Family Bonding Time: Singapore, Day 3

January 24, 2017 0 Comments

Traveling is life-changing. Traveling with kids though means extra work. Tom and I are always on our toes when it comes to looking after our active 6-year old son. As parents, his well-being is our priority. The great thing about going on a trip to a beautiful and organized country like Singapore is that it made us feel at ease and safe as we toured the city with Dylan.

It also made me realize that letting go of my worries and allowing my son to discover new places, food and culture made him a more independent, resilient and a happier child.

Since it was my first trip to Singapore with just my boys, it was important that Tom and Dylan got to see, taste and experience the City in a Garden. It didn’t matter if our schedule was jam-packed—eating in new restaurants, visiting museums, or discovering the new places; we were together, having fun, and dare I use a couple of the most over-used terms in parenting today?—bonding with some good, old-fashioned quality time.

Plus, family trips help create wonderful memories. Years and even decades after family vacations, your children will still be able to tell funny stories like when Mom freaked out going down the River Safari or when Dad ran barefoot in Keppel Centre at the National Gallery.

Day 3 in Singapore:

We started Day 3 with a trip to Singapore Zoo. It’s an award-winning wildlife park, where animals can roam freely in their natural habitats. We also got to experience the Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife at Ah Meng Restaurant, a yummy western-style, al fresco breakfast in the good company of our jungle friends.

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Ready for Singapore Zoo!

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Dylan and Michaelangelo waiting for their jungle friends.

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Ah Meng is a tourism icon of Singapore. Hanging out with Ah Meng’s family.

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Breakfast, toys & boys

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Boys in the wild

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Singapore Zoo is the only place in the world where you can have breakfast with orangutans!

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The award-winning Breakfast with Ah Meng programme also allows you to take photos with their charming apes as you enjoy a buffet spread of western-style food, fresh fruits and more!

Dylan happily took the responsibility of touring Tom and me. He literally took the map and became our guide in the zoo. What’s more fun than a 6-year old kid giving his parents the tour of a lifetime? Singapore Zoo truly brings out the adventure spirit in everyone.

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Little-Mr.-Tour-Guide

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How lucky are we to spot the lioness of the jungle?

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This zebra vehicle has my name written all over it (read: zebra print)!

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Patiently waiting for Inuka, the locally-born polar bear.

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The white tiger is one of the star attractions in the zoo because of their rarity and uncommon beauty. With their blue eyes and creamy white fur.

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The majestic rhinos

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My son knows that zebras are my favorite animal so he never fails to shoutout to me whenever he sees one.

One of the highlights of our trip to Singapore was when Dylan got a chance to feed the giraffes! The zoo keepers provided an informative and entertaining live commentary of the chow-time frenzy. My son also learned fascinating facts about the animals in the zoo.

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Giraffe selfie

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Feeding two heads is better than one haha!

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This photo pretty much encapsulated the fun time we had at the Singapore Zoo!

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We love Singapore Zoo!!

Next adventure: River Safari! It is the newest addition to Wildlife Reserves Singapore’s portfolio of award-winning parks. Nestled between Singapore’s two award-winning wildlife parks – Singapore Zoo and Night Safari – River Safari offers an unforgettable adventure inspired by the world’s most iconic rivers with state-of-the-art exhibit design as well as the world’s largest freshwater aquarium. Housing one of the world’s largest collections of freshwater fauna, the park features over 6,000 animals including 40 threatened species. And that includes Singapore’s resident giant pandas, Kai and Jia.

We took a leisurely stroll through the park on an exploratory river adventure of the Mississippi, Congo, Nile, Ganges, Mekong and Yangtze rivers. The River Safari is also home to the Giant Panda Forest, Squirrel Monkey Forest and the enchanting Amazon Flooded Forest.

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Ready for our next adventure!

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Pink flamingo spotting!

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Trying to spot for some jungle friends.

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Meet China’s gift to Singapore, giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia (although we’re not sure who this particular panda was haha).

