Fun for the kids? Check. Retail therapy? Check. Exciting experiences? Check. Explore fun family places from Dempsey to Dhoby Ghaut!

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Somehow, Orchard Road isn’t the first destination that springs to mind when you’re planning a fun day out for the kids. After all, isn’t it just mall after mall filled with “atas” restaurants?


But take a second look and you’ll find lots of hidden places that’ll give you and the fam an unforgettable time — without breaking the bank.


What’s more, since these are right in the heart of Singapore, most of the locations are easily accessible by public transport if you decide to leave your family car at home.


You can explore a children’s themed garden, play with sand in an air-conditioned area, and even team up to defeat opponents in a game of digital dodgeball. We’ve surveyed this locale for the best places where you’ll have a blast with the family.


Scroll through our photo gallery to find more…

#1 Sandy Dandy

WHERE: #02-33 Forum The Shopping Mall, 583 Orchard Road
TIME: 10am to 6.30pm daily.
PRICE: $20 per infant from 6 months to age 2, $25 per child from ages 3 to 14, for unlimited playtime on weekdays. Same prices apply on weekends, but play is limited to two hours.
WHAT: You no longer have to trot to East Coast Park in order for your brood to build their own sandcastles. Sandy Dandy is an indoor sand playground that’s air-conditioned that lets  your kiddos play safely in cool comfort. The playground also has a dedicated play area for babies and toddlers filled with toys like a kitchen set, a miniature see-saw, as well as wooden blocks and puzzles. The main sand pit is filled with two different kinds of sand — kinetic and natural sand — along with toys such as forklifts and sand buckets, so you won’t need to bring your own. Junior will put on a jumpsuit before stepping into the sandpit, so clean-up is fuss-free when playtime’s over. (Photo: Facebook/SandyDandySG)

#2 MindChamps Child Minding Services

WHERE: #06-19 Paragon Shopping Centre, 290 Orchard Road
TIME: Only available on Saturday from 11am to 5pm.
PRICE: $18 for an hour, $27 for 1½ hours and $36 for two hours.
WHAT: Sometimes, all you want to do on the weekends is to leave your kids in the capable hands of a nanny or childminder, so that you can indulge in some well-deserved me-time. MindChamps Preschool in Paragon offers a weekend childminding service with a twist — your child will be engaged in some fun activities while you shop. Neuro-Mooves Gym is the centre’s special programme packed with physical challenges to boost your little one’s motor skills, balance and coordination, while enhancing their brain development. There’s also a Junior Chef activity, in which your pint-sized MasterChef acquires social skills while working with other children to whip up scrumptious dishes. The service is only open to children from ages 2 to 7. Children below 3 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. (Photo: Facebook/MindChamps Singapore)

#3 Little Planet Playland

WHERE: #02-21 The Centrepoint, 176 Orchard Road
TIME: 10am to 7pm on Sunday to Friday; 10am to 8pm on Saturday and public holidays.
PRICE: $25 per child for unlimited play, free entry for children below age 1, with each paying child on weekdays; $25 per child for two hours of play time, free entry for children below age 1 with each paying child on weekends and public holidays. Socks must be worn at all times within the play area.
WHAT: Your mini-me will work on a farm, shop in a supermarket, and even find their princess or Prince Charming in this miniature world of pretend play. Each themed station in Little Planet Playland boasts props, costumes and toys, so that your munchkin interacts with a replica of a grown-up’s world. When your child tries purposeful roleplay situations, they will develop their social skills and imagination even as they gain hands-on learning experiences. Besides pretend play, your peewee can also flex their creativity at the art-and-craft area and create their own unique pieces. Open only to children aged 12 and below. (Photo: Little Planet Playland)

#4 Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden

WHERE: Bukit Timah Core, Singapore Botanic Gardens, 481 Bukit Timah Road
TIME: 8am to 7pm from Tuesday to Sunday including public holidays. Closed on Monday, except public holidays.
PRICE: Free. Children below age 12 have to be accompanied by an adult. Adults can only enter if they are accompanying a child. Otherwise, please consult the Service Desk.
WHAT: Visit this themed garden with your little ones to inculcate a love of nature in your kids. Here, your children will have the space to explore, play and embark on adventures, such as exploring a suspension bridge. Your mini-me would love to check out the ginormous tree house ― they’ll scale stairs, ladders and bridges before zipping down the tunnel slide. There’s even a maze to enhance your child’s navigational skills! The garden is for children aged 14 and below. (Photo: NParks)

