The Best Family’s Guide to Visiting Esplanade For Family Fun



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With a diverse line-up of performances and rotating visual arts exhibits, Esplanade is a hub for creativity.

Venue: 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981
Opening Hours: 6 am - 3 am | Box Office: 12 pm - 8 pm

Singapore’s national performing arts centre, Esplanade hosts an assortment of events all year round including child-friendly shows and family-friendly activities.

Popularly referred to as ‚Äėthe Durian‚Äô by locals, the Esplanade is more than just a performance venue. There is plenty to explore within the iconic twin domes, including a kids arts space and a garden with water features that little ones can play in. Here‚Äôs a guide to the family-friendly places and things you can explore at Esplanade!¬†

PIP’s PLAYbox

Venue: 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981
Opening Hours: Mon - Sun: 11 am, 2 pm & 4.30 pm (1 hr 30 mins per session)
Admission: Free

Located on Level 4, PIP’s PLAYbox is an open and airy arts space for little ones to explore freely. Near the entrance you will find a roomy arts and craft space where parents and children can engage in free craft activities such as origami, colouring and woodblock stamping. 

Beyond the craft space is a play area featuring a variety of toys such as train sets and building blocks, as well as a reading corner filled with books by Singapore writers and illustrators. The space also has several nooks and crannies that kids are sure to love exploring, including a cosy loft that overlooks PIP’s PLAYbox. 

Additionally, PIP’s PLAYbox hosts an array of activities ranging from storytelling sessions to craft activities in conjunction with Esplanade’s festivals and series.

For enthusiastic toddlers with boundless energy, PIP’s PLAYbox has an outdoor play area. Structured like an art sculpture, the small play space has talking tubes and a red tower which provides a kaleidoscopic view of the sky. 

As an added bonus, there is a nursing room, kid-sized toilets and an area to park your strollers near PIP’s PLAYbox. 

Before your visit, you are required to register at the entrance to PIP’s PLAYbox. Each time slot is 1hr 30mins and you may stay for as long as you want during your allotted time slot.

PIP’s Club

For more family fun, sign up for PIP’s Club, a free arts membership catering to children 12 years old and under. Benefits include priority booking for selected parent-child workshops, ticket specials to PIP’s PLAYbox events, and more!

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Theatre Studio

Venue: 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981

Esplanade is home to multiple performance venues, one of which is the Theatre Studio. A highly flexible performance space, the Theatre Studio provides an intimate setting for experimental theatre and dance presentations.

Kid-friendly and accessible shows are often hosted at the Theatre Studio.

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Rehearsal Studio

Venue: 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981

Designed for complete practice sessions for important productions, such as dance or theatre, the Rehearsal Studio is also often used for various workshops throughout the year as part of Esplanade’s festivals.

Child-friendly movement workshops as well as parent and child dance workshops are often held here. 

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Concert Hall

Venue: 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981

The Concert Hall is the second largest performance venue in Esplanade and it is considered to be the crown jewel of the performing arts centre. Well known for its incredible acoustics, the concert hall is often used for musical performances and dance productions by artists from Singapore and around the globe.

Esplanade Guided Tours

Esplanade Tour
Date: Sun - Fri (excl. Public Holidays)
Time: 1 pm
Admission: $10 - $20

Esplanade Night Tour
Date: Mon & Tue (excl. Public Holidays)
Time: 7 pm
Admission: $15 - $25

Esplanade also offers several guided tours that will bring you behind the stages. The Esplanade Tour is a 60-min tour that will allow you to discover the Concert Hall, Theatre and other performance venues in a different setting. You will get to learn about the history of the place, delve into the architecture of the building and uncover fascinating stories along the way.

If the vivid view of the twin spiky domes cast against the moonlit night sky is more to your preference, you can opt for the Esplanade Night Tour. You will gain an appreciation for the design of the performance venues and its history as well as snap shots of some breathtaking night scenes. At the end of the tour, participants will receive their own photo memento. You can also choose to complete the experience with dinner at a participating restaurant at the Esplanade Mall.

Both the Esplanade Tour and the Esplanade Night Tour is suitable for children 4 years old and above.

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Outdoor Theatre

Venue: 8 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039802

Esplanade’s Outdoor Theatre hosts a variety of events. Set against the waterfront along Marina Bay and the sweeping view of the city’s skyline, the open space has served as a venue for music, dance, theatre and circus performances, among others.

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Forecourt Garden

Venue: 8 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039802
Opening Hours: 24 hrs

Esplanade’s Forecourt Garden is a cosy spot of greenery. Here you can find trees and a variety of plants, most of which are native to Singapore. You can take a leisurely stroll to admire the colorful flowers or sit back on the wooden benches to enjoy the lush greenery. Little ones will probably love playing with the water features.

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Esplanade Mall

Venue: 8 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039802
Opening Hours: Varies depending on stores

Not only does the Esplanade Mall provide delight to the eyes with its picturesque view of the Marina Bay area, but it also provides delight to your taste buds. Dopo Teatro, Harry’s, Makansutra Gluttons Bay, and Noosh Halal Noodle Bar and Grill, are just some of the many dining options you have at the mall.

