It’s the June school holidays here in Singapore, and there are lots of programmes going on this month for kids. If you need somewhere to entertain the young ‘uns and let them run around and expend some energy while soaking up the tropical sun, why not drop by some of these outdoor playgrounds? After all, admission to all of them is absolutely free! For indoor playground recommendations, check these out.
Children’s Garden at Gardens by the Bay
The Far East Organization’s Children’s Garden at Gardens by the Bay is one of the largest playgrounds for children in Singapore, and one of the most enjoyable to boot. There is an Adventure Trail with obstacles laid out for children aged 6 to 12 to conquer. Next up are the Rainforest Treehouses, which are also recommended for children aged 6 to 12. Two huge treehouses rise up to 4 metres and 7.5 metres respectively, and are a climber’s paradise. Long slides offer a fun and quick way to get back down to the ground! Children under 6 aren’t left out either, as there’s also a toddler play area for children aged 1 to 5.
The crown jewel of the Children’s Garden, however, is the Water Play Zone. Dress your kids in their swimsuits and let them splash about with sensor-activated water features. The little ones aren’t left out either, with a Fish Fountain designed for toddlers aged 2 to 5. When you get peckish, drop by the Children's Garden Café where a selection of bento meals and snacks await. Be sure to check out the closure dates on the Gardens by the Bay website to avoid disappointment!
Nearest MRT Station: Bayfront
Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
Nestled in the Singapore Botanic Gardens is the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. Already a sprawling 2-hectares, it is currently undergoing expansion works to double its size. It is Asia’s first garden dedicated to children, and was carefully designed and developed to provide a fun place for children to learn and play. There is a playground in a sandpit, a rarity in Singapore where sandy floors are being replaced by rubber mulch. And what garden playground would be complete without a hedge maze? Not the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. Of course, it doesn’t lack a waterplay area too, so bring along a swimsuit or a change of clothes for the little ones. Children will also enjoy crossing the suspension bridge, exploring the waterfall cave and climbing the treehouse.
On the educational front, visitors can learn about photosynthesis, recycling, epiphytes and more. There is also a sensory garden where children can get up close and personal with the plants growing there, and learn about nature by engaging with the plants through smell or touch. There is even an educational worksheet on the NParks website here that you can print out and bring along with you on your visit to the garden.
Nearest MRT Station: Botanic Gardens
Many shopping centres in Singapore are kid and family friendly, meaning there are nursing rooms, diaper changing facilities, high chairs in eateries and, more often than not, at least one playground for kids that may or may not include a water play area. VivoCity, as one of the biggest family-friendly shopping centres in Singapore, has both a dry playground at the Play Court on the second floor and a water play area at the Sky Park on the third floor! Unfortunately, the playground on the second floor is currently undergoing upgrading works, but the water play area is still very much open!
Apart from splashing about in the shallow water and running through the water fountains, there are also paddle boats for rent at the Sky Park. Children between the ages of 3 and 12 can go on a small paddle boat on their own, while children under 4 can get on a larger paddle boat with an adult. There is also a Mini Express Train that runs along the waterfront Promenade, providing scenic views of the sea. The Mini Express Train is designed to look like a colourful 19th century railway train, and even emits a non-toxic “smoke”!
Nearest MRT Station: HarbourFront