Singapore - An ideal holiday destination for Kids

Sachin Jatkar

Well-Known Member
Armed with my new smart cards, I boarded bus no. 75 from the bus stop opposite to Outram park station to go back to our hotel. One can board bus numbers 75 and 970 to go to and from Holiday Inn Atrium to Outram park MRT station. Public buses and trains in Singapore have prominent rolling LED displays that give information about the next approaching station. Alternately you can check the details of your bus route at the bus stop before boarding the bus. Each bus stop displays information about the bus route of every bus that stops at that bus stop. I used to note down names of one or two stops before mine, so I knew that my stop would be the next. This would also be confirmed by the rolling LED display inside the bus. One thing to remember is that you get on the bus from the front entrance and tap your card or pay the fare to the bus driver. You have to get down from the rear entrance and tap your card before getting down so that accurate fare is deducted from your smart card. There are card readers both at the entrance and exit. The card readers will allow you to tap the card only when any approaching bus stop is only a few meters away and not before that.

In the 5 days that we were in Singapore, we never really faced any crowd when using public transport as we never travelled during the peak hours. Most of the times we got a seat or managed to stand comfortably until seats were vacated. I came back to the hotel and took a short nap along with my family. After sufficient rest and light snacks, we started from the hotel on our way to Night Safari. All tourist attractions that we visited in Singapore have their own websites which provide excellent and detailed information about everything one needs to know. We got on to a bus to Outram park station, took a train to Jurong East station, switched from Green (East West line) to Red (North South) line and got off at Choa Chu Kang station happily tapping our smart cards everywhere. Switching from Green to Red line at Jurong East station was very easy and we just walked across from one platform to the other. You do not have to exit the station to switch the MRT lines and there are few stations on each line from where you can switch. Also there are plenty of indicators to guide you and people too are very helpful.
After exiting from Choa Chu Kang station we walked to the bus interchange which is a 2 mins walk. From here you have to take bus no. 927 to go to Night Safari and Singapore Zoo. The bus stop for both attractions is the same (last stop for bus no. 927). The entrance to both attractions is just a 3 mins walk apart. However timings for Singapore Zoo and Night Safari are different as the zoo closes at 6PM while the Night Safari opens at 7.30PM. There is a bus (No. 927) every 15-20 mins and it takes about 30 mins to reach by bus from Choa Chu Kang interchange to Night Safari.

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We reached around 7PM and just missed the “Thumbuakar show” at the entrance. We had not bought the tickets to Night Safari online but I had read about the park hopper tickets. Popular attractions such as Night Safari, Jurong Bird Park, Singapore Zoo and River safari are owned by Wildlife Reserves Singapore. Hence you can buy 2-in-1, 3-in-1 and 4-in-1 park hopper tickets instead of buying tickets at each attraction. We purchased a 3-in-1 park hopper ticket valid for Zoo, Night Safari and Jurong Bird Park and saved S$8 per adult ticket and S$4 on the child ticket. For e.g. if you buy individual tickets to each attraction, it will cost you S$77 per adult ticket as compared to the 3-in-1 ticket which costs S$69 per adult. The park hopper tickets are valid for 30 days from the first visit and valid for only 1 entry each at the attractions mentioned on your ticket. You will find ticket counters with “Park Hopper” signs over them at the entrance of these 3 attractions.

Park Hopper ticket options and rates
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Park Hopper ticket rules
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How the park hopper tickets look like
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We were hungry and as there was still some time for the park to open, we headed to the “Bongo Burgers” restaurant at the entrance to the Night Safari. As the name suggests it was mainly fast food and it was very OK. Being a Saturday night there was a huge crowd and on entry we had to wait in queue for about 10-15 mins to get a seat on the tram ride. As soon as you enter the safari, the tram station is the first thing that you see. As it was drizzling a bit, most people opted to first go around the park in the tram. The trams have a driver and a guide on board who shares fascinating facts about the animals you see during the ride. There are 3 to 4 stations along the tram route and people can hop on or hop off at these stations and explore the attractions and trails on foot.

Bongo Burgers restaurant just outside Night Safari entrance.
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Entrance to Night Safari.
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A toy Zebra at a restaurant inside the Night Safari.
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I will not go in to the details of what to expect inside the Night Safari as you will get plenty of information on their website Night Safari - Singapore's No.1 Nightspot , but here are a few tips from our experience. As it was dark inside, I could not get good quality pictures at the Night Safari.

