Sign up to our newsletter

Singapore: Asia’s surprising family destination

With its open zoo, theme parks and adrenalin-pumping activities, South East Asia’s smallest country is an action-filled paradise for all the family.

Words by Triona McBride

Classic cocktails, designer shopping, and rooftop bars amid the glitzy skyline of a garden city where the party never stops. Singapore is a country which offers so much but few think of it as a family destination. In fact, South East Asia’s smallest country is a hidden family paradise.

Singapore’s famous open-concept zoo with its spellbinding night safari is among the city’s more obvious, but still highly recommended, family experiences. If you have time there are even opportunities for kids to experience a day as a zookeeper and get up close with the animals of the world-renowned wildlife park.

Active kids, and adults, will also enjoy playing Tarzan at Singapore’s Treetop Adventure, jumping for the sky at Bounce trampoline park, or taking soft play to the extreme at the 18,000 square foot NERF Action Xperience.

Calmer days in any of the famously green city’s gardens and parks are also on offer when the family seeks to relax in the peace of Singapore’s year-round summer.

Gardens by the Bay are sure to capture the imagination of younger visitors with their breath-taking giant futuristic world, while Jurong Lake Gardens are specially designed for kids to learn as they play with the adventure-filled Forest Ramble and the unique water playground of Clusia Cove.

The real jewel in Singapore’s family crown, however, sits opposite Singapore Cruise Centre in the shape of the incredible man-made island of Sentosa. Stay for a day, a week, or a month, and you will never run out of entertainment in this specially created family paradise.

Two theme parks, Universal Studios and Adventure Cove Waterpark, are the dominant names, each offering full days of fun across dozens of rides and attractions. These are far from being the only family entertainment on this magical island at the edge of the city.

Even listing every attraction is an activity in itself, but a glimpse at some of the highlights reveals the incredible range on offer.

Encounters sea mammals at Dolphin Island; explore the island by cycle or segway from Gogreen; step into an alternate reality at HeadRock VR; hover in the air at iFly indoor skydiving; hang with celebrities at Madame Tussauds; see a mystical light show at Magic Shores; dive under the water at S.E.A. Aquarium; take a futuristic thrill ride at Sentosa 4D Adventureland; race down the hill at Skyline Luge; take a leap of faith at AJ Hackett’s SkyPark; discover the fun of the working world at KidZania.

All that, without taking into account Sentosa’s completely free attractions such as playing parks on the island’s sandy beaches, setting up a family game of beach volleyball, or taking a walk to the southernmost tip of Continental Asia.

Still think Singapore is a playground only for adults? With the attractions of Sentosa Island and other amazing family experiences in and around the famous city, it’s tough to think of a more complete family destination on the Malay Peninsula or across South East Asia. You might need to call in twice just to make a dent in the activities this jam-packed little country has to offer.

Published 05.01.23