Planning for this year’s March holidays would be a different affair compared to pre-COVID-19 days. With the lack of travel destinations and being stuck in our little sunny island for more than 365 days, most of us probably have rediscovered parts of Singapore that we never knew. The coming March holidays would be another test of parent’s resourcefulness to spend meaningful and educational time with kids without breaking the bank.
Here are 5 activities to have a fun educational time with your children which are wallet-friendly too.
#1 Storytelling: NLB Storytelling Events
Being limited physically does not mean one cannot travel. One of the best ways to engage a child and let them explore the world is through storytelling. The National Library Board (NLB) has been organising storytelling sessions for children aged 0 – 12 years old for the four main languages (English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil) and sign language. There are up to 14 storytelling sessions scheduled for the March holidays (including sign language story sessions). The events are split across the various libraries across the region and you can check the schedule online.
Interested parents can head over to NLB’s Eventbrite page to look for the various upcoming events. Do remember to sign up as a NLB member if you have not and register for the events at Eventbrite before turning up as there is limited capacity for each event due to safe distancing measures. Parents are also encouraged to book the library visitation timeslots to avoid the potential queue outside the library.
In addition to the storytelling sessions, NLB also hosts other knowledge-based activities for families such as “Code With Your Child” seminars and “DIY Kaleidoscope” handicraft sessions.
#2 Arts: Free Performances At Esplanade – Theatres By The Bay
If visiting the library is too repetitive for your family, going to Esplanade might be an interesting alternative. The Esplanade offers various forms of performance arts such as plays, musical concerts to help enrich the local arts scene. These include performances from Pipa Society Singapore, Sing’theatre Academy and Orkestra Sri Temasek.
Most of the free events are on a first come first serve basis. Parents should either register on the day itself or pre-register online. Since there are still safe distancing measures in place, there would be a limited number of 50 tickets for each event depending on the venue. More details and scheduling of the relevant events can be found on the events page on The Esplanade.
#3 Culture: Visiting The Various Local Heritage & Cultural Centres
Source: Indian Heritage Centre
Apart from visiting museums, there are other locations parents can bring their child to learn about their history and heritage in greater detail. In total, there are 4 main cultural centres to visit.
Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC) – Current ongoing permanent exhibition is titled SINGAPO人.
Malay Heritage Centre (MHC) – Currently, there are 6 ongoing exhibitions at MHC. Parents are encouraged to call ahead to confirm the availability of guided tours.
Indian Heritage Centre (IHC) – Current ongoing exhibition is titled Pongal Day Out.
Eurasian Heritage Gallery (EHG) – Entries are free for all Singaporeans and permanent residents (PR), while tours are usually on a paid basis.
Parents hoping to improve the bilingual interest or ability of their child would enjoy visiting these centres as there would be an emphasis on the respective mother tongues. While all entries are free for Singaporeans and PR, tours are on a first come first serve basis so do check the official pages for more details.
#4 Singapore History: Visit National Monument – Former Ford Factory
With an increase in museum attendees from last year, most of us have probably been to a museum one too many times. Aside from experiencing history through museum artefacts, parents can bring their children to have a real taste of history at the former Ford Factory, the actual location where the British surrendered to the Japanese Army back in 1942. Appointed by Singapore Heritage Board as one of the 73 national monuments, the factory itself has now turned into a gallery with extensive information on the wartime history.
Guided tours for the gallery are available daily and for more details, check out the official website. Singaporeans and permanent residents enjoy free entry to the former factory. Other than the former Ford Factory, parents could also visit similar sites such as Saint George Church and Changi Prison Wall for their historical significance.
#5 Nature: Free Trails To Experience And Get Some Vitamin D
Walking in nature has been proven to provide a multitude of benefits to a person’s mental and physical health. With all the above suggestions being indoor based activities, here is the final suggestion to get some Vitamin D (while staying hydrated and UV-protected).
The National Park Board (NParks) is the overall authority in charge of the various parks and nature reserves in Singapore. NParks has ongoing events such as guided tours and educational activities for children. For the March holidays, they have up to 9 free activities for families to join which includes bird watching, educational forest tours and garden tours. As always, these free events are limited in capacity especially with safe distancing measures in place. Registration online is on a first come first serve basis so do visit the official site for more details on the individual events.