25 December 2013

Eat.Play.Love Cafe

This is the place where you can eat, play and fall in love all in one place. Yes, the name of the café spells it all! This dining venue has been very popular with families with young toddlers. It provides a cozy dining place with lots of things to eat, lots of things to see and lots of things to play. We had a chance to drop by Eat.Play.Love café for lunch after our Kampung Glam Heritage Trail.

We were here on a Christmas day, early in the morning as soon as the café opened. There were 4 or more families, plus a few young couples queuing outside of the café. We strongly recommend that you make a reservation if you planned to visit this café.  We were greeted by a very friendly staff and each of the visitors was assigned to our seats in a very orderly manner, starting from visitors with reservations.
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Kampong Glam

Where would you go in Singapore in order to avoid the crowds on a festive holiday? 

We, the Poks have decided to go on a heritage trail at Kampong Glam. Yup! We went for a slow morning walk around the Malay Heritage Area. The area was quiet in the morning and it was just the perfect time for Daddy Pok to snap some really nice pictures to add into his photography album. Kampong Glam is a place where it exhibits rich Muslim culture and it is home to some glamorous historical architectures which would feast one’s eye.

We parked our car at Aliwal Street and started our journey there. There is a public car park opposite Eat.Play.Love Café and it is free on public holidays. We headed towards Sultan Gate to our first stop – The Malay Heritage Centre.

1. The Malay Heritage Centre

The Malay Heritage Centre
The Malay Heritage Centre was once the Istana Kampong Glam, or also known as the Sultan’s Palace. It is now housed to a heritage museum showcasing the culture of the Malay community. We shall visit the museum when the boys are older and would appreciate history. The compound of the heritage centre was big enough for the boys to roam around. It has a water fountain and a small garden showcasing various herbs, spices and plants which was traded in the olden days.

AHOY! The pirates are coming!  @ The Malay Heritage Centre

We then exited the Malay Heritage Centre at Kandahar Street and headed towards Masjid Sultan.
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7 December 2013

Thomas & Friends Stage Show 2013

“They're two they're four 
they're six and eight 
Shunting trucks and hauling freight 
red and green and brown and blue 
they're the really useful crew……”

These lyrics are no stranger especially to those parents who have toddler boys. It is the ever famous toddler show theme song – Thomas & Friends. Vann and Kye are big fans of wheels and trains, and they truly love Thomas & Friends! Since there was a free stage show held in City Square Mall in conjunction of the Christmas Holidays 2013, we definitely would not miss it.

We are usually the early birds. If we have outings during the weekend, we would leave the house early to have a nice brunch, and then followed by our planned activities. This is the way how we avoid crowds and parking problems. And here on an early Saturday morning in City Square Mall, we saw the festive Thomas & Friends stage standing peacefully in the quiet mall.

The stage of the show. Where is Thomas?
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22 November 2013

Christmas 2013 @ Changi Airport

We were back to Changi Airport again in November 2013. This time we weren't taking any flights for vacations. We were here to visit a yellow and adorable friend - Sponge Bob!  If you had read our trip to Penang here, you will find that Changi Airport is also known as one of the best family outing hot spots in Singapore. 

In Christmas 2013, Changi Airport had put up decorations to attract more visitors to visit the airport and they had selected Sponge Bob as this year's theme. The boys had not watch Sponge Bob Square Pants before, but some how they picked up from their friends in school. They could easily recognize the cute yellow sponge who lives in the sea. 

Upon entering Terminal 3, we were greeted by the magnificent show case of a pineapple house. 

Sponge Bob pineapple house.
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4 October 2013

Penang Family Trip 2013 - Part 3

Day 3: Penang Street Art.

Have you seen this picture?
This picture has been promoted as the symbolic icon of Penang Street Art. This is one of the art works hand drawn by the creative artist Ernest Zacharevic. In recent years, street art has been sprouting in Penang ever since this artist laid his hands on the walls of the old heritage town. His artworks are not just merely paintings, but an art which connects to a nearby physical object. His artworks have successfully bring out the local culture in his paintings, and of course with a hint of humorous flare. It is hard to hide a smile when one look at his paintings. What’s more? Everyone who has been there were eager to strike their best pose to role play with his paintings.
Here are some of the street art which Daddy Pok was able to capture on his one hour expedition in Georgetown.
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3 October 2013

Penang Family Trip 2013 - Part 2

Day 2: Penang Hill.

