Apr 16, 2021

Rediscovering Fun Places in Singapore - A weekend of Activities with Kids at Sentosa

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Has the first three months of 2021 flown by just like that??? We are now in April which can only mean one thing - the June school holidays are around the corner!


Only problem is, we seem to be running out of places to bring the family out since it has been more than a year that overseas travel was curtailed.


BUT IS THAT REALLY THE CASE?


If you have been following my blog and social media accounts, you will know that I have been bringing the monkies to discover new places in Singapore, be it a new playground, new attraction or hiking along off-the-beaten-track nature trails.


Truth is, there is more than meets the eye in the island of Singapore. Ok, I don't want to go all Transformers-speak on you, but beyond the usual places of attraction that we all know and love, there are many hidden gems and unique experiences waiting to be discovered afresh locally - if we know where to look. 



One of such places is Sentosa island and its surroundings. Because besides the familiar attractions, there are a few pleasant gems like an abandoned reservoir and nature trail (both are FREE by the way) that families can experience together.


If you need some inspiration on how you can rediscover Singapore, check out what the range of activities and staycations Expedia has to offer HERE.


FUN ACTIVITIES WITH EXPEDIA


HeadRock VR

If you are afraid of going on roller-coasters at theme parks (because it's too adrenaline pumping), GOOD NEWS - you can experience all the thrills and spills via Virtual Reality (VR)!




Singapore’s first and largest virtual reality theme park, HeadRock VR at Resorts World Sentosa is home to virtual reality rides where visitors are transported to imaginative worlds with just a simple headset.

Boasting different themes and 11 extreme attractions that cater to ages six and up, the digital attraction theme park fuses entertainment and state-of-the-art technology, and promises an extreme experience that is larger-than-life!



Ticket prices are based on mixing and matching the number of attractions according to the colour zones and preferred package. Choose from rafting across extremely strong currents, firing at enemies while precariously balancing off the edge of a high-rise building, or bracing yourself against a stormy blizzard that threatens to blow you away.


It's pretty entertaining stuff... especially if you are looking for somewhere fun to bring the kids on a rainy or super hot-day, since everything is indoors and air-conditioned. 



And the good thing is the VR rides and games cater to a wide range of ages. Younger kids will love going on the Extreme Train or Jungle Rafting VR rides while older kids will dig the chance of going deep into a volcano at the Flying Dive or defusing a bomb at the Skyscraper challenge.



As for my teens, they love blasting zombies at the Zombie Busters game and weilding lightsabers to the music beats at the Beat Saber activity.



Rain or shine, HeadRock VR is definitely a great place to bring the whole family!


Find out more on HeadRock VR and other activities available on Expedia HERE


Skyline Luge Sentosa



Cruise downhill at a leisurely pace or at breakneck speed in a part go-cart, part toboggan vehicle. There are FOUR different trails (Dragon, Expedition, Kupu Kupu and Jungle), which are all specially designed with hairpin corners, long straights and exciting slopes!




The Jungle Trail (628m) begins with a thrilling ride through a tunnel covered in luxuriant plant-life, while the Dragon Trail (688m) gives you that adrenaline rush as you navigate your way down Skyline Luge Sentosa’s longest track.


The two newer Luge tracks are Kupu Kupu Trail (638m) and Expedition Trail (658m). The former runs through a 'mystical' forest, while the latter allows you to zoom through exhilarating tunnels and twist and turn around thrilling corners!



To ride the luge alone, kids must be 6 years old and at least 110cm tall but shorter kids can ride in tandem with an adult.


Before the Luge experience, board the Skyride for a scenic bird’s-eye view of Sentosa Island, the Singapore city skyline and the South China Sea.



Find out more on Skyline Luge Sentosa and other activities available on Expedia HERE.


Nestopia


Spanning more than 470 square metres, Nestopia is more than just an outdoor playground. 



Part of Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, it draws inspiration from the natural landscape and greenery in its surroundings, bringing to life the story of a flock of legendary birds building homes with ropes, branches, leaves and a touch of magic.


The unique structure features variations of climbing obstacles, suspended bridges, mazes and slides. Kids can embark on an exhilarating adventure through 17 (!!!) play sections with netted obstacle courses connecting 3 giant nests and 2 of the longest slides on Sentosa island!


Each challenge aims to develop a combination of motor skills, strength, balance, spatial awareness and problem solving skills. The three nests with a height of up to 7.5 metres offer a bird’s-eye view of the South China Sea and the surrounding Siloso Beach precinct. Nestopia is suitable for children aged 5 and above.


I can guarantee that it will be a hit with the kiddos!


Find out more on Nestopia and other activities available on Expedia HERE.


