#80 Singapore has a Natural History Museum

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One of my colleagues mentioned that Singapore had a brand new Natural History Museum. Really? Cool! My boys will love that. I hadn’t heard anything about it, so onto the trusty internet I went and found the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, which is located at the National University of Singapore.

Natural History Museum SingaporeOpen since July 2015, it is well worth a visit and perfect if we’re facing another shocking haze day! Please be over soon. The exhibition is not large, but it is incredibly well organized and the building is stunning. A lot of the media attention has focused on its architectural beauty – which is quite right. It’s also great to know that a local Singaporean – Mok Wei Wei – designed this gorgeous green building.

Natural History Museum SingaporeFeaturing more than one million specimens, I really appreciated the focus on this region, as well as learning how many creatures Singapore has – including a species of Tarantula and Scorpions. May my experience of these little nasties only ever happen in a museum! But of course, the centrepiece is three Diplodocus – a favorite dinosaur in this house – and throughout your visit, you’ll get to see a light show with the dinosaur skeletons.

Natural History Museum SingaporeA perfect educational day out, you could spend a lot of time reading or watching the videos, or appreciating the sheer diversity of every species on display. The boys are still of the age where running to and fro is of more interest, so we were a bit all over the place.

I liked the section upstairs where they showed some very old specimens that have been at NUS for many years. Apparently a lot has been lost, so you get a sense of how important this science has been for a long time.

Natural History Museum SingaporeThere’s also an interesting exhibition into Singapore’s land reclamation program and you can see how much land has been added to the Red Dot over the years. Amazing. Equally, this display discussed Singapore’s greater emphasis on the environment today, with the focus on recreating natural habitats that have been lost.

Natural History Museum SingaporeThe Museum is at 2 Conservatory Drive, and it’s open Tuesday to Sunday. It’s only open on Mondays if it’s a public holiday. Opening times are 10am to 7pm and you book for one and a half hour slots. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be enough time for us, but it was plenty and the boys were ready to leave when our time was up.

YNatural History Museum Singaporeou are encouraged to buy tickets in advance through SISTIC and we decided to do that, because we had no idea how busy it would be. It also helped us plan the day knowing we had a time commitment in the mix.

At time of writing, the times you can book are:

  • 10am
  • 11.30am
  • 1.00pm
  • 2.30pm
  • 4.00pm
  • 5.30pm

Natural History Museum Singapore

Cost

  • $16 citizen/PR, $21 adult tourist
  • Kids $9 citizen/PR or $13 visiting kids
  • There are also senior citizen, disability tickets, etc…

All up we were all really impressed and enjoyed the Museum. It’s not massive like you’d find in London or the US, but if your kids are into creatures of any description, I am pretty sure they are going to love it. I’m know it will be a regular for us over the years. Definitely beautifully put together.

Let us know what you think when you go?

Cheers

Andrea

Happy 50th Singapore and Thank You!

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I came to Singapore in 2003 with a plan to stay for a year. My husband came in 2001 with similar plans. We met in Singapore four months after I arrived, and before we knew it, we were married and then lucky enough to become parents to Lex and Jax – both born here. Finally in 2015, we were accepted as Permanent Residents.

#SG50When we both look back on the time we’ve had in Singapore, we just feel massively grateful. Not only did my little family start in this country, but the opportunities for Steve and I professionally have been outstanding. Probably more important than anything though is the life we can offer our boys in this tiny red dot. They are enjoying a wonderful childhood, where they are free, safe and living in a wonderfully rich, peaceful multi-cultural society. I mean, let’s face it, how many countries in the world are safe enough for a seven year old to catch a taxi home solo?

#SG50I know there’s a lot of discussion around Singapore right now, and many people inside and outside this nation have opinions on how the country got to where it is, but just in the time I’ve been here, I watched this magical city come to life. Back in 2003, I saw Singapore through the eyes of a friend visiting and I thought, wow, it’s a really boring city. Wind the clock forward to 2015, and it’s now beautiful. World class. It’s also become creative and more diverse.

