Your Splurge or Save Guide to Enjoying the Dec Hols

A value-for-money family vacation may be on the cards after you’ve snagged up to 30% savings by booking your flight and hotel stay with the latest online travel deal (shh… you didn’t tell anyone). Or since Junior has put in his best effort for the year-end exams, you’re thinking of rewarding him with a special outing in Singapore.

Whatever your reason or budget, ‘tis the hols to relax and enjoy some quality time-off with the kids. There are lots of activities you can try and places you can go, even right here in Singapore. Some may require fatter wallets while others will cost you close to nothing.

Here are some recommendations to get you started.

1. For some arts immersion


Enjoy a whole new level of art at Alive Museum, part of Korea’s original and biggest chain of illusionary entertainment museum.

Let you kids pose creatively for realistic photos amidst the museum’s wide collection of 3D art, digital art and object art.

To celebrate the upcoming Christmas holidays, a new zone with a love and friendship theme has just been added.

If you’re intending to bring the entire family, including grandparents, you will need to set aside at least $100 for 4 adult tickets. Child tickets usually cost $20 each but the museum is currently offering a free child ticket worth $20 with every purchase of 2 full-priced adult tickets!

Book online here.

The new National Gallery Singapore will finally open its doors to the public on 24 November 2015. Don’t miss the opportunity to be among the first to set foot in the former City Hall, now refurbished into a grand space for modern Southeast Asia art.

As part of the Opening Celebrations, all visitors will enjoy free admission from 24 November to 6 December but you will need to book your tickets here. Besides the art exhibitions at the Gallery, there will also be an art carnival at the Padang from 27 – 29 Nov.

2. To enrich the mind


Want to let your children come face-to-face with legendary sea creatures that rule the marine world? Then head down to the Science Centre’s new Annex for the Monsters of the Sea exhibition.

Expect to feast your eyes on the largest animatronics collection of life-sized marine reptiles, mammals and fishes. Your kids will surely go home with a deeper understanding of these fascinating creatures.

Tickets to the exhibition cost $58 for 2 adults + 2 children (for Singaporeans/PR).

Find out more.

The holiday period is a good time to let your child leave textbooks aside for a while to catch up on leisure reading. And what cheaper way to feed your child’s thirst for storybooks than to make a trip to your nearest National Library branch?

From 3 October 2015 to 31 January 2016, all Basic Members can borrow up to 20 books/magazines, which is twice the regular quota. Plus, you can also borrow twice the number of e-Books.

Find out more.

3. For a memorable overnight stay


Did you know that you can actually spend a night at Resort World Sentosa’s S.E.A. Aquarium?

More than just a sleepover, you and your family will get a guided tour and also go behind the scenes of the aquarium.

Of course, the highlight is that you will get to drift into slumber in front of the spectacular Open Ocean Habitat.

A Family Package costs $548 for 2 adults and 2 children.

Find out more.

Fingers crossed… the haze seems to have abated recently, so why not pack your camping gear and head to the great outdoors? There are designated areas in some of our parks where camping overnight is allowed.

For example, at West Coast Park, you can let your kids have fun at the Adventure Playground – the park’s main highlight which comprises eight play sets and obstacle courses.

Don’t worry about the time as you can set up tent and spend the night right at the park itself, after you have applied for a camping permit, that is.

No charges are required for both the playground and the camping permit.

Find out more.


4. To stock up on Christmas prezzies


Walking into a toy store is like walking into wonderland for the young and young and heart. This Christmas, make your child’s dream come true by letting him/her pick out a favourite item from at least 10,000 different toys available at Hemleys.

This famous toy store from London – touted as the oldest toy store in the world – opened its first Singapore outpost at Plaza Singapura earlier this year.

It’s the season for giving, so it won’t harm to splurge a little!

Find Hemleys on Facebook here.

It is never too young for children to learn about charity. Teach them about the importance of caring for the less fortunate by supporting social enterprises and how buying items from them can contribute towards worthy causes.

Some social enterprises run fairs occasionally at shopping malls such as VivoCity. Alternatively, head down to a thrift shop run by the Salvation Army or MINDS, where your kids may snag some interesting finds at very affordable prices.

See locations of Salvation Army’s Family Stores here.


5. To wrap up the year-long SG50 celebrations


Say goodbye to 2015 and usher in 2016 in style with the whole family.

Come December 31, the Marina Bay area will certainly be THE place to go as it will be abuzz with all sorts of countdown celebrations.

Start of the afternoon with some shopping at the countdown bazaar to be held at the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade from 3pm to 3am, have a nice buffet dinner at one of the hotels nearby, then give your kids the perfect excuse to stay up till midnight to catch the spectacular fireworks display.

Although not available on New Year’s Eve, the Singapore Flyer offers a special SG50 Cocktail Flight Promotion for 2 adults and 1 child for $139, available till 30 December 2015. A ride on the giant ferris wheel will be a nice cap to a year of celebrating all things Singapore. See details here.

Four new domes are taking shape at the Gardens by the Bay. Set to open on Dec 1, they will be part of an exhibition called The Future of Us, which will be the final event to round out a slew of year-long SG50 celebrations.

Kids can be inspired by our past generations while having a sneak peek of what life in Singapore will be like in the year 2030 and beyond, through the immersive and multi-sensory experience.

The exhibition is free but you need to book your tickets here.


:: Have any suggestions on what to do during the holidays? Discuss in our forum here.

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