Lush green spaces, a cool water playground, heaps of shaded paths and great cafes – what's not to love about uber kid-friendly Bishan-Ang Mo Kio park?
If the coronavirus is driving you and the kids stir crazy, our fave option is getting some fresh air and a generous dose of (safe) vitamin D. We thank our lucky stars we live in Singapore, where vast green spaces to explore with the kids abound (while being social distancing friendly, of course). This time, we’re letting you in on one of our favourite patches of green, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, one of the largest and most kid-friendly (and pram-friendly) urban parks in Singapore.
The first thing you need to know about bringing kids to Bishan-Ang Mo Kio park is that it’s made up of two sections, Pond Gardens and River Plains, separated by Marymount Road. Most people choose to visit only one section, but if you do decide to visit both, you’ll need to cross the road via Marymount. We don’t recommend doing it right now because there’s construction going on but don’t worry – there’s lots to see, whichever part of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio park you (or the kids) choose!
How to get there
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is located along Bishan Road and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1. You can take your pick from the 132, 133, 136, 165, 166, 162 and 156 buses from Ang Mo Kio Bus Interchange. If you’re taking the MRT, get off at Bishan MRT and cross the road to bus stop 53239. You can get to Bishan Park via bus 50, 53, 55, 58, 71, 156 and 162. For car owners, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park has three carparks to choose from.
What to bring
At Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, you’ll find lots of spaces with open water – ponds, a stream and even a water play area (more on this later) – which means you’ll need a good mozzie repellent. Older kids can bring their bikes while younger ones can bring their scooters; the park has wide enough concrete paths to whizz around on. Don’t forget your hats and sunscreen! If you’re planning to do some water play, bring a change of clothes for the kids (and yourself, just in case) and some sand toys for sand play. Yep, there’s lots to do for kids at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park!
If you’re not a big fan of the sun, then you’ll love Pond Gardens. It’s the older section of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and has lots of paved pathways and shady trees – perfect for kids! It also has – you guessed it – picturesque ponds, huge rocks to play leapfrog on and a stream to explore. If you look up in the trees, you’ll be sure to spot greedy squirrels, creepy lizards and colourful birds. The streams and ponds have been known to have some otters; we haven’t spotted any recently but they’re sure to come back around!
What to do at Pond Gardens
Start off your day at Pond Gardens by walking all the way to the Adventure Playground, a few hundred metres away from the entrance. Kids will love burning energy with the giant climbing structures and slides. If you’ve brought along your sand toys, the playground has sandy areas for the tots to dig around in and build mini-sandcastles. When they’ve had enough play time, head over to Grub Bistro for an iced cuppa 0r a cheeky beer for you and a fruit juice for the little one and scoot towards the streams for a hopeful peek at the otters. If you’re hungry, we think that the burgers at Grub are pretty delish too! Kids will also love scooting on the pathways which are wide enough for several people at a time. Our favourite part of Pond Gardens? The super awesome Water Playground, of course!
Unlike your typical water play areas, you won’t find colourful plastic structures or crazy buckets that splash you every three minutes. The recycled water flows at ground level and kids are meant to run and jump and splash around. There are even mini-sluice gates that kids can use to control the flow of the water! Take note: The water playground is only open on weekends and public holidays, from 8am-11am and 4pm-8pm. The earlier you get there, the better! Keep an eye on the current Covid-19 situation as well to see if opening times are affected at any point.
Although River Plains is the busier section of the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, it’s still great for kids. In the mornings, you’ll find lots of cyclists, senior citizens getting their exercise on, joggers and more. Many people like bringing their dogs here because of the dog runs – a place for dogs to run leash-free. Its also where you can find the uber-picturesque Recycle Hill and the bridge where everyone takes their token Bishan-Ang Mo Kio park photo.
What to do at River Plains
Our favourite thing to do at River Plains is to walk down the small footpaths to the river. Formerly an old canal, it was demolished several years ago thanks to the PUB’s Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters Program. Kids will love exploring the stream and looking for dragonflies as they step their way across stepping stones. You’ll see lots of birds stopping to drink water here and colourful, pretty wildflowers. Stop by Canopy Garden Dining for brunch (it’s got an awesome brunch selection) or even dinner, if you’re there in the afternoon. Bonus: pets are welcome here, too!
The dog runs
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If you’ve brought your dogs along, there are two dog runs in Bishan Park – one for smaller breeds and the other for bigger breeds. There are also handy water points nearby so you can clean up the dogs or give them a drink. It gets crowded during the weekends, so you might want to avoid it then.
The inclusive playground
What makes Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park really special is the inclusive playground in River Plains. It’s an all-access play facility for kids with different abilities, and includes a wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round and wheelchair-friendly swing.
And there you have it, a complete guide to Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park for kids!