Despite challenges like uneven terrain, wild animals and unpredictable weather, hiking is a really fun and popular activity in Singapore. But when you add the kids to the mix, it's best to put their safety first. Trust Singapore to think about the kids too and have some of the best kid-friendly trails around for when you want to bring the young ones hiking. Pack some sunscreen, their favourite cap, water bottle and maybe a light snack for when the tantrums kick in mid-hike.
Home to 170 species of birds, 54 types of butterflies and 33 different kinds of dragonflies, this nature reserve is the perfect recreation area to take the kids out to observe and enjoy the island's wildlife. At 57 hectares and with a range of natural and green habitats, Kranji Marshes is Singapore's largest freshwater farmland. Climb to the top of the Raptor Tower for the ultimate bird's eye view of the grounds – take note, not the entire park is open to public but there are many hideouts and spots to go bird-watching with your kids.
Located in the Botanic Gardens, the Learning Forest was designed to integrate with the existing 6-hectare rainforest to form an enlarged forest habitat. Unlike the rest of the Botanic Gardens, the Learning Forest is a little more rustic and sprawling, segmented into different areas like the bamboo garden, an arboretum of wild fruit trees, and wetland ecosystems for curious sorts to explore, discover and like its namesake, to learn about Singapore’s rainforests. There are lots of clearly-marked paths and trails that you and the family can follow throughout the park.
Lace up and surround yourself with the flora and fauna in the west. Deemed as the largest nature wonderland in the heartlands, Jurong Lake Gardens is Singapore's latest national garden, spanning a whopping 90 hectares. The gardens include Lakeside Garden, Chinese and Japanese Gardens and Garden Promenade – previously known as Jurong Lake Gardens West, Jurong Lake Gardens Central and Garden Promenade respectively. The grounds are specially landscaped and designed for families and the community to come together to play, learn and bond.
If you're looking for a leisurely hike with the family, head to Hindhede Nature Park located next to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve which has easy trails and well-defined footpaths perfect for families, children and hiking beginners. Scenic and serene, it is also an excellent spot for wildlife watching as it is home to inhabitants like the banded woodpecker, clouded monitor lizard and plantain squirrel so it pays to keep your eyes open when taking a walk. The main highlight, of course, is the picturesque Hindhede Quarry which is located at the end of the park.
Continue along the Pasir Ris park connector towards Tampines and you’ll come across sprawling greenery formed by open grasslands, freshwater wetlands and a secondary rainforest – you’d never guess they wrap around one of the most populous neighbourhoods in Singapore. Wade through the greens as you take on the walking trail within the sanctuary to uncover its rich biodiversity, featuring many species of birds, butterflies, dragonflies and spiders. No cycling is allowed in the park, though, but it's perfect to take a stroll with the little ones and watch them take in everything.
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.
This family-friendly spot was established in 1852 and are a tranquil respite from the city buzz. Highlights include the National Orchid Garden with the world’s largest collection of orchids – some 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids, including the national flower, Vanda Miss Joaquim. There is also a swan lake where the kids can feed the black Australian swans, and the Evolution Garden Walk, a well-landscaped plot containing the fossilised remains of ancient trees.
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 the kids get a little exercise exploring the many nooks and crannies of Fort Canning Park and its many colonial-era relics, they can also 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 on an organised tour.
Located in a quiet, tranquil area in the northeastern part of Singapore, this 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 a relaxing lawn area for families to spend lazy Sundays. But the kids will love the Recreation Zone where there are activities like water play and sand play, 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. If you want to get active with your family, go for the cycling or inline skating activities, or admire the views from the Rope Bridge and Kelong Bridge.
NParks’ 23-hectare HortPark will make for an aesthetically pleasing walk but there's also lots for the younglings to learn from. Explore the 20 themed sections with the kids including a Balinese-themed garden, a stunning Silver Garden made up of light-reflective plants and other research greenhouses.