Parks and Gardens in Singapore
Sometimes referred to as the ‘Garden City’, Singapore has a rich diversity of parks, gardens and nature reserves that also offer recreational activities for nature lovers. Some of the green spots in the city that you can head to for some family fun are:
Singapore Botanic Gardens – A popular attraction, the impressive Singapore Botanic Gardens sprawls across 52 hectares right in the middle of the city. If you want to bring your child closer to nature, you can visit ‘Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden’, which is a unique and interactive fun place where children up to 12 years of age can discover how plants provide their daily needs.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Covering an area of approximately 3,043 hectares, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve has been left mostly undisturbed; despite the progress and development that has transformed much of Singapore. One of the first forest reserves established in Singapore, this precious enclave of primary rainforest is a rich source of biodiversity.
Home to Singapore’s highest hill at 163.63 metres, as well as a vast number of plant, animal and insect species, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve has more than 500 species of animals and over 840 flowering plants. It was also once an active quarrying site in the mid-1900s, with an abandoned quarry which has now been developed as the Hindhede Nature Park, and features rock-climbing activities. If you’d like more information or an educational history of the forest, the Visitor Centre also provides specimens, displays and photos. Biking trails outside the reserve and guided tours are also available.
To protect the forest’s native biodiversity, certain activities are prohibited within the nature reserve – such as hiking in groups of more than 30 without a permit or the feeding of animals. So if you’re planning a trip here, it’s best to come in smaller groups to enjoy the park in a more personalised proximity.
If your family loves the outdoors, you can trek through the lush and verdant Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and discover its interesting plant life along the way.
Billed as Singapore’s one-stop gardening hub, Hort Park sits on a lush 23-hectare area. The park connects Kent Ridge Park all the way to Telok Blangah Park, and brings together recreation, education, research, retail and gardening in one setting. Home to beautiful plant life, Hort Park is also a place where garden designs can be displayed.
The Butterfly Garden and the Bamboo Labyrinth are just two of the many attractions the park has, in addition to the Recycling Garden and the Floral Walk. In addition to MICE facilities, experiential workshops are also offered. If you have green fingers, there’s even a HortMart where you can shop for gardening products. Learning and education are two of Hort Park’s main aims, and activities and events are held all year round to generate interest and enhance awareness of the area.
East Coast Park
With a total land size of 185-hectares, and a scenic coastline that stretches over 15 km, East Coast Park is one of Singapore’s most treasured urban getaways, attracting more than 7.5 million visitors a year.
Themed “Recreation for All”, East Coast Park offers an exciting diversity of sporting, dining and recreational activities catering to various segments of the public. Volleyball courts, holiday chalets, restaurants and a hawker centre can all be found in this park.
Come to the park on weekends, sit under the swaying coconut palms, Casuarinas and Ketapangs, and enjoy having your picnics with your families or friends. Sit back and let the inviting waves and fresh perennial sea breeze provide you with an invigorating relief to the stifling city heat and humidity.
For those looking for action, East Coast Park also offers a myriad of sporting opportunities such as cycling, cable skiing and water sporting activities as well as a Xtreme SkatePark for action sports enthusiasts to hone their techniques. In the evenings, bring your families and friends down for a barbecue or indulge in sumptuous cuisines at the East Coast Seafood Center.
Finally, East Coast Park has been divided into different zones according to the existing attributes of each area. In the future, businesses offering similar activities will be located within close proximity in each zone to create a variety of diverse lifestyle clusters along East Coast Park.
A place of historical importance in Singapore, Fort Canning Park was formerly known as “Forbidden Hill”, and was once the seat of royalty for the Malay rulers in 1300s. It later became a residence for colonial leaders, and was also an important military base during World War II.
Situated near the bustling Orchard Road shopping district, behind the National Museum of Singapore, Fort Canning Park is a historical centre, a venue for performances and concerts, and a location where you can enjoy nature.
Its attractions include archaeological digs and exhibitions, the Keramat Iskander Syah (the sacred burial ground of a Malay ruler) and the Fort Gate – a remnant of the fortress built in the 1860s. It also boasts the Spice Garden, the ASEAN Sculpture Garden and the Battle Box, a former underground military complex.
With plenty of dining options, such as Italian restaurant Gattopardo, as well as heritage trails, like the 14th and 19th century walking trails, you can spend hours walking around Fort Canning Park. The park is also a good choice if you’re looking for a romantic location to bring your partner, or if you’re keen on exercise.
Another family favorite, the MacRitchie Reservoir is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Located in the northern region of Singapore, this reservoir is an oasis of calm surrounded by swamps and greenery. There are walking trails, jogging tracks, playgrounds, exercise areas and every child’s attraction – the fountain. Most families spend an entire day here, picnicking and relaxing.
Unknown to many, Singapore houses over 200 real working farms in its six Agrotechnology Parks. These farms grow fruit, vegetables, ornamental plants and rear fish and goats. They are a popular destination for children, who often enjoy discovering how vegetables are grown, delight in feeding the fish, learn about the automated milking process and take joy in feeding the goats and cows in the barn.
Other attractions include: The Chinese Gardens, Labrador Park, Mandai Orchid Garden, Marina Barrage, Pasir Ris Park, The Southern Ridges, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve etc.