From wetland reserves and inner-city gardens, to wildlife parks and aquariums, S’pore has a tonne to offer in the nature and wildlife department! Get the little ones ready to take a walk on the wild side mama with our top picks for the best animal adventures in Singapore. Roooooooaaaar!
This well-kept secret on Sentosa is home to 1,500 butterflies from over 50 species that flutter and float about you in an outdoor conservatory. Perfect for little ones to get up close to these pretty creatures, this multi-sensory and interactive park also showcases a variety of insects and birds (and even some reptiles!). The outdoor exhibit is the recreation of a tropical rainforest, with a butterfly aviary, a pupa house, and an insect kingdom museum for mini explorers to discover. Take note too mama that while it’s a great place to see plenty of butterflies, the park is not really that new anymore and is a little on the ‘outdated’ side so don’t expect anything too fancy!
51 Imbiah Road, Sentosa Island, Singapore 099702
Tel: (+65) 6275 0013
Open daily from 9:30am to 7pm
Located on the very outskirts of Singapore, Hay Dairies is a modern day dairy farm that houses over 800 goats of mixed breeds. Producing their own goats’ milk (it’s available for sale on site) the farm is also open to visitors, and is especially welcoming of families looking to show their kiddos how milk is produced. Groups of fewer than 20 don’t need to book in advance and are able to visit the farm between 9am and 4pm daily. Sassy Mama tip: If you’re keen to see the milking in action you’ll want to be there between 9 and 11am.
No. 3 Lim Chu Kang, Agrotech Park Lane 4, Singapore 718859
Tel: (+65) 6792 0931
Open daily from 9am to 4pm
Home to some 5,000 birds, S’pore’s biggest bird sanctuary is a fun way to introduce the kiddies to these feathered friends. There’s 20 hectares of bird park to explore (it pays to take the tikes for a ride on the $5 park train – you get to do a lap of the grounds, plus there is the novelty factor of a train ride!) and with some of the biggest aviaries around there’s plenty of birds to see. If you really want to get close to the action it’s worth taking the kids to one of the daily feeding sessions, as well as taking a wander through the African Waterfall Aviary, the Lory Loft (a 9-story high aviary full of bright lorikeets), the Jungle Jewel exhibit (home to the toucan) or the Penguin Coast (littlies can watch the penguins dive through the water). There are also colourful pelicans and flamingos, as well as a fun water park – aptly called ‘Birdz of Play’ – for when the tinies need to cool off.
2 Jurong Hill, Singapore 628925
Tel: (+65) 6265 0022
Open daily from 8:30am to 6pm
Love them or loathe them, there are monkeys everywhere in S’pore. Whilst most are commonly sighted in the mornings (and can be a bit of a pain), families keen to learn more about the long-tailed macaque can join a free Monkey Walk by the Jane Goodall Institute of Singapore. Held on the second Saturday of each month at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, the walk is lead by a primatologist (a person who knows all about monkeys!) and is fun and educational for big and little kids. Kicking off at around 5pm expect the opportunity to learn more about our monkey friends as well as see them in their natural habitat – just don’t bring any food with you!
Remaining dates for 2013 include 10th August, 14th September, 12th October, 9th November and 14th December.
Walks depart from the Visitors Centre at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Hindhede Drive, Singapore 589333
Tel: (+65) 6466 3328
Email email@example.com to reserve your spot.
Check out Singapore’s award-winning park for nocturnal animals and see over 2,500 animals in their natural (nighttime) habitats! Well loved (and for good reason) the highlight of any visit is the guided tram ride that takes the fam through the seven themed ‘geographical’ regions of the park to see the animals going about their typical evening business. There’s also plenty of walking trails to explore if the youngsters still have the energy – the two aviaries are the place to be if you want to get close to Malayan flying foxes and giant flying squirrels (just keep an eye on the wee ones mama!) and is right next to the Leopard observatory. Don’t miss the new Wallaby Trail either – inspired by the great Aussie Outback, take a wander along this trail and see free-ranging wallabies, as well as scorpions, centipedes and other crawly creatures in the Naracoote Cave. Fun!
