Do the words “school holidays” inspire joy or incite panic? Whether you wish to keep the kids occupied for a week or entertained for a day, here are a list of suggestions to suit a range of ages, temperaments and budgets.
CAMPS & WORKSHOPS
The range of holiday camps and workshops available to children today is astounding. Budding architects, chefs, dramatists, programmers, and even entrepreneurs have access to varied learning tools and activities to boost their interests and talents.
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Explorer Junior: STEAM Holiday Programmes
Photo credit: Explorer Junior
Explorer Junior has teamed up with NUS Start-up to launch three new STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) programmes for the June holidays: Explorer Junior Innovators, Explore Environment and Explore Architecture. Exploration, investigation and innovation are the name of the game as children from ages 7–12 years old undertake hands-on activities with robots, learn about sustainable ecosystems, and are pushed to imagine cities of the future. Class sizes are kept to a maximum of 12 children.
Dates: Explorer Junior Innovators (31 May, 1 June & 2 June); Explore Environment (8 June & 9 June); Explore Architecture (14–16 June) Fees: $180-$280 depending on programme
Crafty kids will enjoy Spurbox’s holiday workshops, where they can pick up skills like leather crafting, pottery, silk screen painting and soap making. Interesting items children can make include night lights, fairy chimes, merry-go-rounds and a really cute and totally delicious cactus cheesecake in a pot (speckled with oreos!). The crafting workshops, suitable for 3–9 year olds (check individual classes), run for 120 minutes and include a storytelling session. There are 10 different workshops available in total, with adult company required for children aged below five. While not part of the June holiday programme, there are also BentoFun classes running through June–July for kids to learn about healthy eating habits via through a mix of storytelling and yummy bento making.
Dates: Various dates through June Fees: $60-65, depending on the workshop; discounts for those who sign up for more workshops
Play2See’s holiday camps for 5-12 year olds include a mesh of visual art, music and movement, literature, games, and outdoor experiences to encourage creative and lateral thinking and inspire the five senses. The five-day camps have different themes on each day, from “trees” (where there will be immersion in instrument making), to “patterns” (look forward to a visit to the National Gallery), “red” (pizza making, anyone?), “shadows” (experience how the visually impaired navigate at Dialogue in the Dark) and much, much more. There are both half-day and full-day options for the camps, and siblings are encouraged to attend as the workshops foster bonding.
Dates: Week 1 (30 May–3 June); Week 2 (6–10 June); Week 3 (13–17 June); Week 4 (20–24 June) Fees: $405 for five-day half-day camp; $690 for five-day full-day camp. Discounts available for second and third child enrolled and if the child is enrolled for two weeks worth of camps
Inspired by neuroeducation principles, The Da Vinci Group has developed what it terms NeuroCeramics™, which aims to stimulate creativity and improve self-awareness through the use of clay. They are running four NeuroCeramics™ Camps for the June holidays, including Let’s Go On a Safari, a pottery workshop for toddlers (18 months to 3 years old) that introduces them to safari animals and their natural habitats. Captain Planet Camp, for 4-7 year olds, combines pottery and sensory learning to instill an appreciation for our environment. There is also a Young Entrepreneurs Series Camp for 8-12 year olds that aim to mold young visionaries through role play and an emphasis on teamwork and self-management. Class sizes range from three to a maximum of 10.
Dates: Various dates through June Fees: From $58 for the toddler workshop to $120 for the rest
Is your child fascinated by bugs? He/she will thoroughly enjoy Playeum’s Hands-on Budding Entomologists programme for 6–12 year olds created by artist Isabelle Desjeux. The four-day camp includes daily walks, photography, drawing, and research that will hone children’s observation skills and acquaint them with the many bugs (insects, spiders, worms, snails and more) that live around the Children’s Centre for Creativity. Creating with Nature, another hands-on camp suitable for 4–10 year olds, begins with a walking tour in Gillman Barracks, where children will observe, play, reflect and collect items like leaves, twigs and flowers. The camp focuses on children’s engagement with outdoor environments and facilitates this engagement with the natural world through art.
