Science Centre is one of our favourite places for hands-on learning; from playful exhibits at KidsSTOP to real butterflies, interactive science exhibits*, Snow City and an Omni-theatre, here’s our essential guide
Looking for an exciting day out with the kids where your little ones, tweens and teens will all have fun and learn something educational? Science Centre Singapore is one of our favourite places to head for an entire morning or afternoon. You could literally spend a whole day (maybe week?) at the Science Centre and explore different topics from climate change to kinetic forces, all in a kid-friendly, hands-on way. Your kids will be pushing buttons, experimenting with levers and absorbing so much that they won’t even realise they are learning. Designed to make science accessible and engaging, this world-class science centre brings the amazing world of science alive for kids (and adults!) and will inspire everyone to do something incredible with their future.
Decide where to start: Science Centre, KidSTOP or Snow City?
There’s so much to see at Science Centre Singapore, with more than 1,000 exhibitions plus there’s the Omni-Theatre* and Butterflies Up Close (both inside Science Centre building) as well as KidSTOP (best for younger kids) and Snow City (both in separate buildings next to Science Centre) that it can be a bit mind-boggling to know where everything is!
Tip #1: Decide where you want to start and spend most of your time, depending on your kids’ ages. You can then pop into other sections if you have time. Remember to book your tickets online before you visit (onsite ticketing is closed during the pandemic).
The main building here is the Science Centre, jam-packed full of permanent exhibitions from “Know your Poo” to the famous Tesla Coil show*. Each exhibition is interactive and provides super hands-on activities for kids as well as more text-heavy info for a deeper understanding of the topic for the older ones. Walk around at your own pace through The Mind’s Eye where kids will love the fun optical illusions. Navigate your way through the Mirror Maze armed with a foam stick so you can find your way out without banging into the mirrors. Learn all about our staple food at the new exhibition “Rice is Life”, then scare yourself silly at Phobia: The Science of Fear, all the time picking up interesting facts and new knowledge.
10 Highlights at Science Centre: Exhibitions, Shows & Workshops
1. Amazing science shows* & demonstrations
Apart from exhibitions of different themes at Science Centre, look out for the special shows and talks that take place at different times throughout the day. We reckon the following shows at Science Centre are worth a special mention:
- Fire Tornado Show: 3pm
This 15-minute science show happens in the Annexe Courtyard (near the Coffee Bee) once per day. It’s quite the engineering feat and totally mesmerising to be able to stand just steps away from this fiery twister of over 600 degrees celsius! Special tip – take a video in slo-mo mode to capture something that looks out of a Hollywood action movie!
- Tesla Coil Show: 12pm (and 3pm peak period)
Stand back and watch the electrifying live demonstration of the Tesla Coil as 3.5 million volts of electricity create intense bursts of lights that arc across the arena and at one point onto a cage with a volunteer inside!
- Science show: 4pm (weekends only)
This show changes theme over the year so keep an eye on the current topic here!
*Update: All Science shows and tours such as the Tesla Coil and Fire Tornado Shows as well as the weekly Stargazing sessions will be suspended until further notice. See note at end of guide re closures and procedures to combat covid-19.
2. Omni-Theatre: IMAX movies
The Omni-Theatre is S.E Asia’s only 8K 3D digital IMAX dome theatre, with a five-storey high screen that immerses you into the action that you are viewing on screen. Unlike conventional theatres, the Omni-Theatre is has a powerful digital planetarium system that gives you a rare glance into space at 8K resolution! The 221-seat theatre has a range of digital movies (pre-book a show here). On Friday evenings, the Observatory (currently closed until further notice) also hosts free star-gazing sessions and talks; check the SCOB Facebook page for deets.
3. Highlight exhibitions
– Know your Poo:
This exhibit is surprisingly fascinating! The kids will love the straight-up potty humour with butts on the wall, but there are also some really interesting facts about how Singapore’s sewage system has developed over the past 60 years to create the clean, safe city we enjoy today. Gone are the days of hauling buckets to a ‘night soil truck’ and thank goodness for that!
-Pis the Science Centre’s award-winning exhibition that explores the topic of fear. This exhibition is great for tweens and older kids as it’s a bit of a self-discovery walk through. The exhibition tackles everything that might scare you or give you a phobia and is a fun interactive look at the psychology and physiology of fear.
4. Tinkering Studio
The Tinkering Studio is all about STEM based-learning. Join one of the arts and crafts sessions (free) between 10:30 – 12:30 and 14:30 – 16:30 for different STEM activities every week. Have a go on the giant marble run or look out for special workshops like woodworking, too.Tip #2: Do keep a lookout for their bi-annual week-long event Tinker Fest happening around May and Nov every year.
5. Professor Crackitt’s Light Fantastic Mirror Maze
Kids will love the life-size labyrinth of mirrors, armed with a foam stick (to avoid banging into the false mirrored hallways!). Will you be able to find your way out?
6. Laser Maze
A small room next to the mirror maze is where the laser maze challenge takes place. It’s $5 for two runs and kids 6 years and up will love the game in the pitch black dark where you need to channel your inner ninja and crawl under and manoeuvre over the laser beams to make it to the end in time!
7. Butterflies Up-Close
This exhibition inside Science Centre Singapore is separately ticketed ($10) but it is a real highlight. The start of the exhibition focuses on explaining the life cycle of a butterfly and kids will enjoy stamping the trail card along each stage. But the real joy is when you get to the butterfly enclosure and are surrounded by so many species of butterflies that may land on your shoulder or flutter around your head. Magnifying glasses are set up on some of the feeding stations for kids to take a closer look at these pretty creatures.