When you live in Singapore for a long time, you start to see a side of it that you don’t see as a tourist. Its reputation for cleanliness, strict rules and order is only a tiny part of Singapore’s reality, because there is so much more going on at the beating heart of this nation. Like any country it has its stories, its challenges, its seedier side, and yes, its filth. You’ve just got to go out there to find it, which is why a lot of my adventures with the boys have been all about uncovering the grittier bits of Singapore. I like it and so do they. It’s why we started this blog, to show people there’s so much more to this place than meets the eye. Naturally we like the glitz too, but Singapore is more than its international reputation, much more, and that is why we love living here.

#sg50I work with and have friends all across this island. I listen to the younger people’s gripes and the older people’s frustrations. It is a country that is going through massive transformation, and the next 50 years will see a different Singapore emerge. When it reaches its 100th birthday who knows what we will see? But for now, we just want to say we are grateful to a country that has given us a home for more than a decade, a home where the four of us are able to excel and chase our dreams.

And with that, Majulah Singapore. You’re looking gorgeous this jubilee weekend.

Cheers

Andrea

The Deep and Dreamworks Animation The Exhibition

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There are two exhibitions on at the ArtScience Museum right now, and both perfect for your little loves. If you haven’t heard, the exhibitions are: ‘The Deep, illuminating the mysteries of the deep sea;’ and ‘Dreamworks Animation The Exhibition, journey from sketch to screen.’ Both are fabulous, interactive and your kids will love them. In fact, I reckon you will too.

ArtScience Museum Singapore Spider crab Take a picture of me mum Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprising) it was The Deep that really captured my boys’ imagination – Lex, in particular, loves his sea creatures. It’s a fabulously well done exhibition, and every room features animals and organisms from the deep deep ocean. The way it’s been displayed has never been done before, and many of the creatures featured have never been seen by the general public before either. So it’s very cool and I must say, there’s some pretty freaky looking sea creatures in the mix.

ArtScience Museum SingaporeThe first room – Hidden/Depths, by Australian Artist, Lynette Wallworth – is truly remarkable. A room of clear tubes with creatures suspended, apparently floating. A wonderful start to your experience. Overall, not only does the exhibition look great, but there’s loads of educational content too. It really is shocking what we are doing to our oceans. You will be touched.

All up, we all loved The Deep, but make sure you’re with your kids when they enter through the curtain – it’s really dark in there and hard to keep track of them.

After that, it was straight across to ‘Dreamworks Animation The Exhibition’ and the boys were happy because they got to play with computer animation. This left me time to wander around and look at the amazing cartoon sketches – there’s some talented people out there. The exhibition features fantastic use of technology integrated into how it’s displayed, and don’t miss the other rooms – I thought it was just the first section.

ArtScience Museum Singapore ArtScience Museum SingaporeOne feature we all loved was The Dragon Ride. Usually if there’s a line, I’m not the kind to hang around and wait, but decided it was worthwhile, because, hey, I love dragons. What you’re waiting for is a mini-theatre and you cuddle up on bean bags with a 180 degree screen in front, “riding” on Hiccup flying over Berk. Very cool. At the end of the exhibition, there’s a room of screens, where you can draw and animate your own creations. The boys finally got a go, but the challenge we were up against is adults dominating all the interactive stuff, so the boys had to be patient to get their chance. Not always easy with kids right?

We are doneWe went on the weekend and it was very VERY busy, so lots of pushing and shoving. But the ArtScience Museum at MBS is truly excellent for the whole family. There are so many exhibitions I can’t take them too at the various museums and art centres around Singapore, but this one nails it every time. There is always a place for them to create, always videos and mini-movies to watch, and it’s always designed with them in mind, and that means I can kick back and enjoy it too.

Let me know if you like/d it as much as me? Perfect for a hot or rainy day for sure.

