Category Archives: Learning outdoors

Winter comes to Singapore! 2Degree Ice Art

Who says winter does not come to Singapore?

Two weeks ago, over the weekend, we brought the kids to the 2Degree Ice Art Exhibition. Held inside a thermal-insulated hall kept at -15°C, it was the best way to beat the sweltering heat in Singapore!

The kids (especially C) were really excited about being able to experience winter for the first time. Ok, it’s not really winter, but it’s close enough. There were thick coats for rent ($5 each, including gloves), and C was really pleased to get one with pink flower buttons. We brought G’s fleece jacket, and he was relatively warmly bundled up with the fleece inside his rented winter coat.

Tip: If possible, bring ear muffs or hooded jackets for the little ones. It really does get very cold inside.

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All wrapped up and ready to go!

I was amused to see that the entrance to the hall was literally a door into a freezer container. Once they ascertained that we were appropriately bundled up, they opened the door to let us enter. As we stepped into the hall, we were hit by a blast of cold air. The kids were thrilled to see their breath in puffs of steam (“Just like they described in books!” according to C).

Coloured ice-carvings were scattered around the hall, and the first to greet us was Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore.

Sir Stamford Raffles

Sir Stamford Raffles

My favourite was the ‘icicle forest’ (I’m not sure if there was an actual name for this exhibit). Pretty!!!

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My favourite exhibit

There were also ice-sculptures depicting various landmarks from around the world, lit by coloured LED lights.

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Famous landmarks – in ice!

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Recognise any of these ice sculptures?

If you asked C, the best part of the entire exhibition were the ice-slides located at the children play area. There was a big slide where we slid down sitting on a tube (which we had to lug up from the bottom of the slide) and a little one on the right. C didn’t need any encouragement – she literally ran up the steps to take the smaller slide down before we could give any instructions.

Note: It can be slippery at the top of the slide. I slipped and landed on my butt while attempting to sit down. It’s been ages since I last sat on a slide, and I think this fact was glaringly apparent, as evidenced by my clumsy descent down (video has been censored). 

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Whee!

Getting ready to slide down on a tube

Getting ready to slide down on a tube

There was a small area on the left of the slides, where there was real snow (instead of the usual foam that we find in tropical Singapore). The kids did not get to play there as there was a large crowd in the area, and G was too tiny to squeeze in with the adults and older kids.

After C came down the slide for the nth time, we decided to move on as G was complaining of not being able to feel his fingers (he had taken his gloves off as he couldn’t see his hand :/)

Note: It would be a good idea to bring your own pair of gloves, as the snow would make the complimentary gloves wet. Wet fingers = frozen numb fingers = no fun

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More ice!

Although the hall was rather small, there was enough to see and do for us to stay there for an hour. The ice-sculptures were not that spectacular, so I thought that the tickets were a tad expensive without discounts (I got them at a discounted corporate rate). It was a good experience though, especially for the kids. I think they took to the cold pretty well, though G did complain a little towards the end. Time to plan for a ski trip!

Do you and your children enjoy the cold weather?

More Information:
2Degree Ice Art will be on till 15th May 2014.
Opening hours from 10am to 10pm
Adults – $32.00 (10% discount for MasterCard holders, and also discounted entry on weekdays)
Child – $26.00
Children below 1.2 metres or less than 9 years old get free entry with purchase of adult ticket
Winter coat rental – $5.00 each (complimentary gloves with coat rental)
Located at the Junction of Bayfront Ave and Sheares Link; Standalone building beside the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and opposite the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre.
Parking is available onsite, but places are limited.

 

 

What I did at Club Med Bali (by C)

Hi! I’m C. I’m 6 and a half years old and mummy has decided to let me do a guest post on my trip to Bali.

Club Med Bali was the best! We got to wear rainbow ribbons on our wrists throughout our stay. The adults got boring plain orange ribbons. Haha.
Mum: Club Med shared the beach with the other resorts. The ribbon was used to differentiate the guests at the beach.

