Thursday, 27 August 2020

How to spend 24 hours in Singapore when you have the kids in tow

Changi Beach Park
Changi Beach Park is one of the oldest coastal parks in Singapore. Photo credit:


Get an early start to the day by going for a morning stroll along the relatively quiet Changi Beach Park, which still retains a rustic, kampung-like ambience. Think coconut palms, a white and sandy beach (it is one of the only remaining natural beaches in Singapore) and old-school stone benches. The roughly 3.3km stretch allows you to enjoy a cooling breeze while appreciating an unobstructed sea view. Try to see if you can spot Pulau Ubin and Pulau Tekong – the latter is an island dedicated to military training. The kids can frolic about at the two playgrounds there or you can enjoy a leisurely bike ride as an entire family.

Coastal Settlement
Coastal Settlement’s airy and homely interior


Take a short taxi ride to The Coastal Settlement, a charming restaurant and antique collector’s dream thanks to its treasure trove of vintage memorabilia. The air-conditioned indoor section is spacious and airy, with floor-to-ceiling windows casting natural light onto the tables. But the outdoor al fresco area is usually the popular choice – surrounded by trees and shrubs, it’s a peaceful oasis where you can unwind while enjoying a delicious brunch of smashed avocado and eggs or heritage chicken, mushroom and eggs.

Kayaking PassionWave
You can kayak or indulge in other sporting activities at PAssion WaVe @ Pasir Ris


If you have older children who love outdoor adventures, head to PAssion WaVe @ Pasir Ris located at Pasir Ris Park where you can all indulge in sporting activities such as kayaking, sports climbing and abseiling. If you prefer a more low-key but nevertheless insightful activity, join the four-hour war trail bus tour, Changi WWII – Life, Death & Courage (make sure you book online beforehand), an illuminating guided tour full of explosive action, snippets of information, tragic and selfless stories and more as the researcher-guides relate the story of the defense and fall of Singapore during World War II. The route will bring you to the old Changi Prison wall; a temporary exhibition of the Changi Chapel and Museum, which is currently closed for redevelopment and slated to reopen sometime in late 2020; Changi Village; and Kranji War Cemetery, among other spots.

The Pantry
The Pantry’s alfresco area faces a play area


Time to fuel up with some good grub. Head to The Pantry at Dempsey Hills for a laidback lunch surrounded by lush greenery. The outdoor space looks out on to verdant foliage and has ample play areas, including a magnificent treehouse, so the kids can run free while the parents chat over freshly brewed coffee. The chicken karaage starter will be a hit among the younger ones, and you can order casual mains such as design-your-own wood-fired pizzas, fish and chips, bangers and mash and a roasted half chicken with potatoes to share.

Family by JW
Family by JW offers fun-filled experiences for the whole family, including a special in-room camper van, an activity book and toddler-friendly pools


After a satisfying meal, it’s time to enjoy a holiday away from home by checking into a hotel for a staycation. There are plenty of family-friendly stays in the Little Red Dot – The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore is known for its in-room camping experience, kids’ amenities and an on-site playland; Shangri-La Hotel Singapore for its selection of themed rooms and interactive play space Buds by Shangri-La; JW Marriott Singapore South Beach for its shallow infinity pools suited for toddlers and preschoolers, children’s activities and an in-room camper van tent; Pan Pacific Singapore for its adorable bedding, children’s amenities housed in a miniature luggage, teepee and treasure hunt activities; and Grand Park City Hall Hotel for its specially designed children’s rooms that come with an activity wall, bean bags, a house-framed bed with a pull-out and kid-sized sofas. Do remember to visit each hotel’s website to check when they are available for bookings.

Kiztopia features various play areas suitable for different ages


After enjoying the comforts of your hotel room for a bit, head to an indoor playground where the kiddos can expend all their energy on slides, ball pits, jungle gyms and trampolines while the adults sit back and have a relaxing drink. Pororo Park or Kiztopia (both at Marina Square) are good options, as they are known for their sprawling space, multiple zones catered to various ages, fun climbing structures, adorable characters and mini train rides. Make sure you go to their websites to reserve a spot before your visit.

Verandah Wheeler's Estate
Verandah at the second floor is spacious and comfortable


For dinner, the rustic, spacious Wheeler’s Estate (sister restaurant to Wheeler’s Yard in Balestier) housed in a charming colonial building at Seletar Aerospace Park is perfect for a chill meal. The two-storey bungalow comprises an open-air cafĂ© and grill house on the first floor and a 150-seater veranda restaurant serving fusion cuisine on the second floor that’s air-conditioned. If you choose the former, you get to indulge in casual fare such as pastas, burgers, pizzas and bar snacks or, if you’re feeling hungry, you can try the smoky Wheeler’s Signature Tomahawk – which at 1.3kg is sure to satisfy any meat lover. Upstairs is where you’ll find antipasti and European-style mains such as Pan-Fried Norwegian Salmon Trout and Iberico Pork Tenderloin.

Night Safari
Chawang at Night Safari. Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore


Head back to the hotel and watch a movie with the kids on your comfy bed, or if you’re up for more adventure, make a beeline for the Night Safari, the world’s first nocturnal wildlife park. Learn more about native species such as fishing cats and small-clawed otters and don’t forget to say hi to Chawang, an Asian bull elephant that’s a park icon. Make sure you book a timeslot online before visiting.

SEE ALSO: 9 fun and family-friendly outdoor activities to do in Singapore

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