Why Sunday brunch at Montreux Jazz Cafe is music to my ears

As parents, it’s easy to get caught up with the kids in our everyday lives that we forget about making time for our spouse. And as much as weekends are dedicated family days, hubby don’t get much attention from me especially with the little one around. In fact, I can’t remember the last time where we enjoyed a leisurely weekend brunch without having to take her to the toilet, answering her 24th question of the day, …

So when we heard that Montreux Jazz Café has an exclusive Sunday brunch for families where kids will be entertained while the parents sip on bubbly over brunch, it was music to my ears and we were sold on the fabulous idea!

Sunday brunch at Montreux Jazz Cafe

Riding on the wave of the increasingly popular Jazz Brunches in New York and London, Montreux Jazz Café introducing, a new-weekend brunch experience, The Jazz Brunch, with a slew of Singapore’s brightest jazz talents serenading patrons with their soothing vocals.

For families, Sunday is when you want to be at the Montreux Jazz Café as they will transform one part of the cafe into a HUGE dedicated kids’ corner just for the young ones. And to keep the adults out, all the activities are run behind closed curtains.

Before Sophie skittered off to join in the kids activities, we placed our orders for brunch. Children get a choice of 5 items with dessert on the kids menu with usual favourites like fish and chops, beef bolognaise, chicken tenders, burgers and fries.

We were impressed when Sophie’s beef bolognaise was served as it looks nothing like a kids meal which is usually served on plastic plates or bowls.

Since the kids activities have already started, Sophie wasted no time for her kiddy entertainment and brought her lunch into the kids section behind closed curtains to catch the screening of Monsters Inc.

While Sophie was away, we sipped on our free flow of Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut champagne and enjoyed our hearty brunch.

For starters, I had the Portobello Stack sandwiched with baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, topped with pine nuts and shallots. Though it looked dry at first sight, the raspberry vinaigrette and sun-dried tomato blended this dish well together giving this very healthy appetiser a burst of flavour, without compromising on taste.

Alexis opted for the soup of the day, where they served butternut soup that day.

There was a choice of 10 mains to choose from and I ordered the Eggs Benedict topped with streaky and oh so hearty bacon, grilled tomato with arugula salad. Alexis choice was the BB King Cheese Burger served with french fries on the side. Both dishes were very satisfying and tasty and Sophie even came out to pinch on our food.

In addition, we also enjoyed food from the Raclette Cheese Live Station and Meat Carving Live Station where there is a chef there to serve melted Raclette Cheese on a leg of lamb. It was so delish and I went back for second helping since it was buffet style.

And to end it all, we had the sticky date pudding that was simply heavenly. The dessert was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side and it was moist and warm and I admit that all diet plans when thrown out of the window as I polished it off the plate, all by myself.

While dining, we were being serenaded by the jazz band and their soothing vocals. The one on the drums is Louis Soliano who is a music giant and drum legend in Singapore.

After the movie ended, it was the kids favourite part- game time! The games were conducted by  Evolve Arts that day and they engaged the kids with games and hand puppets and I could see that the kids were overjoyed that they don’t have to stay in their seats and run amok with good reason in a restaurant, something that they usually don’t get to do very often 🙂

And to end it all, they had ice cream and what a treat for them as they ended brunch on a sweet and memorable note.


It’s been a long time since I got to enjoy a nice brunch with hubby alone. And though Sophie was with us, she was well taken care of with all the planned activities giving us the much needed couple time. Definitely something we don’t mind coming back for as the food was good and oh that free flow of champagne sure scored with us!

For those keen on making reservations, do remember to book brunch on Sundays. The Jazz Brunch goes for $98++ per person including free-flow of alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, and $78++ per person for those who prefer a non-alcoholic package. The Children Menu, consisting of the soup of the day, a choice of main and dessert, will go for $16++.

