An education is rarely gained solely inside the four walls of a classroom. Extending your classroom to include the wonders of the outside world promises a learning experience that broadens your child’s horizons, and awakens their passions at the same time.
Notably, Singapore faces no shortage of fascinating places to take your kids. Whether they’re in their infancy, learning their times-tables or on the eve of their final exams, they are bound to find a place of interest that tickles their fancy. So, without further ado, let’s explore the numerous places available for some enriching trips.
Beginning with “Arts and Culture”, I have listed the best places beneath the themes or subjects they best serve.
Everything “Arts and Culture”
The largest and most stately museum of the city, the National Gallery exhibits a wide array of stunning artwork, historical artefacts, intricate sculptures. Hosting over 9000 assets, the gallery displays every flavour of Southeast Asian art and culture.
Whether you’re into vintage Vietnamese, modernist Malaysian or a dose of 19th century Chinese, this place has it all. Art has its way of telling stories, stories from the past, stories from the heart and stories of the unheard. A little dabble into its artistic charms is sure to widen your and your child’s perspective.
To maximise the learning experience, you can also join one of the guides tours, interactive workshops or the occasional outdoor movie screenings!
Simply said, the Haw Par Villa looks like a magical and mystical realm from the valleys of ancient China. 8.5 hectares large, and as old as 1937, the gardens at Haw Park are filled with ancient Chinese history, heritage and folklore. In fact, some of its artefacts even border on the “surreal” and “strange”, arousing the fascination of many visitors and tourists.
A visit to Haw Park is bound to stretch the frontiers of your child’s imagination, so don’t forget this one in your itinerary!
Science and Technology
If art, history or foodie delights fail to inspire you or your children, then your mind may find a home in the Science Centre’s chic exhibits. Singapore’s Science Centre has tonnes of interesting things to offer, including exhibitions on where “phobias come from” to close-up shows of a butterfly’s birth. If anyone is craving a sneaky adventure, you can walk through its “maze of infinite reflections and endless hallways” and see how quickly you make it out.
But to make a long story short, the Science Museum has far too much to see that can ever be put in a single paragraph. Need I say more?
If your child has shown an interest in news and media, then a visit to a radio station is a good place to start their voyage of discovery! Radio plays an important part in our lives, keeping us informed of fast-changing events across the world, and hosting many entertaining shows and talks. You will be toured around the studio, its many rooms, and shown all the flashy equipment that goes into radio production.
If you wish, your child can also go “live” on radio and enjoy their small moment of fame. Many radio hosts of the future shall arise from such visits, which could include your kids, too!
For the bookworms out there, the Singapore Tampines Regional Library will never fail to impress. Hosting over 400,000 books, a culinary studio, and even a running track, this library is truly the deluxe package for book-lovers! It’s also the most technologically-advanced library in town, with its PIXEL labs and instant book dispensers. And, if reading isn’t exciting enough, you can always visit the play area or the PIXEL hub, where you can see real 3D printers in action.
All in all, a highly recommended destination for an educational trip.
Despite Singapore’s size, the Singaporean military boasts one of the most technologically advanced and sophisticated air forces in the whole region. Visit the Air Force museum to teach your children how Singapore’s Air Force scares off its enemies.
Take a seat in the fighter jets and helicopters, or take a little walk around the missile gallery and explore the hidden power of these jaw-dropping weapons. To make things a little more interesting, the tour guides are led by a platoon of retired air force officers, who’ll have no shortage of exciting stories to share on their countless adventures in the sky.
For the aspiring meteorologists out there, give the Ion Sky Park a go! Located on the 55th floor of the Orchard Ion, it offers stunning views of Singapore’s skyline. What’s more, it houses a multimedia exhibition where you can learn more about the skies that blanket Singapore, as well the history of Singapore as a bustling city-state.
This makes the Ion Sky Park a place where your child can build both their scientific knowledge as well as their historical awareness, all in a single trip!
