travel

Blooming gorgeous

What’s new: It’s about time! After five years, Gardens of the Bay will open its Bay South Garden on June 29 with a two-weekend-long series of events. Expect live concerts by Jazon Mraz and Corrinne May, family carnivals, storytelling and kids’ programmes, and a movie under the stars. At 54 hectares, it’s about the size of 90 football fields, so don’t expect to cover everything in a few hours.

Description: Gardens of the Bay

Gardens of the Bay

We like the cooled conservatories, which everyone’s been eyeing when driving along the East Coast Parkway. Flower Dome houses plants that live in the cool-dry climate of the Mediterranean, like olive trees, date palms and baobabs. The other is Cloud Forest, which will be home to plants that are found 1,000m to 3,500m above sea level.

The 18 supertrees are also a must-see/ rising up to 50m, they are vertical gardens showcasing ferns and flowering climbers in the day and an extravaganza of light and media at night. Up to sex dining outlets are expected to be up by the opening date.

Description: Flower Dome houses plants that live in the cool-dry climate of the Mediterranean, like olive trees, date palms and baobabs.

Flower Dome houses plants that live in the cool-dry climate of the Mediterranean, like olive trees, date palms and baobabs.

How much? Entry is free. Fees for the conservatories start from $12 for adults and $8 for kids from three to 12 years old. The aerial walkway costs $5 for adults and $3 for children. You can but an annual family pass for $180. Bay South is open from 5am to 2am daily, while the conservatories and aerial walkway are open from 9am to 9pm. Get there by exiting Bayfront MRT station or taking SBS bus 400. Parking is available. Visit www.gardenbythebay.org.sg.

Ahoythere

What’s new: Set sail for Sentosa’s Palawan Beach, where the Port of Lost Wonder is docked. The size of five Olympic swimming pools, this kid’s club is anchored by a water play area in the shape of a jolly pirate ship.

Description: Set sail for Sentosa’s Palawan Beach, where the Port of Lost Wonder is docked.

Set sail for Sentosa’s Palawan Beach, where the Port of Lost Wonder is docked.

There are programmes organized throughout the day, from interactive bird shows to traditional games like zero point. At Curiosity Garden, you can pick strawberries and plant flowers in the rain. On weekends, public and school holidays, a foam pool ups the fun factor.

Fuel up at Port Belly, which serves pastas and sandwiches, and has a kid’s menu. Tired? Flop down in a day bed under shady trees and take a nap.

We like the chill-out vide when we visited on a weekday. If you don’t like crowds, avoid weekends, bonus points for the warm-water showers and half-doors (so you can keep an eye on your kid while he’s pooping) in the toilets.

Description: Fuel up at Port Belly, which serves pastas and sandwiches, and has a kid’s menu.

Fuel up at Port Belly, which serves pastas and sandwiches, and has a kid’s menu.

How much? Tickets for kids below 12 cost $8 on weekdays and $15 on weekends. They will get 50 and 100 curios, respectively, which they can spend on the programmes and activities there. Everyone above 10 or below three gets in free. You can buy annual membership for 490, which includes unlimited admission and benefits. It also offers birthday party packages form $799++ for 20 children. Take a Blue Line Bus to get there. If you drive, park at the Palawan Beach car park, in the blue zone. Visit www.sentosa.com.sg/palawan.

What a rush

What’s new: It’s only 10am on a Monday in May and there’s already a queue at the Rink, Singapore’s first Olympic-size ice rink. Everyone from preschoolers to men in their 40s is flocking to this cool hang-out at the new Jurong mall, JCube. If you can do inline skating, you can skate here. Otherwise, just hand on to the side railing and wobble around. The mall will bring in Penguin Skating Aids for younger kids soon.

Description: It’s only 10am on a Monday in May and there’s already a queue at the Rink, Singapore’s first Olympic-size ice rink.

It’s only 10am on a Monday in May and there’s already a queue at the Rink, Singapore’s first Olympic-size ice rink.

We like that it feels like you’re on a winter vacation! You can also sign up for the Learn to Skate programme, for ages six and up. It costs $160 for five group lessons.

How much? Rates are $21.50 for adults and $19.50 for kids aged 12 and below. This includes admission for two hours plus and socks. If you have your own equipment, the rate is cheaper. You can enter the level 4 seats for free, but pay $3.50 to go into the Viewing Gallery on the same floor as the drink. Make sure everyone’s dressed warmly and note that the rink operates in two-hour blocks. Visit www.therink.sg.

Cute and colorful

What’s new: Singkids Play System’s fourth outlet at United Square is a wonderland of whimsy: A slide has a “waterfall” flowing beneath it. A carousel has round balls instead of animals for seats. The look is bright and cheerful; the piped-in Japanese pop music adds to the kawaii feel. If you’re in Kuala Lumpur, check out its new outlet at 1 Utama Shopping Canter.

Description: Singkids Play System’s fourth outlet at United Square

Singkids Play System’s fourth outlet at United Square

We like that the staff took our temperature and sanitized our hands before we entered. If your temperature is above 37.5 deg C, you won't be allowed in. Visit at non-peak hours and have the super-fun water bed all to yourselves.

How much? $18 for two hours, Mondays to Thursdays, for a kid under 1.45m and a guardian 18 and up. On Fridays to Sundays, school and public holidays, pay $18 an hour ($10 every subsequent hour). Sign up as a member for $140 and get more benefits. Party packages are from $500 (non-members). www.singkids.com.sg.

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