Singapore, where you almost never run out of things to do. In fact, its attractions constantly introduce new activities and programmes to keep things exciting and memorable for visitors.
With the upcoming school holidays and many long weekends, what better way to spend a relaxed weekend exploring and learning with your family?
Singapore Tourism Board presents the “Explorer’s Playground”, a showcase of Singapore’s family enrichment offerings catered to families who seek more rewarding holidays with their kids.
Held at The Curve shopping mall in Petaling Jaya from 21st – 25th October 2015, families can experience fun learning experiences put together by some of Singapore’s popular attractions and learn about exciting enrichment previews on offer.
“Families show growing interest in learning vacations and traveling is seen as a means to broaden student knowledge, experiences and nurture global citizens,” says Mr Edward Koh, Singapore Tourism Board’s Executive Director of Southeast Asia.
“Malaysian parents have an overall good impression of the enrichment and learning opportunities that our attractions can deliver on top of the fun factor. We believe that Singapore presents compelling offerings that can meet these expectations, and would like to invite Malaysian parents to enjoy these experiences with their children,” he added.
In the past year, children aged 14 and below represent 8.2% of all visitors from Malaysia. STB’s research has also indicated that Malaysian families with children also stay longer than the average Malaysian traveller in Singapore, indicating the choice of offerings for children, close proximity to home, and the perceived safety of travel as factors influencing their travel decisions.
“Explorer’s Playground” will feature family enrichment programmes by 8 exhibitors, including some of Singapore’s most favorite attractions such as ArtScience Museum, Gardens by the Bay, Resorts World Sentosa, Trick Eye Museum and Sentosa Island, as well as experiential learning centers like Just Education, F1 in Schools and the much-anticipated Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.
1. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (opened to public since 28th April 2015)
From rare dinosaur skeletons to mammals, birds, plants and unique sea creatures, Singapore’s first and only natural history museum is an adventure like none other. Meet their dinosaur fossils – Prince, Apollonia, and Twinky – you can even touch the huge dinosaur femur bone! While on the guided Gallery Tour, explorers can learn more about marine cycles; the plants that thrive in different types of forests and swamps; and other interesting facts like why birds are actually “dinosaurs”. Besides that, you can even learn about classifying animals based on their features using museum specimens in a hands-on Animal Classification Workshop within the museum.
2. Gardens by the Bay Cooled Conservatories
Flower Dome, the cool-dry conservatory, replicates the cool-dry climate of Mediterranean regions like South Africa, California and parts of Spain and Italy. It is home to desert plants and demonstrates how these resilient plants adapt to harsh environments. The Flower Field also changes every few months to reflect different seasons, festivals and themes. Past displays include the popular Tulipmania and the upcoming display will feature the magical Christmas Toyland, where Christmas stories are told through the language of plants.
Cloud Forest, the cool-moist conservatory mimics the tropical highlands and houses a 35-metre tall mountain covered in plants from Tropical Montane regions. It is also home to the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Both Conservatories give you the opportunity to learn more about the beauty of flora from different climates and how to protect them in their education programmes.
3. Resorts World Sentosa S.E.A. Aquarium
Home to more than 100,000 marine animals of various species, the S.E.A. Aquarium has fish from all over the world. Its famed Open Ocean is 36 metres long and 8.3 metres high – a huge tank that spans across the room and makes you feel like you are standing at the bottom of the ocean with various sea life around you. Embark on guided tours to learn more about the diversity of marine life and their various habitats, and how you can play a part in conserving their environment. For a fully immersive experience, try the Ocean Dreams, a one-night sleepover programme that allows you to spend the night with majestic manta rays, goliath groupers and leopard sharks, among others.
4. Just Education
Learning math and science need not be boring or difficult – you just need the right method to deliver the knowledge. The method? Magic. Learn to appreciate the magical world of math and science through hands-on magic tricks and some mind-boggling fun! Various workshops are available for young explorers: Science Magic, MatheMagic, Math and Science Magic, and Magic of Creativity.
5. F1 in Schools
Let your little explorers live out their Formula One dreams. F1 in Schools organises international competitions for children to learn the science and engineering behind F1 cars! Their exclusive F1 in Schools Family Experience gives you a chance to build and race your own miniature racer – creating an exhilarating racing adventure. The workshop includes 3 segments – the Family Identity Challenge, The Aerodynamic Challenge and the Race Challenge. Be the first in Malaysia to experience this unique family challenge!
6. Sentosa – Port of Lost Wonder & Fort Siloso
The Port of Lost Wonder is Sentosa’s first kids club by the beach! With 5 main areas (The Pirate Ship, Hatch Patch, Curiosity Island, Celebration Island and its popular Private Bubble Party, and The Deck) to explore, Port of Lost Wonder is perfect for your little explorers and the entire family. Better yet, adults get to go in for free with a hug from the child. Built in the 19th century, Fort Siloso was first used to protect Singapore’s trading port and later, to defend against the Japanese army during World War II. Now it is a military museum featuring memorabilia of pre-WWII and WWII-era guns, and remains of fortified military structures and tunnels. Experience the Fort, explore preserved underground ammunition stores and WWII-era guns and discover life as a soldier in their 90-minute guided walking tour.
7. Marina Bay Sands ArtScience Museum
Sow the seeds of creativity and love for learning through world-class touring exhibitions on art, science, design, architecture and technology at this impressively designed museum. Here is a tip – every Friday, up to 4 children under 12 enter for free with one adult ticket purchased. Exhibition guided tours, creative workshops and demonstrations are available to further enhance your exploration.
8. National Gallery Singapore (opening 24th November 2015)
The largest visual art institution in Singapore occupies the City Hall and former Supreme Court – 2 important heritage buildings symbolic of Singapore’s nationhood. Expect to view collections of modern and contemporary Southeast Asian artworks. Families can also participate in programmes offered by Keppel Centre for Art Education, a dedicated facility in the Gallery aimed at providing an artistic environment to stimulate young explorers’ imagination. Admission to Keppel Centre for Art Education is free. In addition, from 24th November – 6th December 2015, all visitors will enjoy complimentary entry to National Gallery Singapore.
Children and parents are invited to discover a treasure trove of educational insights as they embark on the Explorer’s Playground activities and will also stand a chance to win attractive prizes.
More pictures from the “Explorer’s Playground” showcase at The Curve in Malaysia are available in the gallery below:
To enable families to better plan their upcoming holidays, STB with its local travel partners will offer unique family enrichment packages with great value during the roadshow. Parents may also customise additional learning programs with these packages at Explorer’s Playground.
For more information on new attractions for families and travel packages, visit STB’s YourSingapore Facebook page.