Singapore is a vibrant city-state with plenty of things to do and see, and it’s not just for the young and adventurous. There are also plenty of elderly-friendly activities available. The best part is: many of these activities are affordable and offer excellent bonding opportunities for multigenerational families too! Whether you’re looking for a cultural experience, a bit of nature, or just some good old-fashioned fun that you can enjoy with your kiddos, parents, and grandparents, here are 13 intergenerational activities in Singapore that won’t break the bank.
(See also: May 2023: Eat, Play, Shop & More for Families in Singapore this Month)
1. Stroll around Gardens by the Bay
This iconic garden complex featuring a variety of attractions, including outdoor gardens, Supertree Grove, and the air-conditioned Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, will definitely capture the hearts of those interested in horticulture, botany, or simply want an immersive experience that is both visually stunning and educational. The compound allows the use of mobility aids, including wheelchairs and seated mobility scooters.
Many of the outdoor areas are free to enter, including World of Plants, Dragonfly & Kingfisher Lakes, Sun Pavilion and Heritage Gardens. You can also catch the free Garden Rhapsody light-and-sound show nightly at Supertree Grove! For a more immersive experience, discounted rates are available for juniors and seniors to enter the paid attractions. Should your loved ones need to take a break, benches and seating areas can be found throughout the gardens.
✅ Wheelchair-friendly ✅ Wheelchair loans ✅ Shuttle service from Bayfront MRT. Free for all passengers using wheelchairs. (more details)
Cost From $8 per child/senior
2. Visit a Wildlife Park
If plants are not your loved ones’ thing, then how about the Singapore Zoo, Bird Paradise, River Wonders and/or Night Safari instead? Home to a wide range of animals, these wildlife parks offer multiple walking trails and activities that are suitable for both the young and old. With so much to explore, it’s a good idea to space out your visits to keep energy levels high. The compounds are wheelchair-accessible as well, with plenty of seating areas throughout.
Granted, Mandai Wildlife Reserve may not be convenient to get to for many of us. But you will be happy to hear that there are wheelchair-accessible shuttle buses available at just $1 from Khatib MRT. Plus, you and your family can enjoy discounted rates for the soft opening of the newly opened Bird Paradise! These ticket prices are valid for visits till 26 May.
✅ Wheelchair-friendly ✅ Wheelchair loans ✅ Shuttle service from Khatib MRT at $1. Shuttle buses are wheelchair-friendly.
Cost From $20 per child/senior
3. Check out the National Orchid Garden
Located on the highest hill in Singapore Botanic Gardens, the National Orchid Garden is an underrated attraction not to be missed. The garden features approximately 600 species and hybrids — did you even know there were these many species of orchids? There are four zones representing the four seasons, with each zone displaying flowers that match the respective colour scheme of the season.
A wheelchair-friendly route with wide paths is available. However, do note that getting here may require some walking, depending on which entrance you are coming by. The National Orchid Garden is closest to the Tyersall Entrance. If your loved one requires a wheelchair, you may loan one from the six Service Desks around the gardens.
✅ Wheelchair-friendly ✅ Wheelchair loans
Cost Free for children below 12 years | $1 per senior/student
4. Visit the National Museum of Singapore
Be a tourist for a day and visit the oldest museum in Singapore with your parents or grandparents. With a history dating back to 1887, you shouldn’t only explore its immersive exhibitions about local history and culture, but also take a moment to admire the wondrous structure of the building. One of its newest initiatives is Reunion, a new social space for seniors and friends. Check out its music booths and virtual exhibits, and take a break over a wholesome snack at the café!
The museum is wheelchair-accessible, and manual wheelchairs are also available free of charge at the museum’s Visitor Services for those who need them. Stroller parking is also available. Did you know that entry to many of our local museums is free for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents? The National Museum of Singapore is just one of them, so be sure to check out the other museums too.
✅ Wheelchair-friendly ✅ Wheelchair loans (more details)
Cost Free for Singaporeans and PRs
(See also: 15 Old School Games to Play with Your Grandparents)
5. Enjoy Concerts by Singapore Symphony Orchestra
Those who are musically inclined may want to check out the free concerts by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra available throughout the year. Enjoy the music in the company of your loved ones. Venues vary, but are often held at the outdoors Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage at Singapore Botanic Gardens. Why not have a family picnic at the same time?
