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Admiralty Park
Photograph: Wong Woon Khee

The best free things to do with kids in Singapore

From water parks to massive playgrounds, here are the best places for kids to burn off energy without spending a cent

By Cam Khalid
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Looking to keep the kids busy without breaking the bank? With plenty of family-friendly things to do around Singapore – even free ones – we've got you covered. Whether it's school holidays or a quiet weekend, there's plenty of activities that will keep your tiny tots entertained. From cycling through East Coast Park and flying a kite at Marina Barrage to getting soaked at Far East Organization Children's Garden and Siloso Beach, here are the best activities for kids – absolutely free.

RECOMMENDED: The best family-friendly activities in Singapore and the best kid-friendly restaurants in Singapore

An Artist’s Tropical Landscape
Photograph: National Gallery Singapore

Get creative at National Gallery Singapore

Art City Hall

As part of this year’s edition of Small Big Dreamers, the showcase titled An Artist’s Tropical Landscape features safe and engaging interactive activity stations for the little artists, inspired by local painter Georgette Chen’s artwork Tropical Fruits. The kids can get creative drawing fruits, and engage in sensorial play in the curious audio area where they can listen to the sounds various fruits might make. More imaginative fun awaits at the Keppel Centre for Art Education’s imaginative Art Playscape where there are various interactive kinetic zones. Locals including PRs can enjoy free admission into National Gallery Singapore.

Dairy Farm Nature Park
Photograph: NParks

Lace up for Dairy Farm Nature Park

Things to do Bukit Panjang

New to the hiking game? Start with the 63-hectare Dairy Farm Nature Park. The main trail is paved, so you don't have to rough it out Bear Grylls-style with the little ones. Make your way to the Wallace Education Centre for hands-on activities and exhibits that tell the story of Dairy Farm’s changing landscapes. Keep a lookout for the striking red and yellow heliconias as well as the monkeys, pangolins, and butterflies along the way. For a chance to spot rare species of dragonflies and the critically endangered birds known as Little Grebe, head towards the scenic Singapore Quarry at the park’s south-western end.

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Admiralty Park
Photograph: NParks

Take on the many slides at Admiralty Park

Kids Playgrounds Woodlands

Take a wild ride down any one of the 26 unique slides at three main play areas: Junior Play, Adventure Play, and Family Terracing Play. The young and the young-at-heart can slide down The Curved Roller Slide, a 34-metre-long outdoor slide lined with black tubes similar to that of a conveyor belt for easy sliding. Besides the slides, there’s an inclusive playground fitted with a wheelchair swing and merry-go-round to support play between children with and without needs.

Far East Organization Children's Garden
Photograph: Gardens by the Bay

Splash around at Far East Organization Children's Garden

Kids Playgrounds Marina Bay

Surrounded by the lush greens of Gardens by the Bay, this outdoor playground has one mission in mind: to get everybody drenched. There are water tunnels, stepping springs and various jets your pint-sized terrors – or your mischievous side – can use to hose everyone else down. Even toddlers can get in on the aquatic action, with a safe play zone you’ll feel comfortable letting them roam around in.

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marina barrage
Photograph: Shutterstock

Fly a kite at Marina Barrage

Things to do Marina Bay

Marina Barrage attracts couples and families all year round thanks to its breathtaking 360-degree view of the bay area. Pack a picnic basket and a kite for some family fun. Don't have one? Browse through the cavalcade of colourful creations at the shop on the grounds. Then, help your kid unleash his or her kite into the air and let it sail in the bay's gusty winds.

Haw Par Villa
Photograph: Sing Studio/Shutterstock

Enjoy the bizzare world of Haw Par Villa

Things to do Kent Ridge

This little theme park of horrors is both terrifying and impressive at the same time. Multi-coloured statues and tableaux depict scenes from Chinese history and mythology in bright, gaudy colours, making it look more menacing than they should. Still, it's fun to explore this sloping park in the West with the little rugrats. New to the park? Read our guide for the best bits to look out for.

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Siloso Beach
Photograph: Terence Ong

Build sandcastles at Siloso Beach

Attractions Beaches Central

Siloso Beach is a hive of activity with numerous beach clubs and an array of watersports options that simply exudes good summer vibes. And you can enjoy some fun under the sun without spending a dime here. Help your little beach bums with sunscreen application and watch them unleash their imagination in sandcastle building, splash around in the sea (with your guidance, of course) and play a friendly game of beach volleyball.

