Singapore is very kids-friendly. It’s safe, it’s clean and there are honestly so many activities you can do with your little one here as tourists. And, a lot of them are available free of charge. But I’ll get more on that in this post.
I’ve lived in Singapore for over a decade, both as a single person and as a parent. So I think I know a few things about Singapore and I’m ready to share my knowledge with you!
How to get around Singapore with kids
There are three ways you can get around in Singapore:
1. Taking a taxi in Singapore with kids (no car seats required)
In Singapore, anyone below the height of 1.35m is required by law to be secured with an appropriate restraint, booster seat or adjustable seatbelt. You could be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed up to three months if you were found to be violating this law. Except, when you’re taking an official taxi, and if the person is riding in the rear seats of the car.
There are a few operators in Singapore, but the most common one is Comfort Del Gro (the yellow or blue cabs) and trans cab (red one). Taxi can be easily booked via the official Comfort Del Gro app, or from ride-share app like Grab or Gojek by selecting the taxi option. And honestly, taking a taxi in Singapore is relatively cheap compared to other countries. If you’re traveling as a family unit, it might actually make more sense to take taxi rather than take a public transport.
2. Booking ride-share cars in Singapore with kids (with and without car seats)
If for some reason you don’t want to take the taxi, you could still book a car via ride sharing app from Grab or Gojek app. With this option, you’re required to bring your own car seat, because ride share cars are considered private cars. However, there have been some anecdotal experience from the mom chat group I’m part of, where people were refused by ride-sharing drivers when they found out a small child is going to be riding the car, even when they brought their own car seat.
If you don’t have your own car seat with you, then you must book the family option which comes with a car seat for children. Only Grab has this option, called GrabFamily, and it tends to be more expensive than the regular fare.
Thus, with all this in mind, I don’t recommend booking ride-sharing cars with kids unless it is a last resort.
3. Taking Singapore public transport with kids
Singapore’s public transport is honestly the best in the world – clean, efficient and very affordable. What’s even better is that children below 7 years old can enjoy FREE travel when accompanied by a fare-paying adult. This applies to both the bus and the train (known as MRT here).
If your child is over 90cm in height, they will need to get a child concession card that they can tap on the MRT gate / to board the bus, which you can apply for at TransitLink Ticket office by showing their passport.
However, if your child is young enough, you could just carry them through the MRT gantry (or put them in stroller and push through together with yourself). From my personal experience, I’ve found that even though my toddler is over 90cm in height, no one has ever asked us to show the child concession card. For older kids, it might be a good idea to get the concession card so they can go in and out of the public transport independently by tapping the card themselves.
Weather in Singapore
Singapore, as you might know, is located just one degree north of the equator. That means it’s very hot and humid here all year long. Expect temperature of 28-34C during the day with humidity level 80-90%. With kids, you can’t take the chance of dehydration or heat stroke. Consider having the following with you:
- Sunscreen / hats / other sun covering – The UV index gets really high here, so you’ll want to make sure to protect everyone from getting sunburnt.
- Airy clothes – Again, it’s really hot and humid here so you’ll want to wear light and thin clothing. Think cotton t-shirt with shorts and sandals. If you don’t have suitable outfit, I recommend dropping by Uniqlo in Singapore and checking out their Airism line.
- An umbrella – just a small foldable one will do. It rains a lot in Singapore, and you can still use it as extra sun cover if it doesn’t rain.
- A bottle of water – you know what to do when you’re sweating a lot in hot weather… you hydrate a lot, so bring a reusable water bottle. There are lots of water fountain in Singapore for you to refill your bottle. And, Singapore tap water is safe to consume!
- Mini electric fan – when it’s breezy in Singapore, the heat is actually bearable. But when there is no breeze, that’s when it gets really difficult. Bring one of these for yourself and the kids.
Taking the stroller vs baby wearing in Singapore
If you’re traveling with an infant or small child, you might be wondering if it’s more convenient to take the stroller or to baby wear. I personally prefer to take the stroller. It’s sometimes way too hot to be baby wearing in Singapore.
Nothing beats the convenience of baby wearing, but I find taking the stroller in Singapore is not too big of a deal. The newer MRT stations (such as those along the blue or yellow line) would have plenty of elevator access and room to push your stroller. The bus might get crowded, but there is still a dedicated area where you can stow away your stroller. The down side of taking a stroller is some of the streets in Singapore, especially in conserved areas with shophouses (Chinatown, Little India, etc), are not really stroller-friendly. But there is usually still ways to get around that.
On the other hand, while convenient, baby wearing may not the most comfortable way of transporting your child around because it’s really hot. That said, baby wearing is still very popular in Singapore, so it’s very much doable. It’s just a matter of personal preference and what you plan to be doing that day. If you do plan to baby wear, I recommend getting baby wearing gear that are suited for the tropical climate. Carriers like mesh ergobaby, Tula mesh, Baby k-tan breeze, or Konny baby might be better for this climate.
