Club Buzz Lifestyle

6 School Holiday Camps For Your Kids To Learn Something New

Aid your little ones’ holistic development through these engaging camps themed around innovation, art, science, mental wellness, and nature.

The year-end school holiday runs from 18 November to 31 December 2023 — it’s time for your kids to enjoy a well-deserved break and have fun exploring outside the confines of their classrooms. What better way to nurture their sense of wonder than by signing them up for fun and educational camps, including those at HomeTeamNS’ signature school holiday programme, SkillFest December 2023? This year’s edition is lined up with activities that focus on innovation, while stoking their sense of adventure through a slew of action-packed challenges at various HomeTeamNS clubhouse attractions.

Let your curious young learners explore their interests, develop useful skills, and forge friendships — while creating lasting memories of a holiday they’ll want to brag to their schoolmates about.


Pique your young learners’ curiosity with ‘Around The World with S.T.E.A.M,’ the latest edition of HomeTeamNS’ SkillFest that is themed around science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. Over the course of three days, children will learn about the inner workings of boomerangs, bridges, steam engines, and more at attractions across three HomeTeamNS clubhouses. Besides learning about remarkable human inventions, solving puzzles and conducting experiments, they can look forward to working as a team to conquer obstacle courses at Adventure HQ’s Urban Climb Wall and Ninja Course, engaging in immersive team challenges at LaserQuest, and putting their endurance to the test with Rapid Action and Valo Jump at Action Motion. You can choose to sign your kids up for a single day or purchase a 3-day bundle SkillPass. Camp fees will include a T-shirt, activity booklet, lunch and snacks.

WHEN: 4, 5 & 6 December (9am – 6pm)

WHERE:  HomeTeamNS Khatib, Bukit Batok and Bedok Reservoir

FEES: SINGLE-DAY SKILLPASS: $80 (for HomeTeamNS members); $110 (PA/SAFRA members); $130 (non-members) per child aged 8 to 12 years

3-DAY BUNDLE SKILLPASS: $210 (HomeTeamNS members); $260 (PA/SAFRA members); $300 (non-members) per child aged 8 to 12 years


Want to channel your kids’ obsessions with their favourite games and cartoons towards something productive? Sign them up for WondersWork’s LEGO robotics coding camps. In the three-day Pokémon Master Trainer Challenge, students will learn to build and code a robotic exoskeleton hand to catch Pokémon. Alternatively, in a two-day camp, young coders get to programme their favourite Pokémon and Minecraft characters to team up and fight zombies. All materials, robot kits and other equipment will be provided, along with lunch and a drink.

WHEN: Pokemon Master Trainer Challenge Lego Robotics Coding Technology STEAM camp: 20 November to 10 January (10am – 3pm)

Minecraft X Pokemon VS Zombies STEAM Lego Robotics Coding camp:  23 November to 12 January (10am – 3pm)

WHERE: WondersWork at Great World City

FEES: Pokemon Master Trainer Challenge Lego Robotics Coding Technology STEAM camp: $590 per child aged 5 to 14 years

Minecraft X Pokemon VS Zombies STEAM Lego Robotics Coding camp: $438 per child aged 5 to 14 years


Whether or not your child loves art, ARTARY’s two-day school holiday workshops will open their eyes to the beauty that lies hidden in nature, as well as nurture their creativity beyond the average school art lesson. They’ll get to don a lab coat and discover visually stunning cells through a microscope, learn about the human anatomy, and paint a psychedelic X-ray. At the Cartoons & Superheroes workshop, they can recreate their favourite superheroes in stained glass and lead a ‘task force’ to battle fictional criminals. Students can bring their own refreshments for a 30-minute afternoon break.

WHEN: 23 November to 15 December (11.15am – 4pm)

WHERE: Various ARTARY centres islandwide

FEE: $298 per child aged 5 to 12 years, $268.20 for enrolled students with ARTARY



Cultivate the aspirations of little fans of hit TV series Junior Bake Off at the three-day baking camps organised by Baker’s Brew Studio. They’ll learn how to safely create delightful festive treats — including Snowman Cookies and the Reindeer Bento Cake at the Mini Bakers camp for four- to seven-year-olds, or Snowflake Pull-Apart Cupcakes and the Present Surprise Cake at the Junior Bakers camp for seven- to 12-year-olds. Besides the goodies they’ve baked and decorated, the children will get to take home a skill worth flaunting at upcoming Christmas parties.

WHEN: 18 November to 30 December (10am – 12pm or 1.30pm – 3.30pm)

WHERE: Baker’s Brew at Paragon Shopping Centre

FEE: From $288 per child aged 4 to 12 years


Held at the academy established by Singapore’s very own swimming champ Joseph Schooling, Camp Movement is all about developing active, confident kids through sports and movement. Participants will kick off the camp by learning the fundamentals of sports science, including how to engage key muscles and avoid injuries, before trying out sports such as tennis, swimming, and karate. There’s even a dance class. The four-day programme culminates in an exciting mini-Olympics and awards ceremony that celebrates each child’s achievements.

WHEN: 20 November to 14 December (9am – 12.15pm)

WHERE: Centre for Movement at NTU@one-north

FEE: $420 per child aged 4 to 12 years


Who says there aren’t opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in shopping mall-glutted Singapore? Forest School Singapore wants to help your children connect with nature and in the process, build their confidence, resilience, and sense of responsibility. Its three-day camps will allow children to explore the lush Clementi Forest and the 66ha Rifle Range Nature Park, where they may spot wildlife such as the Long-tailed Macaque and Sunda Colugo. The school also endeavours to help foster environmental awareness in children as future custodians of the planet.

