Your school holiday plan: family fun in the heartlands
Panicking because you JUST realised that you haven’t booked that family staycation for the school holidays yet? Fret not! There’s plenty of cheap and cheerful fun to be had in the heartlands with the small folk. Go ahead and make memories with the little ones with a day out (or two!) in our colourful neighbourhoods.
GO PLAYGROUND HOPPING
From the super nostalgic Dragon Playground in Ang Mo Kio to the whimsical Hansel and Gretel-themed playground in Clementi, complete with coloured spinners modelled after lollipops and a gingerbread playhouse, covered in models of sweets, icing and candy, our HDB estates are dotted with super awesome playgrounds each offering rather different experiences for the little ones. In Bedok, there is even the Play Corridor that connects Bedok Reservoir Park in the northern part of Bedok and East Coast Park in the south, via Bedok Town Centre. Along this 4km route are four themed play hubs presenting a mix of sculptures and structures that tease the imagination. They are bound to fascinate the kids, while parents and older folk can find seats and pods to rest their weary feet. Spend a day or two playground hopping in the estates with the kids, and keep a photographic diary of your explorations — it will be fun record for the kids to revisit, or even rate their favourite spots! Don’t forget to tag us in your pictures too!
PARK & PLAY
Fancy a picnic? While we absolutely love the rolling greens of our very own UNESCO World Heritage site that is the Singapore Botanic Gardens, our neighbourhood parks are definitely make awesome venues for a sunny day out too. Some of our favourites include Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West — though do note that a section of the garden has been closed, and the iconic lotus pond removed as a result of works for Land Transport Authority’s North-South Corridor project. Smaller parks such as Bedok Town Park and Clementi Woods Park also have lots of scenic spots for just chilling in the shade with a tall jug of juice and a boxful of sandwiches while the kids play ball or catch a frisbie.
Apart from public parks, there is also Orto near Chong Pang. The facility is a 24-hour adventure park that sprawls across an area equivalent to seven football fields. The little ones can try their hand at prawning and fishing at Longkang Fishing, or hop into mini hydraulic excavators and cranes to dig sand pits or shift building blocks at Diggersite. There is also the Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum, which is home to over 400 animals, including rare species such as the Indian Star Tortoise, Alligator Snapping Turtle, and Mata-Mata. Visitors can shell out a couple dollars for lettuce bunches or pellets to feed their new friends, and even pet some of the gentle giants that roam on the grass patches.
Enjoy getting your hands dirty? Take our recommendation and sign up for a class at Mud Rock. The workshop at Jalan Besar is beloved by cup-making hobbyists as well as the restaurateurs who work with owner-artists Ms Ng Seok Har and Ms Michelle Lim. Fun fact: they craft special tableware for F&B joints in Singapore, and have also been commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to craft gifts for the Vatican, and for Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday. They offer classes that can take a novice from zero to a teapot-making hero. Young ones aged between six and 12 years old can even enroll for their children friendly activity, the Little Mud Rock programme to spark a lifelong love for pottery. Great for weekend family bonding and school holiday treats!
Those visiting Orto can also head to carpentry workshop TouchWood, which offers woodworking classes. The space can also host birthday parties, where kids can try their hand at making wooden boats and other fun projects.
A TASTE OF CHILDHOOD
Apollo wafer sticks. Hiro cakes. Bee Bee crackers. Take your kids on a trip down your childhood’s memory lane at Teck Leong Lee Kee. Established in 1968, this wholesale supplier of confectionery goods in Ang Mo Kio is piled high not just with snacks children of the 80s grew up on, but also retro toys like Bestman balloons, King Cat Magic Pops, a range of sparklers, and styrofoam paper planes. Good Old Days at Chong Pang is also where you can find your favourite childhood snacks such as ice gems, butter cookies, Biscuit Piring and more, with prices starting from just $1 for 100g. We love that the team even offers a delivery service for those who live further away – just place your order through their Facebook page, and they’ll bring the goodies right to your doorstep! Also in Chong Pang is Chong Pang Old-Time Flavor. Best known for their fluffy Castella cakes each branded with the Chinese characters of “Chong Pang”, the shop also sells a selection of retro snacks such as gem biscuits.