Is visiting Sentosa Island with toddlers worth it?
Sentosa (especially one of its main attractions: Universal Studios) is fantastic and is known as the island of fun for a reason.
However, some of the attractions on the island have height requirements and therefore are unsuitable for going with toddlers and young children. Read below to see if Skyline Luge, SEA Aquarium, Universal Studios, and others are suitable attractions on Sentosa Island for you.
Since moving to Singapore back in 2017, my toddler daughter and I have visited and tried out the majority of attractions and activities on Sentosa Island. Some were just okay, some not so great, and some very nice that we keep returning to. In this post, I will share the TOP 5 best things to do on Sentosa Island with toddlers, including one of the most popular attractions in Singapore- Universal Studios.
1. Sentosa Island with toddlers: Skyline Luge
It’s true what they say- once is never enough! So what you get here are two fun activities in one place- the luge and the Skyride. The Skyline Luge was invented in New Zealand over 30 years ago and is a fun, wheeled, gravity ride that provides its riders, the young and young at heart, complete control over their descent on specific tracks.
Four thrilling Luge tracks on Sentosa Island have added fun features such as hairpin corners, tunnels, and downhill slopes that gently twist and turn for more fun.
Remember to smile, though; there are cameras along the tracks, and if you like the photos, you can purchase them. The fee keeps increasing, so better to check on the spot. The very first time we went there, I paid 10 SGD per photo; the second time we went, it was 14 SGD (the one on this blog post), and during the latest visit, we didn’t buy any photos at all!
In addition to the Luge down the hill, there is a Skyride that brings you back up to the top for another ride down.
Skyride is a 4-seater chairlift, something like what you would use in a skiing resort. It may not be your favorite part if you are not a big fan of heights. However, it is safe and offers excellent views of the South China Sea and all the vessels and cruise ships, together with a bird’s eye view of the Singapore skyline and Sentosa attractions.
There is another camera that takes photos of the rides. But, unfortunately, I don’t have any because each time we went, it was a sunny day, and, I guess because of the bright light, you only see a chairlift and its passengers in the white background.
Things to note:
- To ride the Luge alone children must be 6 years of age and 110cm or taller
- Helmets are available and of different sizes including helmets for kids.
- Children under the age of 6 yrs can ride in tandem with an adult for an extra 4 SGD fee per ride. The carts are spacious so it’s not really a big issue.
- For Skyride the minimum required height for the little ones is 85cm to ride with an adult or 135cm to ride alone.
- Unless you are short of time purchase at least three rides, because truly once is never enough.
2. Universal Studios on Sentosa Island with toddlers+ tips
Universal Studios Singapore on Sentosa Island is one of Singapore’s most famous and visited attractions. Moreover, at the time of writing, it is the only one in Southeast Asia.
It features 24 cool rides, shows, and attractions in seven different themed zones. I can guarantee that children taller than 110 cm and adults alike will have a blast. First, however, I will review visiting USS Sentosa from the perspective of visiting with a toddler who is below 110 cm in height.
So even if you go to Universal Studios with a bundle of joy shorter than 110 cm, you can still enjoy it and have a great time. There are multiple attractions that you can enjoy with a toddler. However, due to height restrictions, you will be unable to access many attractions that are more fun for adults.
I took my toddler daughter to Universal Studios on Sentosa when she was 95 cm tall (or rather short in this case). Below is what we observed:
- The rides are well- maintained.
- The park is clean
- Many attractions to choose from
- Very well- located, easy to access.
- There is something for everyone: the 50-acre park has seven different movie-themed zones: Hollywood, New York, Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt, The Lost World, Far Far Away, and Madagascar.
- Children up to 3 years old get free entrance.
Cons of visiting Universal Studios on Sentosa Island with toddlers:
- Most of the rides have a requirement of min height of 110 cm. As mentioned above, Thea was 95 cm tall at the time of the visit, so we had to cross out the many fun attractions. On the other hand, it is usual practice; you get the same in Disneyland.
- However, what I disliked the most was the attitude of the staff. They looked and behaved like they hated visitors and had the worst day of their lives.
