Kid-friendly places in Singapore that'll make you believe you're overseas

PHOTO: Instagram/kahfa_7

The March school holidays are just around the corner, and with the coronavirus not tapering off any soon, overseas plans with the family may have to be put on hold.

If you're at your wits' end on what to do with the kiddos, we've compiled a list of kid-friendly places in Singapore to check out, and hopefully, it'll take away the gloom and doom.

These places are also curated in reference to popular vacay destinations, so you can recreate your holiday in the comfort of our own country. 

ST JOHN'S ISLAND

If you're putting travelling plans Down Under on hold, think of St John's Island as the Rottnest Island of Singapore.

Rottnest Island is a nature reserve in Perth, Western Australia, home to the quokka, the world's happiest animal. 

St John's Island may not be able to claim the smiley critters as residents, what our very own idyllic island has, is a family of cats.

While there used to be hundreds of them residing on the island, the number has since dwindled to 16 due to the SPCA’s Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage programme, as well as a cat-napping incident that involved 18 missing felines. 

What I love most about the island are the unspoilt beaches and white sand that's not crowded with beach-goers. Kiddos can get to run free along the shore and explore the rest of the island by foot.

You'll want to bring food along with you as there are no shops or eateries on the island. 

LEE KONG CHIAN NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is much smaller in scale as compared to the Natural History Museum in London, but it is just as impressive, nonetheless. 

Located within the National University of Singapore, the museum boasts three diplodocid sauropod dinosaur fossils that are 80 per cent complete, and over 2,000 natural history specimens on display.

Some of the exhibits are interactive, not only are they entertaining but it's a place where the little ones will be enriched with knowledge beyond the textbooks.  

Where: 2 Conservatory Dr, Singapore 117377

SUNDIAL GARDEN

Would you believe me if I told you this perfectly symmetrical garden can be found at the Singapore Botanic Gardens?

It looks right out of a courtyard in Italy, and makes an Instagram-worthy spot for the kids (and their parents) to go crazy with their snaps.

Once you're done exploring the Sundial Garden, you can take a stroll around the rest of Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Since it's best to avoid crowded places due to the coronavirus outbreak, the great outdoors is just the place to be now, plus you get to enjoy a good dose of vitamin D.

Where: 4 Cluny Rd Singapore 259572 Cluny Rd, Singapore 259572

SEMBAWANG HOT SPRING PARK

If you're dreaming of a holiday to Taiwan or Japan to soak in the hot springs, why not take a trip down to Sembawang Hot Spring Park, which was newly reopened early this year.

Be there earlier and you may just get the cascading pool all to yourself for a delightful foot soaking sesh before the crowd arrives. You can also cook eggs using the fresh spring water in the tubs provided.

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Where: Gambas ave

BUKIT TIMAH SADDLE CLUB

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Woody & Immie having a Meet-and-Greet!

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Step out into Singapore's countryside at the quaint Bukit Timah Saddle Club, where you can pretend you're in the countryside of a European country.

Let the kids learn how to ride a horse and get on the off-road track trail to see a different sight of Singapore's Greenland.

Where: 51 Fairways Dr, Singapore 286965

FORT CANNING PARK

Dreaming of a holiday in Bali?

Doesn't the Pancur Larangan, aka Forbidden Spring, in Fort Canning Park remind you of the Tirta Empul Temple near Ubud which is famed for its holy spring water?

The only difference is that you can't step into the recreated 14th-century Javanese-inspired bath for a cleansing ritual. 

Complete the Balinese vibes at the Sang Nila Utama Garden, which resembles the Bali gates of heaven.

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🌳Современный парк Форт Каннинг предлагает своим посетителям большой выбор развлечений — исторической, образовательной, натуралистической и культурной направленности. Уникальное сочетание исторических реликвий и пышной растительности делает парк популярным центром разнообразного художественного творчества 🌿 Сегодня парк Форт Каннинг часто используется для проведения различных городских торжеств, карнавалов, праздников и фестивалей. Сюда также приходят, чтобы прикоснуться к историческому наследию, насладиться природой, сделать фотосессию и просто хорошо провести время всей семьей или дружеской компанией. А многие сингапурцы играют в этом парке свои свадьбы 🌱 Достопримечательности парка включают в себя самые разные объекты. Сад специй — копия первого ботанического сада сэра Стэмфорда Раффлза, где он выращивал семена гвоздики и мускатного ореха. Массивные готические ворота ведут на старое христианское кладбище Fort Canning Green. Крепостные ворота (Fort Gate) — это остатки крепости, построенной англичанами в XIX веке. #singapore#study#education#work#job#internship

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Check out the Jubilee Park too, where there are swings, slide and play structures for kids to burn away their energy.

Where: River Valley Rd, Singapore 179037 

GARDENS BY THE BAY

If you're one of those who've had to cancel their trip to Japan this cherry blossom season due to the coronavirus, don't fret, you may still be able to catch the sakura right here in Singapore!

The Sakura Matsuri event is back again and the Flower Dome will be filled with 20 varieties of cherry and peach blossoms, complete with Tori gates.

Gardens by the Bay is giving away free tickets to its Sakura Matsuri event in the Flower Dome, in addition to staycation packages at Pan Pacific hotel for those who had their trips disrupted between March 1 and May 31. To win, you'd have to give them a reason why the trip meant so much to you, and submit proof of your flight or trip cancellation. Contest ends March 15.

Where: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953

ION SKY 

Taipei has Taipei 101, South Korea has the Lotte Tower, Shanghai has the Pearl Tower, and London has The Shard. Back home, we have the Ion Sky if you're looking for a place to have a 360-degree view of the city from above. 

Located on level 56 of ION Orchard, the observation deck will have informative multimedia shows and animation that will entertain the kids. 

You'll have to spend $20 per person at the mall to enter the observation deck. 

Where: 2 Orchard Turn, Level 56, Singapore 238801

SNOW CITY SINGAPORE

Make your kids' winter holiday a dream come true without having to travel out of the country at Snow City Singapore.

The latest attraction includes the Drift on Ice with real snowfall experience, a 60-metre-long slope, bumper car rides on ice, and snow sculptures. 

Where: 21 Jurong Town Hall Rd, Singapore 609433

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melissagoh@asiaone.com