There’s no better neighbourhood to experience Singapore’s urban hustle and bustle than the Jalan Besar and Lavender area. Not as touristy as the ethnic districts of Kampong Glam or Chinatown, the area exudes an authentic charm of its own. Teeming with hipster cafes and good eats, the location hides some interesting spots worth exploring with your family!

1. Have a bouncy good time at Airzone

Are your kids bored with the usual outdoor playgrounds? How about one that is suspended in mid-air, in the middle of an air-conditioned mall? Bounce and slide your way through Airzone , a 4-storey indoor playground woven out of giant nets. Kids can climb up ropeways, manoeuvre through maze-like obstacle courses, and dive into ball pits filled with a gazillion balls. A squealing good time for the youngsters, guaranteed!

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Image source: Airzone

2. Take a walking tour of the hood

Take a walking tour through the Jalan Besar and Lavender area and you’ll understand why culture vultures are drawn to the neighbourhood. Unearth architectural gems such as the late style shophouses on Upper Weld Road, or Petain Court with its “Chinese Baroque” influences. Go on street art hunt, with murals that seem to pop up at every other corner, from Lavender Street all the way to Little India.

Petain Road Image

Image source: Asiaone

3. Sweet treats at cafes and eateries

Who says hipster joints are only for the young and trendy? Treat the kids to hearty burgers at Two Blur Guys or gelato and waffles at Gelato Labo . These promising artisan businesses combine local flavours with popular fare in intriguing ways. Try their signatures, like pulled pork burgers and Milo Dinosaur ice cream!

Two Blur Guys Image

Image source: Two Blur Guys

4. Shop at Mustafa Centre

Since you’re in the vicinity, do drop by this shopping haven located at Syed Alwi Road. A cultural institution on its own, Mustafa Centre is filled with a mind-boggling array of goods and services. You can even book tours, air tickets and apply for Visas while doing your grocery shopping! Check out their supermarket carrying a wide range of regional foodstuff, including hard-to-find herbs and spices.

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5. Dine at Dignity Kitchen

Dignity Kitchen is a social enterprise café run by the differently-abled and disadvantaged. Located next to Kallang CC, this well-run eatery offers an array of hearty fare. Diners looking for something substantial can choose from their local or Western bento sets, while those with smaller appetites can pick from their high-tea menu. They even have a pay-it-forward programme where you can buy a meal for someone in need!

Dignity Kitchen Image

Image source: Project Dignity