In less than two weeks, it will be the September school holidays. Officially, they start on 3 September and last till 11 September 2022. However local school-going children will be free from the day before — Friday 2 September, which is a Teachers’ Day school holiday, so they’ll have 10 whole days free!
With borders open now, it’s tempting to travel but if you’re not sure about bringing your young ones too far at the moment, perhaps one of the closer-to-home destinations can help satiate some wanderlust. Even if you prefer to remain in our little red dot, though, there’s lots to keep the kids engaged and entertained throughout the September school holidays, from Mid-Autumn fun to Halloween hi-jinks, staycations, day trips, outdoor activities, and more.
We’ll be updating this list as more activities and events are announced, so do check back regularly to plan for the upcoming September school holidays!
GET OUT & ABOUT
Deep Boo Sea at S.E.A. Aquarium
Who says Halloween isn’t for kids? Dive to the depths of the spooky seas at the S.E.A. Aquarium for a scarily fun time this season, where young ones will be given their very own pumpkin bucket to collect yummy treats as they join in the Halloween fun. Follow Count Mobula on an exploration of Singapore’s first undersea neighbourhood, discover the quirkiest marine animals, and solve fun puzzles at activity stations.
Say “howl you doin’?” to the skeleton divers at the Open Ocean Habitat (at 4.15pm on the aquarium’s opening days), and watch them trick or treat with marine life on Saturdays, Sundays, and Tuesdays at the same time. The mysterious Manta Mascots Manja, Mako, or Mika will make an appearance for meet and greet sessions on weekends, so get ready to strike some fa-boo-lous poses with them too!
When 2 Sept to 8 Nov (closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays)
Where S.E.A. Aquarium, Resorts World Sentosa
Cost Deep Boo Sea ticket packages at $41 (child, aged 4–12 years) and $51 (adult, ages 13 and above). Packages include a one-day ticket to the Aquarium, an SGD8 Meal Voucher (redeemable at S.E.A. Aquarium Food Kiosk and Malaysian Food Street), and an SGD8 Retail Voucher which can be used at S.E.A. Aquarium ). Kids get a free pumpkin bucket as well
More details www.rwsentosa.com/deepboosea
Leisure Horse-riding Trail Ride
If you’ve ever envisioned yourself as a cowboy (or girl) in the Wild West, this is not for you. If you’re looking for a uniquely different kind parent-child activity that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of urban life and into the healing space of nature, with the gentlest, most majestic horses, this is for you. What’s more, it’s at a discounted rate of $98 nett just for the September school holidays! The horse riding adventure trail at the Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre (STCRC) is suitable for children as young as five years, and during the 45-minute session you may be able to see horses train, and even play with each other, as you amble on horseback through three hectares of lush greenery.
When Tuesdays to Sundays, 45 minutes per session (subject to availability)
Where Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre (STCRC), 1 Equestrian Walk
Admission $98 nett (U.P. $108) till 11 September 2022
More details https://www.turfclub.com.sg/
Wan Qing Mid-Autumn Festival 2022
See the Celestial Bodies (星球宝宝) — an outdoor installation of five spherical lanterns which pays tribute to the moon at its brightest and roundest on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month – and explore Chinese arts, culture, and heritage at the Wan Qing Mid-Autumn Festival 2022. Kids will love the live performances by The Joyful Voices, the dazzling magic show by Mr Bottle, as well as storytelling sessions, and Chinese lantern riddles.
When Till 25 September, 10am–9pm
Where Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
Admission Free, with paid activities
More details https://www.sysnmh.org.sg/en
(See also: Mooncakes 2022: 40+ Heavenly Traditional & Snowskin Delights this Mid-autumn Festival)
Little Adventurers at Indian Heritage Centre — Prints & Colours
‘Little Adventurers’ is back at the Indian Heritage Centre this September school holidays with its Prints and Colours edition where children can unleash their creativity at block-printing workshops, a Kalamkari Workshop, and more!
