Sensational Singapore with Kids
Updated: Aug 5
Singapore is a city bursting with energy and jam packed full of top tourists attractions for both adults and kids and is one of our highly recommended holidays for families. This post will explore all of the family friendly hotels in Singapore along with the best things to do with kids in Singapore.
Singapore can be a perfect holiday in its own right, however the convenience and cost efficiency of combining Singapore with a dreamy tropical location such as Thailand or Malaysia can be very appealing and a great option for adding value to this overseas family destination.
So here are 4 big reasons we think Singapore is a great holiday option for your family.
Safe, Clean, Convenient
So it doesn't sound very sexy and not necessarily high on the list of priorities for younger or independent travellers but when it comes to adventures with little ones we still want to know that we are protecting them from harm wherever possible and that help is easy to come by when needed.
Singapore's MRT (train) system is world leading and makes travelling with young kids a breeze. Stations are conveniently located throughout the city, they are super clean and efficient and getting from point A to B is really simple and quick without the need for a car to get anywhere. For those with prams we found this was never an issue with clearly marked lifts at all stations and easy to get on and off the trains.
Add to an impeccable transport system the access to top grade medical facilities/hospitals and a culture of respect for families and we think Singapore ranks near the very top for child friendly travel. We have always received priority assistance through Changi airport with our young girls despite never expecting or asking for help. Singapore border staff greet their family visitors with a smile and a helpful detour to the front of the immigration line which is a nice touch at the end of a long flight.
Kind of a strange topic to include in a family travel website but Singapore has some really cool buildings which kids actually notice! The combination of the Marina Bay Sands, the gardens below and the Singapore Flyer all set against the opposing views of Chinatown and the central business district make for an interesting mix of old and new.
If you like a stunning sunset with a cosmopolitan twist to it, take the time to visit the elevated viewing deck of the Marina Bay Sands hotel. An expansive vista of the city as it lights up for the evening is further improved with a cold beer or wine at the rooftop bar (if the kids are behaving of course!
Plenty of fun things to do in Singapore with kids
There are literally dozens of big ticket tourist attractions in Singapore and a majority of these fit nicely in the family travel niche.
For us one of the most enjoyable afternoons we have enjoyed in Singapore was visiting the Gardens by the Bay which sits grandly in behind the Marina Bay complex. The Gardens are a stunning green complement to the modern surrounds and gives a really beautiful element of nature so close to the CBD. The stunning tropical gardens are interwoven with some really interesting sculptures and architectural elements that are particularly interesting after dark when much of the parkland lights up.
A vast majority of the gardens is free of charge including kids activities however it is highly recommended to pay the ticket price to enter the specialised garden domes. You can access a discounted advance purchase ticket to the We have visited both the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest and both were well worth the money to visit. Both ofo these exhibits really got the kids excited as they ran from top to bottom to watch the tallest indoor waterfall in the Cloud Dome and checked out all the animal plant sculptures and interactive elements in the Flower Dome.
Kids will light up once they spot the Far East Children's Garden which includes a fantastic water play area and climbing park. Here you can easily kick back for a full afternoon as they run wild and finish it all off with an an ice cream. A sure fire guarantee for relaxed, happy kids and parents. Note that the Children's Garden is closed for cleaning and maintenance on Mondays. Check the Gardens by the Bay website to check opening details.
It ranks highly on the must see lists for Singapore and it definitely is in a lovely setting with some great displays. Note that the zoo is probably one of the only tricky places to get to via public transport. You can reach it via a combination of train and buses but maneuvering prams and two young kids on and off crowded local buses can be tricky.
A better option is to catch the MRT to Woodlands Station on the North-South line. From here it is a super cheap taxi ride to the zoo (approximately 8 SGD).
If you want the most hassle free option fo visiting Singapore Zoo with babies or toddlers then book your tickets including the return tourist shuttles that take you to and from your hotel. The zoo itself runs these buses from all major hotels within their ticket price options.
The Singapore Zoo is set in beautiful green acreage and is a delightful day out with kids. Most impressive are the free ranging orangutans, the humongous alligators that make you nervous as you tentatively hold the kids up to see them over the railing and the African elephants. If you make it to the ranger talk for the elephants you can stick around at the end to feed the elephants some fruit for a small donation to conservation.
Make sure you pack the kids swimmers for the zoo as there is a wonderful water park complete with slides and splash area which is a good way to wrap the day up and cool the kids off before heading out.
Save time in cues and pre-purchase cheap Singapore Zoo tickets before you travel via this link.
A multi billion dollar tourist hub Sentosa Island has been specifically tailored and built for family entertainment. We are not traditionally big on amusement parks but were looking for a fun, let off steam day for the kids so Adventure Cove Water Park hit the spot. A lively and fun water park, there were plenty of rides and attractions for all age groups and the whole family will have a ball. To save a little money make sure you pre-purchase your tickets for Adventure Cove - tickets online are considerably cheaper than at the gate and saves you lining up to purchase on arrival.