- Queues are loooong, so unless you have the Express pass, waiting time is really long (E.g., you queue for 50 mins in hot and humid conditions for a 2 min ride). With the Express pass, you can go straight to the front of the line and receive VIP seating for rides and shows. Prices will likely increase, but as of Feb 2022, if you already have a Universal Express ticket, it costs $30-$40 per person to upgrade to the Unlimited Universal Express pass.
Tips for visiting Universal Studios on Sentosa Island with toddlers::
- Check the weather forecast before you go; they close many outdoor rides when it rains.
- Buy the Express pass. The queues can get enormous.
- Don’t forget to ask for a re-entry stamp if you leave USS and plan to re-enter later (same day)
- Dine elsewhere. Food within USS is mostly overpriced junk food. For the same price, you can have a nice meal in one of the many restaurants on Sentosa. Our favorite is Din Tai Fung, ~5 min walk from USS. They serve amazing steamed Chinese dumplings, and a robot takes you to your table and brings food!
- Bring your own water bottle; there are many free water refill stations within the park.
Verdict for visiting Universal Studios on Sentosa Island with toddlers:
Should you take your toddler to Universal Studios on Sentosa Island?
Should you take your toddler to Universal Studios on Sentosa Island?
The Park is definitely worth a visit. Even if you are a solo adult with a young child shorter than 110 cm, you can still enjoy many activities and time together. Besides, toddlers get free access, and you will pay for yourself. I enjoyed this outing with Thea and look forward to going again now that she is taller than 110 cm.
Universal Studios on Sentosa Island with toddlers
Prepare for your visit to Universal Studios on Sentosa Island with toddlers. Here’s our recommended packing checklist:
- Refillable water bottle for you and your child
2. Lightweight stroller is extremely convenient while visiting Sentosa Island with toddlers.
3. A hat & sunglasses (it’s hot and sunny in Singapore)
4. Sunscreen for the entire family
5. Rain poncho for unexpected weather changes. As tempting as it may be to leave it at home or in your hotel room when the sun is shining outside, don’t.
6. Non-drowsy motion sickness meds (because you never know)
7. Mini first aid kid (I always carry a small kit with me, and recommend to other parents)
8. Small cooler bag. Especially if you have a stroller. It’s great to keeping snacks and water fresh in humid and hot conditions
9. Wet wipes/tissues/travel size hand sanitiser. Spills, sticky hands and other mess will happen at some point during your visit, so better come prepared. Besides, being prepared will save you money on park purchases.
10. Tile tracker. Super important and useful. It’s easy to leave some items behind in the middle of all the fun going all around. Tile tracker will help you locate your stroller, bags and even keys!
3. Sentosa Island SEA Aquarium with toddlers
SEA Aquarium on Sentosa Island is amazing to go to with toddlers. However, unless you are a huge marine life enthusiast, it’s best to go there only if you visit with children. I mean, it’s nice, but nevertheless, one of the most expensive attractions on the island, and there are better alternatives for adults.
All premises are stroller friendly. Children can explore marine life from so up close. My daughter loves sharks, so that part was the highlight for us.
Thea and I have been to aquariums in Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, and Melbourne, however, the one in Sentosa is our favorite. Not only because of the well-maintained premises but also the wide variety of fish and baby shark doo doo doo…
4. Sentosa Trick Eye Museum with kids
The name says it all: that’s a fun trick eye museum on Sentosa island. Bit kitsch, a bit crowded, a bit overpriced, but fun for all the family.
There are over 80 different optical illusion installations and paintings which will trick your mind and your camera.
Updated April 2023:
We went to this museum again at the beginning of April 2023. I was surprised to see that it has relocated. Before Trick Eye Museum was in the same area as the Universal Studios, SEA Aquarium, etc. (Resorts World Station), but now they have moved to Siloso Point. I didn’t know that; meanwhile, all the road signs still direct visitors to their previous location. So, we spent over 30 mins looking for it, only to find out we needed to take a shuttle to its new site.
I would have probably dropped the idea of going there, but Thea insisted we go, and we already had the tickets.
So, basically, if you plan to go to the Trick Eye Museum, go to Siloso Point, and that’s where you’ll find it.
