May 27, 2016

Top Picks of Children's Season 2016: The BEST Festival for Kids!

Media Invite

Let me just say this: If you only have time to let your kids attend one festival in the year, Children's Season will be it.

Presented by the National Heritage Board, Children’s Season is an action-packed festival during the June school holidays and is held across various museums island-wide. Expect a range of kid-centric programmes and engaging family activities that will inspire, engage and educate. And it is my FAVOURITE festival for kids!

Looking at this year's line-up, Children's Season 2016 is clearly bigger than ever! 2014's edition saw more than 40 programmes conducted in 21 museums island-wide while last year's Children's Season had more than 50 programmes in 20 museums. This year?

A total of more than 70 programmes specially designed for the young at 27 museums in Singapore!

Some of the workshops require a fee but other than that, most of the activities are FREE! How awesome is that?!?!! But even though Children's Season lasts for a full 4 weeks and over 5 weekends between 28 May and 26 June 2016, I think it will be a challenge for anyone to finish visiting all of the museums.

So it sure pays to get started early and visit the museums! To help you along, I have picked out some of the most notable programmes to bring your kids to.

Masak Masak 2016
28 May to 26 Jun 2016
10am - 6pm
National Museum of Singapore
Free Admission
Suitable for ALL

Celebrate the joys of being a child at Masak Masak, the National Museum of Singapore’s
flagship Children’s Season 2016 event. Children and their families are invited to interact with the six installations sprinkled around the museum, inspired by familiar games of the past.

Clumsy Dumpty on the Wall (Level 2)

Clumsy Dumpty on the Wall is an interactive installation inspired by the familiar shape sorter play toy that has encouraged bonding and teamwork among generations of children in the past and present. Team up with friends and family to complete the puzzle before the pieces slip back out – while being entertained by Dumpty’s clumsy and mischievous antics (Read: light and sound effects)!

BIKES 4 FUN (Level 2)

Challenging the functional conventions of bicycles, FunCycling seeks to explore the limitless possibilities of these traditional two-wheeled machines!

Kids are invited to interact with bicycles which have been transformed and reinvented to perform the most outrageously fun functions. All they have to turn the pedals using leg power and they will be able to power up the installations! Just like this Bike SpinArt, where kids can create 'spinning' masterpieces using paint just by spinning a piece of paper and adding paint!

But why do I get the feeling that the Bubble Blower will be the ultimate hit among the young ones?

Le Bestiaire (Level 2)

Inspired by creatures from the majestic animal kingdom and beyond, 12 French artists and designers created their own imaginary zoo of unexpected, abstract and hyper-realistic animals. Ranging from the meekly tame to the terrifyingly wild, Le Bestiaire gives young and old alike the opportunity to embody any animal their imagination conjures.

The young (and wild) ones can also create their own animal costumes, inspired by the patterns and and creatures of the imaginary zoo.

Let’s Play! (Level 1)

By far, I think this is the most fun installation of the lot!

Let’s Play! transforms familiar and classic board games – Snakes & Ladders and Ludo – into a life-sized three-dimensional journey. Playing the role of physical human tokens, children are invited to immerse themselves in an adventurous voyage through a magical forest.

Kids will definitely have a kick going down the slides or crawling through the tunnels - all while playing in a life-sized board game!

Block Up! (Front Lawn)

A single building block – although simple and fundamental – holds the potential to endless creation. Inspired by building blocks, one of the first experiences a child has playing and interacting with others, Block Up! encourages children to explore, interact and learn about different shapes together.

Drawing artistic inspiration from the National Museum of Singapore, the museum’s design, architecture and motifs have been adapted and reimagined into the installation’s vibrant patterns, inviting visitors to explore a different view and perspective.

And of course, one can never go wrong with throwing in a colourful and retro-looking bouncy castle as well!

Unsurprisingly, the kids loved it!

See what I mean? :)

Toysaurse (Basement)

Created with toys from the artist’s toy exchange programme, Toysaurse explores the themes of childhood and material possessions along with the common thread that runs through both
– their ephemeral and temporary nature. Prompting reflection among young and old alike, this multi-segmented installation seeks to remind its audience to treasure what they have in the present. Visitors are invited to interact with and build on the artwork by contributing their own unwanted toys to the existing installation.

