Is there a better place to visit in the world with kids than Singapore?
Singapore is jam packed with family friendly attractions. When planning my first trip here, I quickly found I changed from trying to work out what we should visit to what we would have to leave out until next time. There are just so many awesome family activities in Singapore.
Couple this with the fact that Singapore is an orderly, clean city with English as a prime language and an excellent public transportation system and it’s impossible for me to think of anywhere that is so easy to visit with kids.
And that is without even mentioning the food! Singapore is renowned for its delicious and varied cuisine. Hopefully, your kids will try some of Singapore’s awesome local cuisines but if they are fussier eaters, you will have no problems finding whatever it is that you are looking for.
All of this is why we have now visited Singapore with kids three times! And our oldest child is only 5. I can see many visits in our future as well as there are still many things to do in Singapore with kids that are on our list.
Speaking of a list, we have a massively long list of things to do with kids in Singapore in this article. Don’t expect to gket to all of them in one visit! Or even three. This is simply to help you work out what might appeal to your family most. I have also compiled some sample itineraries to make it easier.
In this guide you will find our complete list of what to do in Singapore with children, information about the best Singapore family accommodation, how to get around, information about eating out and everything else you need to know for a fantastic visit.
Like I said, this list is LONG! I have separated the places to visit in Singapore for kids by area to help with your planning. If you are short on time, it’s a good idea to keep to the same areas. It is, however, usually quick and easy to move between them on the MRT.
One of my absolute favourite things to do in Singapore is to visit Gardens by the Bay. This place is amazing and it is like visiting a futuristic garden with its vertical gardens (“Supertrees”!), big domed conservatories and very cool children’s garden.
Despite being short on time on every visit to Singapore, I have visited this place on both my last visits as I enjoy it so much and it is something different that I haven’t experienced elsewhere. It’s also perfect for kids!
There are many nice gardens – like ones to celebrate Singapore’s main cultural groups with Malay, Chinese and Indian gardens – as well as some big paid attractions. The biggest two are the conservatories – the flower dome and cloud forest. Unfortunately, the flower dome was closed for maintenance on our visit (do a better job than us of checking their website for closures!), so we could only see the cloud forest – thankfully the one that Mr 3 was excited about!
It was amazing. It’s a big dome featuring a 35 metre tall “mountain” complete with waterfall. There are many different levels with a lift to the top one and then we slowly made our way down. There are cool pathways that were suspended in the air at times. It features plant life from tropical highland areas up to 2000m above sea level. As a bonus, it’s nice and cool compared to the outside air. Mr 3 walked around saying a lot of “wow”s!
At the end there was an informative film about climate change that had Z hooked. He may now be the best informed 3yo in the world on this topic!
Another must visit is the OCBC Skyway among the Supertrees – which look like giant futuristic trees but are actually vertical garden displays. You can walk around these at 22 metres high. It would be cool to do this at night with older kids as they are all lit up and there are light and sound shows! I took Mr 3 here as he wanted to do it but freaked out at the last moment.
The highlight for any younger kid of the Gardens by the Bay is likely to be the Far East Organization Children’s Garden. Here you will find a water playground, tree houses and other awesome play equipment to climb all over. Both my kids loved it.
You don’t have to be a garden lover to enjoy Gardens by the Bay- I am certainly not. I had to be convinced by a good friend to even try it. It’s intriguing and different and just fun! So I am sure you will enjoy it. The high walkways on OCBC SKyway and in the Cloud Forest also give great views of Singapore.
Getting around can be a bit painful. It was very sunny and hot on my first visit with Miss 4 and I made the mistake of not buying shuttle tickets. Distances are longer than they look and in the heat with small legs, it’s not fun! Unfortunately the shuttle does not go many places but it works well for going between the MRT Bayfront and the conservatories. Plus, Mr 3 enjoyed just going on it on our last visit.
The gardens themselves are free and you can walk around and see many attractions for free including the great children’s garden. However you do have to pay for the conservatories and the OCBC skyway – which is the 22 metre high walkway. For non-residents, its $28/$15 (adult/child 3-12) for the conservatories and $5/$3 for the skyway. The shuttle is $3 per person (including kids) . Basically everything is stroller friendly. *Free*
You can save money by purchasing the tickets for the conservatories beforehand here for $5 cheaper.
