Looking to explore beyond the tourist traps? Check out these free things to do in Singapore!
Travel is not cheap. Especially if you have kids. From airfares and hotels to snapping up tickets to the hottest attractions that a city has to offer, it all adds up. So obviously it makes sense that as parents, we’re always hunting for things to do that won’t cost us a pretty penny. The Lion City is a firm family-favourite destination; it’s safe, convenient and kid-friendly, but it’s not exactly the cheapest destination for the whole family. So with that in mind, from parks and beaches to treetop hikes, here are a few of our favourite free things to do in Singapore.
Embark on a bumboat to Pulau Ubin and be instantly transported back to the ’60s. Rent a pushbike or simply spend the day walking under shady palm trees and exploring one of many trails through the overgrown rubber plantations and sandy beaches. Known as one of Singapore’s richest ecosystems, Chek Jawa Wetland is a great checkpoint to start with, but this boomerang-shaped island is abundant with things to see, taste and do. One of the highlights include Wayang Stage in the centre of Ubin Town, a colourful shrine that is steeped in history.
To get to Pulau Ubin take a boat (SGD 3) from Changi Point Ferry Terminal near the Changi Village Hawker Centre.
Residing at the edge of Singapore’s Orchard Road district, the Botanic Gardens is an oasis that you’ll gladly get lost in for hours. Free to wander around the gorgeous grounds at your leisure, there are also walking tours, free of cost, led by volunteers each weekend (check the schedule here) if you’re looking to teach the kids a thing or two about the native flora and fauna.
If your family has visited Singapore in the past you’ll be familiar with Sentosa and the plethora of theme parks and water attractions on the island. But beyond the glitz and glamour, lies secluded, unexplored beaches that forgo the hefty entrance fees of the adventure parks. We wouldn’t recommend this if you have very young kids in tow as to get to Tanjong Rimau beach, you need to make your way down a rocky slope on the outskirts of the Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa compound. Pack your swimmers and plenty of snacks and get there before high tide to make the most of this hidden hangout!
Pack your bags and take a hike high above the treetops for a bird’s eye view of The Lion City and the wildlife surrounding MacRitchie Reservoir. Not one for the little tykes, this hike is roughly a 8km roundtrip. You’ll climb to a 250m suspension bridge which connects the two highest points (Bukit Peirce and Bukit Kalang). More info and downloadable maps (although not all who wander are lost!) here.
Curving and twisting 274 metres along stunning views of the island, the Henderson Waves Bridge offers a unique walk far removed from the hustle and bustle down below. Take a breather in one of the many “shell-like” pods or snap some pics while the sun sets. Alternatively, if you’re a very active family, why not explore the bridge as part of the Southern Ridges Walk? The 5km hiking trail will take you through three of Singapore’s major parks, connecting at Telok Blangah Hill Park and Mount Faber Park.
This article was originally published on Sassy Hong Kong on 29 May, 2018 and has been updated for Sassy Mama Hong Kong.