Cheers

Andrea

#79 Suntec City, Tower 3

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If it’s been a while since you’ve ventured down to Suntec City – due to the construction that’s been going on for a long time – it might be worth putting it back on the agenda, especially on these rainy days we’re enduring. Suntec City is really coming back to life, but more importantly, kiddie entertainment seems a focus of the new Suntec.

Suntec City

Focusing on Tower Three for this blog, I’d recommend three activities to do with the kids, but of course, there are many other options if these don’t appeal. First is the brand new Golden Village Cinema. It’s huge, hi-tech and I’ve recently found when all other cinemas are sold out, it has tickets. It also runs the popular kids’ movies more regularly throughout the day, so you can show up, buy tickets, hang out and go to the movies as well.

Polliwogs, Suntec CityThe next thing is a brand new Polliwogs. While we’re getting closer and closer to the age where indoor playgrounds don’t hold as much interest, we’re not there yet. However, this Polliwogs is very popular, and when it gets full you have to put the kids on a waiting list. If you think you want to go there, either go early, or make sure you put your kids name in when you arrive so you can guarantee a place later on. Don’t forget to bring socks. We didn’t go in, but it’s a good size and appears the usual high standard Polliwogs is known for. The kids always love it.

Polliwogs Lazer FuryWhat we did do at Polliwogs however, is find an opportunity for the boys to go all Matrix at “Lazer Fury.” To the right at the entrance of Polliwogs (but not inside) is a tiny little lazer room and it costs a few bucks a go, so you can kick back, blow $20 in an instant, and the kids will have a blast. It was a good result following the disappointment of not getting into Polliwogs. Lazer Fury is also great for kids just that little bit older – especially those too cool for kids playrooms. Nothing lasts forever.

Suntec CityAnd finally, number three is the new Alive Museum Singapore. If you’ve been wondering what that is all about, wonder no more. I must admit I have pretty mixed feelings about this, but it did go down a treat with the boys. The concept is a maze of rooms with images – see the photos – and you pose in whatever way is appropriate for each. The essence of the experience is learning about perspective, 3D and using light and angles.

Alive Museum SingaporeHowever at $60 for three of us to go into rooms so we can take photos, well that isn’t going to be in everyone’s budget. Then again, it’s a great way for kids to explore their creative expression, so I liked that. It was also packed, but with adults more than kids. After an hour of being bashed and trod on, I found the aggressive tactics to get the photo spot was rather annoying, especially when kids were smacked out of the way for grown-ups to get in on the action. You’ve been warned.

Suntec CityI probably won’t take the boys back, but if you haven’t been, it’s worth a look and I definitely think it would be an awesome place for the grandparents to take the kids on their next visit. As you’ll see in some of the photos, the output is worth it and I’ll definitely have Facebook banner photos for a long time to come. Maybe it was worth it?

Suntec CitySo there you go, a few things you can do in Suntec City, Tower 3, but there’s a lot more going on at Suntec. Check it out if you want to escape the rain or the sun. Here’s a store directory guide to Tower Three for ease.

Cheers

Andrea

Suntec City

Suntec CitySuntec City Suntec City

Da Vinci Shaping the Future

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I had absolutely no intention of taking the boys to Da Vinci: Shaping the Future. The thought of taking them to this exhibition left me cold, because I just couldn’t believe it had any chance of capturing their imaginations. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I took them down to MBS for the “ice skating” but we were moving too slowly, and by the time we got there, the cleaning crews were smoothing out the wax. They were bummed but asked me to go to the exhibition. They went to the dinosaur exhibition last time we were there, so had a great experience to draw on.

Da Vinci Shaping the Future I had no other options with two disappointed lads, so said alright then, off we go, and they LOVED it. I loved it too. Reading through everything Leonardo Da Vinci achieved in his life is incredibly inspiring, and you can’t help but walk out wanting to achieve more in your own life.