Rainbow ribbons!

Rainbow ribbons!

Mummy signed me up for the C’Komo (kids’) club where I got to meet lots of friends. We danced on stage for everyone! I got to wear a pink fairy dress and had makeup on too 🙂

That's me on the stage!

That’s me on the stage!

There was also cookie baking (I forgot to bring the cookies back), art and pool games.

Cookie making

Cookie making

Lots to do at C'Komo

Lots to do at C’Komo

Oh, yes, I went kayaking too! The big brother Stanley paddled while I sat in the kayak. We capsized but I enjoyed the experience. Too bad there wasn’t a photo of me on the kayak!

At the sea sports area

At the sea sports area

I also got my first try at many new activities.  I saw the bungee bounce while touring the grounds with mummy and daddy. Mummy asked if I would like to try it. I didn’t really know what to do at first, but I soon found out how high I could go. Wheee!

Bungee booooounce!

Bungee booooounce!

I also went up on the trapeze thrice. Mummy watched me climb up by myself. I think she was panicking below since the trapeze was rather high up. I didn’t think it was a big deal since there was a net below to catch me if I fell. I even let one hand go just to see how she would react 😉 I enjoyed both the bungee and the trapeze so much that I wanted to go everyday. But it was a pity that it rained on some mornings.
Mum: She asked to go up the trapeze out of her own accord. Yes, I was both impressed and freaking out at the same time to see my 6 year old swinging all the way up there. I had no idea that she was such a daredevil!

And off I go!

And off I go!

One of the things that I’ve always wanted to do was archery. Initially mummy told me that it was only for children older than 8 years old so I was very disappointed. I was so happy to know that 6 year olds could try it too! I didn’t really have enough strength to pull the bow though, so most of my arrows ended up on the ground. But it was still fun. I’m going to try again next year!

Pull, hold and release!

Pull, hold and release!

My little brother was too young to join me in the earlier activities (and he was sleeping a lot!), but there were plenty of other activities that we could do together. We played together at the beach. Mummy forgot to bring the toys for sand play but we found a spoon to dig in the sand. I loved to watch my sandcastle being knocked down by the waves.

We also had fun in the pool! It was shallow enough for us to wade around and splash water at one another.

Fun with G

Fun with G

I love the beach!

I love the beach!

We saw lots of animals at Club Med Bali, and my favourites were the squirrels. There were so many of them and they were everywhere. We saw three of them every morning just outside our room! They were really cute!

Squirrel!

Squirrel!

There were lots of yummy food at the restaurant, and I had a special tray with different colours for different food groups (I wished all of them were for dessert though)  G and I had lots of ice cream and cakes! Yum! I also got to enjoy cocktails with daddy and mummy 🙂

Food and drinks!

Food and drinks!

Guess G's favourite food?

Guess G’s favourite food?

I had so much fun and I didn’t want to go home, but Mummy promised that we would be back again next year. See you Club Med Bali!

Thank you to all the nice big brothers and sisters!

Thank you to all the nice big brothers and sisters!

Mummy’s note: I asked C what she remembered about this trip and these were her memories 🙂 She had a wonderful time, thanks to the staff there (especially Stanley and Kaori!) It was an eye-opening trip for me too… I had no idea my daughter was so adventurous! I will remember her on the trapeze for a very long time.

What was the most memorable thing you did during the holidays?

Club Med Bali

We try to take a family vacation every year, to recharge and reconnect. This year, we took off to beautiful Bali, Indonesia.

It was a rather last minute decision to fly off the Bali, as we had to arrange around our work schedule. To save the hassle of planning the itinerary (lazy mum!) we decided to check into Club Med Bali, an all-in-one holiday resort.

Bye Singapore!

Bye Singapore!

