Aug 2, 2015

10 Places for Kids to Learn About Singapore

There are playgrounds, there are theme parks, there are beaches and there are museums. All highly stimulating in their own way no doubt but what if parents wish to expose their kids to places in Singapore where they can learn more about the country they are growing up in?

Not so much the historical or heritage aspect but rather, the manner in which our country functions - like how our civil defence force and police force work, Singapore's maritime industry, how we manage our water supply and even Singapore's urban planning and transport planning efforts.

So if you are looking for a unique AND educational day out with the kiddos, here are 10 places where the whole family can learn more about this little red dot of ours - even better since National Day is round the corner!

And the bonus, ALL but one is FREE for Singaporeans to visit!

1. Civil Defence Heritage Gallery & Emergency Preparedness Centre

The Civil Defence Heritage Gallery traces fire-fighting and civil defence developments in Singapore since the late 1800s. It is intended to showcase the Singapore Civil Defence Force’s proud and long history, as well as heighten public awareness of civil defence. Tour Singapore’s oldest fire station, where kids can explore antique fire engines and interactive learning stations, and role-play firefighters. Older children who are at least 1.2m tall can join the Tower Tour (Tue, Fri: 7–8pm), ascend the 30m tower at the Central Fire Station and role-play firemen performing fire surveillance duties from the tower top just as firemen did during the 1900s. Pre-registration at the SCDF website is required.

Located next to the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery, the newly-opened Emergency Preparedness Centre houses interactive exhibits to educate the public about the skills needed to prepare for emergencies. There are seven exhibits including the fire extinguisher simulator which discharges water onto a video wall depicting fire scenarios as well as interactive mannequins on which visitors can try out the Heimlich manoeuvre and CPR procedure. The signature exhibit is the Icube which uses the latest state of the art virtual reality 3D immersive technology to give visitors a realistic experience of natural disasters such as a typhoon and tsunami. Prior booking is required and can be done at

Cheekiemonkies Love: Time your visit to the gallery on Saturday mornings and kids will have a bonus treat—thanks to the Central Fire Station being open to the public from 9am to 11am!

Address: 62 Hill Street, Singapore 179367
Opening Hours: 10am–5pm (Tue–Sun, including PH) | Closed on Mon
Price: Free admission
Tel: 6332-2996 (for group bookings) | Online booking available

2. Army Museum

Showcasing the pride of Singapore’s military forces, the Army Museum of Singapore pays tribute to the numerous men and women who have served the country. Various exhibitions honour the contributions of soldiers and show how far the Singapore Army has come since Singapore’s independence. Immerse yourself in the special effects show that highlights the Army’s capabilities, and try shooting an assault rifle at the Individual Marksmanship Trainer station.

Cheekiemonkies Love: The Adventure Park situated outdoors. Modelled after the Standard Obstacle Course in the Army, kids will have a wild and fun time going through the 11 obstacles which have been modified for kids under 14 years of age.

Address: 520 Upper Jurong Road, Singapore 638367
Opening Hours: 10am–6pm (Tue–Sun) | Closed on Mon, except PH
Price: Free admission (Singapore Citizens & PRs) | $3–$5 (Tourists & Foreign Citizens)

3. Images of Singapore LIVE

Newly refurbished, the Images of Singapore LIVE at Sentosa is a journey that uncovers our nation’s extraordinary history—from humble fishing village to 21st century metropolis. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of yesteryear in this 45-minute actor-led attraction which features 15 immersive, themed areas, live actors, special effects and the Spirit of Singapore Boat Ride. Start the adventure by exploring the Singapore Dock filled with authentic smells and colours, and then head to the Malay Fishing Village to witness the signing of an important treaty that led to the founding of modern Singapore.

Cheekiemonkies Love: The Spirit of Singapore Boat Ride. The ride takes visitors along a celebratory journey through Singapore’s historical and cultural landmarks—from the enchanting Botanic Gardens, to being in pole position at the F1 night race.

Address: 40 Imbiah Road, Imbiah Lookout, Sentosa, Singapore 099700
Opening Hours: 10am–6pm (Weekdays) | 10am–7.30pm (Weekends, PH)
Price: Tickets are paired together with Madame Tussauds Singapore
Online Price - $29 (Adult) | $20 (Senior Citizen over 60yrs) | $19 (Child, 3–12yrs)

4. Singapore Discovery Centre

Part museum, art gallery and science centre, the Singapore Discovery Centre captures the Singapore Story through entertaining and interactive activities. An ‘edutainment’ centre about Singapore's past, present and possible future, kids will be kept busy with plenty of hands-on activities - virtual reality games, computer-simulated shooting, a motion simulator ride and the world's largest design studio, the Visionarium. The design studio is regarded as the jewel of the Singapore Discovery Centre. Step into the studio and make creative choices to turn Singapore into one of the best cities in the world to live, work and play in, and watch your choices presented on a 360-degree screen.

Cheekiemonkies Love: Touring the SAFTI Army Military Institute. A bus tour brings visitors around the 98-ha training ground for officers from Singapore’s Army, Navy and Air Force. SAFTI Bus Tour timings are as follows: 10am, 11.05am, 12.05pm, 1.05pm, 2.05pm, 3.05pm, 4.05pm and 5.05pm daily.

Address: 510 Upper Jurong Road, Singapore 638365
Opening Hours: 9am–6pm (Tue–Sun) | Closed on Mon, except PH and Sch Hols
Price: Free admission (Singapore Citizens & PRs) | $6–$10 (Tourists & Foreign Citizens)

5. Singapore Maritime Gallery

If your kids are ship fans, then the Singapore Maritime Gallery is a must! Learn how Singapore transformed into one of the world’s leading international maritime hubs and enter the fascinating world of port operations. A highlight is the Ship Bridge Simulator where kids sit in a realistic mockup of a ship bridge, be captain for a day and steer a variety of ships. Walk through an actual 20ft cargo container and see a large ship model known as the Big Ship.

