With dozen of impressive gardens and parks, Singapore has a wide range of places to keep nature-lovers busy. Different categories of parks like historic parks, coastal parks, community parks, marine parks, nature parks and riverine parks to choose from, we prioritize the interest of our child and went to the ‘Singapore Zoo’ and ‘Jurong Bird Park’.
Singapore Zoo is a wonderful place for kids. All animals are kept in their natural environment, making the whole experience to be very refreshing and pure. The tram ride is very convenient to go from one place to another. However, we preferred walking as we did not want to miss any animal. Numerous shows like the ‘Splash safari show’, ‘Animal Friend Show’ and ‘Elephants at work and play Show’ are not only entertaining but they are educational too. With numerous zones and countless animals, the whole zoo experience was tiring as well as rewarding.
Splash Safari Show
Thrilled by seal playing with a ball
I still remember the priceless expression on my child’s face which was full of joy and curiosity throughout the zoo. He observed most of the animals and could make out if they were friendly or not. After attending shows and watching numerous animals like the tiger,lion,panther,zebra,giraffe,kangaroo,polar bear and so on; we were drenched with sweat. With scores of ice-lollies and ice-drinks, we were able to cover most of the zoo’s attraction.
So we thought to leave but were suddenly reminded of the ‘Rainforest Kidz Area’. We reached there and for the next hour, our little one was busy playing in the ‘Wet Play Area’ with other local kids. There were many dining options in the zoo. Out of which, we chose to eat at KFC which was strategically located near the ‘Wet Ply area for children’. We could eat and watch him play at the same time. Once I changed his clothes, he dozed off on the pram and we headed back (walking again as we did not wanted to wake him up by sitting in the tram).
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS SINGAPORE & RESORT WORLD SENTOSA
One of the most accurately rated place to visit is the Universal Studio. To avoid the effort of packing and unpacking, we did not stay in Sentosa. Rather we preferred to visit it from our hotel which was located near Clarke Quay. So, to make the most of the day, we reached Universal Studios at around 10 am. It was a breeze to enter as there was no rush. Though I have been to the universal studios located in Paris, but this trip was special as the little one was accompanying us. It was his first ever theme park experience and it went very well.
As he had not even reached 80 cm mark (so tiny and cute) for his height, there were not many rides, he was allowed onto. But , we made the most of the approved rides. We started with the Madagascar rides and as our little one is very fond of animals (i wonder why all babies love animals), he thoroughly enjoyed it. The first ride was more like a boat ride with beautiful scenarios on the sides and the second one was a go-round ride; both were comfortable with baby.
SCI FI CITY
Canopy flyer in the lost world and treasure hunters in ancient egypt were awesome experiences for our baby too. He loves dinosaurs and was pleased to find so many different kinds around him. (Though he got petrified with a robotic dino on a van who was promoting the shows by roaring loudly) We were able to attend most of the shows like the Rockfellas at the New York and Sesame Street show in Hollywood. Being a weekday and our early arrival accounted for such a great use of time as we did not miss anything. There were ample food options and once we had lunch, our son slept in his pram. That was when we decided to explore Sentosa.
We wanted to go to the Adventure Cove Waterpark, but our little kiddo was not allowed for any of the rides there so we gave it a miss. The whole holiday was supposed to be for our son and therefore we only wanted to do what he loved. So, we took the monorail to the Siloso beach. After walking so much, we just wanted to relax on the beach and by the time, we were all set; our baby was awake and ready to play (its always like this – the moment we think of relaxing,he is awake for more fun). The beach was very clean and was a good place to sit, with sunset views in places. While the little one was busy making a sand-castle, we clicked pictures and enjoyed coconut ice-cream. After a short dip in the sea, we headed back to our hotel.
Though I love nature and parks, I had double thoughts of going to ‘Gardens by the bay’ as the pictures which I had seen suggested it to be more of an artificial place. But, we went there to let our baby observe different kinds of trees and flowers and we were not disappointed.
Spread over hundred acres, this garden has a spectacular view. There were so many things to do and so many attractive domes to visit. We entered through the South Gate and after having a light snack at McDonald’ which is conveniently located at the beginning of the park, we entered the flower dome amidst light thunder. It was a wonderful sight inside. The best part was that we did not get wet.😊
We moved towards the OCBC Skywalk afterwards but it was closed due to rain. So that was sad.
Our little one started getting anxious as it was his nap time. So, we took him to the Children’s Garden. He had a good time over there and all the kids did not mind getting wet in the rain. After a tiresome day, we went back to our hotel.
Standing Tall (he’s so tiny)
At the Garden (im the one giggling away)
Though my trip to this place was not perfect,but I will like to share few tips for future :
Always carry your children’s costume and other essentials required for water park (as Singapore has plenty of such places around major attractions)
The visit to ‘Gardens by the Bay’ require full day if you want to visit all that it has to offer (you also get discounted tickets for visiting more places)
Avoid rainy day to visit this place as the most amazing site is closed if it rains.
You get good pictures of the ‘Supertree Grove’ only from the outside 😉
When our son turned 18 months old, we realized that he was ready to travel abroad with us. We did not wanted his exposure to be limited only to India. So, we brainstormed various options for him. As Singapore has always been one of my favorite holiday destination,it was fairly easy to choose it as our first international holiday for our son. (Choosing the destination was easy but convincing my husband to take leave from work was a really tough job. But it was totally worth it.)
Top factors for choosing our first international holiday destination with the little one were:
Flight time : What we thought – As it takes only 5-6 hours from Delhi to Singapore, it is convenient to travel. Moreover, we booked overnight flights overlapping our baby’s sleep time. What really happened– Though my baby sleeps by 9 pm in general but it was not until1 am that he slept in the flight. We had to play dough and show him different videos so that the other passengers were not disturbed. To make matters worse, he even vomited once. I don’t know what was I thinking. There can never be a leisure trip with a baby on board. But we reached Singapore.
