Singapore is one of the most child-friendly cities we’ve ever visited. So it was a challenge for us to pick what to do, as we spent only three days here. We allocated one full day for the attractions on Sentosa island, but I can honestly say there are plenty left for the next visit to Singapore. We spent all our time at Resorts World, but we managed to see just the SEA Aquarium and the Maritime Experiential Museum. Being on Sentosa Island with a toddler, the two were more than enough for one day.
You can buy the tickets for SEA Aquarium and for the Maritime Experiential Museum on-line or directly at the gate. Entrance is free for kids below 4 years old and discounted until 12 years of age. If you plan to visit both of the attractions, there is the option for a combo ticket of better value.
SEA Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa is a huge marine world, home for over 100,000 marine animals of more than 1,000 species. We visited the Aquarium in Lisbon about 4 years ago and were highly impressed by it, though I have to admit SEA Aquarium in Singapore left stronger feelings for us. And I don’t think it was just because we had our child with us this time!
The whole area is nicely organised in sections. The entrance and exit are done through tunnel aquariums, very impressive for the little ones. The path will take you step by step through more than 50 habitats. There are sharks, corals, Central and South America species, jellyfish and schooling fish. The most impressive one is the open ocean section with manta rays.
Initially we were thinking that Eric might be too young to enjoy the whole experience, but it turned out that he loved it. He spent minutes contemplating the manta rays and other marine animals next to the large viewing panels. He still mentions that he witnessed “real sharks” and “lots of fishes”. It is a great place for kids to encounter marine life and enjoy daily events like feeding sessions, meeting the mascots or drawing competition.
For older children, there’s no better biology and ecology lesson. Each section is packed with various information, in a very friendly setup. I have to admit it was an educational journey for me too.
SEA Aquarium is also involved into conservation, research and educational activities. The dedicated group, Guardians of the SEAA is constantly involved to support and increase in understanding of the ocean and organises campaigns to improve the ocean health.
We spent a bit over 2 hours at SEA Aquarium, which is actually the maximum amount of time you can keep a toddler engaged in activities. So we took a break to have lunch in Resorts World food area. We added of course an ice cream and some time spent outside, to burn all his energy.
The Maritime Experiential Museum
After lunch lunch we headed to The Maritime Experiential Museum at RW Sentosa. This was a very nice surprise!
The Maritime Experiential Museum is actually a voyage through the conquest of the seas. It is a wonderful interactive experience taking us on the Maritime Silk Route. Each of the 15 galleries explains an aspect of the maritime adventures and sea explorers, from how navigation was organised centuries ago, to the coins and spices that were traded and a recreation of the main ports of the era. The whole journey is guided in an interactive manner by four legendary explorers.
You can visit the museum at your own peace or take a free guided tour, to get an even better understanding of the facts presented here. Still, this is quite difficult to do with a kid. Eric might have been too young and also a bit tired for all the information available. But still he enjoyed seeing the traditional boats and the spice market. He got a bit scared in the pirate ship section, as it is quite realistic, but I’m sure it is a highlight for older boys!
The end of our museum visit was marked by a short movie about the history of Singapore. This is presented in a very innovative way, as a story told by a citizen that passed through all the changes faced by the beautiful city in the last few decades. The presentation ended with a touching message that exploring is never over, leaving us wondering what the future will bring us.
Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets for SEA Aquarium and the Maritime Experiential Museum, in return for an honest review. As usual, all the opinions expressed here are our own.