Once Upon A Time in Asia: The Missing Mouse
8 May to 26 Jun 2016
10am - 5pm
Asian Civilisations Museum
Free Admission
Suitable for 7 to 12 years old

This exhibition is based on Asian Civilisations Museum’s (ACM) first children’s book, The Missing Mouse. And from the title, one does not need to know that the main objective is to find the missing mouse!

While kids are able to experience a story about friendship and adventure in the museum as they join Ganesha on his hunt for his best friend, Mr Mouse, they will explore meandering mazes, paths and passages in a giant maze specially created for Children's Season 2016.

The experience for visitors will start at the large and colourful maze in the Learning Gallery, and then extends to the museum’s other galleries. Children can join in the search for Mr Mouse, and, along the way, encounter other animal characters – both real and mythical – from the museum’s collection.

There are three themed areas within the maze provides activities for the children; sea, jungle and sky.

Miss Makara is featured in the sea themed area. The Makara is a sea creature that sailors look to for safety. Motifs of the Makara were used by fishermen and sailors. Children can fold their own boat using instructions provided to them.

Mr Hornbill is featured in the jungle themed area. The Dayaks believe that hornbills are special messengers bringing wishes to deities. Children can make a wish for a loved one and fix it to the tree. They can also bring home a special rubbing of the characters featured in the book.

Mr Dragon is featured in the sky area. The ancient Chinese believed that dragons bring rain. With rains come rainbows. This area is a space for children to lie down and imagine and be creative. This area is also a storytelling area and there will be books for children to read.

After exiting the maze, children will choose their own adventure in the galleries, looking for Mr Mouse before ending off at a celebratory party at the Shaw Foyer.

Children will be given the choice to choose their own path and choose which objects they would like to look at using this trail.

The narrative continues and children follow the path of Mr Mouse until they find him at the dinner party where they will be introduced to dining etiquette in Asian culture, and create a menu for their favourite character from the story.

Throughout Children's Season 2016, ACM will be conducting a wide array of programmes as well:

Saturday, 28 May & Sunday, 29 May | 1pm to 5pm | 7 years old and above

Can you find Mr Mouse? Join Ganesha and friends on an adventure around the Asian Civilisations Museum. This special festival features family-oriented activities including hands-on crafts and performances, as well as storytelling tours and family trails in the galleries. Have a fun-filled afternoon with the family at the Weekend Festival!

Fridays, 3, 10, 17, 24 June | 12pm to 4pm | 4 years old and above
Have fun at the museum with the whole family every Friday in June. Join Mr Mouse, Ganesha, and friends on an adventure in the museum. Create fun crafts and listen to exciting stories in the galleries. Enjoy a fun-filled Friday at the ACM!

4 June | 1pm to 5pm | 4 years old and above
Crawl through mazes and say hello to fantastical beasts and creatures in the The Missing Mouse exhibition. Watch them come to life in dramatised performances. Bring along a tote bag and silkscreen your very own Ganesha and Mr Mouse!

How about other museums? Here are some of my recommendations:

Army Museum of Singapore
Free Admission for Singapore Citizens & PRs.
Admission charges apply for others.

Cadets, Fall In! 2016
 28 May to 26 Jun
All Ages

ATTENTION! Listen up, boys and girls! In this installation of ‘Cadets Fall In’ programme, learn about Army life through an outdoor 'Survival!' field camp, a laser tag game mission, and our Special Exhibition. Also bring out the ‘garang’ soldier in you, by donning one of our child-sized uniforms, complete with accessories. Enjoy a fun-filled experience for children of all ages.

Be A Soldier
28 May to 29 May, 31 May to 05 Jun, 07 Jun to 12 Jun, 14 Jun to 19 Jun, 21 Jun to 26 Jun
11am - 5pm
3 to 12 years old

Young warriors, come dress up as a soldier of our Singapore Army, by trying on our child-sized Army uniforms (up to 12 years old) prepared just for you. Take on your dream Army role, equipped with the props provided.

