If you’ve got a toddler in tow life can sometimes feel pretty limiting. This mama of a 1-year-old shares her favourite hot-spots and how she keeps things fun for both of them
Mama Sophie recently recounted her arrival in Singapore last year with an 8-week-old newborn in tow and talked about how she hit the ground running by setting up a mama network and finding fun things to do with her bub. Now that her adorable son, James, is 1, she’s been able to expand their repertoire. Read on for her top picks for a super fun week in the life of a 1-year-old in Singapore!
James and I start the week at a baby singing group set up by a friend at her condo every Monday morning. There are lots of instruments for the babies to play with and we sing a range of nursery rhymes, then have the all important coffee! It is a great support network of mums.
We live near to the Botanic Gardens and go for a walk or run most days. There are lots of things for the babies to look at and it is a great workout, too! We usually go early at 9:30, or around 4pm when it isn’t too hot. I always take a hat, fan and a mosquito patch for James. We particularly like the Eco Lake, the symphony stage and the orchid gardens.
When James was very small, we used to meet a group of mummies every week for a walk and then head to Bees Knees Cafe for a well-earned drink! When James wasn’t napping at home, I took him for a walk to the gardens, in front of the water features to help him fall asleep to the sound of water! Other great walks we have been on are Henderson Waves, starting at Hort Park, East Coast Park and as James got older I now take him to MacRitchie (which is not pram friendly!) to do the treetop walk in the carrier — we take a taxi and then lock the car seat to a bike rack!
Read More: Our Favourite Parks in Singapore
James and I do a weekly group swimming lesson on Wednesdays at Happy Fish Swim School. This is a great way to get James comfortable and confident in water and we can then practise in our condo pool. The lessons are inside, so if it’s raining, we can still swim. It is amazing seeing their progress and how much babies love water! We then always go for lunch out with the rest of the group, the babies all tend to be very tired so we rush home for naps!
Buds at the Shangri-La is an amazing soft play area for children with a café. There is a nice area for babies with bouncers and a ball bit, too. Until recently it was free for under-1s (it’s now $28-$36). We like meeting friends for a coffee and a baby bounce – especially when it is raining!
We often go to Joy of Toys on a rainy day, especially now James is on the move. You can pop in and out all day so you can schedule around naps, meal times etc. All the toys are wooden. James really enjoys it and it can be a great place to meet new mums as well as somewhere to arrange to meet friends. It costs $18 a session for crawling babies.
We go to the St. George’s Mums and Tots group in Dempsey every from 10am-11:30. I met a great group of mums here who all had similar aged babies. The session starts with a 15-minute sing along and then you separate into either the toddler or baby group. There are toys and lots of coffee – the perfect combination! A term costs $80.
Image by St George’s Mums and Tots, Singapore
We went to the Future World exhibition at ArtScience Museum quite a few times when James was younger; he loved the music and interactive light exhibitions. There are lots of children so James could be as loud as he wanted to be! This one will continue to be great as they get older, as there are lots of activities for older children, too.
Read more: Our Fave Kid-Friendly Museum + Lunch Combos
James and I regularly went to S.E.A. Aquarium before he was on the move; I’d put him in the carrier and he loved all the fish and features in the tanks. There is an incredible tank at the end – one of the world’s largest – that I spent quite a lot of time at, mainly breastfeeding James whilst I watched the rays. We have a season pass that is really reasonably priced ($88 for an adult for the year; children under 4 are free) so we don’t pay each time.
We also have an annual pass to the flower domes at Gardens by the Bay. When James was younger, the domes were great as you knew the temperature was cool so no risk of overheating or mosquitos, and you could have a gentle stroll and look at all the amazing plants and the incredible Cloud Forest.
James loves going to the water play area in the children’s garden. Suitable once your little one is crawling, there is an area for babies only and the flooring is soft so they can crawl around. They have good changing facilities and a nice cafe. My husband works by the Marina so then we go and meet him for lunch and home afterwards for a well earned nap for James!
We love to go to the beach, it is one of the coolest things about being on an island. We have taken strolls along both East Coast Park and on Sentosa, and stopped for lunch and a paddle. James really liked the cable car on Sentosa, too.