Traveling with a toddler is no joke. I mean, don’t get me wrong, my husband and I love our little boy to bits and we bring him with us everywhere we go. But going on a trip (especially a long haul one) can be challenging, to say the least. From packing, to preparing your baby for the airplane ride, getting used to a new city, making sure you have all the conveniences like a changing/nursing room, ramps and sidewalks for the stroller, a highchair at the restaurant you’re dining in, a crib and baby bathtub for the hotel room–bringing your baby with you will definitely change your itinerary and slow down the pace of your trip.
Not that I’m complaining. We’ve gone on quite a few family trips since Tristan was born and these trips have been wonderful. Tiring on most days and a little difficult on some, but so worth it as it brought our family together and we got to create all these amazing memories with our lovey. It’s funny, whenever I blog about my experiences as a mom I always, always contradict myself. But there’s no better way to describe it: parenthood is wonderfully difficult if that makes any sense, and going on a family vacation with your baby or toddler is just that. You might need a vacation from that vacation as it can get pretty hectic and crazy, but then you have all those memories that make it all worth it.
Okay, so right now I am actually majorly jet lagging, as we just got back from a month-long vacation that involved a 15-hour flight and disorienting timezones. I’ve actually been meaning to write this blog post for awhile now but had to postpone as this trip has been major in all aspects. Hard to explain as a mom as all the days seem jumbled in my head but yes, I cant describe it other than it was wonderfully difficult, which is why I look back at our recent trip to Singapore with happy nostalgia. It was one of our best family trips to date, as Singapore is such a family-friendly place to visit. And when I say family-friendly, I mean you will actually get to relax because your child will be safe, there are so many yummy places that have amazing kid menus, there are changing rooms in every corner, and there is plenty of room to run, play and be a kid!
I have to admit, I never really cared for these things before, but when you become a parent, all of these things become so important. We’ve been halfway across the world and we haven’t found a place as family/child-friendly as Singapore. It is THE place to take your child to make wonderful memories together, and nope, I assure you the trip wont be wonderfully difficult. Just wonderful.
Let me share with you the fun family-friendly things we did in Singapore so you can include them in your itinerary on your next trip.
1.) We tried the Sesame Street breakfast buffet at Universal Studios. Who knew breakfast could be so fun? My family and I loved this experience–we ate the yummiest breakfast with Elmo, Oscar the Grouch and Ernie. What a treat! Of course, Tristan was a wee bit too young to recognize them, but he was definitely intrigued. Also, he ate so well–there are so many delicious choices for your little ones. Oh, and this breakfast comes with plenty of freebies, be sure to ask about it. You get a gift bag that includes coloring materials and many more Sesame Street merchandise. Then, spend the rest of the day at Universal Studios! *This is available every Saturday from 9:00am to 10:30am at Loui’s NY Pizza Parlor.
2.) We took plenty of cool photos at the Trick Eye Museum. If you’re an Instagram addict like me, you will definitely enjoy a trip to this fun museum. Trick Eye is short for “trick of the eye”, which refers to an art technique that turns two-dimensional paintings into three-dimensional images through the use of optical illusions. So basically, 2D paintings on the museum walls, floors and ceilings appear to pop out of the surface and come to life. This was so much fun! Carlos, Tristan and I explored the many themed galleries and took plenty of photos. We got creative and put our acting skills to the test haha. My favorites were the Keith Harring displays (coincidentally I was wearing a t-shirt with his design), the ballerina image and the one of me and Tristan hanging on the moon. We really enjoyed this one!
3.) Tristan learned about art at the Keppel Centre for Art Education at the National Gallery Singapore. I know, he is one, you would think how can he understand art at this age? Well, he did because he learned it through imaginative play. This art facility is the first of its kind in Singapore (and the region) as it offers a dynamic environment that will stimulate a child’s creativity and curiosity. The place features four vibrant spaces conceptualized by artists and a digital interactive playscape. And it presents an exciting line-up of programs for kids and families for free. We actually discovered this place by accident. We were having lunch at the National Kitchen by Violet Oon (I’ll be blogging about this soon) when our tour guide suggested she bring Tristan there while we had lunch. It was the best idea because Tristan loved it–he didn’t want to leave! And while you’re there, check out the nearby art galleries and the baby/kiddie store just around the corner–they sell the cutest things!
4.) We spent the day at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. This is something the whole family can enjoy. There is so much to do and to see here, especially for the kids–FUTURE WORLD: Where Art Meets Science is such a wonderful place for them to learn and play. They have interactive giant cubes, balls and projector displays. Kids can color and play, along with their parents–we spent hours here and we had a blast. Tristan loved the huge interactive digital projection of an entire city that was colored entirely by the kids (the kids can color images and these can be submitted to be part of the projection). It was pretty amazing—it had buildings, houses, moving cars, helicopters and airplanes! My little guy has a fascination for cars so he was staring at that exhibit for a long time. Oh, and he absolutely loved the giant balls that changed color when you touch it. He made friends with the other toddlers while playing—they had so much fun.
The ArtScience Museum features 21 gallery spaces, that has been home to some of the most renowned exhibitions including: Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal, Harry Potter: The Exhibition, Dinosaurs: Dawn to Extinction, Da Vinci: Shaping the Future, The Deep, DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition, Singapore Stories: Then, Now, Tomorrow and Collider. The ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands was awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence in 2015. This recognition places the museum amid a select group of attractions that have been recognized by worldwide travellers for providing outstanding tourist experiences.
5.) We had a lovely dinner at Jamie’s Italian (their kiddie menu is worth the trip). Rustic and delicious, with huge portions, this restaurant was one of the highlights of our trip. Carlos and I enjoyed the amazing dishes we ordered, but what stood out for me was the impressive kiddie menu (you can check out their menu here). I love that Jaime Oliver really took the time to come up with a delicious menu for kids, which is a rarity in the restaurant industry. This means the kids can eat healthy food and expand their palate. No doubt, this is one of the most family friendly restaurants in Singapore, which is why you need to make a reservation here when you’re in Singapore.
No doubt, Singapore is Tristan’s favorite city. He had so many places to go, things to do and restaurants to eat. We will definitely be back when he is a little older. I’m sure he will love it just as much!