I Am Mission Ready!
29 May, 03 Jun to 05 Jun, 10 Jun to 12 Jun, 17 Jun to 19 Jun, 24 Jun to 26 Jun
11am - 5pm
4 to 16 years old

Ready, aim, fire away! Accomplish the mission given by your commander, while negotiating the twists and turns in an inflatable maze. Grab your family and friends and form a team now!

Our Army, Our Nation's Strength
28 May to 29 May, 31 May to 05 Jun, 07 Jun to 12 Jun, 14 Jun to 19 Jun, 21 Jun to 26 Jun
10am - 6pm
All Ages

Ever wondered what the different formations in the Army do? Here’s your chance to embark on an experiential journey to find out more about the formations that make up the Army and what it takes to be a soldier. Test your strength, endurance, dexterity, agility and mental ability by trying out the various activity stations. At the Jungle Zone, you will learn fun facts about jungle survival, such as building a shelter, starting a fire or collecting food and water.

Indian Heritage Centre
Free Admission

Amazing Animal Tales - Storytelling by Kamini Ramachandran
4 Jun to 05 Jun
2pm - 3pm
3 to 11 years old

Listen to master storyteller Kamini Ramachandran as she regales you with fascinating animal folktales from India. Make your own simple animal puppet afterward and bring home a part of the tale! All children must be accompanied by an adult throughout the storytelling-and-craft session. Registration is required. To register, please send your details to

Balloon Bonanza
04 Jun to 12 Jun
10am - 5pm
All Ages

Come join us for the Balloon Bonanza at the Heritage Institutions this Children’s Season with your little ones! Embark on a journey of discovery and spot sculptures inspired by artefacts from the different institutions from Indian mythological creatures at Indian Heritage Centre.

Amazing Animals Artefact Hunt @ IHC
18 Jun to 19 Jun
10am - 4pm
All Ages

Discover amazing mythological animals at IHC in our artefact hunt from the Simha (Lion), Naga and Garuda (Snake and Eagle), to our life-size Nandi (Cow)!

Neighbourhood Sketches
25 Jun; 10am to 7pm
All Ages

Discover amazing performances on Campbell Lane!

Malay Heritage Centre
Free Admission

Ter-ba-BOM! Heritage Hunt
11 Jun, 18 Jun, 25 Jun
10am - 12pm & 2pm - 4pm
7 to 12 years old

Join us on a Heritage Hunt around Kampong Gelam and learn more about the Javanese community, many of whom were former residents in the district. Discover the rich heritage and culture of the Javanese people and learn about their cultural contributions – from culinary heritage, dressing to the performing arts!

Balloon Bonanza
04 Jun to 12 Jun
10am - 5pm
All Ages

Come join us for the Balloon Bonanza at the Heritage Institutions this Children’s Season with your little ones! Embark on a journey of discovery and spot sculptures inspired by traditional Malay games at Malay Heritage Centre.

MOE Heritage Centre
FREE Admission

Let’s Go Old School!
3 - 4 Jun; Time Varies
3 to 11 years old

You can also join a multi-sensory workshop*or learn to make origami creepy crawlies**. Stamp your way through the indoor galleries and outdoor trail on your own as you learn more about the Singapore Education Story or sign up for a special guided tour*** and listen to real life stories told by our docents.

*Multi-sensory workshop (1 hour): Limited to 20 children aged 6 to 10 on a first-come, first-served basis. Friday, 3 June: 12pm and 1.30pm, Saturday, 4 June: 12pm

**Origami workshop: Limited to 20 children on a first-come, first-served basis. 10.30am on Friday, 3 June and Saturday, 4 June

***Guided gallery and guided outdoor trail tours: Limited to 20 people per tour slot on a first-come, first-served basis. Gallery tours (1 hour): Friday, 3 June: 12.30pm and 3pm. Saturday, 4 June: 12.30pm. Outdoor trail tours (45 mins): Friday, 3 June: 11am and 3.30pm. Saturday, 4 June: 11am.

For the latest information and to register for workshops and tours, please visit HERE.

