Chock-full of kid-friendly malls and parks, Singapore is ideal for a family getaway. Let your kids discover how the young city-state blossomed into a metropolis in just 50 years.
An interactive indoor theme park for kids aged 4 to 17, this 81,000ft2 playground enables children to experience the daily grind through role-playing different jobs. They’ll get to learn about careers from diverse fields range from health to financial services, all while cultivating life skills and earning KidZos, KidZania’s own currency. Kids can then reward themselves for their hard work and shop with KidZos at the Department Store.
Tour: DUCKtour, Suntec City
Take your child on a historical tour of Singapore’s downtown via land and sea, courtesy of the duck bus, a World War II amphibious vehicle. With live commentary, the cruise takes passengers around Marina Bay before hitting the tarmac to take in landmarks like the Old Supreme Court and War Memorial Park.
If you fancy a mini-break in the city, check out the extensive Kids Club at the Sentosa Resort & Spa. For starters, there’s the large beachside pool and the attached Cool Zone with its range of water slides. Then there’s the Toots Club (suitable for kids 5 to 12 years), which has a craft corner, an indoor treehouse slide and an ever-changing roster of programmes and activities. Tykes under five aren’t left out thanks to the Mini Toots Club, which offers a giant block puzzle, ball pits and more.
2. Chengdu, China
Visit China’s “Panda Central” and cuddle up with these lovable creatures. Chengdu itself is also pretty easy to navigate, thanks to its developed network of buses and railways.
Chengdu isn’t only home to just pandas; you can also meet polar bears, penguins, whales and other critters at south-west China’s first ocean park. Interactional and recreational activities for your little ones include a technology-driven exhibit through 11 different time periods, as well as a 4D Experience Hall.
It’s all about pandas on this immersive tour. With a full day of hands-on activities, such as feeding and enclosure cleaning, it’s ideal for kids and adults alike. You can also watch a documentary on pandas to better understand these gentle giants and what’s being done to combat their endangered status.
Your kids will be kept busy at the Ritz Kidz Club, thanks to a range of activities such as in-room camping (they’ll put a tent in your room) and a treasure hunt. They’ll also receive treats such as a stuffed panda, children’s books and even mini toiletries (complete with a child-sized bathrobe).
3. Luang Prabang, Laos
The UNESCO-listed town of Luang Prabang is considered to be at the heart of Laotian culture, making for the perfect opportunity for your kids to learn about a different way of life while on holiday.
Let your children get their hands dirty (and gain a better understanding of where their food comes from) with a day at this country farm, which is set in the middle of ancient rice terraces and surrounded by mountains. You’ll get to plant your own rice, and – when all the hard work’s done – refuel with various rice treats, such as candy and crackers, at the farm’s in-house café.
Don’t expect to ride any elephants here – Mandalao eschews such cruel practices in favour of encouraging guests to connect with the gentle giants in the most natural and meaningful ways possible. That means you and your kids will get to bathe and feed the elephants, and even embark on a two-hour trek with the friendly creatures.
Tucked away on a hill, this resort’s airy and spacious rooms are perfect for large groups, including families. As part of your stay, you can join in a cooking class that uses ingredients from the hotel’s own organic vegetable garden, try your hand at archery lessons or raid the library’s collection of board games.
4. Colombo, Sri Lanka
Have fun in the sun at Colombo’s beaches, or sign up for a guided tour of the city’s top spots. Whatever you decide, there’s something for everyone in Sri Lanka’s thriving capital.
Get up close and personal with some of Sri Lanka’s amazing wildlife – including its iconic leopards – at the island’s most popular national park. It’s a must to go on safari; other activities include beach walks and bird-watching.
Parents can tag along on this guided kids’ tour, which will include visits to top attractions such the Vihara Mahadevi Park and the floating market of Pettah, as well as kite-flying at Galle Face Green.
Stay: The Wallawwa
Housed in a 200-year-old manor, this hotel offers various diversions to keep the kids occupied – from a stone swimming pool to board games and children’s books. The hotel’s grounds also have space for a game of croquet, badminton or volleyball.
5. Male, Maldives
Once a destination for honeymooners, the Maldives is now also a family haven. Take a break from city life and truly unwind with the kids at one of the many luxe resorts dotted across its atolls.
Not to be mistaken for a whale watching trip, the Whale Submarine takes you 40m below to surface to view a colourful array of coral reefs and aquatic life. This 45-minute experience will give you a new perspective on the ocean and its inhabitants.
Embark on an eight-day voyage with the kids, in a bid to glimpse various tropical whale and dolphin species. Don’t fret about the planning – the cruise operator will organise everything for you, from onboard activities to atoll visits.
Your kids will adore this resort, thanks to its two kids’ clubs – KidsOnly (4 to 9 years) and OneTribe (9 to 11 years) – and its teens’ club, ClubOne. All three are run by trained counsellors that help to plan and execute activities, such as island exploration and indoor rock climbing.