WHEN: 20 November to 22 December (9am – 12pm or 9.30am – 12.30pm)

WHERE: Forest School Singapore Hutan Campus at Mayfair Park

FEE: $198 per child aged 4 to 12 years

Interested in serving beyond your obligations? Consider the Volunteer Extension Scheme, which allows PNSMen who have completed their NS liability to continue serving beyond their statutory age. PNSMen (With NS liability) who have passed their statutory age of 40 years (Junior Officers) & 50 years (Senior Officers) may apply.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the app settings.


What to do on a Rainy Day in Singapore with your Family

Keep your loved ones physically and mentally stimulated with these activities to ensure that a downpour won’t dampen your spirits.



Singapore’s north-east monsoon season, which typically brings heavy rains and strong winds from December to early March, is approaching. While it can scupper outdoor activities, that doesn’t mean you have to just #NetflixAndChill.

Here’s our top pick of rainy-day activities in Singapore, from adventurous pursuits that won’t leave you drenched to mentally stimulating quests to mould impressionable young minds.


Climb, slide, and splash through exhilarating zones at HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir’s Aqua Adventure. This indoor water adventure centre features a 114m-long Double Trouble Slide that’s said to be the longest indoor water slide in Singapore. You can choose to plunge through it together with a friend on a dual float. There is also the 85m Blackhole Slide that brings you through a thrilling 12 -15 second-long journey in total darkness. The adventure centre also boasts an elevated water obstacle course that will help you to build confidence through various interactive elements — you’ll be splashed with water as you navigate the course — and Clockwork Towers, a five-lane interactive rock climbing wall for the especially agile.

(For our HomeTeamNS Members) Enjoy exclusive members’ rates starting from S$40 per session.


Conquer obstacles and scale heights at HomeTeamNS Khatib’s four-storey, 2,800 sq m indoor adventure centre, Adventure HQ. The challenges include Urban Climb, a dynamic rock-climbing experience and Ninja Course, which is great for improving strength, endurance, and agility with its monkey bars and warped wall you are meant to sprint up. Other exciting installations include Sky Venture, a two-tiered rope course with 16 obstacles, and the thrilling Parabolic Slide that features a 90-degree drop.

(For our HomeTeamNS Members) Enjoy exclusive rates starting from S$32.30 per session.


Action Motion, a gamified multi-tier obstacle course at HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir, has amped up stations featuring swinging nets; climbing walls (try the Ascend Lab with its auto-belay system); an Augmented Reality trampoline; and ball pits (test your balance, agility, and strength with Motion Mesh). Embrace some friendly family competition as you notch your achievements with RFID wrist tags. Earn points by completing the obstacles and stand the chance to redeem attractive prizes the likes of Sudio wireless earbuds, Nintendo Switch game titles, Sephora e-gift cards, and more.

(For our HomeTeamNS Members) Enjoy exclusive rates starting from S$35.33 per session.


Trifecta Martial Arts

Martial arts can help develop your self-esteem, discipline, and respect for others. Trifecta Martial Arts offers Taekwondo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Krav Maga lessons. Their BJJ Powertots class incorporates age-appropriate drills and games to hone the motor and cognitive skills of toddlers and kids. Book a trial class at its HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir outlet.

(For our HomeTeamNS Members) Enjoy a 50 per cent discount on trial class and registration fees plus a 20 per cent discount on uniform and equipment purchase.


Discover the inner workings of the fascinating world we live in at the Science Centre. It’s home to KidSTOP, where children aged eight and below can learn to inquire, investigate, and innovate in a safe and conducive environment. It also offers plenty of activities for older kids and adults, from learning how to create an AI-generated gif to exploring a mirror maze. There’s also a plethora of facilities: Souvenir shops, prayer rooms, F&B outlets, as well as a microbrewery.

(For our HomeTeamNS Members) Enjoy 10 per cent off Science Centre and KidSTOP annual passes.


Race your kids at HyperDrive on Sentosa’s Palawan precinct. The F1-inspired electric go-kart circuit offers fun virtual gaming elements such as turbo boosts and safe ways to sabotage your competitors. Its neon-lit three-level racetrack, designed by former karting world champion David Terrien, offers adrenaline packed action with 308m of straights and 14 turns. Those who want to ride with a child (who must be at least 90cm tall) can opt for the dual kart, which requires the driver to have a valid car or motorcycle licence.


Suki Suki Hotpot

What can be more comforting than warming up with steamboat or hotpot when it’s raining outside? Besides the world-famous Hai Di Lao, check out the Mongolian-style Happy Lamb Hotpot and Uncle Fong Hotpot, the latter a popular choice among Hong Kong celebrities. For a wallet-friendly option, Suki Suki Thai offers a halal buffet featuring quality ingredients such as thinly sliced beef, fresh chicken, and homemade fish paste.

(For our HomeTeamNS Members) Get 10 per cent off your total bill at Suki Suki Thai at HomeTeamNS Khatib outlet.


Punggol Regional Library

Immerse yourself in a riveting novel at one of Singapore’s public libraries. We recommend the recently opened Punggol Regional Library, which has two floors catered specifically for children to read and learn in interactive ways. It also offers upskilling workshops for entrepreneurs and an accessible collection with Braille texts and phonic readers. Assistive technology devices are also available for persons with disabilities. The library is located within One Punggol community hub, which has sheltered basement parking and an indoor food court.


Motion Art Space

Motion Art Space is an art jamming space where you can create abstract masterpieces using spin and pendulum painting methods. The latter involves swinging a mechanical pendulum attached to paint-filled squeeze bottles and trays over a rotating table, creating bright patterns with bold paint spatters. The company also has a 1 per cent philanthropic model whereby it pledges to give back 1 per cent of profits, employee’s time, and product respectively to the community.


Here’s how to stay safe and dry while you’re out and about.