Where to stay in Singapore with kids
1. Shangri-la Orchard
I’ve stayed at Shangri-la Orchard for a staycation before (read my review here). I picked this hotel because I had heard countless times from my friends, gushing about how family friendly they are, and how it’s the perfect hotel to bring kids along… and they were right! It’s also perfect for visitors as it is located in the middle of the city, near Orchard Rd and Orchard MRT.
2. Shangri-la Rasa Sentosa
Another good option is the Shangri-la at Sentosa, which I have not stayed at but have heard from friends to be a very family-friendly hotel. It has great amenities for kids: a children’s pool, indoor playground, large water play area and private access to the beach.
The only thing to note is the location of this hotel. It IS located in Sentosa island, which has a lot of activities for kids, but it’s away from the actual city itself and while shuttles exists on Sentosa, it’s not as good as it is on the main island. You might end up having to book a taxi whenever you want to get out of the island.
Activities in Singapore for Toddlers and young kids
Like i said before, there are so many activities you can do with your little one in Singapore, and a lot of them are actually available free of charge. I’ll indicate those that are free of charge with a “(Free)” tag on the title.
Even so, all paid attraction are free of charge for children under 3 years old, and most provide a discounted ticket for children under 13 years old. With each attractions, I’ve linked where you can buy the tickets from Klook, which tend to be cheaper than buying on the spot.
PS: Klook is the leading travel and experiences booking website in Asia. If you’re not from around here and you’ve never heard of Klook before, you might be hesitant to book with them but don’t worry – they are legit! I personally book my activities through them as their prices are often competitive, and the activities are high quality. You can read reviews from real people before booking and there is a grace period for free cancellation, usually within 24-48 hours notice.
Without further ado, here are some activities you can consider taking your toddler and children to while in Singapore:
1. Gardens by The Bay
Cloud Forest and Flower Dome
Cloud Forest and Flower Dome are honestly great attractions for both adults and children. The reason why I’m grouping them together is because they are located right across from each other, and often visited together. They are both an enclosed, air-conditioned garden – a welcome respite in a country as hot as Singapore – that provide a space kids can safely run around in.
Meanwhile, the adults and older kids can spend their time learning about the amazing flora and fauna from all over the world. I’ve taken my toddler to both places multiple times when I just need some time to relax.
Book tickets to Cloud Forest and Flower Dome here (be sure to select Standard ticket if you’re not an SG resident)
Floral Fantasy is one of the newest attractions in Gardens by the bay. Unlike Flower Dome which focuses on live flowers, Floral Fantasy features creative flower arrangements. If you love flowers, you definitely have to check this one out! Just like Cloud Forest and Flower Dome, this place is also enclosed and air-conditioned. Perfect to take kids out!
Book tickets to Floral Fantasy here (be sure to select Standard ticket if you’re not an SG resident)
Children’s Garden (Free)
Nearby the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome area (about 5 minutes walk south), there is a huge outdoor play area called Children’s Garden, which features water fountains and playground. This might be of interest to you and your child if the weather hot and it is not raining. There is a changing room and a toilet inside the premise. Just bring swimsuits, towels and a change of clothes for everyone! The best part is, it’s completely FREE. Yep – no tickets required.
Marina Barrage (Free)
Marina Barrage Water Playground is another water play area provided for free by the PUB (Public Utilities Board), Singapore’s national water agency. It’s a little less exciting than the Children’s Garden, but my toddler loved it just the same – he did not want to leave! There is no changing area here at the playground, but there is a toilet at the PUB building nearby.
Also inside the PUB building, you can check out Sustainable Singapore Gallery to see the challenges and efforts Singapore is taken up to ensure the city remains clean, green and liveable for its citizens.
At Marina Barrage, you can also go up the spiral walkway to the Green Roof, which is a large grassy field area that gives you an amazing view of the city. I recommend going here around sunset when the sun isn’t as strong anymore. You’ll see families and friends having picnic and people flying all sorts of kites.
2. Singapore Botanic Garden (Free)
Singapore Botanic Garden is a UNESCO heritage site and located within the city area, near Orchard road. It showcases the best and most spectacular of tropical flora set in stunning landscape, and entrance is free of charge. Keep in mind Botanic Gardens is mostly outdoors with almost no shelter, so take that into account and plan your visit accordingly. I recommend heading out here in the morning or closer to sunset, around 4-5pm.
While the entire garden is great for kids, I will highlight a few areas that were built with kids in mind:
Jacob Ballas Children’s garden
A park dedicated to children. You can explore farm, nature play and treehouses here. This garden is located inside the main botanic garden area, so you could take a stroll outside after too! Click here for more information.
COMO Adventure Grove in the Gallop Extension is basically a large nature-themed playground where kids can climb, slide, swing or play in the sand. There is also a cafe nearby for some coffee and light bites, and a large grassy field where you can have a picnic. Gallop Extension is located away from the main Singapore botanic garden with its own entrance, so if you want to check out the rest of the garden, you might want to go elsewhere. Click here for more information.