Dates: 7–10 June & 21–24 June (Budding Entomologists); 14–17 June & 4, 5, 7, 8 July (Creating with Nature) Fees: $290 per child
The Esplanade: da:ns festival Dance Workshops The annual da:ns festival at the Esplanade celebrates dance and movement and has one simple goal: to make you and your kids fall in love with dance. Footwork: Parents & Kids is a workshop series that offers parents and kids aged 7–10 years a chance to bond and pick up some snazzy dance moves. Choose from popular dance genres like K-Pop, Street Dance, Disco Rock, Salsa, Hip Hop and Ballet (for fathers and daughters). The Footwork: Twinkle Toes series, for parents and their 3–6 year olds, has fun options like Bollywood Baby, Hip Hop Baby, Ballet Baby and Pop Baby. Book fast, as tickets sell out quickly!
Date: Various from 11 June – 2 October Fees: $12 per ticket
Wouldn’t it be nice to be fed for a change? Enrol your little chef-wannabes in ToTT’s Junior Masterchef classes and they will have the chance to experiment with quality kitchen equipment, learn about new ingredients and, most importantly, have a fun hands-on session whipping up dishes and sweet treats like homemade pasta (from scratch!) with beef ragu, homemade Hawaiian pizza, red velvet cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting, molten lava chocolate fondant, and much more.
Dates: Various dates through June Fees: $98 (for 1 child and 1 parent); discounts available for certain cardholders
Creating something usable and pretty with your own hands is always satisfying. Sew Into It’s Kids Love Sewing series includes workshops where kids aged six years old and above, with no prior sewing experience (Level 1), will learn how to operate a sewing machine and make simple, gift-worthy items like cushion covers, animal softies, tote bags and pencil cases. Those with some familiarity with the sewing machine (Level 2) can graduate to making water bottle holders as well as food or body bags. Special sewing camps will be held during the school holidays for those aged nine years-old and above—the sessions will include learning how to sew, step-by-step, book covers, drawstring back packs, blouses and skirts/shorts.
Date: Sewing camps will take place on 28 & 31 May and 1& 2 June Fees:$40-$70 per workshop or $200 for all four sessions (price includes workshop materials)
In an age of Silicon Valley giants, coding has been termed the new “superpower” and, judging from the surge of interest in kids’ coding classes, it’s never too early to start. Tink Tank aims to empower children by molding them into active, programming-literate consumers of technology and show them that coding can be fun. They are running a three-day introductory programming camp this June for 8–12 year olds which will include a range of activities: educational games to stimulate logical thinking processes and pattern recognition, creativity exercises, board games that introduce the basics of java programming, robotics so children can see coding in action, and a chance to try Scratch Programming, where kids get to create their very own computer game!
Act 3 Drama Academy: Holiday Workshops for All Ages Drama Kings and Queens, hone thy talents in these magical Roald Dahl-inspired holiday workshops by Act 3 Drama Academy. There are six workshops catering to children from ages 7 months to 15 years old running through June. Stretch, Fly and Dance! is a music and movement-based workshop for 7–17 month olds inspired by Roald Dahl’s The Giraffe and The Pelly and Me, where children (accompanied by their parents) will have fun stretching like giraffes, flying like pelicans and dancing like monkeys. The delightful Bald Heads and Brooms, for 11–15 year-olds, based on The Witches, is a five-day workshop that will boost children’s confidence and performing chops as they work with other teens to master movement, characterization, simple puppetry and voice work. The workshop culminates in a live showcase on the last day.
Dates: Various through June Fees: From $50 for the baby/toddler workshop to $380 for the five-day workshop for teens
Insight & Access runs a popular Resilience Camp Series—residential and non-residential—to emphasize the learning of life skills. The non-residential camps for 4–8 year olds (Camp Escapade II) and 6–10 year olds (Camp Adventure II) emphasize traits like exploration, creativity, and collaboration, and campers will be brought to unusual spots in Singapore and get to tinker with tools. Camp Discover II, for 8-12 year olds, is a novel three day-two night adventure where kids will get to experience sleeping under the stars and cooking outdoors. Each camp is open to 20 campers.
Dates: Camp Escapade II (30 May–1 June); Camp Adventure II (13–17 June); Camp Discover II (20–22 June) Fees: $500-$700
Skate With Us: Superheroes Skate Camp For a much-needed dose of fun in the sun, sign up for Skate With Us’ Superheroes Resilience Skate Camp, suitable for children aged 3–12 years old (skaters and non-skaters included). It’s an opportunity for the kids to de-stress, develop confidence and pick up/improve their skating. Full and half day camps are available and some activities full day campers can look forward to include a Superheroes Telematch as well as a Superheroes Treasure Hunt and Super-Duper Obstacle Course.
