It’s holiday season for many of us, a time when we joyfully pause the alarms that match school bus timing, and see late night movies with the kids, and enjoy the beach on a weekday, and then, after 2 days of this realise that OH-MY-GAWD I NEED TO PLAN THE HECK OUT OF THIS HOLIDAY, HOW MANY MORE DAYS TO GO!!!

Calm down and keep reading.

We have rounded up special events, exhibitions and activities taking place around Singapore these summer holidays. Explore these options to plan fun and informative days out. The best part of holidays is discovering together as a family, making memories that turn into smiles and stories later… and our list gives you an opportunity to do just that!

We start off with some outdoor recommendations so you make most of the cloudy/breezy days. And later down the list are the indoor options, which are probably most useful over these hot and humid summer months. So get your pen, and start jotting!

OUTDOORS

National Parks

Various locations. www.nparks.gov.sg

With over 300 parks and 4 nature reserves under its care, National Parks is at the centre of Singapore’s plan to be a ‘City in a Garden’. So when outdoor activities are on your holiday agenda, then these have to be it in your exploration plans. This link has a full listing of events in the offing, but to make it easy for you, here’s a list upcoming open-air concerts at the Shaw Foundation Stage at the Botanic Gardens. They are all free of cost, allow you to picnic as you sit, and consequently expect a jolly crowd next to you!

shaw foundation stage
Picture perfect and picnic perfect – concerts at the Botanic Gardens. Photo credit: Wikimedia / Zachary Buckwash

5-630pm, 1 July 2018. Concert in the park.
Musical instruments from around the world feature in this early evening show. Head with picnic mats and listen to the lineup that includes Straits Ensemble, Raghajazz and ZingO Festival Drum Group.

6-7pm, 17 July 2018. Rhapsody in the garden
The award-winning Dunman High Symphonic Band will be playing a repertoire of film music – you can enjoy crowd favourites such as Adele’s 21, Concerto d’Amore, Mancini as well as TV and cinema hits like Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Marina Barrage

8 Marina Gardens Drive, 018951

Marina Barrage makes for an awesome day out any time of the year for picnicking and kite flying, but we are adding it to our list for July because of the newly opened Sustainable Singapore Gallery. Located at Level 2, this brand new mini-museum is high-tech, and even has a screening room with short environmental films playing in a loop. You will be wowed by the realisation that Marina Barrage and Gardens by the Bay are not mere vanity projects, but a very integral and long-planned ideas to make Singapore water-independent.

The Gallery will take 30 minutes or so only. So pad it with what makes Marina Barrage worth the trip – the grassy rooftop. Singapore is the only major city we know that has a kite flying terrace right in the middle of CBD! [Well almost in the CBD – just across the road you can see the financial centre.] If you don’t have a kite with you, make a pit stop at level 1 and buy the shape, sizes, and ability level that works for you.

kite flying marina barrage

At the end of it all, should you decide you don’t want to head home for cooking, simply walk over to Satay By the Bay. It is an open air food court, about 5 minutes walk away (along the bay).

Kranji countryside

Various farms. kranjicountryside.com

With Singapore’s reputation as a shopping haven and an urban centre, it is easy to overlook that there is still a countryside left here. You read that right – there is still a countryside i.e. dairy farms and vegetable farms – though few in number and right at the edge of our borders. Ride up north about 35 minutes from CBD over the weekend, and you will find several farms open to visitors. You can visit Viknesh Dairy, where you can meet and feed the cows – and buy fresh milk. Likewise, Hay Dairies operates a goat farm where you can pet the animals. And our favourite: Bollywood Veggies, which allows you to wander through its estate, past jackfruit trees, a small butterfly zone, plank-made swings, and more. It is understated, but a hidden gem for Singapore. Also recommended here is the in-house restaurant serving delicious, (mostly) farm-to-table produce. Do order the Sago Gula Melaka and the vegetarian platter if you eat in!

Bollywood Veggies Kranji
Rustic swings show up unexpectedly at Bollywood Veggies
INDOORS

Singapore Art Museum (SAM)

71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore 189555.  www.singaporeartmuseum.sg

Special exhibit | Imaginarium | On till 26 Aug, 2018.

SAM imaginarium
Momentarium, an installation by Stephane Masson. Image credit: Stephane Masson.

Back for the 8th year in a row, the Imaginarium series sets out to captivate visitors of all ages again – especially the young ones. Described as a ‘Journey into the Space of Time’, this year’s theme consists of 10 curated display pieces that tackle the myriad aspects of time and space in a lyrical manner. Animated murals, videos in jars, fibre optic installations….  it is a collection of the unexpected and we can’t wait to visit this visual delight with our kids to explore the 4th dimension! There is a lot to engage the little ones including workshops, film screenings, poetry readings and even open mic. Check this detailed program document for full information.

