Flowers, picnics and cycling: Singapore’s prettiest parks and gardens

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Don't spend your afternoons cooped up indoors. Head out, enjoy the sunshine and soak up Singapore's gorgeous scenery at one of these lovely parks and gardens...

While it’s not rare to see flowers and lush greenery in this Garden City, there are certainly some hidden gems around Singapore worth exploring with the kids. We’re all about getting the family outdoors and teaching kids to appreciate nature, so we’ve shared our top picks of Singapore’s prettiest parks and gardens – the best excuse to take the kids out and get some fresh air. Pack a picnic or bring out the bikes for your big day out!

Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West

Opposite the Ang Mo Kio Town Library lies a treasure trove of nature: Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West (pictured top). Beyond the children’s playground is a beautiful shelter adorned with flowers and a landscaped pond  – don’t detour at Macs! Cool down at any of the shelters scattered about the park and, for something special, make sure you wander over to the Kebun Baru bird-singing corner on the other end of the park. 
Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6, Singapore 567740; www.nparks.gov.sg

Bougainvillea Garden, East Coast Park

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Bougainvilleas on one side, the side on the other… talk about a scenic ride! Photography: NParks

Here’s another reason to visit East Coast Park: did you know that bougainvilleas bloom in a garden by the sea? This burst of colour is sure to brighten up that weekend cycling trip. Venture up the tower and catch the refreshing sea breeze while looking over the park. See if the kids can spot one of the nine sundials in Singapore – the Neptune Sundial.
East Coast Park, E Coast Park Service Rd, Singapore 449876; www.nparks.gov.sg

Terrace Garden, Telok Blangah Hill Park

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The Terrace Garden offers a stunning view both uphill and downhill. Photography: Courtesy of NParks

Who doesn’t love to feel like they’re on top of the world? Part of the Southern Ridges, past the forest trek, this semi-circular Terrace Garden lines the path to the peak of Telok Blangah Hill. As you climb the steps to find the best picnic table, you can admire the carpet of flowers adorning the hillside. Get a full panoramic view of Singapore while you enjoy a family picnic in style.
Telok Blangah Hill Park, 10 Telok Blangah Green, Singapore 109178; www.nparks.gov.sg

Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay

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Flowers change with every season in the Flower Dome. Photography: Gardens by the Bay.

The Gardens by the Bay waterfront gardens may be the best place to appreciate the city while surrounded by greenery, but the best place to escape the heat (but not nature) is definitely the Flower Dome. The kiddos will get to travel around the botanical world, everywhere from Australia to America. Plus, the Flower Field display changes with every season, so each visit is a new experience! Don’t forget to check out the brand new Floral Fantasy as well for more beautiful blooms.
Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953; www.gardensbythebay.com.sg

Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park

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Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is beautifully integrated into the community. Photography: Wirbel1980 via Wikimedia Commons

If you haven’t dropped by this park in Ang Mo Kio yet, what are you waiting for? Once a boring canal, it’s now teeming with wildlife and full of kid-friendly attractions. You can catch a little sun on the grassy banks while the kids splash about the river… don’t forget to drop by the lotus garden for some bird-watching!
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, Singapore 569981; www.nparks.gov.sg

Chinese and Japanese Gardens, Jurong Lake Gardens

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The Chinese and Japanese Gardens have gorgeous Zen aesthetics. Photography: Courtesy of NParks

It’s easy to spend an afternoon getting lost in the sheer beauty of the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, wandering (or in the case of the kids, running) up bridges, down stone paths and around the numerous statues and pagodas. Experience the tranquility of a garden filled with exquisitely manicured bonsai and plenty of water fixtures (the Feng Shui here is amazing).
Chinese Garden, 1 Chinese Garden, Singapore 619795; www.nparks.gov.sg

National Orchid Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens

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The National Orchid Garden is home to some of nature’s greatest masterpieces. Photography: Courtesy of NParks

Perched atop the tallest hill in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the Natural Orchid Garden is home to one of the most versatile flowers in botany with over 1,000 species and 2,000 hybrids on display. Take a walk through the four seasons of colours – it’s also lovely and cool here, which is a bit of a blessing if it’s a typically hot day at the Botanic Gardens! Psst: make sure you visit the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden while you’re there for the water play and fabulous treehouse with slides!
Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Rd, Singapore 259569; www.sbg.org.sg

HortPark

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HortPark is perfect for those budding little green thumbs. Photography: Courtesy of NParks

How could we leave out the ‘Gardening Hub’ of Singapore? If you’re an urban gardener, or want to teach your kids about gardening and growing food, HortPark is one inspiring place to visit – there are 40 gardens on display within a single zone! You can follow the garden (or rather it follows you) all the way out to the Car Park Garden! Drop by HortMart while you’re there for everything those little green thumbs need to get to work. 
HortPark, 33 Hyderabad Road, Singapore 119578; www.nparks.gov.sg

Istana Park

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The Istana Park – now that’s a stately garden! Photography: Courtesy of NParks

An island paradise within the bustling city, the Istana Park is marked by the Festival Arch and Singapore’s first reflecting pool. The park is lined with rows and rows of tropical plants like Heliconia and Dwarf Coconut Palm Trees and even has a Swan Pond and a Spice Garden. Keep an eye out for the Changing of Guard Ceremonies (evening of the 1st Sunday of every month) and Istana Open House (open five times a year during public holidays)!
Istana Park, 31 Orchard Road, Singapore 238888; www.istana.gov.sg

Toa Payoh Town Park

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Get that ‘Singapore in the 70s’ vibe at Toa Payoh Town Park. Photography: Courtesy of NParks

From the white hexagonal blocks and stone bridges to the weeping willows and cascading waterfalls, the park is everything you could want from a Chinese drama set in the ’70s. Located just a stone’s throw away from the Toa Payoh MRT, it’s great for some quiet meditation or a peaceful stroll (maybe even to reenact that scene from Mulan).
Toa Payoh Town Park, Lor 6 Toa Payoh; www.nparks.gov.sg

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