It wasn’t crowded when we went and my daughter had a blast exploring and posing for photos! If you are looking for smiles and laughs this is a place to go.
5. Adventure Cove Waterpark
I’ve loved waterparks since I was a little girl. There is just some magic with loads of water and thrill rides. Adventure Cove Waterpark is great for all the family, and on those hot and sunny days (which most of them are in Singapore), it’s a great way to cool down in style.
I took the photos below from a cable car when we were approaching Sentosa Island from mainland Singapore. Once in the park, you want to keep your phone in the locker and enjoy the rides!
I tried all the rides available; however, my all-time favorite is the Lazy River which I highly recommend. Just grab one of the floats available at the shore and let the current push you all around in warm water.
Please note that minimum height restrictions apply to some rides, varying between 107-122 cm. However, even the tiniest tots have options to splash. If you have a tiny human, don’t go alone. Then you can share who stays with the child and who checks out the rides.
There are some facilities on site where you can dine Asian and Western favorites, also a shop that stocks up waterpark essentials and branded souvenirs, like everywhere else.
I hope you have a fun splash!
To sum up, Sentosa truly is the island of sun and fun. So have a great time, and the last piece of advice, book your tickets to attractions in advance to save time, sanity, and patience.
If you plan to visit many attractions on Sentosa Island and mainland Singapore, getting an attraction pass may be a good option for you. You can save up to 40% on ticket fees. Check out the link below for more information:
How to get to Sentosa Island with kids from mainland Singapore?
Although an island, Sentosa is easily accessible from mainland Singapore. Below are some of the options:
The most convenient is taking a taxi or a ride via the Grab app (Uber is unavailable in Singapore). Presently Grab is Singapore’s most popular ride-hailing app. Taxi vehicles in Singapore are mainly yellow or blue. Comfort DelGro is the largest taxi operator in Singapore. Taxis are clean and air-conditioned, relatively cheap, and drivers do not attempt to cheat like in some other countries in South East Asia.
Note that you may have to pay a small extra fee (around 6 SGD) to access Sentosa Island (sometimes there are exceptions, and entry via Sentosa Express is free). The cost is applicable for cars and taxis. Also, if you travel with very young children, I suggest booking a ride via the Grab app so that you can opt for a baby seat or a booster seat for a toddler.
2. Sentosa Express
There is a monorail shuttle service to and from Sentosa. The ride takes ~5 minutes and departs from Vivo City Mall departure station. The ride costs 4 SGD. To reach this mall by public transport, take MRT (subway in Singapore), the North-East Line, or Circle Line and alight at the HarbourFront Station. Sentosa Express Monorail shuttle station is on the third floor of the mall. Easy to find; just follow the signs.
3. Cable car
The journey over can be as much fun as the island itself. This one is our favorite as it offers excellent views, and my daughter loves heights. You can jump in a cable car on Mount Faber Peak and enjoy a comfortable ride to the island.
We took the ride like a thousand times, and it has always been pretty empty despite many tourists and locals going to Sentosa. Most of the time, Thea and I were alone in a cable car. Just a couple of times, there were 2-3 other passengers.
4. Walking to Sentosa Island
If the weather is not too hot (this does happen sometimes) and you are up for a walk, you can take a stroll to the island from VivoCity Shopping Mall’s waterfront promenade, which has been made easy by two-way canopy-covered travellators.
If you love cycling, it’s another great and free way to access the island. Cycling on the island is safe and convenient. You can rent a shared bike here.
I don’t have a car, so I have never personally tried this option, but if you own or rent one, you can drive and enter the island via the Sentosa Gateway. Please note there is a small fee to enter the island applicable to cars and taxis, and it ranges from 2-6 SGD depending on what time you go.
Travel to Sentosa Island with toddlers tips:
One piece of advise, if you are going to visit all or several places consider combo tickets or Unlimited Attractions Pass, that way you save on tickets. Check out some sample combo tickets for the TOP 5:
CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO READ MORE ABOUT SINGAPORE ON RAISING LITTLE TRAVELLERS:
*If you purchase admission tickets via the above links I might earn a small commission fee at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much!