Hong Kong Part 1- Christmas in Disneyland

The months of October and November were the holiday season for us as we jetted off to Bangkok, Penang and Hong Kong. Even though we joked that we needed to go on more holidays before Sophie starts Primary One next year, some of these vacations were unplanned so we’re truly thankful to have been able to enjoy this little indulgence.

I have so much to write about each holiday and I’ve decided to write about our most recent vacation to Hong Kong starting from where else but my most favorite-est place on earth- Disneyland!

Since we were going on the third week of November, I was hoping that the theme park will be decked out in Christmas lights. Imagine my delight when I saw the Christmas decorations from the entrance! Disneyland feels extra magical during my favourite time of the year!

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This way to Disneyland Resort!

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It’s Christmas in Disneyland!

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The massive Christmas tree that you can’t miss at the entrance

Phototaking with Mascots

Like most guests, we joined the snaking queues to have our photos taken with the characters once Disneyland opened its gates. And while it’s expected that everyone wants a photo with Mickey and Minnie, the queue was moving very slowly and we abandoned the idea and instead joined the one for Donald and Daisy since we didn’t get a photo with them.

Now, I’m going to let you in on a secret which allowed us to take photos of the other characters without joining the rest of the queue. This is gold especially if you’re not keen to wait in line for them.

Usually the characters will go for a short break in between the photo session and they will ajourned to the exit that’s located next to City Hall, that’s where you rent your strollers from. They will be accompanied by staff and I got Sophie to just walk alongside them as they made their way to the changing room while I snapped away. The characters will usually not stop for photos but they may still interact with the kids in their path, so that’s how we still got photos with Duffy, Mickey and Minnie!

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Why hello Mickey and Minnie

And of course, here’s the photo with Donald and Daisy Duck. Can you feel the Christmas spirit in the air just looking at them all dressed for the holiday season? While the wait might have taken about 15 mins, the time that they took to ‘interact’ with the guests with high fives and hugs made us feel all so worthwhile. And the staff who helped us take the photos on my camera was fantastic too as they kept snapping away unlike some other places where they just take a miserly one shot.

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Sophie getting a warm hug from Donald Duck

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Chip and Dale!

The prime time to see the characters is really just after they opened and if you walk down the main street, you’ll also see Pluto, Goofy as well as the Princesses. But no Princess Elsa was in sight.

Usually, what we do is to grab the map and grab the fastpass. In this case, Hong Kong Disneyland only offered 2 fastpass for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Space Mountain. The latter of course is not for the faint hearted.

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The two princesses

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Among all the Disney movies, Toy Story remains a well loved one in the family and I find this area super photogenic. There are so many photo spots and it’s amusing to imagine what it feels like to be toy-sized like in Honey I shrank the kids. How cute is the ice stick bench and playing card.

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Howdy Jessie!

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Sophie  doesn’t remember much about her first visit to Hong Kong Disneyland 2 years ago when she was just 4. But one thing she did recall was going on the slinky ride and initially we read that it was closed for maintenance. She was over the moon when she found it operational and her wide smile says it all :)

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One ride she hated though was the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop and I regretted telling her that she was afraid to take the ride the last time. Turns out, she still hated it and almost burst into tears when it descended with sudden jerks.

Actually the tears came rolling but only after we got down as she was too nervous and worried to cry on the ride though I could see anxiety written all over her face and she was so mad that I didn’t give her a choice to skip the ride. Feeling bad, I offered to get her ice cream to make myself feel less guilty.

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And of course, we indulged her with the prettiest ice cream to pacify her. Another must have in Disneyland is of course their huge turkey leg!

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Unfortunately, by mid afternoon, it started to pour and the Flight of Fantasy Parade was replaced with Rainy Day Express where some of the characters drove by in their sheltered carriage. We were not the only ones disappointed but decided not to let the rain dampen our spirits and headed for the indoor rides and shows.

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Since we didn’t get to watch any of the shows the last time, we made sure to check the timing of the Lion King Musical and were glad to finally watch it! The performance was fantastic and I was very impressed by the scale of the musical from singers, dancers, acrobats and even fire eaters! Do go early to get a good seat.

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For Christmas, they were staging a new show, Mickey and the Wondrous Book. But we didn’t get a chance to watch it as they were having a media preview that day :(

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Something’s coming up in 2016!

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High 5 with Buzz Lightyear!

