In case you haven't heard, Downtown Line 1 is opening on 22 December 2013 and in celebration of that, everyone gets free all-day travel from 22 December 2013 to 1 January 2014! That's 11 days of free travel as long as you enter and exit through any of the six Downtown Line 1 stations.
And since those 11 days are still within the School Holidays, what better way to end the year than to delight the children by bringing them to sniff out kids-friendly destinations along the Downtown Line 1? Here are our recommendations!
Bugis Station (DT14)
(Connects with East-West Line too)
I don't think this station needs any introduction, with both Bugis Village and Bugis Junction providing ample shopping options. But hidden away along Bussorah Street, in front of the Sultan Mosque, is one awesome gem offering visitors a precious glimpse into the past.
There are even mock set-ups of a barber shop, mamak shop and a drinks stall too!
Children Little Museum
42 Bussorah Street (in front of Sultan Mosque), Singapore 199460
Distance from DT14 Bugis Station: 10-15 minute walk
Opening Hours: 10.30am - 10.00 daily
Promenade Station (DT15)
(Connects with Circle Line too)
The Promenade Station offers easy access to Suntec City, Millenia Walk and Singapore Flyer - all of which needs no special introduction as well. And the fabulous shopping aside, kids will no doubt nod furiously when asked if they would like to pay an Indoor Playground a visit.
Imagine walking into a toy store and getting to pick whatever educational plaything without a single objection. That is the premise of Hokey Pokey, an Indoor Playground originally located at Suntec City Mall but has since shifted to Millenia Walk.
Its padded play area is strewn with toys, ride-ons, toys, slides, toys, ball pits, toys – you get the picture yet? - making it perfect for the 6 and under crowd. Imaginations soar with make-believe toys like a kitchen, a castle, train table, gigantic dollhouse, and musical instruments.
9 Raffles Boulevard, Millenia Walk, #02-42/43/44/45, Singapore 039596
Distance from DT15 Promenade Station: 5 minute walk
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 10 am - 7 pm | Fri - Sat: 10 am - 9 pm | Sun: 10am - 7pm
Weekday rate (unlimited play): $25 per child (non-member) | $15 (member)
Weekend rate (2 hours playtime): $25 per child (non-member)| $15 (member)
Subsequent additional hour rate at $8 (non-member) and $6 (member).
Bayfront Station (DT16)
(Connects with Circle Line too)
Most notably, Marina Bay Sands is the most famous landmark at Bayfront Station but did you know that the MRT Station also offers a sheltered walkway to Gardens by the Bay? I most certainly didn't, and only found out when I brought the monkies down.
After about 5 minutes, the Supertrees were in full view! Of course, we still had to walk on for 5 minutes more to get to the core of the Gardens but no complaints from the monkies though.
There is more to Gardens by the Bay (read: FREE) other than the ticketed admission to the Cooled Conservatories. Start your exploration at The World of Plants, where a multi-sensory encounter with nature is promised. Enjoy the sights of flowers and fruits in bloom, and venture into the Secret Life of Trees, where visitors will learn how to identify different types of tree species. At the Web of Life, take in the impressive sight of topiary animals such as the orang-utan, pangolin and hornbill. The Heritage Gardens is another highlight, with four themed gardens - Indian Garden, Malay Garden, Chinese Garden and Colonial Garden. Each of these gardens will take one through the history and culture of Singapore’s three main ethnic groups and colonial past.
But if you are intending to bring your children down during this period, I will strongly recommend to enter the Flower Dome and catch the Christmas whimsical creation titled 'Christmas Sugar Mountain'. Instead of using the usual flowers and other plants to brighten up the Flower Dome, 'Christmas Sugar Mountain' cleverly banks on edible produce such as strawberries, pineapples, pumpkins, capsicums, tomatoes and lots of cabbages, woven together with a magical story of love, hope and joy.
