The Great Moscow Circus 2018 – probably going down as the kids’ best childhood memories

Media Invite

I think it would be unfair and some-what-of-a spoiler to go through every single acts from start to finish as part of my review of the opening night of The Great Moscow Circus. Perhaps my own thought how this is the perfect family entertainment which couldn’t come at a better timing (after most kids have finish their examinations and before most families are off for their year end holidays) would be a better way for me to review this. . I think the best way to review The Great Moscow Circus would be my 5 honest and heart felt reasons why you should bring your family and little ones to the circus.

Besides the media preview that I attended yesterday where I took lots of photo and videos, I did not do so tonight – 2 reasons – I was handling 4 kids on my own and I would like to enjoy the show with my kids. Hence this will be word-heavy and picture-light for once (no spoiler alert) ! Most photos shared are from the media preview or credit from The Great Moscow Circus.

1.One of the best circus acts in town

I am not a circus virgin (hence I think I am fit to be a circus show reviewer) as I have been to a fair share of circus acts with the kids that has arrived in Singapore in the recent years and memories. 2 Cirque du Soleil- Totem and Kooza and the most recent Circus 1903. How does The Great Moscow Circus compared to the other previous acts? I feel that The Great Moscow Circus is a more wholesome family entertainment – from the simple acts of the clowning, juggling, aerial acrobatic to dare devil stunts like the Globe of Death and the Double Giant Wheel, it has something from the very young till 99 years. The way each segment/act has been arranged and conducted by the ring master was impeccable! The entire circus was also accompanied by a 3 person live band not a typical fixture of circus. There is simply no area to fault frankly, it was one very tight show from start to finish! There are acts with just 1 performer like the juggler and contortionist to a team of performers of Scottish Skipping and Fast Track Acrobats who have to time their performances to precision. And forgetting the clown and the ring master to bring it all together for 1 wholesome show!

2. The red and white big top

There are some similar acts that Circus 1903 that can be found in The Great Moscow Circus -The aerial acrobat, trampoline, Globe etc, however to be watching it in a circular ring in a big top takes the cake away. The audience feel so much more connected with performers walking around the audiences – there is so much more interaction at the big circular top compared to sitting in a theatre setting . You have to be in the big top itself to truly appreciate the magic of attending the circus. Even setting up The Big Top in itself is an impressive story that we often overlook as a circus patron. Did you know The Big Top originated from Mongolian yurt? So when the circus came to town, it means the whole structure was imported into Singapore and constructed and fit out in 3 days by a team of experts!

3. There is a favourite act for every one

Every one of my kids (yes, they are fast asleep for 3-hour-long show as I typed my review) had their favourite act just like I have my favourite act too. Small C loved the opening act of trampoline, so effortless and gravity-defying. Big C who is currently perfectly her cartwheel was in awed with the Fast Track Acrobats (I loved that too very much.. So much energy, I watched it once at the media preview and was blown away !Both small J and big J loved the Globe of Death, boys and their motorbikes and metal structures must have been so awe inspiring to them. If there is one act that we all loved and tickled was whenever the clown came on!

These are our favourite acts!

Can you believe that an interactions with several “lucky” audiences with the clown had the whole big top ringing with laughter – the sportiness of the audience and how the clown made them entertain us – it is pure magic. I remember for the other circus that I had watched,, similarly the audience were called in to perform with clown, I can see its just to “filling up the time” while they changed the act but I was truly amazed how the clown “made” the audience (4 guys) into an “acrobatic act” to our entertainment – pure “magic”. Frankly the circus don’t have to do much , it was done so naturally with no conscious effort to filling the gap/time!

Every act is so different from one another but they do not deviate from the true essence of the traditional circus performance.

4. The range emotions I felt from the circus

How is it possible for a  single show  to invoke a myriad of  emotions from me, from being so tickled, to heart stopping, to mouth gaping whenever the performer did their most dangerous attempts I can almost felt my heart popped up. From light entertainment from 1 juggler to a super fun two-person Quick Change Transformationists (it’s like China famous “bian lian” but instead of changing the face mask in a split second , the performer changes its outfit in a split second) then you switched mode to heart stopping acts that kept me at the edge of my seat during the aerial performance, Globe of Death  and the Double Giant Wheel! You must have a strong heart from the roller coaster of emotions in 2 plus hours show!

5.The true meaning the circus

There was one particular segment that touches my heart especially I have a very soft spot for the circus (I attended circus when my parents brought me as a child in my hometown). The ringmaster asked the audience who was catching the circus for the first time. He picked a young teen into the ring and had the whole audience switched on the light on our handphones. The light were dimmed and the lights from the handphones glowed around the entire big top. He went on to say that the circus  was once believed to be the gift from the sky and he transformed the big top into a sky full of stars , the super lucky teen, I am sure she will be very inspired by this small act by the ring master that she will remembered for life! In order for the show to go on forever and ever, we would come to support the circus!

The heart, soul and hard work of the all the world class performers (from Russia and around the world) had brought  joy and memories to the audiences – young and old, this requires the highest accolade – many of them risking their lives everyday performing to us (there is no net in the entire show)! And if the other reasons above didn’t quite convince you, let this be your sole reason. Do support the circus, their history , their art, their tradition-The Great Moscow Circus has one of the best stable of world class performers with a long history. The Great Moscow With tickets starting from SGD 65 onwards and a show of almost 3 hours long (15 min interval), I think The Great Moscow Circus is an affordable yet most memorable family event for all!

