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The Maritime Experiential Museum pirate treasureI’m not the sort of person who ever goes to anything that is brand new and the popular destination of the moment – because I just avoid crowds when I can. However, with the Singapore school holidays kicking off next week, I decided I had to take the boys to the newly opened Resorts World Sentosa Marine Life Parkthe World’s largest Oceanarium – and it’s pretty spectacular. Now just going to an aquarium isn’t enough of an adventure for my lads (even the world’s largest), so here’s how we made it into a full day – one the boys loved.

Sentosa BoardwalkWe parked up at Vivo City and walked across the Sentosa Boardwalk. This is actually the cheapest way to get onto Sentosa and it’s also a good energy depleter if that is something you need to do – which is obviously the case for us. We also regularly do this walk, as it gives Lex a chance to ride the travelator as you’ll see in the photo. It’s better than him trying to do it on an elevator with a six story drop on one side. Yes we’ve faced that situation too many times to count. Once on Sentosa (here’s the map), head off to the left, and you can check out the stalagmites and stalactites under the waterfall. Also if it’s close to lunchtime, the steps near the water always have shaded areas where you can sit and eat comfortably if you’ve brought a picnic. Although do check out the Malay Food Street too – it’s very cool, beautifully designed, air-conditioned and the toilets are very clean.

Marine Life Park, SingaporeFrom here, it’s on to the ticket counter and I’d definitely recommend visiting both the Maritime Experiential Museum and the Marine Life Park – which I think the ticket for the Marine Life Park covers? I’m not 100% clear on that, but you have to walk through the Museum to get to the Aquarium, so I’m sure it is the case. However, BUY your tickets in advance. We got a lucky break in the line, but then it filled up quickly behind us. It’s hot and a lot of the waiting is in the sun, so do yourself a favour and buy them before you leave home. Here’s the online booking link. for the Marine Life Park. If you decide to just visit the Maritime Experiential Museum it’s only about $5 or $6 from memory. I actually did this museum a while back with the boys, and it’s worth a look. The cost for the Marine Life Park is adults $29 and kids up to 12 (I think) $20, BUT while a large portion of fish are still en-route or in quarantine, when you buy a ticket at the moment you get a $5 voucher (each) to use at the restaurant in the museum. These vouchers are valid for about six months, so you can factor in a cheaper meal if you want to – the food looks pretty good actually.

The Maritime Experiential MuseumRight, so you’re in and the first thing you’re confronted with is a massive ship with a huge face on it. They do a mini-movie on the boat, and when the smoke starts coming out of the huge face, you can definitely expect little ones to be a bit freaked out, because it’s also very loud. The movie was cool, as it’s all about the history of the pirates and activities along the ancient silk maritime route, so worth stopping for this, and if your kids aren’t engaged in the movie, they’ll probably enjoy jumping around on the beanbags provided for our comfort.

The Maritime Experiential Museum drummingThe actual Maritime Experiential Museum is a beautiful little place, and it’s completely interactive, with stands featuring each of the countries/cities on the ancient sea route, and they all include activities for the kids. There are antique-style stamps for each stop, colouring in tables, drums to pound, costumes to dress up in, you can design clothes, smell the smells of the time, there are interactive screens, and a lot more. It’s not big, but it is a great place to visit at least once, because it’s definitely a fascinating time from history and some of the pirates were pretty spunky in their day. Also be warned, there are a couple of photo booths and while the one upstairs with the treasure chest wasn’t aggressively pushing their service, the dress up area downstairs near the exit made it next to impossible to get out without buying a photo. I was a sucker, but Lex looked cute in his costume.

Marine Life Park entranceDown the escalator, follow the signs to the left, and you’re immediately entering a tunnel under the water in the Marine Life Park. It is a HUGE place, and it goes on and on and on. There are fish in tanks under you, over you, and all around you, with lots of ship wreck activity to boot – it is very well done. While understanding that there are more fish to come, we were getting to the end of our experience and I hadn’t seen a single Clownfish. Now we all know that Nemo and Dory are vital to the success of any Aquarium, and the Dory’s were in abundance from the beginning, but Nemo wasn’t looking good right until the very end when we found a small fish tank of tiny Nemos – so don’t worry, they are there.

Marine Life Park main attractionThe massive Fish tank – the main feature – in the middle is brilliant and huge. You can kick back for ages and check out all of the different types of Stingrays, a few sharks, groupers, etc… but also make sure you move around to the other viewing areas for a different perspective. My only criticism of this space is chairs. If they put some comfortable chairs on the three elevated areas, I could imagine people relaxing for ages, enjoying this area, especially as they’re pumping out classical music all the time. It’s beautiful and we were impressed.

Marine life park touch tankSo far, they’ve set up one touch tank – which looks like Starfish but they’re Star something else apparently – and the boys were both very brave holding their first Star thingie! I’m not sure if they’ll set up more touch tanks, but worth a stop if your kids are feeling brave. Another bonus of the aquarium is it’s both wheelchair and pram friendly. It’s just a really big space, so even when crowded, having some wheels inside shouldn’t be an issue.

Marine Life Park NemoOnce you’re done, and back through the final tunnel – where you’ll see a lot more sharks, including hammerheads – make sure you check out the display of goodies from an ancient ship wreck, just before you get to the gift shop. It is easy to miss, but it’s a pretty impressive collection to see. The kids will enjoy hanging out on the giant interactive floor map if they’re not into the relics.

Right, I think that’s it. Definitely well worth the visit, but buy your tickets in advance if you can and let us know what you think when you go? From my Facebook page activity, it looks like a lot of friends have already been to visit and enjoyed it as much as we did. Another fantastic kid’s entertainment option in Singapore I have to say.

The Maritime Experiential Museum Maritime Silk RouteCheers

Andrea