What are the best free museums in Singapore for fun weekend activities and a spot of edutainment for kids of all ages?
Singapore has lots of free museums to enjoy! Whether you want to brush up on local history, science or art, these are the best free museums that are both child-friendly and highly interactive. Whether you’re seeking a fun-packed day out, need an educational distraction for restless little ones, or are just at a loose end on a rainy or simmering day, here’s our look at Singapore’s best free museums for kids…
Best Kid-Friendly Museum Exhibitions in Singapore
Lead image courtesy of @ee.linn via ArtScience Museum
One of our favourite museums in Singapore! ArtScience Museum hosts a number of major exhibitions each year that are both educational and interesting, including for bigger kids and their parents. Future World is a permanent exhibition and if you haven’t taken your kids here yet – bookmark this idea! Created in collaboration with teamLab, a renowned Japanese interdisplinary art collective, it features interactive displays that kids can touch, a slide to whizz down, and plenty of activities to get involved in.
Free Museum Entry: Every Friday, up to four children (below 12 years old) enter for free with every adult ticket purchased.
Admission: Adults $187, Children (2-12 years) $14, Family (2 Adults + 2 Children) $506 (extra admission charges apply for certain exhibitions)
All Sands Rewards members will be entitled to 30% discount off the standard ticket price.
Hours: Open Daily, 10am – 7pm
How to get there: Bayfront Station MRT station, then a 10-minute walk. There is also parking at Marina Bay Shoppes for those with cars.
Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956, www.marinabaysands.com/museum
Step back into the Lion City’s colourful, defensive history, tour the country’s oldest fire station, and let your kids explore antique fire engines and interactive learning stations (where they can pretend to be fire fighters!).
Free Museum Entry: Saturdays are a big hit as the Central Fire Station is open to the public for free from 9am to 11am – that means a guided tour of the fire station is in order! Firemen are super with the kids letting them use the hoses and ride on the trucks – check out our full write up here!).
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pmHow to get there: Exit at City Hall MRT, then walk 5 minutes to the museum. Enter from Hill Street.
Civil Defence Heritage Gallery & Central Fire Station, 62 Hill Street, Singapore 179367, www.scdf.gov.sg
The National Gallery is home to the largest public collection of Singaporean and Southeast Asian art in the region. For kids, check out the free museum Keppel Centre for Art Education. The Keppel Centre is where kids can let their creativity run wild – there is an art print making workshop, an interactive station where kids can make virtual ceramic pots and run around an indoor playscape. There are other virtual play areas to explore and more ‘touchy feely art’ pieces in this centre.
Free Museum Entry: For Singaporeans ($15 special exhibitions). Standard admission is $20/$25 for special exhibitions/$30 All access ($15 concessions).
Hours: open from 10 am to 7pm from Sunday to Thursday and on public holidays, and from 10 am to 10pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and the eves of public holidays. Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time.
The National Gallery of Singapore, 1 St. Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957, www.nationalgallery.sg
The oldest free museum in Singapore (it dates back to 1887!), the National Museum delivers history to the masses through permanent exhibitions (see if you can find the Singapore Stone!) and displays, a lecture theatre, and an education and resource centre. Older kids will enjoy the multi-sensory experiences – we love the touch-screen displays, smelling pods and old film reels – as well as the interactive tours just for kids. A series of regular learning programs and travelling exhibitions support the museum’s mission to “redefine the conventional museum experience”. The museum’s central location also makes it great for a post-museum run-around at Fort Canning Park. Read our full review of all the museum’s kid friendly activities here.
Free Museum Entry: For Citizens and Permanent Residents. Regardless of nationality, children aged 6 and below, as well as primary caregivers of persons with disabilities, will also enjoy free admission.
Standard: Adults $10, Students $5
Hours: Open daily from 10am. Singapore History Gallery closes at 6pm. Singapore Living Gallery closes at 8pm.
How to get there: Both Dhoby Ghaut MRT station and Bras Basah MRT station are a 5-minute walk away from the museum. Limited parking available on-site for those with cars.
National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897, www.nationalmuseum.sg
Inside this beautiful old colonial building, the Asian Civilisations Museum is home to over 1,300 artifacts, presented across 11 galleries and spanning over 14,000m2 (wah – it is big so plenty to see!). This free museum specializes in pan-Asian civilizations and strives to promote a better understanding of the cultures that make up Singapore’s diverse society. Excellent at providing learning opportunities for both younger and older children, ACM features age appropriate activities, gallery-based story telling sessions and hands-on workshops, as well as a continually updated range of exhibitions. After spending a morning exploring the museum, treat yourself (oh, and the kids!) to a coffee and a cake at the on-site café (Sassy Mama Tip: sit outside to catch the river view).
