25 ways to exhaust your kids in Singapore

25 ways to exhaust your kids in Singapore

25 ways to occupy, entertain, spend time with (or get rid of) your kids
Fresh air and sunshine are guaranteed to tire out your little one.

June. It's the month parents both love and dread.

The little ones aren't in school which means parents have to find new ways to challenge, occupy, distract and exhaust the little tykes.

With three weeks left to the end of the holiday month, here are 25 ways to keep your child busy.

Head outdoors

1. Head down to Palawan Beach for Sandy Good Times. During the school holidays, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., professional sand sculptors will be on hand with their buckets and shovels to teach your kids how to make the sandcastle of their dreams.
Every Friday and Saturday. Sentosa Island, +65 6736 8672; www.sentosa.com.sg

Lace up the running shoes and head out to the Southern Ridges. 2. Exhaust the little tykes with a hike to see city views over Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park and Kent Ridge Park on the Southern Ridges walk. If the nine-kilometer stretch seems ambitious, pick specific parts of the route. Maps with detailed information are available hereMount Faber Park, 1800 471 7300


3. Let the gregarious Ivy Singh-Lim of Bollywood Veggies whip the kids into line. They’ll learn a spot of organic farming at the Kranji farm among the vegetable patches and fruit trees. The on-site Poison Ivy Bistro provides delicious cheap homemade local meals. Drive if possible, as cabs are scarce.
100 Neo Tiew Road, +65 6989 5001; www.bollywoodveggies.com

4. Nurture your kid’s green thumb at the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. This free park allows children to interact with the botanicals so they can learn (smell and touch) all about plants and nature.
1 Cluny Road, +65 6465 0196

5. The Singapore Zoo is always a popular weekend/school holiday favorite. Explore it in a different way this June and hire an Adventure Scooter. For S$9 you can zip past the other bedraggled families and see all nature has to offer from the comfort of your motorised vehicle.
80 Mandai Lake Road, +65 6269 3411; www.zoo.com.sg

6. While the rink is actually made of molecular weight polyethylene, the Marina Bay Sands Skating Rink looks and is supposed to feel like a real ice skating rink, so give it a whiz and your little one could be the next Michelle Kwan.
S$7 (adults), S$6 (kids under 12), S$3 (skate rental per hour.) Redeem your carpark fee when you spend over S$20. Canal Level, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave., +65 6688 8868; www.marinabaysands.com

7. It’s an oldie but a goodie -- hire a bike or strap on some rollerblades at East Coast Parkway. The whole family can have fun and maybe even get in some exercise.
East Coast Park

8. Show your commitment to the Dads For Life movement by organizing a special day just for dad and the kids. They’ll get to bond, while mum will get to have a massage.
Go to www.dadsforlife.sg for more information.

Music, art and culture

It's Hakuna Matata time at "The Lion King."9. All kids will be mesmerized by the stage spectacular “The Lion King.” Disney’s musical about the wildlife of the Serengeti Plains is a delightful and innovative stage production that is enjoyable for adults too.
S$65, kids under three enter free if they sit on your lap. Tickets from www.sistic.com. Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave., +65 6688 8868; www.marinabaysands.com

10. Oooh, this is a goodie, enrol your attention-seeking kid in a five-day course at Centre Stage School of the Arts. They can do a Bollywood Bonanza dance course (ages six to nine, June 20, S$365) or be part of the ballet "Peter and the Wolf" (five to seven years; June 27, S$365). Otherwise, there’s a whole range of music and drama workshops on offer.
Block 15 Woking Road, +65 6732 7211; wwww.centre-stage.com

11. Cultivate your child’s creativity by learning how to make surrealist sculptures out of sticky tape or mimicking the art of Vincent Van Gogh. Free workshops will run throughout June at the ArtScience Museum.
Until the end of October save S$40 on the price for a family package of four (S$80). Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave., +65 6688 8868; www.marinabaysands.com

12. Encourage a craft that doesn’t involve messy paints and lots of turpentine inhalation for parents. Every weekend for the month of June, the Jurong Bird Park will host Save the Colour, an origami extravaganza where kids will learn how to make paper flowers, fish and cranes.
2 Jurong Hill, +65 6265 0022; www.birdpark.com.sg

Let your youngsters explore their creative side at Children’s Season 2011.13. As part of Children’s Season 2011, Singapore Art Museum will run Art Garden, a program to get children interested in contemporary art. Some 30 kids will be exposed to artworks that have been carefully selected for their creativity and ability to trigger interest in a young mind.
Until August. 71 Bras Basah Road, +65 6332 3222; www.singaporeartmuseum.sg

14. The National Heritage Board and Museum Roundtable have organized a series of events under the Children’s Season 2011 (until July 31) at museums all round the country. Programs include the Little Soldiers at Army Museum of Singapore or Face to Face -- Fashion Portraits at the Peranakan Museum.
For more information go to www.museums.com.sg/cs11.

Turn to page 2 for more activities ...

