The National Parks Board runs a regular series of walks and tours at parks around Singapore, most of which are free and open to kids and adults alike.
Register and look out for upcoming tours, where experienced guides tell you more about the flora, fauna and rare inhabitants that can be found in this otherwise concrete jungle.
Guided Museum Tours
Not-for-profit community arts group Friends of the Museum hosts regular tours in multiple languages at nine institutions, including the Asian Civilisations Museum, the National Museum and STPI Gallery.
These tours, which are led by a team of highly trained volunteers, cover a wide range of topics, from highlights at particular exhibitions to the history of those museums. They’re all free, but a few require you to register in advance.
Rather hop on a trail at your own pace? There’s a dozen 'self-guided heritage walks’, corralled by the National Heritage Board (NHB), that take you around locations – such as Jalan Besar and Ang Mo Kio – or back in time. There’s a trail dedicated to WWII, for instance, that brings visitors to historical sites on the island.
Other types of free trails to hop on
Here’s one for the kids. Strap on your best walking shoes and trudge through the swamps of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve to learn more about the flora and fauna that call this mangrove forest home. Weekly, volunteer-led tours – they regularly change – introduce the plants, birds, insects and other indigenous species found in this ASEAN Heritage Park (Singapore has two, the other being Bukit Timah Nature Reserve).
Cycle from East Coast Park to Marina Bay
A scenic cycling route on which even beginners can embark: the extension to the Eastern Coastal Loop connects East Coast Park to the city centre. (We used to have to pedal up Benjamin Sheares Bridge, much to the chagrin of the authorities.) Start at Tanjong Rhu Promenade – it begins at the foot of Tanjong Rhu bridge along Sungei Geylang – and cruise along the length of East Coast Park.
You’ll soon be taking in vistas of the iconic landmarks of Singapore: Marina Barrage, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyer and Gardens by the Bay. And you don’t even need to leave the park. From there, the Central Urban Loop brings you to Kallang Riverside Park, where you can break for a barbecue meal at Camp Kilo Charcoal Club.
See nparks.gov.sg for a detailed route.