March school holidays: 7 unique staycation options to keep the kids occupied

School is almost out again and with travel still less than fuss-free, it makes sense to keep the family fun within our own borders. Happily, there are staycations galore, each with their own unique offerings. Free bikes to wander through the city on, a proper Mongolian yurt in the middle of nowhere, and upscale playgrounds that’ll keep the children occupied for hours  there’s something for everyone, whether you’re there for the kids or to get away from them.

Herewith, a handful to consider.

A look at Hilton Singapore Orchard, after its S$150 million renovation

DISNEY STAYCATION AT ANDAZ SINGAPORE

Guests who book Andaz Singapore’s Disney Staycation get to bring home free Disney merchandise. (Photo: Andaz Singapore)

The appeal of Mickey Mouse is as timeless as chocolate ice cream, so if you or your kids are Disney fiends, this is the staycation to reach for.

The Disney Staycation at Andaz Singapore comes with free Disney merchandise, namely five Mickey & Friends plushies, a Mickey & Minnie trinket dish, a Disney cushion, Disney Peranakan rug (big-ups for country-centric swag) and a Mickey Loves SG Peranakan diatomite coasters set. Guests get a choice of a 38 sq m room with one king bed or two twin beds, either of which comes with the hotel’s signature floor-to-ceiling views of the city.

Naturally, you get two standard tickets to the pop-up Disney exhibition at Suntec City Convention Centre and a pair of Mickey and Minnie headbands so you are properly accessorised for the occasion. The staycation starts from S$477 for two adults and a child.

A MONGOLIAN YURT STAYCATION

Embark on an authentic Mongolian adventure with Beyond Expeditions. (Photo: Beyond Expeditions)

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to sleep under the stars in Mongolia, why not start in Yishun? That’s where founder of Beyond Expeditions Scott Tay has built an authentic Mongolian yurt, replete with colourful Mongolian furnishings, Mongolian cabinets filled with bottles of Mongolian vodka, and perhaps most importantly, air-conditioning.

Highlights of this unique staycation include wilderness survival skills such as chopping firewood and how to cook outdoors – skills that’ll come in handy for when you eventually make it to the proper wilds of Mongolia. By night, toast marshmallows by a campfire or hold your own movie night with the kids in the yurt. Prices start from S$450 per person when you book for two adults or more.

We staycay-ed at a Mongolian yurt in Yishun with ‘wilderness survival’ activities

WORKSHOPS AND ACTIVITIES AT CAPELLA SINGAPORE

Scavenger hunt at Capella Singapore. (Photo: Capella Singapore)

One of the most popular luxury staycation spots in town, Capella Singapore is loved for its cascading pools and resident peacocks in its unrivalled setting away from the assaults of city living. But there’s so much more to enjoy if you’re after a stay brimming with activity.

The pet-friendly hotel offers a myriad of workshops, from brush pen calligraphy and bath bomb-making, to mixology, and the art of creating a succulent garden. On weekends, there are scavenger hunts across its lush lawns, while mid-week movie matinees come with family tents and popcorn in the comfort of Capella’s Grand Ballroom. Prices start from S$1,000 per night for two people in a Premier Room.

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DUSIT THANI LAGUNA SINGAPORE’S FAMILY EXPERIENCE PACKAGE

Family feast at Dusit Thani Laguna. (Photo: Dusit Thani Laguna)

All-you-can-eat pizza, chicken wings and ice cream? Count the children in. When you’re a kid, it’s hard to resist the idea of being able to eat as much of those treats as you want. Throw in a couple of hours spent balancing on the Manulife Walk Nets or navigating the Mirror Maze at Jewel Changi Airport, and you have a recipe for a fun-filled staycation for the whole family.

Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore’s Family Experience Package offers all that and the opportunity to frolic in its sprawling swimming pool edged with beautiful palm trees and coconut flowers. Guests get a S$30 dining credit at all-day restaurant Greenhouse, a complimentary bed if you need it, and complimentary mini bar (always a need). Prices start from S$459 per night.

A BIKECATION AT MANDARIN ORIENTAL SINGAPORE

Cycle around Marina Bay when staycay-ing at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore. (Photo: Mandarin Oriental, Singapore)

A leisurely bike ride around the picturesque Marina Bay is a wonderful way to spend time with the fam away from the blue-lit screens of our personal devices. With Mandarin Oriental, Singapore’s Bikecation, guests can hop on bright red bicycles customised for the experience in conjunction with SG Bike.

Complimentary for four hours, the bikes come with a bunch of healthy snacks to take on your ride. When you’re done, make your way back to the hotel’s collection of bicycle-friendly rooms and suites or lock them up at its designated bike area. Then spend the rest of the day revelling in the luxurious rooms or soak up the sun by the pretty 25-metre swimming pool.

The package includes breakfast for two, with complimentary bed and breakfast for third and fourth occupants, depending on room type. Early check-in at noon and late checkout at 5pm is guaranteed, unless you book a suite.

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PAN PACIFIC SINGAPORE’S URBAN JUNGLE ADVENTURE PACKAGE

Spend the night in a jungle-themed room at Pan Pacific Singapore. (Photo: Pan Pacific Singapore)

If you’ve promised your kids plenty of playtime, check out Pan Pacific Singapore’s Urban Jungle Adventure Package. For starters, the 76 sq m Urban Jungle Suites, located on the higher floors with views of the city, come with separate sleeping zones for parents in the main bedroom and a jungle-themed room for the children, complete with an inflatable rocking hippo, a tepee and a treehouse bunk bed for two children.

You’ll need the sleep because by day, the little ones are going to go crazy for the new Urban Jungle Village, an indoor play area situated by the pool. In it are seven activity zones including a treehouse set above a virtual pond that kids can fish from, a cave for climbing, interactive game stations and a safari trail they can drive through.

The package comes with three hours of access to Kidztopia in Marina Square, Singapore’s largest indoor playground, and private access to the Urban Jungle cabana by the pool with Kidztopia floats. Daily breakfast, all-day refreshments and afternoon tea is included. Prices start from S$820 a night for 2 adults and 2 children.

DISCOVER TANJONG PAGAR CULTURAL GETAWAY AT SOFITEL SINGAPORE CITY CENTRE

Rediscover Singapore on a self-guided trail through Chinatown, Tiong Bahru and Everton Road with a staycation at Sofitel Singapore City Centre. (Photo: Sofitel Singapore City Centre)

If your March staycation is about getting away from the kids, then settle into Sofitel Singapore City Centre, where the Discover Tanjong Pagar Cultural Getaway features a self-guided heritage trail that winds through Chinatown, Tiong Bahru and Everton Road.

Designed to celebrate the arts, the two-day-one-night package comes with a stay in a luxury room for two, with a hearty breakfast and exclusive merchandise by well-known local artists Yip Yew Chong and William Sim. On the trail, spot iconic artworks such as Pasar & Fortune Teller, Cantonese Opera and Letter Writer. And when you’re done, retreat back to the hotel where modern luxuries like a 30m infinity pool and champagne await. Prices start from S$350 for two adults.

School holidays at home: How Singapore mums are entertaining their kids

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