It was G’s first flight, so we were prepared with snacks for him in case he fussed during the 3 hour journey. I planned the flight to coincide with his nap-time, and thankfully slept for the entire stretch 🙂

Arrival in Bali
We reached Denpasar Airport at around 4.50pm, and found our way easily to the resort via taxi. The airport taxi stand was easily located (turn left once you exit the arrival hall), and fares to the various locations were prominently displayed. I had opted not to take the airport transfer offered by Club Med, preferring to take a taxi from the airport. This turned out to be a good decision, since we didn’t have to share a minibus with the rest of the guests. Best of all, price was around S$13 (125000IDR), compared to the quote of S$125 by Club Med!

Club Med was located in Nusa Dua, a 20 minute ride from the airport via the new highway. Traffic was a breeze! We were surprised that there was a security check at the entrance to Nusa Dua, and all vehicles were stopped for inspection. Again, at the entrance to Club Med, we were asked to verify our identities before the taxi was allowed entry. I guess these security measures were necessary to give tourists some reassurance, after the horrific terrorist attack many years ago.

Arrival at Club Med Bali!

Arrival at Club Med Bali!

Once inside the resort, we were warmly welcomed by name (security must have alerted the reception) and ushered to the lounge area where refreshments and cold towels were prepared. The kids were pleased to find cookies placed out for them. It was a nice touch, typical of a Club Med welcome 🙂

A warm welcome

A warm welcome

 

After a short briefing on meal-times and the resort’s facilities, we were shown to our rooms. To get there, we had to walk along a link-way built across a huge pond. This pond soon became a favourite spot for G, who loved to stand and watch the water monitors swimming and sun-bathing.

The huge pond and various wildlife

The huge pond and various wildlife

G showing the animals of Bali

G introducing the animals of Club Med Bali

I loved the greenery and the peacefulness in Bali. We had been to Club Med Bintan, but the feel was really different. Bali had a more laid back vibe, perfect for a relaxing holiday. The larger grounds also meant lots more space for the kids to run around.

Lovely grounds at Club Med Bali

Lovely grounds at Club Med Bali

Of course, no resort would be complete without a pool (gorgeous!) and a bar.

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Lovely pool and bar

Not forgetting the beautiful beach! As it was a low season, we had the beach all to ourselves!

Beautiful, quiet beach

Beautiful, quiet beach

Food was available throughout the day for perpetually hungry kids (and adults!). Since all food and drinks were included in the price of the stay, we didn’t have to worry about catering to the various requests from fussy kids – they had all the choices available to them from the buffet spread 🙂

Food, glorious food!

Food, glorious food!

At night, there were performances by the talented guest officers (GOs) and guests. Unfortunately the shows usually started at 9pm (kids’ bedtime!) so they had to miss most of the shows. We stayed throughout for one special show though… see anyone familiar in the pictures below?

Performances at night - spot anyone familiar?

Performances at night – spot anyone familiar?

There were so many things to do at Club Med, it is impossible to cover them all in one post. More on the activities in the next post!

Where did you go for your holidays this year-end?

Doctor for a day!

In August, C got to be a doctor for a day at a real hospital.

Organised by Mount Elizabeth Novena, “Doctor for a Day” is a program targeted at 5 to 12 year olds to give them a better understanding of the healthcare industry and hopefully inspire them to join the medical industry when they grow up.

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All ready to be a doctor!

They started in the preparation room, where all the kids donned kid-sized scrubs and hairnets, and taught the correct procedure to wash and disinfect their hands. The “training” took place in specially prepared rooms at the hospital, where medical students guided the kids through the various activities. Parents were not allowed to enter the training rooms (which was a good decision, knowing that we would probably get carried away taking photos!)

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C in her scrubs

The first stop was to the general practitioner’s office, where C learnt to use a real stethoscope and the blood pressure meter. They were also taught how to use a ear thermometer correctly.