My tips for the show

1. The most obvious choice to park is at Marina Bay Sands…..Wrong..if you are driving park at the open air car park on the left of the big top, I paid only SGD 5.81 for the entire 3 hours plus I was there!

2. If you are bringing very young kids there, I would suggest to avoid the 7.30pm show as it will last beyond 10pm and like yesterday I have seen parents carrying their sleeping kids home. Perhaps a matinee show will be a better option to truly enjoy the show as the night show goes quite late in the night unlike you make the kids do a good nap in the afternoon

3. Section D gives the best frontal view and as there is only 16 rows from the ring every one get quite a good view from even the last row ( if you are sitted at the back row feel free to stand up and dance). For once those who were sitted more towards the back, the advantage is that you don’t need to look upwards to high acts like the aerial show, acrobats, trampoline – so it is not a must to get the front rows!

4. Do get yourself a official souvenir program giving credit to the world class performers and a snippet of the history of the circus and the big top . And popcorns to complete your circus going experience !

5. Try not to watch any videos posted on the social media, it’s better to watch it for the very first time for every act to truly enjoy the suspense and the excitement of every act. Hence, it was my conscious effort not to include any more videos of the circus in this post.  You have to watch it first time and live at the big top to truly be amazed by the magic of the circus!

The Great Moscow Circus takes place under the The Red and White Big Top at Bayfront Avenue, beside Marina Bay Sands from 25 October for 4 weeks only. Tickets available from SISTIC.

PERFORMANCE TIMES:
Tuesday to Friday: 7:30pm
Saturday: 12noon, 4:00pm and 7:30pm
Sunday: 11:00am, 3:00pm and 6:30pm

TICKET PRICE:
From $65*
* Excludes the booking fee of SGD$4 per ticket


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Off-the-beaten track kids friendly places in KL and Singapore with Traveloka

photo credit: Asia Travels

Kuala Lumpur is typically not viewed as the one of the more favoured destinations for family holidays but I will prove you wrong with a list of not so well-known places for kids of all ages. I think it is pointless talking about those that are famous and the must go places, such as Kidzania KL, Sunway Lagoon and Petrosains so I think this will be a list of out for the ordinary for families who are looking for something different, probably for families who has done the usual and popular looking for a different perspective of the city in the eyes of their kids.

1.Farm in the City

This is a gem in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city especial for animal and nature lovers. It is a good size farm which boast a free-flight bird aviary, reptile cavern, a lake with a good population of ducks, a pet village of rabbits and guinea pig, longkang fishing , ostrich farm, turtle and tortoise farm, vegetable farm and an orchard with more than 60 tropical fruits and plant. Not forgetting the stars of the farm, the alpacas at the savannah. Kids can also indulge in feeding the animals at the pet village or fish feeding at the lake.

Lot 40187-40188, Jalan Prima Tropika Barat, Bandar Putra Permai, Seri Kembangan,

43300 Selangor.

WEEKDAYS: 10:00am-6:00pm
WEEKENDS: 09:30am-6:00pm
Closed on every Tuesday, excluding Public holiday & school holiday.

2. Jurassica

Located at the Gardens Mall in the middle of the city, we stumbled upon a unique playground and edutainment centre during our last visit to KL. For dinosaur lovers, Jurassica is the latest edutainment centre-themed around the dinosaurs and prehistoric era. Complete with pretend play concept, the kids are all suited up like explorers and were ushered into briefing room to inform them of the mission. Each kid was given their own torch light as the place was a bit dim to begin their neon light scavenger hunt. Besides doing the hunt, there is also an interactive climbing wall, zipline, excavation site and a good size ball pit and play gym at the end.

The place also run sessions where the kids get to meet their own in house reptiles. They can also get to touch and hold the reptiles esp for the daring ones.

T216C, 3rd FloorLingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City,

59200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan,Kuala Lumpur.

Mon – Thu: 11am – 7pm

Fri – Sun: 10am – 8pm

LAST ADMISSION

45 mins before closing time

3. District 21

This was one of the places that is on my to-do list but I have yet to explore with the kids partly due to height requirement. My oldest can do most of the challenges there however,I guess my youngest would not meet most of the requirement there. But this place is definitely the first on my to-do list on my next visit. It is located in IOI City Mall in Putrajaya , yes it is an indoor adventure style theme park for the dare devils and adventurous kids.

The place boasts white-knuckle rides, slides, trampolines and aerial obstacle courses all within the confines of a 70,000 sq ft space. The major attractions are trampoline, tubby rides, maze, free fall, roller glider , sky trails – all featuring different level of difficulties and height requirement. There is a also a carousel for the young ones like my youngest child.

pic credit: District 21

pic credit: District 21

AT6, Level 1, IOI City Mall
Putrajaya, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia 62502

Operations Hours & Ticket Price
Active Ticket:
Weekdays (Mon-Fri) – 12pm to 8pm , RM64 per pax
Weekends, PH & School Holidays – 10am to 8pm , RM80 per pax

Non-Active Ticket : RM10 per pax

All active ticket holders are COMPULSORY to wear SPORTS SHOES.
Minimum height : 90cm
Minimum weight : 15kg

4. AirRider

Located at One Utama shopping mall, kids can experience skydiving indoor. It is also KL’s first indoor skydiving wind tunnel. The indoor skydiving centre which simulates the free-falling aspect of skydiving but without having to parachute off a plane. And what makes it a perfect family bonding activities is that even kids as young as 3 can try their hand at skydiving under the watchful supervision of skydiving experts.

