping (taking over) mommy’s iced tea with jelly were just a few of the fun activities we were able to enjoy in less than 72 hours in Singapore. Below you will a short list of things to do in Singapore with a toddler.

Toddler-Friendly Activities in Singapore (Evan approved)

 

Kid-friendly Theater

As we were looking at one of the many travel magazines for Singapore we saw that a production of Cat in the Hat was being played at a small theater in Robert Quay. It turns out the Singapore Repertory Theater’s has a division called the Little Company that specializes on children’s theater! The production was just amazing and really entertaining for the little ones. Tickets were S$25 and easy to obtain. The actors were very professional and the way they portrayed the book was simply fabulous. I was a bit scared Evan might get bored but the show was just perfect, they jumped from one scene to another in a quick fashion and were able to sustain the attention of about 100 children without a single whine! For more information on their productions check out the Singapore Repertory Theater’s website.

Gardens by the Bay

This was love at first sight for all of us. The structures are not only impressive but eco-friendly and they aim to introduce visitors to the fantastic world of conservation. We visited only a small section of the gardens and paid the S$5 fee to go up the elevated walkway and enjoy the amazing views. I wish we had had more time to stroll around the garden as it looked gorgeous. They have a few conservatories and what seemed like a very popular food court. This will certainly be on our to-do-again list! Gardens by the Bay website.

 

Amazing view from the Gardens at the Bay

Marina Bay Sands Light Show

Last time we visited Singapore we were not able to watch the light show because it interfered with Joshua’s bedtime. This time we headed to the Marina Bays Shopping Center about an hour before the show started at 8:00 pm. After drinking our traditional gong-cha we headed to the bleachers and watched a fantastic show of light, sound and color. Evan was impressed by the bubbles, fire and the surprising special effects of the show. This is definitely worth watching. They have shows at 8:00 and 9:30 pm.

Riding a Cable Car

Twenty-nine dollars per adult gets you a return ticket to Sentosa and Mt.Farber in this fun ride that is currently featuring angry birds characters. Evan was so excited to see an angry bird in the car that I don’t even think noticed that he was about 100 meters above ground. They have several packages available that include dining, attractions in Sentosa and other amenities. We just got the basic package that entitled us to enter Sentosa without having to pay again. We really enjoyed looking at the cruise ship stations, at the Universal Studios and hotels in Sentosa from above. A must-see if your kids are into heights.  For more information visit their website.

Sentosa Island

Our visit to Sentosa was a spur of the moment thing. I had heard you could spend a whole day there so I didn’t even plan to cram it into our already busy schedule. The only reason we visited Sentosa is because we decided to ride the cable car. I’m so glad we did! Other than the cable car, you can arrive to Sentosa by riding the SentosaExpress from VivoCity Shopping Mall that is on the Harbour Front MRT. The ticket for the tram is s$3.50 and it grants you access to the island and free transportation within the island.

Although we didn’t ride on any of the attractions that include a log ride, chair lift, skydiving simulator and 3D theater we really enjoyed just walking around this island and loved finding surprises in the form of characters and fun sights along our visit. Evan loved playing in the sand by the beach and enjoyed looking at a sand castle contest that was going on at the time. He really liked looking at all the plants and sculptures throughout the park and wanted to ride on the tram often. We were not able to visit it but we heard there is an awesome water play area for kids by the beach. Seeing that the access to Sentosa from the city center is easier that I thought it was I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there next time we visit Singapore. They usually have great deals in hotels there that include tickets to Universal and other attractions.  For more information check out Sentosa’s website.

China Town

This might not be a common venue for children to visit but the colorful sights and displays of Chinese memorabilia all over the place make for a very eye-catching visit and the cleanliness and order of it all make it mom-approved. Evan enjoyed looking at all the lanterns while mommy enjoyed shopping for souvenirs. If your kids are into noodles like my Evan is you will be able to find all kinds of varieties. Lots of places to sit down and drink a refreshing tea or juice. A short visit might take you about an hour and both toddler and mom leave happy and visually (and economically) stimulated.

Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden

I found out about this place by my friend Kaho’s blog . I wasn’t able to visit it last time we were in Singapore so this time we made the effort to take Evan there.  The children’s garden is located within the Singapore Botanical Gardens and is a fun little place to visit if you have a few spare hours. As you enter this magical place you are greeted by a beautifully manicured display of tropical plants and lovely signs explaining in kid-friendly language the importance of our eco-system and the beauty of nature. Of course Evan was drawn mainly to the water play area and the different playgrounds. It was a fun half-day filled with splashing, running and a short break in the cafeteria located outside the gardens. Make sure you bring a bathing suit and change of clothes and tons of energy to chase your little one around the mazes and playgrounds. For more information visit the Botanical Garden’s website.

Do you have any Singapore toddler-friendly favorites?

