Chek Jawa Guided Tour in Pulau Ubin – a living classroom

Chek Jawa Guided Tour is a tour that you must exercise kiasu-ism when you do booking. When I did my booking for June guided tour, I put a reminder on my calendar as early as January to remind myself to book on 1 March, the date when booking for June opens! It is very popular especially on dates that suited us in June holidays. Mind you, there are limited dates for these tours, so you really have to plan well. If you wish to check out booking and guided tour dates, click here.

20160610_070956 - Copy

On the day of the tour, we met my BFF family at 7am at Changi Jetty. It was rare for our kids to wake up so early and we were rewarded with sighting this beautiful sunrise!

20160610_071804 - Copy

We took the boat from Changi Jetty that sits maximum 12 pax, with each paying $3 for the ride to Pulau Ubin.

20160610_071719 - Copy

The ride was about 10 minutes and when we had reached the Pulau Ubin Jetty, we took a van to Chek Jawa. We have to pre-book the van prior to our trip (Scroll to the end for all the details and cost for the tour). The van could accommodate all 15 of us, 8 adults and 7 kids. The van ride took about 10 minutes to Chek Jawa and we had to get down and walk a 100m stretch of road to the information kiosk, the meeting point where we met our tour guide from Nparks.

20160610_074403 - Copy

20160610_075901 - Copy

There were a few more tour groups, each with its own tour guide. The tour guides are volunteers and I thought they are really doing a good thing to volunteer their time to educate us on the ecosystem of Chek Jawa. We were very lucky to have our tour guide who was very patient to answer the kids’ questions and very knowledgeable on Chek Jawa. His instructions and explanation were very clear and shared lots of analogies in simple terms to help us understand the flora and fauna.

Before we started the tour, our tour guide prep us with a few instructions:

  1. Go to toilet before we start as there will not be a washroom until we return to the information kiosk 2 hours later.
  2. Apply mosquito repellent before we start the tour
  3. Do not shout or scream when you see the little creatures like crabs, mudskippers, etc, as they are shy and might go into hiding, leaving the groups behind to see less of them.

Continue reading

List of Ideas For Bringing Kids Out During School Holidays

List of Ideas of Bringing Kids OutMy favourite source of school holiday fun is none other than Cheekiemonkies blog. So many of my inspiration come from his information sharing. When it comes to what to do with the kids during school holidays, I will start planning as early as during exams period. I want to ensure my kids are not deprived of playdates or outdoor activities even though I am working full-time. So, I will take off from work and bring them to interesting places to play.

Some of my friends around me also ask me for ideas and the funny thing is: it is relatively easy to rattle off a list to them which some we have tried and loved. But when it comes to my own planning, I have much consideration to suit all my 3 kids with their different age groups. The solution is really to separate one-to-one date with each of them or combination of 2 kids while one kid is with the daddy or find a place that suit all 3 of them.

Since I am searching for ideas, I will also share them on this post for my future reference and of course I hope you will find them useful too. I will be updating this list as and when there are new places that come to mind. If you have more interesting places to recommend, I welcome you to leave your comments and I shall add on to the list.

I have categorized into Indoor Places and Activities, Outdoor Places and Activities and Home Activities. I try to list most of the activities to be valid throughout the whole year round and not just customized to holiday periods. For those that are happening only for a short period of time, I will be updating this list regularly.

Indoor places and activities

1. Safra Punggol Splash Indoor Water Playground

Read review here.

2. Children’s Seasons (annually)
Date: 28/5 – 31/7
Suitable for age: 3-7yo

Website: http://www.museums.com.sg/programme-and-exhibitions/childrens-season-1

3. Imaginarium at SAM @8Q

Read review here.

4. Movies
If you have Safra card, then you must watch a movie using its 1 for 1 promotion on weekends! Promotion ends 26 June 2016.

Website: http://www.shaw.sg/sw_cinema.aspx

5. Kidzania

Book online is cheaper!

Review: http://www.cheekiemonkie.net/2016/04/kidzania-singapore-ultimate-activities-guide-review.html

6. Playeum

Do you know that Groupon or Deals.com have discounts for Playeum entry from time to time?