While the mums go for the endless shopping trip at One Utama, the kids and daddies can indulge in new type of sports – skydiving, right in the middle of the shopping centre! That is my latest plan to ditch the kids and yet the kids get to enjoy a new experience right in the middle of the shopping mall!

photo credit: AirRider

S601, 1 Utama E, 1 Utama Shopping Centre,
1, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan,
Malaysia

Operation Hours:

Monday – Thursday 10:00AM – 10:00PM
Friday & Saturday 10:00AM – 10.30PM
Sunday 10:00AM – 10:00PM

5. Skytrex Adventures

This is District 21 but in the outdoors. I wont say it is entirely similar but it is also for the dare devils and adventurous kids. Located 3 km inside the 817 hectares forest of Taman Botani Negara Shah Alam, this park is only 40 minutes drive from the city center of Kuala Lumpur and is accessible via the many highways to Shah Alam.

Obstacles are divided into three courses according to difficulties, and the minimum height requirements are 1.1m (Little Adventure) and 1.4m (Big Thrill and Extreme Challenge). These zip line obstacle courses consist of extreme outdoor activities such as rope climbing and flying fox in the middle of the lush forest of Shah Alam Agricultural Park. Kids below 12 years of age require a parent or guardian to be present in order for them participate for safety reasons.

photo credit: Skytrex

photo credit: Skytrex

Taman Pertanian Malaysia, Bukit Cahaya Seri Alam, Shah Alam, Selangor
Tuesdays to Fridays
First Departure: 0900h
Last Departure: 1400h

Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays*
First Departure: 0830h
Last Departure: 1500h

photo credit: Visit Singapore

Singapore on the other spectrum seems to have endless fun for the family and kids. I will introduce places off the beaten tracks that will thrill any kids and see another side of Singapore.

In Singapore we also have the must do and must try on first visit -Universal Studio Singapore, Kidzania Singapore and of course the world famous Singapore Zoo, River Safari and Night Safari. We have more than this in Singapore.

1.Ground-up Initiatives

A non-profit community located  on a low-carbon footprint community campus at a plot of land in Yishun. Named Kampung Kampus, GUI aimed to be role model for sustainable living and nurturing an eco-conscious community.

Do look out for their calendar of events , link here where they have various harvesting activities for kids and adults especially during the school holidays. They are also organised wood-working session where the kids can make toy car, wooden boat, toy house in addition for the regular harvesting session. In fact, they will be organising overnight 2d1n family camp this school holidays, more details here.

 

91 Lorong Chencharu (Yishun) Singapore 769201

2.Thow Kwang Pottery

My kids were first introduce to pottery and wheel throwing at Bali during our vacation. Once back from our holidays, I went in search for something similar for the kids in Singapore, and I found a gem in a remote part of western Singapore, Thow Kwang Pottery.
What makes this place extra special as it housed the oldest, surviving dragon kilns in Singapore owned by Tan family since 1965. They have been actively promoting pottering, the art of wood-firing in addition to the conducting educational tours and pottery workshop for school, public and of course for kids.

We had our taste at wheel throwing and clay making 2 years ago and we brought home our creations a momento to our memorable pottery session. You can sign up for their kids workshop here. To special mention, that the place is so rustic and natural, you feel like you are not in Singapore for the time you are there.

85 Lorong Tawas Singapore 639823

9am – 5pm daily

Open on ALL Public Holiday except for Chinese New Year

3. Forest Adventure

Just like the Skytrex in Shah Alam, we also have something similar , though not as big and rustic as the one in Shah Alam. Located at Bedok Resorvoir Park, this is one of my kids’ favourite activities (my personal favourite too for the kids) as it is all outdoor, healthy and fun! We have been to Forest Adventure many times especially when kids are on their school holiday. Complete with various challenges and obstacle courses, once the kids complete a round, they get to do the zipline too!

Do note that there is height requirement. They have 3 different courses – Grand Course, Junior Course and the Kids Course to choose from , dependent on height and age as well. Minimumly you need to be 1.1m and 5 years old to try the Kids Course.

4.Ifly

Like the AirRider, we also have an equivalent in Singapore , located at Sentosa. However the age requirement is pretty strict, hence you have to cross your 7th birthday before having a go at indoor skydiving in Singapore.

As mentioned in Air Rider, the wind tunnel replicate the free-fall experience like in a real sky diving but in a safer and contained environment. I wouldn’t dare to attempt sky diving but I have attempted Ifly myself. Trust it was a quite surreal experience personally so when my eldest turn 7, I of course let him have a go! As always you are in the good hands of expert sky divers during the sessions and they can bring you “fly” really high up there too!

43 Siloso Beach Walk #01-01 Singapore 099010

Mon, Tue, Thu -Sun

9:00am – 9:30pm
First Flight: 10:00am
Last Flight: 9:30pm

Wed

11:00am – 9:30pm
First Flight: 12:00pm
Last Flight: 9:30pm

5. Singapore Wake Park

For sporty kids raring to try a new sport, you can try wakeboarding. Located at East Coast Park, it is Singapore’s only cable-ski park built in a lagoon.  It is not only for experienced riders, but beginner including kids as young as six year old can have a try at wakeboarding. It boast one full size-cable system for experienced riders and two straight-line System 2.0 for beginners and intermediate riders. It is a perfect place for family bonding and team building events too!

We had a beginner lesson both myself and my girl and we had wet and wild time last year. What I particular loved about this beginner lesson was that this sports also teaching you never to give up despite falling many times upon failure to balance on the wake board.

