50 fantastically fun year-end things to do

Ban boredom with our wide-ranging list of 50 things to do with your kiddos this school holidays!

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Is “Mum, I’m bored!” a constant refrain you hear from junior come school break? Well, the school holidays are upon us once again and while the kids love it, parents are often left scratching their heads, thinking of how to entertain the wee ones.

From sports classes, to fun Christmas experiences, we’ve rounded up 50something exciting things to do as a family this November and December, so you’ll surely make the holidays count!

1. Christmas Wonderland From 2 December 2016 to 1 Jan 2017, junior can visit an Ice Palace, Santa’s Cottage, a European style Festive Market at this festive spectacle at Gardens by the Bay. Plus, he’ll participate in lots of carnival games and rides. Tickets start at $4 per person.

2. Zoo-rassic Park A T-Rex fan? Your little dino-mite will be thrilled by this special dinosaur encounter at the Singapore Zoo and River Safari. Showcasing 16 lifelike animatronic displays of dinosaurs at the Zoo’s Dinosaur Valley, the event also features dinosaur related activities, face-painting and crafts for the little ones. Singapore Zoo and River Safari dual park combo tickets are going $39 per adult and $25 per child (3-12 years old). Zoo-rassic Park is on from 26 November 2016 to 18 December 2016

3. Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden This nature haven is one of the best places to let the little ones explore the outdoors. After looking for the well-known “hollow tree”, they can swipe and sniff the mint leaves in the herb garden. Besides a water-play area and a huge sand pit, junior would love to spend some time at the huge tree house, a centrepiece of the garden with red tunnel slides he’d love zooming down on. Admission is free.

4. Fire Station Open House Every Saturday morning, all fire stations in Singapore (except Jurong Island Fire Station) conduct an Open House for members of the public. From 9am to 11am, your munchkin will watch firemen jump into their fire-protective suits, learn about the different parts of the fire engine and even sit at the wheel of the “Red Rhinos”. Admission is free.

5. Future World This is one cool permanent exhibition to check out at the ArtScience Museum. Among other digital installations at this kid-friendly exhibit, your sweetie can watch his adorable drawings come to life on the big screen, plus enter an awesome “crystal universe” illuminated by 170,000 LED lights that change colour. A family package costs $35 for two adults and two kids.

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6. Water Play at Compass One and Waterway Point Families living in the Northeast can now avail themselves of fab play areas in neighbouring malls. The Ninja Trail at the newly renovated Compass One boasts both a dry play area and a mini-water obstacle course. Or hop over to Waterway Point’s Happy Park, an outdoor play area featuring both wet and dry action.

7. Collecting Magic: From Stamps to Wands Calling all Harry Potter fans, don’t miss this exhibition at the Singapore Philatelic Museum that features first licensed Harry Potter stamps, prop replicas, movie posters and limited-edition books. The exhibition is on till 30 June 2017, admission is free for Singapore citizens.

8. Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N Exhibition Fans of the movie will love getting a first-hand look at intelligence files, classified studies and experiments that explore the origins of Marvel superheroes like Captain America, Hulk and Iron Man. You’ll also test your flight skills at the Iron Man Flight Simulator, even as you compare your reflexes with Captain America’s. Tickets cost $25 for adults, and $18 for kids (Singapore citizens and PRs).

9. Mint Museum of Toy’s Make + Play If your peewee loves anything from outer space, these workshops will be perfect for him. From creating a vintage paper robot, to discovering more about vintage space toys, he’ll be thrilled with the hands-on activities and nuggets of info these activities will offer. Priced from $22.50 per child per workshop.

10. Lego Ninjago: The Ride A quick trip across the Second Link and your brood will enjoy a day of fun at Legoland Malaysia. The latest attraction is Lego Ninjago: The Ride, which lets you use cutting-edge hand gesture technology to control fire, earth, lightning and ice elements in a 3½-minute 4D experience. Park tickets cost RM144 ($46.40) for adults and RM116 for kids.

11. Bounce Singapore Fly through the air and bounce off the walls at this huge trampoline arena at Cineleisure Orchard where the little ones can explore a junior jumper area. Do a slam dunk at the full-height rings, launch yourself into a big air bag, or race through the adventure challenge course. Priced from $17 to $24 for the first hour, and $12 to $19 for subsequent hours.

