MAKING IT BLISSFUL

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Planning For The School Holidays : December 2013 And Beyond

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2013 year end holiday planner calendar // makingitblissful

Every Friday, I would browse through the “Happenings” listing in the papers to check out places (and cafes) that I can visit with my children (or friends).  I would then text my husband on the details, and he would go: “Where got so many activities one? Where got time to do all?”.  True, some of the events would clash on the same day, mostly during the weekends.  Others have limited seats, and are usually fully taken up by the time I read it in the papers.  The really interesting (& free) ones probably won’t even make it to the papers, and are circulated around via Facebook, or other social sites.  There are many events going on, and even more during this year end period, and sometimes all you need to do is to find them.

For this December school holiday, instead of listing down the activities, I am jotting down some of the sites that I have bookmarked for regular event updates.

The calendar planner above is downloadable from here.

National Heritage Board
With a whopping 11 museums and heritage institutions under its wings, you’re bound to find something going on that is interesting for you and your kids throughout the month.
Current Exhibitions
Programmes
Or like me, you might love browsing through a thoughtfully laid out Program Guide (PDF)

National Library
Whenever I step into a library, I like to browse through the activity guides that are placed at the entrance, whereas my kids would pick up a copy of the GoKids guide.  But frankly, this is not the best way to check out the programs, especially the popular ones for the kids.  More often than not, seats to the popular events would have been filled out by the time the brochures or posters are up at the library.  Go to GoLibrary Portal instead, this is where you can browse through activities by categories and book your seats online.

Esplanade
While ticketed events are mainly held there, free programs are also going on throughout the year.  Check out its What’s On page and filter for “Free Programmes” from the search bar.

Singapore Symphony Orchestra
Download their 13/14 season Brochure here, or browse through here for kids-friendly events.  I am interested in their open rehearsals for my family to watch what goes on behind the scenes, but the only one open to public has already taken place last month.  See, I told you too many events right?

Singapore Chinese Orchestra
Just as SSO, SCO already has all ticketed, as well as free events, lined up till July 2014 posted on their site here, including this and this in January next year to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Nature Parks
Now this area is a little bit more tricky.  While NParks takes great care of the parks, I do not rely on its Event Hub page for information, the search engines and layout format have done nothing to interest me and my kids.  The site is, however, great for general park information, and they provide trail routes and guides for DIY trips.

I tend to visit Wild Singapore Happenings instead, its blog format citing events in chronological order makes it a breeze to browse through.  They have already updated events all the way up to 28 December, the final weekend before the school holiday ends, how’s that for planning?

If you are a member of the Nature Society ($75/Year for a family membership), this is another great site to browse though.  If you are not a member, they still have some events line up for the general public, such as this and this, just check if you need to sign up in advance.  I have been wanting to bring my kids explore Bukit Brown, and this 9 Dec public walk event looks perfect.

Sometimes, I still visit the park’s own site (if any) in case some events get missed out, unfortunately, I found only 2:
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Singapore Botanic Gardens

Others
Some venues that I like to check out when I need a day out with my kids:

Gardens By the Bay

  • Public programmes are available on every first weekend of the month, not just during school holidays. For 7 and 8 December, they have a prehistoric theme event held at the Cooled Conservatories (this you have to pay for admission though).
  • If you like to relax at the garden with live music, local acappella group Budak Pantai will be performing this weekend (23-24 November) at the Supertree Grove from 6.45pm. Check out the rest of the events lined up from this Calendar here.

Sentosa

  • Admission to Sentosa is more affordable now, so sometimes I do check out if there are any special events organized worth participating here, other than just idling by the beaches.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore
My children grew up with pretty frequent (almost fortnightly) visits to the Singapore Zoo, as we were ‘Friends of the Zoo’ then.  As they grew ‘older’, we couldn’t make the trips as often as we like.  Soon the membership lapsed, and now I only make a trip when there are special events or offers.  I have posted the links to the event and promo pages below.  Please note that some attractions are going through a “no-event” moment.
Jurong Bird Park
Night Safari
River Safari
Singapore Zoo

Are there any other sites or blogs that you surf for ideas for this coming school holiday?

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