A great introduction and one of our things to do in Singapore with family is to take a ride on the big Singapore flyer – the second largest observation wheel in the world.
It’s 165 metres high and there are some great views of the city. There is also the “Journey of Dreams” which is a multimedia exhibit about the history behind the wheel. It takes about 30 minutes to go around.
Take the MRT to the Promenade station.
Another of the fun things to do in Singapore for families is to take a bumboat cruise around the Singapore river.
A popular option is to take a 40 minute cruise with a audio visual commentary among the main attractions including Boat Quay, Clark Quay and Marina Bay.
A popular option is Singapore River Cruises which has boats departing every 15 minutes.
Fort Canning Park is a lovely, big green area in the middle of the city. There are some low key attractions here as well as a fabulous hotel (more about that below).
We first came here when our kids were 1 and 2 years old – I wouldn’t recommend it with such young kids. There are many steps and steep paths and it wasn’t easy with a pram. There wasn’t much space to run around for them either since most of the land is sloped. It is a lovely spot to get out of the city once the kids are a bit older though.
The National Museum of Singapore is an excellent attraction to add to your list of things to do with children in Singapore. Its lively, interactive and works well with kids and also has lots to teach all members of the family. The building itself is also beautiful.
There are children activity rooms as well as colourful reconstructions to keep young kids interested.
This 5 level, purpose built museum for toys is one of the unique things to do for kids in Singapore.
There is an extensive collection of over 50,000 toys from over 40 countries dating from the mid 19th century. Keep in mind that the toys are on display and they aren’t for playing with.
This museum is full of Singapore stamps and related items but it is much more than a stamp museum. It manages to tell the history of Singapore through stamps and interesting displays and has been designed with kids in mind making this one of the fun places for kids in Singapore
There is plenty to interest kids, including a current, special exhibition on Snoopy and activities that focus on families. There is also an interesting heritage room with information on the background and cultures of Singapore’s migrant populations.
5 minute walk from City Hall, Clark Quay and Bras Basah MRT stations. More information here.
This famous shopping strip is a great place to head if you want to do some shopping. Massive shopping centres line the street and there are also other activities, like many cinemas.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a great place to have a run around and relax while learning more in a beautiful setting.
There are many different attractions in the gardens. Most are free, but you will need a ticket for the National Orchid Garden which is the largest collection of orchids on display in the world.
If you are looking for things to do in Singapore with children then you might want to head straight to the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. It’s an interactive play area which also includes learning experiences to help kids learn how plants provide for their daily needs.
You can visit here via the Botanic Gardens MRT stop. *Free*
Chinatown has a great vibe and a fun Singapore activity for kids is just to walk around here, visit some of the low key attractions, do a bit of souvenir shopping and eat some food.
There are quite a few pedestrian only streets which makes things easier with young kids including ones that are filled with eating options. For those on a budget, try Maxwell Road Food Center or Chinatown Complex for some cheaper eats (more information below).
I recommend taking the MRT to the Chinatown stop. Then you can exit right into the middle of things. *Free*
Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore’s oldest Hindu Temple and was originally built in 1823 before being rebuilt in 1843. It’s surrounded by Chinatown markets which makes it extra easy to visit.
It’s big, colourful and a nice place to take a wander. It’s only open in the morning and the evening – we found it went well with a dinner stop at the many options in Chinatown.
Located close to MRT Chinatown. *Free*
This five storey temple in Chinatown is home to what is supposedly Buddha’s left canine tooth. It’s also a richly decorated temple which is well worth a visit for the whole family. In addition to the tooth, there is also a third floor museum of religious relics and a lovely rooftop garden with a big prayer wheel and ten thousand buddhas in a pagoda.
They have an informative website here. *Free*
Another of the places to bring kids in Singapore is Little India. This is a great place to explore the Indian side of Singapore.
It’s a colourful area with the best part for us being lots of yummy Indian food. The hawker centre at the Tekka Center is a great place to start.
There are many temples in Little India and the most colourful and bustling is Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. This is one of the kid friendly places in Singapore and a great way for the kids to experience something different.
Access via Little India MRT. *Free*
Kampong Glam is Singapore’s traditional Muslim area and historic seat of the Malay royalty with beautiful low rise buildings, mosques, shops and great eating options. It’s very easy to access from MRT Bugis.
