For years Singapore has been voted in the Top 5 most expensive places to live in. However, don’t let that put you off from choosing Singapore as a holiday destination; it is a fantastic place to visit with your family and can be done on a budget. Yes, there are plenty of expensive and fun activities to keep you and your children occupied, but if you are looking for some free activities to do then you are in the right place. I am going to show you how you can visit Singapore on a budget and all the free things to visit and see in Singapore with kids.
Jewel Chiangi Airport
Location: 70 Airport Boulevard, 819661
MRT: Changi Airport (CG2)
As soon as you land at Singapore Airport you can visit Jewel which is connected to Changi Airport T1, T2 and T3; it is also accessible to the public from Changi Airport MRT station. This is where you will find the World’s tallest indoor waterfall; Rain Vortex an astounding 40metres high waterfall. At night time you can see the waterfall light up and experience the hourly music show between 8.30-12.30am. Although there are a lot of paying activities you can still visit the play areas for free and the Shiseido Forest Valley where you can escape from the heat outdoors into the lush green forest of trees indoors; a great place for the kids to run around the rock gardens and admire the Skytrain passing by.
Botanic Gardens Singapore
Location: 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore 259569
There is no shortage of gorgeous parks in Singapore but this one was one of our favourite places to visit for us and the kids. You can spend the whole day at this UNESCO heritage site. There are over 52 hectares of area to discover; our kids loved the waterfall in the cave and seeing the turtles in the lake.
Their favourite part however was the ‘Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden’; a paradise for children to learn about nature through play and discovery. The gardens have different zones to explore; the Explore Zone is where you will find the slide, water play and treehouse and you will find kids playing in the sandpit area. There is a Forest Zone which is great for older kids to discover the treehouse, trampolines, swings and the popular flying fox. There is also the Learn Zone where you can do a treetop walk (suitable for prams). From here you can visit Nature Play and learn about farming at the Orchard Zone and cool down in the Stream Zone. Jacob Ballas Gardens are open from 8 am to 7 pm; note on Monday it is closed.
TIP – It can get really hot and there are not always shaded areas so try to go early; make sure you take a sun hat, sunscreen, water spray and drink plenty of water.
Gardens By the Bay
Location: Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
Getting there: Driving, MRT, Bus, Waling
Gardens by the Bay is located by the waterfront of Marina Bay; there are 3 main areas to explore which consist of Bay South, Bay Central and Bay East. Bay South is where you can find the iconic ‘Avatar’ style Supertrees. There are around 18 of these amazing tree structures ranging between 25-50 metres high. If you head to the Supertree Grove (where you can get a closer view of the sky bridge) in the evening you will see the glowing structures light up. Don’t miss the spectacular free ‘garden rhapsody show’ a daily light and sound show at 7.45 pm and 8.45 pm. The themes for the show change every month from pop musical theatre to world classical music. If you get there early you can grab yourself a snack and sit on the green lawn and just look up and enjoy the view.
Bay Central links the South and East; you can take a lovely waterfront promenade walk which is around 3km and offers you stunning views of the city.
If you fancy just to get away from the hustle and bustle then at Bay East you can find a bit more tranquillity with nice walks and family picnic areas covering an area of 32 hectares.
We also really enjoyed visiting the Dragonfly and Kingfisher lakes and walking on the 440m boardwalk to take some cool photos. If you like to learn more about plants then you can also explore the Chinese, Indian, Malay and Colonial Heritage Gardens.
If you are at the Gardens of the Bay during the day and need to cool off then head to the water play area which is run by the Far East Organisation. This is a fun children’s garden with a lot of space to run and splash around. There are water tunnels, balancing beams, stepping springs and fun fountains to keep kids amused for hours! So don’t forget to take the swimming costumes for the kids. Also bear in mind this is closed on Mondays and open between 9am and 7pm.
Marina Bay Sands
Location: 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956
MRT: Bayfront (CE1/DT16)
If you enjoy light shows there is another one in Marina Bay Sands called the Spectra, the best view would be from Merlion Park but you also have a great view from the hotel. Here you will get to see projected images on the water and the laser light show which the kids will love. Our kids also enjoyed the ‘spaceship style’ building which fascinated them.
Sentosa Crane Dance
Location: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098269
MRT: Harbourfront (CC29/NE1)
Now if you just can’t get enough of these light and sound shows you can see another free one on Sentosa Island; The Sentosa Crane Dance. This is pretty impressive as you see 2 steel cranes moving through jets of coloured shooting water and dramatic music. The show takes place at 8 pm in the open-air amphitheatre which is close to the Waterfront MRT station.
Jurong Lake Gardens
Location: Yuan Ching Rd, Singapore
We were staying near this location for a few days so when our Singaporian friend took us to Jurong Lake Gardens we were pretty surprised.
I have never seen such a large play area with so many cool things to do and adults can join in too with the super big swings and stepping springs.
This place is huge and by 2021 there will also be some Japanese and Chinese gardens to admire. It is a project for families and the local community and will cover around 90 hectares. The kids will love the Forest Ramble which has 13 different adventure play areas each themed after an animal of the freshwater swamp. There are huge slides, seesaws, swings, trampolines, rope courses and climbing frames perfect for 5-12 years of age. There is also a water play area at the Clusia Cove which has an eco pond and kids can play and learn about currents and tidal wave patterns in an interactive way.
What is nice is that these parks are open and well lit in the evening till 10 pm and the evenings are when these places get pretty busy as everyone tends to avoid the daytime heat. Our kids really had a blast here and wanted to come every evening; just don’t turn up on a Monday like we did as it will be closed!
Little India Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
Location:141 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218042
MRT: Little India (NE7/DT12)
If you have had enough of playgrounds and feel like something a bit more cultural then you can head off to Little India and visit the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple; one of Singapore’s oldest Hindu Temples. The sculptures are beautiful and colourful.
Location: Pagoda St, 059242
MRT: Chinatown (NE4/DT19)
You can also visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple; which holds exhibits of Buddhist art and artefacts of the buddha. There is also a lovely roof garden with a pagoda on the top floor. On Saturdays, you can book a free guided tour.
Nearby you also have the Sri Mariamman Temple another beautiful Indian Temple.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Location: Hindhede Dr, Singapore 589318
Get away from the city to visit Bukit Timah Nature Reserve where you will find 163 hectares of nature, wildlife and walking trails. You can start at the visitor centre where there is also a gallery and then climb to the Bukit Timah Hill 163 metre steep hill. Singapore also has another Reserve called the Labrador Nature Reserve (Labrador Villa Road, Singapore 119187). This is a historical war site as well as a biodiverse forest near the sea; the mangrove trail is definitely one to do.
Location: Pulau Ubin, Singapore 508329
If you feel like going back in time and visiting something out of the 1960s Singapore then you can take a short 15-minute ferry ride to Palau Ubin from Changi Point Ferry Terminal. There are many things to discover on this little Island from abandoned quarries to fruit orchards and the Chek Jawa Wetlands. Can get really hot so don’t forget your sun hat, mosquito repellant and sunscreen.
MacRitchie Reservoir & Treetop Walk
Location: MacRitchie Reservoir Park, Singapore 298717
This place is fantastic for kids as there is a lovely treetop walk, a 250-metre aerial free-standing suspension bridge above the forest. There is also an 11 km nature trail loop where you may spot lizards and long-tailed macaque monkeys.
In conclusion, Singapore can be done on a budget; there are many fun and free activities for the whole family to enjoy. If we have missed out on anything let us know in the comment box and enjoy your time in Singapore.
Thanks and see you on our next adventure.
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