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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.