10 activities for family bonding during June holidays

Watch local movie Home Run at Swan Lake at Singapore Botanic Gardens. -- PHOTO: NATIONAL PARKS BOARD
Watch local movie Home Run at Swan Lake at Singapore Botanic Gardens. -- PHOTO: NATIONAL PARKS BOARD
Stretch those mental muscles at the Chess Academy. -- PHOTO: CHESS ACADEMY (SINGAPORE)
Stretch those mental muscles at the Chess Academy. -- PHOTO: CHESS ACADEMY (SINGAPORE)
Take your children to the Asian Civilisations Museum. -- PHOTO: ASIAN CIVILISATIONS MUSEUM
Take your children to the Asian Civilisations Museum. -- PHOTO: ASIAN CIVILISATIONS MUSEUM
Painting classes at The Art Room. -- PHOTO: THE ART ROOM
Painting classes at The Art Room. -- PHOTO: THE ART ROOM
Visit panda Kai Kai at the River Safari. -- PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Visit panda Kai Kai at the River Safari. -- PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Get your thrills at MegaZip Adventure Park. -- PHOTO: MEGAZIP ADVENTURE PARK
Get your thrills at MegaZip Adventure Park. -- PHOTO: MEGAZIP ADVENTURE PARK
-- PHOTO: CAMP ASIA
-- PHOTO: CAMP ASIA
Floral display at Gardens by the Bay. -- PHOTO: GARDENS BY THE BAY
Floral display at Gardens by the Bay. -- PHOTO: GARDENS BY THE BAY
Three- to five-year-old tots get exposed to drama at Act 3 International. -- PHOTO: ACT 3 INTERNATIONAL
Three- to five-year-old tots get exposed to drama at Act 3 International. -- PHOTO: ACT 3 INTERNATIONAL

IT'S SHOWTIME!

Act 3 International is conducting nine holiday workshops for children aged two to 15.

Those aged four to eight can sign up for Jelly, Wobble!, where they will work with dramatic and visual-arts professionals.

For older children aged 11 to 15, there is a workshop using an adaptation of Hamlet to teach communication.

For those who would rather enjoy a performance on stage, The Smurfs are coming to town. Smurfs Save Spring is on at Resorts World Sentosa from June 12 to 14.

Book Premier Box or Standard tickets early for a chance to win a free Smurfette plush toy worth $50.

Act 3 International's workshops

Where: Most of Act 3 International's workshops are held at 126 Cairnhill Road, ONE-TWO-SIX Cairnhill Arts Centre. Jelly, Wobble! is at Ion Art Gallery, Level 4 Ion Orchard

When: 30 May to Aug 1

Admission: $16 to $450

Info: Go to act3international.com.sg

Smurfs Save Spring

Where: Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa

When: June 12 to 14

Admission: $45 to $130

Info: Go to www.sistic.com.sg


A WALK TO REMEMBER

Discover the stories behind Singapore's streets and landmarks on the National Heritage Board's (NHB) Heritage Trails.

The newest - The Jurong Trail - was launched earlier this year as part of Singapore HeritageFest 2015.

You may take your children to explore the trails at any time. Free booklets for each trail can be downloaded on the NHB website.

If you like group tours, join those conducted by The Original Singapore Walks.

Simply turn up at the time and meeting point stated on the schedule and pay the guide.

Its most popular tour is the Changi WWII Trail, which runs four times a week.

Coach transport is provided for some of the tours, and registration is encouraged for those tours.

NHB Heritage Trails

Where: Various locations

Admission: Free

Info: Go to www.nhb.gov.sg/NHBPortal/Places/Trails/Overview

The Original Singapore Walks

Where: Meeting points vary

When: Monday to Saturday at various times. No tour on June 1 (Vesak Day)

Admission: $35 to 55 an adult, $15 to 30 a child

Info: Go to www.journeys.com.sg/singapore walks/index.asp


 THE CALL OF NATURE

Lupins and foxgloves can be seen together with Mary and her lamb, the old lady in the shoe and other nursery rhyme characters in Gardens by the Bay's Flowery Fun Times, a floral display at the Flower Dome.

Families are encouraged to sign up for the Family Package for entry to both the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. A family package costs $50.

Over at the Botanic Gardens, children aged 12 and younger and accompanying adults can enter the National Orchid Garden for free. This school- holiday special ends on June 7.

Also available are guided tours for children aged five to nine as well as craft-making, biodiversity investigative and story-telling workshops.