Jewels of Nature
Singapore Zoo is brimming with a diverse range of animals from faraway lands. The scary, the cute, the gory and the fluffy, Singapore Zoo has it all. Whether it’s a giant tortoise or a multi-coloured chameleon, this place is bound to show you a species you may never have imagined. What’s more, the Zoo runs multiple activities like its “sea-lion” safari shows, animal feeding sessions and numerous scavenger hunts.
And, truly, who thinks wildlife doesn’t have a space in an educational syllabus?
Okay, you or your children may have visited this place numerous times. But even so, this place remains a hotbed of learning and discovery. After all, it’s a huge botanical garden, featuring a wide array of plants, trees, cacti, artful sculptures and even a waterfall! Dig deeper into its many botanical wonders and uncover what makes our natural world so special. If you or your child takes particular interest in botany and biodiversity, then the Gardens by the Bay is a must-see.
Pearls from History
Kranji’s War Memorial is where all the lost heroes of World War Two rest. This memorial commemorates those who died and gave up their lives to protect Singapore’s freedom. There, you’ll learn more about the people that fought for Singapore and the British Empire.
Not only will your kids learn more about the horrors of the second world war, but they’ll come out with a freshened dose of courage and bravery, having been soaked by the heroic tales of those that lay there.
Are stamps just sticky pieces of paper? This museum begs to differ.
Filled with stamps from all over the world across different eras in history, you and your child will discover what makes the humble sticky-stamp so valuable. In fact, you can also learn how they are made, about the people sketched on them, and what tales of history each stamp hides. Anything little or seemingly unimportant, always has a hidden story. The Philatelic Museum is a great place to learn this, with the help of the humble little stamp!
Architectural Sights to Savour
The Marina Barrage is not only a “dam”, but a breath-taking piece of civil engineering. It falls at the confluence of five rivers and harnesses the energy of water to power the communities of Singapore. The dam acts as a means of flood-control, fresh water supply, and most importantly, an enlightening learning environment.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a place to learn and enjoy! In fact, the Marina Barrage is the perfect location to have a splash-filled adventure, to build one’s confidence in water sports, or simply learn what makes this dam so effective! You can drop into its educational centre to learn more about the dam and its contribution to the environment’s health. There, you’ll find a wide array of educational resources, multi-media displays, and some engaging games.
Once you’re done, finish the experience with a captivating view of the reservoir, and head to the green rooftop built entirely with renewable materials!
Building on the theme of the Marina Barrage, Newater is a water-recycling plant that purifies our water supply and transforms raw-sewage into clean-drinking water for everyone. Interestingly, it provides the nation with water that’s cleaner than even ordinary tap-water. What’s more, this plant alone fulfils 40% of Singapore’s water needs, making it a vital element in keeping Singapore hydrated!
If you’d like to discover the magical formula driving this water-recycling plant, then join one of its guided tours to gain a deeper glimpse into its nuts and bolts. Once the tour is complete, you can visit the shop and purchase a water bottle filled with water directly sourced from the reservoir, and taste the freshness for yourself!
Ahh yes, that all-too-familiar yogurt drink that everyone loves. But you need not experience the magic of Yakult from the tongue alone! In its factory, you can discover the history of the company, the recipe behind the potent drink, as well as the many benefits it promises for your health. Have a little stroll through all the labs and rooms of the factory, and learn the step-by-step process of making the yogurt drink, from its early inception to its bottling process before it meets the buyer’s lips.
Before you visit, however, know that you need a pre-booked place to access the factory and enjoy the tour.
Pizza-lovers, you’re in for a treat! In other words, everyone is for a treat with a visit to Pizza Hut’s aromatic kitchens. A tour around Pizza Hut’s kitchens will not only show you how the pizzas come into existence, from the gooey clumps of dough to the cheese-smothered slices of a finished pizza. You will discover how the hard-working chefs dish out thousands of different pizzas per every day, and you’ll come out at the end never wanting to lose your temper with a chef ever again!
Just don’t forget to fill your bellies after you’ve feasted your eyes!
There, the 15 best places to take your kids for a fun, adventurous and educational trip! With all the variety of places on offer, your child’s education shall never turn dull or boring.
So, on that note, roll up your sleeves, grab the notebooks and cameras, and get your kids out there!