Now that the wet season is generally well behind us, and the sun is shining again, it’s the perfect time to get outside and have some fun with the fam. From nature reserves to beach-side parks to some of the Island’s best playgrounds, here are our top picks of the best parks and playgrounds in Singapore. Get set to climb, run, bike, scoot and of course, sweat!
A popular haunt for in-the-know mamas, Watten Estate Park is a quaint, shady spot in the ‘burbs perfect for scooting, cycling and running around. Providing the general playground caper (swings, slides and sand) there is also a flying fox for big kids, and a webbed climbing structure that would make Spiderman weep. Mama can reward herself with a post-park cappuccino from nearby Baker & Cook.
Watten Estate Road (near the corner of Hillcrest Road), Singapore
Pasir Ris Park
Out on the coast, Pasir Ris Park is wildly popular on weekends. Wear out the kids on the huge adventure playground kitted out with play stations, slides, space nets, rope climbing, cableways, basketball courts and a maze. If that is still not enough to keep them busy, cycle or skate through the wide-open spaces of the park, take them for a pony ride or watch the water sports. A word of caution: the biggest playground is currently being upgraded – estimated completion date second quarter of 2014, so is currently closed. Climbers will especially love the three-storey bird watching tower. Make a day of it and reward the tikes with dinner at one of the beachfront restaurants (Silvery Moon or Summer Breeze are local mama faves).
Pasir Ris Road, Singapore 519116
Labrador Nature Reserve
We love Labrador Park, with its rocky sea cliff (the only one left on the Island), the waterfront promenade (perfect for scootings) and its abundance of war relics, hidden tunnels and old military installations. Hyper littlies can burn off their energy on the adventure playground or try their luck navigating the human maze. Cool sea breezes and lush vegetation make this a pleasant afternoon outing for the whole family.
Labrador Villa Road, Singapore 119187
Fort Canning Park
Mamas love this centrally-located park for the wide open spaces and the hills (feel the burn as you push the pram uphill), kiddies love the Battle Box – the former headquarters of the British military and an underground, tunnel-filled exploration wonderland — while everyone loves to picnic on the grass! Sassy Mama tip: refuel at The Fabulous Baker Boy in the foothills (with a slice of cake for mama!) or drag everyone over to Clarke Quay across River Valley Road for a glass of wine (yep, that’s for you too – you deserve it!).
Cox Terrace, Singapore 179618
Singapore Botanic Gardens
A favourite spot with most mamas we know, The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a great spot for letting the kids run amok. After all, there are 74 hectares of greenery, lawns and walking trails on offer! Picnic on the lush greens of Palm Valley, feed the turtles in Symphony Lake and look for fish in the ponds at the Botany Centre. Or head to the Northern end of the park and spend a morning exploring Jacob Ballas Children’s Gardens with your littlies (but remember their swimmers for the little water park – they will be getting wet!).
1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
East Coast Park
Catch a cool sea breeze by taking your beach bunnies along to East Coast Park, and revel in over 15kms of coastline – you can build sandcastles (and knock them down!) to your heart’s content. There are cycling paths for bikers (and you can hire bikes), cable skiing and water sports for the super active and the Xtreme Skate Park for true adventurers. BBQ pits, volleyball and tennis courts and extensive green lawns (hello kite-flying!) complete the offerings for families.
East Coast Park Service Road, Singapore
Bukit Timah Nature Park
Take older explorers off the beaten track with a rainforest hike in the Bukit Timah Nature Park. Adventurers will love the steep uphill climb of Bukit Timah Hill (the highest point in Singapore) and the myriad of trekking trails — just don’t feed the monkeys! Tots are also catered for with a number of playgrounds in the Hindhede Nature Park (a short walk from the Bukit Timah Hill carpark). Urban mamas, a word of warning – there’s an awful lot of nature on offer, so pack the mozzie repellant, sturdy walking shoes and plenty of water.
Hindhede Drive, Singapore 589333
Ang Mo Kio Park (Bishan Park)
Heading further north, you’ll find the recently redeveloped Ang Mio Park (Bishan Park on the map). 62 hectares of walking paths, bridges, ponds and lawns will keep your bundle of energy occupied as they scoot, cycle or run their way through the grounds. Three playgrounds (some with sandpits) and the new bicycle-only lane next to the Kallang River, complete the picture.