1206A East Coast Parkway,
Singapore 449891

Mondays to Fridays: 10am to 9pm;

Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays: 9am to 9pm

There you go, all my recommended kids friendly places in KL and Singapore (many tried and tested by my kids) just in time for the start of the school holidays, not the typical and popular ones but the fun you get trust me is no less than those! Especially if you are planning a trip to KL , I hope you can see KL has a family friendly destination with lots to offer. You can also book your cheap flight tickets for the Kuala Lumpur to Singapore flights competitively at Traveloka.  Compiling up this list really makes me want to make a trip to KL soon.


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Beautiful bloom from Little Flower Hut for all occasions

In my work calendar , October is the WORST month of the year. It is the month for budgets and as my company’s Asia HQ is in Hong Kong, this means I have to make frequent trips to HK. To make it even worst, October is also the month for primary school examinations. I don’t think there is any month when I can be so swamped  with both work and kids’ academic needs , just like the saying goes, wake me up with October ends!

October is also a month of birthdays – both my in-laws and my mum, we gave a treat to my in laws shortly before my October madness started but my mum’s birthday falls on 18 October which was in the middle of the busy period. I didn’t manage to get anything for her at the HK’s airport and the timing couldn’t be more perfect when Juan from Little Flower Hut offer me a bouquet for any coming celebrations or occassions.

They have a very good selection of bouquet, premium or even inexpensive bouquets below SGD 50. They also have baby hampers, grand opening flower, balloon delivery, fruit baskets and many more and it promises free same day delivery (order before 4pm).

 

I was very tempted to get my mum the birthday flower which I thought was very innovative (major hint for hubs!), but maybe a tad too young for my mum.

So Juan suggested their new range and I must say it is very classy and lasting! The bouquet of roses has the most beautiful pinkish purple hue , a colour that I have not seen before and it came in a reusable square glass vase.

my mum and her two youngest of her grandchildren -small J and small C

Kudos to that efficient delivery service, my order arrived just on time for my mum’s birthday. You can check on their free same day delivery service, and the ordering can be done via this link

Thank you Little Flower Hut for providing a memorable birthday gift for my mum. I don’t think my mum has been receiving flowers for many years and true enough, flowers are forever favoured by ladies irregardless of age 🙂

Little Flower Hut

Website

Instagram

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


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The circus is coming to town – Great Moscow Circus Big Top!

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My childhood memories were filled with trips to the circus, I remembered when the circus came to my hometown and built its tent at an open field. It was one of the most memorable outings during my childhood. Hence, I would for my kids to have the same memories like me growing up, visiting a circus that is coming to town!  And its definitely a treat for the kids who will be finishing their last exam papers this week!

If you have not notice, there is a red and white top built next to Marina Bay Sands ,which was led by a 5th generation Italian tent maker, Paolo Anceschi with a team of approximately 20 men and women who hoisted more than 100 steel poles from the ground up.

Featuring more than 16 sensational acts, the galaxy of circus superstars from Russia and the circus capitals of the world, THE GREAT MOSCOW CIRCUS, is presenting a brand-new genre of show blending traditional circus acts with the new. The spectacular show mixes clowns and acrobatic artists with daredevil motorcyclists, death-defying aerial stunts, jugglers and illusion and much more– all supported by a live circus band. The show contains no animal acts.


The cast have been handpicked by producer Andrew Guild has presented THE GREAT MOSCOW CIRCUS in Singapore and around the world.

Mr Guild said, “We are so excited to be bringing the great Russian Circus tradition back to Singapore. Established in 1918, the Great Moscow Circus is recognised around the world as the best of the best.  THE GREAT MOSCOW CIRCUS offers thrilling, edge-of-your-seat entertainment for the whole family at affordable ticket prices including children’s prices.  The Great Moscow Circus comes from over 100 years of truly great tradition and I’m certain that Singaporeans will love it. Don’t miss the circus of a lifetime !”

Some interesting to marvel your kids before the show :-

ABOUT THE RED AND WHITE GREAT MOSCOW CIRCUS BIG TOP:

  • The Great Moscow Circus Big Top is a far cry from the canvas tents of old.
  • The ‘traditional’ large tents, commonly known as ‘Big Tops’ were introduced in the mid-19th century
  • The Great Moscow circus million-dollar tent was specially created for the Singapore season by leading Italian tent manufacturers Anceschi and Canobbio and took several months to build
  • THE GREAT MOSCOW CIRCUS brings with it more than 100 tonnes of equipment and the brand-new big top will be packed into 7 x 40ft containers.
  • This circumference of the tent is 40 metres.
  • It is supported by 4 steel masts, known as King Poles, that each stand at 18.5 metres high.
  • The raising requires a team of approximately 20 people to raise the 4 King Poles and the more than 130 side poles and 250 tent pegs to secure the structure
  • The Big Top can accommodate 1,600 people per show in all chair seating.
  • The Big Top tent has over 5 kilometres of cables as part of the structure
  • The Big Top is valued at over US$1million and was made specifically for Singapore
  • It takes just 3 days to erect the Big Top, but just 12 hours to dismantle
  • The ring is 10 meters in diameter and no audience member will ever be more than 11 meters from the action so every seat provides a great view of this spectacular show
  • The entire site set-up includes installation of the Big Top, Foyer Tent and dressing room tent.
  • Moving the circus from one location to another takes a fleet of 15 semi-trailers

 

The Great Moscow Circus takes place under the The Red and White Big Top at Bayfront Avenue, beside Marina Bay Sands from 25 October for 4 weeks only. Tickets available from SISTIC.