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Panda bear hug

After all the walking and adventure-hunting we’re ready for a panda-rific meal at Mama Panda Kitchen. Decked out in bamboo and all things panda, this is one dining spot you should not miss. A feast of Chinese dishes and panda-themed bites. With signature delights such as Panda Pau, Bamboo Rice and more, Mama Panda Kitchen is a fun dining experience for the whole family.

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Hungry as a hippo

Must-order: Beef ramen goodness

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The cutest capuccino

Dylan’s recommendation: Panda Pau, it’s a soft steamed bun with chocolate filling.

For as much as our family loves adventures, we also look forward to some museum time. It’s important that Tom and I expose our children to the arts and culture as it promotes creativity and food for the soul. We visited the National Gallery Singapore, a new visual arts institution which oversees the largest public collection of modern art in Singapore and Southeast Asia. The Gallery is housed in two national monuments—former Supreme Court and City Hall—that have been beautifully restored and transformed into this exciting venue in the heart of the Civic District.

The roof top garden offers interesting views (a number of up market eating places on the roof terrace too). Lots of walking but some wonderful artworks, a pleasant gift shop, children’ spaces and cafes. Definitely worth visiting when in Singapore.

We began our tour at the Kepple Centre For Art Education where children can discover art through imaginative play. It features a changing series of special displays and an interactive area for children to explore their creativity.

Museums offer a dynamic opportunity to expose children to experiences and explore new things in a rich and educational environment. Through interactive exhibits and hands-on play, children have the ability to take ownership of their own learning and develop and explore their own curiosities. This unique exposure provides the foundation for creativity, critical thinking, and connection to the world around them.

The Interactive Area located at the Level 1 City Hall Foyer features ‘Who’s in the Woods,’ an interactive platform featuring a day-to-night forest-scape. Dylan created his own animals using different colors and patterns and discovered how they interact with other animals in the woods.

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Dylan had so much fun running around this area! There are hidden slides, 3D tables and stools and other mind-bending activities suited for the young and young-at-heart.

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Tom and I try to expose our children to art and culture and visiting museums like the National Gallery Singapore as it provides memorable, immersive learning experiences, provoke imagination, introduce unknown worlds and subject matter, and offer unique environments for quality time with family.

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Father & son quality time

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One of my favorite artworks in the museum is Montien Boonma’s “The Pleasure of Being, Crying, Dying and Eating”, 1993 (reconstructed 2015). I love the beautifully stacked ceramic bowls!

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Tom and I believe that early exposure to museums fosters curiosity in our children. During our visit to the National Gallery Singapore, we realized that Dylan’s curiosity about the world around him, and the people and things that make up our world is in part due to exploring museums and exhibits like this one. It’s a good foundation for intellectual growth and development.

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Tom teaching Dylan how to vie things in different a different perspective.

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Our budding artist son expressing himself though body pose. Photographed by Tom Epperson

Day 3 was eventful to say the least and what better way to cap our night than by having dinner at National Kitchen located inside the museum? Helmed by local celebrity chef Violet Oon, National Kitchen is a celebration of fine local flavors reflecting Singapore’s culinary heritage through Peranakan cuisine. We dined indoors in an elegant dining hall.

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Giving my son a quick massage after a long day.

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Peranakan feast! Be sure to book a table in National Kitchen as the food here is sooooo goood!!

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Always happy and hungry. It was the first time Dylan had Hainanese Chicken Rice and the verdict is apparent on his facial expression, haha!

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What a day!

Watch our Singapore snaps:

Family vacations are all about—no work, no school, no computer, no errands, just hanging out and making memories. It’s hard to reflect when we’re amidst the daily chaos of busy family lives. Getting away from your job and your kids’ packed schedule of activities can help you learn about each other. As they grow older, and life at home is filled with school and work obligations, escaping on a Singapore vacation together is one way to reconnect as a family.
For more information, follow Singapore’s official social media accounts and websites:
Instagram: @visit_singapore
Website: www.yoursingapore.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/YourSingapore
Website: www.yoursingapore.com
Thank you Singapore Tourism Board for supporting this trip! All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thanks my dear readers for supporting collaborations that have kept JenniEpperson.com’s doors open all these years. I super appreciate it!
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