National Archives of Singapore
Free Admission

Little Archivist for a Day
18 Jun to 19 Jun
Time Varies
10am–11.30am, 12.30pm–2pm & 2.30pm–4pm
9 to 13 years old

Be an Archivist for a day! Have you ever wondered what happens to the old maps or documents and photographs of the past? How are they conserved and where are they kept? How do we learn about incidents or events that took place in Singapore’s history? In this workshop, children ages 9-13 years old will get to experience being an archivist through fun and engaging hands-on activities.

Registration is required. To register, please email with your name, age, contact number and preferred time-slot. Maximum 20 participants per session.

National Gallery Singapore
Free Admission

Common Grounds: A Family Fun Day
11 Jun to 12 Jun
11am - 6pm
All Ages

Based on the theme of “Home”, the June edition of Common Grounds brings you a lively mix of family programmes inspired by the Gallery’s permanent collection. In conjunction with Reframing Modernism, visitors can also explore French and Southeast Asian influences across art and culture, and thereby the connections between both local and international collections.

Father's Day Weekend
18 Jun to 19 Jun
1pm - 6pm
5 to 16 years old

How many different ways are there to create a portrait? Celebrate Father's Day by creating a unique portrait to show dad or grandpa how much he means to you!

Peranakan Museum
Free Admission

Straits Family Sunday: Manek Manek (Bead Bead)
12 Jun
1pm - 5pm
All Ages

Have fun this June with beads! Learn how to bead your own badge, enjoy a dramatization of a popular children’s book, and be mesmerized by a demonstration of Peranakan beading by expert Bebe Seet. Learn more about beadwork and embroidery with our specially crafted tours for kids.

Police Heritage Centre
Free Admission

I Want To Be A Policeman!
02 Jun to 03 Jun, 09 Jun to 11 Jun, 16 Jun to 17 Jun, 23 Jun to 25 Jun
Weekdays: 10am, 11.30am, 2.30pm and 4pm | Weekends: 9.30am and 11am 
All Ages

Treat your child to a memorable time at the Police Heritage Centre! Young visitors get to wear kid-sized police uniforms, and take part in photo-taking sessions with real police officers as well as a retro-fitted police radio car, which was deployed to the scene of crime in the 1970s! For a complete learning experience, kids will receive interesting activity game booklets, and stand a chance to win attractive prizes by participating in a drawing competition.

IMPORTANT! Registration required, tours by appointment only. Please register by calling 64782123 or email

Science Centre Singapore
Admission charges apply

Gallery Trail: “I am a Science Explorer”
28 May to 26 Jun
10am - 5pm
6 to 10 years old

Bring out the explorer in you! Pick up a copy of the “I am a Science Explorer” Gallery Trail booklet at Science Centre’s main entrance. Explore the galleries and complete the trail to be rewarded with a cool souvenir from us.

Fun Spots
31 May to 23 Jun (Tue-Thurs only)
2:30pm - 4pm
5 to 16 years old

Our free and easy science activity booths are back! Spot our booths in the galleries for a FUN-tastic time with our Science Educators. Time to throw aside your math formulas as you and our Educators play with Math together in an engaging way.

Storytelling: “Sugar for Tea” by Alan Trussell-Cullen
03 Jun, 10 Jun, 17 Jun, 24 Jun
2.30pm to 3pm
4 to 6 years old

Join us at a cozy corner of Science Centre for an engaging story time. Interact with our friendly educators after the story to learn more about ants and sugar.

Singapore Art Museum
FREE for Singaporeans & PRs
Others: Adults $10 | Senior Citizens (above 60) & Kids $5
Kids below 6 FREE

Imaginarium: Over the Ocean, Under the Sea
Now until 28 Aug 2016
Mon - Sun 10am - 7pm | Fri 10am - 9pm
All Ages

Delving into the deep, Imaginarium: Over the Ocean, Under the Sea – the sixth edition of SAM’s children-focused annual exhibition – invites adventurers of all ages into the watery realms of our Earth as seen through the eyes of contemporary artists.

A whimsical introduction to the many stories and ideas that surround seascapes, Imaginarium: Over the Ocean, Under the Sea presents tactile and interactive works that encourage discovery through exploration and play. At SAM at 8Q, young people are invited to comb the shores and navigate the deep where they make the acquaintance of mysterious denizens and underwater wonders. We hope that, as protectors of the future, our young visitors will also think about the impact we have on the natural world, and of how, through inventive and wise ideas, we can save our earth and its awe-inspiring oceans. For the detailed listing and programme, download the brochure HERE.