3. Future World at Art Science Museum
If you want to stay close to the city, you can take them to check out ArtScience museum. It’s located in the mall side of Marina Bay Sands (also known as MBS). In this museum, there is a permanent exhibition called Future World by the Japanese digital artist group teamLab, and it’s a huge hit with kids. There are a lot of digital play here where kids can interact directly with the exhibition, including a station where kids can draw, scan their drawing and have it be a part of the exhibition. It’s great for adults too!
4. Mandai Wildlife Reserve
Mandai Wildlife Reserve currently consist of three parks: Singapore Zoo, River Wonders (formerly River Safari) and Night Safari. Soon, this will become five parks when Jurong Bird Park moves here (to become Mandai Bird Park), and another forest-themed park opens here in 2023. Mandai is located in the north of Singapore, and quite frankly not close to anything else, so a trip here would definitely take most of your day.
Each park has their own admission ticket. I’ve included links to buy tickets for each of the parks below, which would be cheaper than buying from the official sources, but if you’re interested in visiting two or more parks, you might be better off buying the multi-park deal (please double check the prices against the single ticket though! Sometimes it’s still cheaper to buy separately)
Singapore Zoo is one of the best in the world. There are a lot of activities here for kids, including animal feeding and shows, so be sure to check the timing for those. The zoo spans across a large area, and you’ll need to do a lot of walking. But your ticket includes a tram ride, so you could minimize the walking as little as possible. Expect to spend 4-5 hours here if you want to see everything.
Book tickets to Singapore Zoo here (select Standard ticket if you’re not an SG resident)
I highly recommend River Wonders as it’s mostly enclosed so it’s weather proof, you can enjoy it rain or shine. I think River Wonders is my favorite out of all the parks. They have a really cool large aquarium with dugongs and large fresh water fish. They also have a panda exhibit, which houses the baby panda, who was recently born in 2021. For older kids (1.06m or above in height), there is Amazon River Quest which is a boat ride where you can see the animals up close. Expect to spend about 3 hours here.
Book tickets to River Wonders here (select Standard ticket if you’re not an SG resident)
As the name suggested, Night safari opens only from 6:30pm onward. You take a guided open-air tram ride to see all the animals in their nocturnal habitat. There are also trails you can walk and Creatures of the Night show. Expect to spend about 3 hours here including the show.
Book tickets to Night Safari here (select Standard ticket if you’re not an SG resident)
5. Jurong Bird Park
By the time you’re reading this, the bird park might have already moved to Mandai so please double check to see if they are still open!
Jurong Bird Park is one of the oldest attractions in Singapore, first opened 50 years ago. I remember visiting this park when I was a child myself! But if you’re expecting a run down park, you’ll be very wrong. Singapore does a great job maintaining and updating their attractions, and Jurong Bird Park is included. They did a major renovation which includes a $10m makeover in 2006, that you’ll never guess it was built in the 70s!
At the Jurong Bird Park, you can expect to see all types of birds: Flamingoes, colorful blue and red Macaws, and even the ones you don’t expect to see in Singapore’s tropical climate – like penguins! They also do animal shows twice a day, which you can check out here, and animal feedings which you can book here (I recommend feeding the lorries – they are SO enthusiastic). I’ve taken my toddler countless of times here and it’s always a great fun.
Book tickets to the bird park here (select Standard ticket if you’re not an SG resident)
6. Sentosa Island
Singapore Cable Car
To start your journey into Sentosa, you could take the cable car from Mount Faber station, which will take you to Sentosa station. Once there, you can switch to the Sentosa line, about 5 minutes walk away, to continue your ride around Sentosa.
The cable car is a cool way to see Singapore from above. It was such a hit with my toddler! We happened to go during one of their re-opening days (after renovation) and they were giving unlimited rides, and we spent almost the entire day riding the cable car back and forth.
Tip: Children below 4 years old can go on the cable car for free! This is one of the few exceptions where attraction is still free for a 3 year old.
SEA Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa
The aquarium at Sentosa is one of my favorites! They have showcase a large variety of aquatic life – starting with a shark aquarium, jellyfish aquarium (my favorite), and a giant aquarium with manta rays, sharks, and other large animals. There is also a touch pool at the end where you can touch some of the animals – but not before washing your hands of course.
7. Indoor play grounds
There are a lot of indoor playgrounds in Singapore. It’s a great option when the weather is not good outside, whether too hot or during rainy season. Our favorite is Kiztopia at Marina Square, so much that we even have an annual pass. It’s so popular that you need to book a timeslot, but usually they are not too busy on weekdays.
Okay, that’s all I have on this topic! If you have any specific questions about taking your kids to visit Singapore, please feel free to comment on this post below. I will respond as soon as possible.