PERFORMANCE TIMES:
Tuesday to Friday:      7:30pm
Saturday:                     12noon, 4:00pm and 7:30pm
Sunday:                       11:00am, 3:00pm and 6:30pm

TICKET PRICE:
From $65*
Excludes the booking fee of SGD$4 per ticket


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Giveaway and Review -Kid Normal series

I was and still am a book worm (more e-books now as it is easier to borrow and read but not for the kids ), but of course motherly duties and K-drama has overtaken my love for books. Nothing makes me happier to see my kids buried in books. However, they are very picky with genre and titles that they read. If they read something they like they will be very engrossed ,vice versa. So one way is to bring them to the library and have them choose …though they may have chosen uninteresting titles too. They were most excited to receive the recent loot from Pansing Books which featured very interesting titles.

KID NORMAL

YOU DON’T NEED SUPERPOWERS TO BE A HERO

 

Big J’s review of Kid Normal series 

The story is about Murph Cooper moving to a new house. When he moved to the new house, he was enrolled into a school of superheroes by mistake.  His friends can do very magical things like control the weather and conjure tiny horses from thin air, but Murph did not have any special ability. They had weird teachers like Mr Flash and Mr Souperman. Even with no superpower ie Kid Normal which is Murph, he makes the best of things and is even the leader of a super hero team. One day, a scientist experiment went wrong and created Nektar who is half man and half wasp. Murph and his friends finally defeated Nektar with the help of the school’s caretaker and secretary of the principal.

I like this book because it is very interesting that a normal kid like Murph can be a super hero too.  I think the illustrations throughout the book makes the book even more exciting to read. I also loved the part they were battling the enemy which was a climax of the story.

KID NORMAL #2 AND THE ROGUE HEROES

In the second book – Rogue Heroes, Murph Cooper and his friends has completed their first year at the school. Murph, Hilda, Nellie, Mary and Billy continued on their adventures as Super Zeroes to battle even more evil bad guy. Following the same theme, all of them work together as a team in their missions from the very start and battled the most dangerous super-village (Rogue Hero) which was even more exciting that the first story. The villain actually ask for Kid Normal to be brought to him.

I love the second book more as the plot was even more interesting with a more evil villain with more missions to do and  more villains to fight! I hope there is also Kid Normal #3 for more Super Zeroes’ adventures.

This series is suitable for age 8+.

The books featured are available at any good bookstores.

Do follow the social media accounts below to see new recommendation and giveaways.

Facebook

Instagram

Giveaway

Pansing Books has kindly sponsored the same 2 books from the Kid Normal series and a magnetic bookmark to 1 reader.

1. Liked FB pages of mypreciouzkids.com and Definitely Books

2. Followed mypreciouzkids and Definitely Books on Instagram

3. Like and share this FB post and tag 3 book loving friends (or more).

I will be picking the 1 lucky winner using random.org. The giveaway closes on 23 Sept 2018 2359pm (Sun)

FB winner :Imelda Ong

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


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Review: It is Time ! To catch The Lion King before it ends 23 Sept

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7 years ago when I only had 1 kid, The Lion King came to town and it was one of the biggest shows to arrive at then the newly opened Marina Bay Sands Theatre. Wanting to bring my only child then and also wanting to check out the new theatre, we watched our first every musical – The Lion King.

this is a throwback photo from 7 years ago with big J

And yesterday night, I finally managed to catch The Lion King again after 7 long  years and now with all my 4 kids in tow. And not only did it not lose its magic, it was even better with more amazing props , that is why The Lion King remained a perennial favourite especially for family. Frankly it is not just for the younger crowd and families , there lots of adult only audiences too but I of course will review this from the eyes and experiences from my precious kids age 3 to 9 years old.

Frankly I don’t think there is any other musical which can cater to such a wide range of ages – ie adults don’t find it too kiddish, kids don’t find it too difficult to understand and enjoy. But The Lion King did just that – entertaining all ages, I would say coming to 3 years old up till 99 years!

5 reasons why you shouldnt wait another 7 years to catch this epic musical!

1.A powerful story line

I am sure many of you would have watched this Disney animation. This is one of the best Disney animations ever with very strong message in its story line. It tells the story of Simba who is to succeed his father Mufasa as the Kind of Pride Rock, but he was manipulated by his evil uncle Scar into believing he was responsible for the death of his father and flees into exile. There he met his two good friends to overcame his sadness and was reunited with his childhood friend Nala and his shaman Rafiki.

There are lessons of humility, forgiveness, empathy, rising from setbacks, trust and it speaks so strongly for the father and son bond. Trust me , the message and story line feels much stronger watching a live production than on TV. The emotions of actors and the sound systems truly made the whole story come alive.

And to lighten the mood, there is always Timon and Pumbaa to rely on, most of the comedy relief came from them.

2. Amazing props and backdrop

Be sure you are early for your show as the best show was in the opening act when they brought in all its animal puppets into the stage – to the tune of the Circle of Life. I don’t think I can describe how magical the experience was, you just want to catch it yourself.

3. The African culture and songs

I may not have the privilege to bring the kids to Africa and enjoy the music, sounds, culture and scene of Africa. This is as close as I come to. It was as if we were brought to the Africa savannah and back in 3 hours. The costume, music, sounds was truly beautiful.