Status of the country :Singapore is considered to be one of the safest countries with very stable government and policies. You do not want any unplanned adventure with the baby. It was really a very safe place. We used to go for midnight strolls when our baby used to sleep. Taking him in his pram,of course.
Weather :Close proximity to the Equator corresponds to the warm weather throughout the year in Singapore. We traveled when it was winter in India. So, the heat was welcomed in the beginning. But there were occasional showers everyday owing to its island topography.
Infrastructure :What we thought –With state of the art transportation system , you can travel at any point of the day safely. What really happened – We did all the traveling through taxis as though MRT & buses were available, but carrying a pram and baby bag along with a camera bag; traveling by personal taxi was the best bet.
Cultural exposure :With a balance between old and new, Singapore strikes the perfect harmony which gives tourists of all ages and class whatever they desire. It made for a perfect destination for my husband (as he amused himself in geek shopping), my child (with so many parks) & me (any thing is good for me as long as I am not at home).
Places suitable for kids :With a long list of parks and museums, Singapore is a blessing for kids. There was not a single moment when we were out of plan.
Food :Singapore is simply the paradise for foodies. You get delicious cuisines of food including Indian,Chinese, Japanese and Thai. Except for my child (who is a very fussy eater by the way), my husband and I are fond of food and drinks. We like to taste the local food whenever we travel.
Shopping : With a number of malls at the orchard road, there are so many options to shop for the parents as well as the little ones.
I will write a copy of my Singapore trip in next posts. Goodbye for now !!
Sometimes doing the less obvious is fun. Therefore, after visiting the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort,we decided to enjoy other activities. Mainly because we did not want our baby to be overly tired and we wanted him to have fun. So here is a short list of things which can be done apart from visiting the famous historical structures which Agra has:
Engage in a puppet show. There were many traditional puppet shows in Agra. As these shows are not at a premium scale, they let us try our hand on the puppet too. It was fun for our little one as he was happily engaged in the puppets.
Taking ride on the horse cart. Its super fun for the kids as they love watching the galloping horse. Also, it lets you imagine the historic set up which the city offers.
Watching the musical love story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal at the Kalakriti Cultural & Convention Center.
Taking a boat ride in the Yamuna. But be sure to ascertain the condition of the boats as many seem to be broken.
Shopping at the popular Sadar Bazar. You get extremely beautiful leather shoes at reasonable rates. We bought our son’s first leather shoes from here. Its best to go in the evening when there are no cars allowed.
Your trip to Agra is not complete without indulging in the famous Agra ka petha. Petha is available all over Agra and the Panchi brand is particularly popular. It also makes for a great gift from Agra for your friends & family back home.
Taj Mahal is beautiful to even an infant. The warmth in its surrounding and the iconic structure develops a sense of curiosity within us.
Going to Agra is convenient when you are traveling from Delhi/NCR. We drove in our own car stopping whenever required. Our little one also had fun during the road journey as he was able to notice different vehicles throughout.
We stayed at The GateWay Hotel Fatehabad Road Agra. Offering the best amenities alongside magnificent view of the TAJ MAHAL from its terrace, it made for a wonderful stay. The green lush garden adjacent to swimming pool was full with toddlers playing with balls. We were glad of our choice as our son was not the only one enjoying the sunny day in January weather.
We went to visit the Taj Mahal the next day. Given the prestigious position in the seven wonders of the world, Taj Mahal is one of the most populated tourist destination in India. Therefore, we went to visit it right after the breakfast. There were two good reasons to do so : a) beating the rush , and b) utilizing the energy of our little one who was fully charged with a good night sleep.
There is no word to describe the beauty of the Taj Mahal. Maybe its the reason for its construction or the love in the heart of millions of people who come to visit it, the whole ambience around Taj is full of warmth & affection. We enjoyed the view and sat there for a couple of hours. Clicking pictures and showing different objects to our little one, we enjoyed sitting under the sun. River Yamuna which flows right across the Taj adds to the exquisite beauty in its own natural form. The warmth in its surrounding and the iconic structure develops a sense of comfort within us. Its rightly said that Travel is the comfort food of the soul. 🙂
Indian society is graced with oodles of customs and cultural significance. None of which defines how traveling is bad. However, whenever an Indian couple or solo traveler thinks about his plan, the first thing that comes up in the mind is how they will get permission from their parents. In many cases such is not the scenario.People may simply state that they are planning to travel somewhere without asking their family members (the repercussions of which follow even after the whole trip is finished). Indian household regards travel as a luxury. Though this concept is changing slowly but the major population still have the prior view. Its irrespective of the fact whether you are single or married or 30 or 40. Indian parents and the society both are equally concerned about you (however old you may be or however financially independent you may be).
So having a wanderer soul and being mommy at the same time is not easy. The society might regard you as a careless and selfish person who just wants to have fun. Or someone who do not prioritize their child (even when you take care of your child single-handedly 24x7x365 days in a year). So, what I am trying to say is that people will always have their own opinion. So isn’t it better for you to do the same. If travel makes you happy, why feel guilty? Ultimately you are the pillar of the family. Your happiness is directly proportional to the happiness of your spouse and your child. Not only that, travel is a course of learning in itself. It makes your child an observer and patron of varsity. Travel enhances the creative side of your child as they are able to see unconventional approach to the same thing in different cultures. Most importantly, traveling gives your family time to reconnect. There are scientific researches which show that the average number of words spoken to your child is much more when you are on a trip/vacation. And to add some spice to the list, an escape from the cunning aunt around the corner is always welcome 😉