The sun’s shining, you’re in the mood for some fresh air and fun – where do you take the family? East Coast Park offers loads of fantastic outdoor activities for kids (and grown-ups); with its long stretch of cycling and skating paths, it’s one of Singapore’s best spots to go bike riding. Plus, its beautiful beaches are where kids love to frolic in the water. Swing by on the weekend and you’ll see the park packed with families and friends enjoying one of the playgrounds, cooking up a summer barbecue (planning a BBQ? See our guide to the best butchers in Singapore here) or heading to one of the East Coast’s many family-friendly cafes – it’s no wonder parents love this part of town. If you’re planning a great day out for the entire family, check out our guide to Singapore’s largest park…
A bike ride by the beach
Fun fact: Did you know East Coast Park is 42KM long, extending from Changi to Tanjong Rhu? Bring the family bikes for a slow, scenic ride by the sea. Don’t have your own? Rent some wheels from one of the various bike shops (our fave is PCN Pit Stop by Lifestyle Recreation) and explore Singapore’s largest park. Bike rental starts from $5 for 90 minutes, while a pair of roller blades will set you back $12 for two hours. Don’t worry if your tiny tots still need training wheels; there’s a wide variety of bikes for rent – even a four-wheeled pedicab for families.
This family fave re-opened last July with one mighty makeover, and the playground is nothing short of amazing. Between the climbing frames, bridges, awesome slides, and swings – yes, SWINGS – it’s pretty hard to tear the kids away. The promise of a treat at one of the cafes nearby might be your best weapon, but were not lying, we enjoy an ice-cream date as much as the kiddos. Make sure you bring hats, sunscreen and stay hydrated – and time your visit for the morning or afternoon when it’s a bit cooler. The playground doesn’t have a great deal of shade and it gets hot. Get our full review of the new Marine Cove Park!
Build their imagination, literally
This writer’s inner child wishes Kaboodle Kids was around 20 years ago. The unique playground, also located in Big Splash, is filled with giant foam blocks in different shapes and sizes, giving children room to go crazy and built their own playground. Based on Imagination Playground in New York, there are no rules here except to have fun! Read about the great time our writer Georgina had at Kaboodle Kids with her lovely daughters here!
Find yourself regularly hanging outside construction sites as your fascinated child watches diggers at work? (there’s certainly plenty of opportunity here in Singapore). Well, at Diggersite at Raintree Cove, your budding builder can hop aboard a fully functioning mini-digger of their very own! “Just for the boys” we hear you say. No, no my friend. Our gung-ho little ladies bolted through the door keen to don their helmet and hi-vis safety vest and get onsite. They had a blast manoeuvring their machines, filling buckets with sand and knocking over bottles. The best bit? Watching their faces change from a picture of tongue-curling concentration to beaming smile when they managed to use the ‘Claw’ to catch and move colourful balls. Our inside tip: it’s set up for indoor play and outdoor fun, so head there on a rain-free day for maximum bang for your buck. It’s the biz!
Diggersite, Raintree Cove, 1020 East Coast Parkway, #01-04, Singapore 449878, www.facebook.com/diggersite
If you have a budding Tony Hawk in the house, take them to the massive skate area Xtreme SkatePark. Something out of the ordinary in Singapore, the skate park is always packed with youths trying out cool stunts. There’s a nice little community there with everyone being really friendly and helpful – perfect if your kid just moved to the city and is looking to make new friends.
Pitch a tent
Fancy camping? Set up a tent and be one with nature at East Coast Park. A great way to ease your kids into the great outdoors – especially if they were born and bred in the city – children will still have access to basic amenities including toilets and showers. There are only two designated camping areas in the park (Areas D and G) and a permit can be used for a maximum of four days. You can apply for your camping permit online at National Parks.
Barbecue by the beach
What’s summer without a a good old barbecue? Gather the gang and book a pit at East Coast Park. There are over 80 BBQ pits peppered across the entire park with most facing the beach, allowing you to keep an eye on the kids while they get busy building sandcastles. Best part? You don’t need a liquor permit (hello inconvenient alcohol ban) so bring along some booze to go with your grub! You can book a barbecue pit online through AXS with National Parks – and if you need some help getting your ingredients for the big feast, don’t forget to check out our handy guide to the best butchers in Singapore, perfect for BBQ season.
Tag – you’re it!
And by that we mean Laser Tag! Plan a shoot-out with your kids and their friends this summer break with TagTeam Inc. Singapore’s largest indoor laser tag arena, TagTeam Inc has a wide range of equipment and boasts two different arenas: the mystery room and battle zone. It’s suitable for kiddos aged four years old and above, so even little tykes can join in the fun!
The wide array of food choices in East Coast Park means fussy kids will definitely find something that pleases their taste buds; although you might have the trouble with deciding on which eatery to settle in! Parkland Green has a wide selection of cool eats including a microbrewery (that comes with a full kids’ menu) and an all-day brekkie hangout, Pick Me Up Cafe – which is loaded with children toys to keep the little ones entertained! Adventurous families: our hot tip is to get a taste of local BBQ seafood at Laguna East Coast Lagoon Food Village. Or settle down in one of the many Seafood Chinese Restaurants at the East Coast Seafood Centre. There are tons of kiosks around the park, so there’s always somewhere to a cool drink along the way.
How to get there
The easiest way to get to East Coast Park is taking a train to Bedok station. From there you can take bus 401 (operating only on weekends) from Bedok Interchange, which will bring you direct to East Coast Park. On weekdays, you can take bus 197 and stop before Parkway Parade. Continue on to the underpass located behind Parkway’s Fair Price and you’re there! For those planning to drive, there are plenty of car parks located in each area. Remember to bring parking coupons!