14 fun things to do with the kids this September

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Sure, school’s back on and the exams are here, but it’s also time for the kids to catch a breather as well as indulge in family bonding time.

If you’re on the lookout for fun things that you can do with the children, September’s jam-packed with super fun family-friendly activities that are making us wish we were kiddos again.

Trick or Thrills at Universal Studios Singapore

You don’t have to wait till October to get into the Halloween spirit. Universal Studios Singapore’s Trick or Treat extravaganza is now open.

For the young ones, there’ll be meet-and-greet sessions with the adorable Minions and other characters from Illumination’s Despicable Me, Sesame Workshop’s Sesame Street, and Dreamworks Animation’s Trolls, all dressed in their spooky best. Don’t forget to get special treats from the Candy Ambassadors around the park.

For those who miss the Halloween Horror Nights, there’ll be a special exhibition with six zones showcasing props, displays and costumes from the iconic event – don’t worry, no jumpscares here but it’s recommended for those above 16 years old.

From now till Nov 7, 2021. From $69 per adult and from $59 per child (Singapore residents). Entry to the Halloween Horror Nights Exhibition is included in the USS ticket but requires advanced booking online. Visit its website for more information. 

Children’s Festival at Gardens by the Bay

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Be transported into the world of Art-Zoo (with cartoon versions of extinct, endangered, and imaginary animals making up the “zoo”) at Gardens by the Bay’s Supertree Grove, where you can follow an outdoor trail with giant inflatables of Art-Zoo characters Bruno Bear, Little Kong, and their friends.

While the kiddos can’t bounce or jump on the inflatables, they’ll make for awesome photo ops!

Once you’re there, get a complimentary trail booklet and have fun completing the trail activities at six stations.  The kids can then redeem exclusive Art-Zoo Wonder Gardens stickers upon completion of the activities.

Now till Oct 3, 2021. Admission is free.

Crayon Shinchan, Garfield, and Spongebob Squarepants Virtual Fun Runs

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Got sporty children on your hands? Get them on a virtual run!

Running app JomRun has teamed up with Nickelodeon and Animation International to bring Crayon Shinchan, Garfield, and Spongebob Squarepants Virtual Fun Runs to our shores. All you have to do is download and register on the JomRun app, then sign up for the run of your choice as well as pick the distance category and entitlements. Running results will be automatically recorded

Finishers will receive the cutest limited edition Garfield, Spongebob Squarepants and Shinchan merchandise, including Finisher Medals,  a finisher t-shirt, premium cyclist jersey, face mask, and more upon completing the runs.

The Garfield virtual run spans the month of Nov 2021 to Jan 2022 and the Spongebob Squarepants virtual run from Dec 1, 2021 to Feb 22, 2022.

The Crayon Shinchan Virtual Run Series comprises three parts, the first of which is from now till Sept 30, 2021. The other two will run from Oct 1 to Nov 30, 2021, and Dec 1, 2021 to Jan 31, 2022, respectively.

Visit the microsites for the Crayon Shinchan and Garfield Virtual Runs Series for more information. Visit Jomrun’s website for more information. The Jomrun App is available on Apple AppStore and Google Play.

Reflections at Bukit Chandu

After a three-year revamp, Reflections at Bukit Chandu reopened its doors to the public on Sept 9.

Housed in a 1930 bungalow, kids can get a history lesson about the Malay Regiment in the Battle of Pasir Panjang here, during which the regiment’s heavily outnumbered soldiers heroically battled the 13,000-strong Japanese force.

At the rejuvenated space, you can look forward to new displays, artefacts and interactive elements, including a rare archival pre-war film footage of Lieutenant Adnan Saidni at a ceremonial parade, bullets from the Battle of Pasir Panjang, and an immersive multimedia display show.

Reflections at Bukit Chandu is a 31-K Pepys Rd, Singapore 118458. Admission is free for Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents. Visitors are encouraged to pre-book their admission by time slots. Closed every Monday except public holidays. Visit its website for more information.