When 3 to 11 Sept, 10am–6pm
Where Indian Heritage Centre
Admission Free, with paid activities
More details www.indianheritage.gov.sg
Kids Eat Free at Paradise Group
Kids aged 12 and below dine for free at Paradise Group outlets — including Canton Paradise, Paradise Classic and Paradise Dynasty — this September school holidays, with a minimum spend of $30 (before service charge and 7% GST) at each table. The meals are balanced and similar throughout the outlets, with a carb of egg fried rice, or noodles, proteins, vegetables, and a bottle of Fruit Tree Apple Juice. Do note that these are valid for children aged 12 years old and below, dining in the restaurants only, while stocks last. Other terms and conditions apply as well.
Where Canton Paradise, Paradise Classic, and Paradise Dynasty outlets islandwide
When 3 to 11 September 2022
Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival
The Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival is back after two years with its iconic street light-up (26 Aug to 25 Sept, 7pm–12mn ), an exciting line-up of activities, and its first-ever Food Fair (26 Aug to 10 Sept, 12nn–10pm) that sees Smith Street transformed into a bustling bazaar reminiscent of days past. Check out other family-friendly activities like the free weekend stage shows (27, 28 August, 3, 4, 10 September, 7pm–8.30pm), and the ever-popular Lantern Painting Competition that young artists aged six to 18 years can take part in. Participation is free, but pre-registration is required, winning lanterns will be displayed at Chinatown Point!
When 26 Aug to 25 Sept, various times
More details https://www.facebook.com/chinatown.festivals
Hello Future: Fantastic Paper Planet
After visiting the Superfluous Things: Paper exhibition by SAM, preschoolers who participated in the Think! Contemporary Preschool programme embarked on a journey to explore paper and its infinite possibilities. In the process, they learnt about contemporary art, environmental sustainability, and climate change, and brought their ideas to life using reused and recycled materials. Pop by the Botanic Gardens to see their creations at this free exhibition. Like them, you could also be inspired to help save trees and protect the creatures that rely on forests for shelter and food.
When Till 18 September, 5am–10pm
Where Nassim Gate Visitor Centre & Green Pavilion at Tanglin Gate, Singapore Botanic Gardens
More details bit.ly/SAM-TCPreschool22
(See also: 8 Best Air Purifier options for Better Air in every Singapore Home (2022))
If you’re old enough to remember Underwater World at Sentosa, high-five! It’s now transformed into a waterside lifestyle venue with food and activities — perfect for a great family day out. Play with optical illusions at TrickEye, gear up for thrills at HeadRock VR, and stay on for free movie screenings on Fridays at 7.30pm as the sun sets. For the September school holidays, they’ll be screening Cars (2006) on 2 Sept, and Gone In 60 Seconds (2000, PG) on 9 Sept.
Where Southside Sentosa, 80 Siloso Road, Singapore 098969
More details https://atsouthside.sg/
Endless Fun at Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove
It’s all fun for families at Sentosa Cove this September school holidays! Hop aboard the trackless rainbow train and enjoy breathtaking views of the marina along Sentosa Cove while enjoying the cool breeze. Play on a carousel and jungle themed bouncy castles at the Fountain Plaza. Come nightfall, watch the roving jugglers put on a fascinating light show with LED props or be blown away by creative balloon creations by the balloon artist, exclusively on Saturdays and Sundays from 7.30pm to 9pm.
When 3 to 11 Sept
Where Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove
Admission Free, with paid activities. Redeem two Carnival Tickets with a minimum spend of $100 or four Carnival Tickets with a minimum spend of $200 + $5 CDL Gift Voucher (valid from 3 – 11 Sep during redemption hours (Mon – Thu: 5pm – 9pm; Fri – Sun: 2pm – 9pm). Other terms and conditions apply.)
More details https://www.quaysideisle.com/
PAssion Wave’s Rent-a-Craft, Pay-by-Trash campaign is a great activity to enjoy together while doing your part to help keep Singapore’s waterways clean. Just rent a kayak, paddle, and pick up trash from the water. Each two-hour session includes registration, clean-up, and the washing and returning of equipment. The minimum age for reservoir outlets (Jurong Lake Gardens, Marina Bay, Bedok Reservoir) is seven, and children between seven and 11 years old must be accompanied by an adult (21 years old and above). Children 10 years and above can paddle at the sea outlets (Pasir Ris, Sembawang) as well. Pails, tongs, and gloves are provided.