12. Jurong Bird Park Listen to the cries of the macaw, and watch the White-tailed Sea Eagle soar through the sky at Asia’s largest bird park. Your little ones will love hearing their feathered friends chirp up close, and feed the gregarious birds at the Lory Loft. Marvel at the 30m high waterfall at the Waterfall Aviary, and make sure to end your day at the impressive Birds of Play water-play area!

13. All-Star Nick Jr Christmas Your sweetie will be thrilled to catch her favourite Nick Jr characters like Dora, Paw Patrol’s Chase and Marshall, and the Bubble Guppies’ Gil and Molly deliver a present to Santa in the North Pole. At City Square Mall from now till 1 Jan 2017. Redeem meet-and-greet passes with a minimum $50 spend.

14. Playeum’s A World Full of Stories This interactive exhibition at Playeum, Children’s Centre for Creativity, allows the kiddos (aged 1 to 12) to create their own stories through hands-on activities like crafting their own sea creatures and making finger puppets. They can also dress up as fantasy characters and doodle ideas on a chalk wall. Tickets priced at $22 per child.

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15. Pokemon Research Exhibition From now till 2 January 2017, test your Pokemon knowledge and discover which pokemon your pokeball holds at the interactive stations. Junior will also get to meet his favourite pokemon Pikachu, at various times during the day. A combined ticket to the SEA Aquarium and Pokemon Research Exhibition costs $35 for adults and $23 for kids.

16. Twilight Encounters If your kewpie has never been to the Night Safari, there’s no better time to take him! Every Friday and Saturday night from now till 10 December, you’ll be able to catch Chawang the Asian Elephant in action, showcasing his skills. The trails will be lit with fairy lights, plus, don’t miss the energy-charged light show. Tickets are priced at $45 for adults and $30 for kids.

17. Christmas Fun with Hi-5 Sing, dance and laugh with Hi-5 at Frasers Centrepoint Malls, including Causeway Point and Changi City Point, from 17 to 27 November. Dayen, Tanika, Mary, Lachie and Chris will present a vibrant mix of stories of imagination and adventure in the season’s exclusive “Christmas Fun with Hi-5” show. Showtimes are on the website. Admission is free.

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18. ActiveSG Sports Holiday Programmes 2016 Junior would love to try out a wide variety of sports including badminton, archery and futsal, at various sports halls and stadiums around thesisland this holiday. Plus, sign up for your free ActiveSG membership and get $100 credits to offset your course fees (up to 30 per cent of the programme price).

19. KidsStop holiday programmes Got a little scientist on your hands? He’ll love the various offerings at KidsStop at Science Centre Singapore this year-end break. Choose the Cool Chemistry programme, or the Spring Fling, where he’ll tinker with springs and rubber bands. Prices start at $40/child.

20. Tayo & Friends Live Show and Meet & Greet Your vehicle-obsessed tot will have a fantastic time catching Tayo the little bus at a live show at Downtown East. Plus, spend a minimum of $50 to redeem meet-and-greet passes!

21. Tinkerfest From 10 to 18 December 2016, drop by the Tinkering Studio at the Science Centre for all-day activities that include playing with a paper helicopter and creating your own magical city with cardboard and LED lights. Free. Your little one can also take part in various computing and coding classes (for a fee) ― pre-registration is required.

22. Journey to Infinity: Escher’s World of Wonder Love optical illusions? Don’t miss this showcase of the works of M C Escher at the ArtScience Museum, one of the world’s most famous graphic artists. Besides the visual spectacle, your kiddos will also enjoy the tessellation puzzle activity and the relativity room which creates a distorted illusion of one’s size. Museum admission fees apply.

23. Father Christmas This adaptation of the well-loved Father Christmas storybook by Raymond Briggs comes to life on stage. Find out how Santa Claus copes on the busiest night of the year in this magical and musical adventure. Staged at the SOTA Drama Theatre, tickets are priced from $38.

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24. Marine Cove If you haven’t been to this huge play area at East Coast Park, you need to make tracks there, stat. Besides a host of new dining options, the new playground that spans 3,500sq m includes a three-storey play tower and lots of climbing structures for younger kids.

