A whole month of your kids having nothing to do doesn’t have to be a nightmare for you. JO UPCRAFT rounds up 28 no-expenses-needed activities for families these June holidays. You’re welcome.
Illustrations Corbis, 123RF.com
BE AN EXPLORER
1 You may know of the Merlion at Merlion Park next to One Fullerton, but that’s not the only landmark “lion-fish” in town. Take your kids on a Merlion hunt to spot the Merlion statues scattered all around Singapore. Where to go: One Fuller ton (there are two there), Sentosa, Mount Faber and Tourism Court (which houses the Singapore Tourism Board) at 1 Orchard Spring Lane.
2 Hop on the MRT and head to the front carriage. Kids and adults alike love to pretend they’re the train driver, so navigate your way through the tunnels and make up funny announcements as you pull into stations. Warning: people may stare at you, but who cares?
3 Look beyond Uniqlo and 4Fingers Crispy Chicken at Ion Orchard and look up. Take in the best views of Singapore from Ion Sky, the mall’s 56th-storey observatory, and tell your little ones that this is how Superman/ woman sees the world. Level 4 Ion Art Gallery, then take the lift to Level 55.
4 From the arty walls in Tiong Bahru, and the colours and tunnels of Gillman Barracks, to the murals at HDB void decks all over Singapore, our island is filled with places for the perfect selfie. Pack a rehydrating picnic and take your little one on a tour, striking poses as you go.
5 Some 14 fire stations in Singapore hold open houses every Saturday, from 9am to 11am. Watch firefighting demonstrations, don a fireman’s hat, and pretend to control a hose. Children can also get behind the wheel of a Red Rhino and see the firemen sliding down fire poles. Groups of fewer than 10 can simply walk in, otherwise, register two weeks ahead at www.scdf.gov.sg. You can also log on to find the fire station closest to you.
6 Don’t have a garden? Terrariums are hugely popular now and these little greeneries-in-jars are great fun to make. Gather old glass bottles as containers and fill them with soil, stones, shells, plants and/or moss. Add a personal stamp by popping a family of Lego figurines inside, too. And then just watch your creation grow!
TAKE IN SCREEN TIME
7 Movie Mob holds free drive-in movie/picnic events at different locations across Singapore. The schedule is packed for June but kept under wraps until the dates draw closer. Announcements are made on their Facebook page, MovieMob, so get following them, sharpish!
Tel: 6225-6536. www.moviemob.sg
8 Watching a movie at the cinema can be a wallet-shrinking affair – plus, kids always complain about how cold it is in the halls. The alternative? Get a Netflix subscription (from $10.98 a month for a basic plan) and have a movie afternoon. Part of the fun is in prepping for it – think popcorn, chips and drinks.
9 You’re tired. You can’t do Any. More. Play dates. We’ll let you off and let you succumb to Youtube videos. Toddler Fun Learning, Story Time and The Word Worm are great for younger children. Anything Funny Cat-related will always go down well (and soak up hours). And if your child loves lip-syncing, downloading the DubSmash App (free on iPhone and Google Play) might result in you never wanting to leave the house again.
GET A SLICE OF LIFE
10 You and the family can spend a happy morning exploring the hub of pet and animal-related shops at Block 154, Serangoon North Avenue 1. From aquarium shops selling everything from $2 packets of longkang fish (and frogs) to pricey arowana, to stores selling pet food, toys and accessories, and hotspots for buying birds, hamsters and even a chinchilla (www.houseofchinchilla.com) – it’s all wildly good fun.
11 If your kids are supermarket denizens, the hustle and bustle of a wet market could be an eye opener for them. The famous Tiong Bahru Wet Market (30 Seng Poh Road) aside, don’t dismiss your neighbourhood equivalent. Far from the sterile environs of pre-packed meat and produce, here, your kids can see chickens being deboned, fish being sliced up into fillets and get to choose their fruits and veggies. They’ll soon stop complaining about how hot and wet it is.
12 Make it an early morning adventure by waking your kids up at 3am and taking them to Senoko Fishery Port, where buyers and seafood merchants stock up on the freshest seafood before the crack of dawn. Your child may just sleep for the rest of the day afterwards. 31 Attap Valley Road. Open Tue-Sun, 2-6am
PLAY WITH FOOD
13 All you need is rice and food dye. One Simply Her reader keeps her young son busy by simply dyeing rice in different colours, which the little one uses to fill the back of his toy trucks. Best fun ever!
14 Next best thing to eating cupcakes is decorating them. Buy a box of plain ones, gather your decorating arsenal (candy floss, chocolate buttons, marshmallows, ready-to-pipe icing and so on) and get started. Let your children use their imagination and turn the cakes into family-member portraits. Dad will be thrilled to find himself reincarnated with blue candy floss hair and pink jelly lips.