#5 Papa Poika Barbershop

WHERE: #05-30A Paragon, 290 Orchard Road
TIME: 11am to 8.30pm daily.
PRICE: From $47.10 for a haircut for fathers and $30 per child.
WHAT: Turn your kid’s first haircut into a memorable father-and-son bonding experience at this barbershop. With “walls” built with Lego pieces, the carpeted play area features various toys and storybooks to keep your mini-me occupied. Besides taming your mane, the professional barbers also offer shaving and beard-trimming services ($47.10). You can also treat yourself to a head, shoulder or face massage ($31 each) or get your ears cleaned ($24.60)! (Photo: Facebook/Papa Poika Barber Shop)

#6 BabySPA

WHERE: #03-30 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road
TIME: 11:30am to 7pm daily.
PRICE: $49 per water training session (20 minutes for the first session).
WHAT: You newborn will have a splashing good time being submerged from the shoulders in temperature-controlled water. Since bubba “swam” in amniotic fluid while they were in the womb, these tubs of lukewarm water will recreate the same soothing sensations they have experienced before. Your kewpie gets a neck float to keep their heads above water. Suitable for babies between 1 month and age 2. Baby massages and haircut services are also available here. (Photo: Facebook/BabySPA)


#7 Istana Heritage Gallery

WHERE: Istana Park, 35 Orchard Road, opposite the Istana gates.
TIME: 10am to 6pm daily. Closed on Wednesday.
PRICE: Free.
WHAT: Take in the Istana’s rich history when you visit this Heritage Gallery. On display are state artefacts, works of art and gifts received from foreign dignitaries by Singapore’s past and present Presidents and Prime Ministers. After the visit, junior will better appreciate the President’s role in our government, as well as their role in nation building. (Photo: Facebook/Grace Fu)

#8 Trapped Escape Room

WHERE: #02-20 *SCAPE, 2 Orchard Link
TIME: 11am to 11pm on Monday to Thursday, 11am to 2am on Friday to Sunday.
PRICE: $24 per person during peak hours on weekdays from 6pm, weekend and public holidays; $22 per person during off peak hours on weekdays before 6pm. $18 per student aged 21 and below. All rooms require a group of at least three participants with a maximum limit of 10 players at a time.
WHAT: Choose from three themed “escape rooms”, each with its own challenges that’ll test you and your kiddo’s ability to work together as a team. In The Purge: Real Escape Room, you’ll try to escape the evil clutches of a group of demented killers — called “purgers”. With 60 minutes to spare, you’ll need to work through the series of puzzles and obstacles and free yourselves in the shortest possible time. (Photo: Facebook/Trapped.SG)

#9 Bounce Inc

WHERE: #09-01 Cathay Cineleisure, 8 Grange Road
TIME: 10am to 10pm from Monday to Thursday; 10am to 11pm on Friday; 9am to 11pm on Saturday and 9am to 10pm on Sunday.
PRICE: $25 per person for first hour; $20 per person for every additional hour applies for jumpers over 110cm in height. $17 per person for first hour, $12 for each additional hour for kids aged 3 and above and under 110cm in height. Jumpers must bring their own socks or buy a pair for $3 to enter the park.
WHAT: Your adrenaline-junkie tween will release all their pent-up energy here for sure. The Free Jumping Arena in this indoor trampoline park includes 28 interconnected trampolines that lets your kiddo leap from trampoline to trampoline. Walls and pathways are cushioned to protect your child from injury when they have a spill. The X-park Adventure Challenge Course, designed in collaboration with the world’s best bouldering and parkour experts and boasting 14 different elements such as a zip-line, a warped wall and a bouldering wall, your offspring will have a full-body workout here, as it replicates TV’s popular Ninja Warrior gameshow. (Photo: Facebook/BounceSG)

