Combine Christmas with a family holiday this year. Here are some short haul flight destinations from Singapore that could be great options for the holidays. Our only advice- don’t screen Home Alone before you head out!
Take the children to Malaysia for a many-experiences-rolled-into-one vacation. Multicultural Malaysia will explode into your li’l one’s consciousness with its Malay, Chinese, Indian and British heritages making their presence felt around every other corner.
Culture dose apart, Malaysia tips the scale when it comes to adventure and exploration – hot favourites with kids. Trek its jungles, explore the animal rehab sanctuaries, cruise rivers and spend time at villages getting then familiar with tribal cultures. City break in mind? Kuala Lumpur streets dress up with glittering fairy lights, malls bring out Christmas trees and the holly along with shopping schemes. Get that classic Santa photo-op for the kids at Harvey Norman. Or check out the amazing decorations at The Pavilion.
Stay on in Kuala Lumpur and show the kids a good time – clamber up the nearly 300 steps to a temple in the Batu Caves, walk the Skybridge of the Petronas Towers with them, explore some marine life at the Aquaria KLCC or visit the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. You could also take the little screamers to Legoland for a couple of days of amusement park fun. Should get you enough brownie points to last till the next Christmas break!
2. Bali, Indonesia
Bali family vacations – another winner. With tons of family stay options to choose from – most of which arrange for Christmas Eve buffets, choir performances and Santa visits for the little ones – a jaunt with kids around this Indonesian paradise can be quite satisfying for all concerned.
Get drenched at Waterbom Bali, hit Pirate Bay Bali for a day of pretend play, (and live out your own Jack Sparrow fantasy in the process), tire them out rock climbing at Lollypop Playland, let the kids connect with animals at the Bali Safari Marine Park and the Elephant Safari Park, join a swim with sharks tour or keep it simple and play soccer and build sand castles on the beach!
Other Bali highlights include zip lining through trees at the Bali Treetop Adventure Park or take a glass bottom boat ride. Remember to go to the beach front on Christmas; there is always a sparkling fireworks display in the evening. Happy holidays!
3. Hong Kong
With its efficient public transport system, getting around Hong Kong is easy. And with multiple entertainment options for kids of all ages, it is also a top choice for a Christmas break with kids. After all, there is Disneyland if you’ve got tiny tots to keep busy – snap pictures with their favourite characters and get dizzy after fun rides!
Head to Ocean Park if your brood spans all ages – it’s got a mammal park, an aquarium, and the Ocean Express apart from the usual amusement park rides. Stay on-site at Disneyland to make life easier for yourself and more fun for the kids; lace up for those invigorating hiking trails; spend time on its pretty beaches or enjoy the sunny blue skies of a Hong Kong December (minus humidity!) in its many well thought out child-friendly parks.
Complete your fun trip to Hong Kong with a look-see around the place on the Peak Tram. To get the Christmas feel, hop on to a Victoria Harbour Cruise – get breathtaking views of the beautifully decorated buildings all along the water or join a walking tour of the city’s Christmas lights and displays.
Clean, safe, and with an efficient public transport system, Japan takes the cake when it comes to planning a kiddie holiday. Take the family to Tokyo and then scoot around the country checking out all it has to offer. There are castles, museums, temples, a day trip to Mt. Fuji, Hello Kitty parks and sumo wrestling tournaments that you can add to your itinerary.
The show stoppers for the little brigade would be – of course – Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, animation studio Ghibli Museum, Universal Studios in Osaka and Space World in Kitakyūshū. Forget Christmas break, these places could keep junior busy for a month!
For Christmas, you could take the family to check out some of the best illumination around town – get over-awed by the huge chandelier at Yebisu Garden Place or visit the backstreets of Shibuya for the out-of-the-world Ao no Dokutso illumination show.
5. Phuket, Thailand
Pretty Phuket is accessible, safe, fun and inexpensive – all tick-marked for a child-friendly vacation. Though Thailand is traditionally a Buddhist country, Phuket wears a Christmas-y garb in December with beachfronts, restaurants, hotels and bars decked out in lights!
From classic stuff like spending long days on the beach and splashing around in the water with family, to professionally managed and supervised activities for kids; a Phuket holiday has it all worked out. Activities that are right after little hearts – let the kids loose in places like Splash Jungle Water Park or sip on a drink as they try flow riding at the Surf House Phuket.
There are Rawai Park, Anthem Wake Park and Patong Go Kart Speedway for the kids to run through that extra energy. For the more adventurous lot; let them roll down a hillside in a zorb, or trapeze from tree to tree. Hot tip for when the loud bunch is experiencing a sugar high from all those Christmas candies – leave them at the 50Fly! Trampoline Club to jump it off. Best Christmas ever!