What makes a shopping mall family-friendly? Plenty of food options? Ample room for the kids to move about without causing a commotion? Entertainment and retail outlets? What about shopping malls with free parking too?
Here are some shopping malls with free parking that you may not know about. They can be surprising family-friendly places to visit even though not all of them have playgrounds and other amenities. They can be suitable it you are planning to take the family out for a quiet meal or time together.
But first, a quick disclaimer – the free parking times vary and may be subject to change; we have included the details as at the point of publication. We have also included the links so that you can check if there are any updates.
Family-friendly Shopping Malls With Free Parking
Some of our friends weren’t quite sure where Aperia Mall was but once we mentioned the Tim Ho Wan at the junction of Kallang Road and Lavender Street, they recalled it immediately.
Aperia Mall has many different food options – Tim Ho Wan is just the tip of the iceberg. There is Saizeriya, Japanese rice bowl shop Grand jeté izakaya, Cantonese restaurant Dragon Bowl and Italian restaurant Cucina. Other choices include Thai, xiao long bao, vegetarian Café Nature (which sells Impossible Burgers!), Foodmaster Food Court and more.
There is also plenty of space in the atrium for the kids and an outdoor area at level 3.
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Or how about doing a parent-child rock-climbing session at boulder+.
A 24-hour Cold Storage Supermarket lets you do your grocery shopping at any time too.
Currently, there is a free parking promotion on weekends and public holidays for three hours. There is also free parking on weekdays, excluding public holidays, from 6.30 pm to 10 pm.
For those who aren’t driving, the closest MRT stations are Lavender and Bendemeer MRT stations, about a 5-minute walk away.
Where: 8 – 12 Kallang Avenue, Singapore 339509
Alexandra Retail Centre
On weekdays, Alexandra Retail Centre or ARC is filled with office workers. On weekends, families take over the mall.
ARC is one of those places where you can get all the major fast food brands in close proximity to each other. Of course, if you are looking for something else, there are other options too. Korean, Indian, Japanese food outlets are available. Our personal go-to spot is Encik Tan.
The atrium at ARC is often filled with retail promotions by the mall’s tenant, such as the Junior Page bookstore.
If you want to bring the kids outdoors, head next door to Mapletree Business City. There is a lot of open space where kids (and adults) can enjoy a post-meal walk, especially on weekends.
Plus, you can check out the cool lighthouse that used to be on top of Fullerton Building.
There is free shopping mall parking on weekdays from 6.30 pm to 11 pm and weekends from 7 am to 11 pm at ARC. Even if you aren’t driving, ARC is just a 3-minute walk from Labrador MRT station, via a covered elevated walkway.
Where: 460 Alexandra Road, Singapore 119963
A former turf club turned family-friendly destination in Bukit Timah, The Grandstand is one place where you don’t have to worry about parking – it is free and plentiful!
Kids love to visit the Slappy Cakes outlet and E-sarn Thai restaurant has a little play corner too.
There is an outdoor children’s playground and the indoor Kidzland amusement centre too. Unfortunately, the axe-throwing centre The Axe Factor is only for those 15 and above.
The Grandstand is also home to enrichment centres such as J H Kim Taekwondo Institute, LPN Art School and Bricks 4 Kidz. Keep a look out for its popular all-in-one camps.
ALERT: This Saturday, 26 October, The Grandstand has an October Playdate programme which incorporates craft, storytelling, robotics and more. Tickets are priced at only $10 and it’s not too late to sign up here!
For those who aren’t driving, there is a free shuttle bus from Botanic Gardens, Tan Kah Kee and Sixth Avenue MRT stations.
Where: 200 Turf Club Rd, Singapore 287994
Katong Square is a rather small mall along East Coast Road. It is connected to two hotels, Holiday Inn Express and Hotel Indigo.
Parking at Katong Square mall is free from 12 pm to 2 pm on weekdays, except on public holidays. While this may be a promotion to draw lunchtime visitors to the shopping mall, it is also great for parents with kids who are in the Katong area and looking for a fuss-free spot to kill some time.
2Six Café is a casual and relaxed spot to grab a bite, and there is the familiar Killiney Kopitiam too.
The two-hour free parking time at Katong Square is also enough to squeeze in an hour of play at the Kaboodle creative indoor play space on the second floor. Just be sure to visit on a non-Tuesday – Kaboodle is closed on Tuesdays.
Where: 86-88 East Coast Road, Singapore 428788
IKEA, Tampines Retail Park
IKEA Tampines attracts plenty of visitors – even those who aren’t shopping for new home furnishings.
Parking is free – all of the time – at IKEA Tampines and you can stay as long as you like.
Take a walk through the store in air-conditioned comfort, stop for some meatballs, then carry on walking through the store. Kids between the height of 90 cam and 120 cm have the added benefit of entering Småland too!
Where: 60 Tampines North Drive 2, Singapore 528764
Yes, even though U-Town is not a mall (though it does have an NTUC Fairprice Express), we thought it’d be useful to mention National University of Singapore’s U-Town.
While parking at the Stephen Riady Centre is free on Sundays and public holidays. There is a food court and canteen at U-Town. For families with active kids, the main draw is Town Green, an open space which the kids can enjoy without parents having to worry about them disturbing others. A nice outdoor spot to enjoy on a Sunday!
Where: 2 College Avenue West, Singapore 138607