When 3 to 11 September, 9am–11am or 2pm–4pm
Where Jurong Lake Gardens, Marina Bay, Bedok Reservoir, Pasir Ris, and Sembawang
Cost $1 (rental of kayak, personal flotation device, paddle), used to offset locker charges and fund pro-bono Kayak ‘N’ Klean sessions for less privileged groups.
Book at https://go.gov.sg/paybytrash2022
Make Every Move Count
Learn how to improve your physical fitness and make every move count with cardio training guided by Decathlon’s Active Health Coaches during the September school holidays. These fun and interactive activities are suitable for everyone in the family (aged four years and above), and you can bring home the Active Health Play Mat and Align Your Form Play Cards which will be used during the one-hour session.
When 6 & 10 September, various timings (other dates available as well)
Where 230 Stadium Blvd, Singapore 397799
NS55 Interactive Trail ‘Cepat Jalan’
Walk in the steps of our NS men in this free self-guided walking adventure that commemorates the 55th anniversary of National Service in Singapore (NS55). All you need is a smartphone with location tracking and camera functionality. The 3.3km trail brings you to locations where you will be able to learn more about the area’s history and why it bears significance to National Service, through Augmented Reality (AR) animations and games. Head to any of the seven Discovery Points — there’re all in the heart of the city — and launch the Cepat Jalan website at https://go.gov.sg/NS55trail to begin your adventure. There’s also a virtual trail if you’d prefer to explore under shelter, with five additional Discovery Points. Till 31 July 2023. For more information, visit the NS55 website at go.gov.sg/NS55
LEARN A NEW SKILL
Try Chinese Opera
In this workshop for children aged six years and above, young opera enthusiasts will follow Chang’e into the world of opera and learn more about this unique art form as they explore classic opera pieces. In the process they’ll get to know more about Chang’e’s gracefulness and Nezha’s agility while having fun with lantern riddles. Supported by Nam Hwa Opera 南华潮剧社, this children-only workshop will be conducted in Mandarin.
When 4 Sep 2022, 1.30pm–3pm or 3.30pm–5pm
Where Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
Cost $20 per person. Tickets are available at https://wanqingyuan.peatix.com/
More details https://www.sysnmh.org.sg/
Make Pizza and Pasta
Dough you know that PastaMania’s DoughWorkz workshops are back this September holidays? Yes, there’s the ‘In Pizza We Crust Workshop’ where little ones from age five can learn to create their own Hawaiian Pizza, and a ‘Pasta La Vista Workshop’ where junior chefs aged seven and above will learn to make their own pasta dough and use it to create a delicious meal of Chicken Cannelloni with Creamy Ricotta Spinach.
When 7 & 8 September (Pizza) and 9 & 10 September (Pasta); 10am–12pm
Where PastaMania at SengKang Sports & Recreation Centre
Cost $38 per person (Pizza); $45 per person (Pasta)
Register at https://www.pastamania.com.sg/
Who’d have thought that chasing after a little ball and smashing it against a wall could be such fun? Find out for yourself through complimentary squash tasters at the Singapore Squash Open House sessions this September school holidays. These introductory squash sessions are conducted by coaches endorsed by Singapore Squash Rackets Association(SSRA) with squash rackets and balls provided by SSRA so there’s no need to worry about bringing equipment. Just register (use the QR code in the picture) and make your way down to either of the two locations, rain or shine!
When 3 to 10 September, various timings
Where Yio Chu Kang Squash Centre & Kallang Squash Centre
Register via the QR code in the picture above
More details Email [email protected]
Discover Hidden Sports Skills
This free multi-sport programme by Decathlon lets little ones aged four to 10 years explore different sports and discover their interests. Together with Singafit Academy, kids will get the chance to experience various sports before choosing their favourite to pursue. During the 75-minute session, they’ll pick up the proper sports skills, and perhaps even discover their hidden sporting talents!