  1. If you’re driving, take note that some roads may experience flash flooding. Tune in to the radio for weather- and flood-related information.
  2. On the road, general driving best practices during rainy days include extending the safe distance between you and the car ahead and switching on your headlights.
  3. Find sheltered parking nearest to your location using Parkopedia, which maps out Singapore’s car parks and street parking.
  4. If you’re caught in a storm, grab ponchos or umbrellas at convenience stores such as 7-Eleven or Cheers. You can also rent umbrellas at Nestia Shared Umbrella’s 137 stands islandwide, which includes some MRT stations.

Interested in serving beyond your obligations? Consider the Volunteer Extension Scheme, which allows PNSMen who have completed their NS liability to continue serving beyond their statutory age. PNSMen (With NS liability) who have passed their statutory age of 40 years (Junior Officers) & 50 years (Senior Officers) may apply.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the app settings.

Club Buzz Lifestyle

The smart homeowner’s guide to refreshing your home without breaking the bank



Home is where the heart is. So why shouldn’t we try to make our space a photogenic haven? Refreshing your abode doesn’t need to involve costly renovations that also disrupt your daily routine. You can get good decorative mileage by opting for choice furniture pieces.

The best part is, there are places in Singapore that offer stylish but affordable furniture without breaking the bank. These businesses often focus on pre-loved or repurposed items – donated or salvaged – and given a second life by these experts. With their keen curation, one person’s junk is indeed another person’s treasure. 


Talk about character. Tong Mern Sern sticks out like a “sore” thumb along Craig Road from its refurbished neighbours. Its original facade – somewhat worn and with a giant yellow banner stating their purpose – is like a time capsule into the past with its collection of vintage pieces.

Spread over three floors are furniture, fittings and decor items that will evoke nostalgia. Seen more as antiques, prices here may occasionally be a bit higher, but given their rarity and condition, can prove to be investment pieces that are well worth it.


While others look to give second life to used pieces, The Reject Shop saves those that didn’t even make it to the shelves. They collect items rejected by manufacturers due to minor defects but are otherwise completely functional and safe to use. Think, light scratches at the bottom of a table leg or a sofa cushion with a slightly crooked seam. Most of these defects can be overlooked with a fresh coat of paint or other subtle creative solutions like adding a tablecloth. If you’re good with keeping things “out of sight, out of mind”, then this place is perfect for you.


From a simple karang guni (scrap dealer) operation in the 1970s to today’s empire of restoration, Hock Siong & Co has built a solid reputation for their beautifully-refurbished pieces. Their team of craftsmen chisel, varnish and sand away at preloved pieces, giving them a new lease of life. 

Their wooden pieces are highlights and you’ll find many furniture items made from natural teak, rosewood, and more. It’s an incredible way to extend their use and their eclectic selection is bound to fit any theme you might have in mind.

With a keen eye for design, it’s unsurprising that many of their selections posted on their Facebook become sold out within the hour. They are also very savvy in collecting stylish pieces from hotels and showflats, so if you’re looking to have that luxe look on a budget, this place won’t disappoint.


If you love a good dive into the wildest assortment of furniture, knick-knacks and more, then pop over to Junkie’s Corner. True to the first part of its name, this is a real junkyard that can turn up some surprising finds. But unlike the latter part, Junkie’s Corner is more of a warehouse stuffed to the roof with collected items.

This is perfect for those who love a real scavenger hunt. There’s some mild organisation here, but you’ll see cupboards next to chairs, with random rugs or lamps piled around them. There are great vintage pieces such as the classic Singer sewing machines or marble-topped kopitiam (coffee shop) tables. The pieces here are “as is” – so they may need some work.

With no online presence, you’ll have to visit them at 2 Turf Club Rd. And just to note, they are open to a little bargaining.


Another reliable place to look for preloved pieces will be The Salvation Army’s social enterprise, Red Shield Industries. The international organisation reuses, recycles and restores a myriad of donations from the public and organisations. With their teams and volunteers helming the effort, you can be assured that the salvaged pieces are worth picking up.

For your best bet, head over to the Praisehaven Mega Family Store at Upper Bukit Timah Road. It is the largest of the four outlets and most likely to have furniture pieces. You can even check out the online options and Carousell listings without visiting the stores. Proceeds from the sales would go towards care provisions to underserved communities. It’s truly a wonderful way to benefit your home, the environment, and the people around you.


After spending the time and effort hunting for precious pieces to add to your home, protect them from future incidents with an insurance plan – for free. 

In a collaboration with Singlife, HomeTeamNS members can enjoy a year’s worth of home insurance with Shield360. Not a member yet? For eligible Ordinary and Associate members, you’ll be pleased to know that the plan includes HomeTeamNS membership for a year as well when you sign up.

Receive up to S$20,000 worth of coverage for your furniture and furnishings, and even up to S$50,000 for renovation incidents. There’s no catch, it’s just a way to reward hardworking members who deserve the best.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the app settings.

Club Buzz Lifestyle

5 reasons why you don’t want to miss HomeTeamNS Culture Shiok 2023

Catch lively performances and well-curated exhibitions, nosh on delectable snacks and learn new crafts.


Immerse yourself in Singapore’s rich tapestry of cultures at this year’s Culture Shiok, an event that couldn’t be missed even during the pandemic, when a virtual edition of it was held.

This year’s event will run till 3 December at HomeTeamNS Khatib’s Thoroughfare at Level 1 and will feature colourful traditional dance and musical performances, as well as an array of fun activities including nostalgic schoolyard games. A different culture will be showcased each week, with an emphasis on Malay, Indian, Chinese, and Peranakan traditions.

HomeTeamNS members can collect a complimentary Culture Shiok passport, which they can use to redeem snacks at the various food stalls and collect stamps and stickers throughout the event. A completed passport can be exchanged for an exclusive gift worth $80 on 2 December from 10am to 5pm. Admission is free, though certain activities require pre-registration and are chargeable.


Create beautiful accessories and bric-a-brac to gift your loved ones at several workshops held during the event. These include batik pencil case DIY, flower garland-making, Chinese fan painting, and tote bag-beading. Young budding artisans will get a kick out of seeing their projects come to life.


