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3 days in Singapore with kids

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Hi, Would appreciate it if someone would kindly tell me whats to do in 3 days in Singapore we are bringing our 11 yr old son. I heard the night safari at the zoo is good. Many thanks. Rosie.

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    Your son will probably like the night safari, and the Jurong Bird Park is quite interesting. Singapore has wonderful food, and your son would probably like the hawker stalls where he can watch them make what he orders. There are lots of suggestion on the board for places to go for hawker food in SIngapore. Perhaps a bum boat ride over by Clarke's Quay would interest him.

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    Please get a guidebook which often has suggestions for children, look at Fodors above (click on “Destinations”) and also see the website for the Singapore Tourism Authority at http://www.visitsingapore.com as they have a board on kids activities and sights. If you can give me your trip dates, there may be a festival or something going on that might be interesting to observe (you just missed Thaipusam, one of the most interesting.) The tourism board used to offer a program that provided an opportunity to meet a local family and see their “HDB” flat (government-built apartments), which would be an opportunity for your son to see how very differently other people live. I don’t know what his interests are either, so reccos below are just sort of typical for kids. I would generally recommend walking around the areas of Little India, Arab Street and Chinatown which are quite interesting and have temples, mosques, little alleyways, shops, restaurants, sort of the “Asia” people think of beyond the shopping malls of Orchard Road.

    The zoo and Jurong Bird Park are great suggestions, there is also a crocodile farm near the Bird Park that you probably want to go to, while it is very touristy, kids seem to love it, see http://www.singaporecrocfarm.com/. There is an excellent Science museum, see http://www.science.edu.sg/ssc/index.jsp.

    On my last trip I noticed that Singapore now has a Ducks Tour, if you have ever done one, there are a lot of fun. If you haven’t these are amphibious craft that do a trip on land and then plunge into the water for a water tour, they often let kids drive the boat for a brief bit as well. I would assume this would be fun, they drive around town and going into the water near the Marina, take a look at http://www.ducktours.com.sg/index.htm. I believe this same group does a hop-on-hop-off bus tour of Singapore that you may also want to do.

    I think Sentosa is a place for kids, so for sure look at that, it’s kind of a low-key Disney, see http://www.sentosa.com.sg/. The cable car over is fun and there are rides and some science/museum stuff.

    You can make a trip to Pualu Ubun, which is an island in the narrow waterway between Singapore and Malaysia, and most of it is a national park. You can rent bikes and explore the little bit of wild jungle and wildlife left in Singapore. There are some good seafood restaurant here as well. You can now even apparently stay overnight on Ubin, did not know this until recently, see http://www.kampongubin.com/. Looks pretty basic (although not really cheap!) but for an overnight could be interesting; it's a wetland/marsh and swampy area with some good bird and wildlife (and the occasional alligator), this would be good for kayaking, which I see is one of their activities, there are little waterways in the marshes to explore.

    The website for national parks in Singapore is http://www.nparks.gov.sg, this site is full of ideas for visits to Ubin and other parks as well, including walks in Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

    There is a windsurfing area in Singapore's East Coast Park with a nice beach where you can rent lasers and windsurfers and have lunch or dinner. You can also rent bikes or rollerblades and ride along the bike paths next to the beach, take a look at the National Parks website. There are some very good seafood restaurants in this area. You can rent sailboats in the marina near Changi airport.

    You can waterski or wakeboard in the Ponggol Point area of Singapore, about a 20 minute cab ride, you can also get quite close to it by MTR. The skiing is on Selator island, in the waterway between Malaysia and Singapore. You will definitely feel like you have left the city behind. Take a look at http://www.williamwatersports.com.sg/. There are some great seafood restaurants here as well. Closer into the city there is man-made area where you can also waterski and where international competitions are held. Take a look at http://www.extreme.com.sg/

    You can watch cricket most weekends afternoons on the Padang in downtown Singapore. The Cricket Club and the Singapore Sports club anchor both ends, and there are several fields in between. The clubs are private, but you can sit at the fields edges and watch the play.

    The Polo Club has polo matches, usually at least one Sunday a month. 80 Mount Pleasant Road Tel: 65-6256-4530, or 252-1987. This club is also private, but the rules are generally ignored on match days and you can just walk in.

    There is a day bus trip to Malaysia to visit parts of Johor Bahru, a rubber plantation and a fishing village, with a stop for lunch at the fishing village. You might run a search here, or ask at your hotel. You see part of the Royal Palace in Johur and some markets as well as the fishing village out on stilts over the water. A little touristy, but fun.

    I would definitely plan an afternoon by your hotel pool just to relax, as Singapore is very humid and hot and it can be exhausting going around.

    Finally, I don’t know when your trip is, but the Singapore Sevens Rugby Tournament is November 1 and 2. A great time even if you don't know a lot about the sport, as the game moves very fast with only 7 players a side. You should be able to buy tickets on the day, but take a look at http://www.sccrugbysevens.com/ for information, or check with your hotel.

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