Da Vinci Shaping the FutureBut for the kids, every section had something for them to do. Magnets to create shapes, large computer screens to understand water ripples, blocks to build cities, puzzles to put together, guns to experiment with and a lot more. However the boys were also interested in some of the art. Interestingly both of them loved Mona Lisa – a picture they’d never seen before as far as I know. I asked them why they liked it – because it occurred to me that a perspective not linked to the fame of the picture would be interesting – and they quite simply thought she was pretty. No other details were forthcoming upon further digging.

Da Vinci Shaping the FutureThe “Last Supper” video room was dark and I found the story fascinating. But the boys weren’t enjoying this experience at all, instead playing under the seats and setting off their Ben 10 watches – awesome. As the other guests were getting extremely annoyed, I didn’t last long in there. I ducked into some local exhibitions while the boys were occupied building things, and this was definitely a good idea. Two of the exhibitions looked incredibly fragile (and beautiful) but definitely not something two little boys needed to see. Horrifying possibilities jumped out at me.

All in all, the exhibition was a really excellent experience for the boys and for me. I know that if someone explained science or maths to me that way when I was in school, I might have actually been a little bit interested. The exhibition is on until the 17th of May, so plenty of time to go and have a look if it’s on your agenda. Also remember your ID, as residents get a decent discount.

Da Vinci Shaping the FutureA final acknowledgement. The Singapore Arts Science Museum are doing a magnificent job and always, always have the entire family in mind when designing its exhibitions. Some exhibitions don’t work for my kids, but overall, I love having it as an option to educate and inspire my boys about possibilities for their futures. I really do think we’re lucky having such a world-class museum on our doorstep.

Finally, if you are looking for a great dinner option in the area, I can whole heartedly recommend Verve Pizza Bar @ MBS. We always park in the open air car park to give the boys a good run before doing anything else, and after Da Vinci, I decided it was time to check it out. Awesome pizzas, wonderful service, great outdoor setting by the water, lots of people watching opportunities, and when the kids are done, space for them to run around while you finish up and pay the bill. We’ll be heading back for sure.

Verve Pizza Bar Marina Bay SandsLet me know what you think of either when you get a chance? Or is there anything else going on you can recommend?

Cheers

Andrea

#78 Wings of Time, Sentosa

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It’s almost Christmas and the excitement is mounting in our house, my word! Same for you? We love having Christmas in Singapore, and we’re looking forward to lunch/dinner/champagne with some great friends after a few years celebrating at Singapore’s famous brunches.

Wings of Time Sentosa This time of year – especially for our fellow foreigners – brings the relatives to town, and I’m seeing more and more grandparents wandering around the city, sweating it up at the main tourist areas. Singapore is a great place to visit, no matter your age, but I wanted to tell you about our recent visit to the “Wings of Time” on Sentosa.

Wings of Time SentosaI can’t tell you how many times we’ve walked past this, but with some inspiration from our friends the Hewson’s, we decided it was time to go and see what it was all about. Booked into the 7.40pm show on a Saturday night (luckily no rain) I have to say it’s a pretty spectacular show, if a little corny too. The light and water show is very impressive and you get taken on a journey across time and our magnificent world, all with the sea as a majestic backdrop.

Wings of Time SentosaI wasn’t expecting to like it, to be honest, but I did, and the only disappointment is it was all over within about 30 minutes. However, with anything like this, I measure its success on the looks on my boy’s faces and they sat there with their mouths open for the whole show. That’s success for me.

Because it’s so quick, you wouldn’t head to Sentosa just for the show, but it’s a perfect walk to Coastes and all of the other restaurants on Siloso Beach – there’s definitely loads of new choices since I wrote my first blog for Singapore Kids 365. Another alternative is Trapizza (near Rasa Sentosa), which is only a short bus ride away, but on this night, we decided to meet up for dinner at the Hard Rock Café Sentosa. A good choice for kid meal options.

