The school holidays are in full swing and, for parents, that means trying to keep the kids occupied without spending a ton of money.
So for those who are against tossing the kids an iPad as a means to keep them entertained, here are seven cheap or free kid-friendly things to do this December holidays.
Go camping at East Coast Park
You don’t have to be living in the Rocky Mountains to enjoy the great outdoors. Take your kids camping at a local park such as East Coast Park or Pasir Ris Park. Just pitch a tent, pack something to eat and drink, and let the kids bring along their bicycles or kick scooters.
Despite the hassle, staying overnight can be a memorable experience for the kids, especially if they’re old enough to get their own tents.
Observe the sun through a giant telescope at the Science Centre Observatory
Until the end of the year, the Science Centre Observatory will be open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am to 12pm for daytime solar observation sessions (from 5 Jan 2018, the observatory’s usual Friday night sessions will resume).
Thanks to special filters which protect your eyes, you’ll get to look through massive telescopes to observe the sun, which is something that will amaze the adults as well as the kids in the family.
Go to a public swimming complex with water park facilities
Why pay to go to Sentosa’s overpriced Adventure Cove Waterpark when there are public pools in Singapore with theme park-worthy slides?
Sengkang Swimming Complex has an impressive array of slides, including intertwining tunnel slides and a quadruple slide. At Jurong East Swimming Complex, your kids can grab a float and meander down the lazy river or wave pool. Meanwhile, Pasir Ris Swimming Complex has not just slides but also a water playground for younger kids.
Teach the kids a new skill
As a parent, you’re responsible for imparting to your kid some indispensable life skills—such as riding a bicycle, cooking a simple meal or taking a public bus. And maybe your kid wants to learn how to skip stones, fly a kite or roller blade.
The holidays are the perfect time for teaching and learning, as your child will have an entire month to put into practice his newly-acquired knowledge.
Visit Pulau Ubin and St John’s, Lazarus and Kusu Island
Want to give your kids a taste of the foreign and mysterious without actually leaving the country?
Pulau Ubin, St John’s Island, Lazarus Island and Kusu Island will be exotic enough to a child who’s grown up in Singapore’s urban jungle, so don’t miss the chance to visit these places as a family. Just don’t forget to bring along lots of bug spray.
Attempt the HSBC TreeTop Walk
HSBC’s TreeTop walk, which will have you traversing the airspace above a forest canopy on a 250 metre-long suspension bridge, is completely free to visit, and even kids who prefer sitting in front of their computers to going hiking will be amazed by the crazy views.
Be aware that the trail is not suitable for very young children, so wait till your kids are a little older before attempting to take them on this trip. You won’t be able to take your stollers or prams on this walk.
Visit a huge playground
Singapore is one of the world’s most kid-friendly places, tuition notwithstanding, because of the number of playgrounds and kid-friendly facilities available.
There are some seriously impressive outdoor playgrounds on the island, such as the one in Tiong Bahru Park, built to resemble an enormous choo choo train, and the massive Marine Cove Playground at East Coast Park, which has benefited from the park’s recent $18 million recreational revamp.
There are also some shopping malls equipped with out-of-this-world playgrounds, such as Changi City Point, whose massive playground includes a water play area.
What activities do you have lined up for your kids this December holidays? Tell us in the comments!