Over the years, Singapore’s museums have gotten pretty modern – still retaining its purpose of an immersive, learning experience. Museums and exhibitions are also a great way to spark an interest in art or history in your little one!
So whether it is about animals, history, culture or maybe just photo opps… here’s a list of museums for kids in Singapore to check out.
War & History Museums For Kids
1. Changi Chapel Museum
Home to war artefacts such as personal diaries, recounts and replicas of murals, Changi Chapel Museum sheds light on the vulnerability of prisoners of wars and victims during the Japanese occupation. Built in 1944 by allied prisoners held by Japanese military forces, its legacy stands till today.
2. Battle Box Museum
An underground command center built during WWII, you can your way to this historical landmark by making your way to Fort Canning Hill. Here, you’ll be taken back to 1942, within in the same headquarters of which Singapore was surrounded to the Japanese by the British.
As you walk through the bunker, witness the scenes come to live with replica soldiers and war artefacts.
3. Former Fort Factory Museum
Presenting visitors with a look into legacies of the war, the Former Ford Factory is situation atop a hill in Bukit Timah today. Within the compounds of this old Ford Motor Factory, you’ll learn about atrocities of the war, fall of Singapore, and how the nation eventually gained independence.
To make this trip more engaging for your children, there are also learning resources such as the Activity Guide and Challenge Worksheet (download here) to be filled up.
Culture and Heritage Museums For Kids
4. Geylang Serai Heritage Gallery
Maybe you’ve brought your children to the famous Geylang Serai bazaar to bask in the lively atmosphere of Hari Raya – but this heritage gallery is also not to be missed out on. Curated by the Malay Heritage Centre, this gallery gives an intimate insight into the memories and lives of residents living in the area.
5. Kreta Ayer Heritage Gallery
Serving a cultural purpose, Kreta Ayer, on the other hand, highlights the history of Chinatown’s Chinese community. This might also be a place where parents might be surprised at all the things they have yet to know – finding out about Chinese opera, puppetry, and the finer things such as tea ceremonies and calligraphy art.
6. Haw Par Villa
While this might not be the type of PG-friendly museum you have had in mind (mostly due to the nature of… its hellish gore), it is nevertheless an interesting theme park that you can consider taking your (older) kids to! Having been revamped lately, there are over 1,000 sculptures here which paint a story of Chinese mythology, folklore and Confucianism.
7. The Intan
The Intan is an interesting space to be in. Although renowned along the streets of Katong, you may be surprised to find out this is a private museum! Boasting over 1,500 cultural Peranakan treasures such as handmade embroidery and beadwork, you can also complete your experience here with a tea experience.
Entertainment & Recreational Museums For Kids
8. Singapore Kids Museum
Taking the place of the former Singapore Philatelic Museum, parents can definitely keep their eyes peeled for Children’s Museum Singapore’s opening this December 2022. While exhibitions are not set in stone yet, they intend to make a meaningful launch by being a space where both play and learn can meet!
9. MINT Museum of Toys
Filing its space with golden years, there will be tons of vintage toys, from across generations, on display! With two main exhibitions – Collectables and Childhood Favourites – this is a safe home for nostalgia to thrive. There will even be animated videos, narrations and mini games to keep you engaged.
Who knows, you might even spot one of your favourites here from when you were a child!
10. Camera Museum
A novel museum located right on Jalan Sultan Street, here’s a space for parents who love snapping pictures. Despite its small, two-room sized interior, it still carries a huge collection of vintage cameras on display. Great for a trip down nostalgia lane!
11. Singapore Musical Box Museum
Did you know? There is actually a museum hidden inside a temple! While it might be uncanny, the UNESCO-awarded Thian Hock Keng temple walks you through over 40 antique musical boxes. Each ticket you purchase will also allow you to activate some musical boxes as they play unique musical notes!
12. Trick Eye Museum
Talk about photo opportunities, the Trick Eye Museum is surely not a foreign concept to most of us. Here is the perfect time to let your imagination go wild as you pretend to be stuck in the most bizarre simulations – like being toppled upside down, or having to cross a scary waterfall on a rickety wooden bridge.
13. Madame Tussauds
Lights, cameras, action! We’ve all definitely grown up listening or knowing all about the pop culture – at some point or the other. From Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber to Obama, your kids will surely be starstruck coming up close with their (wax) idols.
Educational Museums For Kids
14. ArtScience Museum
Not a new location for most Singaporeans, ArtScience Museum is known for its exhibitions with enchanting backdrops with its interactive digital installations. While they have many exhibitions on rotation from time to time, Future World at ASM has been ongoing for some time – popular for families and wide-eyed kids.
15. Civil Defence Heritage Gallery
Most kids get excited at the idea of their daily heroic figures such as policemen and firefighters. Here, the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery gives them a chance to witness the simulation of battling huge flames and climbing aboard the tall fire truck. Perhaps this will be the place to brew the same courage your kids will emulate as they grow.
16. Singapore Sports Museum
For the young Usain Bolts and Joseph Schooling’s in the making, Singapore Sports Museum is a hidden gem located at the Singapore Sports Hub. This museum showcases the spirit and heritage of Singapore’s can-do sporting attitude – from Olympic lifters and water polo players to swimmers.
17. Singapore Air Force Museum
With a large display of classic outdoor and indoor aircrafts, this is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in aviation. Spanning across 3 floors, you can expect to get eyes glued to intriguing historical air planes, cockpits, and even a flight simulator. Plus, with this being situated near the air base, you’ll even feel the thrill when roaring planes soar by!
18. Lee Kong Chian Natural Museum
Animal and plant speciments. Dinosaur fossils. Sea creatures and insect bones. If geeking out like that sounds exactly like the type of activity your family enjoys, this museum might just be right up your alley!
Arts Museums For Kids
19. Tanjong Pagar Distripark
Singapore Art Museum introduces a new leg to their galleries – the Tanjong Pagar Distripark, interestingly located within an industrial park. With constantly-updated exhibitions and exciting arts events going on here, feel free to sign up for the weekend tours to fully immerse yourselves in what this place has to offer.
20. National Museum
The oldest museum in Singapore, here you can expect to find exhibitions dedicated to the collective Singaporean experience relating to all things art, culture and history. From nostalgic memories of the olden days in Singapore to WWII, there are many exhibition rooms to cover here. Definitely a place you can spend half a day at!
Learning can also look like play with these museums for kids. If you’re looking for more activities to do with the kids, check out our list of Rainy Day Activities For The Kids!
Now the only thing left to do is to create a check list and mark them off each weekend you can’t think of anything to do!