18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953
Distance from DT16 Bayfront Station: 15 minute walk
Opening Hours: Bay South Garden is open from 5am to 2am daily. Opening hours for the Cooled Conservatories and OCBC Skyway is from 9am to 9pm daily.
Admission Charges: Access to the outdoor gardens in Bay South is free.
Admission to the Cooled Conservatories (Flower Dome & Cloud Forest) and the OCBC Skyway are chargeable. For a full listing of the admission charges, please click HERE.
Downtown Station (DT17)
This is a brand new station in its own right, and will no doubt bring added convenience to those working at the Marina Bay Financial Centre as well as shoppers descending onto Marina Bay link Mall.
Truth be told, there are no places of attractions for children nearby but the open space just above the station - The Lawn @Marina Bay - does provide an ideal venue for something that any child will surely love.
Kite-flying!!! Amazingly, the wind conditions are more than favourable there with ample space for the children to run amok.
Either that, or The Promontory @Marina Bay opposite the road is perfect too. Plus the entire family can take a stroll along the perimeter of Marina Bay too!
The Lawn @Marina Bay
Open Space between Marina Bay Financial Centre and The Sail
Distance from DT17 Downtown Station: 5 minute walk
Telok Ayer Station (DT18)
Yet another brand new station, the Telok Ayer Station will be bring cheer to foodies as restaurants and cafes in the Tanjong Pagar and Ann Siang Hill vicinity will be more accessible. Even better news if you and your children are avid toy collectors - head on down to China Square Central (5 minute walk away) every Sunday between 11am and 6pm for its Weekend Flea Market, which showcases an incredible selection of toy collectibles, antiques pieces, crafts and more.
But for the monkies during our recce trip along the stations, I decided on something totally different.
Would you believe it - in all my 37 years, I have never set foot inside the Sri Mariamman Temple at South Bridge Road? So it was perhaps fitting that I brought along the monkies in our maiden trip inside the temple as we stood with our necks craning upwards to look at the beautiful pictues.
Gazetted as a National Monument, the Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore's oldest Hindu temple with its ornamental tower entrance or gopuram, being a landmark to generations of Hindu worshippers and Singaporeans alike. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Mariamman, known for her power in curing epidemic illnesses and diseases.
Sri Mariamman Temple
244 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058793
Distance from DT18 Telok Ayer Station: 12 to 15 minute walk
Opening Hours: 9am - 5pm (Mon & Tue, Thu to Sat) | 9.45am - 5pm (Wed) |9am - 1.30pm (Sun)
Free Admission, but a surcharge of $3 is payable if one wished to take photographs within the temple.
Chinatown Station (DT19)
(Connects with North-East Line too)
Chinatown is the final station of the Downtown Line 1, and it most certainly requires no introduction with regards to its location. Be it People's Park Centre, Chinatown Point or the streets of Chinatown, there is no shortage of things to see, do and eat there.
But if you are seeking to bring your children away from the hustle and bustle of city life, the Pearl's Hill City Park is as good as it gets.
Tucked away in a corner of Chinatown and atop Pearl's Hill Terrace, Pearl's Hill City Park is built around a reservoir which supplies drinking water to Chinatown, and still does today. Although there isn't any playground to keep the children busy, there is a small pond at the main portion of the park filled with fishes and tortoises.
The entire park seems to be a place forgotten by time. I for one, loved the peace and tranquility the park brings which is rather rare in the modern city that we are living in today.
Pearl's Hill Terrace
Distance from DT18 Telok Ayer Station: 15 minute walk
I hope my recommended 6 places of interest will be useful and make good bonding time for you and your family. Do check them out and even better - take advantage of the free travel period on the Downtown Line 1 between 22 December 2013 to 1 January 2014!
Downtown Line 1 is the first of three phases of the Downtown Line. When fully completed in 2017, it will be the longest automated underground train line in Singapore with 10 interchanges meaning more connections for commuters to choose from and spend less time travelling. To keep updated on the latest news on the Downtown Line, 'LIKE' LTA’s Facebook page at or follow LTA on Twitter.