Website: http://www.playeum.com/

7. Bowling

Do call up and ensure the bowling lanes have kids bumpers, and most do!

Website: http://www.superbowl.com.sg/toa-payoh

8. Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Read review here.

9. Theatres for Children

Act 3i Drama for Children (currently showing in May/June 2016)

Website: http://act3international.com.sg/act3ifestival/

10. National Gallery of Singapore

Website: https://www.nationalgallery.sg/see-do/tours

11. ArtScience Museum

Some past exhibitions

Future World

12. Philatelic Museum (Stamp Museum)

Read review here.

13. Trampoline Park, Kaboodle

Website for Kaboodle: http://www.kaboodlekids.com.sg/

14. Esplanade Pip’s Box

Read review here. Continue reading

West Coast Park Playground – Awesome!

It’s been a long while since I last share on the awesome playground in the East: Pasir Ris Park Playground. Now it is the turn for the equally awesome and huge playground in the West: West Coast Park Playground! It really caters for everyone: children, teenagers, adults and elders. Come here for the Play Area, to Skateboard, Roller Skate, Cycling, Frisbee, BBQ, Bird Watching, Kite Flying, Jogging or just a leisure walk to relax and chat. I am so proud of Singapore’s fun and free places to bring our kids to and perfect places for multi-generation bonding. You really cannot miss this one!

West Coast Park Playground is comparable to the one in the Pasir Ris Park in size. Something different is that there is a Mac Donald’s here which could get very crowded on weekends.

Let’s see what are the fun activities to be found here that Pasir Ris Park doesn’t have or have but slightly different.

Zipline Flying Fox

Who can resist this one? When we were there, there were parents on both sides who took turns to help the children to climb onto the tyre and give them a little push to zip across to the other side. It is an unspoken teamwork and all parents who were there were happy to help ensure safety of all the children. I see gracious parents here and such gestures create a happy playtime for everyone.

Zipline Flying Fox

20151227_182908

Balancing obstacles

There are many balancing fun for the children here. All in different levels of challenges. No wonder my kids went again and again to perfect them. Some may be too challenging for little ones. Like my toddler, who definitely needed some help and his elder siblings were happy to go through the obstacle for the nth time. Continue reading

What we did at Safari Zoo Run

On 29 Feb, we ran our first Family Run at the Singapore Zoological Gardens. While we imagined that we would be slow jogging for the entire 2.5 km, we were proven quite wrong. There were many participants and since this was a family fun run, strollers were allowed and we ended up strolling even from the start of the run. However, as the animals came into sight, many started to stop along the way and we eventually had a good and fun distracting slow run. While Master 9 was irritated at first by not being able to run as fast as he liked, the crowd tapered in and he was able to run, dash, walk and then took turns to push the empty stroller.

20160228_084754

This run’s biggest draw is certainly being able to jog by and say hi to giraffes, lions, zebras and many more. There are so many runs in a year, I am beginning to appreciate the unique theme of each run. I must say Safari Zoo Run is attractive to kids because of the animals. Each participant who signed up for this run would be entitled to enter the Zoo and River Safari on that day at no added cost, plus 50% off Night Safari entry. That also explains the more costly run fees. But if you do your sums well, it covers the cost of entry together with the run and then it doesn’t seem so expensive after all. Continue reading

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum – Learning Science and History

LKCNHM

This is a place which I had been wanting to go to since its first opening last year. You have to book through Sistic ticketing for entry to the museum. This is to ensure a pleasant visit. You wouldn’t want to risk shoving or being shoved off at every exhibit. And that reminds me of the time when I visited The Palace Museum (Forbidden City) in Beijing during Summer holidays. It was a pain just to catch a glimpse of the Emperor’s throne when I was pushed and elbowed by grandmas and kids. Thankfully this museum is nothing like that.

LKCNHM Wall

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) is built for public education and research in biodiversity. It is a museum that maintains and grows a natural heritage knowledge base that focuses on its huge collection of historical and research specimens (Source: LKCNHM website).

Let’s take a look at some of the exhibits that we like. Continue reading