Dates: Camps run throughout June Fees: From $198 for one full-day camp to $568 for four full-days
Trehaus: Nature-Themed Art, Drama and Music Workshops School holidays can spell chaos for working parents so Trehaus, a co-working space with childcare and learning facilities, has lined up a host of June holiday programmes. You can have a quiet and productive space to work while your kids immerse themselves in art, music and drama workshops for those aged six months to six years old. Saving the planet is the theme for June and their Arthaus, Dramahaus and Musichaus programmes will involve recycling projects, getting to know endangered wildlife through stories and dramatic play, as well as exploring the sounds of nature.
Date: 30 May – 24 June Fees: From $15 per hour (for members) to $20 (non-members) for Arthaus and Dramahaus programmes; or $99 for a Work + Play day pass; $50–$60 for Musichaus workshops
The Keys Academy: Science, Tech & Mini-MBA Camps The Keys Academy is running six special camps during the June–August summer holidays for kids aged 7–12 years old. Their Silicon Valley 101 is for budding 8–10 year-old entrepreneurs, who will get to design as well as market a product made with 3D printing technology. Mini-investigators, meanwhile, will relish the CSI: Murder Mystery camp, where they will utilize science and math skills to solve a murder mystery, before honing their communication skills by presenting their evidence in a mock trial. Other camps include Mars Robot Survival (for 9–12 year olds), where kids will use EV3 programming to design a robot; Tech Star Jr (for 7–8 year olds), which teaches both tech and writing skills in creating animated stories; Design Innovation (for 6–8 year olds), for building creative confidence through programming robots and designing smartphone applications; and, Mini-MBA Camp (9–11 years old), where students will be introduced to topics like strategic marketing and organizational ethics, before they write a business plan and present it to a panel of judges. Each camp includes a field visit and an expert speaker.
Date: Various through June Fees: $690 for each five-day camp; various discounts available, including early bird as well as sibling and multiple camp discounts
Wildlife Reserves Singapore: Singapore Zoo Overnight Camp & River Safari Manatee Tour
Photo credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore
For a staycation with a difference, you won’t get a more thrilling experience than the Singapore Zoo’s Sleep with the Beasts – A Family Affair, a two day-one night camp where you will sleep under the stars in the company of wild animals. Packaged for families with children aged five and above, the camp includes exclusive behind-the-scenes tours and encounters with different creatures, campfire night (with parent-child bonding games), a night walk, an international buffet breakfast with orangutans and other furry residents, as well as a River Safari cruise and River Hunt. The camp books up fast, so hurry!
Date: 25–26 June (Sat–Sun) Fees: $155.15 per child; $181.90 per adult (GST included)
June is also Manatee Madness month at the River Safari, and you can get up-close-and-personal with the adorably chubby mammals if you sign up for a Manatee Behind the Scenes Tour. You will get a chance to help with food preparation, feed the animals, and learn about manatee care from the experts.
Events and Performances Watch, doodle, play, listen or leap down a 16m inflatable slide—here are some fun-filled activities for the whole family.
Arts Fission’s Public Art Making Session
Photo credit: The Arts Fission Company
Make a pit stop between your shopping and drop by Avatars and Cloud Babies at ION Orchard, which includes a children’s exhibition as well as a public art making session. The exhibition will feature artwork from preschoolers as well as manga art by kids aged 8–14 years old. For a more hands-on experience, parents and children can join in the fun at the public art session and contribute to a giant mural that will be displayed on the wall. Admission is free.
Children’s Exhibition Date: 8 & 9 June 2016 Venue: ION Art Gallery, Level 4, ION Orchard Time: 10am–10pm
Public Art Making Session Date: 8 & 9 June 2016 Venue: ION Art Gallery, Level 4, ION Orchard Time: 11am, 2pm, 5pm
Ever been to an “urban beach”? The DBS Marina Regatta’s Urban Beach boasts fine-grained sand, scenic palm trees and clear waters, with a backdrop of Singapore’s Central Business District. Try your hand at stand-up paddling, kayaking or zorbing, or sink into an “airmock” and sigh with relief that the holidays are here. Adrenalin-junkies will be thrilled at the addition this year of Southeast Asia’s tallest inflatable water slide—at 16m (or four storeys) tall, it is not for the faint of heart! There are also yoga sessions for those who’d prefer a more languid pace and a kids’ obstacle course that features sports like basketball, soccer and rugby.