Montreux Jazz Café Weekend Brunch

Dates :Every Saturday and Sunday
Dining Timing :11am to 3pm
Pricing : $98++ inclusive of free flow Champagne, Selected Wines and Spirits, Draft Beers, and Soft Drinks
$78++ for non-alcoholic option
$16++ for the Children Menu

Address
Pan Pacific Orchard, 10 Claymore Road Singapore 229540
Reservation: Call +65 6733 0091 or email reservations.sg@montreuxjazzcafe.com
For more informatio, visit Montreux Jazz Café Singapore website

Austin Heights Water and Adventure Park in Johor Bahru

During the recent March school holidays, we took a short trip to Johor Bahru and spent a good 4 days there. In our opinion, a hop over the causeway is a more economical holiday option than a local staycation, thanks to the strength of our currency. What’s not to like when you have more to eat, buy and spend 🙂

But the best part? There’s always somewhere new to explore in JB and this time we went to Mount Austin to check out, the still relatively new, Austin Heights Water and Adventure Park.

Austin Heights Water and Adventure Park, Johor Bahru

For most families going to JB with young kids, you may be familiar with Legoland and Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, The Little Big Club and Angry Bird Activity Park. Since Sophie is now 8 years old, these kiddy theme parks no longer give her an adrenaline kick and she even moans that they are SO CHILDISH.  

So this time round, we checked out the Austin Heights Water and Adventure Park that bloggers like BPDG Travels and Seng Kang Babies have recommended.

As the name suggests, this theme park is located at Mount Austin which is about half an hour drive from Legoland and Doubletree by Hilton, where we stayed on this trip. 

Besides the Water Park, Austin Heights also houses a Forest Adventure Rope Course, Trampoline Park, Ice Skating Rink and Drift Karting all conveniently under one roof. Since we already spent a day at the Legoland Water Park the day before, we gave the water park a skip.

Besides Sophie still doesn’t meet the height requirement of 120cm for the more thrilling rides, so we’ll just have to make another trip when she’s taller. The kids all skipped the forest adventure as they need to be at least 12 years old. Anyway I’m sure they didn’t mind it one bit as it looked pretty intimidating. 

Forest Adventure Rope Course

Aerial view of Austin Heights Water and Adventure Park


Our activity of choice – DRIFT KARTING. It’s Go-Karting where they upped the cool factor with drifting abilities.

From time to time, they will have special promotions and this was the offer when we were there.

We were not keen on the ice skating since it was synthetic ice. Very pathetic in my dear husband’s opinion because it’s just not the real thing. So we opted for 20 minutes of drift karting and IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!

After a brief instruction and a round of warm up, we were zooming off. As tempting as it looks to bump the person in front of you, you are not allowed to do that… though I might have done that accidentally a few time.

This was Sophie’s first attempt at go karting and she didn’t have any problems behind the wheels at all. In fact, she was so serious and intent on overtaking us that she was just focused on driving and perfecting her drift.

Whereas I on the other hand, swerved too quickly a couple of times and made a 360 degree spin not just once but twice! But it’s no biggie as you can easily reorientate yourself and get back on the track for more action.


Price for Drift Karting in Austin Heights

After our 20 minutes of adrenaline pumping karting session ended, we proceeded upstairs to the trampoline park on level 3, Jump Street, for more fun! Ever since we brought Sophie to Amped Trampoline Park in River Valley, she’s been asking us to take her there again, so she’s was all ready to jump right in.

Even though we were there on a Sunday morning, there was hardly anyone! Entrance to the trampoline park is MYR28 for an hour. According to my friend who was also there with us, it’s unlimited play time for the same price on a weekday!

They have a few sections as you can see from the photo below, plus a foam pit on the other side that’s not captured in my photo, so this place is HUGE. The bonus was having it almost all to ourselves, so we got to jump to our heart’s content without having to wait for our turn on the trampoline.

Since it’s pretty new, the trampoline park is well maintained and clean. Throughout the one hour, we flipped, bounced, ran, jumped and I even attempted to do some silly stunts which I would never dare to do back home in Singapore. But of course, I fell glamorously all over the place, but thank God no one saw me.

