Kids bring joy and meaning in a person’s life. They make it so that what would normally be boring and gloomy becomes entertaining and fun. However, having children is hard work, to say the least. There are a lot of things a parent needs to do and work on. In addition, they are expensive– in that, they have a lot of expenses ranging from essentials to miscellaneous things they just really want.
Did you know that a middle-income family spends on average more than 200 thousand dollars a year per child?
CNN shares, “A middle-income, married couple with two children is estimated to spend $233,610 to raise a child born in 2015, according to a report released by the Department of Agriculture Monday. And that number only covers costs from birth through age 17 — so it doesn’t include college expenses.”
The report further explains that as the child grows older, the expenses usually go higher.
“Despite the endless cycle of diapers, children tend to be less expensive in their younger years. While child care and education expenses are higher for children under six, those expenses often dissipate as kids get older and enter school full time. Transportation, food, healthcare and clothing costs all rise as children age.”
Surprisingly, a large bulk of expenses are directed towards toys and entertainment.
A 2015 research shares that “The global toy market has an estimated size of more than 87 billion U.S. dollars annually. Most of the goods sold in the U.S. toys and games market are imports. In 2015 alone, the value of imported toys and games products amounted to more than 19 billion U.S. dollars.”
Another study has supported this with findings that such market caters less on babies and more for children.
Part of that expenses parents have when it comes to kids entertainment is going out– be it to a restaurant, for a family day or because the kids feel bored at home.
Going out with the kids or as a family can actually be quite expensive especially in Singapore where the cost of living is far from cheap.
Indoor Playground Singapore
Singapore is a great place for kids. There are places for playing, studying and interacting with other people in every direction.
And while it is true that interactive play through the form of indoor or outdoor playgrounds are highly beneficial for a child’s development, parents sometimes do not have the means to pay for expensive fees for their kid’s entertainment.
Parenting blogger of Serenity You helps describe indoor playgrounds as “Indoor playgrounds offer safe play equipment such as inflatable slides, obstacle courses, attractive toy setups that keep the children occupied in playing and parents need not worry about them. The only need is to ensure the safety of these play equipment through regular inspection. Moreover, children won’t be exposed to strangers and there will be limited chances of serious injuries and chances of fights among the children.”
Though at a glance, outdoor playgrounds seem to be the better option in that it usually is free to the public. However, there are factors such as weather and safety to keep in mind.
When it is rainy or too hot and humid, indoor playgrounds become a far better alternative.
Indoor Playground Rates and Expenses
Not all indoor playgrounds in Singapore are created equally. Some are smaller with limited activities and others bigger and can host more children. Some have cafeterias with affordable meals, others on the pricey side. Same goes for entrance fees and other expenses incurred.
Some can be as low as $5 and others around $35 depending on the place and what that rate corresponds to. Rates are usually not one-size fits all kind of thing. Promos and bundle packages are also offered for parents going on group trips or school-organized events. Seasonal discounts also vary depending on the playground.
Another area of expenses apart from entrance fee is food. Food, for some indoor playgrounds, are complete and satisfying while for others just finger foods where kids would easily digest and get hungry again.
Furthermore, transportation is another area to look into. Some playgrounds are inside malls near train stations and are easily accessible.
How to Save Money When Going Out With Kids
Singapore is the second most expensive country to live in in the whole of Asia second only to Hong Kong and the 24th all over the world.
Depending on how many kids a family has as well as which indoor playground in Singapore, one day trip can cost up to 200 SGD.
While that expense can be justified as a learning time as well as quality relaxation time with the family, there are ways to keep costs lower.
Here are practical ways parents can save up on days out with children. While these are tips for when going to indoor parks in Singapore, the tips given can be used for other travel plans as a family.
Look for promos, sale or bundle packs.
Whatever the activity, entrance fees every now and then have sales and promo for occasions like the holidays, anniversary specials or clearance sales. Subscribe to the frequently visited places to get updates for those kinds of events.
Another way to get discounts is through loyalty or membership cards. Especially if it is a place you frequent, membership cards despite its initial fee or cost (for some) are worth it in the long run.
Going in groups with your friends and their kids will get you some discounts as well if such a promo is available. Bundle packs or 1+1 promos are usually available when it is not peak season and parks are encouraging people to come.
Again, by subscribing to newsletters or following the social media of these places, you can get notified when they have those promotions.
Another way to get cheaper tickets is by joining contests usually in social media by the brands of choice. Winning these can get you free passes.
Pack Some Snacks
When going out with children, parents often forget to track how much they are spending. But if you actually compute the expenses of the day (or weekend) you will see that a bulk of it goes to food– be it snacks, full meals or even just drinks. What seems to be an inexpensive meal, if bought repeatedly in a day will pile up in cost.
Packing snacks, drinks and even heavier meals such as sandwiches can help reduce the cost of food. In addition to that, you also avoid giving junk food to your kids by mindfully packing healthier food.
Make sure though to keep the food you pack travel-friendly. Individually wrapped snacks are usually the better option here.
According to Kristen Maxwell of Travelling Mom, the best kinds of snacks when going out are “snacks that fit their little fingers, taste delicious, are mostly healthy, and don’t make a big mess.”
Some ideas include frozen squeezable yogurt tubes, dry cereal, granola bars, waffle, string cheese, trail mix, raisins, squeezable applesauce and animal crackers.
Use Public Transportation
Select indoor parks that are accessible by train or is close to your residence so that you can save up on transportation costs. By doing that, you can allot some of the budget for the ticket expenses.
The cheapest way to go around Singapore is through trains. However, opting for taxis is not the worst idea as well because taxi services are not very expensive in the country.
EZ Link cards can be bought either on a single journey or as a reloadable top up card.
“The reloadable card can be purchased from the Transitlink Ticket Office or Passenger Service Centre counters located at the MRT stations. The sales price of each card is S$12 (S$7 stored value + S$5 non-refundable card cost). Single trip tickets can be purchased from the ticket machines. The price of each single trip ticket depends on the distance/number of stations + S$1 refundable deposit,” shared TripAdvisor
It is important to note too taxi availability. “Taxis are generally very hard to get during peak hours (Mon-Fri 7:00am – 9:30am and Mon-Sat 5:00pm – 8:00pm) and on rainy days.”
Sometimes a successful and cost-efficient trip depends on knowing how to properly and bringing in the essentials.
Here’s a sample checklist:
Here’s a list of things you should have with you:
- Changing Mat
- Baby wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Medicine for fever
- Medicine for nausea
- Favorite Toy
- A photo of your children/ child
- Extra outfit per kid
- Extra clothes for yourself
- A scarf or a lightweight blanket
- Dry bag or dirty bag for dirty items
Remember, saving up when going to indoor parks is possible with a few simple hacks here and there. While planning and calculating costs are important, make sure though to have fun as well and create lasting memories with the kids.