Sultan Mosque is Singapore’s largest, originally built in 1825 but replaced in 1928.
It’s a beautiful mosque both inside and out and tourists are welcome – just not at prayer times and non-Muslims should not enter the prayer hall. You need to cover up, but items are provided.
More information here. *Free*
While in Kampong Glam, the Malay Heritage Centre is one of the good places to visit in Singapore with kids that would like to learn more about Singapore’s past.
This museum is housed in the palace on this site that was built for the last sultan of Singapore and tells the history of Singapore’s Malay people.
Access from MRT Bugis. More information here. It is currently SGD$4 for adults, $2 for kids, free under 6’s.
This museum is dedicated to the POW camps at Changi during World War II and the Japanese occupation. The chapel museum has a recreation of two of the chapels in the different PoW camps around Changi. As part of a recreation of St. Luke’s Chapel, they have the famous murals painted by one of the prisoners.
The museum features many displays and lots of information about what life in Singapore and the camps was like during the Japanese occupation; but it’s not really for children. It is pram friendly and with free entry, it is budget friendly too.
You need to catch the bus here which is quite slow – about 50 minutes from the bus stop at Bugis MRT. *Free*
A better budget option if you want to cool down compared to the big water park on Sentosa Island is Wild Wild Wet, located near the end of the train line at Pasir Ris.
It’s not very big, but there are water slides, a lazy river and a wave pool. The best part for us was a massive water playground which was lots of fun with our toddlers. We found this park worked better with young kids than Adventure Cove Waterpark.
It’s walking distance from Pasir Ris train station or there was a free shuttle when we visited. Under 3’s are free. You can find more information here.
We’ve seen a lot of zoos and animal attractions on our travels but Singapore Zoo is probably one of the best. That’s a big claim but I feel it’s justified. It is one of the best things to do in Singapore with kids and there is a reason why so many tourists flock here.
Located on the Mandai Reservoir, the zoo is large and very green. There’s a huge variety of animals – from the usual tigers, lions, giraffes and zebras to polar bears and African penguins and more local animals like Komodo dragons and orangutans.
The animals are organised roughly by geography and well signed so its easy to find a particular enclosure you’re after (but grab a map). And speaking of the enclosures they are big and leafy, letting the animals run around and play and making things seen more natural (as natural as a zoo can be anyway). The downside is that sometimes the animals will just sleep out of view.
A great thing is that you can get up pretty close to some of the animals. The enclosures are well designed so that you can often view them at different heights from multiple angles so you’re never too far from the action. It helped keep S really engaged. She enjoyed watching the orangutans for ages. There’s lots of shows at different times of day and feedings, where you can pay to feed various animals.
There’s a “tram” that does laps of the park to save you from walking. It cost extra, but it helped break up all the walking around which was tough on 5 year old S.
Facilities wise, the zoo is well served with lockers, baby change rooms, strollers and wagons to pull kids in for rent and restaurants and shops. There’s also a kids play area with (paid for) rides, playground and even a water play area. We didn’t stop there but it’s quite large.
Food wise the restaurants are expensive but not outrageously so.
We loved this zoo. It’s well set out and spacious and even though there were a lot of people, it didn’t feel too crazy. There’s a lot to see and you could easily spend a day here going from animal to animal with stops for lunch and a play
To get here take bus 138 from Ang Mo Kui MRT station (on the North-South line). It should cost $5 SGD from just about anywhere in Singapore to get both. Buses leave roughly every 15 minutes. We took a taxi from Ang Mo Kui and it cost $12. You can buy discounted tickets here and save $11 per ticket.
The Night Safari is an award winning experience and one of the top things to do in Singapore with family. There are over 2,500 nocturnal animals from 130 species to check out.
The journey starts with a tribal performance and continues on board a tram as you get to experience 7 geographical regions of the world. There are also walking trails, aviaries and a live show.
We ummed and ahhed about visiting here on our last trip, but decided to leave it until our kids are a bit older. In some ways it is ideal for younger kids thanks to the tram, but our kids just don’t do well with evening attractions – the park does not open until 7:15pm.
