11 “Cheap-Cheap” Things To Do On A Family Trip To Singapore

It’s totally possible to go on a cheap family trip in one of the world’s most expensive cities.

As Malaysians, we wouldn't exactly put the words "cheap" and "Singapore" together in a sentence

Image via Giphy

Singapore has been topping the list as one of the most expensive cities in the world every year. What with the current exchange rate being SGD1 = RM3.09.

But there are actually many affordable family-friendly activities you can do there. Here are some:

1. Hike up the Southern Ridges trail

The Southern Ridges is a 10km trail that connects five outdoor parks: Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, Hort Park, Kent Ridge Park, and Labrador Nature Reserve.

You don't need to worry about the little ones not being able to finish the whole trail as there are entrance and exit points along the way. You can enter through Mount Faber Park, walk across the Henderson Waves bridge, and exit after the Canopy Walk at Telok Blangah Hill Park.

Opening hours: 24 hours
Entrance fee: Free

2. Catch a free movie under the stars

Image via MovieMob by Ape

MovieMob organises free outdoor movie nights every fortnight in various locations in Singapore. You don't even need to reserve seats for this, just show up with a picnic cloth and your favourite snacks to enjoy the movie!

Check out their Facebook page to find out when is their next screening.

Opening hours: 7pm onwards
Entrance fee: Free

3. Play at the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden in the Singapore Botanic Gardens

The Singapore Botanic Gardens is one of the oldest parks in the country, set up by Sir Stamford Raffles back in 1822. It was also recently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There's a children's garden within the grounds where your kids can play at. The theme of the playground is nature, with slides, swings, and even a waterfall cave nearby!

Opening hours: 5am till 12 midnight
Entrance fee: Free

4. Check out the ArtScience Museum

You've probably seen your friends share photos from the ArtScience Museum on Instagram. There are currently three exhibitions in the museum: Future World, The Universe and Art, and HUMAN+ The Future of Our Species.

Every Friday (except Singapore school holidays and public holidays) is Family Friday, which means kids get to go in for free! Each paying parent is allowed to bring up to four children for free, and they get to join any of the public guided tours happening at that time.

Opening hours: 10am till 7pm
Entrance fee: SGD17 (about RM52.46) per exhibition per adult; or SGD38 (about RM117.27) for all exhibitions per adult. More ticketing info here.

5. Go cycling at Changi Beach Park

Changi Beach Park has a 3.3km-long jogging and cycling route that are kept in excellent condition. Rent a bike from one of the many cycling shops nearby (about SGD5, which is roughly RM15.43 per bike per hour) and bring along a picnic basket while you're there. You can even see planes take off and land at the nearby Changi International Airport.

Opening hours: 24 hours
Entrance fee: Free

6. Learn about World War II history at the Former Ford Factory

The Former Ford Factory in Singapore was the place where the British surrendered to the Imperial Japanese Army in 1942, which started the Japanese Occupation period in Malaya.

The factory has been converted into a museum, with exhibitions detailing the fall of Singapore and life during the Occupation. You'll get to see official records and photographs from that time, first-hand testimonies from people who lived during that period, and even the very room where the surrender took place.

Opening hours: 9am-5:30pm (Monday to Saturday); 12-5:30pm (Sunday)
Entrance fee: SGD3, about RM9.26 (free for children under 6)

7. Check out the Supertrees in Gardens by the Bay

If your kids love the Botanic Gardens, they'll love Gardens by the Bay more! There are 12 parks in the Gardens to check out, and admission is free for some of them:

- Supertree Grove
- Sun Pavilion
- Heritage Gardens
- World of Plants
- Dragonfly and Kingfisher lake
- Far East Organisation Children's Garden

The Gardens will be transformed into a winter wonderland every December. So put this in the list if you're visiting Singapore during that time!

Opening hours: 5am-2am
Entrance fee: Free for outdoor gardens. Check here for the conservatories and Skyway ticket prices.

8. Try to spot as many wildlife as you can at the Sentosa Nature Discovery

At Sentosa Nature Discovery, you'll be greeted by a gallery of exhibition housed in an old monorail station. This will teach you and your kids how to spot the animals that currently live along the nature trail which you will later explore.

You'll see different migratory birds, beautiful butterflies, insect-eating plants, and 30 different types of Heritage trees.

Opening hours: 9am-5pm
Entrance fee: Free

9. Beat the heat at Splash-N-Surf

Tired of your hotel's swimming pool? Bring the family out for a swim at Splash-N-Surf, located in the Singapore Sports Hub! The theme park has a water play area, a kid's pool, a lazy river, and a half-pipe surfing facility. There are also lockers for you to store your belongings so you can have a fuss-free time there.

Opening hours: 8am-10pm
Entrance fee: Free (except for the lazy river, and the half-pipe surfing facility)

10. Experience Chinese folklore in Haw Par Villa

Families with older children can go on a walking tour around Haw Par Villa. Built in 1937 by the owners of Tiger Balm, the theme park depicts scenes from various Chinese folklore and mythology. There's even a section of the park called the Ten Courts of Hell with depictions of the afterworld according to traditional Chinese mythology.

Opening hours: 9am-7pm
Entrance fee: Free

11. Enjoy a children's reading session in an indie bookstore

Ensconced in a quiet neighbourhood in Singapore is Littered With Books, an independent bookstore with a wide selection of books. It has everything from classic literature to local publications, and even children's books too!

They have a children's reading session every last Sunday of the month at 3pm. It's one of the country's best kept secrets, so don't be surprised if you don't see a crowd there. Just approach one of the friendly staffs and ask!

Opening hours: 12-8pm (weekdays), 11am-8pm (weekends)
Entrance fee: Free

There are a few family-friendly accommodations in Singapore that won't break the bank

Image via Hangout Hotels

Your best bet would be hotels that have family rooms or quad rooms. These rooms usually come with one king-sized bed and one single bed, or two queen-sized beds, suitable for families with young children.

Here are some hotels with affordable rates:

- ibis Singapore Novena, from RM504 per night
- Arton Boutique Hotel, from RM507 per night
- Robertson Quay Hotel, from RM547 per night

There you have it! A budget-friendly itinerary for a family trip to Singapore.

You're welcome.

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