FREE ACTIVITIES


Keppel Reservoir


If the usual parks and nature trails are too normal for you, how about going on an unmarked trail to locate an abandoned reservoir?



Nestled at the slopes of Mount Faber and just across Sentosa Island, Keppel Hill Reservoir (otherwise known as the 'abandoned reservoir' or 'forgotten reservoir') was believed to have started operating as early as 1905 and served the water needs of the Tanjong Pagar Docks nearby. Subsequently, it became a place for swimming and even was a private swimming pool at one point. But by the 1950s, it vanished from the maps and its location was not officially marked for 60 years.



Now, it is regarded as one of the best kept secrets in Singapore as the area is totally unspoilt and getting there takes a bit of trekking through vegetation (and muddy tracks), in order to get to this piece of hidden sanctuary.



To get to Keppel Hill Reservoir, there are 2 routes to take - one is straightforward and more suited for families with kids, while the other is a much more challenging one with a very steep slope to climb. If you take the more challenging route, you will pass by the Seah Im Bunker as well.



The straightforward route is a great trail to bring along the kids as it is a relatively short hike. better yet, there are lots of precious memories to be made - trekking through the jungle, trodding on muddy trails, scaling steep, slippery & muddy slopes and exploring a rare part of Singapore together as a family.


*For the detailed route instructions, you can read my post HERE


Mount Imbiah Nature Trail & Coastal Trail


Sentosa may be known for its thrilling attractions and relaxing beaches but did you know there is a more rustic side to it?



Right in the heart of Sentosa are two little-known nature trails that visitors can go on their own, and they are easy and fun enough to bring along the kiddos too!


The Imbiah Trail (marked in red) is what most people is familiar with but there are actually two nature trails nestled deep within the island where one can come close to nature.

For that rustic feel, go on the Mount Imbiah Nature Trail (in yellow).


The trail will bring you through a rich secondary forest to the top of Mount Imbiah, where you can see the remnants of a British gun battery.

Along the way, you will come across some pretty interesting sights too!



Did someone mention a Dragon fountain?
 

Or some huge 'fossilised' rocks?


Personally, I love the Imbiah Falls... which you can probably tell. 😁


The reward after the hike up to Mount Imbiah is this - the remnants of Mount Imbiah Battery which was built in the 1880s and along with the guns at Fort Siloso, served as part of the coastal defences of Singapore.


If you are looking for something which brings you closer to the sea, try the Coastal Trail (in blue in the map above).


The Coastal Trail can be accessed from the Siloso Point bus stop near Fort Siloso. This particular stretch of the coastal trail is only 2.2km in length and will take about 30 to 40 minutes to complete at a leisurely pace.


One of the few remaining ones in Singapore, Sentosa’s coastal forest is a safe haven to many local wildlife. These animals include everything from bats, birds and macaques to snakes and squirrels.


The trail hugs the coastline of Sentosa and offers splendid views that stretches out to Keppel Harbour and Resorts World Sentosa... not to mention a lovely sea breeze too!


TIP: You can end your trail at the Sentosa Nature Discovery which is located at Imbiah Station.


This free-to-enter attraction is home to many interactive exhibits, sculptures and even a lookout point. Best of all, it is housed in a former monorail station! (If you remember what is that, you are as old as me)


Do pay a visit to the newly-opened Geology Gallery located on the first level too. 


Visitors can unlock the secret behind the formation of Singapore, where it showcases earth processes and rock formation, geological map, coastal forests, rock samples and fossils. Kids will love the huge map which houses multiple interactive elements for exploration, and contain intriguing geological facts that they can learn about.


Visitors can also learn about sustainability, and how Sentosa actively portrays this mission — the efficient use of resources and the preservation of the flora, fauna, as well as heritage. Entry is free as well.


STAYCATIONS WITH EXPEDIA


With no overseas travel for the forseeable future, the next best option is to go on a staycation. And besides booking your activities, you can also snag the best staycation deals through Expedia too!


Since we planned to have two full days of fun on Sentosa, it made perfect sense to factor in a 2D1N staycation on the island... and Hotel Michael at Resorts World Sentosa looked to complete that all-in-one family-friendly staycation itinerary.



We had previously stayed in the Festive Hotel and Hotel Equarius but it was our first time staying at Hotel Michael. 


My first impression of the hotel was its close proximity to the major attractions at RWS, and also the monorail station! It's less than a 5-minute walk to Universal Studios Singapore, as well as the restaurants at RWS.


Oh, and RWS is currently running a Hawaiian-themed 'Frolic in the Tropics' campaign where visitors are asked to "put on your shades and get ready for a hula of a time at Resorts World Sentosa".

I won't argue with that for sure. 😎

Ok, back to our staycation. The first thing that greeted us when we got to our rooms was this.