80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Tel: (+65) 6269 3411
Open daily from 7:30pm to 12 midnight (retail shops open at 5:30pm)
Featuring South East Asia’s biggest panda exhibit, the River Safari is Singapore’s newest wildlife experience and home to resident pandas, Kai Kai and Jia Jia. Themed around eight of the world’s most famous rivers, you travel along a route that takes you past displays representing rivers such as the Mississippi, the Yangtze and the Mekong. Much like a fancy aquarium, families can spend a leisurely morning exploring the Giant Panda Forest, the Squirrel Monkey Forest and the Amazon Flooded Forest – home to the giant manatees! The park also features one of the world’s biggest freshwater aquariums and with over 5,000 specimens on display there is plenty here for kids to see and do. At the end of this year (2013), the river cruise will also be open to the public and will be a much-welcomed addition to this wildlife park.
80 Mandai Lake Road,
Tel: (+65) 6269 3411
Open daily from 9am to 6pm
As well as being an inner city green paradise, the Gardens are also home to many a turtle, fish and swan. Head north to eco-lake to see the swans splashing in the water (this part of the Gardens is also the perfect place for the kiddies to run wild as there is plenty of grass), then wander down to Symphony Lake to see the turtles. From here you can head back towards the Botany Centre to let the littlies feed the fish (food is available for purchase at the Visitor’s Centre). The rainforest also houses many frogs, treeshrews and monitor lizards, among other tropical animals, and is free for mini ones to explore.
1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
Tel: (+65) 6471 7361
Open daily from 5am to midnight
It’s no secret here at Sassy Mama that we adore the Singapore Zoo. One of the most immersive, hands-on and fun Zoos to visit with families, Singapore’s favourite 26-hectare wildlife park is packed with things to see and do. With more than 2,800 animals from over 300 species at the Zoo, and set in the lush surrounds of the Mandai rainforest, you could easily spend an entire day (or more) here with the tikes. From elevated platforms, to underwater galleries and glass observatories, guided trams to treks on foot, children are able to explore the surrounds and see the animals just as if they were living in the wild (cool!). We’re particularly fond of the Australian Outback exhibit and the Fragile Forest where littlies can get particularly close to the animals, as well as the daily feeding of the elephants (if your little ones are brave enough to give it a go). Oh and how could we forget to mention the fantastic water park? While it may not be walking with the animals per se, it’s still super fun for hot and bothered kiddos to splash around in.
80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
Tel: (+65) 6269 3411
Open daily from 8:30 to 6pm
Popular among bird-watchers and photographers, this wetland reserve is home to mangrove wildlife like mudskippers, crabs, water snakes, birds, moths and monitor lizards as well as resident birds like herons, kingfishers, bitterns, sunbirds and coucals. Plovers and sandpipers take up residence in the reserve from September to March each year and can often been seen along the walking trails through the park. The mangrove boardwalk is an easy 500 metre walk ideal for families with prams and offers the opportunity to see mudskippers, crabs and shellfish – and maybe even a water snake! Those looking to learn more about the reserve can join a free-guided tour (just for families! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve) that kicks off from the Visitor’s Centre and accommodates youngsters as young as 3. Everyone else can join the regular guided tour that runs each Saturday morning from 9:30am. Pssst! Don’t forget to pre-register to reserve your spot!
301 New Tiew Crescent, Singapore 718925
Tel: (+65) 6794 1401
Open Mon to Sat 7:30am – 7pm, Sun & PH 7am – 7pm
Billed as the world’s largest oceanarium (trust us, it’s BIG!) be prepared to see over 800 species of marine animals and up to 200 sharks! Designed to be a window into the ocean, there’s everything from giant manta rays and sharks in the Ocean Dome to endless schools of fish, sea jellies and moray eels, as well as starfish and sea urchins in the Discovery Touch Pool. This is one popular aquarium mama, so you’ll want to purchase your entrance tickets online and get there early if you’re to have any chance of beating the crowds.
8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island, Singapore 098269
Tel: (+65) 6577 8888
Open daily from 10am to 7pm
Now it’s your turn to channel your Dr. Dolittle mama and take the kids to see the animals!
Honorable mentions also go to Underwater World which introduces little ones to the dolphins — not to mention the monkeys often seen in and around Watten Estate early in the morning!