Wings of Time SentosaThe bonus of a trip to Resorts World Sentosa for my boys is Candylicious. I don’t know if you’ve ever braved this store with your kids, but if you have I’m sure you’ve observed most adults running around in circles, with panicked look on faces, as their kids disappear into a sea of sweet stuff, while being mindful of the fact their ankles can be taken out at a moment’s notice. Those mini-trolleys are dangerous under the management of little humans I tell you. So far, my ankles are unbruised. Steve hasn’t been so lucky.

Wings of Time SentosaI find Candylicious a fun place to let the kids go free. Mainly because there’s no way they’ll go anywhere else with all that choice around, but equally, can you remember anything like that when you were a kid? Darrell Lea in Australia comes closest in my memory, so for me it’s a pleasure to let them go, stand back and laugh – all the while making sure they’re not shoplifting any candy from the open buckets. We had a few thefts in the early visits, thankfully they seem to have learned that stealing is not OK!

Once you brave the sugar rush, it’s a quick tram trip to Siloso Beach stop, you jump off, and you’re straight into the show. It’s a great adventure for the family, with lots of different aspects in the mix, including the draping of a snake below (I think it cost me $5 for the privilege of taking the photo) and at the end, you should have some happy kids.

Wings of Time SentosaCost for “Wings of Time” is reasonable and more information for tickets is here. Normal tickets for locals cost $15, standard price is $18, and premium (which we bought) was $23. We didn’t get there early enough to get a good seat, but it doesn’t really matter, because once the show got started, everyone had a great view. There are two show times – 7.40pm and 8.40pm – and if it rains, I have no idea what happens.

Oh you also get an extra $3 voucher for something free or discounted. I didn’t quite work out what that was, so if you like a freebie, get clear on what you get for your money when you arrive. Another quick point, don’t duck out for water or the toilet during the show (which I did) because you’ll miss most of the action.

Wings of Time SentosaThere you go. Another experience on Sentosa to add to the list. Perhaps we’ll take the grandparents next time they come to visit. I know they’ll enjoy it.

Let me know what you’re up to with the grandparents over the Christmas break when you get a chance?

Finally, for those celebrating, Merry Christmas, and may 2015 be a year of peace and prosperity for all. Thank you for supporting Singapore Kids 365. We sure do appreciate it.

Cheers

Andrea

#77 Christmas at Changi

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Hello my friends. With this crazy weather impacting us all at the moment, one of the things we’re all on the lookout for is good indoor activities to do with the kids when the heavens open. So I found an option and until January the 5th (I believe) you can head down to Changi Airport (mainly in terminal three) for the Christmas at Changi celebrations.

Christmas at Changi

The Mickey Bouncy Castle

Age-wise, with it’s Mickey Mouse theme, both of my boys enjoyed it and Lex is now eight. I can’t imagine you’d get away with taking much older kids, but you never know. Kids seem to mature at different ages and Mickey’s appeal is enduring. Changi has been a great place for indoor activities for families for a long time now – I wrote about it here ages ago. It still has the big indoor slides, massive shopping area, hawker center, playground, and a whole lot more things you can waste your money on, but it does the job when you need to get out of the rain or the heat.

Christmas at Changi

Lines, lines, lines

The Christmas festivities bring another dimension to Changi for the family, with the main activity a big Mickey Mouse bouncy castle type structure. Things went a little awry for me at this point. The sign very clearly states that for the children to go on Mickey, you need a receipt for each child showing you’ve spent $30+ at Changi Airport. The boys were not happy when I tried to explain that we had to go and spend some money to go on the ride. So we headed up to the great travel store, where I easily spent $200. I like that shop.

With my hefty receipt in hand, we went back to Mickey, lining up with the other parents, and when I get to the front of the line, I was told no, I needed two receipts showing I’d spent $30 in each. You’re kidding! Seriously? BUT it was my fault and to say I was pissed is an understatement. I was not happy – mainly because I was stupid – and stormed off towards the Christmas Palace, with two crying children – ugh. At the Christmas Palace there are shows going on throughout the day – so do check in advance to ensure you know what is on before you arrive. Timing is everything.

