Back in the day (that makes me sound old!) weekends were about lie-ins, reading the paper and late leisurely lunches that rolled into dinner and drinks. Fast forward a few years, and we now have an active preschooler on our hands who enjoys a healthy dose of outdoor activity. Playgrounds are his paradise. A recent trip to Fort Canning Park proved to be the perfect outing for this mama and her restless 3-year-old.
Smack bang in the middle of town, Fort Canning, is one of Singapore’s most historic landmarks. Once the site of the Singapore Base District until the beginning of the Second World War, the British Army housed their headquarters here – it was at The Battle Box (an underground bunker still visible today) that the British made the decision to surrender Singapore in 1942.
Redeveloped into a recreational park in more recent years, Fort Canning Park is a lovely spot for a bit of exploring with the little ones. Geographically it is a small hill, and we all know that hills often mean stairs — not exactly stroller friendly! Enter from the Percival Road entrance opposite the Singapore National Museum however and you’ll be able to take the pram along the footpath leading up to the main entrance. Get ready to push mama – it’s a bit of a climb!
On the morning we went, my son and I entered the park from the River Valley Road side (Sassy Mama Tip: mamas with babes in prams will want to avoid this approach — it’s all stairs!). Whilst the trek uphill was a workout in itself it wasn’t impossible for my 3-year-old to do. As we rounded the top, we were rewarded with this view:
Once you’ve made it up the hill, there is plenty to keep young explorers busy. Walk the loop around the reservoir and you’ll pass the Fort Gate, The Battle Box (it’s currently closed for some unknown reason), the Spice Garden, the 9-pound cannon and Raffles House. The paths are shady and fairly well maintained and are even scooter friendly! Mums with prams will be able to walk the loop from Fort Canning Centre around the reservoir without hitting too many obstacles.
Whilst it might not be the most exciting park for bigger kiddos, for little ones who are happy to walk, scoot, and roam free, there is plenty of space to do so. I was struck by how lovely and quiet it was within the grounds – impressive given the park’s location so close to the hustle and bustle of River Valley and the nearby CBD.
Sassy Mama Tip: The Park is also home to Fort Canning Green — the former Christian Cemetery turned outdoor green space perfect for weekend picnics with the fam. It’s also home to any number of outdoor concerts held throughout the year (pssst…keep an eye on our events calendar for more details!).
Keen to learn more about Fort Canning? You can sign up for any of the free guided walks provided by the National Parks Board – call 6636 2393 for more details.
What about refreshments? At the foothills of Fort Canning is The Fabulous Baker Boy the ideal post-park coffee pit stop. There’s a huge range of freshly made cakes available for hungry snack monsters, and deliciously strong coffee for the grown ups. There’s even a grassy slope at the front, perfect for tikes to throw themselves down (assuming they still have any energy left!).
Fort Canning Park, 70 River Valley Road, Singapore 179037