As someone who has been hiking most of my life around the world, it was quite surprising to find out that there are many nice trails in urban Singapore to go hiking, trail running, road or mountain biking. These have kept me busy during the last year of the pandemic while we have been based in Singapore and I keep discovering new and interesting trails.
When I became a father, I saw myself looking for not so challenging but more stroller friendly places to go, not just with my daughter, but also the long list of items that comes with going around with a baby. It became, for the first time, more important to have a changing room available instead of an ice cream place. Or to have an easy way out in case we must abort mission due to bad weather! Once again, Singapore surprised me because I thought my options were going to be limited to just walking along the pavement or in the mall. I soon found myself pushing the stroller in some of the most beautiful and enjoyable places I have found in Singapore.
Here is a list of five of my favourite places to go with a baby, where you can find some wildlife, natural beauty, and adventure. One of the great things is, all these places are free!
LABRADOR NATURE RESERVE
Labrador Nature Reserve is an oasis of tranquility and natural wonders just a few steps from the busy city centre of Singapore. Getting off the MRT, just like any other place in Singapore, and within 2 minutes of walking, all the concrete disappears to give way to this amazing path through the trees. The Berlayer Creek walk is a 1 kilometer of straight shady walk through the mangrove surrounded by birds and some active wildlife, and at the end, you will get views of the sea and the southern islands along the Bukit Chermin Boardwalk. You can rest in the shade on the shore where there are benches or on the soft grass, before continuing to visit this historical place to learn about Singapore’s participation on the second world war. The walk through the woods will bring you back to Labrador Park MRT station by a different way. The whole loop takes about 1 to 2 hours and can be done by anyone.
I find this one of the most dynamic parks in Singapore. You can walk, the kids can play in the different natural and educational attractions available, or you can just sit to enjoy the colorful view of this amazing gardens. The landscaping is beautiful and there is a lot to see and learn from the different garden and horticultural sections. There are also many wide-open spaces with big trees for shaded picnic spots. The physical level of this is totally dependent on your energy. You can make it an easy morning just walking around the gardens or if you feel more energetic, you can cross the Alexandra Arch bridge and walk the Forest Walk to Southern Ridges.
SINGAPORE BOTANIC GARDENS
This is probably the most popular and baby friendly walk around Singapore, and dog friendly too if you have pets! There are so many interesting lakes to enjoy the local fauna or many different routes to explore just to walk across the park. If you are into photography, you can get to find hundreds of flowers, birds, or perspectives to make you look like a professional photographer. If you are feeling adventurous, the Walk of Giants near the Tanglin Gate is a little known option where you can follow an elevated boardwalk 8 meters above ground and enjoy looking up at the surrounding trees while lying down on giant suspended nets.
If you do not mind paying an entrance fee, visit the National Orchid Garden. This is one of my favourite attractions in the Botanic Gardens, especially the new Tropical Montane Orchidetum!
This is one of the most fun nature projects of Singapore for everybody to enjoy, and luckily a big part of it is already open to the public to go jogging, biking, walking and easy to push your stroller for as long as you can. You can just join the Green Corridor wherever is more convenient for you as there are many access points. My favorite section is the recently opened section that allows you to go from Bukit Timah Hill to Commonwealth Park. If you are up for a challenge, it is worth the effort to walk or even run the full length without any interruptions for more than 24 kms.
BUKIT BATOK NATURE PARK
This is a perfect 30-minute walk that I love to do on weekdays. The light in the late afternoon has a beautiful golden hue, great for pictures with your little ones. There is also a playground with sand play. This park is great for birding, especially at the quarry. The track is super smooth and stroller friendly. If you are looking for a more challenging route, you can try the path marked “Trail” on the map.
For all these walks, here is a packing list which will make your experience a lot safer and enjoyable with your kids:
Sun protection: hat / sunscreen / sunglasses
Mosquito repellent or patches
Comfortable walking shoes
Water bottles for the whole family
Small fan (if you have one as some days can get very hot for a child)
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