Christmas at Changi

The Christmas Castle

I’d calmed down a little by this point and explained to the boys we needed to go down into the shopping area to spend another $30 to go on Mickey. They weren’t happy but came along (moaning) anyway. However, do you think I could find anything to spend $30 on? Not a chance! Then I looked at the time and realized it was already after 6pm on a Sunday night, so the chances of getting them home at a reasonable time and into bed for school the next day was already impossible. I also knew that leaving without the Mickey experience was not something I wanted to endure either.

Christmas at Changi

Serious commitment

Our next discovery were ride on animals – something the boys are so close to out-growing – so of course, we had to do that. No problem, here you go guys. Two rides, knock yourselves out. But I didn’t get the required $30 dollar receipt, and as with all things at Changi, no place for the parents to sit while the kids have fun. This meant more waiting around, which I wasn’t happy about after my previous lining up failure. I have to say that hanging around really bothers me, but at this visit, it seemed to bother me a whole lot more than normal. Parents, you have been warned. Expect lots of hanging around if you go.

After the animal rides, we were still in need of our $30 so what to do? Hey guys how about we have dinner at Pasta Mania? Yay! They love that place and I detest it, but getting my required receipt and having two happy boys was more important. As we went to go in, I noticed a huge line near the entrance and I asked for a table, no problem. Then I asked the lady what the line was all about – hoping it was for take-aways – but no. We had to sit at the table and THEN line up to order food. AWESOME, another line.

Christmas at Changi

Lex was in it to win it as well

I have no idea what the boys got up to while I lined up, and frankly, I didn’t care. Eventually the order was in, my cold pasta arrived fairly quickly, and by the time I finished it, their pizzas arrived. It wasn’t the greatest experience, but hey, it never could be for a grumpy Mum who’d had enough.

The important thing is no matter how bad the food and service was, we had our receipt, and once again lined up for Mickey. BUT by the time we got to the front, the first opportunity available was 9.30pm. No, no NO!!! I think they recognised they had a mother on the edge and very graciously gave the boys tickets for the next session, which meant lining up in yet another line, and here’s where it got good.

Christmas at Changi

The velcro wall

The staff were amazing. They were so great with the kids and seemed to love every minute of what they were doing. They quickly learnt the boys names, were playful, and the boys had an absolute blast. Although I should acknowledge that the skinny boy who had to pick my boys up and stick them to the valcro wall certainly had his work cut out for him. He did it though. The whole experience seemed to be over in a flash, but the boys were happy and we had a peaceful ride home.

As the Mickey Castle will be a central focus for your children, can I recommend a couple of things:

  • Do not go anywhere near it until you have a $30 receipt for every child you have to entertain
  • There are timings for this and you could find yourself with two hours to kill before it’s your turn. Get there early, get the tickets straight away and be prepared to spend a decent chunk of time at Changi this day. We went too late in the day to manage it properly
  • Be willing to line up a lot and wear comfortable shoes
Christmas at Changi

We seemed to find a Dutch Santa

So there you have it. While I didn’t exactly have a pleasant experience myself, the boys did and their happiness is everything to me. I made a lot of stupid mistakes, and hopefully you’ve learnt from them in this blog, so you won’t have to endure the unpleasant moments I endured. Just the lining up kills me, but that is the world today right? I just don’t enjoy lining up all that much and really, I should be better at it by now. Kids and lines seem to be synonymous.

Let me know what you think if you go or have already been?

Cheers

Andrea

#76 Christmas Lights on Orchard Road

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#orchardrdxmasEvery year we take the boys down to Orchard Road to see the Christmas lights – you’ve just got to right? For me there’s nothing better than being warm wandering around seeing Christmas decorations AND it’s always marvellous. A lot of time and money is invested by the various businesses every year that’s for sure.

My favourite tree is always the main one in Ngee Ann City, and it doesn’t disappoint with Cartier responsible for the decorations this year. How could Cartier ever do a bad job.