Since hubby hurt his back the last time we went to the trampoline park, I had to remind him not to try anything funny and it’s really no joke to hurt your back at this age… Anyway I didn’t take many photos here because I didn’t want to miss out on the fun, so these photos will just have to suffice.

Since we didn’t make it to the water park, here’s a bird eye’s view of it from the trampoline park from level 3.

In case you’re wondering where’s everyone, it was raining that day which explains why it looked so empty. But according to friends who have been there, it’s pretty quiet even on weekends so I guess that means no waits needed for the different rides.  That slide on the extreme right sure looks high and I bet I’ll just scream my way down….

Austin Heights Water Park

The view of the ice skating rink next to the trampoline park. They have instructors as well who can give you a lesson or two on skating. Yipe, pretty empty too 🙂

Anytime Fitness is also slanted to open anytime soon. If you ask me, they should just incorporate a bowling alley and karaoke to cater to a wider group of customers.

Ice skating rink next to the trampoline park

Austin Heights is not to be missed if you”ve got slightly older kids who have outgrown Legoland and Angry Bird Activity Park. In fact, kids 6 years and above will enjoy most of the activities here and it promises to give you a fun time with so many choices of activities under one roof.

I know that we’ll definitely be back for the water park once Sophie reaches the height limit. But meanwhile, the drift kart and trampoline park is good enough for us. What made it even more enjoyable was the company of friends who were also there during the school holidays and we even saw 3 other friends on this trip at different parts of JB.

For those driving, there’s ample parking lots available with the open air carpark right in front and it’s free. Since we didn’t drive, we simply Uber and Grabbed our way around JB. Right beside Austin Heights is the Midori hotel and there are a few restaurants and cafe around there as well.

You can visit Austin Height’s website on ticket details for all their activities here.

Austin Heights Water & Adventure Park
No. 71, Jalan Austin Heights 8/1,
Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru,
Johor, Malaysia
Website

 

If you’re heading to JB, don’t miss these posts where I share some of my shopping finds and places to go cafe hopping across the causeway as well.

 

 

Enjoyed reading this post? Do like my Facebook page to get more family friendly travel updates. You can also follow me on Twitter (@Susankoh) or Instagram (@ajugglingmom) for more travel and parenting posts.

A Peter Rabbit Tale Musical Adventure for the family {Review & Giveaway}

Peter Rabbit is a well loved children’s classic by Beatrix Potter that many are familiar with. I remember liking Peter Rabbit when I was much younger in Primary school and wanted to buy a bunny as pet after I received a soft toy of it. But mum was dead against the idea because rabbits, if you don’t already,  poo a lot and she wasn’t going to clear up any shi*. 

Fast forward many years later, the Singapore Repertory Theatre is now staging A Peter Rabbit Tale musical by The Little Company for the family and I was so excited to take Sophie to watch the musical after hearing so many glowing reviews about it. It was the perfect way to end our March school holidays and we invited our friends along.

Since the recommended age for A Peter Rabbit Tale was 2 years and above, I was little apprehensive if the older kids would enjoy it since they are between 7 to 10 years old.

At the newly renovated KC Arts Centre with her friends

But as it turned out, my worries were completely unfounded as I saw the kids bopping and swaying their heads to the songs and they were amazed by the cast of 5 who took on multiple characters from homely rabbits, to playful squirrels, industrious mouse and many more on this musical adventure.

The storyline is about Peter’s adventure when the mischievous bunny decided that he didn’t want to be bossed around by his twin sisters who always called him lazy and irresponsible and ran away from home. Along the way, he decided that he could try to be another animal but none of them suited him.

During the show, the actors even ran up and down the aisles to interact with the audience much to the delight of the kids to make the little ones feel like a part of the show.

At the end of the day, Peter realises that there is no where quite like home after he meets Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, the funky hedgehog rockstar complete with a crazy hairdo and tutu. She gave him wise advice and made Peter realise just how important his family means to him

The lesson that everyone took home from the play is to always treasure your loved ones because they are the ones who always have your back and love you for who you are.

