The big question remains: How safe is it to travel within Singapore? Well, our nation has been gradually reopening its economy with safeguards in place. Primary schools are open, as are most establishments. Robust and effective contact tracing is in place. Together we are doing everything to make sure travel within Singapore is as safe as possible for all. Furthermore, more than 20,000 individual premises have been certified SG Clean by National Environment Agency (NEA), Singapore Food Agency (SFA), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG). This includes hotels, attractions, shopping malls and food & beverage (F&B) establishments. Parents, you can definitely rest assured as you embark on your “Big Little Adventures”!
We know, you’re raring to travel. You miss everything about it: the rush of excitement, the taste of the exotic, and the discovery of the new. Yet borders remain shut… If you long to travel again, there is a way to holiday with your whole family safely. All it takes during these challenging times are creative solutions. And it starts with discovering the treasures that are nearby, at home. It starts with rediscovering Singapore.
Yes, there’s the children! They may have spent weeks at home, or they may miss going out, seeing their friends and having adventures. There’s no better place than Singapore to experience the joys of travel. In fact, travel has been linked to play-based learning (Panksepp, 2015; Burgdorf et al, 2010), a powerful way for children to boost their development. In Singapore, they can do this by rediscovering familiar places with fresh eyes and new perspectives. It could be an afternoon spent at play in buds by Shangri-la or a day exploring Chinatown or Little India.
It’s time to pack those bags, grab your kids and go on an adventure like no other – no passport needed! Instead, unwind right here in Singapore this September school holidays as we bring you five hotels where you can enjoy a splendid staycation. Plus, there are plenty of kid-friendly activities and attractions near the precincts of these hotels to keep your kids occupied and ready for more.
5 Big Little Adventures in Singapore
1.Reconnect with Your Family
Singapore’s world-famous resort island, Sentosa, is a great way to kick off the family holiday. There’s always something new to discover. But perhaps best of all is the long list of attractions that were made with families in mind.
Book a staycation at the resort-themed Amara Sanctuary Sentosa and you’re close to a wealth of fun and educational activities. Your kids will love getting up close and personal with celebrities and famous personalities at Madame Tussauds Singapore, or getting just as close to fascinating marine life at the S.E.A. Aquarium, which is even running a promotion until 16 September (1-Day Adult ticket at $29 ). More promotions are available this September; don’t miss a single one! Go to visitsingapore.com/singaporediscovers to discover more deals.
Sentosa is the perfect destination for kids with different interests. For those who love the rush of adrenaline, take to the sky at the Skyline Luge Sentosa. Water lovers can head to Singapore’s first-ever floating aqua park, HydroDash, for a splashing good time.
What better way to reconnect with culture than to visit one of Singapore’s cultural enclaves, Chinatown? Enjoy your stay at AMOY Boutique Hotel in Chinatown, an area much loved for its blend of old and new, with historic temples and traditional heritage stores alongside trendy lifestyle shops and cafés.
For starters, it’s always great to learn about Chinese culture through food. Start the day with a sumptuous dimsum brunch at Yum Cha Chinatown, then head over to Nanyang Old Coffee to learn about the local coffee shop culture. Parents can sign up for a coffee workshop and discover the history of Singapore coffee (including coffee appreciation!) as the kids enjoy Milo dinosaur. Of course, what trip to Chinatown would be complete without a visit to Tong Heng confectionery? Kids can enjoy the perennial favorite, traditional homemade egg tarts, but there are also a host of sweets to discover.
For family activities, the whole family can go on a bicycle tour, the Trails of Tan Ah Huat. Here, your bike essentially becomes a time machine that will take you back to the 1920s through multimedia slideshows located in the neighbourhood (SGD99 per person; kids must be 1.3m or taller to join). Then you can wrap up the whole experience with dinner at the Chinese Opera Tea House where the kids can discover Chinese opera, from dressing up in opera make-up and costumes to learning the movements — perfect for sharing on Instagram!
Precinct: Little India
Little India is a buzzing district that best represents Singapore’s Indian community with its vibrant culture, incredible food, and shopping. Here, we recommend The Great Madras, a retro-inspired themed hotel that will make you feel as though you’ve been transported back to the 80s.
In Artwalk Little India, you can take the family on a walking tour and learn about Indian heritage through colourful (and educational!) wall murals. Simply download the self-guided walking trail prior to exploring the area! Besides, if your kids have never been to a traditional wet market, it is a good idea for them to experience one at Tekka Market for an array of learning opportunities.
Of course, part of the adventure is Indian food. And here, in Little India, the whole family can indulge in a wide variety of sweet and savoury sweets at the Moghul Sweet Shop.
4.Rejuvenate Your Spirit, Reinvigorate Your Body
Precinct: Orchard Road
Staycations don’t have to mean just lounging around in the hotel room and stuffing yourself with decadent meals. They can also mean a fun, active vacation for the entire family. It all depends on where you book your stay.
A stay in Shangri-la Hotel on Orchard Road is paradise for families with its family suites and indoor and outdoor play areas . With buds by Shangri-la, kids can explore a 1,872 square meter curated play space, and here, they can join baking classes, storytelling classes, or get jiggly at dance class. Anything goes!
Step outside the hotel and you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to active fun. Sports-loving kids can visit the trampoline park Bounce at Cineleisure Orchard. Creative souls can harness the power of their overactive bodies and create art by joining the Art Jamming Session at Arteastiq in Mandarin Gallery (take $20 off a 3-hour session till Dec 2020). Or they can get those legs moving and take an “Art-chitecture Tour” of Orchard Road, a great way to rediscover a familiar place and learn about the art-deco architecture and street art in its alleyways. This is a great place to create memories and snap pictures of the kids.
Precinct: Joo Chiat / Katong
With its cartoon-themed rooms, there’s no better place for a family staycation than Champion Hotel, a charming boutique hotel in the Joo Chiat / Katong area. Your room is already a wonderland of discovery for your kids. But you can also visit nearby Rumah Bebe , where your kids can learn about Peranakan culture and go on a heritage tour. More than just a boutique shophouse, Rumah Bebe is a full experience. Kids can join classes about Peranakan fashion or beadwork, or simply enjoy Peranakan cuisine.
Step outside the hotel and you’re ready to explore Peranakan-style shophouses in the neighbourhood. It’s not just a unique shopping experience, it’s also an art encounter with Instagram-ready murals hidden in the area. Older kids (10 and up) can go for a Vespa ride with Singapore Sidecars , soaking in the sights of the neighbourhood in style on classic Vespas with sidecars. Afterwards, you can stop at Birds of Paradise and enjoy the delicious gelato made from botanical ingredients like fruits, flowers, pods, herbs and spices. It’s an experience that is uniquely Southeast Asian, sprinkled with herbs and spices such as basil and blue ginger.
Finally, no trip to Joo Chiat / Katong is complete without a visit to Catopia — a cat cafe that is a must-visit for animal lovers!
No matter where you choose to spend the September holidays in Singapore, a world of fun and adventure, as well as culture and heritage, is waiting to be discovered. From Orchard Road to Sentosa, Little India to Chinatown, or Joo Chiat / Katong, a voyage of rediscovery awaits. For more information, head to visitsingapore.com/singaporediscovers. Don’t miss the deals and promotions available!