During my maternity leave, we planned to go on a family holiday since the husband would be on sabbatical and we could also celebrate our wedding anniversary. Initially, I considered going back to Krabi – which is one of our favourite getaways as a childfree couple – but decided not to because I wasn’t sure how Zac would fare on the plane.
In the end, swayed by a summer flash deal, we plonked our money on a 3D2N stay in Montigo Resorts in Batam.
Of course, things never go as planned in our household. The boys got sick and Zac was hospitalised one day before we were due to depart. GAH! Thankfully, the staff at Montigo Resorts were very accommodating and allowed us to postpone our trip, as long as we were able to show them proof of hospitalisation.
But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise – all of us enjoyed ourselves so much! The resort was family-friendly, beautiful and comfortable, and it was a truly rejuvenating break for us after all that we went through.
Last Sunday, we took advantage of the cool weather to have ourselves a picnic at Gardens By The Bay.
I gotta say, the Gardens is really one of our favourite venues as a family. We are friends of the Gardens, which allows us unlimited entries into the conservatories for a year. A perfect arrangement! When the weather is unbearably hot and Aidan looks like he needs to expend his energy, we would hit the Flower Dome for some air-conditioning comfort. He can run around in glee and we can chase after him without breaking into a sweat.
Luckily for us, the Christmas decorations were up in the Flower Dome that weekend. Oddly enough, despite being members for almost a year now, we have never been inside the Flower Dome in the evening. That Sunday, after our early dinner on the Gardens grounds, we headed into the conservatory to check out the display.
The husband and I love watching live performances. Back in the day – ie. before the kids came along – we were always catching a concert or a musical or a circus act. We were huge fans of Cirque du Soleil, and were among the impressed audience when the troupe brought Saltimbanco and Quidam to Singapore. I was also lucky enough to see Ka when I was in Las Vegas for a press trip many moons back.
Before watching Cavalia, I definitely had very high expectations; after all, the show was created by a co-founder of Cirque du Soleil. I went into the tent wanting to be impressed and I left enthralled, in ways that I had not expected to. With the littles nursing coughs and us being unable to get babysitters, we had thought of missing the show. But I am so glad that we didn’t – even if it meant lugging both kids along! (Yes we did. And we survived. More on that later.)
Billed as an “equestrian ballet”, the show’s main attraction are the 50 beautiful and elegant horses. They cavort with dancers, acrobats, aerialists and riders during the two-hour show, in front of a 60-metre wide giant screen that showcases a constantly-changing digital background.
Our family likes going out on the weekend.
To put it more accurately, we parents can’t bear the thought of being marooned at home for two full days or squeezing with the weekend crowd at the neighbourhood malls. Plus, visiting shopping centres on the weekend means that there’s a high propensity to spend money on toys and sweet treats or be faced with screaming meltdowns from two tiny tyrants – unless we can distract or cajole them out of it.
So in January this year, we embarked on a small family project titled ‘Going Public’, where we visit outdoor community spaces. Our outings cover places of varying scale, from simple neighbourhood playgrounds to scenic viewpoints like Henderson Waves.
In this series titled The Great Outdoors, we will be featuring an outdoor destination in each supplement, along with our assessment of each place’s suitability for small children, the programmes and activities available, and visit highlights.
Before introducing our first play destination in the next entry in this series, we would like to share some tips on planning an outdoor outing (many of which are learning points from our own experiences with less-than-successful outings!)
- Be On The Lookout
Dry on ideas on where to go? Sign up for e-bulletins and updates from various event organisers. NParks has a quarterly e-newsletter and a list of upcoming nature activities on their What’s On page. You can also sign up to be on their mailing list and have regular park updates sent straight to your Inbox. Facebook is also an easy and convenient source of event news from various interest groups e.g. The Nature Society of Singapore, walking groups, cycling enthusiasts, pet-lovers groups.
My family, we love our weekend breakfasts. Doesn’t matter if it’s Asian food or Western fare, we take our first meal of the day very, VERY seriously.
Actually, we take ALL our meals very seriously. But never mind about that.
Anyway, one Saturday morning, we made our way down to The Bank Bar + Bistro for breakfast. It was ridiculously bright and early, we reached the eatery at a previously unearthly hour of 830am. Want to turn over a new leaf and become the early bird? HAVE A CHILD.
I had first heard of The Bank from Corsage many months back, when she first visited. It was filed in my brains as a “to visit” but given how leaky my memory has been since Aidan was born, I promptly forgot about it. Recently, Zee wrote about visiting it with her littles and it triggered my memory. Told husband about it in passing, who then surprised me by making a reservation for the following weekend.
When we got there, we were pleasantly surprised by how child-friendly the restaurant was. The table was equipped with a highchair, colouring paper and a cup full of colour pencils to keep Mr A occupied. There was also a playroom filled with toys, a TV and sofas. And, most impressively, we were informed by the staff that kids get to eat for free on weekends (one free child’s meal for every adult main course ordered).
YAY! I DON’T HAVE TO SHARE MY FOOD WITH MY KID!
Papa showing Aidan his homework