If you have been meaning to take your kids to the Singapore Science Centre but something always comes up, I can promise you something; this is absolutely worth the visit. Just off Jurong Town Hall Road, it’s a bit tired and worn out these days when looking at it through adult eyes, but the kids don’t care – it is a big, wonderful, interactive mystery wonderland, and there’s so much to see and do, you’ll never get it all done in one go.
Not even taking into account the special exhibitions (currently it’s dinosaurs and supposed to be amazing – we have to go before it closes), or the IMAX theatre, or anything else in the vicinity, the Science Centre is full of activities to keep children entertained for days. Broken up into multiple rooms over different floors, with different focus areas, the kids can:
- Watch baby chicks hatch and see some of the biggest cockroaches I’ve ever seen
- Play with water and experiment with gravity
- Explore magnets to rock ’n’ roll or classical music
- Understand and play with sound, light and fire
- Fire a cannon
- Scream in fright during the daily electricity show, or they might be old enough to LOVE it
- Understand evolution and extinction
- Get an understanding of the species we call human and get a bit of insight into us
- Learn about germs, viruses, and all of the other stuff in our world
- Enjoy magical tricks and illusions
- Hang out with some robots
- Explore space
- Understand how plants grow and why they’re important
- Or they can even scuttle up and down the fantastic tree house out back
They can climb, run, scream and play because it’s all for them and they’re welcome to it. There’s so much more to this place, and once you really start exploring it, you know you’ll go back again and again, because its relevance will change for your kids as they get older and understand more.
One other great thing about the Science Centre is it has an outdoor water park, and a pretty size-able one to boot. So don’t forget to take swim suits for the kids, sun block and a towel. When we first started going here about a year ago, they were much stricter on what the kids could and couldn’t do. It now seems they’ve loosened up – which is good – and the kids are pretty free to do as they please – within reason. And it’s all done with an educational angle, so they have fun getting wet and learning at the same time. I know one thing for sure, we can’t avoid the water park when we go, so unless it’s raining (which means it’s closed) we always spend time getting wet outside. Oh and if you’re an adult that doesn’t like getting wet, perhaps it’s best to avoid the water park. There’s no escaping it. In fact, I once had one of the big buckets dump a load on me – doh!
There is a cafe in the Science Centre and the staff is lovely, but the food is not so good – well for me anyway. I wish they had healthy sandwiches or fresh juices, but all you get is lots of fried stuff, white bread cheese sandwiches, instant noodles, drinks that would send my kids nuts, ice creams, chips, sweets and candy floss. We just take our own lunch or snacks when we go, because I just don’t want my kids eating this sort of food too often, but I’d encourage people to support the cafe in any way they can, because the people running it really are sweet. A great picnic spot, if you are there for a meal, is just outside near the tree house, or under the veranda out the back. There are tables and chairs here as well, so you can get comfortable. Of course, there is also a McDonalds out front near the entrance if that is more to your liking.
On your way out you must exit through the gates into the gift shop, and while this often makes parents’ groan or panic, this is definitely a gift shop worth exploring. In line with the Science Centre’s goal to educate and inspire kids about science and the world, they have some terrific stuff you actually don’t mind buying for your kids. Of course, you can also grab them and make a mad dash through the shop, but for once, it’s actually a gift shop worth a look.
The Science Centre is great value, costing $5/child (3-16) and $9/adult. However, if you know you’re going to go many times, the annual memberships are cheap and well worth it. I think we paid just over $50 for a two adult/three child membership that entitles us to unlimited entry into the Science Centre only (other exhibits are chargeable with this membership). We’ve gone at least 10 times, so it’s definitely worth looking into. Of course you can buy extended memberships that get you into its other facilities, like IMAX and Snow City– we haven’t done them yet. We will.
There you go, a really great place to take the kids – rain or shine – whether you’re living here or visiting.