25. Santa’s All-Star Christmas Celebration Held every year at Universal Studios Singapore, this year’s event boasts an all-new festive light display that holds the Guinness World Records title for the largest light bulb display in an indoor venue. You’ll also enjoy hourly “snowfalls”, fireworks, plus see cast members decked out in Christmas outfits. From 1 December 2016 to 2 January 2017, the theme park has extended park hours till 9pm. Tickets are priced at $74 for adults and $56 for children.

26. Pokemon at Changi If your munchkin is a fan of the mobile game Pokemon Go, they’ll be thrilled to know that Changi Airport is decked out in all things Pokemon for the season. From now till 1 January 2017, Pikachu will make appearances at the Gingerbread house installation at 6pm and 8pm every weekend at Terminal 3. Or head over to Terminal 2’s Snorlax Garden to see three life-sized Snorlaxes, go on a Poke-trail to look for 26 pokemon, or busy yourself with pokemon-themed activity kiosks.

27. NASA - A Human Adventure Embark on a mission to chart the history of NASA’s intriguing race to reach the ends of the galaxy! You’ll examine tools astronauts use in space, and learn what it takes to do an actual moonwalk. Now on at the ArtScience Museum from now till 19 March 2017. For Singapore citizens, tickets are $15 per adult and $9 per child (aged 2 to 12) from Monday to Thursday and $19 per adult and $11 per child from Friday to Sunday.

28. Little Big Club Biggest Hits Free “live” shows, plus meet-and-greet sessions with junior’s favourite characters like Barney, Bob the Builder, and Thomas & Friends await you at OneKM Mall from 25 November to 7 December (except 30 November). The shows are on at 1pm and 6pm on weekdays and 12.30pm, 3.30pm and 6pm on weekends.

29. Shaking it with Shakespeare This interactive presentation takes you back in time to experience songs and recordings of Shakespeare’s literary works. Keep your eyes peeled for the “Cabinet of Curiosities”, filled with everyday items from Shakespeare’s world. The exhibition is on at the Singapore Philatelic Museum from now till 1 March 2017. Admission is free for Singaporean Citizens and Permanent Residents.

30. My Little Pony Musical Rainbow Rocks Trouble is brewing at Canterlot High School’s musical showcase, which is fast becoming a battle of the bands! Find out if the Rainbooms or the Dazzlings will triumph in this face-off. At Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa on 27 November 2016, tickets start at $78.

31. Introduction to the Nutcracker Watch well-loved characters like the Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy come alive in elaborate dance routines by the Singapore Dance Theatre. Your young ’uns will love this whimsical treat! At Esplanade Theatre from 7 to 11 December 2016, ticket prices start at $30 per person.

32. Julia Gabriel holiday programmes Offering programmes for babies from 6 months to kids aged 11, you’ll be spoilt for choice on what to sign junior up for. Workshops range from the “Enchanted Mask-a-rade”, where the little ones will join the White Rabbit on a magical journey through the enchanted forest, to “Camouflaged!”, where junior will learn how animals hide themselves in their natural environment. Visit the website for more information.

33. Hi-5 Fairytale If your tykes can’t get enough of Hi-5 at the mall, catch this Aussie group’s latest production at Marina Bay Sands Theatre from 2 to 4 December 2016. In Hi-5 Fairytale, the kids will see how the Brave Prince of Knights and Sir Bucket Head try to awaken the cheeky Princess Sleepyhead. Or cheer on your favourite bug as Speedy the Ant and Slomo the Snail race to vie for first place. Tickets start at $45.

34. Act3 International Holiday workshops Enrol your little drama queen in a drama workshop based on a literary favourites such asEric Carle’s Little Cloud, or Puss in Boots. Run by Act3 International, the courses are available for 7-month-olds to 12-year-olds. Prices start at $50 for a one-day workshop, to $380 for a five-day camp.

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35. Alive Museum Love optical illusions, or can’t resist snapping unusual photos of your brood? Then spend a couple of hours at this Suntec City museum and put yourself in more than 80 “masterpieces” where you might be attacked by a large croc, or have by Superman carry you “up, up and away”. Tickets cost $25 for adults, and $20 for kids aged 3 to 12.

36. Air Force Museum Take your peewee on an educational journey where he’ll learn all about the history of the Singapore Air Force and how it safeguards our skies. Be inspired by the air men and air women through the ages and check out the outdoor gallery where you can even get up close with fighter jets. Admission is free.

