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SINGAPORE: The school holidays are back and this can only mean one thing for parents: For the next few weeks, keeping the young ones busy and occupied is entirely in your hands.
Luckily, Singapore usually comes alive with family-friendly events during this time. From the museums’ respective “children’s season” to festivals, there are enough to choose from. Here are some options on what to do and where to bring them.
1. TAME A DINOSAUR
If the children have dino fever because of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, take them to Universal Studios Singapore’s Jurassic World: Explore & Roar. Besides taking selfies with the “dinosaurs” and prop replicas (remember the Gyrosphere those two kids were in when they were attacked by Indominus Rex?), five- to 12-year-olds can also sign up for Raptor Training School.
The little ones will be thrilled by a live-action show complete with swooping Pteranodons and a T-Rex containment breach. If that’s not enough interaction with the prehistoric world, head for the Jurassic Encounter, where they can see how they’d measure up against Triceratops and other dinosaurs through augmented reality magic.
All special programmes for Jurassic World: Explore & Roar are included with regular admission tickets. Singapore residents can purchase a one-day adult ticket at S$68.
Until Aug 22 at Universal Studios Singapore; rwsentosa.com
2. HAVE FUN AT THE PLAYGROUND
The National Museum of Singapore’s current exhibition looks at the history of Singapore’s playgrounds – and it’s a pretty interactive one that’s perfect for your kids. There’s even an art installation at the museum’s rotunda made especially for toddlers, and the museum’s popular inflatable playgrounds inspired by the old mosaic ones are also back at the front lawn.
Once you’re there, you might also want to pick up a playground-related activity book or watch a selection of animated short films by the Robot Playground Media.
Other events include: Sensory Saturdays, where parents and kids can bond at play stations that feature water, sand, water-beads and paint at the banyan tree area; Tots’ Thursdays, where you can bring your toddlers to a dance performance by the Kueh Tutus at the permanent Story Of The Forest installation; and a storytelling session about Singapore’s iconic dragon playground by Esther Eio.
If your child loves colouring, there’s also the World Kids Colouring Day competition on Jun 2.
Until Jun 24 at the National Museum of Singapore; nationalmuseum.sg
3. IMMERSE IN ART
Just a short walk from the National Museum, you’ve got Singapore Art Museum’s annual family-friendly contemporary art exhibit Imaginarium. This year’s theme is Into The Space Of Time and there are immersive and interactive artworks created by 10 artists and groups from around the world.
Among these are some quirky-looking megaphones created by Australian duo Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey; Singaporean artist Matthew Sia’s hypnotic, motion-activated grassy plain made of fibre optic lights; and Indonesian artist Boedi Widjaja’s peep-holes and old school motion picture devices. Don’t forget to also check out the schedules for art workshops and daily film screenings.
Until Aug 26 at SAM at 8Q; singaporeartmuseum.sg
4. TAKE YOUR BABY TO A PLAY
Theatre company ACT 3 International is currently presenting ACT3i Festival For Children, an entire festival dedicated to babies and toddlers, at the Asian Civilisations Museum.
Remaining shows include Paperbelle from Scotland’s Frozen Charlotte, where the protagonist (who only loves black and white) begins exploring the world of colour; Leaf from England’s Tam Tam Theatre, which follows the story of a very special leaf – and a show where your little ones can also play among the leaves at the end; a puppet show that tells kids it’s okay to be afraid, called Crikecrak by Italy’s La Baracca – Testoni Ragazzi; and Colourful Games by Lithuania’s Dansema Dance Theatre, where the audience can explore the show with help from a dancer.
Until Jun 3 at the Asian Civilisations Museum; act3international.com.sg/act3ifestivalforchildren
5. TAKE ALL OF THEM TO A FESTIVAL
If you’re an Eastie and you’re not really up for going to the city, you can always drop by The Artground, a new-ish hidden gem of a place for kids at Goodman Arts Centre in Mountbatten. It’s currently holding its inaugural 100 And 100 More Festival, a biennial art event for young audiences that includes performances, exhibitions and workshops for those ages 0 to 12.
Among these are: Especially On Birthdays, a visual-theatre show about the ups and down of being a twin, by Australia’s The PaperBoats and The Artground; Puno (Letters To The Sky) by the always-wonderful Papermoon Puppet Theatre from Indonesia, which is about a little girl coping with the departure of her father; and Snigel & Friends by Scotland’s Caroline Bowditch, which is about an inquisitive snail and his insect friends.
Visual art exhibitions include the interactive play area Rolling @ TAG, which has slopes and tunnels for your kid to go wild in, and a cardboard art exhibit by local group SuperHero Me.
Until Jun 3 at Goodman Arts Centre, 90 Goodman Road; theartground.com.sg/100more
6. WANDER INSIDE ENID BLYTON’S WORLD
What better way to introduce your kid to the wonders of Enid Blyton than by bringing them to a place where the popular children’s book author’s world comes to life?