Singapore City Gallery
Free Admission

My City, My Colour
28 May to 25 Jun (Sat only)
9am - 5pm
Time Varies
All Ages

Would you like to design buildings and co-create a city? Come participate in this activity and let your creative juices flow! Try your hand at painting and designing your own building blocks alongside other buildings designed by your friends and fellow participants. Basic building blocks and painting materials will be provided at our interactive corner.

Singapore Stories - Past, Present and Future
04 Jun, 18 Jun
10.30am to 11.30am
All Ages

Would you like to design buildings and co-create a city? Come participate in this activity and let your creative juices flow! Try your hand at painting and designing your own building blocks alongside other buildings designed by your friends and fellow participants. Basic building blocks and painting materials will be provided at our interactive corner.

My Fair City
11 Jun, 25 Jun
10.30am to11.30am
All Ages

Why are there five airports and air bases in our city? What does it mean to be a city and a country? Why are there three skyscrapers on our beautiful skyline, all the tallest in Singapore and all the same height? Find out the answers to these questions, and listen to other amazing stories about our city and its design at My Fair City. For registration and enquiries, please call 6321 8321 or email Limited to 25 pax per session.

Singapore Discovery Centre
Free Admission for Singapore Citizens & PRs.
Admission charges apply for others.

International Friendship Day (IFD) Special Weekend
28 May to 29 May
Craft and Booth activities: 11am to 5pm, Performances: 12.30pm to 2pm
All Ages

Head down to SDC with your family and friends to celebrate the spirit of international friendship! Enjoy cultural performances and demonstrations at our Lobby throghout this special weekend and interact with friends from all around the world. Be treated to samples of traditional food or delights from these countries through our signature ‘Culture Bites’ programme.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
28 May to 26 Jun
10am to 5pm
3 to 16 years old

Let’s get creative and discover ASEAN by creating your own uniquely designed craft, one that you’ll be proud to bring home with you to showcase your little travel adventure story! 

28 May to 26 Jun
All Ages

Come join us at the S’pore Discovery Centre to celebrate the ASEAN spirit friendships! Explore the bazaar with10 ASEAN Country Pavilions and discover the diverse range of goods that each country produces for the region and the global market. Appreciate the wealth and economic potential of ASEAN; and understand the importance of cooperation and friendships with our neighbours.

Passport to Discovery: ‘My ASEAN Adventure’
28 May to 29 May, 03 Jun to 05 Jun, 10 Jun to 12 Jun, 17 Jun to 19 Jun, 24 Jun to 26 Jun
10am to 5pm
3 to 16 years old

How well do you know our ASEAN neighbours? This holiday, embark on a single passport adventure, which allows you to ‘travel’ to 10 countries around the region. Visit the Country Pavilions to discover many interesting things about ASEAN’s cultural diversity and richness, including a visit to the Army Museum of Singapore to find out more about the special gifts of friendship that Singapore has received from its friends. Earn a stamp with every pit-stop or destination and redeem a gift for yourself at the end of your little adventure!

Singapore Maritime Gallery
Free Admission

28 May to 29 May, 04 Jun to 05 Jun, 11 Jun to 12 Jun, 18 Jun to 19 Jun, 25 Jun to 26 Jun
10:30am and 3:30pm
3 to 12 years old

Ahoy, Captain! Set sail on a voyage to unearth past milestones of Singapore’s transformation from a trading post to a global hub port. Specially tailored for kids, this exciting guided tour will shed light on the importance of Maritime Singapore and the role it plays in our daily lives.

Stories and Art of the Deep Blue Sea
28 May to 29 May, 04 Jun to 05 Jun, 11 Jun to 12 Jun, 18 Jun to 19 Jun, 25 Jun to 26 Jun
2pm - 3.15pm
3 to 8 years old

Get acquainted with the magical story of Swimmy by Leo Lionni, and enter his underwater world of intriguing shapes and colours. Narrated by Playeum Pte Ltd, Swimmy will let the young ones discover the different fauna and flora of the marine life, and learn the importance of keeping the oceanic environment clean. Stories and Art of the Deep Blue Sea will expose our little friends to art creation using the story of Swimmy as an inspiration. They will also get to make their own sea creature puppet for role-play and drama after the workshop!

