Whether it’s bike riding, swimming, rollerblading, having a barbecue by the beach or simply grabbing brunch with the kids, East Coast Park is the place to be!
The sun is shining, you’re in the mood for some fresh air in the great outdoors, and the kids have plenty of energy to burn. So where do you head with the family? East Coast Park, of course! This gorgeous sandy stretch in Singapore has tons of fantastic outdoor activities for kids (and a few for grown-ups fancying a spot of kidulting), including a huge lineup of cycling, skating or scooting routes, and some of the coolest playgrounds in Singapore. To add to the mix, the park also has a wide expanse of beach for serious bucket-and-spade action, as well as barbecue pits perfect for cooking up a family feast. Or if you fancy, check out the kid-friendly cafes and restaurants at numerous locations (including our fave at Parkland Green). Well, it’s no wonder families love this pocket of the island.
Psst, check the NParks safe distancing portal before you go!
The HoneyKids guide to East Coast Park in Singapore
HOW TO GET TO EAST COAST PARK
There are so many carparks at East Coast Park that if you are driving over you would think you’d be okay for a spot… Not always the case at the weekends, folks! If you can take public transport or a taxi then that’s the best way to get there stress-free! Bedok MRT station is the closest if you are coming in by train. From there, take the bus 401 on weekends which will take you directly to the park itself. And if you’re heading there during the week, hop on the 197 to Marine Parade Road outside Parkway Parade and walk through the underpass.
Or, you could always cycle from home. Warning: it’ll take you a good couple of hours, and you’ll want to plan plenty of rest stops along the way if you’re biking with the tykes. Don’t forget to wear your helmet!
THINGS TO DO IN EAST COAST PARK
1. Explore the East Coast on wheels
With 42km of coast stretching from Changi right round to Tanjong Rhu, this is one part of town where the family can get busy with some cycling fun (don’t forget to check out our handy guide to cycling with kids before you push off). Don’t worry if you don’t have your own set of wheels: opt for bike-sharing or head to one of the bike rental outlets found in abundance along the park. Prices generally start at around $8 for two hours and you can choose from every type of bike imaginable, including a family four-wheeled pedicab, tandems and cycles with training wheels for smaller tots. Rental booths also have rollerblades, scooters, waveboards and skateboards for hire for some wheelie fun through the park.
2. Have a sandcastle competition on the East Coast Park beach
Pack up a picnic, your bucket and spades, your sunscreen and your mozzie spray and head to the sand for a good old fashioned day at the beach. With 15km of coastline, you’re sure to find the perfect spot to pitch camp for the day.
3. Skate over to Xtreme SkatePark
If you have a budding skateboard ninja then they’ll absolutely want to check out skater’s paradise, AKA Xtreme SkatePark. This is THE place to hang with the kids who are not only cool, but friendly and helpful too. It’s perfect for making new friends and for picking up some awesome skills as the tykes shred on their board.
4. Set sail on the high seas
If waterskiing doesn’t float your boat, then there are still plenty of high seas activities to be had. Book kayaking, stand up paddleboarding (SUP) or windsurfing adventures with Water Venture East Coast, where you’ll find lessons for all ages and skill levels. Psst, you can also sign the kids up for sailing lessons, too!
5. Hit the playground at Marine Cove
National Parks has outdone itself with the enormous 3,500sqm children’s playground, with features suitable for ALL kiddos, regardless of age and abilities. Our kids literally stopped in their tracks with their mouths dropped open when they first caught sight of the endless array of slides, climbing structures and swings (yep: swings!), before running off to bounce around every last inch of the equipment. There’s a LOT to do here, folks!
For smaller tots age two to five years, steer them over to the play area designed specifically for little ones. They will have a ton of fun with the talking (or, rather, shouting) tubes, fun mirrors and drum set. There are also plenty of less-daunting slides, a roundabout, bridges and wide spaces for them explore too.
For braver nippers age five to 12, the sky really is the limit! Mum might have to peek from behind her fingers while kids scale the lofty heights of the three-storey play tower, which has no less than three slides to zip down once they have conquered the obstacles! But kids will love navigating the climbing nets, wobbly bridges and ropes in their quest for adventure. And once they are done scaring parents half to death with their dare-devilry, there are still the monkey bars, triangle climbing frame, see-saw, balance beam, swings and mini-climbing wall to check out too.
The massive outdoor playground gets an extra thumbs up from us for having inclusive elements within the area so that children of all abilities can join in the action. Special play equipment includes sensory play panels, lots of musical instruments dotted around, interactive games and also a fantastic swing that has an accessible seat for less mobile kiddos, and an extra safety harness for added security.
Make sure you bring hats, sunscreen and stay hydrated. It’s also best to time your visit for the morning or afternoon when it’s a bit cooler as the playground doesn’t have a great deal of shade and it gets hot.
6. Pitch a tent
Bring out your inner Scout or Girl Guide and set up a tent along East Coast Park. While we’re not talking glamping, this is a surefire hit with the kiddos for discovering life away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Designated camping areas can be found at areas A and G along the park, along with basic amenities including toilets and showers. You’ll need to apply for a permit, which can then be used for a maximum of four days. That’s your easy peasy short break sorted.
7. Make a splash at Singapore Wake Park
Water sport fans wanting to make a splash will love Singapore’s only cable-ski park: Singapore Wake Park. This fun adventure water sport spot offers all ages and abilities the chance to try wakeboarding, wakeskating, waterskiing and kneeboarding. Book an intro session for children and beginners before testing out your moves! Hot tip for parents: it’s a good spot to sit and chill with a bottle of beer on a hot sunny day while the tykes shred in the water!
8. Climb trees!
You know what’s a good old fashioned fun activity to do in a park? Climb trees! It’s as cool today as it was back when we were kids, and East Coast Park is full of trees perfect for testing out spidey-skills. Alternatively, get a lightweight packable hammock and sit with a book in between trunks.
WHERE TO EAT IN EAST COAST PARK
1. Refuel at a family-friendly restaurant
There’s something on the menu for even the fussiest of eaters at the huge choice of kid-friendly dining options in East Coast Park. Parkland Green has a wide selection of cool eats and Marine Cove is another great place to hit up for easy eats with the kids. Or why not eat local and work your way through a huge list of Asian foods being fried, grilled and boiled at Laguna East Coast Lagoon Food Village?
2. Barbecue by the beach
Whether you’re camping and fancy getting into the spirit by cooking outdoors, are looking for somewhere fun and easy for a birthday party, or just fancy throwing some meat on the BBQ and creating the best burger in town, the family will love booking a pit at East Coast Park for a fun alfresco dining opportunity. Book a pit online through National Parks (there are over 80 pits but they do get snagged quick, so make your booking early). And don’t forget the ketchup!
Photography (top image): National Parks