Want to have a getaway without actually getting away? There are parts of Singapore with family-friendly things to do, good food and cool cafes, as well as unusual places to visit? Here’s what far-flung Changi Village has to offer for day trips – and even the option of a hotel staycation should you so wish.
Village Food Stops
A getaway is not complete without food, of course.
Kick back and enjoy the green peace of Kakis Bistro & Bar, which is located within a plant nursery. They also grow their own greens. Lush green fields, and beautiful vertical gardens make this family-friendly place an escape from the city. Try their sauteed mushrooms with white wine and homegrown kaffir leaf, grilled chicken thigh, prawn alioli with lemongrass and coriander. Mum and dad can shoot the breeze with an ice-cold beer or cocktail.
[Update Jan 2017: Kakis Bistro & Bar has closed]
A chill, breezy dining spot, Bistro@Changi serves up hearty food like grilled chicken chop, fish and chips, pasta and seasonal seafood. According to the bistro, seafood is delivered fresh by boat from the kelongs near Pulau Ubin. Watch the aeroplanes land and play ‘guess the airline’ with your kids.
Step back in time at The Coastal Settlement, with its vintage-chic sensibilities as a former barracks at Changi Beach. No doubt you can capture some Instagrammable moments with the family here. Some chow of note: Truffle fries, wagyu beef and mushroom pizza, and portobello fries.
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Of course, there is always good old hawker food at Changi Village Food Centre, where you can get a hit of the always-long-queue International Nasi Lemak, tempura-like goreng pisang from Million Stars, bak chor mee from Amigo, and Ipoh Hor Fun from Weng Kee.
Finish off with a superb bowl of authentic chendol at Makan Melaka (Blk 1 Changi Village Road) – you won’t regret it!
Changi Point Coastal Walk
The Changi Point Coastal Walk is a 2.6km walking path made up of six distinctive sections.
You can start your 45-minute walk in the eastern end of the Coastal Walk near the Changi Point Ferry Terminal.
From the footpaths and boardwalks, you can get views of the sea and offshore kelongs and boats.
The first section is known as the Creek Walk and you can make your way westward along the Beach and Sailing Point Walks.
If you’re here in the evening, you can watch the sun going down at the last section, Sunset Walk.
The boardwalk is open 24 hours and admission is free.
Daytripping at Pulau Ubin
Escape the concrete jungle and make a day trip to Pulau Ubin.
You can take a bumboat at Changi Ferry Point Terminal, which is located at Changi Village. There are car parks right next to the terminal.
When you arrive at Pulau Ubin, go for a nature walk called the Sensory Trail next to the jetty.
There are quite a few lunch options in Ubin Town, including affordable seafood eateries.
If you have more time, consider renting bicycles for a cycling trip to Chek Jawa.
The one-hour cycling journey will be worth it, as you’ll enjoy the quiet sea breeze as you stroll along a coastal boardwalk, a mangrove boardwalk, and a lookout jetty.
For more details on how to plan your day trip to Ubin, where to eat, and what to do, see here.
The three-storey Navy Museum showcases the history and traditions of the Republic of Singapore Navy.
Just beside Changi Naval Base, the modern museum offers historical artefacts from the Navy’s ships, an outdoor static display with big guns, and even interactive simulation game consoles.
Something different for the family, off the beaten track.
Changi Village Playground
This gem of a playground is located at Changi Beach Park, with a pretty extensive three-level playground. Lots of climbing for the little ones to do! Pack a picnic and make this a rest stop on your day trip.
So you’d like to make this more of a staycation and enjoy the creature comforts of a hotel stay without travelling overseas?
Changi Cove, couched amidst lush greenery and heritage buildings, has chic rooms fitted out of Nespresso machines and a few complimentary coffee capsules.
The rooms have a cool doodle wall where the kids (and even dad and mum) can draw to their hearts’ content, with whiteboard markers.
Food is decent with a minimalist cafe-bistro on the ground level, serving up buffet meals. But you’ll probably explore the Changi Village area for breakfast options anyway.
There is also a Family Lounge stocked with board games, free-flow coffee and tea, and bean bags.
Another staycation choice in Changi Village would be the urban-cool Village Hotel Changi, a 380-room affair with a rooftop infinity pool – and also surrounded by greenery.
Its five restaurants include Italian restaurant La Cantina, which has al fresco dining options.