Can There Ever Be Enough Dinosaur-Themed Places In Singapore? (Apparently Not!)

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Can There Ever Be Enough Dinosaur-Themed Places In Singapore? (Apparently Not!)

STORY: Ng Kai & Sim Ding En
29 November 2022
These prehistoric creatures keep popping up all over our Little Red Dot.
These prehistoric creatures keep popping up all over our Little Red Dot. | Photos (clockwise from left): Facebook/@SAFRAYishun and @singaporeatriumsale, and Gardens By The Bay

What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A Thesaurus. Hur. Hur. (And no, no such dinosaur ever existed.) Speaking of synonyms, the word “Singapore” seems to be becoming synonymous with the phrase “dinosaur-obsessed nation”.

No joke, wherever you reside in SG, confirm plus chop you'll be in close proximity to at least one dino-themed space, whether it's in Yishun, the National University of Singapore, or at the airport.

"Kids are very connected to dinosaurs as there are a lot of cartoons and available resources like YouTube [on this topic]," says Felicia Choy, a mum of a boy aged four, and a girl aged one. "If their friends like it, they will like it too haha".

Sharing the same sentiment is Jeremy Ratnam, a father of two boys and two girls between the ages of 10 and 15, who believes it's "probably the safest they can ever be to terror that walked the earth 65 million year ago", and reveals that his kids are "big fans of all the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies".

"(My kids) are big fans of all the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies," says Jeremy Ratnam.
"(My kids) are big fans of all the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies," says Jeremy Ratnam. | Photo: Jeremy Ratnam
Kelvin Loh and his two dinosaur-obsessed boys in front of the three diplodocid sauropod fossils in the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.
Kelvin Loh and his two dinosaur-obsessed boys in front of the three diplodocid sauropod fossils in the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. | Photo: Kelvin Loh

"No one has seen a real dinosaur, so most of us would be excited to see one even though we know it’s fake!" adds Kelvin Loh, a dad of two boys who observes that toy shops offer a wide array of dinosaur toys.

But not everyone feels the same way, like Felix Phang whose two sons aged four and one-and-a-half aren't fans of dinosaurs. "We brought them to the Changi Jurassic Mile and they weren't into it," he says. "They are happier with bouncy castles and indoor playgrounds."

Felix believes the obsession all boils down to the little ones. "I think it depends on the kids. If they are into [dinosaurs], then the parents will bring them," he says. "For grown-ups... I dunno why they would wanna go to a place like this where everything's so fake!"

Whether you're into these "terrible lizards" or not, here are some of the latest dinosaur-themed places that are turning our modern metropolis positively prehistoric:

Photo: Facebook/@SafraYishun
Photo: Facebook/@SafraYishun

Dinoland at Safra Yishun

Fossil digging and swamp crossings? Sounds like a ball of fun! Dinoland at Safra Yishun, which opened its doors on 20 Nov, prides itself as the "largest indoor live forest with dinosaurs".

That means, you can expect to see 20 animatronic dinosaurs along the 1.5 hour long guided trail, including the Brontosaurus, T-Rex, and Triceratops, all while decked out in kid- and adult-sized forest ranger hard hats and vests. A super #IGworthy experience lah!

Find out more here
10am to 8pm daily
Promo tickets at $28/pax (U.P. $35) now
📍 60 Yishun Avenue 4, Yishun #02, #01 Safra, 769027

Photo: Gardens By The Bay
Photo: Gardens By The Bay

Jurassic Nest Food Hall at Gardens by the Bay

More than just a dino-themed food hall, this venue offers edu-tainment as you partake of yummy nosh. Jurassic Nest features 18 sibei realistic-looking dinos that come alive during multi-sensory daily programmes happening every hour from 12pm to 8pm.

There's even a 700m-long Jurassic Encounters trail that will take you around 20 minutes to complete, starting at the "Discovery" section which includes prehistoric plants.

Of course, the end goal for many a Singaporean is makan. So, end your adventure at the Jurassic Nest Food Hall to fill your tummy with a mouth-watering selection of well-loved Asian favourites by seven culinary brands (four of which are Michelin-affiliated) – namely, Hawker Chan, Tsuta, Bismillah Biryani, Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang, TookLae Dee, Mama by Putien Group, and JN Cafe.

Find out more here
Food Hall daily from 11am-9.30pm (last order 8.45pm)
Admission is free
📍 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953

Jewel-rassic Quest at Jewel Changi Airport

Seeing animatronics is cool and all, but what's even cooler is being able to "travel" back in time - 89 million years to be exact - to the Cretaceous period with the help of augmented reality (AR).

You get to play the role of a cadet ranger armed with a TimeLens (the AR device), and encounter larger-than-life dinosaurs augmented against the lush greenery of the Shiseido Forest Valley and Canopy Park.

Go forth cadet ranger, and complete the mission by participating in activities and games, while learning more about these behemoths that once walked the earth.

Find out more here
10.30am-5.30pm daily
Tickets start from $18 for Singapore residents
📍 78 Airport Blvd., Singapore 819666


Other places to see dinosaurs

Photo: Sim Ding En

Jurassic Mile

What's open 24/7, has life-sized dinos, and gigantic dinosaur eggs? The Jurassic Mile at Changi Airport lah! It's Singapore's largest permanent outdoor display of life-sized dinosaurs with more than 20 different pre-historic creatures from nine different species that litter a kilometre of the cycling and jogging path. BTW, the tallest dinosaur here stands at almost 5m tall.

Find out more here

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

These are not life-like animatronics that have fancy effects, but they are the real deal. The museum holds three diplodocid sauropod fossils that were among the largest and heaviest animals to ever walk on land. Found between 2007 and 2010 in a quarry in a small town of Ten Sleep in the United States, they are believed to be part of a herd or even a family. And the best part: they are more than 80% complete, with two out of three skeletons having their skulls.

Find out more here
Tickets range from $9-$21
📍 2 Conservatory Dr, Singapore 117377

Photo: Facebook/@singaporeatriumsale
Photo: Facebook/@singaporeatriumsale
Photo: Facebook/@singaporeatriumsale

Nomstar at Northshore Plaza

ICYMI, you can dine in this dinosaur safari-themed outlet with a T-Rex or Pterodactyl looming nearby. Here, you'll find Asian fare galore - from the likes of Tim Ho Wan, Tsuta, Hawker Chan, Thai Lae Dee, and Mrs Pho. Did we mention there's also a panoramic waterfront view?

Find out more here
Mondays to Fridays, 11am–9.30 pm, Saturdays & Sundays, 10.30 am–10pm
📍 418 Northshore Dr, #03-02, Singapore 820418

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TAGS: Local Attractions , Things To Do , PLACES
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