travel

Singapore: a destination for kids big and small.

Singapore Tourism Board
Thanks to our brand partner, Singapore Tourism Board

MUUUUM. You’re so embarrassing. Followed by Muuuuum, I’m bored. Those words will never get old. And holidays are a perfect time to hear them on repeat. BUT. When you’re the one bank-rolling a stop-over in an exotic Asian location, and there’s so much to do that should make your teenagers (almost) look up from their phones for a few minutes, you can expect to hear it a little less.

Here are just some of the things that will make a family holiday in Singapore with a teen in tow a less eye-rolling experience. For everyone.

1. SHOPPING – Yes. SHOPPING.

Singapore is beyond famous for it, and teenagers cannot resist the pull of the shiny new stuff. When it comes to hitting the shops in this city-state, it’s pretty much choose your own adventure – malls that snake through the city like so many underground air-conditioned treasure troves host every fancy brand you and they have ever heard of and plenty that they haven’t. For bargains hit up Orchard Road or the 24-hour Mustafa Shopping Centre, for exotic knickknacks and affordable accessories take them to Chinatown’s famous markets. And for tax-free? Take them to the airport. It’s got pretty much every retail name you can pronounce, and several you can’t. The only trick will be keeping your hand on your wallet when your teen is around.

SHOPPING - Yes. SHOPPING. Image supplied.

2. S.E.A AQUARIUM

If you have a looming adolescent who thinks they’re above things like watching fish swim around in giant tanks, they haven’t seen the shark tank at the S.E.A Aquarium. It’s HUGE, and the sharks are everywhere. Even the coolest of cool kids cannot help but let out a little squeal when one of the most giant of giant rays glides over head, again. Then head to the enormous open ocean exhibit, where you can play Finding Nemo for hours (too old for that, really? They should relive their youth) and openly wonder what the hell you call that fish thing with the saw on its nose. For hours. Seriously, you’ve seen aquariums, we’ve all seen aquariums. This? It’s no ordinary aquarium.

3. THE ZOO

Speaking of which, Singapore Zoo is no ordinary zoo, either. This is a zoo whose tropical surroundings are so green and verdant and luscious it’s hard to know whether the monkeys in the trees are captive inhabitants or just, you know, hanging out there. It’s the furthest thing from a concrete-city zoo that you could imagine. You can have breakfast with orangutans.  And… there are WHITE TIGERS, people.

Singapore Zoo is no ordinary zoo. Image supplied.

4. SINGAPORE FLYER

The wheel that dominates Singapore's skyline is the Flyer, and it's enormous. The state-of-the-art pods are spacious and comfy and as you slowly, slowly take the trip all the way to the 165m-peak, Singapore slowly unfolds beneath you. You feel like you're on par with the gleaming skyscrapers that dominate the city as you look out over Marina Bay. And if you're feeling really fancy, you can have dinner in one of these pods, which is a wow-factor experience that would impress even the coolest teen.

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“Who doesn’t love theme parks and aquariums?” Image: supplied.

5. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE

Resorts World Sentosa is the kind of place that every teen wants to tell their friends they went to. Home to the S.E.A Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark, Dolphin Island and yes, Universal Studios. Little kids are too small to take advantage of a lot of the rides here, but they are a bulls eye for the big kids. Split into seven zones, at Universal Studios you can ride through Jurassic World, test your stomach on the incredibly twisty-turny Human vs Cyclone rollercoaster and go through a 3D Transformers ride. Guaranteed to make your teen put their phone away.

6. FOREST ADVENTURE

Get them active, get them outside, and get them pushing themselves out of their comfort zone. If that sounds like the kind of thing you're always nagging your teens to do, this is where you want to head. It's a rope-based obstacle course that sees you attached to a zip-line as you take on various challenges throughout a tree-top obstacle course. There's a kids' course, and there's the Grand Course, which is probably where you want your bigger teens to test themselves. Don't worry, there are harnesses and helmets and a full safety briefing before you fling them up into the trees!

Get lost in the tranquil Gardens by the Bay. Image supplied.

7. CHANGI AIRPORT

In many places, the airport is not worthy of noting in a story about attractions. But Changi is different. As well as the essential free WIFI that any self-respecting teenager demands, there are 24-hour free movie theatres, a giant "social tree" for posting and displaying social media pics of your holiday, a butterfly garden, sunflower garden and, of course all those lovely, lovely shops.

'Mummm, I'm bored' is going to be a thing of the past.

What are some of your favourite things to do in Singapore?

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