Do you tend to associate the name ‘Marina Bay’ with high-end fashion retailers, swanky restaurants, and that posh casino? Well, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong, but Marina Bay Singapore is a people’s bay that offers a wide range of family and child-friendly attractions as well as prominent landmarks. Earlier on in the year, it was home to the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2016 which saw Singapore beginning her journey into her next fifty years. A magnificent fireworks display dazzled the crowds in line with a specially commissioned orchestral music composition. That sure set the right mood for 2016!
Back in March, Asia’s leading sustainable light art festival returned for its fourth edition to light up the iconic Marina Bay district. i Light Marina Bay featured a total of 25 sustainable light art installations by creative minds from around the globe. Lights, colours and shadows came together to spell fun for everyone in the family! It was also a great way to educate kids on the importance of environmentally-friendly behaviour. Recyclable materials and energy-efficient lighting techniques were used in the eye-catching light installations.
The vicinity also offers several free activities and programmes for the public to participate in, and spaces to gather or play at for a fun-filled day out. Just so you don’t have to scratch your heads for activities to keep the kids occupied with during the upcoming school holidays, here are ten spots at Marina Bay that will be educational or just plain fun for the little ones!
1. Children’s Garden @Gardens by The Bay
The Far East Organization Children’s Garden promises oodles of fun for the little ones! You can have a fun-filled family day here in a lush natural setting. The Toddler Play Zone for one to five year olds features play equipment such as a sway bridge and stepping springs, as well as a Fish Fountain that boasts interactive water tunnels fish sculptures. Your tot will have a ball of a time clambering around them! Remember to pack the kids’ swimwear so as to have a splashing good time amidst the water play features! The Children’s Garden Cafe is just nearby – because play makes one hungry.
Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953
Phone: 6420 6848
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday: 10am – 7pm, weekends & public holidays: 9am – 9pm
2. Merlion Park
Home to Singapore’s national icon, the mythical Merlion, this place has been dubbed a must-see attraction for visitors to Singapore. But that doesn’t mean locals can’t have their share of fun here! Snap a family photo with both the Merlion statues – the “cub” and its “parent” – in the background for a keepsake. Take some time to admire the bay – the view of the skyline is astounding! When the kids start asking for more, that would be your cue to hop onto a bumboat and take a fun cruise along the Singapore River!
Address: One Fullerton, Singapore 049213
3. Marina Barrage
Image cc licensed (CC by 2.0) flickr image Kites at Marina Barrage by Brian Flanagan
Did you know that Marina Barrage serves as Singapore’s fifteenth reservoir? Apart from that, it is also a lifestyle attraction since it is suitable for water sports such as kayaking and dragon-boating. On a cloudless day, it is the perfect spot for a picnic with the family! Spread out a picnic mat on the green grass, fill it up with hearty home cooked food, and sit back and enjoy the breeze. The kids can also try their hand at kite-flying which is a popular activity with picnic-goers here! There’s also a water playground – so remember to pack the children’s swimwear.
Address: 8 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018951
Phone: 6514 5959
4. Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade
Image cc licensed (CC by 2.0) flickr image Another View from Marina Bay Promenade by William Cho
The Marina Bay waterfront promenade forms a segment of the waterfront route around Marina Reservoir and links the Gardens by The Bay, Marina Barrage and the Sports Hub. The best time to make a trip here would be at night. The entire place springs to life once darkness sets on the stunning skyline with the use of light in a myriad of colours. Along this stretch, you can also catch Wonder Full, Southeast Asia’s biggest light and water show! It is a 13-minute showcase of visual effects along the waterfront. Find yourself a good spot and be prepared to be dazzled by the light and laser effects! The tykes will surely want an encore.
Where: Events Plaza in front of Marina Bay Sands
Phone: 6688 8868
Showtimes: Sunday to Thursday: 8pm and 9.30pm, Friday & Saturday: 8pm, 9.30pm and 11pm
5. ArtScience Museum
This is the ultimate destination for art connoisseurs and science geeks of all ages. Get ready to be bowled over by the products of the most creative minds around. The wonderful exhibits here combine art, science, design, media, architecture and technology to provide visitors with an unforgettable educational experience. Future World is the latest permanent exhibition here and it’s super child-friendly! There’s a Rainbow Room specially designed with little ones in mind – the colours will captivate them while they have some hands-on fun! Other exhibits such as “Sketch Town” and “Light Orchestra” also incorporate interactive play and will guarantee an enjoyable time for the kids.