• The best way to explore and really enjoy Night Safari, Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park is on foot. So use the tram to hop off and hop on at stations and then explore on foot. As lot of walking is involved, ensure that you wear comfortable covered footwear.
• If you are going to visit 2 or more Wildlife Reserves Singapore attractions, buy a Park Hopper ticket at the first attraction you visit. This will save you some money.
• The best thing about any of these attractions are the shows that are held at specific times. Check show timings and suggested itineraries on the websites and plan accordingly. However, do not fret if you miss the shows and enjoy the experience anyway.
• When in Singapore and out in the open, always prepare for the rain. When you are with children and carrying sacks and cameras, umbrellas are not a convenient option. Buy the ponchos or raincoats available at these attractions for S$5.
• Carry enough water and stay well hydrated at all times as it will help in not getting tired soon. Water bottles are available at the many restaurants inside as well as outside tourist attractions.
• Pick up the free maps available at the entrance as it will help you keep a track of where you are, what you have covered, what is left to cover and how to reach there. The maps also have details of the shows and their timings.
• There are restaurants which offer both healthy as well as junk food options. If possible, choose the healthy food options as they will cost you approximately the same and provide you more nutrition and energy.
• If possible, arrive a little before the attraction opens to enjoy all the shows on offer.
• Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park have kid zones and wet play areas. Ensure that you carry swim wear and change of clothes.
• Buy some souvenirs from the gift shops although they are a bit on the expensive side.

We thoroughly enjoyed the experience at Night Safari, especially the different walking trails. It was a novel and unique experience of walking along the narrow trails where we could be close to the animals in the dark. The sound of nocturnal insects, the natural smell of trees, plants and flowers adds to the fun. The Night Safari was one attraction which my son wanted to visit again. By the end of it though, we were very exhausted and just hopped in to a taxi to go back to the hotel. There are taxi stands outside each of the Wildlife Reserves Singapore tourist attractions. It cost us S$20 to reach the hotel.
 

Sachin Jatkar

Well-Known Member
Although we had made a resolution to start early for Singapore Zoo the next day, we managed to reach there only by 11AM. The Singapore Zoo is open from 8.30AM to 6PM. We took the same route i.e. Outram park station to Choa Chu Kang and Bus No. 927 from there to the Zoo. It started drizzling on the way and by the time we were at the Choa Chu Kang bus interchange it was pouring heavily. It had become quite dark and did not look like the downpour would stop anytime soon. We thought it was the worst day to go to the Zoo and gave serious thought to turning back and visiting the Singapore Science Centre instead (as it is completely enclosed). However we braved on and by the time we reached Singapore Zoo the rain had somewhat reduced. The first thing we did was to buy a poncho for my son to protect him from rain.

As it was raining again, we chose to take the tram ride to get an idea of the different zones in the Zoo. We then caught the “Rainforest fights back” show at the amphitheatre which was funny and entertaining and then proceeded for lunch at the “Ah Meng” restaurant. It felt very satisfying to have hot mushroom and cream soup with warm bread and spaghetti with meatballs after mostly surviving on junk food since we had arrived in Singapore. Finally the rain had subsided and so we started exploring the zoo on foot. Again I will not explain what to expect at the Zoo as their website will give you all the information you need Singapore Zoo - The World's Best Rainforest Zoo .

I personally do not enjoy watching animals in a Zoo no matter if they are kept in open spaces. It’s just not the same as watching them in the wild in their natural habitat. However, this trip was for my son and he does not understand these facts yet. The only consolation was that all animals in the Singapore appeared to be in excellent health. A few pictures we clicked at the Zoo are posted below. The tips I have shared above for Night Safari also apply for Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park.

Outside Singapore Zoo
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Asian Otters
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Tapir
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White Tigers
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Pygmy Hippos
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Baboons
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Rainforest fights back show
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Zebras
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Giraffes
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Cheetahs
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Park rangers explaining the diffence between Human and Orangutan skull to my son. They were so kind and gave details in a easy to understand manner.
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Trams used in the Zoo.
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After exploring the Zoo, we were exhausted by the time we arrived at the KidzWorld wet play area. Other than the wet play area your kids will also get to see and ride some farm animals. But it’s the wet play area that kids love the most. Parents can sit and relax your tired feet while your little ones go berserk running around splashing water in the perfectly safe wet play area. They have very cleverly used rubber floor so the children do not get hurt even if they fall. Other than the slides, tubes and colourful water sprayers one of the main attractions is a jumbo water bucket that keeps collecting water and every so often splashes the downpour on children and adults waiting below. My son had a lot of fun in the wet play areas at Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park.

