Good coffee? Check. Great playgrounds? Check. Lots of food options? Check. Here’s your guide to the Singapore neighbourhood that's packed with lush greenery, labradoodles and friendly neighbours
Spend some time in Watten Estate and you’ll soon understand why it’s such a popular choice for young families in Singapore. Mum-of-three, Kate Dimarco, has been living in the ‘hood with her family for three years, and knows all the good spots for a great coffee, an afternoon stroll (including the pooch) and where to grab a kid-friendly dinner. Read on for the kind of day you can expect if you’re hanging out in Watten Estate…
A day in Watten Estate
Our adventures start at the bustling Baker & Cook on Hillcrest Road – a takeaway coffee for mum and an emergency croissant in case of hungry toddlers later. We then stop by Shen Tat to pick up a couple of grocery essentials, before a short stroll to Watten Heights Playground.
Watten Heights Playground is one of the biggest playgrounds we’ve seen in Singapore, with lots of space for running around, a sandpit complete with climbing frame, a couple of swings (sadly no baby swing…don’t get us started), a loop for bikes and scooters, age-appropriate play equipment for kids of all ages plus the showstopper – a flying fox! There’s even a newly updated fitness area if you’re keen to hone that six-pack of yours.
It’s easy enough to spend a few hours here, especially if the kids are happily occupied by a steady stream of playmates. A lot of the children coming to play are Watten locals, but it’s also a popular park for families from neighbouring areas too. We see dogs out for a walk, and love spotting the magnificent Hornbills perched high above us in the rain trees (The National Parks Board is a good place to start if you want to find out what kind of trees are in your area). And we always have a cheery greeting from our smiley neighbourhood cleaner (possibly the hardest working man in Singapore) as he makes his daily rounds.
After we’re all suitably tired from the playground adventures, we head back to Greenwood Avenue to grab an outside table at a pizzeria for an early kids’ dinner, complete with an ice-cold refreshment for mum. The husband meets us after jumping off the train at Tan Kah Kee, where he grabs a rental bike and cycles the 300 metres to the Greenwood enclave.
On our stroll home after dinner, the Magnolia ice cream man rings his bell (perfect timing!) and dessert is served. Ice cream sandwiches rule (sweet corn ice cream…strangely delicious)!
Where to eat
Food options near Watten Estate are varied, with great Italian choices incuding Peperoni, Rubato, La Braceria. There’s also Greenwood Fish Market (self explanatory!), 73 Hillcrest (traditional Singapore fare as well as western dishes at reasonable prices), Cheese Artisans and Japanese picks Shin Yuu and Sakurazaka. For top-notch coffee (and a decent babyccino) head to Baker & Cook, a cafe which opens at 7am every day for those of you with early birds. We also love that date night can be a fuss-free wander down to one of the many restaurants on Watten Estate’s doorstep.
Where to shop
There is a small grocery store, Shen Tat, a Swiss Butchery and a compact, but impressively well-stocked Cold Storage on Greenwood Avenue. You can also walk to the end of Watten Estate Road and cross Bukit Timah for the full amenities of Coronation Plaza too.
Where to play
In addition to Watten Heights playground, there’s the smaller, yet breezier (let’s face it…anywhere with a breeze in Singapore is appealing) Watten Rise Playground. And closer to Bukit Timah Road is the refreshed Bougainvillea Park, which is great for a quick play on your way home from the bus stop or MRT.
Getting around is easy, with Tan Kah Kee MRT (Downtown Line) close by, as well as plenty of good bus links. The PIE is a couple of minutes’ drive away, so travelling to the airport is also nice and easy.
We love the suburban, friendly feel of Watten Estate. It gives a familiar feeling of home and has loads to offer without feeling crowded. If you’re looking for some relaxed outdoor fun (or if the kids are driving you mad at home), Watten Estate is definitely worth having on your neighbourhood exploration radar!
Top image: Kate Dimarco
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