At the general practitioner's

At the general practitioner’s

Next was the A&E, where the kids got to bandage each other (that was the fun part according to C), push a wheelchair, and try to use a defibrillator (not plugged in of course!). C was a little freaked by the defibrillator part and kept her distance while the patient was being treated.

C was keeping her distance while the emergency resuscitation was taking place

C (extreme right) keeping her distance while the emergency resuscitation was taking place

At the nursing station, C got to feed, burp and change a baby (doll). This was nothing new to her, since she had hands-on practice with a live baby at home!

Feeding the baby

Feeding the baby

The final stop was the Operating Theatre, where they performed a surgery. The kids took turns to remove black plastic pieces from a man’s lungs using tweezers. C was paying attention, because she could tell me that the black plastic was tar in the man’s lungs caused by smoking.

All prepped for the surgery

All prepped for the surgery

There was a graduation ceremony at the end of the activities, where C changed into a white doctor’s coat. Each participant was given a certificate and a photo, with a souvenir toy stethoscope.

Dr C

Dr C

I thought it was a wonderful program that allowed the kids a glimpse of what it was like being a medical professional. It was fun and it was free 🙂 Hopefully there will be more programs like this.

C’s thoughts after the whole affair? She doesn’t want to be a doctor, because she needed to cut people up. LOL.

What do your kids want to be when they grow up?

Legoland – Mini Land

Miniland was definitely my favourite part of Legoland. As far as I know, there exists a Miniland in every Legoland theme park, where miniature landmarks from the region are featured.

There were little surprises hidden everywhere, from the moving boats and dancing people, to a little re-enactment of a traffic accident, to a booby-trap where you get to spray water on unsuspecting passers-by (C and G’s favourite part!)

Words do no justice to the amazing Lego structures, so enjoy the photos!

China - Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China

Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Karaweik Hall, Myanmar

Karaweik Hall, Myanmar

Taj Mahal, India

Taj Mahal, India

Patuxai, Laos

Patuxai, Laos

World Peace Gong, Laos

World Peace Gong, Laos

Purah Tanah Lot, Indonesia

Purah Tanah Lot, Indonesia

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, Brunei

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, Brunei

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam

Bolinao, Philippines

Bolinao, Philippines

Wat Arun, Thailand

Wat Arun, Thailand

Petronas Towers, Malaysia

Petronas Towers, Malaysia

Fullerton Hotel and the Merlion, Singapore

Fullerton Hotel and the Merlion, Singapore

One of G’s favourites:

Pirates!

Pirates!

And last but not least, something for the Star Wars fan:

Death Star

Death Star

Which is your favourite Lego landmark?

Outdoor fun – Sembawang Park

Sembawang Park is a tranquil park located in the north of Singapore. First developed in the 1970s, it is one of the older parks under the National Parks Board that was slated for a facelift recently.

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A while back, I brought C down to Sembawang Park to check out the new play structure that was built as part of the revamp. Unfortunately G was down with a fever that day so couldn’t come along.

We headed directly for the play area, which was located a short walk away from the carpark. As we headed up the slope, the unique structure came into view. From a distance, it looked like a huge battleship beached on the sand! There were several fine details that completed the design: propellers, gun turrets and a rudder.

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Can you see the rudder and propellers?

Spot the gun turrets

Spot the gun turrets

Various activities were cleverly incorporated into the structure. The ship mast held a red climbing net, kid-sized hand grips and foot-holds on the hull (barnacles?) formed a mini climbing wall, and a port-hole at the side gave access to the upper decks where the entrances to the slides were located.

The nautical theme continued with a large pendulum swing in the front of the boat, shaped like a life buoy.
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C had a blast although the structure was built for slightly older kids (the porthole was a challenge to get into because it was too high for her – I had to help lift her up). It was definitely a good workout for her- running, climbing, jumping and sliding.

Unfortunately the trip was cut short due to the weather, but we will definitely be back. C has set herself the target to be able to climb into the porthole by herself the next visit 😉

Have you brought the kids outdoors today?