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35 thoughts on “Toddling in Singapore

  1. I love this trip review!! The photos are wonderful and what fun activities you found! You are such a good, creative Mama!! I can just imagine Will lovign so many of the things you did-especially the water and the parks and the lights! I also loved your post on World Moms. I too was so totally “what do I do with a boy??” before Will but now I can’t imagine any other way. He keeps me running (and lunging and grabbing and did I mention running?) but it’s just so, so much fun. Loved your perspective on having two!! :)

    • Thanks Dani! We had so much fun! I can say I’m officially addicted to Singapore’s streets, public transportation system and fooooood! I’m always looking for an excuse to go there. It’s quite to do from Jakarta. I bet Will love it. I definitely think it’s worth visiting. It was an Asian charm but is as efficient as any western european city without the freezing temperatures!!! I’m still figuring out what to do with boys. Learning as I go and trying to compel him NOT to take his clothes off on the airplane…. =P

    • Thanks! I love Singapore, too! This is just a little tiny list of the ohh so many things available for kids! Jakarta has some awesome playgrounds, too. The problem is getting to them!

  2. You did so much in 72 hours, what fun! I was single when I lived in Singapore for 8 years so I never had an eye for kid-friendly places so your post really helps us plan a possible trip there, thank you. And gorgeous pictures Ana!

    • You have to go! The twins will love it! It’s also a nice break and so easy to enjoy a bit of civilization… It must have been fun living there as a single girl. It looks like the night life is thriving!

  3. Thanks for sharing this! I was told Gardens by the Bay and the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden would be awesome for toddlers, so glad to hear you are endorsing that view.

    Was also told that the Singapore Zoo and the Science Park could be fun too!

    I’ve been to Singapore like a million times on my own and a few times with my firstborn when he was very young, so we didn’t even think about such places :)

    • Hi Alison. Thanks for visiting! Singapore is tons of fun for toddlers. We visited the zoo last time we came to Singapore and both Evan and Josh loved it! The water area in the zoo is amazing. We can’t wait to go again! I will have to check out the Science Park next time!

    • To tell you the truth I was hesitant whether or not to take him. I was ready to flee any minute but he really enjoyed it. Maybe you could try again! And regarding the food, it is really awesome whether you spend 2 or 200 dollars!

  4. Don’t forget the Singapore Zoo! That’s what I remember best about my trip to Singapore as a kid. Also, can I say that I love that Singapore has a China Town? To me, that’s like Vancouver having a… China Town… :-p

    • We didn’t go to the zoo this time. We visited it about 5 months ago when we came for the first time. We loved it! And I love the Vancouver china town! It’s so nice and orderly hahaha. I lived in west van for a while so downtown Vancouver was a fun break from the quietness of WV!

  5. Awesome photos and seems that your son was really enjoying his time, i wish I go one day but when I’ll do it sure my kids will be young men, They are already 9 and 15 yo. But it looks great and i enjoy your post so much :)

    • Thanks for visiting Nihad! It must be such a great experience to be the mom to a teenager and almost tween! Traveling, whether 5 miles or 5,000 miles is such a great experience for kids.

  6. My husband went to Singapore for work this summer, and if the flights weren’t so expensive, I so wanted to go, too, with the kids! Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. I love this post, Ana, and I love the pictures!

    Jen :)

    • Thanks for dropping by Jen! If another work trips pops up you should join him with the girls. It’s quite fun and a good (but mild) taste of south east Asia. Then again you are in the US and there are so many places to explore, some just a few miles from you!

    • Thanks for visiting Ruth! The port of lost wonder looks amazing! I will have to check it out next time we visit Singapore. I will definitely come back sometime before we leave Jakarta. I love Singapore and would love to get together!

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    • Hi Nicky! Thanks for visiting. Singapore is tons of fun for kids all ages. I know I love visiting! If you have enough time the zoo is worth checking out, too! Bon voyage!

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  9. Great post and great pics! Kids will also love the SEA Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa, especially the Open Ocean exhibit. For a more local flavour, you can also try visiting the Children Little Museum near Arab Street!

  10. This is fantastic! I can’t wait to head over the straight and get some good pork, nice Indian food, and perhaps a little taste of “home” in Chinatown. I’m pretty sure that Stella will be thrilled at the prospect of riding a train (aka metro), and the cable cars should be pretty major too. Can’t wait!!!

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  12. Hi Anna, i really enjoyed your post! We are visiting this Christmas with my 16 months old and was a bit nervous. I couldn’t help but notice your nice stroller. Looks very convenient to travel with. What’s the brand please? Also, did you take taxis while there? How does it work with a toddler, i.e. Are there special taxis with car seats or do you put them on your lap?
    Looking forward to your response,
    TIA

    • Hi Rosenn. Thanks for visiting! The stroller is an old quinny zapp. The new version is even lighter! We took taxis a few times. They don’t really have car seats. We just put the kids on our lap…. Have a fantastic time in Singapore! It’s one of our favorite places!

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