Children are keen learners and naturally curious about everything around them. Our natural environment has so much for children to explore but in this era of high technology entertainment, opportunities for outdoor activities are greatly reduced. Here are 5 outdoor play areas for kids to allow them to interact with and appreciate our natural environment.
#1 Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden
Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, situated at the Bukit Timah Core of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, is designed specially for children. Interesting features include Tree House with slides and ladders; Floating Platform; Trunk of a 100-year-old Pometia Pinnata; Sensory Garden; Waterplay Area and a Changeable Maze.
Take your time to observe the butterflies, birds and millipedes which are part of the natural environment. Monthly scheduled nature guided walks and workshops are available for children above 5 years old. For more information, please go to the website provided.
Address: Cluny Road Singapore 259569
Opening Hours: 8am – 7pm (last admission at 6.30pm)
Closed on Mondays (except on PH)
Admission: Free. The Children Garden is open to children up to 12 years old and has to be accompanied by an adult.
Tel: +65 64719961
#2 Hort Park
A one-stop gardening hub catering to the needs of gardening enthusiasts, amateur gardeners and even people who simply want to enjoy the flora and fauna. Children love the Recycling Garden where they spot household equipment that is now used to house the plants.
Learn more about common herbs and spices using your five senses at the Herb and Spice Garden. End your trip at the HortMart by buying gardening-related products home.
Address: 33 Hyderabad Road, Off Alexandra Road
Opening Hours: 6am – 10pm daily
Tel: +65 64715601
A 500m long boardwalk provides visitors with an insight of the mangroves and the array of creatures that live within. Three other routes, ranging from 3km – 7km, provide opportunities to observe aquatic pond plants, traditional prawn pond, freshwater ponds and also migratory shorebirds/waders which are usually spotted between September to March.
Free guided tours are also available on Saturday at two timeslots, 9.30am and 3.30pm, on a first come first serve basis.
Refresh yourself after a walk in the reserve at the café near the entrance.
Address: 301 Neo Tiew Crescent Singapore 718925
Opening Hours: 7.30am – 7pm (Monday to Saturday) | 7am – 7pm (Sunday & PH)
Admission: Free entry
Tel: +65 67941401
#4 Chek Jawa @ Pulau Ubin
Pulau Ubin, a small island at the north east of Singapore, houses a popular tourist attraction, Chek Jawa. With a wide variety of wildlife marine creatures, you will continually be awed.
Children love spotting the fiddler crabs and mudskippers that are common in the mangrove. It is recommended to check timing for low tide to avoid disappointment. Guided tours are available at $60 (maximum 15 people per group). Bumboat ride from Changi Village jetty to Pulau Ubin costs $2.50 per passenger.
Opening Hours: 8.30am – 6pm daily
#5 Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
The nature reserve, with walking trails of varying difficulties, contains more than 840 flowering plants and over 500 species of animals. The reserve’s playground, surrounded by these flora and fauna, is a lovely place for children. Free guided walks are available every 1st Sunday of the month at 4pm.
Opening Hours: 6am – 7pm daily
Note: Due to the relative natural environment, do apply insect repellent beforehand to prevent mosquito bites.
Alternatively, walks in the neighbourhood can be made more interesting by making occasional stops to look at the plants, flowers, even the insects and talking about them. Equip yourself with magnifying glasses to take a closer look at these lovely living things. Just simply allocate 5 minutes daily and you will be amazed by how much you can discover with your child at these outdoor play areas for kids.
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