There is a saying “You’ve never been to Penang unless you’ve been to Penang Hill”. Oh yes, and this is our first stop for our Penang trip.
Penang Hill is located on the Penang Island within the area of Ayer Itam. One of the drawbacks of staying in Hard Rock Hotel was that we had to travel across the winding hillside road of Batu Ferringhi. If you are driving and ferrying young toddlers, it is best to prepare plastic bag just in case they have nausea. The area of Ayer Itam is very busy, packed with tourist and locals and the roads are small to begin with. There are 2 main attractions here, which is the Penang Hill and Kek Lok Si Temple. We gave the temple a miss since there will be lots of walking to do and towing young toddlers up the Temple IMHO is not a good idea. In contrary, Penang Hill provides a vernacular cable car service up to the Hill top and we believed that it would be a fun experience for the boys. 
At the foot of Penang Hill.
Ta-dah! Here we are at the foot of Penang Hill.
The queuing system has improved quite a lot and it was a breeze for us. There were a number of school students troupe and we were lucky to enter just before them. However, we do find that the waiting time is about 10-15 minutes between each carrier to reach the station. We were quite delighted that they have upgraded to the new cable cars. The ride was faster and smoother, best of all there is no need for carrier transit like what we used to do at the half way up of the hill.
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2 October 2013

Penang – Ferringhi Garden Restarurant

A fine dining in the heartlands of Batu Ferringhi.

It was partially impromptu that we landed ourselves at the Ferringhi Garden restaurant. It was recommended by a close friend of Mummy Mae that this would be a nice dining option to consider. We initially planned to visit Gurney for their wide array of local delights, but due to limited time we decided to settle our dinner somewhere nearby. Ferringhi Garden Restaurant did not quite catch our eyes at first. Its modest entrance was hiding amidst potteries of plants and flowers. We took a stroll along various eateries while glancing through their menus; this is when we notice from the menu labels that we have reached the place which we are searching for.

When we entered Ferringhi Garden, we were greeted by a Balinese alfresco setting. Wooden furniture resting peacefully, laid with fine dining cutleries and the oil lamp on each table lits your way through the restaurant. We chose a table at the indoor area and were glad to find that they do provide high chairs for babies. When Mummy Mae and Daddy Pok each took turns to survey the venue, we were surprised to find that the area of the restaurant was quite big. The building was extended to the back towards their private car park area. There is a stretch of tables at the outdoor for nature lovers, a bar in the middle and another dining room which houses a mini bar and dining tables with an authentic Nyonya touch.
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Penang Family Trip 2013 - Part 1

Day 1: From Changi Airport to Hard Rock Hotel Penang.

The Pok family had a chance to go for a short family trip in Oct last year. It was the first ever experience that the boys got to travel in an Airplane. They were very excited while Mummy and Daddy were somewhat anxious to bring the toddlers on board for the first time. Since it was the first overseas trip, we decided to choose Penang as a choice of our destination, mainly due to the following reasons:
1) This is the place where Daddy Pok and Mummy Mae met and got married. It will be a nostalgic moment to be back in Penang. Oh, I am still craving for all the yummy food in Penang!
2) Daddy Pok and Mummy Mae have many friends located in Penang. So in case of any emergencies, help would be available.
3) We came across a Groupon discount for Hard Rock Hotel Penang and that struck us that we should purchase this for a family vacation!
First of all, let me introduce you to the beautiful Penang Island. Penang Island is part of the Penang state located at the far north of Malaysia. It was one of the 3 Straits Settlements (along with Malacca and Singapore) which were ruled under the British Administration in the 1820s. The island was a free port and visitors from China, India and British flocked here to trade. Therefore it is common to find that Penang has the similar kind of cultural influence which is seen in Malacca and Singapore, for e.g. Baba and Nyonya, Mamak, colonial settlements and etc.
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2 March 2013

A Family Picnic Event - Rise & Shine Carnival 2013

Have you ever participated in a massive picnic event?

Oh yes, we had our first ever family picnic at the Rise & Shine Carnival 2013 in March 2013. It was held at The Lawn @ Marina Bay. It was a great outdoor experience where the boys had their dose of morning sunshine and the place was breezy, a well-suited location for picnic and family events. Parts of the lawn were shady too due to the high rise building surrounding the field. There were child-friendly activities prepared by the organizers and it kept the boys busy. There were bouncy castles, gym stations, face painting and etc.

The massive picnic event by Rise & Shine.
Let's Rock!

Jumping like Michael Jordan!

Man on walking sticks, Kye was too afraid to go near them...

Bouncy castle on the left and beautiful skyline of Marina Sands.

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