Aside from good food, you can also shop for musical instruments, artisanal crafts, jewellery and other lifestyle goods. The mall is also home to arts enrichment centres.

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library@esplanade

Venue: 8 Raffles Ave, #03-01, Singapore 039802
Opening Hours: Mon - Sun: 11 am - 9 pm (Book drop hours: 8am ‚Äď 10pm) | Closed on Public Holidays
Admission: Free (Booking charges for facilities, such as the Silent Room, applies)

The library@esplanade is Singapore‚Äôs first performing arts library. Situated on the third floor of the Esplanade Mall, the library is divided into five main sections or ‚Äúvillages‚ÄĚ for music, dance, arts, theatre, and film. In addition to books, the library‚Äôs vast collection includes screenplays, play scripts, music scores, journals and periodicals, as well as music CDs, movie DVDs and dance videos.¬†

The spacious library has plenty of seats scattered around where you can settle comfortably to read, including some that provide a scenic view of the Marina Bay area. There are also study seats with tables, which you can reserve online prior to your visit.

Currently, the library@esplanade does not have any children’s books and you won’t find any fictional storybooks here either as it is a library dedicated to the performing arts. 

Aside from providing a temporary respite from the outside world, the library@esplanade serves as a conducive environment to learn and cultivate the arts. 

In addition to its collection, the arts library also has a Silent Studio with guitar, drum and piano for jamming and recording, Screening Rooms with home entertainment system, as well as a Piano Practice Room with an upright and digital piano. Other facilities include an exhibition space, music sampling posts and a special collection room. 

The library also has a cafe within its premise.

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Roof Terrace

Venue: 8 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039802
Opening Hours: Mon - Sun: 8 am - 11.30 pm
Admission: Free

The Roof Terrace is a favourite hang-out for many and it’s easy to see why when you visit the green space. Whether you decide to make a trip during the day or night, the view from the Roof Terrace which overlooks the city and Marina Bay area is sure to captivate you.

The Roof Terrace is a popular spot among many looking to grab pictures of the setting sun against the city’s skyline and you will want to as well when you witness the breathtaking view.

With plenty of greenery and seating areas, this tranquil site is also perfect for simply relaxing and hanging out with your friends and loved ones.

You can access the Roof Terrace via an elevator or escalator from the Esplanade Mall.

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Esplanade Festival and Series

In addition to year-round free and ticketed programmes, Esplanade’s calendar of events also includes family-friendly festivals and series scattered throughout the year. 

PLAYtime!

PLAYtime! is a series of engaging theatre performances that are designed to be interactive and sensory-friendly and are recommended for tots from 3 to 6 years old . Not only are the performances fun, but they also aim to encourage conversations and stimulate creativity in children. 

Huayi - Chinese Festival of Arts

First launched in 2003, Huayi - Chinese Festival of Arts is one of Esplanade’s four annual cultural festivals. Held during the month of Chinese New Year, the festival is often packed with immersive storytelling sessions, craft activities and theatre performances. 

Jazz in July

Jazz in July is a month-long annual festival that brings together both local and international jazz artists to celebrate the genre. Through the festival, music lovers are able to enjoy a diverse range of jazz music.

Moonfest

An annual festival held in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Moonfest features a line-up of traditional Chinese arts performances and activities that people of all ages can experience and enjoy. Events often include lantern walkabouts, puppet shows, lantern riddles, live concerts, and more!

Da:ns Festival

Whether you are an amateur or a professional artist, da:ns festival encourages you to discover the joy of dance and explore different dance moves through a series of live performances and workshops. Families with little ones can also look forward to parent-child dance workshops.

Octoburst!

Octoburst! is a yearly children’s festival with a mix of free and ticketed programmes. Families can look forward to a multitude of child-friendly and family-friendly events and activities, including storytelling sessions, musical performances, and parent-child workshops. 

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Getting to Esplanade

Whether you decide to travel by bus, train or private transport, getting to Esplanade is straightforward.

By Bus: 

Bus Stop No. 02061 (The Esplanade) - Outside Esplanade Mall entrance along Raffles Avenue
Bus service numbers: 36, 56, 70M, 75, 77, 97, 97e, 106, 111, 133, 162M, 171, 195, 531, 700A, 857, 960, 961, 1N, 2N, 3N, 4N, 5N, 6N, NR1, NR2, NR5, NR6, NR8

Bus Stop No. 02111 (Esplanade Bridge) - Along Esplanade Drive
Bus service numbers: 10, 57, 70, 128, 162, 196, 531, 652, 656, 660, 700, 850E, 868, 951E, 971E

By MRT:

City Hall MRT - North-South line (Red) | East-West line (Green)

Esplanade MRT - Circle line (Yellow)

    By Taxi: Taxi stand - C24 Esplanade Mall, 8 Raffles Avenue, 039802

    Parking:

    • Open 24h daily
    • $2.20 per hour or part thereof (Daily rates, inclusive of Public Holidays) | Spend $30 at Esplanade Mall and enjoy free parking from 12pm ‚Äď 3pm on weekdays (excluding public holidays).

    Motorcycle - Free parking, subject to availability

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    This article is prepared by

    Malini Pannirselvam
    Dedicated writer by day, avid reader by night, language fanatic all the time, and aunt to nieces and nephews every day

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