Flowery Fun Times

Where: Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay

When: May 22 to July 19

Admission: $8 to $20

Info: Go to www.gardensbythebay. com.sg/en/home.html

Singapore Botanic Gardens activities

Where: Botany Centre or Jacob Ballas Children's Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens

When: June 5 to 25

Admission: Workshop and tour prices range from $6 to $50

Info: Go to www.sbg.org.sg


CAMP CRAZE

If you have children who have always been curious about the army, sign them up for Safra's half-day Junior BMT! Camp, which is tailored for children aged 4 to 12.

There, "trainee soldiers" will learn to camo-paint their faces, leopard crawl and create artificial grenades with Yakult bottles.

Check out holiday camp provider Camp Asia (right), which is offering 11 camps.

The five-day camps cater to students aged three to 16 and have themes such as Mini Mandarin, Sports Stars, Super Chef and Mad World of Science.

Camps are organised according to age groups.

Camp Asia

Where: Stamford American International School, Australian International School or the British Club

When: June 1 to Aug 21

Admission: $625, except Super Chef and Drama Academy, which are $695

Info: Go to www.campasia.asia

Junior BMT! camp

Where: Safra Jurong, Evergreen 3 and 4

When: June 4, 2 to 6pm

Admission: $41 (member), $47 (guest)

Info: Go to www.safra.sg/Participate/June-School-Holidays/Camps.aspx#.VVxGoFKM7q5


CHILL AND THRILL

Resorts World Sentosa Singapore is offering several promotions for S.E.A. Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark, which houses South-east Asia's first first hydro-magnetic coaster.

The Student Season Pass allows students unlimited entries into either park or Universal Studios Singapore for six months. The pass also gives retail and F&B benefits and attraction-specific privileges.

Other promotions include a Madame Tussauds bundle and the Puss In Boots' Giant Journey Opening Special Offer.

More adventurous visitors can consider the attractions at MegaZip Adventure Park - a three-wire zipline, a 16m climbing wall and a trampoline that can bounce you 7m to 8m in the air.

Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark

Where: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island

Admission: Prices vary

Info: Go to www.rwsentosa.com/language/en-US/Homepage/Promotions/category/Attractions

MegaZip Adventure Park

Where: MegaZip Adventure Park, Imbiah Hill Road, Sentosa Island

Admission: Prices vary

Info: Go to www.megazip.com.sg

ANIMAL INSTINCT

At the Animal Corner of Farmart Centre in Sungei Tengah Road, you can feed animals such as rabbits, mountain goats and bullfrogs.

There are also educational tours and prawning opportunities. Adventurous eaters can buy exotic meats such as crocodile and quail from Farmart's store.

Animal lovers can head to the zoo, Night Safari, River Safari and Jurong Bird Park. Wildlife Reserves Singapore has several SG50 promotions at its attractions. Next month, senior citizens enter the Jurong Bird Park for free. Singaporeans and permanent residents can also enjoy unlimited year-round entry for the price of a one-day ticket.

Over at Mandai, Singapore citizens enjoy 50 per cent off River Safari admission if they buy Singapore Zoo and/or Night Safari tickets.

Several offers last till the end of next month.


Wildlife Reserves Singapore attractions

Where: Jurong Bird Park & Singapore Zoo are open from 8.30am to 6pm daily; Night Safari is open from 7.30pm to midnight daily; River Safari is open from 9am to 6pm daily

Admission: Prices vary

Info: Go to www.wrs.com.sg

Farmart Centre

Where: 67 Sungei Tengah Road

When: Check website for individual shops' opening hours

Admission: Free

Info: Go to farmart.com.sg


CREATIVITY UNLEASHED

The school holidays are always a good time to let your child dabble in creative arts.

For the past five years, The Art Room, an independent arts and craft studio, has been running holiday workshops that teach wire sculpting, clay making, painting and drawing, among other activities.

The workshops are suitable for children aged six and older but younger children can be considered.

This June, The Art Room's theme will be SG5O and participants will design shophouses using clay, make papier- mache merlions and paint chilli crab pottery.

At some of the community clubs and centres, there are art-themed holiday workshops. For instance, Lam Soon CC is running a Friends Of The Earth - Make Your Own 3D Photo Album workshop for children aged seven to 12. There, participants can pick up tips on photo selection and basic design guidelines.