The rain kept us from the outdoor rides here so we went on the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and it was so enjoyable even for us adults! In fact, I think we both had as much fun if not more fun than Sophie fighting to see who topped the charts in our quest to blast the ailens.

We made it on Oriton with our raincoats on and thankfully there was no danger of lighting. So do pack your raincoats especially if you’re going during year end when you can expect more rain.
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We took shelter in It’s a Small Small World and as expected everyone was hiding from the rain as well and the queue was snaking. But it’s one of those ride that you never get tired of as it just makes you feel like a child in a wonderland.

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Dining in Disneyland

The last time, we had our dinner at Plaza Inn that served Chinese food. I remembered that meal was quite expensive and this time we opted to dine at the Royal Banquet Hall where they offered international cuisine at more friendly prices and the restaurant looked enchanting with all the princesses and their prince.
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Royal Banquet Hall

There’s Japanese food like sushi, ramen, Italian options like pizza and pasta as well as Chinese cuisine like dim sum and many others too. Besides the Mickey shaped pizza, they also had mickey shaped sushi too which is super cute!

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Alexis and his 3 little piggies

Since there was some time to spare before the night parade,  “Disney Paints the Sky” we wandered into the shops to check out their special Christmas merchandise.

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So much cuteness!!!!

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Almost bought this… almost

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You want follow me home? I want to take you home too!

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Attempting to look like sleepy Elsa! Take 1, Take 2

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We didn’t go crazy shopping there and only bought Sophie a toy, a Buzz Lightyear toy gun while I chose an Olaf Christmas ornament that’s going up on the Christmas tree. Of course, I later cave and got her an Olaf Tsum Tsum at the Disney shop at the airport because she behaved well on the last leg of our trip when I was alone with her.

Frozen Christmas Tree Light Up

This Christmas there is a new Christmas Tree light up on the Main street by Queen Elsa and Princess Anna. A must watch for all Frozen fans! The buildings along Main Street was projected with snowfall and snowflakes as Queen Elsa sang and made her way to light up the tree with her sister.

We didn’t managed to get a good spot as everyone was standing and it seems that a  good spot to watch this is somewhere near the huge Christmas tree right at the entrance.


Disney Paints the Sky Night Parade

Shortly after that, we went to secure a seat with a good view for the night parade. This was pretty new too and it gave us a second chance to catch the parade since we missed the one in the afternoon due to the rain.

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Monster Inc

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Toy Story

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Lighting McQueen

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And the night doesn’t end at Disneyland without the fireworks. It’s certainly the highlight of the day and the best way to end a wonderful day at Disneyland! While it was tempting to capture it on camera, the best way is really to just sit back and enjoy the fireworks as they shimmer and glitter to all the classic tunes from Disney movies in the company of your loved one :)


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Thanks for a wonderful and magical time Disneyland! We promise to come back real soon!


If you’re heading to Hong Kong, don’t miss my foodie guide here and here and I promise to blog about the other places we went on this trip soon :)



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Cirque du Soleil returns to Singapore with Totem

Before I left for my Hong Kong vacation, we brought Sophie to watch Cirque du Soleil’s Totem. I remember my very first Cirque du Soleil show was 7 years ago in Las Vegas, where Alexis and I watched ZA and Mystere and were completely awed by their jaw dropping performance that was truly in a league of its own!

I was so excited to hear that Cirque du Soleil is finally returning to Singapore after 10 years and made sure I was not going to miss them in the world. Totem is Cirque du Soleil’s fourth big top production where their performance is staged under its trademark blue-and-yellow big top. And in case you are wondering, they are at Bayfront Ave, right next to the Marina Bay Sands.

Like many of their shows,  Totem has a story line and this one explores the ties that bind man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential as they take us on a fascinating acrobatic journey into the evolution of mankind. But in my opinion, the plot doesn’t really matter as it’s all about the amazing acrobatic performances, plus the acts have very little connection.

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Our weekday show started at 8pm and we were there slightly earlier to take a few photos and also check out the merchandise. When we got seated, we saw a few clowns walking around to interact and also prank the audience in true circus style. A poor couple was blinding following one of the clowns as he ushered them to different sections to look for their seats before leaving them in the lurch to the amusement of the rest of the audience.

Oh and if you’re bringing your kids for the show, do ask the ushers for a booster seat. Sophie was stoked to sit on her plush booster seat that even the ladies gave her such envious looks.

