It’s summertime, and rather than sending my kids off to camp for the summer, we do what I like to call Camp Mom. I like Camp Mom better than traditional summer camp, because it works better with my schedule. We can sleep late, plan our day on the fly according to the weather and our friends’ schedules, and leave the house after a lazy breakfast and a couple of cartoons. People ask me what we do for Camp Mom, and basically we do all of the amazing things there are to do with children in Singapore that our normal school schedule doesn’t allow. Unlike back in the States, late June, July and most of August finds the local kids in school, so there aren’t the crowds you get on the weekends. A huge amount of the expat kids are back home for the summer too, so it is really the best time to do kid things in Singapore.
On the first day of summer vacation, the kids and I created a list of things to do this summer, and vowed to check off two to three things a week from our list. It is a long list, but we have 10 weeks, so hopefully we can squeeze in everything we would like to do. We have been out of school three weeks, and here are the activities we’ve done so far, in order of the things my kids wanted to do first:
- Universal Studios We are big fans of amusement parks, and had annual passes at Disneyland California, so it was only natural that we’d buy annual passes to Universal Studios. This was the first thing the kids wanted to do this summer, so off to Universal Studios we went. The girls are four and six, and there is plenty for them to do. They love the Dragon Coaster in Far Far Away, the Madagascar boat ride (although it pales in comparison to Pirates of the Carribean), the Jurassic Rapids Adventure, and the Treasure Hunters car ride.
- Port of Lost Wonder The pirate ship themed water play area at Port of Lost Wonder offers water slides, water sprays, sand and children’s activities. It is small scale, meant for the 10 and under set, and would not be mistaken for a thrill ride place. It is more of a place to take your youngsters to play in the water and beat the heat while you relax in the shade. The best part is they have a decent restaurant that has good sandwiches, pizza, burgers and beer.
- Palawan Beach When your kids bore of Port of Lost Wonder six hours later, you can take them for a stroll along Palawan Beach. It has restaurants, bars, playgrounds, a river for playing, a swinging bridge and even a lookout tower. It’s swimming area is in a protected cove, so the water is calm, and the sand is nice and soft. There are even shade trees if you and the little ones need a nap.
- Singapore Science Centre The kids will love the Singapore Science Centre. There is truly something for all ages, from a splash and play section for the little ones (bring your swimsuits), to a planet exhibit geared toward older children with an earthquake shaking room, a typhoon room and a volcano. Bring your winter clothes and experience the snow park, enjoy an IMAX movie, have lunch in the cafe, and learn about the world. We bought a membership for our family of four for only S$50!
- Singapore Zoo I have raved about the awesomeness of the Singapore Zoo before. It is one of my favorite zoos ever, and I have been to quite a few around the world. My favorite parts of this zoo are the open feel to the animal exhibits, which seems so natural, the tamarind and orangutan exhibits which feel like you are in the jungle and happened upon these amazing creatures, the kids splash and play area, of course (and desperately necessary after a day of mad sweating in the heat), and the shady jungle feel to the entire park.
- Jurong Bird Park The often ignored sister park to the Singapore Zoo (and incuded in the membership), the Jurong Bird Park is quieter, smaller and more manageable than the zoo, but truly unique and worthwhile. Sometimes we go just to play in the splash play zone called Birdz of Play, and being members affords you that luxury. It is a newer splash and play area, with slides, spray guns and even a few token sunshades to keep the kids from getting massive sunburns. My kids are happy to play in this splash and play area for two to three hours. The other really worthwhile exhibits are the World of Darkness with a really cool owl exhibit, including the Harry Potter Snowy Owls, as well as an exhibit that lets you feel the lories. We actually hit the Jurong Bird Park twice in the last three weeks.
This summer I will post more about Camp Mom as we go along, because mostly we are making it up on the fly. The kids are having a great time, and so am I!