Take a Break! It’s time for summer vacation, and time to fill those long days with fun activities! Take Junior out for some fun at these child-friendly spots.
Cleantech Park, 1 Cleantech Loop. Open daily, 7am-7pm.
This 5ha (about the size of seven football fields) park within JTC Corporation’s Cleantech Park (next to Nanyang Technological University) is a huge expanse of greenery, with freshwater streams and swamps teeming with wildlife like butterflies, insects and birds. It has plenty of walking trails along which you can enjoy a leisurely stroll or a jog.
JUST FOR KIDS: Explore the Butterfly Garden or hike up to the Summit Lookout for a panoramic view of the park. If you’re lucky, you may spot several species of migratory birds. The park also houses Singapore’s last two dragon kilns, which are used to make traditional pottery. These kilns are fired up twice a year (the next firings are in September and November) and make for an interesting cultural and history lesson.
HOW MUCH: Free
21 Jurong Town Hall Road (inside the Omnitheatre building), tel: 6425-2500. Open Mon-Fri, noon to 3pm and 4-7pm; Sat, Sun and public holidays, 10am-2pm and 3-7pm.
This science centre caters to younger kids from 18 months to eight years old. It has four main exhibition themes – Imagine, Experience, Dream and Discover – with interactive stations and hands-on activities.
JUST FOR KIDS Like a huge, colourful indoor playground, the centre features a 7m-tall slide where kids can experience the sensation of a freefall and learn about gravity. And a Dino Pit lets aspiring paleontologists gear up and dig for the fossils of a buried T-rex. In other zones, they can stretch their imagination with fun, role-playing situations like shopping at the supermarket and piloting a plane.
HOW MUCH $20 (weekdays) and $23 (weekends and public holidays) for kids aged eight and below; $10 (weekdays) and $13 (weekends and public holidays) for adults.
920 East Coast Parkway, Area C, after Road Safety Park (former Parkland Driving Range), tel: 1800-471-7300. www.nparks.gov.sg
East Coast Park’s latest attraction is a 1ha open lawn with eight dining outlets and two stores offering cycling and skating equipment.
JUST FOR KIDS: The sprawling lawn is perfect for a picnic or a lazy afternoon with the family. Bring along a kite or frisbee and let your sporty little ones work up a sweat. If you’re up for an adrenalin rush, check out the laser tag game arena and get ready for an adventure.
HOW MUCH: Free
#03-372 Suntec City Mall. Open daily, 10am-10pm.
Using clever painting techniques and strategic angles, 2-D paintings are made to appear 3-D in this optical-illusion museum. The Singapore branch of this popular chain includes paintings with a local flavour, featuring the Merlion, Singapore Flyer and Gardens by the Bay. It also has the largest number of exhibits (80 at present, but there will be 100 by the year end).
JUST FOR KIDS: They’ll love seeing the paintings come alive and being part of the interactive exhibits. Tell them to strike their best pose as they fl oat away on a paper boat or get rescued by their favourite superhero.
HOW MUCH: $20 for kids aged three to 12; $25 for adults. A family package for two adults and one child costs $60; top up $10 for each additional child.
900 Punggol Road, tel: 6690-0900. Open 8am-8pm.
Instead of booking a regular hotel staycation, why not spend a night in a wagon-cabin in the Wild West-themed Punggol Ranch? Operated by Gallop Stable, the ranch also offers guided pony rides for the kids and horse rides for the adults.
JUST FOR KIDS: They’ll love the novelty of staying in a wagon-cabin. You can also rent some bicycles and ride around Punggol Marina. Far from the bustle of the city and overlooking Johor Bahru, the open landscape and rough terrain are a refreshing change from typical urban scenes.
HOW MUCH: $230 a night on weekends for a family room (accommodates fi ve to six persons) in the wagon-cabins. Includes three pony or horse joy rides. $8 an hour for bike rentals.
By Cheryl Leong & Melissa Chang, Simply Her, September 2014