Enjoy a throwback to the good ol’ carefree days where kids had a blast with non-electronic pursuits. Our cultural game booths will feature classics such as “five stones”, “pick up sticks”, chapteh, and congkak, the latter being a test of logic featuring a wooden board and seeds that is predominantly played in South India, Ceylon, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.


Savour tantalising snacks from different cultures at various booths, including putu piring (steamed rice flour cakes with palm sugar and grated coconut), vadai (deep-fried savoury doughnuts), tang yuan (glutinous rice balls in syrup) and an assortment of Nyonya kueh. HomeTeamNS members get to redeem complimentary snacks when they flash their Culture Shiok passports. 


No cultural event is complete without a captivating display of music and dance. Marvel at masterful cultural expressions through bhangra dance and Teochew opera performances, as well as a silat demonstration. You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in the Peranakan Parade — don your best Peranakan outfits and sashay down the runway to win attractive prizes.


Discover Singapore’s diverse cultures at various fascinating onsite exhibitions available daily. There’s the National Heritage Board’s ‘Love, Kebaya’, which explores the region’s shared cultural identity and heritage through the iconic kebaya, as well as charity Tak Takut Kids Club’s ‘This is What we Eat at Home’ — which takes you on a gastronomic journey. Also, don’t miss a specially curated display by the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre which will answer the question: ‘What Makes a Chinese New Year, Singaporean?’.

Interested in serving beyond your obligations? Consider the Volunteer Extension Scheme, which allows PNSMen who have completed their NS liability to continue serving beyond their statutory age. PNSMen (With NS liability) who have passed their statutory age of 40 years (Junior Officers) & 50 years (Senior Officers) may apply.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the app settings.

Club Buzz Lifestyle

7 Reasons Why You Should Not Miss the Home Team Festival 2023

You’ll have the opportunity to handle firearms, discover cutting-edge technologies, and meet our furry friends from the SCDF and SPF K-9 units at the event that will happen at Singapore Expo this November.

A shooting range where you can learn how to handle firearms. A Vehicle Examination booth where you can transform into a Search and Examination officer and inspect a vehicle for contraband items. These are just some of the highlights that you can expect at the upcoming Home Team Festival, which will be held from 24 to 26 November at Singapore Expo Hall 4. Admission is free.

Themed “What is your #HomeTeamStory”, this year’s festival marks 10 years since the launch of the biennial event that shines a spotlight on the 11 Home Team Departments, which work together to keep Singapore safe and secure. The event will feature four thematic zones where you can learn about the history and achievements of the Home Team, get a hands-on experience with the technology that drives it, and find out how you can play a role in supporting our Home Team officers. Here’s what to look out for.


Photo taken at Home Team Festival 2019

Meet dedicated officers from the different Home Team Departments and get an insider’s glimpse into their work through displays and live demonstrations which will showcase some of the vehicles and technologies deployed. More adventurous souls who meet the 1.2 metre height requirement can visit the SPF/SPS Shooting Range, where they will have the opportunity to try their hand at target shooting using firearms used by Home Team officers during public order incidents or prison riots.


Photo taken at Home Team Festival 2019

It may be a little-known fact that man’s best friend plays an important role in safeguarding the nation’s security. Canines from the SCDF and SPF K-9 units are trained for frontline operations such as detection of life forms and explosives, respectively. You’ll get to meet these loyal, furry companions who will leave no stone unturned.


Photo taken at Home Team Festival 2019

Observe how the Home Team officers go about conducting their duties through an exciting live MHA Operations Demonstration. Check out the immersive theatre experience showcasing our Home Team officers in action.

Photo taken at Home Team Festival 2019


Photo taken at Home Team Festival 2019

Keep your little ones occupied at the Home Team Kids Zone, where they can role-play as a Home Team officer by getting behind the wheel of Home Team-themed mini vehicles. Other activities include participating in a digital firefighting game and shooting at targets.


Photo taken at Home Team Festival 2019

Chat with Home Team Volunteers, whose roles range from supporting Home Team officers in law enforcement and fire-fighting, to sharing tips on how to stay drug-free and providing support for victims of crimes. Then, learn about the available Home Team scholarships and roles (both uniformed and civilian), so that you can embark on a meaningful journey to bolster the nation’s security.

Photo taken at Home Team Festival 2019


Photo taken at Home Team Festival 2019

The Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) deploys cutting-edge technologies — including biometrics; data science and Artificial Intelligence; robotics and information forensics — to counter ever-evolving homeland security threats. Check out a holographic theatre experience plus exhibition to learn how they empower the Home Team’s operational forces on the ground to fight crime and save lives.


Photo taken at Home Team Festival 2019

Be a sport and participate in the on-stage games segment to win prizes and be sure to pick up your limited-edition Home Team Festival tote bag at the collection booth. Additionally, don’t forget to share your love and support for the Home Team by posting your captioned photos on Instagram or TikTok with the hashtag #HTFest2023 and watch as they are flashed on the digital message wall.


WHERE: Singapore Expo Hall 4

WHEN: 24 – 26 November 2023

  • Friday 24 Nov: 11am to 9pm
  • Saturday 25 Nov: 11am to 9pm
  • Sunday 26 Nov: 9am to 9pm

Interested in serving beyond your obligations? Consider the Volunteer Extension Scheme, which allows PNSMen who have completed their NS liability to continue serving beyond their statutory age. PNSMen (With NS liability) who have passed their statutory age of 40 years (Junior Officers) & 50 years (Senior Officers) may apply.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the app settings.

Lifestyle On The Edge

Insider guides to Melbourne, Taipei and Bangkok for families

Tired of overrated tourist traps? Frequent fliers and Singaporeans abroad share their top picks for under-the-radar attractions, food and activities for families visiting cities popular among their compatriots.