The Blyton’s classic The Magic Faraway Tree will be recreated at the Supertree Grove as part of Children’s Festival @ Gardens By The Bay. The first large-scale Blyton-themed event in Asia will comprise lands from the series – Land of Enchantments, Land of Tea Parties, Land of Toys, and Land of Nursery Rhymes – where you and your kids can get busy with games, storytelling sessions, magic shows and even an original musical production.
Until Jun 10 at Gardens By The Bay; gardensbythebay.com.sg/childrensfestival
7. HANG OUT WITH JAKE, FINN AND THE WE BARE BEARS
Just next door, your family can drop by Cartoon Network’s Animate Your Life festival, where aside from carnival games, there are fun zones dedicated to the different shows.
Everyone can bounce around at The Powerpuff Girls zone’s four trampolines; explore the inflatable maze at the Adventure Time area (there’s also a giant bubble machine); slide down into a giant ball pit at the We Bare Bears zone; and tackle Ben 10’s obstacle courses.
Until Jun 10 at the Bayfront Plaza, Gardens by the Bay; animate.cartoonnetworkasia.com
8. WE’LL TELL YOU HOW TO GET SESAME STREET
It’s simple: Drop by Changi Airport, where you’ll bump into Elmo, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie, and the rest of the gang, who are back for the second instalment of the Changi Loves Kids campaign.
Highlights include: Sesame Street ‘S Is For Sharing’, a live show featuring some of Sesame Street’s beloved characters, meet-and-greet sessions, and the popular inflatable playground.
There will also be Cookie Monster and Elmo giant gachapon vending machines, a custom-made bobsleigh adventure track, and a Discover Europe exhibition gallery made entirely of cardboard (which is done in conjunction with Scoot’s upcoming Singapore-to-Berlin flights on Jun 20.
Until Jun 24 at Changi Airport Terminal 3 and 4; changiairport.com/discovereurope
9. FLIP OUT WITH THE KIDS
The Esplanade’s annual Flipside children’s festival has always pulled out a few quirky surprises through the years.
This year, you’ve got quite a few puppets. String Symphony by Australia’s Spare Parts Puppet Theatre is a free outdoor event, where you and 11 other audience members can play puppeteer to a giant illuminated puppet made from rope.
A ticketed show titled Dans l’Atelier & Chantier Frigolite by Belgium’s Tof Theatre also features a puppet that slowly comes to life – and there’s also a workshop where you and the kids can try making a Styrofoam one. And then, there’s Urashima Taro by Rouge28 Theatre from the UK, which is a contemporary take on an ancient Japanese myth using what else but puppets.
Elsewhere, check out Sensing The Dark, a sensory experience in the dark using music and other soundscapes, which is directed by homegrown composer Julian Wong.
Until Jun 3 at The Esplanade; esplanade.com/flipside
10. GO CAMPING (INSIDE A MUSEUM)
If your child is between seven and 12, why not spend a night with him or her at the museum – specifically the Singapore Philatelic Museum? Activities include an adventure race, craft activities and stamp puzzles – plus, when was the last time you’ve slept inside a museum gallery?
Don’t forget to bring your own sleeping bag, toiletries, pyjamas and a jacket (it’s air-conditioned). You’ll stay from 6pm to 9am the next morning. If camping isn’t your thing, you can wait for The Little Prince Exhibition, which opens on Jun 8.
May 31 at the Singapore Philatelic Museum. Priced at S$100 per person and includes dinner, supper and breakfast. Email email@example.com for more details.
11. CREATE SUPERHERO COSTUMES
ArtScience Museum’s next exhibition will be all about Marvel’s superheroes. And you can get in on the action during Superhero Me Sundays, a collaboration with local inclusive group Superhero Me.
For the different sessions, your children can create their own “superhero armour” and resilience bracelets – plus, your children can interact with others from less privileged backgrounds and special needs communities.
And since you’re already at the museum, don’t forget to check out all the other family-friendly exhibitions.
June 10, 17 and 24, 2.30pm to 5.30pm, ArtScience Museum; marinabaysands.com/museum.html
12. PLAY OLD SCHOOL SINGAPORE GAMES
It’s time to leave the iPad at home. In line with the Singapore Sports Museum’s ongoing temporary exhibition Games Of Yesteryear, it will be holding storytelling sessions. At the same time, there will be other activities where kids can play congkak, capteh and tapak kuda.
Jun 2 and 9, 11.30am and 12.30pm, at Singapore Sports Museum, 6 Stadium Walk.
13. DREAM BIG WITH ART
Next week, the National Gallery Singapore is launching its inaugural Children’s Festival: Small Big Dreamers.
The big draw are five interactive installations collectively called A Waking Dream: Sun-Boy and Yellow Man, which are inspired by the works of one of Singapore’s top artists Lee Wen. Elsewhere are other interactive installations by artists such as Mark Justiniani of the Philippines and Japan’s teamLab. There will also be various family-friendly programmes, art workshops and film screenings.
From Jun 9 to Sep 9 at the National Gallery Singapore; nationalgallery.sg