Also located within Resort World Sentosa is the S.E.A Aquarium. Aquariums are always a hit with kids and this one has a particular focus on manta rays. A lot of improvements have been made to this attraction since our visit on an earlier trip and now receives high reviews from guests.
Other fun Sentosa activities that can be purchased online for big discounts and to skip-the-line on arrival:
To combine transport and entertainment I recommend spending a day on the hop on bus networks in Singapore. With audio commentary and open top views kids love this fun activity which can be broken up with lots of stops at key tourist spots such as the Singapore Flyer, Botanical Gardens, Shopping hot spots and cultural visits.
Shopping in Singapore
No need to say much more. Within the CBD area you cannot walk far without running into one massive shopping mall after another with many of them connected by underground walkways to escape the heat of the day. Orchard Road has to be the pick of it though with a long boulevard of shopping heaven for the shopaholics amongst you.
Free things to do in Singapore with kids
A large number of attractions in Singapore are free and easy to roam about at leisure without spending too much money. Despite being a bustling city there are plenty of relaxing pockets of green space and water play areas to cool off and escape the city noise.
My favourite free places to visit in Singapore include:
Visit the variety of neighbourhoods that make up the melting pot of Singapore
Whether it's the pastel coloured shopfronts of Koon Seng Road in Joo Chiat or the traditional experiences of Chinatown or Kampong Gelam, Singapore provides a rich opportunity to visit many cultures all in the one place just by going for a walk. Here is a fabulous link if you are interested in researching this further before your trip.
Singapore Botanical Gardens
An oasis in the centre of the city that is lush, green and peaceful.
Marina Bay Sands boardwalk
The place to be once dark sets in. Get your sunset in on top of the Marina Bay if possible then progress to the boardwalk to watch the nightly light show with the kids whilst munching on some noodles.
Fort Canning Park
Free to roam this central park with many historical monuments and viewpoints to explore. Best visited in the cool of the early morning.
East Coast Park
Head here for a swim, walk or hire a bike to take in the pathways along the ocean. Another one that is great for the cooler parts of the day.
Where to stay in Singapore
Hotels in Singapore that can accommodate families can be tricky as most rooms tend to only allow 2-3 people maximum. So after a few trips i have tracked down some hotels that do offer family rooms where the kids and parents will all fit and we have road tested many of these to check they are worthy of making the list. Singapore is a notoriously expensive city for accommodation but staying centrally will save you a lot of time and money once there.
If you feel like a splurge on something decadent then the Swissotel Stamford Singapore was where we stayed on our most recent visit to Singapore and caters beautifully for families. I managed to find a great deal initially and at check-in we were offered an upgrade for a minimal price to the executive Level 60 rooms. This gave us perks like free meals and drinks in the Executive Lounge which had AMAZING views over Singapore harbour.
The family rooms consist of two queen beds and the hotel has two pools, an adult pool and a shallower kids pool along with a good gym. Probably one of the best hotel breakfasts you will find anywhere sealed the deal for our review of this hotel. The location of the Swissotel Stamford Singapore is as central as you can get and directly links to one of the largest shopping centres and MRT stations making your stay in Singapore a breeze. Check out the Swissotel Stamford rates here.
The Grand Mercure Roxy is a great family friendly option with rooms that can accommodate 4 people (2 queen beds) and great value rates. The hotel includes free wifi and complimentary airport shuttles and has a lovely outdoor pool and well equipped gym. East Coast Park is a short walk from this hotel and to access all the highlights of Singapore you can catch the local bus in front of the hotel to nearby MRT stations. Check prices for the Grand Mercure Roxy.
Holiday Inn Orchard will place you in the heart of the main shopping district of Singapore. Also located on top of major MRT lines will give you the flexibility to move around town as you desire. Holiday Inn hotels are a fantastic option for families with up to 2 kids able to stay and eat for free in most hotels. Check with reception on your arrival to see what their deal includes.
Another hotel option with 2 double beds to a room the Fairmont Singapore gives you the opportunity for a chic, indulgent stay in the city. In the same area as the Swissotel you are directly linked to Raffles shopping mall and the City Hall MRT station. Perfect location and wonderful facilities.
Worthy of it's own mention, Changi airport is a treasure trove of family friendly facilities and activities to look after passengers transiting through Singapore. Travelling with kids can be tough so any bit of luxury at airports can be a big bonus. Check out the options via the airport website with extras like showers, playgrounds, gardens, pools and even a butterfly garden available to make transit with kids that little bit less tiring and stressful.
Changi airport also has on-site terminal hotel rooms that offer basic bedding and a shower for those times when you have a long stopover and want to freshen up.
You really shouldn't hesitate to consider Singapore for your next holiday with kids. Engaging, exciting and beautiful - it truly is a great place for family travel. If you are keen to receive regular travel updates, deals and destination guides for travelling with your kids please SUBSCRIBE today.
Singapore is perfectly paired with a beach holiday in Phuket. Check out the amazing family friendly resorts in Phuket for your next trip.
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