Located next to the zoo is basically a whole other zoo/aquarium, the Rivier Safari. Dedicated to riverine environments and the animals and fish who live in them. The focus is on ten rivers: including the Mississippi, the Ganges, the Mekong, the Yangtze, the Nile, the Mary and particularly the Amazon.
Compared to the zoo, the River Safari was not very busy, almost empty on the weekday we visited.
Some rivers get more focus then others but each has a distinct feel with animals and fish particular to that river. For example the Yangtze zone had a giant Panda (there’s usually two but due to maintenance the panda area was reduced).
Unlike a zoo where you wander around as you like, the River Safari has one long path that guides you around everything (some things you can cut out). This is a good thing as tanks and enclosures are well spaced out.
The highlight is meant to be the river safari boat ride that takes you on a 15 minute ride around the reservoir looking for animals, but we didn’t see anything except the tall giraffes from the zoo.
Better was the Amazon River Quest, a theme park like boat ride through enclosures were we got up really close to some of the animals. S loved it so much we did it twice! The Amazon River Quest was extra – $5 for adults and $3 for kids when we were there – and you need to be over 106cm to go on it.
Another highlight is how close you could get to some of the animals and fish – closer than the zoo. Some of the creatures in the aquarium tanks seemed to enjoy coming right up to the glass. And in the Amazon section you could wander through a Squirrel Monkey enclosure where the monkeys ran all around you – even literally over you on the ropes set up for them.
Like the zoo, there are a lot of facilities for families (like strollers, stroller parking areas where needed, lockers, changing rooms) and places to eat.
As good as Singapore Zoo is – and it is very good – S and I actually enjoyed the River Safari more. I liked it more because it felt more organised and relaxed (fewer people helped) with one trail to follow. S loved it because of the Amazon River Quest, the pandas, and just how close she got to get to some of the animals.
Both are great but if you’ve seen enough zoos or want something different then the River Safari gives you something a bit different.
The River Safari is located next door to Singapore Zoo. You can buy tickets for $10 cheaper here.
This big science museum has plenty to keep the kids entertained and educated. There are many rooms and areas and it seemingly goes on and on – we were there 4 hours and saw just over half – and it felt like we raced through!
They also have outdoor exhibitions and space as well as many shows. We went to the fire tornado show which was a big hit with our kids. They also loved that there were baby chicks that we literally got to watch hatch! There are more shows on weekends, although I imagine there are also more people. We went on a Wednesday afternoon and there were not many other people.
There are plenty of things to touch and play with although it wasn’t as hands on for little kids as others I have been to. There is a lot of text and for this reason, I recommend it more for older kids – of course we did not see all of the centre so I may have missed a great preschool area.
Our kids did love it, so this wasn’t a problem at all. I just think older kids would get more out of it. I was teaching year 7 and 8 science back in Australia and there were many things in there that would have been perfect for them.
I recommend prioritising what you want to do – there is a lot! There are also other exhibitions that cost extra and a special theatre. Given how much is included in just a normal ticket, I wouldn’t pay for the extras unless there is something that is of particular interest to your family.
Entry is currently $12 for adults and $8 for kids 3+ More information here. It’s an easy walk from Jurong East MRT. Buy discounted tickets here to the Science Centre and Omni Theatrek.
Next door to the Singapore Science Centre is Snow City. Here, you can play in the snow despite being in tropical Singapore!
The kids had never seen snow when we first planned Singapore so we planned to visit here. Then we had the opportunity in Jakarta the week before so gave it a miss.
You can buy combined tickets with Singapore Science Centre to save money. One adult or child is $18 for an hour. This includes jacket and boot hire. For an extra cost you can hire trousers and gloves. Take socks or purchase there. More information here.
One of the kids friendly places in Singapore on the list for our last visit was the Singapore Discover Centre.
Singapore Discovery Centre (or SDC) is a highly interactive centre for discovering more about Singapore as well as lots of other things – there is a long list of exhibits and attractions including an Army Museum, bus tours of the Military Academy, 3D cinema, pedal boats, crisis simulation theatre (what happens when a bomb explodes at Raffles Place MRT station through the experiences of a young girl), land planning strategies for Singapore, rides, labs, studios… the list goes on and on.
SDC is a 10 minute walk from Joo Koon MRT station. More information here.
Jurong Bid Park is Asia’s largest bird park with over 5000 birds! It’s another option of family day activities in Singapore.