#orchardrdxmas#orchardrdxmasWhat was even better about seeing the Christmas lights this year, is it was Pedestrian Night on Orchard Road . If you weren’t aware, there is a six month pilot from October 2014 to March 2015, with the main road between Scotts and Bideford Junction closed off to traffic on the first Saturday of each month – that’s ION/Tangs to Ngee Ann/Paragon. The marketing says it starts from 6 (finishing at 11pm), but the reality is, you can’t get onto the road until after 6.30pm when everything is set up.

It was crazy busy down there last night – my word the crowds came out – but it was definitely a high energy night, with street performers, a bouncy castle (with a very long line!), movies, music and a lot more. The police did an awesome job, and it’s a really well run affair – which never surprises me in Singapore. I’d love to see this pilot extended indefinitely, especially if they included cafes sprawling out onto Orchard Road – that’d be nice.

#orchardrdxmas So even though you’ve missed Pedestrian Night pre-Christmas, if you haven’t done the Christmas lights walk, take the kids down to Orchard one night to see Christmas in all its glory. Better yet, wait for the grandparents to visit and drag them along too – although it was steamy last night!

#orchardrdxmas Best places for kids? ION is always very well done and you can go inside the tree. The boys were also particularly enamoured with the candy cane theme. Ngee Ann and Paragon as well for the outside decorations, and if nothing else, you could spend a long time people-watching as everyone does their Christmas tree posing – some amusing moments for sure. Further down you’ll find Unicorns past the Mandarin Gallery, and at the other end, I always like Tangs for its understated beauty. Here’s a link for the best dressed building contest. I think I’d vote for ION.

For better photos than mine – I took all of the photos in this post with my phone – check out this blog. Great work on the pics.

#orchardrdxmas #orchardrdxmas

 

A final thing. If you need of decorations for home, both Paragon and ION have fabulous Christmas fares in the open areas. There are some spectacular decorations, and some very expensive ones too – trust me, I know. If you don’t need any more right now, it’s always good to visit after Christmas when they are on sale and you can stock up for next year. Unfortunately they didn’t sell these feathers….

#orchardrdxmas Thanks to Sam, Dave, AJ and Bronte for joining us last night – hope you don’t mind your pics being included in the blog.

Right now I might take the boys out to Changi to check out Christmas down there. We’re all pretty tired after a late night last night, so perhaps a good idea. Naturally, I will report back if I do so.

Cheers

Andrea

#orchardrdxmas

Cavalia

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Cavalia SingaporeWe took the boys to see Cavalia this weekend. We decided it was an absolute must for all of us and we weren’t disappointed. The boys were captivated, and so were we. It’s a magnificent show. In fact, there were times it was so amazing, I actually found myself getting quite emotional, and Steve admitted he did too. I’m not sure what that was all about, but all I can put it down to is experiencing pure magic.

The horses were magnificent of course and as we were only in the second row, we were close enough to have a great experience with them. But for me, it was the performers that were mind blowing. Every one of them has incredible skills, along with levels of fitness that blew me away. Is there anything better than seeing people who are at the peak of their talents? This goes for the musicians too – beautifully integrated and world-class talents.

Cavalia SingaporeI love being able to take the boys to these spectacles, because afterwards, I can tell them that performing in a show like this is a possibility in their future. I often watch TED talks or commencement speeches, and one of the key themes that always comes through is many of the speakers were raised by parents who didn’t see the future potential of their children. This is because that potential didn’t fit into current possibilities. Comedians are always a stand out in this area, as well as most people who became successful in creative fields.

Cavalia SingaporeThe truth is, we’re all raising children today towards a future that is almost impossible for us to see. I know the digital revolution will change the world in ways we can hardly imagine today and for our kids, they will be working in fields that do not exist right now. It’s exciting and reminds me to really stay open to possibilities.