PHOTOS: Hank’s Café and Bagelry; South Melbourne Market; Koy Gozleme; Murmur; Sovereign Hill; Flickr user Ji Soo Song; Flickr user Iwtt93; Flickr user Ken Marshall; Flickr user Streets of Food; Kate’s Place; Asia Herb Association; Klook; Michelle Ang, Elvin Sng; Audrey Ang

It isn’t surprising that Melbourne, Taipei and Bangkok rank among the top 10 destinations that Singaporeans are interested in visiting, according to data recently released by Google. The cities have long captivated us for an array of reasons, from their tantalising foodie spots to hip haunts for urbanites. While many of such draws feature prominently in the endless scroll of social media feeds, it can be tough to distinguish the must-visit gems from the overhyped and underwhelming locations that locals tend to shun.

At times, it takes an insider to help you sidestep the tourist traps and point you to attractions worth your limited vacation time. To that end, we spoke with three Singaporeans — including residents and a frequent visitor — of these popular cities, who share their favourite spots and practical tips for families. After all, who knows our hearts better than our fellow countrymen?


About the insider: Michelle Ang is a 27-year-old product designer who has been living and working in Melbourne for a year. Though she misses the food and familiarity of home, she enjoys discovering the Australian city’s parks and international foodie offerings.


About the insider: Michelle Ang is a 27-year-old product designer who has been living and working in Melbourne for a year. Though she misses the food and familiarity of home, she enjoys discovering the Australian city’s parks and international foodie offerings.


“While Melbourne is known for its cafes — and correspondingly, its coffee culture — it’s also home to a burgeoning baked goods industry. Check out Hank’s Cafe and Bagelry, in the historic and upscale Armadale suburb that was an important commercial area in the 19th century. Taking pride in bringing “a hearty dose of New York to the leafy streets of Armadale”, Hank’s declares on its website that bagels should be “chewy” and “malty”. Savour these qualities in elevated creations such as the beetroot and gin-cured salmon with herbs, red onion and cream cheese; and the lamb and rosemary meatloaf with pistachio pesto, provolone and cream cheese.”


“Hit up South Melbourne Market — open since 1867 and a treasured landmark for locals — not only for its ubiquitous fresh oysters but also some of the best toasties I’ve ever had at the French-themed Oui Chef! Toastie Bar. Favourites include the classic Croque Monsieur (ham, bechamel (a rich white sauce), chives, comte (French cheese made from cow’s milk) and gruyere (a hard Swiss cheese)), and Saucicson (French salami, raclette (melted Swiss cheese), usto (traditional French mustard)). For a delicious Halal option, head to the iconic Koy Gozleme — gozleme is a crispy stuffed Turkish flatbread — where Turkish mamas hand roll and cook the savoury treats in four flavours: Cheese & Spinach, Mushroom & Veg, Minced Meat and Herbed Chicken.


“Beyond its vibrant culinary scene, Melbourne has no shortage of interesting venues for a fun night out. These include piano bar Murmur, where resident and visiting artistes belt out mostly old-school hits to a lively audience. Cocktails are priced at A$18 from 5-7pm. If you’re after an arty day-time activity, spin the potter’s wheel at one of 2 Mayfield Street’s workshops. Its studio is situated in the peaceful and eclectic Abbotsford suburb, which lends access to plentiful green spaces and the Yarra River.”


“If you’re in town in June or July, you must experience the yearly Winter Wonderlights event at Sovereign Hill in Ballarat. This Christmas-themed festival presents a rare opportunity to bask in the Yuletide spirit in the middle of the year, which happens to be when winter falls in the Southern Hemisphere. Expect lights, faux snow, dressed-up storefronts and costumed merrymakers.”


  • Use public transport as it is pretty accessible, and most buses and trains are stroller-friendly. There is also the Free Melbourne City Circle Tram (route No. 35), a “hop on, hop off” service that covers attractions such as St Paul’s Cathedral, SEA Life Melbourne Aquarium and Queen Victoria Market.

  • Score free tickets to an Australian Football League match — a quintessential Aussie experience — under the Kids Go Free programme. The latter grants free access to selected matches for kids aged 14 and under.

  • Go camping with BIG4 Holiday Parks, which offers family-friendly cabin accommodation and camping facilities within easy reach of the city.


About the insider: Elvin Sng, a 42-year-old regional director in the energy industry, has been living in Taipei for five years with his wife and four-year-old son. He relishes the city’s friendly people and the easy access to nature it provides.


About the insider: Elvin Sng, a 42-year-old regional director in the energy industry, has been living in Taipei for five years with his wife and four-year-old son. He relishes the city’s friendly people and the easy access to nature it provides.


“One of Taipei’s top attractions is its street food. While some of the best can be sampled at the OG of night markets, Shilin Night Market, those seeking a gastronomic adventure might want to head to the slightly smaller Ningxia Night Market. Here, you’ll find Michelin Bib Gourmand-rated Liu Yu Zi, which is famous for its egg yolk taro cake — deep-fried taro paste-filled pastries topped with salted egg yolk and pork floss. Don’t miss Yuan Huan Pien Oyster Egg Omelette, which uses Tainan oysters known for their plumpness and sweetness, and are drizzled in a homemade sweet-spicy sauce.”


“Speaking of adventures, Yangmingshan National Park is known for its nature trails with lots of manageable options for families and those who want to take it easy. The 2.4km Qingtiangang Circular Trail, for instance, is a particularly scenic and relaxing route. I took a walk there with my wife a week before she gave birth to our son, and we had a really nice time.”


“You can glimpse Taiwan’s richly-layered past in Taipei’s historic parts. A 30-minute drive from the city takes you to Heping Island, which is connected by a bridge to the main island, and home to the ruins of a church built in 1626 by Spanish missionaries. The island is also presided over by an ancient fort constructed by the Spanish, who were later driven out by Dutch colonisers, as well as old buildings that can be traced back to the Japanese Occupation. Those keen to discover Taiwan’s pottery heritage should head to the quaint Yingge Old Street, where they’ll find a ceramics museum, pottery workshops and traditional teahouses.”