National Museum of Singapore

93 Stamford Road,Singapore 178897. nationalmuseum.sg

National Museum promises to appeal to you as well as your kids while you explore the wonderful history of Singapore. In the History Gallery, a permanent feature, you will be transported in time and experience the evolution of our Lion City beginning from Singapura, to a crown colony, to Syonan, to Singapore as it is today. Then, in the Stamford Gallery, you can switch to a child’s perspective and witness the evolution of playgrounds! ‘The More We Get Together: Singapore’s Playgrounds 1930 – 2030’, running till September 2018, allows you to touch, feel and experience the various types of playgrounds of Singapore through the decades; you can understand how their design, feel and meaning in the society has changed over time. You will also get a chance to peek into the future – by seeing what the playgrounds in 2030s may be like!

national museum the more we get together special exhibit

As an extension of Children’s Season, there are multiple types of play opportunities including hands-on activities, storytelling session, workshops, performances and more. Check this link for details on event schedule and signing up.

Goodman Arts Centre

90 Goodman Road, Singapore 439053. www.goodmanartscentre.sg

The last year has seen Goodman Arts Centre consolidate its position as a go-to place for kids in the East Coast, rain or shine. The indoor play area – aka The Artground – has free entry all day, every day and features installations that are a treasure trove for toddlers (currently it’s full of slides!). Over weekends, special 30 minute programmes aimed at tots – such as dancing and music – cost just $10 for 30 minute slots of fun.

Weekends at the Artground, Goodman Arts Centre

And then there are the workshops – reasonably priced, in bite-sized sessions ranging from 1-2 hrs. (See the full lineup here). Most workshops at the Artground include an art element, and provide a much richer experience than the mall setups that do paint-by-numbers. Instead of run-of-the-mill canvases, you get to make ceramic mugs, try your hand at Batik, experiment with linocuts, and essentially, learn from the professionals.

ArtScience Museum

6 Bayfront Ave, Singapore 018974. Tel 6688 8888. www.marinabaysands.com/museum.html

Special exhibit | Ten Years of Heroes | On till 30 Sep, 2018.

If you or your little ones have superhero dreams (who doesn’t!), set aside time to enter the Marvel Universe. Find your favourite Marvel superhero here and know more about them- their powers, strengths and their special tools! Prepare to me mesmerized as there’s extensive use of immersive audio-visual technology on display: Full details here.

marvel exhibition rtScience museum

Singapore Science Centre

15 Science Centre Road, Singapore 609081. www.science.edu.sg

Science Centre is a favourite in summer to-do lists, and for good reason. It has top-of-the-line exhibitions that are periodically renewed, so you see something new every visit. But that’s not all; the following bits continue to be our favourites this summer.

  • Kids Stop: Check out what is on especially for the younger kids at Kids Stop Science Centre before you venture out there. Upcoming events are typically listed at the beginning of the month.
  • Water works: An outdoor water play area where kids can play and try the hands-on exhibits (don’t forget swimmers and a change of clothes)
  • Go stargazing with your little ones at the Science Centre any Friday between 7:45- 10 pm. FAQs here
  • Eco garden: Home to a wide variety of plants and animals and a very cool tree house, this should on top of your agenda to cover over the 2018 school holidays.
  • Scientist for a day (min age 10 yrs): Take your kids into this part of the Science Centre for some hands-on scientific experiments. There are on site DIY lab facilitators, volunteers and sometimes visiting guest scientists (daily from 10:00am- 12:30 pm and then again from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm).
Space gazing at the Science Centre is free and easy – even on special events such as Solar Eclipse viewing above.

National Gallery

1 St Andrew’s Rd, Singapore 178957. www.nationalgallery.sg

It’s Children’s Festival- Small Big dreams at the National Gallery, Singapore till September 9, 2018. Various exhibits, spread across the museum, explore this theme with colour, illusion, interaction and hands-on play. The central exhibits are 5 interactive installations by Singaporean artist Lee Wen. Wen is a performance artis whose form of story-telling prefers movement over painting and sculpting; likewise, his work allows kids to participate through touch, sight, and hearing – rather than observing. In addition to these are other exhibits, workshops and even digital installations that children can explore.

national gallery Lee Wen
Walk beneath a canopy of red lanterns in the “Anatomy of Dreams”, a Lee Wen installation. Image Credit: National Gallery

National Library

Various locations. www.nlb.gov.sg

The annual Read! Fest is back, this year with the theme of The Pursuit of Happiness. In other words, all the way till July 28, your local library is running a special events calendar – do check it so you can time your book pick to match story-telling sessions that young children are sure to love. Schedule in this poster below:

storytelling schedule at Singapore public libraries
Weekly story sessions for young children in libraries across Singapore – just one of the range of activities during Read! Fest 2018.

For older children and adults, there are a number of workshops, movie screenings and of course, book-club style conversations that offer immersive experience. See the full schedule here.

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