Cheekiemonkies Love: The Kids Section. Kids can dress up in different maritime costumes at the cosplay station, be a maritime Picasso using digital painting and stretch their creativity at the LEGO wall.

Address: 31 Marina Coastal Drive, Marina South Pier, Singapore 018988
Opening Hours: 9am–5.30pm (Tue–Sun) | Closed on Mon, except PH
Price: Free admission

6. Police Heritage Centre

Opened in 2002, the Police Heritage Centre showcases exhibits that recreate the genesis and development of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) since the 1800s. The main gallery which documents the chronology of policing in Singapore is divided into eight areas, each depicting a major chapter in the development in SPF’s history. See how Singapore’s first police force in 1819 - which comprised only one sergeant, 12 constables and a jailer - coped during the tumultuous and lawless early years. Visits are by appointment only.

Cheekiemonkies Love: Open House events during the school holidays. Kids can be policemen for a day! Role-play police officers, make your own warrant cards, and snap photos with police officers.

Address: 28 Irrawaddy Road, New Phoenix Park, Police Headquarters Tower Level 1 & 2, Singapore 329560
Opening Hours: 10am–5pm (Tue–Fri) | 10am–1pm (Sat) | Closed on Sun, Mon, PH
Price: Free admssion
Tel: 6478-2123

7. Singapore City Gallery

The Singapore City Gallery at the URA Centre is the only gallery in Singapore that tells the story of Singapore’s planning efforts, showing its remarkable physical transformation - past, present and future. With 10 thematic areas and more than 50 audio-visual and interactive exhibits spanning three floors over 2,400sqm, the Gallery offers an exciting, multi-sensory learning experience into Singapore’s planning journey.

Cheekiemonkies Love: The 270-degree panoramic sights and sound show, A Day in Singapore and the Central Area Model Light and Sound Show. Try shaping the Singapore skyline and work on the worksheets while there. (download level-specific worksheets from

Address: 45 Maxwell Road, The URA Centre, Singapore 069118
Opening Hours: 10am–5pm (Mon–Sat) | Closed on Sun & PH
Price: Free admission

8. LTA Gallery

Kids who love buses and cars will feel right at home at the LTA Gallery. Families can journey from the past to the present as they view Singapore’s land transport history. See the world’s major cities’ land transport systems and get a closer look into Singapore’s various modes of transportation. Learn about the key milestones in Singapore’s land transport development and the challenges faced during the nation’s formative years. Look out for the rattan man, who was the one directing traffic on roads before traffic lights were installed. He used coloured wings to direct traffic in the middle of the road! Guided tour timings are scheduled at 9.30 am, 11.00am, 12.00pm, 1.30pm and 3.00pm. Book a guided tour at before heading down at least 3 working days in advance.

Cheekiemonkies Love: The Challenge Theatre. Visitors take on the role of a transport planner and decide how to deal with the challenges that transport planners face. They can also make decisions to increase bus fares, train routes, or to have more buses on the roads to reduce waiting times. Whatever the decision, visitors will see the impact and consequences of their decisions.

Address: 1 Hampshire Road, Blk 1, Level 1, Singapore 219428
Opening Hours: 9.30am–5pm (Mon–Sat) | Closed on Sun, PH
Price: Free admission

9. Sustainable Singapore Gallery

Explore six interactive galleries filled with fun games as they weave together a story of how Singapore developed quickly into a world-class city using environmentally-sustainable techniques. Uncover, through interactive and innovative multimedia, how the Singapore River and Kallang River have been treated and cleaned up during an extensive 10-year process and how potable water is purified to produce NEWater, Singapore’s very own recycled water. Free guided tours of Marina Barrage are conducted daily.

Cheekiemonkies Love: Coming face to face with the innovative barrage model in Gallery 4 that demonstrates how the Marina Barrage works. Detailing the intricate construction and operations of the dam, visitors can watch what happens when rain falls and water builds up behind the barrage. See pumps at work and learn how Marina Barrage works as a sophisticated dam and powerful tool for flood control.

Address: 8 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018951
Opening Hours: 9am–9pm daily | Closed on Tue
Price: Free admission

10. NEWater Visitor Centre

From interactive daily tours to educational workshops, the NEWater Visitor Centre promises a fun-filled and enriching time for families. Take a stroll through the gallery, understand the science behind NEWater and experience what it is like to be a water molecule undergoing treatment! More suitable for primary school-going kids, the centre allows them to learn facts through fun interactive multimedia presentations. They can also sample the cleanest drinking water in Singapore.

Cheekiemonkies Love: The recently revamped NEWater Visitor Centre offers fresh insights into its water treatment facilities through exciting and interactive games.

Address: 20 Koh Sek Lim Road, Singapore 486593
Opening Hours: 9am–5.30pm (Tue–Sun) | Closed on Mon, except PH
Price: Free Admission | Tel: 6546-7874


Enjoyed this post? The post has been reproduced from a chapter in my new book, 'Got Kids, Go Where?' which is OUT in bookstores NOW! It is the most important book in the world and will change your life for the better. Without it, you will feel incomplete and lost whenever the weekends and public holidays come along.

Okay, so maybe I exaggerate when I say Got Kids, Go Where? is the most important book in the world. BUT I'm not kidding when I say the book contains brand new 50 chapters - each consisting 10 listings - which works out to a whopping 500 family-friendly activities! So order your copy online or grab one from Popular and Kinokuniya bookstores!

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