A Peter Rabbit Tale runs till 14 April 2017 so get your tickets before they end.

 

A Peter Rabbit Tale

Ticketing Details
Tickets start from $25 onwards and you can book via Sistic.

Dates
28 Feb (Fri) to 14 Apr (Fri) 2017

Show Timing
Weekends & Public Holiday : 11am & 2pm
Weekdays : 10am

Venue
KC Arts Centre Home of Singapore Repertory Theatre
20 Merbau Road
Robertson Quay
Singapore 239035

– – – – – – – -– – – – – GIVEAWAY FOR A JUGGLING MUM READERS (ENDED) – – – – – – – – – – – –

Thanks to Singapore Repertory Company, you can win a set of family tickets for 4 to watch A Peter Rabbit Tale on 1 April, Saturday at 11am.

 

All you have to do is:
1) ‘LIKE’ our Facebook Page and ‘FOLLOW US’ to be the first to get notified of our next giveaway.
2) ‘SHARE’ this post and tag 2 other friends, “Hey friends, take part in this giveaway to catch A Peter Rabbit Tale”.

Complete both steps to be eligible for the giveaway.
ONE lucky winner will be drawn and announced on the blog and Facebook on 30 March, Thursday.

Good luck!

 

Congrats Joyce Tan Bee Chin!
You have won a set of family tickets for 4 to watch A Peter Rabbit Tale on 1 April.

Please note:

  • Giveaway ends on 29 March, 23:59
  • Only readers residing in Singapore are eligible for this giveaway
  • Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond to email otherwise a new winner will be drawn
  • Tickets are non-transferable and date/time of show cannot be changed
  • All false FB accounts will be disqualified from the giveaway

 

*A Juggling Mom received complimentary tickets to A Peter Rabbit Tale for this review . Photos are used with credits to ABA Productions.

When your child doesn’t fit into a mould

Just before the March school holidays, we attended the PTM to get an update of how Sophie has been doing in school. At Primary 2, she comes back with more homework now which is still manageable since she never has to spend more than half an hour completing it. Other than that, she’s been coping well in school and her daily routine of finishing her homework and smart work from mummy before TV and play time has been going well.

Her sense of responsibility and independence puts my mind at ease when I’m at work and I seldom have to worry about her. One thing that Sophie is very proud of, is the fact that she got nominated by her classmates as class monitress at the start of school term. We were naturally very proud of her since it’s a testament that she’s well liked by her peers and scores high in being a 人气王.

When your child gets misunderstood

On the day of the PTM, we met her form teacher first who also happens to be her Chinese teacher. It was heartening to hear that Sophie has been making good progress for Chinese and scored well in her recent test in Term 1. However her teacher stressed that it’s vital for Sophie to converse and read more in Chinese as there’ll be more writing in the second half of Primary 2 to prep them for composition writing in Primary 3. Those who don’t read in Chinese regularly will find it a struggle with a lot more catching up to do and I’m totally not looking forward to that.

But one thing that left me feeling rather disturbed after the whole PTM was her form teachers’ disappointment in Sophie’s conduct which failed to meet her expectations. Given that Sophie is the class monitress, her form teacher has a much higher expectation of how she should conduct herself. Her teacher even went on to say that she’s spoken to Sophie about this matter on a few occasions and expects her to pull up her socks when school reopens, otherwise Sophie may have to relinquish role as monitress if she fails to set a good example to her peers.

If you know Sophie, you’ll know that she has a spritedly personality and can get pretty loud and appear rowdy with her belly laughter. But that doesn’t mean she’s any less responsible or sensible. For a 7-year-old, I’m sure there are times she slips up and talks to her classmates even when she shouldn’t. But to her teacher, that’s unacceptable and her teacher even graded Sophie average for her conduct.

Now I get that her teacher may be a very stereotypical Chinese teacher who demands unquestionable discipline and absolute obedience in class as it can be challenging to manage to class of 30 if everyone is out of hand. But a part of me feels that she has totally misunderstood Sophie and is somewhat bias in her assessment of Sophie as other teachers gave her a much higher rating for her attitude and conduct.