ATV rides at Mud Krank

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The first and only all-terrain vehicle (ATV) trail in Singapore, adventurous young ones aged four and above can gear up for an exciting ride on a gravel track on an ATV – no experience needed. There’ll be training and a safety briefing, and safety gear will also be provided.

Mud Krank only has ATVs for kids from four-12 years old at the moment and pillions are not allowed.

Weekdays: $15 for a 15-minute session
Weekends: $20 for a 15-minute session

Read more about it here.

Mud Krank is at Gallop Kranji Farm Resort, 10 Neo Tiew Lane 2, Farm H, Singapore 718813. Visit its website for more information and to book your tickets.

Jumptopia by Kiztopia

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Kiztopia, together with travel platform KKday, has rolled out its very first Intellectual Property-themed (IP-themed) event – ‘Jumptopia’ at D’Marquee @ Downtown East (Pasir Ris).

The kiddos (aged two and above) can jump on seven giant Kiztopia-themed bouncy castles, like the massive 22m-wide and 8m-high Alien Snail bouncy castle, have fun at claw machines and station games, or get snap-happy at various photo booths.

There will also be a merchandise shop and enrichment booths, and you can redeem a free limited-edition goodie bag at Jumptopia (terms and conditions apply).

When: Now till Oct 10, 2021
Tickets: $18 per person and $64 (U.P $72) for a Family Package of four. Babies below 12 months can enjoy complimentary admission with paying adults.

Book your tickets here.

Race at a go-kart circuit

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Daredevils will also love racing down the various go-kart circuits dotted across the island.

One of them is The Karting Arena, which has two locations: The Grandstand at Bukit Timah, as well as the new Jurong Road outlet.

The new 700m circuit boasts wider tracks and 11 turns, and petrol-fuelled karts (the one at Bukit Timah uses electric karts) for a more authentic feel, and there’s even a viewing gallery where you can watch the kids race if you aren’t joining them.

Kids from nine years old and those without a driver’s license can go at a maximum of 30km/hr while those with a driver’s license can amp it up at 50km/hr ($35 for a ten-minute session).

And just in case you’re concerned about hygiene, especially in these pandemic times, it’s got an advanced sterilisation station that automatically sterilises and sanitises helmets.

Price: From $25 (Novice) and from $35 (Adults)

The Karting Arena is at 511 Upper Jurong Road, Singapore 638366 and 200 Turf Club Road, #01-01B,The Grandstand, South Car Park, Singapore 287994. Visit its website for more information.

ALSO READ: 8 kid-friendly activities to do during the June school holidays

Pottery by the beach, Muay Thai, a Fort Siloso tour and more at Sentosa

Sentosa celebrates turning 49 this year, and in conjunction with its Make Time For More Holidays campaign, it’s rolled out a series of new fitness, arts, and educational experiences for guests from Sept till Nov 2021.

Get fit with a session of Muay Thai, learn the basics of playing the ukulele, get your hands dirty with a pottery session, or have a go at recurve archery, all held at the beach! For the more gutsy souls, take a 1.5-hour tour around the historical Fort Siloso, led only by a kerosene
lamp and a guide, who will take you through a realistic telling of the life of World War II soldiers.

There are plenty of deals as well as prizes to be won, including a Sofitel Sentosa staycation, dining vouchers, and more. Don’t forget to catch a brand new film, “My Island Adventure: The SeaQuel”, which stars the popular “Island Boy” from Sentosa’s campaign last year.

Visit Sentosa’s website for more information, to book tickets and to watch the film.

Wan Qing Mid-Autumn Festival 2021

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This annual Mid-Autumn Festival-themed festival organised by Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall has gone digital due to the pandemic, but nevertheless, it promises an exciting lineup of activities for the whole family, from learning how to guess lantern riddles to craft demonstrations and gamified content on the stories of Chang’e, Houyi and more.