The Art Room

Where: One Commonwealth, 08-14, 1 Commonwealth Lane

When: Monday to Friday, 11am to 2pm or 3 to 6pm

Admission: $90 a workshop session. The Straits Times readers enjoy 10 per cent off in June when they present this article. The discount cannot be used with other promotions

Friends Of The Earth - Make Your Own 3D Photo Album

Where: Lam Soon CC, 421 Choa Chu Kang Ave 4, 01-218

When: June 12, 12.30 to 2pm

Admission: $18 for members, $24 for non-members. Prices vary for other CC courses

Info: Go to one.pa.gov.sg for all CC workshops


FUN LEARNING

The annual Children's Season, organised by the National Heritage Board (NHB) and Museum Roundtable, is back. It comprises exhibitions and programmes held across many NHB museums and heritage centres which are specially customised for families with young children.

The eighth edition will see the return of bouncy castles and activities such as interactive exhibitions, crafting sessions and games.

Children aged five to nine can visit Once Upon A Time In Asia: The Animal Race, an exhibition which draws its inspiration from objects in the Asian Civilisations Museum's collection.

For PEG Attack!, a mission-based laser tag game at the Singapore Discovery Centre, children aged nine to 15 can form groups and experience the Singapore Story while solving puzzles.

There are exhibitions and programmes for adults too. You have until late next month to catch the ongoing In Memoriam: Lee Kuan Yew exhibition, which showcases the life and work of Singapore's late founding prime minister.

The exhibition features photographs, audiovisual recordings and artefacts. An exhibition guide can be downloaded for free on the NHB website.

Children's Season

Where: Various locations

When: May 30 to June 28

Admission: Prices vary for different activities. Singapore citizens and permanent residents enter all museums and heritage centres for free, and need pay only admission fees for special exhibitions.

Info: Go to www.nhb.gov.sg/NHBPortal/

In Memoriam: Lee Kuan Yew

Where: Glass Atrium, Level 2, National Museum of Singapore

When: Till June 28

Admission: Free

Info: www.nhb.gov.sg/NHBPortal


MIND GAMES

Just because it is the school holidays does not mean your child's brain has to take a long break.

The Singapore Chess Federation offers classes for students of different grades with the opportunity to complete a chess grade in five days.

Pre-school and kindergarten students can sign up for the Learn To Play Chess Programmes by Chess Academy (Singapore).

Those who are interested in wei qi can go for holiday camps organised by the Singapore Wei Qi Association or The Go Academy. The former offers wei qi elementary camps in two locations while the latter's three-day Go Introduction Camp has classes in English and Chinese.

Singapore Chess Federation

Where: 51 Bishan Street 13, 02-01A SIGC

When: June 1 to 26

Admission: $200 to $240

Info: Go to www.singaporechess.org.sg

Chess Academy (Singapore)

Where: 865 Mountbatten Road, 02-25 Katong Shopping Centre

When: Various programmes from June 2 to 26

Admission: $235 to $345 excluding a one-time administrative fee of $25

Info: Go to www.chessacademy.com.sg

Singapore Wei Qi Association

Where: Location varies depending on workshop

When: June 1 to 26

Admission: $280 for June Holiday Elementary Camps, $700 or $800 for Level Up camps (Single session available alongside full courses)

Info: Go to weiqi.org.sg/Home/News/819

The Go Academy

Where: Mostly at Ulu Pandan Community Club, 170 Ghim Moh Road, 06-10 with some exceptions

When: June 1 to 26

Admission: $15 to $650 (Single-day session available alongside full courses)

Info: Go to thegoacademy.com.sg/classes/


PICNICS

Picnics are affordable, fuss-free and a great way to bond with family and friends.

Take a picnic basket to the Swan Lake at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, where local film Home Run (2003) is being screened for free.

The film, which will have English subtitles, tells the tale of two siblings from a poor family who share one pair of shoes.

Two weeks later, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will run its monthly picnics as part of its Families For Life Celebrations. Families who register stand a chance to receive a Families for Life picnic bag and other prizes such as dining vouchers and bicycles while at the picnics.

There, families can take part in activities such as kite-making and cookie designing.

Home Run Screening

Where: Singapore Botanic Gardens, Lawn E

When: June 13, 7.30 to 9.30pm

Admission: Free

Info: www.nparks.gov.sg/activities/events-and-workshops/2015/6/sbg-movie-screening-home-run

MSF Families For Life Celebrations June Picnic

Where: Punggol Waterway Park, Event Lawn @ Recreation Zone

When: June 27, 4.30 to 8.30pm

Admission: Free

Info: www.nparks.gov.sg/activities/events-and-workshops/2015/6/families-for-life-monthly-celebrations;

www.familiesforlife.sg/celebrations/monthly-picnics.html

leejs@sph.com.sg