As one who believes in tough love, I never give excuses for Sophie’s behaviour or sugarcoats her conduct if she behaves badly. I acknowledge that there is a place and time for everything and perhaps she just needs to be more discerning on how to conduct herself appropriately to avoid getting black marked by her teacher.

See a child differently and you’ll see a different child

Thankfully, Sophie’s co-form teacher is not too bothered by it when we sought her opinion on this matter. She added that Sophie may be just restless as she’s a pretty smart kid who tend to be more ‘jing’ or street smart and thus she’s more forgiving when Sophie has her playful moments.

In her view, schools are not factories and teachers should not assume that the vocal or playful students are naturally bad students or troublemakers. Most importantly, I really agreed with what she said that

 

We shouldn’t expect student to behave like robots in school and all fit into a mould.

 

I love this teacher already and I’m so thankful that she brings a balanced view to the whole situation. It’s no wonder Sophie adores this teacher simply because she take the effort to know her students and sees her students in a different light.

 

~Never lose your sparkle darling~

Have your kids ever been misunderstood by their teacher and how do you feel when he/ she is expects to fit into a certain mould that the teachers expect?

If you enjoyed this post, you may like these posts

 

 

Enjoyed reading this post? Do like my Facebook page to get more parenting posts updates. You can also follow me on Twitter (@Susankoh) or Instagram (@ajugglingmom) for parenting, travel and family friendly activity posts.

Family Fun at Gillman Barracks + Art Day Out!

Can somebody give a big horray because school’s out starting this weekend!

If you haven’t got anything planned for the March school holidays, why not check out Gillman Barracks for a slew of fun family activities?

Gillman Barracks is a visual art cluster and home to leading international and home-grown galleries, art rganisations and of course Playeum for children. Now before you go, me and my family are not the arty farty sort, you can be assured that you don’t have to be an art lover to appreciate art. All you need is an open mind and an empty stomach for Timbre’s Super Social BBQ this March!

‘Tales of Time’ holiday camp at Playeum

I brought Sophie to Playeum last year and fell in love with their concept of open and unstructured play. As Singapore’s first dedicated creative space for children, Playeum advocates exploratory play to spark curiosity and creativity in kids.

The open-ended concept of play is something that children don’t get exposed to enough of especially as when they grow up in environments where play gets too structured with boundaries, rules and do and donts. Their exhibition changes themes regularly and right now, the current exhibition is on “A World Full of Stories” which you can read here for our experience.

Anyway, we had a taster of Playeum’s upcoming March school holiday program, ‘Tales of Time’ last week where kids get to explore the concept of time with games, storytelling and art and craft.

Here are the kids drawing their interpretation of time.

Sophie and her clock which I thought resembled Cogsworth from Beauty and the Beast. Ooo I can’t wait to catch the movie when it opens in cinema on 16 March.

I joked with Sophie that if I had to draw my interpretation of time, I’ll draw myself with a huge big speech bubble going, “Hurry , hurry, we are late!” Doesn’t that sound all too familiar? #storyofmylife

Check out the creativity that flowed around the table!


Cheryl reading about the Real Story of the 3 Little Pigs where the concept is time is demonstrated by different things that the wolf does in a day. It may have been a children’s story book, but I was quite draw by the story that presented the alternative fact where it gives the wolf side of the famous fable which allows you the chance to talk to you kids about seeing things from another perspective.

‘Tales of Time’ holiday  camp is suitable for ages 6 to 12 years and more details of their Holidays Camps can be found on their website.

Tour of Lock Route

Lock Route is Gillman Barrack’s current public art showcase and it’s inspirations is from Gillman Barracks’s address and the 24km long route march common in the training of “graduating’ army recruits in Singapore.

The outdoor art installation is a great introduction for the kids to learn how art can be encountered anywhere – including outside the galleries and museums. Perfect if you ask me as they don’t have to keep their voices down and walk around on tip-toe.