The show started with parallel bars act to which Sophie exclaimed that she wants to learn that in her gymnastic class. Watching them swing their bodies in such perfect rhythm and timing with ease makes it all look so easy even though we all know how much training and practice it must take them to perfect it. But what further impressed me was how the performers brought life to their character with their lifelike portrayal as amphibians in their mannerisms and costumes.

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The evolutionary cycle from ape to man

To add a fresh element to the show, there were two Native American hoop dancers in the show who are siblings. From one of their interviews, this pair of brother and sister mentioned that they were specially scouted  for the show and while their act is no death defying performance, you’ll be wowed by the fluidity of their movements as they maneuver more and more hoops to create dynamic shapes to evoke various animals and images in a ritual that symbolizes the endless circle of life.

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Comedic acts were interspersed in the show and the crowd’s favourite has got to be the charming Valentino as he flirted with the audience and tickled the crowd with his funny antics.

But for the first half of the show, the stars were these 5 unicyclists who not only cycled in unison but also did the impossible by gracefully balancing bowls on their heads which their partners flipped with their feet!The precision and balance that they had was unbelievable and they received thunderous applause when they continued their act even though they miscalculated and missed one or two bowls.

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Another extraordinary act was the trapeze duo where the pair of love birds teased and flirted with each other and had us audience at the edge of our seats as we witnessed a display of incredible strength as they lifted each other with ease with just a leg or extended arm and dangled in perfect symmetry beautifully.
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Mesmerising colourful balls being juggled by the Scientist

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Another act that had me in suspense and cringing ever so slightly was this pair of roller skaters as they balanced precariously on a drum like stage while the lady was swung around at dangerously top speed. I almost broke into a sweat and had my hands over my mouth because I swear I was going to scream from all that anxiety.

But I think I better not go on with anymore spoilers as I’m sure you’ll want an element of surprise for the performance as well. 
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After the spectacular performance, I left in amazement at what the human body is capable of and all these performers have shown just how far we can push our bodies to achieve these incredible feats. I’m glad that Sophie got to watch it with us and she’s so motivated to practice hard at her gymnastic class so that she can be as good as the performers in the show.

And at that point it seemed like the perfect opportunity to teach her the saying, 台上一分钟,台下十年功, which is translated as , a minute on stage takes 10 years of hard work to perfect it.

Like what I’ve told everyone who asked if it’s worth it even for kids, I say, go! You’ll be guaranteed a world class performance and will not be disappointed. And don’t just take my word for it, go catch it for yourself. but hurry as the last show is on 13 December!

Our seats were at the corner seat of Category 5 and though there were some parts that were blocked by the poles, overall it was still okay and we could still have a clear view of the stage. But the best seats are those right in front of course and Category 3 should give you an excellent view :)

And if case you were expecting champagne, popcorn and ice cream during the interval, it’s only for the media who were invited at the gala premier. You can head out to the snacks booth outside and grab your munchies or better still make a quick visit to the loo as the show is 2.5 hours long.


TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil

Dates : 28 Oct to 13 Dec 2015
Venue : Under the Big Top at Bayfront Avenue next to Marina Bay Sands
Timeing : Tuesday to Friday 8pm; Saturday 4.30pm & 8pm; Sunday 1.30pm & 5pm
Ticket Prices: $98 through to $188, VIP tickets at $308 and $328 (first row)
Duration: 2 hours 25 mins (including 25 min interval)
Booking Through Sistic: http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/totem1215
Booking By Phone: +65 6688 8826


*A Juggling Mom received complimentary tickets to watch Totem by Cirque du Soleil. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions are honest and are my own. Photos are used with credits to BASE Entertainment. 

Christmas Wonderland returns at Gardens by the Bay

Christmas Wonderland returns at Gardens by the Bay and promises to be bigger, brighter and cooler.

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Christmas is a time of joy and laughter as family and friends gather to celebrate this festive season. And what better way to get into the festive spirit than at Singapore’s biggest yuletide fair, Christmas Wonderland which opens from 28 November 2015 at Gardens by the Bay.

After it’s inaugural success last year, Christmas Wonderland returns with some of the crowd favourites like the spellbinding Luminaries, a splendid kaleidoscopic display of colourful lights sculptures, handmade by Italian craftsmen. The Spalliera that will be nestled among the Supertrees Grove will feature the tallest sculpture of lights, towering over 20m. I’m sure it will be a magnificent and grand sight to behold when it illuminates in the evening.