  • Take the MRT, an affordable, reliable and efficient way to get around, even with little ones on hand. Plus, children under the age of six travel for free. The rail operator even provides umbrellas on rainy days!

  • Check out themed cafes, for which Taipei is famous. Apart from those inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Moomin and Gudetama, many kiddos will no doubt be tickled by the Modern Toilet Restaurant, which will bring their toilet humour to another level.

  • Use Google Translate when hailing taxis — which are easy to find and inexpensive — as few cab drivers speak English. You may also want to ensure your destination is saved to your phone, ideally in Traditional Chinese which is commonly used in Taiwan.

  • Download the Halal TW app by Taiwan’s Chinese Muslim Association. It’s available for iOS and Android users and is handy for discovering Halal and Muslim venues in the country, including restaurants, hotels, mosques and prayer rooms.


About the insider: Audrey Ang is a HR manager in her late-40s who travels to Bangkok some four times yearly. She loves the affordable and value-added experiences in Thailand, and skilled professionals — including chefs and massage therapists — who are truly passionate about what they do.


About the insider: Audrey Ang is a HR manager in her late-40s who travels to Bangkok some four times yearly. She loves the affordable and value-added experiences in Thailand, and skilled professionals — including chefs and massage therapists — who are truly passionate about what they do.


“Food-wise, there’s more to Bangkok than just the usual Pad Thai and pineapple fried rice. A lesser-known yet delicious street food delicacy is duck noodles in a comforting broth that comes complete with duck blood pudding — try the one from Siah Duck Noodle at Rama IV Road. Another hearty meal can be found at Rung Rueang Pork Noodles at Soi Sukhumvit 26. The noodles here are light, silky and super delicious.”


“Bangkok is home to a plethora of creative contemporary cafes and dining concepts. Prepare to be surprised as you put your tastebuds in the good hands of Pikun “Kate” Wangsantia of Kate’s Place, a supper club hidden behind a bookshelf on the second floor of a shophouse. The latter also hosts a noodle shop. True to its private dining roots, Kate’s Place serves what the boss’ mood dictates. Thankfully, her local-inspired dishes have been described as comforting and uplifting.”


“For relaxation, Thai spa group Asia Herb Association, which has three conveniently located branches, always hits the spot with great service plus a welcoming and clean atmosphere. It specialises in the traditional Thai “Herbal Ball” massage that uses a warm compress filled with natural herbs. Register as a ‘family member’ and earn points for every visit — these can be redeemed for more massages.”


“If you like markets and have already visited the well-known Chatuchak, try Jodd Fairs, which is sprawled between Central Rama 9 shopping mall and the Unilever building at Rama IX Road. This night market offers a slew of interesting things to eat and purchase, including vintage clothing and customisable handbags. I do enjoy the Insta-worthy XL Leng Zapp Volcano Ribs from Diaw Maekhlong Restaurant. The dish’s name is a misnomer as it features stacked pork spinal bones (not ribs) served in a moreish sour-spicy soup. There are also quite a few Halal options, such as fresh barbecued seafood, cute character pancakes and fried snacks among the plethora of stalls.”


  • Consider apartment-hotels or serviced apartments, which are generally equipped with facilities such as a kitchenette, and washers and dryers for laundry. HomeTeamNS members enjoy 15 per cent off the best flexible rate at Modena by Fraser Bangkok Hotel Residences. The same discount applies to Fraser Suites Sukhumvit Bangkok, which also offers a complimentary breakfast for one.

  • Don’t relinquish date night. Many top hotels offer guests babysitting services through accredited partners. Enquire about them at reception.

  • Bring a baby carrier if you’re travelling with an infant or toddler, as Bangkok roads aren’t exactly stroller friendly.


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Featured Lifestyle

How to celebrate Racial Harmony Day with your neighbours and loved ones in Singapore

In the lead up to Racial Harmony Day (July 21), learn to appreciate the diverse cultures and communities that are woven into Singapore’s colourful social fabric.



Singapore is built on the foundation of racial and cultural understanding, where its melting pot of cultures and acceptance of diversity make it so special. Racial Harmony Day (July 21) is an apt reminder to not take this for granted. While we have come a long way from the 1964 race riots that the occasion commemorates and aims to prevent from re-occurring, there’s still more we can do on an individual level to foster a deeper sense of mutuality and cultural awareness within the community. Start with these initiatives and activities you can take part in with your neighbours and loved ones, to celebrate our wonderful cultural plurality together.


A cooking class at One Kind House.
A cooking class at One Kind House.

While we can easily ‘chope’ a table at our favourite restaurant, learning how to prepare the traditional dishes of different ethnic groups can help us better appreciate rich cultural heritages and nuances. Rally your crew for a farm-to-table experience at One Kind House, which is touted as a “21st century kampong” rooted in sustainability. Here, an octogenarian chef will teach you how to prepare Peranakan-inspired dishes such as Chilled Bittergourd Salad and Blue Pea Flower Rice using organic ingredients from the onsite garden. For a halal option, sign up for one of D’Open Kitchen’s cooking classes, where you can learn how to prepare everything from dim sum to mooncakes and other Asian dishes using only halal ingredients that you can select during a market tour.


The Indian Heritage Centre houses exhibits on the Indian community's traditional wear.
The Indian Heritage Centre houses exhibits on the Indian community's traditional wear.

Being well-versed in various artistic and cultural expressions gives you a better understanding of Singapore’s multicultural landscape. To that end, you can join a tour at the Indian Heritage Centre – which highlights the rites of passage, attire, language, religious affiliations and festivals of Indians in Singapore and South-east Asia – or learn about the history of Chinese dialects at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre. Those who are musically inclined may enrol in a beginner-level Indian classical dance class at dance academy Shantha Ratii Initiatives, or join one of the People’s Association’s vibrant Malay Kompang (a traditional Malay hand drum) interest groups.