The water play area called Waterworks has water fountains and splash pads that little ones will enjoy. Plus there are benches under the shade for parents. So don’t forget to pack your swimsuit when you visit the Science Centre Singapore.
KidsSTOP is not strictly inside the Science Centre — it’s the next building, but still on-site and you’ll need to buy a separate ticket. If you have preschoolers and young kids up to age 8 years old, chances are you could spend all day at KidsSTOP! This super fun science space has been designed for young kids to learn through play-acting out experiences that grab their attention in real life. There’s a construction zone where kids can don hard hats and safety jackets then manoeuvre a claw and release balls; an airplane cockpit to play at being pilots; a sandpit to unearth dinosaur bones while being an archaeologist; a huge netted climbing frame to climb up to the clouds (and find a secret musical playroom); plus there’s a karaoke room, a supermarket with tills to have a go on and learn about food and so much more. Older kids or little daredevils will get big thrills from a go on the J slide (hang onto a pulley and get hoisted up as high as you dare before zooming down)! Let’s just say we are big KidsSTOP fans! In fact we know lots of lucky kiddos who love this science venue so much they chose to have their birthday party here, complete with fun science activities.
Tip #3: Bring socks as kids will need to take off shoes for certain areas.
10. Snow City
Snow City is Singapore’s first indoor snow centre with a unique sub-zero environment. It’s the only place in town to go sledging and see snow all year round. As with KidsSTOP, you’ll need to buy a separate ticket for this zone housed in a separate building next door. If your kids have grown up in Singapore, it’s easy to forget how incredibly novel it can be for kids to see snow! Snow City feels like stepping into another world once you walk through the thick double doors. There’s the chilly temperatures (and the thrill of getting to wear a coat), plus kids will love the whimsical snowfall “blizzard”. They can tube down the 3-storey high Arctic Snow Slide slope, or zooming around the ice on the ‘Drift on Ice‘ bumper car ride (kids must be .9m to ride or drive). We like that there’s consistent messaging about the threat of global warming to the Arctic — there are basic, accessible tips all around about what steps kids can take to “be an Arctic Avenger.” The “snow” itself may not be as fun to play in as the real deal (don’t bank on building even a mini Frosty the Snowman as there is not that much snow on the ground), but the atmosphere can feel pretty magical.
Tip #4: Bring your own cold weather clothes (coat, boots and gloves) if you have them, but you can rent gear on site if need be.
Where to eat at Science Centre, KidsSTOP and Snow City
Science Centre: There’s a Coffee Bee (Halal-certified) inside Science Centre Singapore at the Annexe for local dishes like Laksa and Curry Chicken as well as Western food from Spaghetti to Fish and Chips.
Snow City: There’s an Italian Restaurant and Microbrewery called PocoLoco on level 2 of Snow City – it’s a cosy lodge-style resto that almost feels apres-ski as well as the casual Nooka’s Snack Bar.
Science Centre Insider Tips
– Strollers: Bring your own or rent a stroller at Science Centre. Rentals for wheelchairs are free while strollers/pushchairs are $4/6 for member/non-members and available as you walk through the entrance on the left.
– Lockers: Look out for coin-operated lockers, priced at $0.50 or $1, depending on size
– Best time to visit: Weekends, school holidays and public holidays are normally pretty busy. If you can, go during the week. Always book your tickets ahead online.
– Nursing room and baby changing facilities: There is a small nursing room with baby changing facilities next to the Annexe (where the Tesla coil show happens).
– Height restrictions: Most of the exhibits are open to everyone but a few of stations like the virtual reality Birdly in Science Centre has a minimum height restrictions of 140cm.
– What to bring: Don’t forget to pack your child’s swim suit and sun hats when you visit Science Centre Singapore if you plan on visiting Waterworks water play. Bring socks for KidsSTOP and cold weather gear for Snow City (or you can rent onsite).
– Continue the science at home: Pick up a science kit at the Curiosity Shop on your way out (you have to go through the shop to exit!) and your kiddos will love continuing their science education at home. Look out for in-house science kits like the Magnetic Kit or Electricity Kit, developed by the Science Centre science educators, or other STEM based-learning toys.
– Become a member: This gets you unlimited free admission to Science Centre, including peak days and up to 10% other attractions at Science Centre. More info about joining here!
Science Centre: quick glance
Opening hours: All attractions open daily except Monday from 10am to 6pm (Last entry at 5:15pm). Always check the Science Centre website before you visit for any one-off closure dates. Science Centre Singapore is closed every Monday except school and public holidays, due to maintenance works.
Ticket prices: FREE for Singaporeans and PR if visiting during off-peak hours. Otherwise it’s $12 for adults and $8 for children. Off-peak refers to weekdays during local school term (excluding public holidays and school holidays). Peak includes weekends, public holidays and school holidays.
How to get to Science Centre: If you are getting there by public transport refer to this (Jurong East is the closest MRT station, about 10 minutes away on foot). There is parking on site if you are driving (details here).
Excited to plan your trip to Science Centre, KidsSTOP or Snow City? Book your tickets now at the new Gevme online ticketing platform.
Science Centre, 15 Science Centre Road, Singapore 609081, Tel: (+65) 6425 2500, www.science.edu.sg.
In accordance with the latest government guidelines to combat COVID-19 – the Omni-Theatre at Science Centre Singapore and other Science shows and tours such as the Tesla Coil and Fire Tornado Shows as well as the weekly Stargazing sessions will be suspended until further notice. The Science Centre remains open, and robust procedures have been put in place such as cleaning and disinfecting frequency of common spaces and reducing the amount of physical interactions at the Centre.