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37. The National Gallery In this amazingly kid-friendly space, junior can check out “The Enchanted Treehouse” exhibit, a fantastical play area that includes a magical forest and a labyrinth, and the “Who’s in the Woods” exhibit, an interactive digital platform where junior can create his own animal and see it interact with other creatures in the woods. Little ones will enjoy lots of other activities and programmes here. Free entry for Singaporeans and PRs.

38. KidZania Kids get a chance to rehearse for their future careers at this huge indoor playspace at Palawan Kidz City in Sentosa. They will take on “grown up” roles like a pilot, a radio deejay or a chef, and get paid with KidZania’s own currency, the KidZo ― which he can then use to purchase souvenirs. It costs $33.25 for adults, and $55.10 for kids aged 4 to 17, and $23.75 for tots aged 2 and 3.

39. BounceOff! Fiesta Always wished you could join your kids on those bouncy castles? Now you can! Featuring Asia’s largest inflatable playspace, this event also boasts slides, rides, and lots of food vendors. It happens at The Promontory@ Marina Bay and the Bayfront event space, from 2 December 2016 to 1 January 2017. Tickets are priced at $128 for a one-day play pass.

40. Visit an iconic playground Have a little guy who loves locomotives? Check out this amazing playground in Tiong Bahru that’s shaped like a steam engine. Or visit the iconic Dragon playground in Toa Payoh, so junior gets a glimpse of the way things were back in the day!

41. Fish@Big Splash Introduce your mini-me to longkang fishing at this little garden-resort concept fishing and prawning arena and take them back to the old kampong days. Junior wades into the shallow pond and uses small nets to catch fish such as guppies, mollies, goldfish and shrimp. From $10/hour for a single rod. Kids can also feed the koi at the pond, and have a run of the playground there.

42. Charlotte’s Web If you love the enchanting tale of a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with the spider named Charlotte, don’t miss SRT’s production of Charlotte’s Web. On till 11 December 2016. From $25 per ticket.

43. Splash@Kids Amaze Have a splashing good time at Singapore’s first indoor water playground. Located at Safra Punggol, it’s suitable for kids aged 18 months to 13 years old. Prices start at $8 for kids aged 18 months to 13, and $2 for accompanying adults.

44. Visit a Family-friendly restaurant We’ve got tons on our list, such as this buffet with a miniature spread for the little ones, and this Italian restaurant that boasts a bouncy castle, an indoor playroom and a water-play area.

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45. Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Sungei Buloh is the perfect place to take your brood for a picturesque retreat into nature. Take a walk along the Migratory Bird Trail, and spot birds, flowers and fruit, as well as mangrove trees. You might also catch sight of mudskippers, otters, monitor lizards and perhaps, even a crocodile. Admission is free.

46. Children Little Museum Located in Kampong Glam, this little gem of a museum displays toys and trinkets of yesteryear. Check out kites, chapteh, and other vintage paraphernalia, in this quaint two-storey shophouse along Bussorah Street. The entrance fee is $2.

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47. Diggersite Put your young ’uns to “work” at this pint-sized, kid-friendly construction site, where they’ll be able to operate excavators and move loads all on their own. Located at East Coast Park and JCube, it costs $7 per ride, which lasts about five minutes.

48. Farm tour at Farmart Centre Sign up for an interactive guided tour and learn about quail farming, as well as visits to local fish, goat, crocodile and vegetable farms. Contact Uncle William at 9450-0752.

49. Madame Tussauds Get up close with Hollywood stars, musicians, politicians and athletes at Madame Tussauds Singapore. The exhibition is surprisingly kid-friendly ― the little ones will be able to shoot hoops with Yao Ming, tee-off with Tiger Woods and even “meet” the late Mr and Mrs Lee Kuan Yew. Book your tickets online at $25 for adults and $15 for kids.

50. Barbie Dreamtopia Treat your little girl to all things Barbie at Great World City from now till 25 December. Besides daily (except Monday) shows and meet-and-greet sessions with Barbie and her little sister, Chelsea, she’ll get a chance to have a kid’s makeover or attend workshops (minimum $50 spend), and even be a tea-party guest (minimum $180 spend). And don’t forget to stop by the Toys ‘R’ Us Barbie fair for Christmas gifts.

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