Out and about with their SingapoRediscovers vouchers

Mr Alvin Yap at Universal Studios Singapore last month with his wife Paige Chia, daughter Ashley and son Alphus. Ms Chia had used her $100 SingapoRediscovers vouchers to buy the tickets for the family, topping up the remainder in cash. PHOTO: COURTES
Mr Alvin Yap at Universal Studios Singapore last month with his wife Paige Chia, daughter Ashley and son Alphus. Ms Chia had used her $100 SingapoRediscovers vouchers to buy the tickets for the family, topping up the remainder in cash. PHOTO: COURTESY OF ALVIN YAP

SINGAPORE - Since the SingapoRediscovers vouchers scheme kicked off on Dec 1 last year, Singaporeans have been out and about exploring their city.

The Straits Times spoke to three Singaporeans about how they have used their vouchers.

Capturing special moments at Universal Studios

Teacher Alvin Yap, 35, takes GoPro videos of his family when they go on outings.

So he made sure to document his three-year-old son Alphus' first visit to Universal Studios Singapore (USS) on Dec 21.

His wife Paige Chia, a 35-year-old bank executive, had used her $100 SingapoRediscovers vouchers to buy two adult tickets and one child ticket for their seven-year-old daughter Ashley, topping up the remainder in cash.

Children under four years old, like Alphus, can enter USS free.

On the day of the outing, there was a drizzle and, as a result, some of the rides had to be closed temporarily for safety reasons.

In fact, it had been a wet, windy week, and the night before their Sentosa adventure, the children had prayed that it would not rain, said Mr Yap.

The family queued in the rain for more than 40 minutes so Alphus could take his first roller-coaster ride on Puss In Boots' Giant Journey.

"He was very excited and even though a large part of the crowd left (because of the rain), we decided to stay put," said Mr Yap.

A special moment he documented on video was his children's meeting with the Minions.

Both of them are fans of the Despicable Me movie franchise, which features the Minions characters.

Said Mr Yap: "The Minions came out in Christmas costumes and they really brought up our spirits."

For him, capturing all that on video was worthwhile as the family can relive the precious memories.

"My daughter is seven now, but she can still see what happened when she was three or four," he said.

Birthday staycations to spend time with family

Six-year-old Munize (left) with her older sister Mishel, nine; younger brother Maqil, four; and 16-month-old sister Mehreen having fun during their staycation with their mother at Conrad Centennial Singapore last month. PHOTO: COURTESY OF NURUL ATIRAH MAHMUDDIN

Ms Nurul Atirah Mahmuddin celebrated her 34th birthday with two staycations - one at SO Sofitel Singapore and another at Conrad Centennial Singapore.

The first staycation from Dec 21 to Dec 22 was a surprise from her husband who paid the full price.

Ms Atirah then decided to treat herself and her loved ones to the Family Escape package she found on booking platform Klook. She paid $320 for a two-day, one-night stay on Dec 22 and 23, after using her $100 SingapoRediscovers vouchers to offset the cost.

The mother of four extended her birthday vacation as she wanted a longer break to spend with her family. "When I'm working from home, I sometimes have to put my kids' needs on hold. It has been crazy, juggling work and taking care of my 16-month-old daughter," said the civil servant, who has two other daughters - Munize and Mishel, aged six and nine, and a four-year-old son, Maqil.

The family spent a relaxing day in the hotel playing snakes and ladders and ended the evening with the Disney film Maleficient.

"The kids packed their toys and we bought our own bath bomb from Lush. The hotel even provided a rubber duck for the bath. My kids loved it," she said.

Although they spent only one night in the hotel, Ms Atirah was able to squeeze in some time for self care since the hotel is conveniently located in Marina Bay.

"I had a massage at Suntec City and my son managed to get a haircut too," she said.

Learning Singapore's culture and history with the young

Housewife Low Fang Ting, 34, with one of her three children, Ashley, two, posing in front of a Little India mural. Ms Low has been bringing her three children out on tours to learn more about the city's unique precincts.
Housewife Low Fang Ting, 34, with one of her three children, Ashley, two, posing in front of a Little India mural. Ms Low has been bringing her three children out on tours to learn more about the city's unique precincts. PHOTO: COURTESY OF LOW FANG TING

Since September last year, housewife Low Fang Ting, 34, has been bringing her three children out on tours to learn more about the city's unique precincts.

Most recently, they went on a two-hour-long outing in Little India, organised by tour operator Monster Day Tours.

Although walking tours, like cycling and kayaking trips, can have up to 20 participants, Ms Low and her three children - Ashley, 2, Caleb, 4 and Hayley, 5 - were the only ones on the tour.

"My tour guide could really cater to our needs. We skipped a few places when my children were tired from walking. He could also answer all their questions," said Ms Low.

One highlight was visiting a coffee shop in Little India where her guide ordered chapati for them for breakfast.

"It was my children's first time trying this. They are not so used to the spicy taste but they liked it," she said.

Ms Low paid $50 for her Little India tour tickets which she bought from GlobalTix using SingapoRediscovers vouchers.

The family also visited The New World arch located outside the Farrer Park MRT station.

"It was nostalgic for me, having seen this in movies. I could also tell the kids that their grandparents visited the New World Amusement Park last time," she said.

She is on the lookout for a tour in Chinatown after the Chinese New Year decorations have been put up.

In September, she visited Kampong Glam with her children and husband, also with Monster Day Tours.

"I prefer cultural tours. It's an educational opportunity for my children. And they are learning about racial harmony in schools," she said.

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