Christmas Wonderland Luminaries

And of course, here’s also the closest you’ll get to a white Christmas where visitors can experience snow during Blizzard Time that happens 3 times a night.

This year, there will also be new attractions, activities and lots more to see and do on a larger scale for the whole family from the young and old to take part in. I’m so looking forward to ice skate and make snow angels with Sophie at the brand new attraction, Ice Palace where there’ll be an ice skating rink and Snow Playground. I’ve seen these in London when I was there 2 years ago and regretted that I didn’t go for it.

This time, I will be sure to put on my ice skates and I’m pretty sure I’m going to see some kids building Olaf too :)

ChristmasWonderland Ice Palace

At the Fairground, another new festive feature, visitors can go on traditional carnival ride like the vintage style carousel that’s specially brought in from Europe. They can also try their hand at game stalls and win attractive prizes.

There’ll also be an AIA Trick Art where you get your imagination run wild as you pose for your photo and create special memories with the original 3D optical mirror-illusion with your loved ones at the event.

I think it’s going to be great as a personalised Christmas e-greetings for this festive season too!

What’s more, AIA gives you MORE reasons for having real moments of joy with your family this Christmas. Simply share your photos on Instagram with the hashtags #AIARealLife, #RealMomentsofJoy and #ChristmasWonderlandSG to stand a chance to win the a 3D2N Family Staycation at the Festive Hotel @Resorts World Sentosa and many more!

AIA TrickArt


Another highlight not to be missed is the Helter Skelter,  the tallest slide in Singapore at a height of 14m! Not for the faint hearted for sure!

Christmas Wonderland Helter Skelter

Christmas Wonderland

Christmas Wonderland Festive Market

And for those who have have in mind to come and feast and be merry,  you’ll be glad to know that the Festive Market returns with more indulgences. Visitors will enjoy a greater selection of international cuisine and wines.

To add to the festive experience, the Spiegeltent, an ornate century-old travelling ‘mirror tent’, will also return for a one-of-a-kid dining experience with a specially curated festive menu. as well as a weekend brunch.

There’ll be lots of entertainment and roving acts going on as well from choirs, to parades, story telling and much much more!

Christmas Toyland

And of course, to usher in the Christmas spirit, the Flower Dome will be transformed into a Christmas Toyland Floral Display where toys reign supreme amidst yuletide floral. The centerpiece of Christmas Toyland will be an 11-meter tall Christmas pyramid decked with toys that will transform into a live stage hosting a series of festive performances for the very first time in the Flower Field.

With something for everyone in the family, Christmas Wonderland is going to be a magical place where I’ll be taking my family this Christmas as we unwind for the year and indulge in the festivities. And the best part is, admission to Christmas Wonderland is free with the exception of rides at the Fairground, Ice Palace and inside the Flower Dome.


Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay
28 November 2015 to 3 January 2016
4:00PM to 12:00 midnight daily
Free admission

The Luminarie Light Sculptures will be lit from 28 November 2015 to 3 January 2016 from 7:00PM to 12:00AM daily.

Spiegeltent, Ice Palace, The Fairground (rides & carnival games) & Festive Market opens from 28 November 2015 to 27 December 2015 from 4:00PM to 11:00PM daily.

Memories of Sophie’s year-end concert and graduation

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Last Saturday was memorable occasion and a proud moment for us. It was Sophie’s year-end concert, the last one in fact, and also her graduation from kindergarten.

The preparation for her concert started way back in late August. Besides having to learn her lines for a skit, dance moves and songs, this year, she also had to deliver her graduation speech at the concert. The teachers gave them strict instructions not to tell their parents about the speech and she sure was tight-lipped about it even though I tried to probe her for a preview of it.

Each evening, she’ll practice the songs and lines for the skit and recount the funny things that happens during their concert practice. I’ve never seen her so serious and diligent about it and boy is my baby growing up.

I remember just a week before the concert, she started to get the nerves and almost burst into tears one evening when I picked her from school. She later told me that the teachers made her recite her lines without any script and she fumbled over her lines causing her confidence to take a nose dive.

I tried to encourage her and reminded her that she’s been a doing fantastic job thus far but she surprised me with her relentless strive for excellence and diligently practiced her lines every evening to perfect it. My heart swelled with pride seeing her put in so much heart and soul into her performance and how much it means to her.

Finally the day of the concert arrived and she woke up bright and early. She hurried me to get changed and wolfed down her breakfast without any hurrying. We said a prayer for her on our way to the concert that she’ll remember her lines and moves, enjoy herself on stage with all her friends and not forget to have have a fun time while performing.

