You know what they say about Singapore…you can stand in any spot on the island, throw a rock and hit a mall. Okay, maybe “they” don’t say that but they should. Malls are in Singapore are beloved almost as much (more than?) chicken rice. With temperatures that hold steady around 30 degrees and rain showers always a possibility, malls are a great way to beat the heat and stay dry.
But what if you don’t love shopping? Or, like me, find yourself going broke? Not to worry…You don’t have to stay away from these consumer paradises. There is plenty to do in Singapore malls besides shop.
Eat. I am from the US where mall food is (generally) slightly better than airplane food. But here in Singapore, where food is rightly revered, malls can offer not only tasty treats but also delicious meals. From Michelin star rated Din Tai Fung to favourites like Food Republic, mall dining is not just for those looking for a quick, cheap meal (though those can be found too), but rather a culinary experience to rival the fanciest free standing restaurants.
Play. I’ve got two little boys who would list shopping as their least favourite activity (just below teeth brushing). And yet, getting them to agree to go to a mall in Singapore is surprisingly easy. Why? Because we have yet to go to a mall without at least one play area! In most of the larger malls you’ll find a proper indoor playground (Polliwogs, Cool-de-sac, Happy Willow, etc.) but even if you’re looking for something less…intense…you will likely find a small area with blocks, mats or even a plastic slide to keep the kids interested for “just a few more minutes.” The bigger challenge is to find a mall without some kind of play area for the kids!
Head for the movies. Catch the latest Hollywood blockbusters and escape reality for a few hours in the comfort of a Cineplex – many of which are located in malls.
Get free samples and try something new. When was the last time you were in a mall and not offered a free sample, free trial or asked for a few minutes of time to listen to an offer? When was the last time you actually slowed down and really took a look at what was being offered? Next time you are browsing, why not slow down, take the free sample and listen?
I speak from experience. I was recently walking through my neighborhood mall and offered a free sample of an eye cream. Normally, I am the first to offer a curt but polite “no thanks,” but I had a few minutes and stopped to take the sample. I promise you, my crow’s feet are less pronounced than a week ago.
Find cool, interesting or informative displays and events. Plaza Singapura recently had two massive dinosaur skeletons on display with several related activities for kids. Suntec City is hosting a “Follow Your Imagination” event through 21 June with various Disney themed activities. Through the end of the month, Paragon is hosting “Music EnVogue.” City Square mall is running “Let’s Get Groovy” with Barney themed music and activities for the kids from 6-21 June. And these are just a few – pick a mall, go to their website and find their “events” tab and discover all the unique offerings!
Okay, if you must…shop! The Great Singapore sale is happening now until 26 July! Go anywhere and find great sales on just about everything! Think of it as Christmas in July. Or better yet, actually think about Christmas in July and get a jump start on holiday shopping!
Prefer to shop online? We’ve got some great online shops to try!
By Kathleen Siddell, The Finder, June 2015