4. The music of The Lion King

The Circle of Life, Can you feel the love tonight, Hakuna Matata, Be Prepared,  I Just Can’t Wait to be King with the orchestra , the powerful vocals and peppered with the sounds of African musical instruments , that is why this is a world class musical. I enjoyed this segment the most as I am familiar with tunes and musical segments are the parts were by my younger boys were also entertained (you wouldn’t want too lengthy dialogue scenes for the younger kids, there was a good mix of songs and dialogue scenes)

5. An all-rounder 

Some musicals can be strong in props but not vocal, some maybe strong in acting but not in the musical powess. I don’t think there is much to critic for The Lion King. It is a wholesome package  – you have the story, you have the props, you have the music and of course the acting even the kids who played the young Nyla and Simba were naturals!

My younger boys were so enthralled with all the animal puppetry especially the very big elephant carried by 4 puppeteers (yes both my 3 and  5 year old sat through the entire musical, of course they didn’t quite take a liking whenever Scar is out and in particular Mufasa’s death) , my older kids loved the powerful story line of good overcoming evil and I particularly enjoyed the music. There is something for everyone and the ability of The Lion King catering to a wide range of ages is indeed something that most musicals are unable to replicate.

When we grow old /the kids grow up and look back at the many musical productions we have the privilege to catch in Singapore, this will remained one that is forever etched in our memories. And I do hope we don’t  have to wait for another 7 years for another musical of such calibre to arrive at our sunny shores.

And if you think , I didn’t convince you enough, here are some facts from the production.

  1. It took three years to develop THE LION KING from screen to stage
  2. In the animated movie, Rafiki The Baboon was presented as a male character but the musical changed into a strong female character
  3. The musical debuted in Minneapolis at The Orpheum Theatre in July 1997
  4. The phrase “Hakuna Matata” (meaning “No worries”) is mentioned 25 times in the show
  5. Julie Taymor is the first female director in Broadway history to win the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical (1998) for THE LION KING
  6. THE LION KING celebrated its 20th anniversary last year and is the third-longest running show on Broadway.
  7. To date THE LION KING has won more than 70 global theatrical awards
  8. The show won six Tony® Awards in 1998 for Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Choreography
  9. It took 34,000-man hours to build the masks and puppets for the original Broadway production
  10. There are more than 200 puppets in the show, including rod, shadow and full-sized puppets
  11. 5 meters is the height of the tallest animals in the show — the two giraffes in the “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” scene
  12. The elephant nicknamed Bertha by the backstage crew in 1997 is the largest and longest animal measuring 4 meters long and 3 meters wide
  13. There are six indigenous African languages spoken in the show: Swahili, Zulu, Xhosa (the click language), Sotho, Tswana, Congolese
  14. THE LION KING has been translated into eight languages – Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish, Portugese

In 2011, THE LION KING became the longest running musical in Singapore’s theatrical entertainment history, playing to over 300,000 people during its eight-month season at Marina Bays Sands.

Show Date: Wed, 27 June 2018 – Sun, 23 September 2018 (New shows added!)

Tue to Fri: 7.30pm | Sat: 2pm & 7.30pm |  Sun: 1pm & 6pm

Venue: Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands

Ticket Pricing (Excludes Booking Fee): from SGD65 onwards

Purchase your tickets from SISTIC Website today! For further information, visit: TheLionKing.sg

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Giveaway : Brush Monster – a revolutionary AR toothbrush that all kids love!

I had my fair share of trial and errors with electrical toothbrush and even one with music, but it didn’t sustain their interest and the amount of time needed for a decent brush.

But it has all changed now with the introduction of Brush Monster in our lives. Even my very skeptical husband also was in awe that the kids follow step up step to ensure a clean brush every night – more than 3 minutes of brushing (if you find it a tad too lengthy, there is a setting in the apps where  you can remove the first and final part of the process ie the toothpaste and gurgling part)

At first glance

It is the lightest smart toothbrush in  the market weighing at a mere 32g. It uses anti bacterial soft brush which makes it safe for kids brushing. It comes with a few different vibration mode to choose from.

And what makes this toothbrush extra special is the built-in sensor which can track and analyze the data of kids’ brushing within 16 regions via Bluetooth.

At first use

Just download the app (for both Apple and Android phones) , and switch the bluetooth on your mobile (there is no need to pair), and follow the brushmonster apps guide when it informs you push the power button on toothbrush.

You should be able to stop the video by pressing the button on the toothbrush. This way you know that the toothbrush has been paired to the app in order to produce the tooth-brushing analysis at the end.

What I really love

The apps has a step by step plus visual to guide the kids throughout the entire tooth brushing process..all the way to gurgling and rinsing of cup. I tested this on all my kids (age 3 to 9 – yes I know the 9 is a tad old but he truly love using it too) and the ones above 5 were able to follow the steps quite effectively (I get pretty good analysis thereafter)

Only my 3 year who did his very best to follow all the positioning but due to his maturity, it is best for parents to help the younger ones. That said, ever since I started using Brush Monster with small C, he could sustain the entire duration of more than 3 minutes. Pre-Brush Monster days, he wouldn’t even last half a minute!

Next, once the brushing is down, you can see an analysis of your brushing , which part was good and which part was not. As you can see those in yellow are the parts that the kid didnt do so well in brushing – typically the inner part of the teeth and the back areas.

And after every brush, they will get a new sticker and they can take a selfie to mark their achievement for that day! I always get their best smile to show off their clean teeth!

My kids have been using Brush Monster for a few weeks and their interest has remained high. Every night, they will ask for their Brush Monster. What I really love out this is that for my older two kids, I don’t even need to supervise their teeth brushing and I could do a quick check on both the app and their teeth after they are done!