Free Museum Entry: For Singaporeans & Permanent Residents. Adults $8, Concession $4, Children (6 and below) free
Hours: Monday, 1 – 7pm, Tuesday – Sunday, 9am – 7pm. Closes 9pm on Friday
How to get there: Raffles Place MRT is an 8-minute walk away. You will need to cross the river at the Cavenagh Bridge to reach the museum.
Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555, www.acm.org.sg
Situated in the heart of Kampong Glam, Malay Heritage Centre is a vital cultural institution for the Malay community in Singapore. This free musuems’ exhibits, programmes and activities aim to honour the past while providing a means for present-day expression, all the while providing wonderful cultural exposure and learning opportunities for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. From batik workshops to traditional music and puppetry performances, there’s always something fun and educational on for kiddos.
Free Museum Entry: For Singaporean/PR. Standard: Adults: $6, Students: $4, Kids under 6 free
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10am-6pm
Malay Heritage Centre, 85 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198501, www.malayheritage.org.sg
Tracing the history of the Indian and South Asian communities in the Southeast Asian region, it’s worth a visit to the free museum that is the Indian Heritage Centre. The building is gorgeous — four storeys that blend both traditional Indian and modern architectural elements. The diversity of Singapore’s Indian cultural heritage is captured in the use of a translucent shimmering facade to create an impression of the Centre as a “shining jewel” in the day, and the transformation into a “glowing lantern” of the Indian community with the lighting of the colourful facade mural at night. The Indian Heritage Centre houses five permanent galleries, a museum shop, as well as programming and activity spaces. Read about one of their most notable exhibitions here!
Free Museum Entry: For Singaporean/PR.
Standard Adult $6 Kid $4 (under 6 free)
Hours: Tuesdays – Thursdays: 10.00am to 7.00pm, Fridays – Saturdays: 10.00am to 8.00pm, Sundays/Public Holidays: 10.00am to 4.00pm
Indian Heritage Centre, 5 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209924, www.indianheritage.org.sg
Covid-19 advisory: Closed until further notice.
At the Singapore Navy Museum kids can try their hands at taking out simulated enemy targets with the weapons that the Navy possesses, navigate a ship through the busy Singapore Strait, steer a submarine underwater, or get a glimpse of what it is like to be a commanding officer of a frigate. Travel back in time and learn how the Navy began in Singapore, and what challenges the early sailors faced. BYO snacks as there’s not much close by!
Free Museum Entry: Free for all to enter.
Hours: Admission 9am to 5pm (Monday to Friday), 9am to 3pm (Saturday)
12 Tanah Merah Coast Road, Inside Changi Naval Base, Singapore 498805, www.mindef.gov.sg
With interactive, hands-on exhibits that are perfect for both younger and older children, the Science Centre provides a super-interesting learning experience for children (just don’t tell them it is educational!). With dozens of exhibits spread across 14 galleries, there’s enough here to keep all members of the family busy. There are over 24 different exhibitions to see and experience. From Marine Alcove to Funfair Maths, from Climate Change to Bioethics, the Science Centre has it all! No visit is complete without a trip to the awesome Waterworks, with its own water maze and clock tower. Plus there’s a Butterflies Up Close exhibition – Singapore’s first and only indoor butterfly enclosure while following the transformation of a butterfly from egg to beautiful butterfly. It’s like The Very Hungry Caterpillar come to life! Read our full review here!
Free Museum Entry: For Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs) to the Science Centre during Off-peak days (weekdays during school term, excluding public holidays and school holidays).
Peak days include weekends, public holidays and school holidays, where Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs) admission is $6 Adults, $4 Children. Standard rate is $12 Adults, $8 Children (3-12 years)
Hours: Open Daily, 10am – 6pm
How to get there: Jurong East MRT Station and then walk 8 minutes or transfer to bus number 66, 178, 198 or 335 to the centre. Best to drive or catch a taxi (take the PIE to exit 29 or the AYE to exit 13)
Science Centre Singapore, 15 Science Centre Road, Singapore 609081, www.science.edu.sg
A modern day ‘edutainment’ centre that showcases the past, present and future of Singapore, the Discovery Centre is a hands-on, minds-on experience ideal for older kiddos. Test your knowledge of Singapore at the Harmony Circle (kids will be quizzed, game show style) and learn traditional dance moves at the Digital Dance Studio. This free museum aims to be touch-and-feel so it is perfect for inquisitive children who enjoy finding out the why behind how things are. We admit the location is not fantastic (it can be a bit tricky to get a taxi back) but its smaller size (you’ll be able to get around in an hour or two) and outdoor Water Park make for an interesting mini-adventure with the fam.