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It was a little after 6PM when we walked out of the Zoo with my son asleep in my arms. We again took a taxi back to the hotel. That night my wife’s friend and husband picked us up from our hotel and took us out for dinner at Myra’s Beach club restaurant where we had Indian food. The next day would be another eventful one covering Universal studios and SEA Aquarium.
 

anupmathur

Super Moderator
Staff member
Sachin, exemplary coverage! :)
Clearly, you have put in a lot of time and effort into this. Thanks! :cool:
 

Sachin Jatkar

Well-Known Member
Sachin, exemplary coverage! :)
Clearly, you have put in a lot of time and effort into this. Thanks! :cool:
Thank you Anup ji :). It's a one time effort so worth the time spent.



Having read many experiences on Tripadvisor about reaching Universal studios before 10AM to avoid rush, we made extra effort and were out of the hotel by 0930. There are plenty of ways to enter Sentosa Island or Resorts World Sentosa (RWS where Universal Studios and SEA aquarium are based). You can read about the different ways on RWS website How to Get Here | Directions | Resorts World Sentosa .

We took the North-East (Purple) line going to Harbour Front from Outram park station. It’s just one stop from Outram Park to Harbour Front station on the purple line. There is a separate entrance at Outram Park for the purple line and it is just a 2 min walk from the entrance to Green line. After getting off at Harbour Front station just follow the directions for “Sentosa Express” or “Cable Car” depending on how you want to reach Sentosa Island. We had planned to take the Cable car on the next day so we walked up to Level 3 of the Vivo city shopping mall from where one can board the Sentosa express.

Taking MRT to Harbour Front station from Outram Park. Note that there are 2 automatic doors. One on the platform and the other is the train door. No one can accidentally fall on the tracks due to the automatic doors on the platform which only open when the train completely stops. Very Safe.
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MRT network map and ticket rates from Outram Park to Harbour Front.
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Follow the directions to Sentosa Express or Cable car to get to Sentosa Island or RWS
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Queue for Sentosa Express tickets. You can use your EZ Link or Nets Flashpay card to pay for the ride as well.
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Boarding Sentosa Express. Get off at the first station (Water Front) for USS and SEA Aquarium. Note that the monorail has 4 stops.
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If you have smart cards (EZ Link or Nets Flashpay), you can use them for the ride on Sentosa express which costs S$3.50 per person (includes both way fare). Else you can buy Sentosa express tickets from automated machines located on Level 3 just opposite the Sentosa station. The Cable car costs S$26 per adult and S$15 per child which includes the fare both ways and gives excellent view of Singapore and Sentosa Island. Board the Sentosa express and get off at the 1st stop (Water Front station) for Universal studios. Travelling on bus or monorail once you are on Sentosa island is free of cost i.e. you can use the same S$3.50 ticket.

I had purchased online the 1 day pass valid for Universal Studios Singapore (USS) and SEA aquarium (combo package). The package deal saves you some Singapore dollars but is only valid on that 1 day specified on the ticket. You can also buy combo 1 or 2 day packages for Universal studios, SEA Aquarium and Adventure Cove waterpark (we didn’t have time for this one). It’s best to buy tickets online at Ticketing Terms & Conditions as you don’t have to wait in the queue otherwise. The 1 day combo package ticket allowing entry to Universal studios and SEA Aquarium costs S$92 per adult and S$66 per child. The ticket allows for unlimited rides inside Universal studios as well i.e. you don’t have to pay separately for any ride inside USS.

How to purchase RWS attraction tickets or combo packages online.
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For packages, you may have to book twice i.e. once for adult tickets and 2nd time for child tickets. It does not give the option to add to cart.
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Please note that 1 day pass is only valid on the date mentioned on the pass. Multiple entries are allowed on the same day. The gate keepers stamp on your hand so that you can enter again if required.
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You also have the option of purchasing Universal studios Express pass for S$30 per person. There is a special queue (priority) in all rides for express pass holders and you don’t have to wait for longer time in the standard queue for any ride. We saw express pass holders directly walk and take rides as on weekdays hardly anyone buys an express pass and hence their queue was empty. It’s not worth buying this pass on weekdays unless you are in a hurry and want to quickly finish all rides and move out. We only had to wait 5 mins in queue for most rides and a maximum of 10 minutes for popular rides such as Transformers.