Group activities

Take the kids out for a day of plane watching and bouncy castles. 15. Check out the aircraft at the airport. Watch the Boeings and Airbuses taxi, then let the kids play pilot on the replica control tower, mini planes and bouncy castles at Let’s Play@Changi.
Open daily till June 26, from noon-10 p.m. Check-in Row 11, Terminal 3, Singapore Changi Airport, +65 6307 8555; www.changiairport.com

16. Little girls will be thrilled to meet Dora the Explorer at Dora’s Ballet Adventures. The free show will run Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., with an additional 3 p.m. show on weekends from June 4 - 19. Show passes are only available 45 minutes before and seating is limited.
Forum The Shopping Mall, 583 Orchard Road, +65 6732 2479; www.forumtheshoppingmall.com.sg

17. Open daily till June 26, from noon-10 p.m. Check-in Row 11, Terminal 3, Singapore Changi Airport, +65 6307 8555; www.changiairport.comUniversal Studios Singapore is a no-brainer to occupy those long school holiday hours. Take a boat ride with the cast of "Madagascar" on the Madagascar: A Crate Adventure ride. Learn about silver screen special effects in the Lights, Camera, Action! show. Or spin yourself silly on the Accelerator ride. For June the park remains open 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.
From S$72 (adults), S$52 (kids from 4-12). Resorts World Sentosa, +65 6577 8888;  www.rwsentosa.com

With a bit of training, your little one may be the next Junior Master Chef. 18. Want your child cooking like those Junior MasterChefs? Sign up for a place at Super Chef Cooking Camp by SoEZ Cooking Playground. For five days eight- to 10-year-olds will be lead by Chef Martin Woo through the basics of making pizza, quiches, pastas and sandwiches. By the end of the camp your kids should be able to cook a three-course meal, so you can put your feet up.
Courses begin June 20 for S$398. #B1-02 United Square, 101 Thomson Road, +65 6259 0606; www.soez-cooking.com

19. Sol Playground Café provides a rare family-centric environment. There are indoor and outdoor play areas and a nursing room. Best of all, you can enrol the little ones in one of the many school holiday workshops (such as Chicken Meatball Pizza Making Workshop on June 9 and 17) to buy you a little peace and quiet.
#01-21 Turf City, 200 Turf Club Road, +65 6467 8681; www.solplaygroundcafe.com

Stay at home fun

20. To keep restless kids entertained at home, Disney website FamilyFun has lots of inspiring ideas for cheap crafts (how to make a bug hotel), indoor (how to play Magician’s Eye Spy) and outdoor games (the rules for a Soggy Jog Relay) and easy kid-friendly recipes. They cater for toddlers through to tweens.
Go to www.familyfun.go.com for more information

21. For a slothful (or rainy) day for parents and kids, buy some Garrett Popcorn and sit down for a cartoon marathon. Catch the premiere of “Phineas & Ferb Roller Coaster The Musical” (June 10, 6 p.m.) or “Mulan 2” on June 23 at 10 a.m. (Disney Channel). Parents, invest in a set of earplugs and a glass of wine and your day will be even more relaxing.
Go to www.starhub.com/tv for more information

Educational and enrichment

All eyes on the giant bug. 22. The free Science in the Mall X-ploring Robot Zoo exhibition is a delightful display of giant robotic animals. Built using various junk materials, all ages will enjoy manipulating the huge and life-like models.
Until June 12. Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road, +65 6332 9298; www.plazasingapura.com.sg

23. Enrol the kids in one of the many enrichment programs round town. They will learn something and it will keep them off your hands for a few hours. Amusant in Learning is a holiday program run for kids ages four to six. Run by Soma School, LEAP SchoolHouse and Magic Fiddlers, the program includes Chinese speech and drama, English immersion and learning about shapes and numbers. S$490 is a small price to pay to keep your beloved offspring occupied from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. for five whole days.
City Square Mall, 180 Kitchener Road, +65 6634 0828; www.citysquaremall.com.sg

Away from Singapore

Let the Club Med GOs take over while you get some quality adult time. 24. Yes, Bintan Club Med has a golf course and a beach, but what’s really important for harassed parents is the kids' club. You can check the kids into Mini Club Med (ages four-11) or Juniors’ Club Med (ages 11-18) at no extra cost. The Petit Club Med for ages two to four is also available at an additional cost. But who cares, you need to relax and get some adults-only time. Superior and Deluxe room types also have the option of a connecting room so you can keep the kids close.
For bookings go to www.clubmed.com

25. Take your kids on a kitschy tour through the history of rock ’n’ roll by booking a night at Hard Rock Hotel Sentosa. There you’ll find Elton John’s “Amadeus” costume worn on his Australian tour in 1986 and a script for 1967 movie Speedway signed by Elvis Presley. This is a fun and funny way for parents to reminisce about their youth and kids to learn about a time when music was actually played with instruments.
8 Sentosa Gateway, +65 6577 8899; www.rwsentosa.com

Aimee Chan is an Australian editor and writer based in Singapore. She enjoys travel, food, books and good company, not necessarily in that order.

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