Sang Nila Utama Garden, Fort Canning Park
Photograph: R4rwr/Shutterstock

Revisit Singapore's history at Fort Canning Park

Things to do City Hall

While the grown-ups will appreciate the history of this modest-sized mound in the heart of the business district, the kids… well, they don’t need any excuse to tumble around in a park as verdant as this, do they? As they explore the many nooks and crannies of Fort Canning Park and its many colonial-era relics, learn more about the paramount roles it played in the defence of the island and even before the British arrived, when it served as the residence of Malay royalty.

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Singapore Botanic Gardens - Jacob Ballas Children's Garden
Photograph: NParks

Smell the roses at Singapore Botanic Gardens

Attractions Parks and gardens Tanglin

Established in 1852, the Gardens are a tranquil respite from the city buzz. Highlights include the National Orchid Garden with the world’s largest collection of orchids. There is also a swan lake where families can feed the black Australian swans, and picnic while enjoying an outdoor concert at Symphony Lake. Let the kids run riot at Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden where they can enjoy an exciting and interactive learning experience. Along with the theme 'All Life on Earth Depends on Plants,' the young ones will discover the wonders of life sciences and develop an appreciation for nature and the environment.

East Coast Park
Photograph: NParks

Ride a bicycle at East Coast Park

Attractions Beaches Marine Parade

East Coast Park stretches along the east coast of Singapore from Changi Airport (great for plane watching the A380), past the numerous restaurants at East Coast Seafood Centre to Fort Road. There are dedicated cycle and walking paths, bicycle and rollerblade hire stalls, a skate park, a playground and barbecue and camping areas. It's also a great spot for teaching your kids the basics of cycling or rollerblading. Read our comprehensive cycling guide to cycling in East Coast.

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Punggol Waterway
Photograph: NParks

Reconnect with nature at Punggol Waterway Park

Things to do Punggol

This peaceful park offers four unique themes with something in-store for visitors of all ages. The Nature Cove features a picturesque view of the waterway, with areas for families to spend lazy Sundays on the grass. At the Recreation Zone, little ones can let loose with activities like water play and sand play, while the rest of the family gets a workout at the fitness corner. The Heritage Zone offers gorgeous greenery along the stretch of the old Punggol Road where families can take a walk down memory lane, and the Green Gallery consists of a peaceful trail along the park's natural terrain.

Jurong Lake Gardens
Photograph: Facebook/NParks/Zinkie Aw

Play among nature at Jurong Lake Gardens

Things to do Jurong East

Deemed as the largest nature wonderland in the heartlands, Jurong Lake Gardens is Singapore's latest national garden, spanning a whopping 90-hectares. Beyond the flora and fauna, the grounds are specially landscaped and designed for families and the community to come together to play, learn and bond. Children can burn their energies by taking on the various obstacle courses, hopping about at the sunken trampolines, flying across a zip line, and scrambling up a tower to go down a tube-like slide.

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Bollywood Veggies
Photograph: Ahmad Iskandar Photography

Farm hop at Kranji Countryside

Things to do Lim Chu Kang

Escape to the countryside with the fam. At Kranji Countryside, kids can watch goats getting milked and even feed, erm, other kids at Hay Dairies, see vegetables being harvested and grown at Quan Fa Organic Farm, get school on organic produce at Bollywood Veggies, and more.

 

Marine Cove Playground
Photograph: Hafizullahyatim/Shutterstock

Swing and slide at Marine Cove Playground

Things to do Marine Parade

With kid-friendly restaurants and a beachfront setting, Marina Cove Playground makes a great spot for a family day out. This 3,500-square-foot playground is home to all manners of swings and slides. Older kids can scale up the wobbly net climbing courses at a three-storey play structure aptly modelled after a lighthouse. For those with toddlers in tow, steer them over to the merry-go-round and grass maze. The super-inclusive playground also has wheelchair-friendly play areas.

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Lower Seletar Reservoir Park
Photo: Public Utilities Board

Hike at Lower Seletar Reservoir Park

Things to do Yishun

Go for a walk or run with the kids along this park that looks out onto Lower Seletar Reservoir. Facilities and amenities include a fishing jetty, a People's Association Water Venture outlet that provides kayak rentals, and a water park where the young ones can splash around after a hike.

Kids got energy to burn?

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