Written by 10:51 am Family Fun

Fall in for Camp 1N at the Singapore Discovery Centre, the Best 24 Hours you’ll have with your Kids this Holiday (review)

TL;DR This awesome school holiday camp-cation by the Singapore Discovery Centre is so popular it’s always booked out. But Camp 1N is back this month (till 26 June) and tents are still available, so don’t miss it this time. Book here and use the promo code “SDC25” for 25% off ‘Shiok’ tents and “CHIO50OFF” for 50% off ‘Chio’ tents. Still can’t decide? We’ve just been there, done that – and yes, got the T-shirt as well  – so perhaps our review can help. 

Thank you, KKDay and Singapore Discovery Centre for the opportunity to experience Camp 1N! 

About Camp 1N

As you can tell from its name, Camp 1N is a one-night camp. The absolute beauty of Camp 1N – for me as a mum – is that all the meals and activities are pre-planned. What’s more, there are patient and cheerful facilitators to move things along. All this means that you, dear mother, don’t have to do (too) much. And that’s always a blessing isn’t it?

As you probably know, holidays are seldom relaxing for mums. We map out itineraries, activities, menus, and #ootds for everyone in the family, keep spirits up throughout, and do the unpacking and the laundry when we get home. No wonder we all need a holiday from the holiday, right? #iykyk 

But I digress. As I was saying, Camp 1N has everything planned and prepped for you. The facilitators are amazing – friendly, on the ball, incredibly helpful. You can rest assured that your little ones are in good hands throughout. 

What’s more, despite running around and *fingers crossed* burning calories all day long, no one ever goes hungry. Firstly, your tent comes with a substantial bag of snacks. Secondly, at least two of the activities have edibles included. Finally, dinner and breakfast at the Bottle Tree Cafe Restaurant are included.

So there’s no need to be a kiasu Singaporean and pack extra food to bring to camp, ok? No need to bring extra pillows from home either. Really. 

SLEEP: Go ‘Chio’ or go ‘Shiok’? 

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The ‘Chio’ tent ($799) is a decorated outdoor glamping tent, the kind that looks like a cross between a tepee and a yurt. Set up next to Discovery Lake, this sleeps up to four on two foam beds and proper pillows. With its fairy lights and decor, the ‘Chio’ tent is a pretty and comfortable place to bed down for the night. If you want comfort and Instagrammable aesthetics, this is your tent. 

For a slightly more rugged experience, choose the ‘Shiok’ tent ($599). Set up indoors (in an air-conditioned hall) this adventure-style tent is surprisingly spacious, and sleeps two adults and three children (or four adults) comfortably. Sleeping bags and inflatable pillows are provided, and you can bring these back home after the camp. This is the one we’re staying in and while it’s tempting to lie back in the tent and space out, it’s time for the first Camp 1N activity so out we go. 

PLAY: Activities at Camp 1N 

There’s no time to be bored when it’s stop (off at the Singapore Discovery Centre), drop (your bag at your tent) and roll (on to the activities). 

1. ‘Army Days’ experience 

Get a glimpse of BMT life with camo face painting, field cooking, and basha tent pitching. We learn that while army rations will not win any Michelin stars, they are edible (probably even more so if you’re out in a jungle after a long day of field training!). Tip: the pasta is the yummiest. There’s also a lesson on what NS men carry in their field packs (quite a lot). The kids tried this on to see if it weighs more than their school bags and of course all of them said no, their school bags are heavier! 

2. Eco-Sustainability Tour & Workshop

Image: Singapore Discovery Centre Facebook

Did you know that the SDC has the Singapore’s longest sheltered linkway (196m) that’s fitted with solar panels (280)? In addition, the centre also champions sustainability by growing its own edibles. You’ll get to taste some of these (try to identify them) in an in-house tea blend, and then plant your own micro-greens to bring home in this hands-on workshop.

3. Get Toasty by the Lake

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Follow the lights and the music to your own mini BBQ by the Discovery Lake. It’s the coolest (or the hottest if you’re standing too close to the grill, as my kid found out) way to wind down and relax after a day of non-stop activity. Best of all, there’s no need to stoke the fire for this BBQ as it’s all prepared for you! Just sit, grill, eat, and chill out under the stars. 