Here are some of the interesting artwork that caught the kids attention.

The kids checking out if the colourful knitted bicycle can be pedaled!The wheel reminds me of cotton candy and I feel so happy looking at the kaleidoscope of colours coming together.

This is the ‘Constellation of One’ sculpture by Kirsten Berg. The artist used car park mirror for this artwork which showcases reflection and geometry.

Is it only me who thinks that this sculpture resembles a steamboat pot during Chinese New Year?

Land of Shadows

Goyang Cukur

Kapumg Singpura

Though it was a rather uphill tasks to get the kids talking about the art pieces, they love it that some of art are interactive and provide them the opportunity to jump, climb and even ride them

I was personally amused by the mobile barbershop installation, ‘Goyang Cukur’ and heard that there even invited an actual barber to give haircuts.

The one that got the kids absolutely wild was no doubt the Kapumg Singapura where the climbed in and out of the cabin-like installation and refused to leave until we mentioned there’s a bouncy castle waiting for them!

Timbre @ Gillman’s Super Social BBQ

Yipe you heard it, kids can look forward to bouncy castles and a variety of different arts and craft activities at Timber’s weekends Super Social BBQ and for the month of March, the theme is Princes and Princesses.

This was our first visit to Timbre at Gillman and the expansive al fresco setting was perfect for chilling out with friends. Not only was there a live band that gets you in a groovin mood, the food was delectable and I had such a hard time deciding what to order from their extensive menu.

Yakiniku chicken thin crust pizza

Baby back ribs with homemade BBQ sauce

Chicken and Pancakes from the kids menu



After Sophie finished her meal, she was hardly at the table because she was so caught up with all activities offered from tiara making, face painting and even meeting a princess!There’s also colouring and dress up but she thinks she now too cool for kiddy stuff.

Here’s a video of the activities we covered last weekend. It’s my first video attempt and I hope to improve on my video editing skills 🙂

 

Art Day Out 2017

If you’re thinking of heading to Gillman Barracks then don’t miss this Saturday’s Art Day Out happening on 11 March, where they are celebrating all things design in conjunction with Singapore Design Week 2017!

Highlights of this edition include the first Singapore + Wallpaper* Handmade Classics exhibition: MultipliCITY, design workshops and public presentations held at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore alongside various other LOCK ROUTE fringe activities and performances with free admission that day.

In addition, visitors can look forward to precinct-wide art activities and programmes, including F&B offerings, free drop-in family-friendly activities by Art Outreach and guided docent tours by Friends of the Museum.

In addition, parents can look forward to a special 20% discounted entry at Playeum the Children’s Centre for Creativity from 2pm onwards for the exhibition A World Full of Stories across all ticket categories.  There will also be free art activities such as The Amazing Shapes Trail and a specially-designed ‘Art Jam’ session (‘Make Your Puppet Move!’) that will also be conducted at the Block 47 plaza outside

 

Teaching your children to care about the arts

After my visit to Gillman Barracks, I did a bit of reading on how I can further expose Sophie to the arts and came across this article on how you can teach your kids to care about arts. It’s a pretty lengthy read but a very insightful one if you want to widen your child’s perspective on art.

I like this quote in the article, “There’s nothing about our exhibiting artists that makes them suited to children. It’s just that we’re actively encouraging children to use their minds and think about the work and talk about the work.” Underlying this approach is a recognition of the innate sophistication of children.”

We don’t have to dumb down art for kids. They are capable of observing, telling you what they see with their eyes and feel with their hearts about a piece of art.

It’s definitely an area that I’m still learning as well and it’s great that we have so many avenues to expose arts to our kids.

 

Enjoyed reading this post? Do like my Facebook page to get more family friendly activities. You can also follow me on Twitter (@Susankoh) or Instagram (@ajugglingmom) for more travel and parenting posts.

 

 

*A Juggling Mom was invited to the media invite to write this review. All photos and opinions are my own.