There are opportunities to feed the birds, giant aviaries and live shows to add to the experience. There is also the chance to see rare and endangered birds at the Breeding and Research Centre.
Jurong Bird Park is related to Singapore Zoo and the other big animal attractions in Singapore. You can take the MRT to Boon Lay station and then bus 194. You can find more information here or buy discounted tickets here.
I may have listed Sentosa Island last in this guide for areas in Singapore but don’t be fooled – it may very well be first on your list of things to do in Singapore for kids. That’s because this island off the island of Singapore is just full of family friendly attractions including many big name ones – like Universal Studios Singapore!
In fact, if you are not in Singapore for long, you may want to think about only visiting Sentosa Island. There are some great hotels here as well (see below) and it would be easy to spend days just on this island. On one trip with S, we actually spent most of our 5 day trip visiting the Singapore family attractions here. In fact, I have a whole separate guide to Sentosa Island that I recommend reading. It gives more details on all the attractions as well as how to get to and around Sentosa Island.
Resorts World Sentosa is an area that takes up a big chunk of Sentosa Island. This is where you will find the biggest places to visit in Singapore for families – Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A Aquarium, Dolphin Island and Adventure Cove Waterpark (more about these attractions below). It would be easy to visit Sentosa Island and only come to this section of the island.
In addition to these attractions, you can also visit:
Resorts World Sentosa is also home to a casino, many hotels, restaurants, shops and concerts. It’s a nice area to just walk around even if you aren’t headed to a big attraction. We particularly recommend eating at Din Tai Fung here. They have the best dumplings!
You can read more on their website. We also recommend checking out Klook for discounted tickets.
Universal Studios Singapore is the big ticket attraction on Sentosa Island and at the top of the list of our favourite things to do with family in Singapore. We had such a great time here.
The park consists of 7 themed zones – Madagascar, Far Far Away (Shrek theme), The Lost World, Ancient Egypt (including The Mummy), Sci-Fi City (including Transformers) and New York (including Sesame Street).
Each themed zone has its own attractions, shopping, eating establishments and street entertainment around the theme. There are rides, street performances, live shows and movie characters.
This is one of the largest aquariums in the world and it is also one of the best kids activities in Singapore.
The aquarium is quite extensive with many undersea displays including long tunnels to start and finish the experience. There are also touch tanks, aquariums under the floor and activities for kids. The activities, in particular, helped make this a great experience with our then 4 year old. They helped keep her engaged and interested and she made some cool things.
I recommend buying discounted tickets beforehand from Klook Travel. This saves time and money – currently the tickets are SGD$10 cheaper on Klook. Click here to see the latest prices.
Adventure Cove Waterpark is a fun water park located in the Resorts World Sentosa part of Sentosa Island with water slides, wave pool, kid water play areas, a water based obstacle course, snorkeling with fish over a reef and a river to tube around.
There is also Dolphin Island Marine Life Park within its boundaries where you can wade with sting rays or play with dolphins (both at an extra charge and with a minimum height requirement of 122cm and 115cm respectively).
This park is best visited with kids over 122cm – S was under this when we visited and there was a lot she couldn’t do. There is a big water playground for younger kids, although there was just too much water being poured around for it to be enjoyable for us when we visited.
I recommend buying tickets beforehand from Klook Travel. This saves time and money – currently you would save SGD$13 for an adult by booking from them! Click here to see the latest prices. You can also save $12 on tickets to play with the dolphins.
KidZania Singapore opened not long after our last visit in January 2016 so we haven’t been yet. However, we love KidZanias!! We have visited three so far and they are all very similar.
Basically, KidZania is a mini world for kids where they get to do jobs which they then get paid for and they can spend the money they earn. My kids have done some amazing activities from being fire fighters to dentists to working at a 7/11 and making their own cheeseburgers at McDonalds. The whole concept is just awesome and all of our family loves them.
For younger kids, this is another of our favourite Singapore kids’ activities. Port of Lost Wonder is basically a big, outdoor play centre and our 4 year old loved it.
It basically consists of a big boat with water slides, ladders, stairs, ropes and wading pool areas. The kids will get very wet but have a lot of fun! More information here.
Of the smaller attractions on Sentosa Island, this was our favourite. It’s quick but lots of fun!
