Nothing new to explore in Singapore? Many of us may not have ventured to the charming neighbourhood of Farrer Park, just off Serangoon Road. However, did you know that families can spend a wonderful day out in this central part of Singapore engaging in various family-oriented sports, visiting cool cafes, and uncovering the gems in the neighbourhood.
We went on a little day out to Farrer Park with the kids, including stops at Civil Service Club @ Tessensohn, and uncovered family-friendly activities and less well-known food spots in its vicinity.
We were surprised to find that the district had its distinct charms.
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Heritage shophouses with Peranakan tiles, traditional eateries, and cafes were aplenty around Farrer Park. It felt like a less well-known version of Joo Chiat, gradually being gentrified yet undiscovered by the masses.
Need to get oriented to the neighbourhood? Civil Service Club @ Tessensohn, or CSC @ Tessensohn, is a good base from which to start exploring the area.
Civil Service Club @ Tessensohn, A Family Hangout
We started our day at CSC @ Tessensohn.
Did you know that there are facilities at Civil Service Clubs such as that are open to the public?
The first challenge for the kids to learn how to pronounce the name Tessensohn. It can be quite mouthful but it is interesting to learn that the road was named after John Edwin Tessensohn who established the Eurasian Association. His dedication to public service was well known in the community.
Rock Climbing and Bouldering at Ground Up Climbing
Ground Up Climbing at CSC @ Tessensohn is the perfect place to drive the family up the wall.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced climber, the expansive climbing gym is a suitable spot to expend all your energy and tone some muscles.
There are top-rope lanes, auto belay lanes and two floors dedicated to bouldering.
The children loved hanging out at the climbing gym. The instructors were so friendly and encouraging. After completing a one-hour taster session, they continued attempting their climbs.
Climbing and bouldering are sports that will surely hone the child’s resilience and tenacity in problem-solving.
Furthermore, families will have a memorable time cheering each other on as they go higher and conquer their fears.
Family Bonding at Planet Bowl
Besides indoor climbing, bowling is a weather-proof sport that can be done comfortably whether it is rain or shine outside. It is also a sport both adults and children can pick up fairly easily.
Planet Bowl, located on the first floor of CSC @ Tessensohn, has 20 lanes and child-friendly bumper rails plus five-pound balls with five finger holes.
Raise the bumper rails and everyone is good to bowl.
Discovering New Cafes at Farrer Park
There are many food and beverage options within a stone’s throw from CSC @ Tessensohn.
In between the family sports sessions, we ventured out into the surrounding neighbourhood.
The laidback vibe of the neighbourhood made us feel transported us back to Singapore a good decade or two ago. We strolled by shophouses and alleyways and discovered some interesting food spots.
Our lunch stop was the hip-looking Daizu Café.
This Japanese café-bar concept serves Japanese Sando, brunches, and rice bowls.
The kids loved their hot chocolate and were fans of the generous portions of ikura paired with their favourite sandwiches and salmon bowls.
The two-storey café is a welcoming place that is bright, cosy, and perfect for enjoying a meal or a cuppa break with loved ones.
Right across from CSC @ Tessensohn, via an alley that leads towards Race Course Road, we made another discovery, a hidden chocolateria called MasBie Artisanal Chocolate.
MasBie was founded by Chocolatier KC, who is driven by his passion for creating the best chocolates.
Besides artisanal chocolates, the shop also sells amazing gelato and displays beautiful paintings.
We highly recommend the Volcano flavour – a must-have for any fans of chocolate.
Pairing desserts while admiring artworks might be the afternoon treat you need post-lunch!
In the evening, we ended our explorations of Farrer Park at The Shakehouse by Love, Food Club.
This was a real treat for the kids as the walls were decorated from floor to ceiling with superhero figurines and movie posters. The screens that lined the wall were also showing cartoons. With the children gleefully occupied, parents are guaranteed a peaceful meal.
The Shakehouse serves comfort food like steaks, ribs, squid ink pasta, and freshly cooked seafood.
Families will enjoy the Shakehouse Meat Platter which includes their signature dishes Prime Ribeye, Beef Ribs, Roasted Chicken Leg, and Smoked Chicken Sausage. It is great for sharing. We also recommend other signature dishes like grilled calamari and clams.
Our palettes were satisfied from the feast!
Full from Joy & Memories at CSC @ Tessensohn and Farrer Park
After a fun-filled day at CSC @ Tessensohn and Farrer Park working our muscles (and stomachs) as a family, we knew we could bookmark this as one of the things to do for a weekend or during the school holidays.
For more ideas on what you can do and where to go in the area, here’s a hot tip. Civil Service Club has developed a Tessensohn Playbook that provides plenty of information and ideas about things to do in Farrer Park and Little India (did you know there is a spot where you can dine in the backseat of a Mini Cooper?).
And guess what? The Tessensohn Playbook is freely available for download here.
Have a fun day out with the family at Farrer Park and Tessensohn!