Watch: Here’s how you can spend the March school holidays in Singapore. Credit: Produced by SilverKris
Given that international leisure travel has been put on hold for the time being, there’s no better time than now for residents of Singapore to get out and rediscover their own backyard. In this series, we have put together a timely, varied and action-packed guide to having the perfect day in the Lion City.
The places on this list offer something for everyone: spanning various sights and attractions, from nature trails and foodie gems to thought-provoking exhibitions and immersive experiences. While those who are feeling particularly ambitious can aim to follow the itinerary to a tee, you can also pick and choose as you wish.
Since March marks the first school holiday break of the year, we’ve assembled an itinerary for having a fun-filled day with the kids.
Begin the morning with a leisurely breakfast at PS.Cafe at East Coast Park, a sun-filled nook of a restaurant that’s surrounded by greenery and offers tranquil views of the sea.
For something light, you can opt for the Kaya Toast, which is served with thick slices of organic white sourdough; or go for the Almond & Chia Seed Granola that comes with herb-scented tropical fruits, honey yoghurt and young coconut. The kids are sure to love the Breakfast Grand Slam Bunwich: fried egg, crispy bacon, pork sausage and caramelised onions siting atop a hearty roll.
If you prefer to take your breakfast in the nearby Katong neighbourhood, there are plenty of family-friendly cafés that you can choose from, including Brawn & Brains for a sunlit brunch affair with specialty roasted coffee beans; Forty Hands East Coast for reliably good food with an Asian twist (Stinky Har Cheong Gai Waffle, anyone?); and Group Therapy Katong for a casual and cozy meal of pancakes, eggs and sandwiches.
Once you’ve fuelled up, it’s time to explore the wonders of Changi Jurassic Mile. The latter is part of the 3.5km-long Changi Airport Park Connector – which links East Coast Park with the airport – and opened to great fanfare at the end of 2020. Start at the East Coast Park end of the trail and choose to either walk or bike your way down the stretch. Once you hit Changi Jurassic Mile (which spans 1km of the park connector), you’ll encounter over 20 dinosaur structures spanning nine different species, making this the largest permanent outdoor display of life-sized dinosaurs in the country. Fun fact: the tallest dinosaur stands at nearly 5 meters high.
After a morning of fun in the sun, head to Jewel Changi Airport from Terminal 4 (where the park connector ends) for a spot of lunch. The sprawling mall boasts a host of delicious dining options that will satisfy both adults and young children.
Recently opened is Luke’s Lobster, the seafood specialist that hails originally from New York. We recommend going for the Luke’s Trio, which allows you to sample the lobster, crab and prawn rolls, each in half-portion servings. Each roll consists of juicy chunks of the wild-caught seafood stuffed into a fluffy toasted roll, before being finished with mayo, lemon butter and seasoning.
Other places to consider include Shiki Hototogisu Ramen for slurp-worthy Japanese noodles in a variety of stellar soup bases; Tonito for an array of Latin American cuisine such as ceviche, tacos and Peruvian fish stew; and White Restaurant for classic and comforting home-style Chinese dishes.
Once you’ve filled your bellies, spend the first part of the afternoon checking out the fun-filled attractions at Jewel Changi Airport. The Canopy Park should be your first port of call. The children will have plenty of fun clambering about on the bounce nets, hitting the slides and wandering through mazes, while you relax in the garden area or take a stroll across a partially glass-bottomed bridge that offers a captivating view of the HSBC Rain Vortex. You can also check out the immersive shows and interactive games at the Changi Experience Studio, or marvel at the stunning greenery of the Shiseido Forest Valley. The latter offers a stunning backdrop for snapping some pictures for the family album.
Still raring to go? If you’re in an artsy mood, you can consider bonding with the family over an art jam. There are a handful of studios across the city-state to pick from, including My Art Space, Artefakts and Artify Studio. You’ll be provided with all the necessary tools (such as an easel, canvas and brushes), as well as the requisite acrylic paints, and can get crafty to your heart’s content while honing your painting skills.
Alternatively, for some energetic and unconventional fun, make your way to Sandbox VR at Orchard Central for an immersive virtual reality experience like no other. You and your family will get to don VR headsets and haptic vests and transport yourselves to anywhere from a pirate ship and a futuristic gladiator arena to an old haunted mansion or a Star Trek adventure.
If you’re not completely knackered yet, continue your adventure at the National Museum of Singapore or ArtScience Museum, both of which offer child-friendly exhibits. The former is where you’ll find Growing Up, a permanent exhibition that offers an insight into the experiences of being a child in Singapore during the 1950s and 1960s, which was a period of great change for the nation. While there, pop into the Singapore History Gallery, where kids can check out artefacts, paintings and other engaging installations that chart Singapore’s evolution over the years.
Meanwhile, the ArtScience Museum is where you’ll find Future World: Where Art Meets Science, a landmark immersive digital installation created in collaboration with teamLab that includes two exciting new artworks.
You’re probably feeling famished by now, so make a beeline for the recently opened Green Common at VivoCity for a healthy and hearty dinner. The restaurant bills itself as the world’s first plant-based eatery and grocery concept store that specialises in food-tech innovations, and is where you can find delicious dishes that are suitable for vegetarians, vegans or omnivores simply looking for a nutritious meal.
Try the Kimchi Fried Rice made with OmniMeat luncheon meat and plant-based Just Egg; or go for the Beyond Burger Black that comes with a Beyond Meat patty and side of fries. For dessert, there’s the Pineapple Paradise: honey pineapple served with coconut ice cream and tapioca pearls. Cap off your evening with a breezy stroll along the Sentosa Boardwalk, which offers picturesque views of the harbour and Sentosa.
After dropping the kids off at home, it’s time for a cheeky nightcap. Wine aficionados can head to The Wine Company at Dempsey Hill. Take a seat in their expansive dining area and pick your poison from an extensive range of whites, reds and sparkling varieties.
Alternatively, if sake is more your thing, head to Sake Labo, a new drinking den dedicated to the Japanese spirit. Located along Stanley Street in the CBD, the dimly lit and cosy bar specialises in high-quality, small-batch craft sake imported directly from Japanese breweries. It also boasts a playful food menu that features Japanese-Spanish tapas such as miso pork jowl, fried potatoes topped with Japanese fish roe and roasted baby corns finished with Spanish cheese and a smattering of furikake.
Some of these images were taken before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking and seating requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.
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