Team Nila volunteers.
Team Nila volunteers.

Sports has the unique ability to bring people together through play, regardless of age, gender, race, ability or social status. Spearheaded by Sport Singapore, Team Nila is the national sport volunteerism movement that offers a raft of volunteering and training opportunities. Besides helping to ensure that sporting events run smoothly, Team Nila volunteers can serve as pool guardians at ActiveSG swimming complexes, or assist persons with disabilities during their training sessions.


Teach your kids about Singapore's diverse cultural heritage through The National Museum of Singapore's activity kits.
Teach your kids about Singapore's diverse cultural heritage through The National Museum of Singapore's activity kits.

Nurturing cultural awareness in your kids starts at home. Share with your child that it’s okay to be curious about other cultural practices and guide them to ask questions in a sensitive and appropriate way. For instance, teach young children to understand and respect differences among people, and highlight why certain stereotypical or hurtful language is divisive and inappropriate.

Keep your children occupied with thoughtful activities that showcase Singapore’s rich cultural heritage by downloading The National Museum of Singapore’s free printable activity kits, such as one that shows them how to create designs such as a mosque and ketupat through paper quilling. You can also expose them to concepts such as inclusion through literature — sign up for the National Library Board’s monthly book delivery subscription service, which was recently expanded to include mother tongue language books.


A event.
A event.

Since its inception, non-profit organisation (OPSG) has played an instrumental role in promoting harmony among youths through a range of programmes. These include community dialogues exploring hot-button topics such as prejudice in a measured manner, a simulated United Nations conference where racial and religious issues are discussed, and experiential learning journeys to places of worship. It also holds workplace diversity programmes and training workshops.


The Interfaith Youth Circle explores issues related to different religions in a safe environment.
The Interfaith Youth Circle explores issues related to different religions in a safe environment.

In a secular society, discourse revolving around religion can sometimes be regarded as off-limits and provocative. Enter the Interfaith Youth Circle, a ground-up initiative started by a pair of secondary school friends to address Islamophobia and bridge the divide between communities of different faiths. Join their constructive dialogue sessions where representatives from different religions share their perspectives on promoting harmony and understanding. Such authentic conversations are important as participants can talk about potentially sensitive topics in a safe and moderated space.


Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.
Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.

Delve into the complex cultural identities of various communities by observing their religious beliefs and customs at their respective houses of worship. Singapore’s ethnic enclaves — namely, Little India, Kampong Gelam and Chinatown — are home to some of the country’s most historically significant temples and mosques. At Little India, visit the 19th-century Hindu temple Sri Veerama-kaliamman Temple, which is distinguished by its intricate tower of sculptures and linked to early migrant workers from India. Then head to Kampong Gelam’s gold-domed Sultan Mosque, a focal point for the country’s Muslim community that dates back to 1824. Over at Chinatown, the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple is dedicated to the worship of the Goddess of Mercy, a key figure in both Buddhism and Taoism.

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Lifestyle Nature

8 eco-friendly Earth Day activities in Singapore for the family

Building green habits and lifestyles can be fun and fulfilling, especially when embraced with loved ones. Here’s how you can mark Earth Day on April 22.


Earth Day (April 22) — and in fact, the Earth Month of April — offer us a great opportunity to consciously practise being environmentally sustainable in our everyday lives. Here are some ways that we can discover more about Mother Earth with family and friends, while learning how to help keep the planet clean, green and healthy for future generations.


Rifle Range Nature Park
Rifle Range Nature Park (Credit National Parks Board Singapore)

Not only is “forest bathing” (immersing yourself in nature) something that’s trendy again, its benefits are well documented. Besides helping you get physically and mentally fit, hiking in a park or nature reserve can be a fun lesson – to learn about the plants and animals, as well as geographical aspects of our country. There are multiple signboards at our parks and nature reserves that facilitate this. Besides the new Rifle Range Nature Park that boasts more than 7km of trails and boardwalks, other popular options include MacRitchie Reservoir Park and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

There are also specially-curated HomeTeamNS-inspired walking trails that pass through nature parks and offer interesting heritage features. For instance, the Northern Route incorporates HomeTeamNS Khatib, which is located within the green belt of Yishun Park and Lower Seletar Reservoir Park.


East Coast Park Singapore
East Coast Park Singapore (Credit National Parks Board)

A beach clean-up brings you face-to-face with the realities of plastic pollution, as you help restore the natural environment and protect marine life. It’s also an easy and low-cost activity that individuals of almost every age group can participate in. Organise one with your family and friends – you can register with the Public Hygiene Council and follow their helpful guidelines.


Plant a tree with National Parks Board
Plant a tree with National Parks Board (Credit National Parks Board Singapore)

There is a whole host of benefits of having trees. For one, they help to fight climate change by reducing ambient temperatures and regulating greenhouse gases. They also improve urban biodiversity by providing suitable nesting and resting grounds for animals. With a $300 donation, you can register to plant a tree at a location of your choice, thereby contributing to the national movement to plant one million trees across Singapore over ten years till 2030.


Repair Kopitiam Singapore
Repair Kopitiam Singapore (Credit Repair Kopitiam)

Is your oven tripping, or chair missing a leg? Did you lose a shirt button, or has your fan stopped working? Instead of immediately purchasing a new item, let’s change our throwaway culture by repairing faulty things that need only minor fixes. Simple repairs not only help save money in the long run but also keep waste out of incinerators and landfills. Head to community meetup Repair Kopitiam to learn new skills, meet new people, and later, volunteer as a ‘repair coach’ if you’re interested.