Other exhibitions run for a limited time only, so be sure to check out the website to find out what’s on at the moment. On Fridays, up to four children between the ages of four and twelve get to enter for free with every adult ticket purchased!
Address: 6 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018974
Phone: 6688 8888
Opening hours: 10am to 7pm daily
6. Singapore Maritime Gallery
Here’s a chance for you to give junior a lesson in local history. At the Maritime Gallery, it’s all about learning how our tiny island transformed into one of the world’s busiest ports! Watch a video about how the maritime industry functions, then busy yourself at the interactive Connectivity table where you can learn how Singapore receives its daily necessities like oil and rice. Don’t forget to visit the ‘Fun At Sea’ corner – little ones can dress up in maritime costumes at the cosplay station and also exercise their creativity at the LEGO wall!
Address: Marina South Pier, 31 Marina Coastal Drive, Singapore 018988
Phone: 6325 5707
Opening hours: 9am to 5.30pm, Tuesdays to Sundays (closed on Mondays, except for public holidays)
7. The Playground @Marina Bay City Gallery
The new play sculpture outside the Marina Bay City Gallery offers up at least 21 imaginative and open-ended ways for kids – and kids-at-heart – to play. They can sit, stand, climb, hide, balance, or simply lay within its collection of deconstructed spaces. Let the kids be kids and indulge in some physical play away from those gadgets!
Address: 11 Marina Boulevard, Singapore 018940
8. National Gallery Singapore
Artsy sorts, rejoice! The National Gallery Singapore houses the largest public collection of modern artworks in Singapore as well as Southeast Asia. The former Supreme Court and City Hall have been refurbished to give rise to this new location that is sure to thrill arts buffs. Feel free to explore the exhibitions on your own or sign up for a guided tour. A variety of thematic ticketed tours led by experts and curators are available.
Do remember to swing by the Keppel Centre for Art Education where kids can discover art through imaginative play! It features four vibrant segments created by artists themselves – Art Corridor, Art Playscape, Project Gallery and the Children’s Museum. Visit their website to find out more about the current exciting line-up of activities for kids and families!
Address: 1 St. Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
Phone: 6271 7000
Opening hours: Friday to Saturday and eve of public holidays: 10am to 10pm, Sunday to Thursday and public holidays: 10am to 7pm
9. The Esplanade
Image cc licensed (CC by 2.0) flickr image Esplanade by edwin.11
This iconic durian shaped building has always got something in store for the young ones. Plays, musicals, educational workshops and storytelling sessions are just some of the exciting activities which your kids can keep themselves busy with. Do also swing by Pip’s PLAYbox, a new activity space designed specially for kids. Located at Level 4, it is home to Pip, a multi-coloured creature who encourages children to learn through play. (Admission is free!)
While the children are entertained, grown-ups can while the time away by chilling at a cafe, shopping at lovely boutique stores or reading at the library. 70% of programmes at the Esplanade are absolutely free! Be sure to check out the website to see what’s on currently.
Address: 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981
Phone: 6828 8377
Opening hours: 8.30am to 10pm
10. The Skating Rink at Marina Bay Sands
Are your kids complaining about the heat outdoors? Here’s the perfect way to beat the heat – ice skating! Strap on a pair of skates and get ready to glide around in a 600 square metre rink. This synthetic ice skating rink will provide the little ones with hours of fun. Rest assured, you do not have to be a pro to have a good time. The family-friendly space is perfect for beginner skaters. Do remember to bring along a pair of socks, else you will have to purchase them at $6 a pair. Get your tickets at the Skating Rink Box Office and glide away!
Admission: $7 per hour for adults, $6 per hour for children aged 12 and below (skate rental: $3)
Address: The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Canal Level, B2
Phone: 6688 6888
Opening hours: 11.30am to 8.30pm
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