There are a lot of underrated places in Singapore which are worth exploring for kids and families. These places are frequently overlooked or less publicized than touristy destinations such as Sentosa or Gardens by the Bay. Here, we present 13 underrated places for families which are ideal for weekend or school holiday visits.
1. Gallop Stable @ Pasir Ris Park
Gallop Stable has two stables in Singapore (Horsecity @ Bukit Timah and Pasir Ris Park). They provide various horse-related activities for kids such as pony rides, horse feeding, riding camps etc. They even have a rabbit farm and a bistro. Kids would be able to get a pony ride for $10. Photos shown below were taken at their Pasir Ris Park branch.
2. Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre
The Humanistic Youth Centre is a centre established by the Tzu Chi Foundation in Singapore which functions as a youth community premise. There are many indoor and outdoor activities which are organised by the centre. It offers numerous youth-based facilities including a bookstore cafe, a bakery, study area, co-working space, classrooms, multi-purpose hall, etc. The centre is located beside the Yishun Pond Park, which is an attraction by itself. Admission is free.
3. NEWater Visitor Centre
The NEWater Visitor Centre is a centre that is open to the public and visitors of all ages. It has exhibits that showcase the processes associated with production of clean water using membranes. There are plenty of interactive tours and educational workshops that cater to both adults and kids. Admission is free and it is currently open for guided tours -visitors are required to book a session using this online form.
4. Science Centre Singapore
The Science Centre Singapore is a centre that promotes scientific and technological education for the public, with emphasis on children learning. The centre is certainly vast, with plenty of interactive sections on science, robotics, human body, illusions, geography, horror house, amongst others. Be sure to catch the robotics show as well. Tickets to the centre can be purchased here.
5. My Tree House @ Central Public Library
My Tree House, located in the Central Public Library (National Library) is the world’s 1st Green Library for kids. The library section features spaces like the Bamboo Garden and a tree house canopy made of recycled bottles. Admission is free.
6. Boardwalk @ Seletar
There is a long boardwalk located next to the Seletar Airport runway which provides a great vantage point to observe planes during take off. There is also a scenic park along the boardwalk which offers a great picnic location. Right beside the park lies 5 by Sans Facon, an excellent French Restaurant housed in a rustic colonial-style building.
7. Gallop Extension @ Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Singapore Botanic Gardens has recently extended by 8-hectare on its west side – the extended area is called Gallop Extension. It features two conserved buildings that have been refurbished into the Botanical Art Gallery and Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum, the COMO Adventure Grove (kids playground) and Mingxin Rambler’s Ridge. Check out Bee’s Knees Petite, a new kids-friendly cafe located next to the OCBC Arboretum.
Side note: Many cafes and shops in Singapore currently accepts Shopback app for payment. If you do not have a Shopback account, sign up via my referral link to immediately receive $5.
8. National Orchid Garden @ Singapore Botanic Gardens
The recently refurbished National Orchid Garden, which is located in the Singapore Botanic Gardens has over 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids of orchids. There are many sections of the garden that feature different species including SembCorp Cool House, Tropical Montane Orchidetum, Mist House, etc. Admission is free for child below 12 years of age while tickets cost $5 and $15 for Singaporeans/PRs and foreigners, respectively. Tickets can be booked online here.
9. Holey Moley Golf Club
10. MacRitchie Reservoir Park
MacRitchie Reservoir was constructed in 1867 and currently located in the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. The park features family-friendly attractions such as a suspended bridge, hiking trails, zig-zag bridge, kayaking activities as well as sighting of long-tailed macaques.
11. Yunnan Garden
Yunnan Garden, located in the Nanyang Technological University campus is perhaps the most underrated park in Singapore given its very scenic and elaborate landscape. It was constructed in the 1950s and recently revitalized before its re-opening in 2020. Two other attractions, the Chinese Heritage Centre and Nanyang Lake are located next to the Garden. Admission is free.
12. PIP's PLAYBox
PIP’s PLAYBox is Esplanade’s dedicated children’s arts space. It features a loft, arts and craft area, reading corner and book shelves. There are a range of activities which are normally run in conjunction with Esplanade’s festivals and series. Admission is free but visitors need to sign up via this link.
13. Library @ Esplanade
The Library @ Esplanade is the only public library in Singapore which is dedicated to the performing arts – it is ideal for musically-inclined and artsy kids. It has facilities catered to the performing arts including Screening Rooms, Piano Practice Room and Silent Studio – usage of which will incur a rental fee. Admission to the library is free.