#10 HADO Asia

WHERE: #02-15 *SCAPE, 2 Orchard Link.
TIME: 12pm to 9pm daily.
PRICE: Digital dodgeball costs $12 per player, $11 per student; $15 per player on weekends and $14 per student. Monster Battle costs $6 per player and $5 per student.
WHAT: Come and experience how Augmented Reality (AR) games are changing the way your tween will be playing video games in the near future. Split into teams of two or three and challenge each other to a round of digital dodgeball. In this game, your physical agility and hand-eye-coordination will be tested as you move to avoid being hit by powerful “energy balls” that you’ll only see from your AR headset. In another game, Monster Battle, players earn points by running to dodge mysterious powerful monsters. (Photo: Facebook/HADO Singapore)

#11 PlayNation

WHERE: #03-02 *SCAPE, 2 Orchard Link.
TIME: Noon to 11pm from Monday to Thursday, noon to 3am on Friday and Saturday and 2pm to 11pm on Sunday.
PRICE: Hourly board game packages cost $6.50++ per person with free-flow drinks on Monday to Thursday; $7.90++ per person with free-flow drinks and snacks from Friday to Sunday. Hourly console game packages cost $7.90++ with free-flow drinks from Monday to Thursday; $9.50++ per person with free-flow drinks and snacks on Fridays and weekends.
WHAT: Pick from a wide collection of board or digital console games at this cosy café, which also serves simple Western fare like fish and chips. The extensive board game selection includes classics like Monopoly or Risk. Otherwise, pit your skills against your young ’un in the latest Xbox One games. (Photo: PlayNation)

#12 Go-Go Bambini

WHERE: #01-15 Dempsey Hill, Block 8, Dempsey Road
TIME: 9am to 7pm daily.
PRICE: Unlimited play from Monday to Thursday, except public holidays: Free entry for babies below 6 months; $15 per toddler (aged 6 to 23 months); $28 per child (aged 2 to 12). Play is limited to two hours from Friday to Sunday, including public holidays.
WHAT: The indoor playground engages older kids with Singapore’s tallest indoor slide, a flying fox, plus, a network of tunnels. Mini-explorers below age 3 can head for the designated play area, which is set apart from the older kids’ main play area and includes a dedicated ball pit with soft cushioned walls. Here, your mini-me will play with age-appropriate toys that will boost their sensory development. (Photo: Facebook/Go-Go Bambini)

#13 Open Farm Community

WHERE: 130E Minden Road
TIME: Lunch service is from noon to 4pm and dinner from 6pm to 11pm on Mondays to Thursdays. Noon to 4pm and 6pm to midnight on Fridays. 11am to 5pm and 6pm to midnight on Saturdays and Public Holidays. 11am to 5pm and 6pm to 11pm on Sundays.
WHAT: Farming isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Singapore, but this dining destination aims to change that perception. If your young ’un has never set foot on a farm, visit this eatery and cross it off their bucket list. They can touch and smell the herbs when they walk around the garden. The younger ones will make a beeline for the playground, which has a giant cow slide. Once you’ve all worked up an appetite, tuck into the scrumptious local dishes prepared with freshly harvested — and some locally sourced — ingredients. (Photo: Facebook/Open Farm Community)

#14 Manekineko Karaoke Outlet

WHERE: #03-05 *SCAPE, 2 Orchard Link.
TIME: 11am to 3am daily.
PRICE: For two-hourlong sessions between 11am and 6pm: $10 per student or senior citizen with free-flow drinks (non-alcoholic) on weekdays, $12 on the weekends; $12 per adult or child on weekdays, $15 on the weekends. For two-hourlong sessions between 6pm and 3am: $15 per adult or child on Monday to Thursday, $26 on Friday and Saturday and $15 on Sunday.
WHAT: Let your kiddos channel their inner-Ariana Grande or mini-Nathan Hartono in these brightly-lit karaoke rooms featuring comfy and trendy interiors. Sing to your heart’s delight, then post your best performance on Instagram! All these rooms provide free Wi-Fi and charging points, so you won’t have to worry that junior will bust their data plans. Refuel during your breaks at the self-service bar with the unlimited drinks and crackers. (Photo: Facebook/Karaoke Manekineko Singapore)