✅ Wheelchair-friendly, depending on location, but typically yes
6. Catch the Latest Blockbusters on the Big Screen
One of the perks of being a junior or senior is the discounts! Cinemas usually offer discounted rates for seniors and little ones during off-peak hours on weekdays. For instance, seniors and students pay $4.50 and $7 respectively for 2D movies on weekdays before 6pm at Shaw Theatres, while kids up to 6 years watch for free with each full-price standard ticket before 2pm. There are also generous discounts for movies shown in IMAX. Similar promotions are available at Cathay Cineplexes, Golden Village, and other cinema chains.
Theatres usually also have wheelchair berth seats available, but they tend to be located at the front or back of the theatre for easy access.
Cost From approximately $5 per senior and $6 per student
7. Be Part of an Interest Group at the Nearest Community Centre/Club (CC)
Whether your interest lies in the arts, music, gardening, cooking, or sports and fitness, there is an interest group for everyone. Community Centres or Clubs offer a wide range of interest groups that provide residents with the opportunity to socialise with like-minded people. Seniors can stay physically, mentally, and socially active, while kids and adults can pick up a new skill. Most are free or super affordable. Think $14 for a 7-month membership to a line dancing group! Check out the interest groups available at the CCs in your neighbourhood.
Cost Depends, but many free options available
8. Join a Health Promotion Board Fitness Class
As we get older, staying active is crucial to maintain our quality of life and prevent or delay many of the health problems that come with age. With this in mind, the Health Promotion Board offers a range of fitness classes suitable for all ages. The Active Family and Active Family Junior programmes target families with children 7-12 and 4-6 years respectively. There are also specific classes tailored to the needs of seniors, including tai chi, Zumba, and yoga.
And for intergenerational bonding, Mall Workouts are super fun. Besides physical health benefits, these intergenerational activities are also a great way to stay socially active. And the best part is — they’re all free!
9. Volunteer as Befrienders
You may assume that seniors are only on the receiving end of befriending services, but why not be a befriender instead? Seniors bring with them a wealth of experience and life stories, which can help them build rapport with others and keep them engaged. Also, volunteering can be especially meaningful and rewarding for those who enjoy socialising and want to contribute in their community.
While you have to be 18 years and above to volunteer, bringing your kids along can help to engage seniors who live alone or attend Active Ageing Centres. Make it a whole family affair and spread joy and love to others as a team!
(See also: 10 Places to Volunteer with Kids in Singapore)
10. Attend a Course by C3A
From keeping up with technology and picking up new languages to learning about active ageing, and getting creative with ceramics, paper crafts, and other art forms, C3A (also known as the Council for Third Age) offers a range of courses for seniors to pursue lifelong learning. Conducted either onsite or online, there are even Intergenerational Learning Programmes that match youths and seniors in a group learning environment.
Cost Many are free, affordable, or can be offset by SkillsFuture Credits
11. Go on a Learning Journey to Gain Digital Literacy Skills
Let Digital Ambassadors from Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) take your family members on a learning journey to discover how they can use various digital apps in your day-to-day life. These learning journeys will include group-learning and hands-on interactive activities where they can immediately apply the digital skills they learn. Through these sessions, your loved ones can discover how apps can transform their payment experience, enhance their supermarket trips, and help them make use of library resources to the fullest.
12. Join a Book Club or Writing Group
Reading and writing have many benefits for people of all ages. Whether your loved ones are avid readers or trying to pick up reading as a habit, a book club can help sharpen the mind. You’ll improve communication skills and gain new perspectives as you listen to others’ opinions and discuss the topic of interest. Plus, you will also be able to connect with like-minded people who love books as much as you do! There are book clubs and other library groups for kids, teens, adults, and seniors. Learn more about the meeting dates and registration at the GoLibrary website.
13. Learn to Dance
Dancing is one of the best intergenerational activities out there. While seniors strengthen their heart health, flexibility, and mobility, juniors develop their motor skills, coordination, and agility. It also engages their minds as they learn and recall the steps, and allows them to meet people and make new friends. It’s also an excellent bonding opportunity with their children and grandkids! Besides classes organised by the Health Promotion Board and community centres, The Dance Sport Academy also holds free ballroom dance classes every Sunday for those aged 55 and above.
(See also: 13 Top Kids Dance Classes in Singapore – from Ballet to Breaking)
Be it taking in the sights and sounds in the gardens around Singapore or learning new skills at the community centre, your loved ones will never run out of engaging activities to enjoy. Besides providing a source of entertainment, participating in these intergenerational activities will keep young and old healthy in both body and mind.
Adapted from an article that first appeared on Homage, an award-winning personal care solution that provides on-demand holistic home and community-based caregiving and medical services to seniors and adults, allowing them to age and recover with grace, control, and dignity.