This sign greets you as soon as you get down at Water Front station.
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Everyone poses in front of this rotating globe. Some even more dramatically :)
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Sachin Jatkar

Well-Known Member
Hats off to you for a meticulously put together log.
Great details!
Thank You Pushpinder Ji :). I am following your log on Dubai with great interest as I have spent a few years there.



We entered USS just after 10 AM and went straight for the rides. USS is divided in to 7 zones viz. Hollywood, New York, SCI-FI city, Ancient Egypt, Lost World, Far Far away and Madagascar based on favourite blockbuster films from Universal studios. There are plenty of rides, restaurants, shows and shopping opportunities in each zone.

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I will share a few tips based on our experience for readers who want to visit USS.

• Visit on a weekday and avoid weekends and public holidays as it could entirely ruin your USS experience. If you do not have an option then consider buying a USS Express pass. Expected waiting time is displayed at the entrance of each ride and helps you make your decision.
• Buy tickets online and carry the printouts with you. It will save you time and you can choose from various available packages.
• USS is open from 10 AM to 7 PM but try to reach as early as you can. There is very less crowd if you enter as soon as the gates open. If you manage to reach early, head straight for the popular rides such as Transformers. Do not waste time looking for photo opportunities as you will get plenty of time for that later.
• Pick up a map of USS at the entrance as it will help you to decide your way around from one zone to the other.
• Be prepared to do lot of walking so wear comfortable attire and footwear. Stay hydrated at all times as you will feel your energy being sapped out on hot and humid days. Take frequent breaks.
• You will get splashed with water in some rides especially the Jurassic Park rapids adventure ride. So carry your raincoats or ponchos. If you forget, the vending machine before the ride will let you purchase different sized plastic raincoats for S$3 each.
• Do not carry too many coins or luggage with you, as for some rides you are expected to put them in a locker. You will be provided a locker free for the first 30 or 60 minutes after which there is a nominal charge.
• You will exit in to a gift shop after many rides. Take the opportunity to shop for souvenirs but if you are in a hurry come back later.
• Absolutely must do rides are Transformers, Battle star Galactica, Jurassic Rapids adventure, Canopy Flyer and do not miss the Shrek 4-D show (Far Far away). There are plenty of other rides and shows like the Madagascar ride, Lights camera action, Revenge of the Mummy etc. which too are lot of fun.
• Plenty of photo opportunities available with famous movie characters who roam the streets.
• If you have purchased a combo ticket for USS and SEA aquarium and if it’s raining, visit the aquarium first as it’s fully covered and AC.
• You can exit and enter again on the same ticket but make sure that you are stamped on your hand by the gate keepers. There is no mark on your skin when you are marked but the stamp is visible under a UV light which is checked when you enter again.
• Photography is not allowed on most rides and as mentioned above you won’t be allowed to carry anything with you in some rides.

The day we went to USS was a very hot and humid one. With a child it is very difficult to cover all rides and shows even on weekdays, as you need to take frequent breaks. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience at USS and this is a must visit when you are in Singapore without a doubt.

Near USS entrance.
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Madagascar ship
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Entrance to Madagascar ride and how the ride looks like. You ride in a boat and all the characters in the movie sing and dance and have lots of fun along the way with you.
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Entrance to Jurassic Park rapids adventure ride. This is one of the best rides and the climax where you are picked up almost in to the mouth of a T-rex and then hurled down is best.
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The Lost world zone in USS has plenty of Dinos
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The canopy flyer ride is quite exciting. You feel like someone has thrown you out of a plane and you are hurtling down.
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Notice the different queues for standard and express pass
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My son's fav shopping destination and he is showing off some dinosaur toys he got from there. Dino toys are available from around S$10 to S$35 and bath towels with Jurassic park theme and Caps are available for S$24 each.
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Ancient Egypt zone where you have the Revenge of the Mummy and Treasure Hunters rides.
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Battlestar Galactica ride. This is the scariest ride in USS. I could not even open my mouth to scream.
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Photo opportunity with Puss in Boots.
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Sesame street characters show
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Car from the movie Transformers
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The transformers ride is one of the best rides in USS. Don't miss it.
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Nice tag line. Such stalls are available everywhere in USS and there are plenty of proper restaurants too.
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jeetcp

Mediocre me
Truly amazing updates and details. Who takes pain to write in such detail and quality. Kudos.
 
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