Basically, it consists of two parts – a luge ride down from Imbiah Lookout and then a chairlift ride back up. The luge is basically a cart with wheels, steering and brakes. If you are travelling with young kids you can ride together – this worked well for us.
The ride down was awesome and the chair lift ride back up was nice. My biggest tip is to do it more than once! You can find discounted tickets here.
Sentosa 4D Adventureland consists of a 4D movie, 4D roller coaster and a 4D interactive shooting game. They are fun, but better suited to older kids.
Click here to see the latest discounted prices of this attraction.
This is a 75 metre high, 450 metres long zipline over the jungle and down to the beach. There are also aerial rope courses and a free fall simulator. You can buy discounted tickets here.
One of the best ways to start your Singapore family activities on Sentosa is with a cable car ride over to the island. It’s quick, easy, there’s great views and you really should do it at least once. Find discounted tickets here.
Sentosa Island is also home to three beaches: Palawan, Siloso and Tanjong. Each beach is marketed to different groups – Palawan is for families, Siloso for action and Tanjong for couples wanting romance. This is a great way to relax in between all the other attractions. *Free*
There are sooooo many other things to do on Sentosa Island as well (read more in the dedicated guide):
Johor Bahru is technically not in Singapore – it is just over the causeway in Malaysia. However, it is quick and easy to visit from Singapore with local buses, taxis and trains making the journey pretty much non stop. It only takes about an hour including going through both immigration check points in our experiences.
Many people combine a visit to Singapore with Johor Bahru including us. There are some big attractions in Johor Bahru for kids.
In an ideal world, I would recommend staying for a few days in Johor Bahru (you can read a great hotel review here), but many people day trip over and that is very possible as well. You can read our full guide to Johor Bahru which includes more attractions than listed here as well as full details from our experiences about getting over the causeway via bus or taxi.
The biggest reason families head over the causeway on a family trip to Singapore has to be this big theme park located in the Johor Bahru area. It is well worth the trip.
Legoland Malaysia is just brilliant. It is made up to two different theme parks – the main Legoland park and then Legoland Water Park. You can visit one or both and it is a great attraction with kids.
There are many rides, shows, attractions and of course Lego! Our kids loved all the opportunities to play with Lego as much as they loved all the rides. The shows are also great. The thing that impressed me most, however, was the attention to detail. The Lego theming throughout the park is superb and makes for a very enjoyable visit.
This indoor theme park about 5 minutes drive from Legoland Malaysia is two theme parks in one – on one level is Sanrio Helly Kitty Town which is all about Hello Kitty, and on another two levels is Thomas Town which is all about Thomas the Tank Engine and friends, Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder, Pinggu and Barney.
Thomas Town (previously called Little Big Club) is one of my top places to visit in the world with preschoolers – it is just so much fun with toddlers and preschoolers. Our kids loved getting to dance with Angelina, going on Thomas themed rides, building a wall in the Bob the Builder area, participating in the live shows and playing in the well executed play areas. S literally talked about this place for years after we visited when she was two.
Sanrio Hello Kitty Town is for Hello Kitty enthusiasts with Hello Kitty’s house, fantastic live shows, some fun activities and some challenges in Hello Kitty in Oz World. What we liked about this theme park is that we were able to do the activities together, rather than just watch our kids have fun.
So it’s all well and good that I have given you so many Singapore activities for kids, but now your head is probably spinning and you are trying to work out what to fit into your vacation! Here’s some ideas.
What will work best for you will vary on two main things: your budget – some of these attractions really add up and some are free – and how much you want to just do fun kid stuff vs having a cultural experience. I personally try to combine some bigger ticket items with some free ones (to help keep it affordable and not feel like we’re missing out) and some cultural experiences with things that are just plain fun.
Day 1: Singapore Zoo and either Singapore River Quest or the Night Safari
Day 2: Head over the causeway to Legoland Malaysia
Day 3: Spend the morning at Gardens by the Bay and the afternoon at the Singapore Science Centre
Day 4: Take your pick of the best attractions at Sentosa Island (more hints about that here)
Day 5: Finish with one of Singapore’s biggest family attractions – Universal Studios Singapore
Day 1: Learn about Singapore’s three main cultural groups. Start the day with some breakfast in Little India. Visit Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple before walking across to Kampong Glam. Visit the Sultan Mosque and Malay Heritage Centre and then have lunch. Finish the day in Chinatown with some temple visits, souvenir shopping and dinner.