When 5 & 8 September (other dates available as well)
Where Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park 2, 510 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, Singapore 569983
GO AND SEE
Temasek Foundation SSO Concerts for Children: A Musical Tumble Through Time
The song-less Gimquat bird and Griffle the Great — a magical musical wizard — embark on a journey through time to find the Gimquat’s song in this action-packed musical extravaganza with eye-catching costumes, tongue-twisters and some of the best-known music from Mozart to Ravel (with a bit of rap and mediaeval chant thrown in as well!). Hang around for a meet-and-greet with Platypus Theatre after each show, at the foyer.
When 10 Sept, 10.30am & 2.30pm; 11 Sept, 10.30am
Where Victoria Concert Hall
Tickets $32, $25 at https://ticketing.sso.org.sg/sso/booking/221361SSO
More details https://www.sso.org.sg/
Moonfest — A Mid-Autumn Celebration
Moonfest — A Mid-Autumn Celebration is the Esplanade’s annual traditional Chinese arts festival held in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival. There are free and ticketed events and performances, as well as workshops, including one where grandparents and grandkids can create a rolling puppet theatre! Join the lantern walkabout around the Waterfront (10 Sept, 7.15pm), watch puppetry performances, catch the witty crosstalk performance by the Young People’s Performing Arts Ensemble, and storytelling by father-daughter duo Patrick and Jo Kwek.
When 9 to 11 September
Where Esplanade — Theatres on the Bay
Admission Free and ticketed events available
More details www.esplanade.com/moonfest
Journey West: White Bone Fiend
In this new iteration of the well-loved Chinese epic adventure by Paper Monkey Theatre, Master Tang San Zang and his disciples meet the White Bone Fiend while on a journey. The demoness tries to trick Master Tang into expelling Sun Wu Kong, the Monkey God from the group. Will she succeed? A visual feast, this restaged work features 30 new traditional Chinese hand-puppets and pili puppets handcrafted by second-generation Taiwanese puppet-maker, Mr Hsu Chien-Jhang. Performed in Mandarin with English subtitles.
When 9 to 11 September
Where Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, Far East Organization Auditorium, Level 9
Admission Tickets at $26 and $30 (not inclusive of booking and administrative fees) available at SISTIC, with a special $96 promotion for a bundle of 4 tickets.
(See also: Why you should bring your children to watch SRT’s Gretel and Hansel (Mandarin) – 糖果屋历险记)
GO ON AN ISLAND ESCAPADE
Harris Barelang Batam
Just an hour away from Singapore by ferry, this beach resort ticks all our getaway boxes: it’s close enough so travel time is short, it has great amenities for kids, and it’s incredibly affordable for a family vacation. With four swimming pools, a kids’ water play area, a kids’ club with the friendliest staff, and spacious connecting rooms, it’s super family-friendly.
There are tons of activities, from the jet-ski to the ATV, archery, as well as a spa for mummy me-time. Chill on the beach or by one of the pools (like the infinity pool by the Rock Salt Beach Club), stroll on the vast resort grounds, and book a BBQ dinner on the beach after a day of activity, and savour as you watch the sun set. From $78.11 per night (as of 21 August 2022 excluding taxes; terms and conditions apply) for a Garden View room. Book at https://www.discoverasr.com/
Desaru Coast Day Trips
Did you know that one of TIME Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places is only 90 minutes away from Singapore by ferry? Desaru Coast is now open with brand new hotels and facilities and we can’t wait to explore soon. Can’t spare the time for a stay? Go on a day trip!
The Fruit Farm Tour is perfect for families with younger ones. If you have older kids, we’d recommend the guided three-hour Junglewalla Mangrove Tour which includes a three-course lunch. There’s also a Splash-Out Day package at Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast if you’re looking for thrills and spills for your water babies!
All packages include return ferry tickets as well as free Desaru Coast shuttle services. Book from now till 30 November 2022. Packages are valid till 15 December 2022. Book at https://booking.desarucoast.com/
(See also: Family Paradise at Avani+ Mai Khao Phuket)
Featured image: Desaru Coast