Gardens By The Bay–The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

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Are you a fan of Enid Blyton stories? If you are, you would surely have heard of the famous Magic Faraway Tree, along with familiar names such as Moon-Face, Saucepan Man and Silky? If this sends your heart racing and brings back memories of your childhood, just like it did for me, you won’t want to miss out on the Enid Blyton-themed event held at Gardens By the Bay for the annual Children’s Festival.

Gardens by the Bay - Children's Festival - The Magic Faraway Tree (8)

Four special lands from the Magic Faraway Tree have been recreated – Land of Enchantments, Land of Tea Parties, Land of Toys and Land of Nursery Rhymes. Entry to this event is free for all public, and you can also purchase a Magic Pass to enjoy additional activities. There’s lots to do even if you don’t purchase the Magic Pass. There are free programmes such as storytelling, magic shows, science demonstrations, take pictures with the mascots. Or just revel in the picnic atmosphere where the lawns have been decked out in the Enid Blyton theme, with bouncy floats, see-saws and rocking chairs!

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Eatigo App – How to enjoy 50% discount at hotel restaurants and popular restaurants in Singapore

If you like to dine out often, you’d probably keep an eye out for promotions and discounts offered by your favourite F&B outlets. It’s quite common to find 10%-20% discounts being offered by the various credit cards or membership affiliations (eg Passion Card members), but did you know you can enjoy up to 50% discounts at numerous restaurants?

One of my favourite apps to use is the Entertainer App. I’ll be upfront that it costs $95 to get this app, but in return, there are numerous restaurants on the app where you can get a 1-for-1 discount on main dishes. That means, for every 2 mains ordered, the cheaper main dish will be for free! I’ve had the Entertainer App for nearly 5 years now I think. Some years I got sponsored the app for free, but some years I paid for it myself because I see the value, and have enjoyed the savings. There is not a single year where I have not more than made back in savings the original price that I paid for the app. All my friends who bought the app agree that its very easy to dine at a couple of restaurants and earn back the original cost paid.

But of course, many other friends did not purchase the Entertainer App. It’s a psychological hurdle that is admittedly very difficult to get over. Spend money upfront? Oh no no no. Again I have to say that whenever it’s time to pay for the Entertainer App, I do hesitate for several days, before I eventually agree that it’s pretty good value. Or put it the other way, if I didn’t buy the app, I’d have to make sure I never dine at any of the gazillion restaurants and cafes on the app, or else I’d be kicking myself wondering why I’m paying full price for my meal when I could have gotten the 1-for-1 discount!

Wan Hao Marriott

We even managed to get a cushy booth seat because off-peak hour!

Recently I found out about the Eatigo App. This app is FREE! Actually I found out about it about a year back, but because I was a rather heavy user of the Entertainer App at that time, I forgot about the Eatigo App. I recently used the Eatigo App, and I must say it’s pretty amazing that I managed to enjoy a 50% discount at Wan Hao at Marriott Hotel, with a FREE app! If you know Wan Hao, it is a posh and rather expensive Chinese restaurant to dine at. I’ve always wanted to have dim sum there, but I didn’t want to feel broke after that. Wan Hao is actually also on the Entertainer App, but the Entertainer App can only be used for main dishes. Dim sum dishes are not considered main dishes.

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People watch with Tortilla Wraps at Marriott Hotel’s Crossroads Cafe

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You know they say much has changed in Orchard Road as compared to a decade or two ago. Aside from the fact that so many new malls have sprung up, and the older malls having had a complete facade overhaul, even long standing shops have moved on and been replaced with newer ones.

But one place that has retained its prominent spot along Orchard Road is Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel’s Crossroads Cafe. I can recall walking pass the al-fresco Crossroads Cafe numerous times when going to Far East Plaza was then the in thing. It was always chockfull of people and still is even until today. If you think that the F&B industry is fickle, take a leaf out of Crossroads Cafe’s experience!

However, even though it looked like a great spot to people watch, it never crossed my mind to enter this place. I had this impression that you’d only go there if you wanted an alcoholic drink, given that so many Caucasians frequent Crossroads Cafe, and are often seen holding wine glasses or beer bottles.

But recently, I found out that Crossroads Cafe serves a full-fledge bistro menu. Think dishes like salads, burgers, pasta, steaks, breakfast and even local food such as Hokkien Mee and Char Kuay Teow! The menu is pretty extensive actually, you can purview it on Crossroads Cafe’s website here.

Marriott Crossroads Cafe - $Iberico Pork Secreto $35

If you feel like you might now want to visit Crossroads Cafe, now’s a good time to go because Crossroads Cafe is currently having an Indulgent Tortilla Wraps promotion from now until 30 June 2018. For about $30 – $35 ++, you can select from one of 5 different tortilla wraps. The torilla wraps will be served platter style to facilitate sharing, with the tortilla sheets separate from the ingredients so that you can customise your own tortillas.

The five flavours on offer are

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Art Fun for Toddlers – Rainbow Bubbles

A quick post today while Edward is still napping! I’m always scouring parenting blogs and parenting Instagram accounts to look for fun art activities for toddlers to engage in, because as you know, children learn so much through playing at this age. A bonus would be when they’re engaged in something, they won’t be disturbing you for a precious few minutes, and you can have a cup of tea!

OK I have to admit, for this Rainbow Bubbles activity, I was the one who did most of the bubble blowing as Edward, being just over 2 years old, did not have enough strength in his blows, nor direction. It’s like the air is seeping out of his teeth and he’s making some snake sounds instead. Nevertheless, it was great fun and even I learnt a lot through the activity!

Toddler Art Fun - Rainbow Bubbles (1)

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The Joy of Toys at Clarke Quay Central

Finally had the chance to visit The Joy of Toys located at Clarke Quay Central Mall. I’d heard about it a couple of months back and found the concept to be quite attractive yet pretty unique in Singapore. It’s a wonder why there aren’t more of such indoor children’s play areas around.

Ok when you think of a children’s indoor playground / play area, you tend to visualise one where there are many slides, ball pits, tunnels etc for the children to run about and explore, aka gross motor skills type of play. Think Cool de Sac, Kids Amaze, The Polliwogs etc. There will also be a small area with fine motor skill toys and pretend play toys such as lego, puzzles, play kitchen, dolls etc, but these tend not to be the highlight of the business.

The Joy of Toys is quite different. There are no slides and tunnels. Per their website, they offer

  • Structured Play sections focussing on manipulatives, construction, as well as competitive games. These include developmental toys, family games and brain teasers.
  • Open-Ended Play sections encouraging pretend and role play. These include miniature play, doll play and food play.

There are a lot of wooden toys, and the whole area, especially the toddler area is furnished in a very pleasing and soothing way. While I was at the toddler area, I suffered from room envy and wondered more than once why I am not able to create a playroom looking like that for Edward.

The Joy of Toys (3)

What’s the difference between the toddler play space vs the main play space?

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