Day 2: Start the day at Gardens by the Bay. Ensure you check out the Children’s Garden. Either have a picnic lunch here or head into Marina Bay Sands for lunch. Take a short train trip to Clark Quay. Have a walk around here and Fort Canning. If the budget allows, visit the National Museum of Singapore.
Day 3: Head over to Sentosa Island for a day of fun and relaxation. There are plenty of free attractions here. Try Fort Siloso, Fot Siloso Skywalk, nature walks, the Southern Most Point of Continental Asia and the beaches. If you still have some energy left, head to Resorts World Sentosa in the evening for the free light shows.
Day 1: Take the cable car over to Sentosa Island and then take your pick from all the fun, smaller attractions on Sentosa Island. With smaller kids, we especially recommend Port of Lost Wonder. We also loved the Skyline Luge Sentosa. I would have loved to try the MegaZip and iFly had my kids been older. Once you are tired out, try one of the beaches or a beach club. In the evening, head to the light shows at Resorts World Sentosa
Day 2: Visit S.E.A. Aquarium and then relax at the Adventure Cove Waterpark. For dolphin enthusiasts, also head to Dolphin Island.
Day 3: Finish with Universal Studios Singapore
Day 1: Start the day at the National Museum of Singapore, head to nearby Little India for lunch and a wander. Visit Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Head to Chinatown for dinner, look at the temples and do some souvenir shopping.
Day 2: Start the day at Gardens by the Bay. Visit the Children’s Garden and the conservatories. Have a picnic lunch and then head over to Sentosa Island for a fun afternoon visiting your top pick of the attractions above.
Day 3: Head to your pick of Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and Singapore River Quest.
Days 1-3 as above
Day 4: Take a Singapore River Bumboat cruise, then head out to Singapore Science Centre or Singapore Discovery Centre.
Day 5: Visit Universal Studios Singapore.
The one thing that stops me spending more time in Singapore is the price tag.
Compared to neighbouring countries, it is expensive. However, if you compare it to other big, developed cities, then I think Singapore is very reasonably priced.
The biggest budget killer for families is going to be accommodation. There is no getting around that this price will add up. For single parent families with one kid, it is not so bad. There are quite a few budget hotels for less than SGD$100 a night. Once you get up to a family of 4, however, it does get tricky and unfortuntately there are no good tricks, other than shopping around.
I recommend using HotelsCombined for finding the best deal. That site compares all the best prices for each hotel across many hotel booking sites so it can save a lot of time.
The other big cost can be attractions. If you want to do all the big ticket items – like Singapore Zoo, Universal Studios and Legoland, then this is going to add up. As you can see from above, though, there are plenty of things you can do for free or for low cost, so it’s about picking your attractions accordingly – look for the *Free* marking on the attractions listed above.
To save money on attractions, I recommend buying discounted tickets on Klook. They sell tickets to many of the places to visit with kids in Singapore and there can be some great savings.
Thanks to the MRT system, it can be economical to get around. However, once you need to buy tickets for your kids, it does start to add up and taxis can actually become cheaper for shorter distances so this is something to keep in mind.
Children under 90cm or under 7 are free. However, there seems to be some type of card you need to buy for kids under 7 to be free if they are not under 90cm. I have found this information about the card. It all seemed too complicated for me to worry about it on a short visit so we just bought tickets for 5 year old S and carried Z through the barriers on our last visit. I would love some clarity on these rules if anyone can tell me!
Eating out is generally good value, but I would no longer call it cheap. In 2014, I struggled to eat for less than SGD$20 for just me and a 4 year old whether we were at a hawker centre or food court or whatever. On our latest visit last month it was even worse, except when we were out of the main tourist area in the southern parts of Singapore. Then the food was more like SGD$5 per meal. In the more touristy areas we paid more than we would pay in Melbourne for Asian food.
In general, however, heading to a hawker centre (especially a less well known one) is the way to go or just grab some bread products from one of the many bakeries and have a picnic, especially if you are heading somewhere like Sentosa Island or Gardens by the Bay.
