Between education and after-school activities for the kids and the daily workload for the adults, it sometimes feels impossible to grab some quality family time. And when you finally do, you're often at a loss as to what to do together.
I Only Have... 1 HOUR:
30 Raffles Avenue
Operating hours: 8.30am to 10.30pm
Cost: $29.50 for adults; $20.65 for kids aged 3 to 12 (kids under 3 ride for free)
There are few more enthralling places in Singapore to take the kids if you only have one hour. Arrive at the security gate 30 minutes before your boarding time, and spend 30 minutes enjoying a full rotation on the Flyer. At 165m above ground, the world's highest observation wheel offers spectacular views of the island both day and night.
If some in your group have a fear of heights, there are plenty of free activities to enjoy around the Flyer. At the Greek Theatre, you can cool off at the interactive aqua playground. Or grab some photo opportunities with streams, water displays and outcrops at the atrium rainforest.
You can also treat the kids to a pedicure performed by fishes at the fish foot spa, where they'll feel the dead skin cells being tickled off their toes. Or let them experience flying in and out of 24,000 airports on a flight simulator under the guidance of instructors.
Best enjoyed by mobile and inquisitive kids aged 3 years and up with plenty of energy! You'll find all these alternative activities at level two of the Flyer.
I Only Have... 3 HOURS:
Playground @ Big Splash
902 East Coast Parkway
The Big Splash of today is very different from what most of us remember it to be. F&B outlets, from fast food to al fresco seafood dining, and a miniature indoor golf course have replaced the huge colourful slides, for a much more diverse experience.
As well as the golf, other activities include a kids' play club, and inline skating (instructors are on hand to teach both parents and kids). For those who want to take advantage of the beachside location, walk out a little further and rent bicycles for a breezy ride.
But if you're looking to relax rather than exercise, you and the family can also enjoy a manicure or pedicure at the nail salon, or simply chill out at the seaside coffee joints
Best enjoyed by kids aged 3 years and up.
I Only Have... 5 HOURS:
61 Pasir Ris Green
Tel: 6583 9665
Operating Hours: 8am to 12pm and 2pm to 7pm from Tuesday to Sunday; closed on Mondays
Admission is free
Gallop Stable is Singapore's only outdoor public pony-riding service, and a great way to get closer to nature.
You'll enjoy much closer contract with the animal than at the zoo. Ride are safe, with plenty of handlers to lead the ponies around the stable trail, and is a great way to figure out whether your kids want to take up riding lessons.
Pony rides and pony-feeding are available for kids from 2 years of age at $10 a ride or $1 per bag of feed. Riding lessons across all levels are available for kids from 7 years of age.
Parental accompaniment is encouraged during these activities.
Then, finish horsing around at the café with a drink, finger food or fish and chips-all kid-friendly fare. Service at the café can be rather slow, so be sure you're not absolutely famished before ordering. Alternatively, enjoy a picnic at the huge adjacent field, where you kids can run around.
I Have... THE WHOLE DAY:
D'Kranji Farm Resort
10 Neo Tiew Lane 2
Tel: 6862 9717
Admission to the premise is free but villa rates prevail
Think again if you thought Singapore had no countryside. Nestled in the Lim Chu Kang area is Singapore's first agri-tainment centre. Bundle up the kids for a road trip to D'Kranji, where plenty of fresh air awaits you.
Experience kampung fun with a twist on 5 hectares of land filled with vegetables, tropical fruits and even a rice and corn plantations. This is something most of us have yet to encounter, much less our kids. There's even the option to check into one of their 21 villas which incorporates some elements of a farm-stay.
While the kids check out the farm activities, parents can also go for a spa. The family can then round off the day with drinks and post-dinner snacks at the rustic but charming beer garden, which features a live band on Fridays and weekend evenings. It's perfect for the urban family craving a break from the daily schedule without breaking the bank. Best enjoyed by kids aged 4 years and up.