4. Black Lake Laser Battlefield (Laser Tag) 

Hands-down the kid’s favourite camp activity. This is very fast, very exciting, and it’s very easy to get competitive. If you are an unfit parent, the 15 minutes of running around and trying not to get shot will seem like an eternity but what a heart-pounding adrenaline boost it is! Players should ideally be aged 7 and above, and able to carry the weight of the vest and the weapon. For little ones who are too young or too small to play the actual battle, there’s a tiny simulation game out front that’s pretty fun too.

5. Black Lake Facility (Escape Room)

Race against time to unlock clues and er, escape from the room. There’s no need to panic if you get stuck. You are given a Black Lake phone (you can’t bring your own inside so we don’t have any photos) to contact the facilitators for guiding clues. Our session got an additional boost of excitement and anxiety when the fire alarm went off as we were navigating our second room. Was it real, or part of the game? Should we stay or should we go? Thankfully the facilitators called to update us on the situation (false alarm) and we managed to complete the all the rooms within the time limit.

6. 4D simulator rides in the XD Theatre

There are three to experience, each lasting five to seven minutes. Camp 1N campers get unlimited rides so you can go again and again, but do space them out if you are prone to motion sickness. If you’re only going to do one ride, we’d recommend Dino Safari 2, which the kids in our group loved: “It was amazing! I loved it!” Sky Hunt, a high-level escape from a jewel heist, was not as thrilling as expected, while Pinocchio, a jaunt through various colourful lands, was delightful but tame, probably better for younger ones. Do note that you should be at least 1.2m tall to take the XD Theatre rides. 

7. Pedal Boat

Possibly the most underrated attraction at SDC. Who’d have thought that the kid would actually enjoy this no-tech ride, and want to do it again? Perhaps it was the serenity of flowing smoothly through water? Whatever it was, it worked, and we also got a good lower body workout while paddling our way around the Discovery Lake. Life vests are provided. Keep them on as the lake is very deep, we hear. 

(See also: 8 Made For Families Activities and Deals for a Joyful June holiday!)

8. Permanent Exhibits Gallery

Watch Singapore’s wartime history come to life through projections, exhibits, and short films. Skip the section on torture and brutality if things like that make you queasy, and move on to the newly-opened Sandbox which has lots for kids to see, touch, and interact with as they learn about our nation’s pillars of defence. From air, sea, and land battle video games to discovering how to find common ground for peaceful cooperation, there’s something here for everyone. Tip: you are welcome to stay on and explore the rest of SDC even after the camp is over; this is a good place to start.

9. Night Mission Trail

One hour, 10 puzzles, and the sound of rusty brain cells starting up. This post-dinner trail is a great family bonding activity that requires teamwork and cooperation to command and conquer. We were too busy thinking to take photos, but there’s an example of one of the puzzles above. The first team to solve all 10 correctly in the shortest time (or to get the most correct answers within the hour given) wins a prize!

Camp 1N: an awesome family-bonding adventure

As you can probably tell, the kid and I had a great time at Camp 1N. We ate a lot, slept a little, played non-stop, and learnt so much. The best thing is that we did it all together, as a family. If you’re looking for a low-tech, low-device, high-action, and high-level fun activity to do with the kids during the school holiday, we’d definitely recommend Camp 1N!

(See also: June School Holidays 2022 Activity Guide for Kids & Families in Singapore)

Things to know before you go

  • Minimum age: 5 years old. Participants below 21 years old must be accompanied by an adult above 20 years old.
  • All campers above 12 years must be fully vaccinated. Check-in will only be granted with valid proof of full vaccination and check-in via TraceTogether.
  • Unvaccinated guests who do not meet the above requirements will not be allowed to check-in to Camp 1N.

Camp 1N by KKDay and the Singapore Discovery Centre is on till 23 June 2022. Book here and use the promo codes “SDC25” for 25% off ‘Shiok’ tents, and “CHIO50OFF” for 50% off ‘Chio’ tents.

Image: SDC Facebook
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