In our spare time between hanging out at Singapore’s kid-friendly cafes and exploring museums and fam-friendly exhibits, we love getting outdoors with the family to explore rustic, green spaces, and are never happier than when we are bike riding around Singapore’s gorgeous parks, alfresco dining at a pretty picnic spot or exploring pockets of Singapore that are slightly off the beaten track. Coney Island ticks ALL of these boxes…
CONEY ISLAND: TOP THINGS TO DO
The park’s rustic terrain makes cycling here bumpy at times, but rest assured that it will be a breezy and enjoyable experience. Cycle along the 2.4km main path or follow the signs to navigate your way to the beaches. If you’ve got an adventurous streak, you may very well find yourself veering into the off-the-beaten tracks.
Spot the wildlife!
Butterflies, birds and squirrels make Coney Island their home, but keep your eyes peeled for the cow (actually a Brahman Bull!). If you do cross its path, don’t touch it or make loud noises to provoke it – as funny as watching dad run away from a raging bull may seem, it really would hurt a LOT if it caught up to him! If you see any long-tailed macaques, definitely don’t feed them unless you want another long-term house guest messing up your living room.
Take a photo at the famous Coney Island Gate
Located at the East and West entrance of Coney Island are these iconic gates (which you’ve probably seen on your Insta-feed at least a dozen times). Line the kids up, and get them to strike a pose before setting off on a full day of cycling and exploration.
With over 80 species of birds on the island, it’s not hard to spot all sorts of birds busy at work in their natural habitat. Spot the resident male Baya Weavers as it creates large and intricate nests from flowering Acacia trees and listen up for the oriental magpie-robin’s songs from the forests. Simply wait around at the bird-watching spot and be patient. Yes, you too, kids.
Hit the obstacle course at the Casuarina Exploration Playground
Constructed out of uprooted (and recycled) casuarina trees, this all-natural playground will delight the little ones with its mini obstacle course. Keep your balance across a wooden bridge, jump over stepping stones and race as you climb over log fences. Family challenge op right there.
Hang out at the beach
While cycling on the main path, look out for signs that’ll direct you to a grand total of five beach areas. While these areas don’t offer pristine shores and azure waters, they will provide a nice seaside break after sweating it out on the bikes.
Follow the boardwalk
Look out for the boardwalk that leads to a mangrove forest near Beach Area C. Following these paths will lead you to the most scenic, Insta-worthy looking clusters of trees, and the edges of Coney Island.
MAKE IT A BIG DAY OUT: WHAT TO DO NEARBY
Feed or ride a pony at Gallop Stables
Gallop Stables houses ponies and horses for kids and adults to marvel at. Get up close and personal with their ponies, and feed them at a mere $2 per packet. Pony rides are available from 10am to noon and 2pm to 7pm from Tuesdays to Fridays and 8am to noon and 2pm to 7pm on Saturday and Sunday. Adults can get in on the equestrian action too with horse rides.
Gallop Stable Punggol, 900 Punggol Road, Singapore 829168; www.gallopstable.com
Explore Punggol Waterway Park
If you’ve still got leftover time to explore the neighbouring areas on your bicycle, head down to Punggol Waterway Park and relax by the tracks, or watch over the kids over as they splish and splash at the water playground to cool off from a scorching day.
Hang out in Punggol Point Park
Cap off the day at Punggol Point Park, where kids can relax by the jetty, go bonkers at the playground and say hi to a turtle or two by the pond.
PLAN YOUR DAY OUT
The best time to visit
Head there in the morning, or late evenings to avoid the blistering sun. Though the park is mostly shaded by huge trees, areas outside the park and at Punggol Settlement are not.
What to bring
Pack sunblock and insect repellent, as the park’s raw, untouched grounds may mean that certain areas are inhabited by sandflies. Better yet, have the kids also dress in long pants if you’re planning on lingering by the beach pocket. It’s a no-brainer but do bring along bottles of water to keep hydrated and homemade sammies to keep the munchies at bay.
Located off Singapore’s North East Coast, Coney Island is about 30 minutes from the CBD.
By car: Drive down to Punggol Settlement, and either park your car there, or outside Coney Island’s exits in the West and East entrance.
By public transport: Take the train down to Punggol and head to the bus interchange (via exit C). Hop on bus 84 and alight at Punggol Road End. Walk over to Punggol Settlement, and simply follow the signs towards Coney Island.
If you don’t have bikes of your own, head to Jomando Adventure & Recreations (located at the end of Punggol Settlement) where bikes of all sizes are available for the whole family. Choose from mountain bikes and vintage-style ones (the ones with the adorable picnic baskets), double bikes for you and your tiny, or kid’s bikes of different sizes. There’s even go-karts, Y Flikers, Berg GranTour Offroads, Me-Movers and more wheels than you could wish for you to choose from.
Jomando Adventure & Recreations, 3 Punggol Point Road, #01-13, The Punggol Settlement, Singapore 828694; www.facebook.com/JomandoAdventureNRecreation