After spending many a sweaty hour trekking around various parks, here's our list of the best spots to picnic at in Singapore. These places don't require you to travel to the middle of nowhere, they're scenic, they have some shade and decent patches of grass, and most importantly, they're located near the toilets (but not too near). So pack your basket, pick up your mat, and head to these parks for some fun in the sun.
Clearly the best park to picnic in, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has plenty of ground to set up a spot and soak up some nature.
Best picnic spot: Surrounded by trees on all sides, the gentle slope of Palm Valley is the ideal picnic spot. At the bottom of the slope is the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, which holds regular music events, the most popular of which is Singapore Symphony Orchestra's Symphony in the Park series. The nearest toilets are beside the Cool House, near Palm Valley Gate. Otherwise, there are also toilets at the visitor centre.
Getting there: From the visitor's centre, head left towards Corner House and further up Heliconia Walk. Or, enter Palm Valley from Orchid Plaza.
Quiet and tranquil – because it's pretty damn far from anywhere else – this park has lots of unique architecture for you to snap an Instagram shot or do a spot of painting. And its many grass patches and pavilions mean you won't be starved of places to make camp at.
Best picnic spot: Near the Bridge of Double Beauty, on the banks of the Chinese Garden side of the river, which separates it from the Japanese Garden. Not only is it relatively cooler there, you'll get to take pictures of the sculptures of the zodiac animals in the vicinity with the seven-storey pagoda looming in the background. The closest public toilet is situated at the edge of the Garden of Abundance, away from the bridge.
Getting there: From the East Entrance (where Chinese Garden MRT station is), facing the seven-storey pagoda, walk to your left, then past the Garden of Abundance until you reach the bridge. From the Japanese Garden main entrance, head left around the island (or walk through it and pass a mini lake with red bridges).
Stretching over 15 kilometres, this swathe of sand and grass is teeming with coconut trees and picnic tables.
Best picnic spot: Avoid the crowd by setting up camp at Area F, between car parks F2 and F3. You'll get a scenic view of the sea – and its spacious lawn area is the perfect place for plane-spotting and playing frisbee. After your picnic, stretch your limbs and wander through the lush bougainvillea garden nearby, or head to Sunset Bay Garden Bistro next to it for a few drinks. The closest public toilet is located at car park F2 and is even equipped with shower rooms.
Getting there: It's a 20-minute walk away from the skate park. Or take the bus and drop off at car park F3, after East Coast’s Sea Sports Club).
This park sits on 50 hectares of land that's equipped with a camping site, barbecue pits, a dog run and a huge playground with eight sets of play areas – perfect for families.
Best picnic spot: Pick any spot in Area 3, preferably under the shady trees near the playgrounds if you want to keep an eye on the young 'uns. Also, for a last-minute picnic, just grab food from the nearby McDonald's. Area 3 also faces the sea – you can head up the lookout deck for a closer view of the ships that dot the horizon. The nearest toilets are either at the McDonald's or in a block to the left of Area 3.
Getting there: From the bus stop or the car park (Car Park 3) nearest to the McDonald's, walk towards the playgrounds.
Labrador Nature Reserve, which is a part of the Southern Ridges, is rich in biodiversity and has many relics dating back to World War II that you can explore. For the less intrepid, the boardwalks offer spectacular views of the sea.
Best picnic spot: Spread your mat along the shady areas or in one of the sheltered pavilions near Car Park B. For those with kids, there's a playground near the lighthouse and, on weekends, a van selling old-school block ice cream at the car park. The nearest toilets are to the right, away from the lighthouse and near the open space.
Getting there: From Labrador MRT station, walk along the Berlayer Creek boardwalk, then turn right towards the Berlayer Point Lighthouse. If you're driving, head up Port Road and turn left towards Car Park B.