Intersection of Bishan Road and Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, Singapore 569931
West Coast Park
Mamas living in the west are familiar with the well-loved West Coast Park and not just for its adventure play area (with pirate ship playground, climbing ropes, flying foxes and giant pyramid (above!), spread across eight play zones). The park is a great space for restless tots who need a good run around: it has a huge oval for footy kick-to-kick (or kite flying) and offers endless cycling paths, plus go-karting for the bigger kids.
Parallel to West Coast Highway, Singapore
Bukit Batok Nature Park
Looking to get your tinies back to nature? Ease into it with a session at Bukit Batok Nature Park and soak up the tranquility of this suburban nature park. Hosting a number of gentle walking tracks, the park also has an old-fashioned playground guaranteed to keep little ones happy.
Along Bukit Batok East Ave 2 and Bukit Batok East Ave 6, Singapore
Encourage a green thumb amongst your little ones with an afternoon at Singapore’s first “one-stop gardening and lifestyle park” (sounds fancy, huh?). In reality, Hort Park is a green wonderland of theme gardens and greenhouses, with wide meandering footpaths (bike riding time!), plus a popular playground to keep everyone from tots to teens happy. Those families feeling super-energetic can start at the nearby Kent Ridge Park and walk to Hort Park via the 280m long Canopy Walk (it’s about a 1km walk in total).
33 Hyderabad Road, Singapore 119578
Upper Seletar Reservoir Park
Off the beaten track, future astronauts will love scaling the Rocket Tower; a set of round stairs takes you to the top, where you can enjoy sweeping views of the Reservoir. Young ones will enjoy the children’s playground and the paved walking paths – perfect for an early evening stroll.
Off Mandai Road, Singapore
Dragon Playground at Toa Payoh
Treasure a piece of Singapore’s history at one of the few original HDB playgrounds of the 1970s – affectionately known as the Dragon Playground! The dragon-shaped sand-based playground is located at Block 28 Toa Payoh Lorong 6 and despite its out of the way location, is fun for little (and big kids!) to climb and slide down the inside of the dragon’s neck.
28 Lorong 6, Toa Payoh, Singapore 310028
Changi Village Playground
East Coasters listen up, here’s a hidden gem for you! Changi Village Playground is located at the back of Changi Village and contains a rare three-level playground with slides, poles and climbing areas perfect for confident kids to explore. Score!
Changi Village Road, Changi, Singapore
Enjoy green space galore at Marina Barrage – the dam with a park on its rooftop (yep you read that right). Best in the early evenings as shade is limited, the large lawns are perfect for picnics and for kids with kites. Water babies can cool off in the children’s water play area (watch out — it gets pretty slippery!), whilst mama snaps a pic of the impressive Marina Bay skyline.
Marina Barrage, Singapore 018951
Bedok Reservoir Park
Set against the backdrop of the picturesque Bedok Reservoir, the park is an active child’s dream – cycling, inline skating, running and fitness stations are all on offer (perfect for burning off some energy!), as well as a children’s playground and plenty of open fields to let the kids loose with a ball.
Bedok Reservoir Road (near the corner of Bedok North Ave 3), Singapore
Mount Emily Park
Take the kids for a play session at the quaint Mount Emily Park, the inner city green space tucked away in the area behind Plaza Singapura. Swings, slides and see saws will keep young ones busy while older children can bike around the tracks of the park.
Upper Wilkie Road, Singapore
Tiong Bahru Park
Calling all Thomas the Tank Engine fans – head to Tiong Bahru Park! Boasting Singapore’s only tilted train play structure, little explorers will love climbing through the huge train, the centerpiece of the adventure playground. There is plenty here to keep small and big kids busy: slides, tunnels, swings, a merry-go-round, a maze and a plethora of ride-on cars. Located just a 5-minute walk from the Tiong Bahru MRT station, the park can be hot in the afternoons (there isn’t a huge amount of shade), so best to pack a hat and sunscreen.
Between Henderson Road, Tiong Bahru Road and Lower Delta Road, Singapore
Sassy Mama tip: While we adore taking our little charges to play at many of Singapore’s fabulous parks and playgrounds, do bear in mind that many of the parks have little to no shade on offer. It can get unbearably hot in the middle of the day, so it’s best to pack the essentials and head down in the early morning or the late afternoon to beat the heat!