Date:28-29 May, 4–5 June Price: Entry is free, but rides on the inflatable slide cost $10 for 5 rides (the money will be donated to charity) Venue: The Promontory at Marina Bay Time:10am—9pm; slide will be open from 11am–8pm.
Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Heritage Week Pack a picnic and head to Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Heritage Week (28 May–5 June), where there will be tours and free performances at the Bandstand and Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage over two weekends (including Opera in the Park by the Singapore Lyric Opera). There will also be kids’ art and craft activities at the Green Pavilion (Level 1, Botany Centre) from 30 May–3 June(9.30am to 12 noon daily), and a popular Plant Bazaar on 4–5 June. Meanwhile, the National Orchid Garden is offering free admission to students, local residents as well as work permit holders this school holidays (21 May–26 June). For more details, clickhere.
National Library Board’s Read Fest! 2016 The National Library Board’s Read Fest! 2016 (3 June–30 July) boasts over 170 programmes held in various libraries across the island. There will be craft activities, book swops, panel discussions, literary games as well as live performances. Enjoy Bite-Size Theatre (where you get to watch two 10-minute plays), listen to local singer-songwriters, take in a poetry performance, participate in a Story Challenge (facilitated by The Theatre Practice), or drop by the Zine Market, where you get to make your own zine under the expert guidance of zine-makers. You can also request for a librarian to read your kids’ favourite story as part of Read Fest. Registration may be required for some events. For more details and to download the Read Fest! 2016 brochure, click here.
Aviva’s SuperFundae Carnival
Photo credit: Aviva
This is Singapore’s largest family outdoor garden event. Aviva’s SuperFundae is a massive “funival” chock-full of activities and will include five different areas: Circus Centre (look out for an hourly candy cannon and catch a Movie Under the Stars); Speedy Zone (how about a Daddy Donut Dash?); Dream Castle (for the arty and the crafty); Pirate Island (go Super Soaker crazy in this water play area); and, Jungle World (try the Numakiki Jungle Obstacle). There will also be a Gumtree Swap and Shop for preloved children’s and parenting items. Parents can rest easy about catering to baby’s needs, as there will be diaper change areas, a nursing room and toddler play area.
Date: 4 June, Sat Time: 10am–9pm Price: S$19.90 per ticket (child or adult) Venue: The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay
Sentosa FunFest 2016 Held at Palawan Green, Sentosa’s FunFest 2016 promises a sun-soaked day of family fun. The beach will be transformed into a massive play area complete with a range of kid-friendly water slides, an inflatable maze and bubbly foam pools. Take part in a family NERF Challenge or plonk the kids and their spades in the sand pit while you kick back with some offerings from the F&B kiosks littered around the site. When the heat gets too much? Head to a Cool Zone and spritz yourself back to life!
Date:28 May–5 June Price:$18 (Children from 3–12 years old); $28 (Adults). Free for children below 3; $82.80 for bundle for 4 Time: 10am–7pm (last entry 4.30pm) Venue: Palawan Green, Sentosa
Act3i Theatre Festival for Children Look forward to a slew of delightful theatre performances at Act 3 International’s Festival for Children. Marmalade, a Swedish production suitable for 2–6 year olds, is a charming production that uses dance and movement to engage and interact with young audiences. All On a Summer’s Day, a companion piece to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is a great way to introduce 7–12 year olds to Shakespeare’s famed comedy. Canada’s celebrated Dufflebag Theatre group, meanwhile, takes on Snow White (for 4–8 year olds) via an interactive retelling that promises much hilarity and surprises. Music lovers will thoroughly enjoy AWAKE Love Orchestra’s passionate performance (for ages 4 and above), while The Steadfast Tin Soldier (for ages 4–12 years old) will enthrall young audiences with its masterful interpretation of this classic tale through a treasured artform—puppetry.
Date: 24 May – 5 June Price: From $18 for weekday performances to $38 for weekend performances (child or adult), depending on performance and category Venue: Drama Centre Black Box, Drama Centre Visitors Centre, or Drama Centre Theatre, National Library Building