Cavalia SingaporeCavalia was about that for me – inspiring the boys’ imaginations and showing them possibilities for their futures – maybe even opening a door to one of their talents. I am in awe of the creative minds behind the concept for this show. One day Normand Latourelle, one of the co-founders of Cirque du Soleil, thought it up, got it in motion, and today we have a little bit of magic in Singapore to enjoy. It’s stunning.

As a family experience, there are various levels of ticket pricing, starting at close to $60/ticket and going up to $200+/ticket. I appreciate that this can be exorbitant for many families, however when I think of the costs of putting a show like this on, well it’s definitely worth it. We bought Category Four Gold, and got the second row to the front to the furthest right of the stage. Getting front and center is definitely worthwhile, so if you can afford the Red Category Two near the front, go for it. The best bit about being closer to the front is you can see the performer’s facial expressions. Then again, the seating is wide, rather than deep, so I don’t believe there is a “bad” seat. Here’s the link to Sistic as well for tickets.

As you can probably tell. We absolutely loved it and highly recommend it. They’ve extended the show for a couple of weeks, so don’t miss out if it’s something you really want to do.

Cheers

Andrea

Cavalia Singapore

 

#75 Singapore Sports Hub

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Having lived by Kallang Basin for a decade, watching (and hearing) the Singapore Sports Hub being built from scratch, we decided to take advantage of the Open House this weekend – as did a lot of other people – wow the crowds. Unfortunately, we missed any specific activities arranged for the open house (we didn’t think we were THAT late), with all of the major complexes closed to get ready for the evening activities. But we still had the opportunity to appreciate a very impressive complex.

Singapore Sports Hub

Taken with my phone – so not awesome!

Singapore Sports HubFor those of us living on Tanjong Rhu Road, I expect it will bring our neighbourhood to life – especially anyone who’s been living in the area for more than 10 years, when there was nowhere to go. That was definitely one of my earlier frustrations living here, but all that has changed. The Kallang Wave Shopping centre alone has a lot of promise – with lots of healthy eating options getting ready to open in the coming weeks. While we wait for these to open, I must say I’ve never seen Kallang Leisure Park so full – and that renovation isn’t even close to being complete either… Lots of change coming in the area!

Singapore Sports HubThe Singapore Sports Hub is fabulous and there are lots of ways families with young kids can enjoy the facilities without attending any sporting events. Rumour has it there’s an 888 metre walking track around the venue – which is going to be very popular with the legions of walkers in our community. There is a playground and exercise area, beach volley ball, kayak hire (and lessons for those aged nine+), swimming lessons and water activities (like scuba and snorkelling lessons, plus water aerobics sessions), lawn bowling, giant chess, and more. Another great activity for kids is the skate boarding park – open 7am to 10pm – a space designed for skaters, roller bladers or BMX bikers. Great for the slightly older kids.

It’ll be interesting to see how this evolves.

Singapore Sports HubThe Kallang Wave Shopping Centre ensures you can easily spend a full day in the area with kids, and it gives you a place to take a break from the heat as well. Here’s a list of shops and restaurants opening, but one activity that caught our attention was the indoor climbing wall – apparently the largest indoor climbing wall in Singapore. Here’s some additional information and if you’re keen on climbing, or want to give the kids a chance to try it out, they are offering free try outs until the end of July at 10-12pm, 1-3pm and 4-6pm. I am hoping Steve takes the boys over today.

Singapore Sports HubAll of this is next to Kallang Leisure Park, and while it’s going through a massive renovation as we speak, the activities – which we wrote about in an earlier blog – remain, including ten pin bowling and ice skating. That makes this entire area a great option if you’re looking to fill a day, with places to escape the rain or heat if needed.

Singapore Sports HubSo come and check it out. I know we’ll be spending a lot of time over there – even if we’re just scooting or riding bikes around the area. For those with little ones who need to move, we would’ve loved to have this open when our boys were toddling. We spent a lot of sweaty hours in the area when they were little, with hardly any facilities at all – so a great, big, safe place for those with active kids.

Singapore Sports HubLet us know what you think when you go?

Cheers

Andrea