Registration is required. For registration and enquiries, please call 6325 5707 or email Limited to 20 participants per session

Singapore Philatelic Museum
FREE Admission for Singapore Citizens & PRs | Adult: $6 | Child: $4

Shaking It With Shakespeare Exhibition
Now until 15 Jan 2017
10am - 7pm
All Ages

Explore the life and times of Shakespeare in this colourful and interactive exhibition, in commemoration of his 400th death anniversary. See how he looked like, recite magic spells from his plays, dress up as a Shakespearean character, and delve into the cabinet of curiosities filled with exotic and everyday objects from Shakespeare’s world, amongst other exciting activities! 

Complete your Shakespearean experience by viewing stamps from around the world that showcase Shakespeare and his works, 400-year old books, and Shakespearean texts in various local mother tongues.

A Tudor Fayre
05 Jun, 12 Jun
10am - 7pm
Free for the day. Charges for programmes apply.
All Ages

Have a day of Tudor fun with an exciting line-up of programmes! Participate in activities including participatory storytelling by Shakespeare’s Globe (London), costume dress-up & make-up booth, performance by a lute player, pie-making and leather craft demonstrations, DIY pomander craft, palm telling by a ‘Gypsy’, Shakespeare reading corner and “Shakespeare is Here!” activity trail.

Singapore Sports Museum
FREE Admission for Singapore Citizens & PRs
Standard: Adult $10 | Student & Senior Citizen (above 60) $5 | FREE for kids below 6

Children’s Season @ Singapore Sports Museum
28 May to 26 Jun
Weekdays: 10am to 8pm
Weekends, Eve of Public Holidays and Public Holidays: 10am to 9pm
6 to 12 years old

Do you think you can run faster than Hussain Bolt and jump higher than Michael Jordan? Challenge yourself this Children’s Season at Singapore Sports Museum! Learn what it takes to be a coach, design a stadium, medal and trophy, and reflect on the values of excellence, respect and friendship through the destinies of athletes, who are champions in unique ways.

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
Free Admission

Wan Qing Weekend: Shanghai Splendour
28 May to 29 May
6pm - 10pm
All Ages

Take a trip back in time to the 1920s at Wan Qing Weekend:  Shanghai Splendour! Bond over traditional activities such as rice dumpling making in the day. As the night falls, Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall will be transformed into an early Shanghai downtown district, where music, dance and literary gatherings define the soul and tempo of the culturally vibrant city in her heyday. The Memorial Hall will also open till late during the weekend.         

Early Chinese Newspapers in Singapore: 1880s - 1942 Special Exhibition
28 May to 26 Jun (closed on Mondays)
10am - 5pm
All Ages

Learn more about the history and development of Chinese newspapers in Singapore through Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall’s new special exhibition, Early Chinese Newspapers in Singapore (1881 – 1942). The exhibition showcases more than 100 images and artefacts associated with early Chinese newspapers, prominent individuals who shaped the newspaper industry, and the early printing industry in Singapore.

Balloon Bonanza
04 Jun to 12 Jun (closed on Mondays)
10am - 5pm
All Ages

Come join us for the Balloon Bonanza at the Heritage Institutions this Children’s Season with your little ones! Embark on a journey of discovery and spot the different trades in the 1900s at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall.

Heritage Hunt
18 Jun to 19 Jun
10am - 5pm
3 to 12 years old

Go on a Heritage Hunt and search for the hidden treasure by collecting clues at various activity stations. During the hunt, participants will get to learn fun facts about Chinese heritage and history. This programme will also enable participants to learn more about Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall’s special exhibition on the history and development of Chinese newspapers in Singapore, entitled Early Chinese Newspapers in Singapore (1881–1942).

Registration is required. Please register at Limited to first 20 pairs of parent and child per session.

For a complete listing of ALL Children's Season 2016 programmes, visit

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