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Six behind-the-scenes tours to check out in Singapore

Sign up for one of these behind-the-scenes tours for an insider look that few have seen

Wild Discoverer Tour
Photo: Wildlife Reserves Singapore
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Wild Discoverer Tour

Zip through the zoo 

Think of this tour as the zoo rolling out the red carpet for VIPs. Hop aboard a private buggy and be chauffeured to the Fragile Forest for a closer look at the biodome and the Madagascan hissing cockroaches and rhinoceros beetles that call it home. Next, roll up to the Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia, where you'll watch the crazy antics of over a hundred Hamadryas baboons during feeding time. The private tours occur throughout the day and cost $28 per adult and $18 per child (three to 12 years old). 

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Choa Chu Kang
Ocean Dreams
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Ocean Dreams

Sleep with the fishes 

If you’re not part of the mafia, sleeping with the fishes is actually an enjoyable affair. The Ocean Dreams ($126/adult, $110/child) experience at SEA Aquarium in Resorts World Sentosa is a two-day, one-night tour around the attraction that culminates in a sleepover under the tanks of the Open Ocean Habitat.

As you settle into a sleeping bag, schools of manta rays and leopard sharks gracefully swim before you while the blue hues of the aquarium lull you to sleep. You’ll also be treated to dinner, an immersive movie screening at the 360º Typhoon Theatre, and a fish feeding session in the morning before the aquarium opens to the public.

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Harbourfront
Bird’s Eye Tour
Photo: Wildlife Reserves Singapore
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Bird’s Eye Tour

Take flight

Before Jurong Bird Park departs for its new digs in Mandai, discover the secrets of the current grounds on this 90-minute tour. It takes you to the best spots in the park, like the Lory Loft, the world’s largest lory flight aviary, where you can feed the small birds from the palms of your hands. The Waterfall Aviary can’t be missed, either. There, over 600 birds nestle near the 30m-tall waterfall, filling the air with a cacophony of chirps. End the day by befriending the park’s resident ostriches, cassowaries, swans – if you’re lucky, they might even give you a peck on the cheek. 

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Boon Lay
Esplanade Tour
Photo: Esplanade Theatres on the Bay
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Esplanade Tour

Behind the velvet curtain 

Ever wondered what it takes to put together major productions like Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera? Find out on this tour, which brings you around the venue’s front-of-house and backstage facilities. The two-hour walking tour also includes a primer on how the Esplanade’s acoustics are enhanced, and a rare view of the orchestra pit, dressing rooms and artists’ lounge. Tours are held  every Monday and are priced at  $30 for adults and $24 for students and seniors. 

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Esplanade
Singapore Sports Hub Venue Tours
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Singapore Sports Hub Venue Tours

Picture perfect spots

There’s more to discover at the Singapore Sports Hub than massive concerts and National Day Parade fireworks. This venue tour takes you around all 35 hectares of the lifestyle hub in 90 minutes, stopping at photo-worthy points – the city skyline from the edge of the water, for example – along the way. You’ll also discover a ‘secret’ indoor Climb Wall at the National Stadium and stop by the interactive Singapore Sports Museum, which houses records of our nation’s best athletes and all they’ve accomplished. Tours must be booked in advance by emailing bookatour@sportshub.com.sg and are held at 10.30am and 2.30pm every day.

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Stadium
Race against Time – Science Behind a Botanic Garden Tour
Photo: NParks
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Race against Time – Science Behind a Botanic Garden Tour

Evergreen tours 

Family picnics and romantic strolls aside, the Singapore Botanic Gardens is also a place for some serious education. Race against Time is a free 45-minute walk held every fourth Saturday of the month that takes you around the facilities of the park, such as the Herbarium. (Its arcane name befits its purpose: the Herbarium houses records of reference plant materials from as far back as 1790.)

And since this is Singapore, after all, you’ll be able to check out the laboratory where white-jacketed scientists work on the Botanic Garden’s orchid hybridisation programme. Registration starts 15 minutes before the tour begins and is restricted to a group of 25 people (aged nine and up). 

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Botanic Gardens

More tours and trails to check out

Free trails in Singapore

Here are three different kinds of free trails for you to start your adventures on.

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By: Time Out Singapore editors

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