There is a wide range of accommodation options in Singapore and you should not have a problem finding something suitable for your family. My big tip is to stay walking distance to an MRT statioon and then the exact location does not matter too much although being near the attractions you most want to visit is always a bonus.
The following are two hotels we have stayed in on recent visits and had very positive experiences.
This hotel is in a fabulous location – close to MRT Bugis which is on two great train lines, in Kampong Glam and very close to Little India. We found it very easy to go everywhere we wanted to go from here.
For a family, it is a fabulous choice. There are family rooms. They are compact but we had enough room for the 4 of us.
There is a swimming pool, multiple restaurants, a gym, a self service laundry and a shopping centre downstairs.
It is all of a high standard and we enjoyed both our stays here. It’s also good value and the prices are reasonable.
Updated April 2016:
The Village Hotel Bugis now has some amazing kid themed rooms with themes such as Cars and Princess Sofia. On top of the theming, the rooms contain a sofa bed, kid bathroom amenities, colouring book and kid television channels. There’s also the option of a baby bathtub and cot for children under 2.
If you are looking for a luxury hotel, suitable for families, in a convenient location but surrounded by parkland then this is the perfect choice.
Hotel Fort Canning is in a beautiful, historic building on the edge of Fort Canning Park. It’s a great spot as it’s still close to Dhoby Ghaut MRT station which is on three train lines.
There are beautiful pools, stunning rooms and it’s just a gorgeous building. My favourite part, however, was the aperitif hour. Complimentary drinks and canapes are served in the evenings. Kids are welcome and this provided us with a great chance to make some friends at the hotel.
If you are planning to focus on Sentosa Island during your visit, here are some great options:
Here are some other great options in Singapore:
Read more options in our list of the best family hotels in Singapore.
There is some fabulous food in Singapore and I always make it a goal to eat some fabulous Malay, Chinese and Indian food (the three main cultures) every visit. The easiest way to do this is to go to each of the main Malay, Chinese and Indian areas (all talked about above!) and eat out.
It is not hard at all to find somewhere to eat in Singapore. There are places everywhere. When we have time, we like to head to a hawker centre so we have lots of options. We find this generally works best for kids as they are usually outdoors as well which is always our preference with our loud kids!
For fussier eaters, hawker centres should always have some choices that work too. There is usually a more western style food option and there is always fried rice and/or vegetables.
We had a book this visit which made eating out more fun – There’s No Carrot In Carrot Cake – which described lots of different local dishes in Singapore. It helped us be more adventurous and try some delicious food.
Here are some places we ate out and enjoyed.
Unfortunately on our most recent visit, we were able to try out the medical facilities in Singapore – S had an ear infection so we visited a doctor.
Since we were staying next door to the Raffles Hospital on North Bridge Road next to Bugis MRT, we headed there. We had no problems seeing a GP fast and they quickly told us the problem. We received our medicine at the GP clinic as well and it was all very efficient and easy.
Getting around Singapore is great. One of the many things I love about this city is their fabulous public transportation network.
The MRT system is quite extensive and trains run often. There are also buses which you will need to use as well for some of the attractions above.
It is easy to buy tickets at MRT stations. There are lots of ticket machines and you just need to select what station you are going to for it to calculate the fare for you. For the bus, you can pay in cash as you board.
As I said above, for short distances, a family might be better off in a taxi than taking public transport.
For getting to Johor Bahru for Legoland Malaysia or Thomas Town, check out my guide here which has full details.
We love love love Singapore, especially with kids.
It is just such an easy, lovely place to visit which gives everyone a different cultural experience while still being similar to home and a very easy city to navigate. Our kids start cheering just at the mention of Singapore!
It would be my pick of the best place to visit in the world with kids. English is a common language, its easy to get around, its neat, orderly, there’s a great range of food and there are just so many awesome attractions.
I have heard some people describe Singapore as boring, and honestly, I don’t understand why. If they get bored in Singapore, then they just aren’t trying very hard at all as there is plenty to do.
The only downside is that all this wonderfulness does come at a cost. It’s going to set you back more than a holiday to Malaysia, Bali or Thailand. But it is worth it!
Read more about Singapore – we have lots of articles about this fabulous destination!
Do you have any questions? What are your best tips for visiting Singapore?
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