Guess this is the NEW normal going forward but it's great knowing that RWS is not relaxing when it comes to hygiene standards.

And what about our Deluxe room?


IT IS HUGE!

I have got to say I was pleasantly surprised by how big the room is. One can actually place another King-sized bed in there! No kidding.


And the view? First time that we got a view of a theme park from our hotel room.


Lovely to see Shrek's castle from a distance as well as the Battlestar Gallactica roller-coasters making their rounds. Luckily we couldn't hear the screams. 😆


The kids have their own connecting Deluxe room which comes with two Super Single beds - which are big enough to accommodate all three monkies after joining them together.


The toilets are functional and clean and I have to give a special mention to that circular shower cubicle.


So, after all the mandatory photo-taking 😅, it was time to do what staycations are made for.


Chill and have a cuppa.


As for amenities, Hotel Michael has a gym as well as a swimming pool.


The swimming pool is a decent size and there is also a jacuzzi if you are looking for a relaxing dip.


Do note, however, that there is no pool for younger kids here.


Food-wise, we had our dinner at Fratelli, a family-friendly Italian restaurant which prides itself on using only the finest imported ingredients.


In line with the Hawaiian theme, Fratelli is also having a special dinner menu which features Mediterranean-meets-Polynesian creations like cured salmon, fascinating pizzas inspired by hearty tropical cuisine and a coconut-flavoured dessert featuring Hawaii’s iconic treat, Haupia.

And what's a Hawaiian menu without some tropical alcoholic drinks, no?


I had the BLUE HAWAII ($20) which is a concoction of Blue Curaçao, Smirnoff vodka, lime juice, Sprite, orange and cherry while the wifey had the CHAMPAGNE PUNCH ($22), a mixture of Santa Margherita Prosecco, Famous Grouse whisky, grenadine syrup and raspberry.

Both tasted great but the cups which the drinks came in were just too cute for me NOT to strike a pose.


For starters, we had the LOMI LOMI SALMON ($24) which consisted of Cured Norwegian salmon, lime dressing, fennel "carpaccio" salad, piquillo peppers, avocado chunks, cilantro, sesame seeds and ciabatta bread chips.


As for mains, there are two pizzas to choose from. If you are a fan of Hawaiian pizzas, go for the PIZZA HAWAIIAN KU'UIPO ($30) which is a pizza topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pineapple chunks, Italian cooked ham, crispy bacon bits and roasted Padron peppers.


Ayd loved it so much that he termed it as an 'atas' Hawaiian pizza. 😂

As for Ash, he enjoyed munching on the 'ONO LU'AU PIZZA ($32) which is topped with smoked tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, shredded kālua pork, marinated zucchini, caramelised onions, arugula and semi-dried tomatoes.


This was also my fave, largely because of the shredded kālua pork which was so tender and flavourful!

And I have to give a bonus mention to the Seafood Pasta we had too.


This is part of their regular menu and not only is the seafood fresh, the sauce is SUPER DELICIOUS. I kid you not. My monkies were fighting over the remaining sauce and in the end, the entire plate was wiped clean. Even better than SG CLEAN, I say. LOL.

So no choice, I had to turn my attention to the desserts instead.


Part of the special 'The Haute Tropics' menu too, the HAUPIA PIE ($14) is a dark chocolate tart, with traditional coconut Haupia and whipped cream. Delish, and a fitting end to our dinner.


Did I mention you can enjoy a 40% discount on this exclusive menu when you pay with Mastercard®? Simply make your reservation online using the promo code: RWSMC40!

With full bellies, it was perhaps apt that we went for a night stroll after dinner. And considering how central Hotel Michael's location is at RWS, it was a breeze walking together as a family.


Breakfast at Hotel Michael was also at Fratelli and due to the COVID-19 situation, its breakfast is currently an ala-carte one and not a buffet.

We had three choices to choose from: American breakfast which was the standard eggs, bacon & hashbrown fare, Italian breakfast which consisted of pizza and pasta and a Chef's selection which essentially features local food.




All in, it was a great staycation with the family. I loved how the hotel was near to most of the attractions on Sentosa island - we could go on the nature trail on Sentosa in the morning, head to HeadRock VR in the afternoon when the weather is hot and then to the Luge at night when it is more cooling!


So while we are all seemingly 'stuck' here in Singapore with no overseas travel in the horizon, there are no lack of activities and attractions for us to visit right here in Singapore.


And with the June school holidays coming up, now is the perfect time to start planning. For all your travel needs to REdiscover Singapore, Expedia is THE best (and only) place you need to book all of the fun-filled activities and staycations!


How so?


That's because you can get 10% off hotels and activities with Expedia’s promo code <REDISCOVERSG> when you book through the Expedia mobile App!


For more inspiration on rediscovering our island, visit HERE.



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