Free Museum Entry: For Singaporeans & PRs.
Standard admission from: Adults $10, Youth 3-21 $7.50, Children 3-12 years $6.
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 9am – 6pm. Closed Mondays (except during school holidays and public holidays)
How to get there: Exit at Joo Koon MRT station and make the 5-minute walk. Travelling by car or taxi will get you there more easily (Take exit 40 of the PIE or exit 20 of the AYE).
Singapore Discovery Centre, 510 Upper Jurong Road, Singapore 638365, www.sdc.com.sg
Though we wouldn’t recommend it for small children (some of those statues are scary!), open air Haw Par Villa has got to be among the most unique outdoor free museum in the world, let alone Singapore! Built in 1937 by the Tiger Balm founders as a kind of religious theme park, Haw Par Villa’s more than 1,000 vivid statues and tableaux are at turns terrifying, enchanting, and hilarious.
Free Museum Entry: For everyone!
Hours: Daily, 9am – 7pm
Haw Par Villa, 262 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118628, www.hawparvilla.sg
Every year, design experts from all over the world convene to pick the very best of the best in product design, design concept, and communication design for the international Red Dot Awards, one of the largest international design awards in the world. Winners are displayed in the Red Dot Design Museum — and with over 200 design works on display there’s sure to be something to appeal to the inner aesthete in your budding inventor.
Free Museum Entry: Pay as you wish but the minimum fee for non Singapore citizen is as follows: Adult (13 years old and above): S$11.80, Children (7-12 years old): S$6.40 (Kids 6 & below are free)
Hours: Monday to Thursday 10am – 8pm, Friday to Sunday 10am – 11pm
Red Dot Design Museum, 11 Marina Blvd, Singapore 018940, www.museum.red-dot.sg
*Currently closed for renovations — but click for virtual tours of past exhibitions. Scheduled to re-open in 2022 as a dedicated children’s museum!*
At Singapore’s Philatelic Museum at Coleman Street, it’s all about hands-on learning. This sweet museum housing a mind boggling amount of stamps is actually more hands on than it sounds! The museum’s permanent collection includes four rooms that looks at the history of stamps, and how they are designed, printed, and circulated. Kids will love the Heritage Room with its wall of doors, where they can open little cubbies and windows to learn about different cultures and festivals.
Free Museum Entry: For Singapore Citizens & PRs. Foreign visitors – Adult: $8, Child (3 to 12 years old): $6
Singapore Philatelic Museum, 23-B Coleman Street, Singapore 179807, www.spm.org.sg
*Currently closed for revonations.
The highlight here is the three player multimedia simulator game – fly a plane, and escape enemies by executing combat manoeuvres. When you’re done, touch a heat-seeking missile, check out the interior of a fighter jet, and join an interactive game where you’re the ground crew and help to land the planes. There is a fascinating range of planes on display in the outdoor gallery and plenty of interactive displays inside, along with uniforms, badges, 3D models, cockpit displays and a short film about current RSAF personnel.
Free Museum Entry: Free for all.
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 8:30am – 5pm
400 Airport Road, Singapore 534234, www.mindef.gov.sg
Best for older children, the Singapore Art Museum houses one of the largest collections of contemporary South East Asian art in the region. In light of space restrictions (a common problem in Singapore) less than 5% of the collection can be on display at any one time, which means you’re bound to see something different each time you go (yay for variety!).
Free Museum Entry: For Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs). Adults $6, Students $3, Children (6 years and below) free. Free admission every Friday from 6 – 9 pm and on open house days.
Hours: Monday – Sunday, 10am – 7pm (Last admission to the museum is at 6.15pm). Fridays open until 9pm (Last admission to the museum is at 8.15pm)
How to get there: Exit at Bras Basah MRT Station and walk 2 minutes to the museum.
Singapore Art Museum, 71 Bras Basah Road, www.singaporeartmuseum.sg