Funds from Books Beyond Borders’ book sales go towards building education capacity in Nepal.
Funds from Books Beyond Borders’ book sales go towards building education capacity in Nepal. (Credit: Books Beyond Borders)

Regularly taking stock of your belongings by spring cleaning the home can be cathartic – if legions of Marie Kondo fans are to be believed. It eliminates unnecessary waste and hoarding, and makes you consider what you actually need in life. Here’s where you can donate pre-loved items that are still in good shape for others to enjoy:

  • Books Beyond Borders, a social enterprise that helps to improve education in Nepal. It raises funds by selling donated, second-hand books.
  • Red Shield Industries, The Salvation Army’s social enterprise arm that runs programmes for those in need. It reuses, recycles and restores, and through its Family Thrift Stores, sells donations in kind to raise funds for the needy. It accepts clothing, furniture, household goods, electronic devices, toys and books.
  • The Food Bank collects and distributes food items to various food relief efforts, including daily meal programmes and food ration schemes. Its collection boxes, located in a slew of locations island-wide, accept unopened, non-expired dry or packaged food items.


Composting (Credit: National Parks Board Singapore)

Composting turns organic waste into compost, a nutrient-rich additive that can be used to fertilise plants. By composting, you learn about the circularity of life while gaining a useful substance. There’s lots of useful information on composting on the Internet, but for a quicker, and more hands-on experience, look into workshops such as City Sprouts’ Home Composting for Beginners. This one-hour experience will help you identify food products that can be composted and how to do it via the aerobic method. The latter decomposes organic matter using micro-organisms that require oxygen.


Singaporeans love their staycations and what better way to celebrate Earth Month than by spending a leisurely weekend at an eco-friendly property. An option is the recently-launched HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir East Villa – there are 10 spacious three-storey villas featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, with six of them overlooking the tranquil reservoir. The nearby clubhouse’s sustainable features include naturally-ventilated common areas, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that offset the building’s energy consumption, and a rainwater harvesting and drip irrigation system.

Urbanites can book a stay at the Parkroyal Collection, Pickering, which has been awarded the “World’s Leading Green City Hotel” title at the prestigious World Travel Awards. It has a “hotel-in-a-garden” concept that incorporates energy-saving features and technologies. The hotel’s restaurants also serve meat-free dishes.


NEWater Singapore
NEWater Singapore (Credit: PUB Singapore)

NEWater is ultra-clean, high-grade reclaimed water that is entirely safe to drink. NEWater technology also helps move Singapore towards water sustainability – during dry periods, NEWater is added to our reservoirs to blend with raw water, which is then treated at the waterworks before being supplied to consumers as tap water. Learn all about NEWater by booking a NEWater Visitor Centre Tour.


HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier
28-29 April
There will be a colouring corner for children at the lobby, where everyone in the family can also pen their green pledges. Share how you intend to help keep Mother Earth healthy and green, and inspire others. Visit the HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier Facebook page for the latest updates.

HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir
22-30 April
Join us for our free movie screenings on 22 April at Level 3, Thinking Space 1, where we will be showing two heart-warming movies, Wall-E (1.15pm) and Happy Feet (5pm). Visit our website to book your tickets. Meanwhile, there’s also a word search puzzle to solve at Level 2, Atrium from 22 April to 30 April. Be the first 100 participants to complete the word search and walk away with an exclusive bookmark.


How to enjoy Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast and other fun family activities at discounted rates

Utilise these HomeTeamNS member promotions on sporty, adventurous as well as creative pursuits.




You may not be Tony Hawk just yet, but Ernsports can help you pick up skateboarding, longboarding and inline skating as safely as possible. The school’s team of talented coaches – which includes competitive skaters – will take you through courses of different levels. There’s even a skateboarding Master Class where you can learn to perform a slick skate line (a combination of tricks) like a pro. HomeTeamNS members enjoy a 10 per cent discount on classes and a special trial class rate of $45 (UP. $49). Promotion is valid till 31 December 2023. Just flash your digital HomeTeamNS membership card found in the HomeTeamNS Mobile App to enjoy the promotion.


Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast

The recently launched direct ferry service from Singapore’s Tanah Merah ferry terminal to the Malaysian beach holiday destination of Desaru is the perfect excuse for an exuberant weekend with your thrill-seeking pack at Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast. Make a splash with their water coaster, surf simulator for beginners and 55-foot tube slide that sends you spinning down a funnel with a vertiginous 24-foot drop. With more than 20 wet and dry rides, slides and attractions across five zones – including one for little kids – you probably won’t have to placate any antsy children at the end of a long day here. HomeTeamNS members enjoy discounted ticket rates as well as a 10 per cent discount on selected merchandise at the park’s retail outlet. Promotion is only valid for onsite purchase with presentation of a valid HomeTeamNS membership card.


Trapped Singapore Escape Room

Test your wits at Trapped, an atmospheric escape room attraction rigged with animatronics-equipped props and 28 hidden chambers. Horror fans will relish this season’s adventures, which were inspired by scream flicks such as Jigsaw and A Quiet Place, which will have you crawling on your knees to solve suspenseful mysteries. HomeTeamNS members enjoy a $5 discount, with a minimum of five participants. Members can view the promo code on the HomeTeamNS Mobile App. Promotion is valid till 31 Dec 2023.



Cold and rainy spells call for a warm, pillow-soft rug to snuggle up on while you #NetflixandChill. Craft your own piece of contentedness at a four-hour rug-making workshop at WeTuft. You’ll learn to use a tufting gun to weave yarn through a cut of monk’s cloth and tuft abstract patterns and contemporary designs suitable for various spaces in your home. There’s a 10 per cent discount on tufting sessions for HomeTeamNS members, valid till 20 September 2023.

Simply download and login to the HomeTeamNS Mobile App for your digital membership card. Stay connected with us to enjoy more exclusive in-app promotions coming your way!