Recently, I discovered that you can have it changed to Chinese or even Korean! So now I had it in Chinese for my “potato” kids -see the video below.

You can purchased the full set (Brush Monster Toothbrush x1  -Brush Monster Replacement Refill x1 -Brush Monster Phone Holder x1) at an introductory price of SGD 84.90 which comes with a 2 year warranty and just the tooth brush only which retails at SGD 74.90.

Do quote mypreciouzkids10off for a 10% discount off the introductory price.

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Brush Monster Singapore has kindly sponsored a Brush Monster worth SGD 79.90 (retail price) to 1 reader.

photo credit: Brush Monster

1. Liked FB pages of mypreciouzkids.com and Brush Monster

2. Followed mypreciouzkids and Brush Monster on Instagram

3.Comment in this IG post why you want to win this revolutionary AR toothbrush from Brush Monster.

4. Repost publicly with #mypreciouzkidsgiveaway and comment on the same IG post (tag 3 friends or more, one tag per comment).

5. Subcribe to mypreciouzkids on youtube (bonus point)

I will be picking the 1 lucky winner using random.org. The giveaway closes on 16 Sept 2018 2359pm (Sun)

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


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Review: The Cat in the Hat in Mandarin (戴高帽子的猫) (1 Aug to 7 Sept 2018)

Most kids and adults would have known the story by hat, I think that watching the Mandarin adaptation is so much better as I wanted to know how this well-loved story would be translated into Mandarin. If it were an English production , I would have known word for word the entire script (which takes away part of the fun) as I have lost count the number of times I have read the stories since big J days till now -small C’s turn – that probably a span of 8 years!

I don’t think I need to go into the storyline as I am sure everyone in the audience would know the story by heart. I saw some Caucasian families enjoying the production despite it being in Mandarin. The antics and the props remain very much like the original – just like in the storybook.

Whenever I choose a Mandarin production for the kids I tend to choose one that we are familiar with the storyline to minimize lost in translation. We are not a mandarin speaking family (due to personal limitations) but I placed the utmost importance in bilingualism as I hear of horror stories of how kids failing the Mandarin subject in school and refusing to speak. I wish not that to happen to my kids but I myself is unable to support that in their mother tongue.

So whenever I see a theatre production in Mandarin, I am both interested yet fearful. Interested as there is more exposure in different form than the usual ie classes etc, but fearful as it may be too difficult for them to comprehend. Hence, the safest would be not to go for original production but based on well-loved stories.

To date, we have caught several SRT’s production in Mandarin – 三只山羊小红帽, Nightingale.

Cat in the Hat to my personal opinion is the simplest to understand of those we have attended thus far , hence it was targeted for kids above 2. There isn’t long and lengthy scripts (I would have loved Sugie Phua and Ann Lek have more script but due to the characters they are playing, they dont have much script to begin with), so that kids from English speaking family don’t get too overwhelmed. There are lots of funny antics and actions of 戴高帽子的猫 , 捣蛋鬼1号and 捣蛋鬼2号 that would tickled their funny bones.

Of course, the one that stole the show was none other that 戴高帽子的猫 (Hang Qian Hou), such a natural and I am sure every kid in the house totally adored him! And the fish did a very strong supporting role too making this a well-rounded production.

There is a child in every one of us who grow up reading this book and wish that 戴高帽子的猫 would appear at the front door and have the best fun ever while mum is out!  The show will go all the way till 7 Sept (the school holidays), do not miss this if you wish to inject some fun and Mandarin exposure to your kids.

photo credit : SRT

photo credit: SRT

photo credit: SRT

photo credit: SRTIt was short 40-minute production but we had so much fun watching our bedtime stories come to life. As the show is targeted for ages 2 and above, trust me you won’t really get lost in translation as the whole show was peppered with many funny antics. Small C laughed the entire show since the minute 戴高帽子的猫 came on stage (esp he probably didn’t understand most of what is said).

The Cat in the Hat in Mandarin (戴高帽子的猫)

DATES: 1 August to 7 September 2018
Weekdays 10am
Weekends and Public Holidays 11am and 2pm
PRICES: FROM $26 (excludes SISTIC fees)
VENUE: KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT ,20, Merbau Road, Singapore 239035

For booking , please click here

Ages 2 and above.

As part of a fun day at the theatre, there will be The Cat in the Hat Parent and Child Storytelling Workshops conducted in Mandarin. This drama workshop for parents and children (age 2 to 4) will be fun-filled with exciting games, creative activities and lots of drama skills to be learnt. The pre-show workshops are available 4, 11, 18 and 25 (9.30am) , do click here for registration.

The last I check there is a session on 18 Aug.

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Review: Cloud storage with D-Link’s HD 180 Degree Wireless Camera DCS-8100

The good folks at D-link provided me another wi-fi camera for review together to be used together with mydlink apps (so that i can monitor both of primary school going kids at the same time!). This is targeted more for indoor usage but still boast most of the awesome features of the DCS 2670.

This model HD Wireless 180-degree camera DCS 8100 has been priced at more competitive priced of SGD 169, complete with a 180 degree angle and HD clarity, just like the earlier model I reviewed.  I won’t delve too much in its similar features as I have reviewed previously, but more on the key differences between the two models.

Similarly, there is also the microSD Card Slot  just like what you have in the DCS-2670 model. On top of the regular microSD card storage, DCS 8100 also support 1-day cloud storage through the mydlink apps. I particularly love this feature as it does not require me to supply a micro SD and yet able to view the playback via the same apps. However, it is not a continuous recording but the recording will be triggered as and when there is motion or noise.

