Top tips for exploring Singapore with kids

With its year-round tropical climate, top-notch infrastructure, abundant green spaces and awesome child-friendly attractions, the tiny island nation of Singapore is a fabulous destination to discover with your pint-sized posse in tow.

Is Singapore good for kids? 

Discovering Singapore with children is a joy thanks to the country’s efficient, accessible and sparkling-clean MRT train system. Child-friendly attractions abound and nearly all offer kid-centric tours, child-focused exhibitions or play parks. As a bonus, many outdoor attractions have free water play areas – perfect for a quick cool down! Family facilities such as bathrooms and changing rooms are readily available. However, public breastfeeding is not common due to cultural traditions around modesty, though views on this are changing.

Food is one of Singapore’s greatest loves and you’ll easily find nosh that will satisfy even the pickiest little foodies. Local kiddie favorites include chicken rice, Chinese-style dumplings, and roti prata (fluffy, fried South Indian flatbreads). International restaurants are plentiful and supermarkets are well-stocked with familiar foods and baby items. Hygiene and food safety is on par with Europe and America and tap water is safe to drink.

Families flying kites at Marina Bay Sands Singapore’s green spaces are perfect places for families to unwind © by toonman / Getty Images

Where is best in Singapore for kids?

The busy areas of the Colonial District and Marina Bay offer plenty of top sights and attractions to keep kids entertained. Nature enthusiasts can explore Mandai Wildlife Reserve, featuring such renowned family spots as the Singapore Zoo and the newly unveiled Bird Paradise. Sentosa Island caters to older thrill-seekers with teen-oriented attractions such as Universal Studios, Mega Adventure Park and AJ Hackett Bungy Jump, while young tykes will enjoy splashing around at the island’s family-friendly beach clubs.

Best things to do in Singapore with babies and toddlers

Discover a garden dedicated to kids

Little ones will delight in exploring and playing their way through Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, part of the famed Singapore Botanic Gardens. This enchanting space offers myriad zones to explore, including adventure trails, sensory gardens, a jungle treehouse, a hobby farm, a hedge maze and a water-play area, ensuring endless fun and learning. Best of all – it’s completely free. A pit stop at the garden’s Little Spot cafe makes for a perfect follow-up.

Play and learn at the same time

Spark your kid’s curiosity and imagination at the family-focused Children’s Museum Singapore – a fun space brimming with interactive exhibits based around Singapore’s heritage and culture. Tiny tots have their own sensory-themed Play Pod, with crawl spaces, soft surfaces and plenty of brightly colored activities that are perfect for little hands. Slots must be booked beforehand, which is great as it prevents overcrowding.

Spot animals (both real and fantastical)

Make your way to Marina Bay to find the mystical Merlion. This water-spouting statue is a famed Singapore emblem; its half-lion, half-fish body is a tribute to the city’s maritime past and its former name, Singapura, meaning “Lion City” in Malay. Keep your eyes on the water; Marina Bay and the Singapore River are well-known playgrounds for the city’s booming wild otter colonies.

A girl feeding a giraffe at Singapore ZooFeeding the giraffes is just one of the memorable wildlife encounters at Singapore Zoo © FamVeld / Getty Images

Best things to do in Singapore with kids

Enjoy awesome wildlife encounters

Home to the Singapore Zoo, River Wonders, Bird Paradise and the Night Safari, the Mandai Wildlife Reserve is the place to head with animal-loving kiddos. Each park has its own admission ticket, but multi-park passes are available. If you’ve only got one day, be realistic about how much you can fit in, as the parks are big. Our tip – hit the zoo before heading to River Wonders or Bird Paradise. The Night Safari doesn’t open till 6:30pm, but if your kids can last the distance, it’s a truly captivating nocturnal experience.

Go for a ride on a duck

For something a little different, embark on a rollicking adventure on a brightly-colored amphibious former military vehicle. Engaging guides share the Lion City’s history and stories, but the highlight is an off-road escapade into Marina Bay, creating moments of sheer enjoyment and amusement for all on board.

Explore gardens from the future

A whole day of kid-friendly entertainment awaits at Gardens by the Bay. Spend a few hours checking out the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome – located in two refreshingly airconditioned, space-age bio-domes – before heading to the OCBC Skyway that winds between the futuristic “trees” of Supertree Grove.

These structures are at their most dazzling during the free nightly Garden Rhapsody light-and-sound show at 7:45pm and 8:45pm. If the kids still have energy to burn, visit the playground and water play zone at the Far East Organization Children’s Garden. When tummies rumble, head to breezy Satay by the Bay for hawker favorites.

A teenage boy hiking in the rainforest in SingaporeSingapore’s hiking trails are great fun for teens © Eternity in an Instant / Getty Images

Best things to do in Singapore with teenagers and tweenagers

Sign up for mega thrills and spills

An immense dose of fun awaits at the Mega Adventure zipline and high ropes center, where kids can climb, bounce and zip their way through some thrilling treetop adventures. Pick a single course or bundle them all together for the ultimate daredevil experience. Sentosa’s beaches are steps away, providing relaxation after your death-defying feats. Nearby Universal Studios is also worth a visit for roller coasters and movie-themed rides.

Go hiking in green spaces

Energetic older kids can get their blood pumping by hiking the trails that stretch along Singapore’s Southern Ridges. The doable 4km (2.5 miles) stretch from Kent Ridge Park to Mt Faber takes in canopy walks, terraced gardens, war history (at the Reflections at Bukit Chandu Center) and the iconic, undulating Henderson Waves bridge. Cap off the adventure with a cable car ride down to Harbourfront or onwards to Sentosa.

Enjoy neighborhood hopping

Singapore’s super-efficient MRT rapid transport system means you can cover a lot of ground quickly, so take the kids neighborhood hopping to get a real sense of the city’s diverse cultural heritage. Begin by exploring the wet market and temples in Chinatown before zipping over to Little India for lunch at the Tekka Centre. After wandering the area’s colorful streets, make your way to Kampong Glam for a spot of trendy boutique shopping and street art spotting.  

Planning tips

Considering Singapore’s hot and humid weather, it’s wise to pack a sun hat, insect repellent, rain gear and an insulated water bottle for each tiny traveler. Opt for a compact travel stroller; the city is largely stroller-friendly and carrying a baby can be uncomfortably sweaty. Kids under 0.9m tall travel free on basic MRT and bus services with a fare-paying adult, and children under seven years enjoy complimentary access to numerous city museums.


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