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The graduating class of 2015

The most significant moment for us was no doubt watching her collect her certificate and trophy and hearing her deliver her graduation speech with confidence. Way to go girl!

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Receiving her certificate and trophy

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Wheee! We’ve graduated!!!

Before her concert, I joked with Sophie that when its her turn to be on stage, I’ll clap and cheer wildly for her but she gave me a disgusted look and pleaded, “Please don’t do that. It’s so embarrassing!”

Please, you’re only 6 Sophie, not 16!

Being their last year on stage, the K2 had extra stage time with a skit, being emcee and two dance segments. It was such a proud moment for us watching her shine on stage.

The school prepared a slideshow and one slide showed how much they’ve grown since they started at the childcare at 18 months. Is that really my baby? Gosh how fast time flies…

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Enjoying herself on stage with her friends

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The sporty stars of Sunflower Kiddyhouse

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With the proud mama and papa!

We are truly thankful for the teachers who have not only taught her but also imparted skills, knowledge and built her character over the years while she’s in the childcare. We will surely miss everyone!


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With her form teacher, Teacher Gia and Sun 老师

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While it may be time to say good bye to all her friends and teachers soon, I know she’ll be looking forward to her next learning journey in primary school.

We praise God for her wonderful time in the childcare and how His hand and favour is always upon her. We are so blessed that while she may be in a cozy class of 6, she’s developed such close knitted friendships with her peers. Our prayers is that she’ll continue to shine for Him wherever she goes!


Seussical the Musical where the world of Dr Seuss comes alive!

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Dr Seuss is no stranger to many of us and yesterday we caught Seussical the Musical at the Esplanade Theatre where the world of Dr Seuss came alive!

Seussical the Musical, direct from the UK tour,  opened yesterday with a very limited 5 performances only. If you haven’t gotten your tickets, you can still catch the shows today or tomorrow before it ends on 8 November 2015!

Sophie’s childcare was closed yesterday afternoon in preparation for her year end concert, so we took the opportunity to come for the opening show.

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Little Miss Hello Kitty meets Cat in the Hat

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When we entered the theatre, Sophie commented that it must be so fun to be performing as there was a playground structure right on stage that caught her eye.

The story took us on a journey into the songtastical world of Dr Seuss where Horton the Elephant discovers a small world floating by on a tiny speck of dust. 

This small world is floating out of control through the universe and is the home of the Whos, and Horton befriends Jojo – a Who with “thinks” that defy all description. Jojo’s a character that most kids will identity with, with his wild imagination and world of make believe.

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“A person’s a person, no matter how small” – Horton

Initially I was skeptical if kids would be able to understand the storyline since there was going to be lots of singing , and I meant powerhouse vocals chords with their British accent. At some point, Sophie did raised some questions about the plot since it was hard for her to follow their lines. But she was able to follow through and thoroughly enjoyed it and I was completely wowed by their brilliant theatrical performance.

As the show progressed, I could see little Sophie rooting for the big-hearted Horton who stood steadfast in his promise to guard an abadoned egg waiting to be hatched while looking for his dust speck friends. 

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Sophie’s favourite part was no doubt when the actors came down the stage and got the audience to make lots of noise to help Jojo and his family be heard by the rest who were mocking Horton’s absurd claim that there were life in the dust speck.

And at the end of the day, the story of friendship prevailed and the shy Gertrude proved to be a faithful friend who never lost her faith in him and Sophie said, she’s such a nice friend to Horton!

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We managed to take a few photos with the cast after the show ended and Sophie insisted that she must get one with Horton the Elephant who’s her favourite character in the show.

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Seussical the Musical is fantastic for the whole family and in my opinion kids need to be at least 6 years old to fully appreciate it. The musical runs for approximately 75 minutes with no interval.

Show dates and timing

November 6th / Friday – 5pm
November 7th / Saturday – 11am, 3pm
November 8th / Sunday – 11am, 3pm

Venue: Esplanade Theatre (Address: 1 Esplanade Drive Singapore 038981)

Ticketing Details

Price ranges from $58 to $108.Tickets are now on sale at any SISTIC outlets (list of agents), official SISTIC website or call the hotline 6348 5555.



* A Juggling Mom was invited to the show to write this review. However all opinions are my own. Images are credited to Aba Production, unless otherwise stated.