But you can also head to the memorial hall to marvel at the beautiful installation that’s created in partnership with Thailand artist Boonyavee Boonsakda (Ngaew Ngaew).

It comprises four large lanterns featuring the artist’s characters who are enjoying mooncakes and each other’s company, and accompanied by Ngaew’s Moon Rabbit, which is inspired by the Jade Rabbit from Chinese folklore.

When:  Now till Sept 26, 2021 (Installation). For digital programmes, visit its Facebook and Instagram pages.
Tickets: Free

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall is at 12 Tai Gin Road, Singapore 327874. Visit its website for more information.

Museum of Ice Cream

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If nothing gets the young ones all excited like ice cream, then the newly opened Museum of Ice Cream at Dempsey is a must-go. At a sprawling 60,000 sq ft, it’s got whimsical playgrounds, restaurants and more.

A giant pool of sprinkles to wade in, a room with oversized versions of potong ice cream and popsicles, an ice cream-themed disco, and real delicious frozen treats — it’s a magical wonderland for both kids and adults alike. Read more about it here.

When: Thursdays to Sundays, 10am to 11pm, closed Mondays to Wednesdays
Tickets: $42 a person, package deals available

Museum of Ice Cream is at 100 Loewen Road. For more information, visit MOIC’s website.

A Paw Patrol-themed experience at City Square Mall

The heroic rescue pups from the hit preschool series PAW Patrol are back with a new show: PAWPatrol: The Movie, which is now in cinemas. 

To celebrate the launch, City Square Mall is rolling out special rewards and activities for everyone in the family. For one, you can redeem an exclusive Paw Patrol kids’ face mask when you shop and dine at the mall.

And from Sept 3 to 12, the kiddos can check out a Paw Patrol experience with self-guided activities at the atrium of the mall. Scan the QR code at the e-game station, and be taken through four experiential and educational activities that focus on the main pillars of a child’s well-being – dietary wellness, digital wellness, social wellness, and physical wellness.

Navigate through a cyber maze, have fun with a virtual dance, or race against time (digitally) to collect as many apples as possible for a healthy balanced diet.

At Level 1 Atrium (Near Giordano #01-27), City Square Mall. Visit its website for more information.

Holiday programmes at Science Centre Singapore

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The Science Centre has a slew of fun school holiday activities that’ll keep you going back for more.

There’s the That’s Gross Science Show, for instance, which dives into all the icky yet very important substances excreted by our bodies, as well as the KidsSTOP Academy Activities Week, which lets them learn about science through creating and playing with their personalised craft (think bottle airplanes and DIY LED circuit cards).

Or they can view the moon with their very own cardboard telescope at the Science Centre Singapore Observatory, or sign up for the “all-in-one” Truly Mad Science camp that promises tons of educational fun.

Visit Science Centre Singapore’s website for more information and to register.

Have fun at home with Bluey

Staying in on weekday nights? Catch award-winning Australian animated series Bluey on the telly. 

It follows a lovable 6-year-old Heeler dog Bluey and her family – her mom, Chilli, her dad, Bandit; and her sister Bingo – and offers a funny and honest take on modern family life. Join them as they turn everyday family life into extraordinary adventures.

Catch new episodes of Bluey every Monday to Friday at 6.50pm, on StarHub channel 303 and full Series 1 available on BBC Player

Check out Amazon's new Steam storefront and the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge

For stay-home days, Amazon Singapore’s newly-launched STEAM storefront (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) has plenty of books and toys that help ignite your child’s creativity.

The catalog includes over 2,000 books and toys from brands like Lego, Learning Resources, GraviTrax, Osmo, and Engino.

At the same time, Amazon has partnered Science Centre Singapore to host the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge, a complimentary virtual learning experience for primary and secondary school students that’s on until Sept 12.

Participants get to learn and practise the basics of coding while developing computational thinking and creative problem-solving skills.

Visit Science Centre’s website for more information.

ALSO READ: 5 fun eco-friendly activities for the whole family

This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly.