Singapore is an incredible country in Southeast Asia. This island state is an international capital of the financial, aviation, and shipping industries, but it’s also a great place for a holiday with your family. Read on to discover what you can do on a Singapore family vacation.
1. Ride a Tram in Darkness at Night Safari
Everyone’s used to seeing animals in zoos and parks during the day, but what do the creatures do at night? If you take a trip to the Night Safari, you can discover this and more. You will get a ride on a tram and travel through the darkness, learning about fascinating animals.
Open since 1994, the Night Safari in Mandai was the first nocturnal zoo in the world. It is home to over 100 species of animals, some of which are indigenous to Asia, like the Malayan tapir and Asian elephant. You will also see other creatures from around the world, like the Nile hippo and the aardvark.
Children will love seeing the interesting animals and learning about their natural habitats and how they can help them survive in the future. The park opens at 6:30pm and stays open until 12:00am. Kids of all ages are welcome, and the trams are specially adapted for wheelchair access.
2. Meet Your Favorite Film Characters at Universal Studios Singapore
Just south of the main part of Singapore is the island of Sentosa. There are many great experiences to be had here, and one of the best is a trip to Universal Studios theme park. There are 6 themed areas, so you can be transported into the worlds of your favorite films, including Sci-Fi City and The Lost World.
There are interactive shows with the likes of Donkey from the Shrek movies, and meet-and-greet sessions with the Transformers. If you and your kids are looking for more excitement, there are many adrenaline-filled rides like rollercoasters and rock-climbing walls.
When you feel like taking a rest, stroll through the Cairo Market for some food and drink an Antarctic Refreshment. And don’t forget to take a selfie with Puss in Boots, a Minion, or any of your favorite movie characters.
3. Eat the National Dish
There are many incredible dishes to try in Singapore with amazing flavors, but it can be difficult to get children to try new things. That’s why the country’s national dish, Hainanese chicken rice, is the meal to start with.
This dish is a great example of delicious cuisine with basic products. Tasty rice and succulent chicken are the base, with ginger, pandan leaves, broth, and chili sauce adding some tropical flavor.
It can be found in most restaurants and hawker markets, and will be a hit with the whole family. Even the pickiest children won’t turn down chicken and rice.
4. Admire the View on a Cable Car to Sentosa
The most awe-inspiring way to travel between the Singapore and Sentosa islands is by cable car. Known as the Mount Faber line, the connection goes from Mount Faber station on Singapore island to the center of Sentosa.
While traveling through the air, you will be able to see all of the surrounding area and truly appreciate the beauty of Singapore. The bay will be below you, and forests will be visible through the windows.
If you’re interested in how the cable car system was put in place, there are older generations of the cable car models that you can look at and even sit in to at Mount Faber station. Trips start at 8:45am and end at 10pm, and tickets can be bought at the stations and online.
5. Relax at Palawan Beach
If you’re looking for a relaxing day at the coast, head to the western side of Sentosa island and spread out your towels on Palawan Beach. There is a stunning shoreline and plenty of activities for both children and adults.
If beach resorts are your style, try FOC Sentosa. It’s a club that brings a Mediterranean feel to Singapore, with cabins, hammocks, and volleyball nets. And if you’re interested in history, get comfortable on the northwestern part of the beach to see a pillbox used in World War II.
The highlight is Palawan Island, which is just a short stroll over the suspension bridge that stretches across the water. Here you will find two viewing towers that give you amazing views of the mainland on one side and the Straits of Singapore on the other.
6. Witness Sealife at S.E.A. Aquarium
The S.E.A. Aquarium houses over 800 species of sea creatures, with a total of more than 100,000 animals. It used to be the biggest aquarium in the world, and it’s still one of the most interesting and entertaining.
Children and adults alike can learn more about the species in the aquarium and how to protect the world’s seas and oceans. There are immersive activities and up-close encounters with many different species of aquatic creatures.
You can see easily recognizable beings like dolphins and clownfish, or some fascinating ones that you might never have seen before, like fried-egg jellyfish or green brittle stars. With over 100,000 animals to see, you will definitely have some new favorites after a visit to this aquarium.
7. Go Wild at SuperPark Singapore
If your kids enjoy physical fun, SuperPark is the perfect place for them. It has many great activities, including obstacle courses, zip wires, and trampolines. The fun isn’t just for children though. There are pedal car tracks, basketball courts, and skate parks where adults can join the entertainment.
It’s open all week, and is easily accessible by public transport. Children under 8 years of age need to be accompanied by an adult, and there are height restrictions for some of the activities.
8. Smell the Flowers at the Botanic Gardens
Singapore’s Botanic Gardens are an essential part of any trip to this country for many reasons. They are the only tropical gardens to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park has won many awards and is regularly rated as one of the best attractions in Asia. And you can find the National Orchid Garden here, a pioneer in the cultivation of these beautiful plants.
These accolades may not interest you, but as soon as you step through the entrance you will realize why the gardens are so highly regarded. They are truly stunning and fantastic places to visit for people of all ages.
If you’re traveling with kids, head for the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. You can find treehouses with slides, a playground, a maze, and the Water Play area. There are also interactive activities where you can learn about how plants transform carbon dioxide into oxygen and other compounds.
As you visit paid attractions, the cost will pile up and it can be tough since you might pay for 3 people or more. Here are CeritaTiga’s tips on how to enjoy Singapore as a family in a budget.
9. Take a Spin on the Singapore Flyer
If you’re in downtown Singapore, you must take a trip on the Singapore Flyer, an observation wheel (in giant Ferris Wheel shape) that gives you stunning views of the city and bay. The Flyer has 28 observation pods which can take up to 28 people in each.
You can book tickets online to skip the queues, or you can buy them at the ticket office. You can choose a basic pod, or try some of the themed ones. There are art exhibitions, private dining pods, and pods where you will be served delicious cocktails (and mocktails for the kids).
You can even take a flight simulator in the terminal building, where you will feel like the pilot of a Boeing 737. There are licensed pilots who will guide you through all the steps of take-off and landing of a plane in different weather conditions.
10. Taste Authentic Food at a Hawker Market
Singapore is famous for its varied population and cultures. The connection of all the different traditions has created excellent food which can be bought at hawker markets. One of the most famous is the Tiong Bahru market.
Here you can buy meat, vegetables, and other produce, or go to the food stalls to get a prepared meal. There are so many to choose from you could spend whole days here before you try everything.
There are incredible and simple noodle dishes with pork and vegetables, or you can try something a bit more interesting like shark fritters served in a thick broth. The great thing about this market is that you will be sure to find a meal for everyone, from meat-lovers to vegetarians.
11. Soak Up the Sun at Changi Beach Park
In the eastern part of the region, you can enjoy stunning beaches, including Changi Beach Park. The coastline stretches for around 2 miles (3.3km) and still has the village vibes of Singapore from the 60s.
The water is clear and warm, with beautiful sand that stretches back to the line of palm trees that shade the beach. There are plenty of benches and shelters along the tracks that follow the coast, which are great for walking or jogging.
If you enjoy barbecuing, there are pits that are free to use. If you prefer dining at a restaurant, head into Changi Village, where you can get fresh food at a great bistro.
12. Merge with Nature at Gardens by the Bay
One of the best-known landmarks in Singapore is the Gardens by the Bay area. Located on the main island, it’s a network of greenhouses filled with fantastic plant life, sculptures, and activities.
Adults can admire the incredible architecture and stunning sculptures, while kids can enjoy the Active Garden and water park. There is also an adventure trail for older children and a playground for younger ones.
If you visit at night, you can witness the sound and light show at the Supertree Grove. It’s free to enter and you can travel up to the observation deck for stunning views of the marina and bay. It’s the perfect place for a family photograph.
13. Roll in Style at Skyline Luge Sentosa
Sentosa has many great activities for families, and the Skyline Luge is a definite highlight. Each member of your group gets a three-wheeled cart powered just by gravity. You’ll roll down the hill around curves, through tunnels, and pick up speed on straight slopes at one of the most exciting places in Singapore.
Once you get to the bottom, take the skyride back to the top of the hill and start again. You’ll be able to admire the lush tropical forests from above as you ride over them, then enjoy a different perspective as you race back down.
There are four different tracks, so you can experience different levels of excitement each time. Tickets are available for two, three, or four of the tracks, letting you choose your price range. This is for families with children who are at least 6 years old.
14. Hike with Ease through Hindhede Nature Park
For families looking to get out of the city, take a trip to Hindhede Nature Park, where you can take a leisurely hike through the gorgeous forest. The trails are easy, so they can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
You can start at the visitor center of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, then stroll through the tropical vegetation. Keep an eye out for the local animals, like squirrels, woodpeckers, lizards, and the stunning greater racket-tailed drongo.
If your children are still feeling energetic after the walk, there are play areas for more adventurous kids.
15. End Your Trip Right at Changi Airport
If you’re traveling to Singapore by plane, you will pass through Changi Airport. It’s one of the busiest airports in the world, and also one of the most stunning. The Jewel, which connects three of the four terminals, is the part of the airport that you must see.
The main attraction is the waterfall at the center of the complex, called the Rain Vortex. It’s the tallest indoor waterfall in the world, at 130 feet tall (40m). It recirculates rainwater and is designed so incredibly that the splash from the fall is reduced and the sound is lessened.
Aside from the waterfall, there is an indoor garden with over 3,000 trees and 60,000 shrubs of tropical plant species, a system of mazes, a hotel, and a retail area. All of this can be appreciated by both adults and children, but kids can also look forward to a cinema and a permanent Pokémon center.
Singapore is a fantastic country to visit as a family, but you might be interested in closer destinations. If you do read our articles on the best places to travel with kids around US & Canada.