On days when I am so busy at work that I didn’t have time to take a quick peek, I would check on the playback to give me at idea at what times they are doing their work and what they are doing. The playback can be downloaded and see a sample of this below.

 

The other difference would be that  the DCS 8100 comes with a 2-way audio speaker where we can speak with each other via the camera.

a snapshot of the features

However, its resolution is at HD720 instead of HD 1080 (DCS 2670). I can’t tell much of its difference especially when it is not enlarged, can you? See picture below. Top pic is HD 1080(DCS 2670) vs bottom pic HD 720 (DCS 8100).

It is also super easy to install for a tech noob like me, just need a QR code – see the simple 4-step instruction. And the apps you can get it from here. Personally, I preferred this model as there is a 1 day cloud storage memory as compared the previous camera. However, everything else is pretty much equal from an indoor usage perspective.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wSw7B0uma8&feature=youtu.be

D-Link DCS-8100 retails at SGD 169 at all Challenger outlets.

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.  No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are my own.


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Review: Tales of Grimmsneyland – we were part of the fairy tales!

Big J asked what does Grimmsneyland means. They are not familiar who are Brother Grimm but they surely familiar with Disney movies or Disneyland.  Did you know many of the Disney movies are adapted from fairy tales written by the Brother Grimm – Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Tangled, Cinderella , though they are not strict interpretation but these fairy tales served as inspiration to many of the Disney movies and hence the characters in Disneyland – which Andsoforthjr has combined into their adaptation as Grimmsneyland.  They had sold out adult interpretations earlier this year and had re-adapted for our younger audiences.

I try not to have any spoiler alerts so that there is an element of surprise left to the parents accompanying their kids (and reading this review) just like me as I went for  show with just the knowledge it is revolving Brother Grimm’s fairy tales – sleeping beauty, little mermaid and just some photos of very nicely decorated rooms.

Boy, was I in for a nice pleasant surprise even though it is not my first taste of immersive theatre!

I personally thought it was much nicer that Wonderland as we had 4 different theme rooms to go around throughout the 90 minutes show. In Wonderland, we were all confined to 1 room to watch the entire show. My legs got kind of numbed sitting cross-legged. However, in Tales of Grimmsneyland we were ushered from room to room to experience different settings and stories (do take note that the minimum age to enjoy the show would be 4 and above) and at the end of every story, there is a moral of the story.

First order of the day was to dress as villagers. Of course, it is not mandatory, but it is all part of the fun – to be truly immersive! We were back in the same venue as Wonderland, in an indescriptive industrial building in Balestier Road. Do note the entrance is at the back of the building. We were advised to reach 15 minutes before the show in suggested dress code. As you can see one kid didn’t want to be a villager but she wanted to be Snow White herself. Each session is a cosy group of 30 and once we all are gathered , we were ushered to the galaxy with a bar counter where you could purchase hot dog, cookies and sodas while awaiting for the pre-show to start.

And we had our first IG photo – in the galaxy room.

There we met our Fairy Godfather-in0training – small J loved him so much that he practically followed him everywhere throughout the show! He will be the one bringing us around the entire 90 minutes of the show  – through all the 4 themed rooms and stories to meet all the characters in the Tales of Grimmsneyland.

While we bought some food and drink during the pre-show, we were introduced to Mirror Mirror who goes on first name basis  – Mirror . His role was to set the tone for the show – what each of the 4 mirror represents and also some action moves that we need to replicate being villagers in the story. I guess it is not an essential role to the show but just to provide some entertainment and warm-up while we gather , finish our light refreshment before entering the portal.

a quick group photo with all the small kids with Mirror..notice there is one other big kid in pic !

And we began our immersive adventure by entering the portal ………

The first room -underwater club was a ball pit! yes, scream….the kids’ favourite ball pit..to mimic the ocean for the little mermaid and a small spoiler..big kid and small kid alike all get to slide down into the ball pit!

We met forgetful little mermaid who is searching for her way home. We had a treasure hunt and a singing session with Mariah the mermaid, it was lots of fun and plenty of photo ops too!

my snow white checking on the mirror who is the fairest of them all!

fixing the treasure map found in the treasure hunt

Next, we proceed to super pink and beautiful sleeping chamber. To our surprise, we saw some one sleeping high above us! No prizes who guessing which character is next while she woke up to entertain us. We were all sitted on the cushion strewn floor and served soda..which was part of the story line. Sleeping beauty also taught us some dance moves too!

Then fairy god-mother came to pick us into her dining room where she told her a story and promoted our fairy god-father-in-training.  We also to write our wishes and we can make anything happen!

And the last room of it all, which was my personal favourite was the forest where we met Snow White and how we creatively think of ways to get the golden apple for White. We ended with beautiful finale song by White and Fairy god-father.

Tales of Grimmsneyland

Dates:
28th, 29th July
4th, 5th, 9th, 10th , 18th, 19th August (Saturdays, Sunday & National Day Holiday)
Time: 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 2pm, 2.30pm, 3pm
*it will be an intimate group of 30 pax per time slot

Duration: 1 hour 30 mins

Venue: 16 D Lorong Ampas , GS Building, Singapore 328778

Suitable for boys and girls aged 4 and above!

Tickets : SGD 35 per person, SGD 128 for family of 4

For booking, follow this link 

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Disclaimer: We were given tickets to the show for reviewing purpose. All opinions are solely ours.


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