Sometimes the kids just need a run, right? They need to be outside, appreciating Mother Nature at her finest, getting dirty and feeling different textures underfoot. No gadgets and no distractions.
There comes a time in the life of every parent when you realise that the important things in life are not what you originally expected. Add to that list wide open spaces and patches of grass. Who’dathunk you’d ever care so much about finding places where your child could run around without fear of: a) getting run over, b) your kiddo falling over and hurting themselves, c) drowning and d) bugging other people (particularly tutting, judgey-pants grown-ups who have forgotten what it was like to be five years old). We here at HoneyKids LOVE wide open spaces and big patches of grass where our kids can run around, climb, kick a ball, throw a frisbee, pretend to be on an exploration, play hide-and-seek and feel grass under their feet…
Singapore Botanic Gardens
We’re stating the obvious here, but the Singapore Botanic Gardens has to be top of the list. With so many patches of grass to choose from, the botanics is the perfect place to while away an afternoon. In our humble opinion, the best wide open space has to be the flat grass area by the Eco-Lake. It’s great for kicking a football or throwing a frisbee and it’s close to amenities in case you need them. You’re also close to Bees Knees and Plain Vanilla if you want to grab a coffee to sip while the kids play. Other top notch open grass patches are located near Swan Lake and Symphony Lake. We also love that the Singapore Botanic Gardens are readily accessible by MRT and buses.
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
Running along the boundary between Bishan and Ang Mo Kio, this park is full of wide open spaces for the kids to enjoy. You’ll find a plenty of grass, water play areas, playgrounds and cycle paths to keep the kids busy with at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. We love the community feel of this park and the fact that there is just so much variety. There’s also a couple of pet-friendly cafes within the park boundaries, making it a perfect outing for humans and fur-babies alike.
Get on the PIE and drive, then drive some more and then take a right and drive some more. Then you’ll reach the Kranji Countryside. The drive to Singapore’s wilderness is in itself quite cathartic and once you arrive, you actually feel like you’re away from the urban hustle of Singapore. Entrance to Bollywood Veggies is free (but they do ask for a voluntary contribution) and once inside, you’ll feel yourself relax. Set over several acres, the kids can wander through lovingly tended farmland, with grass avenues dividing gardens and trees. Arrive early (the farm opens at 7am and the Poison Ivy Bistro opens at 8am) and you’ll have the place almost entirely to yourself. How’s that for serenity?
Bukit Batok Nature Park
This city never ceases to amaze us with a multitude of pretty parks nestled all across the island. Bukit Batok Nature Park has loads of green space for the kids run around, as well as nature trails, wildlife and it’s most distinctive feature, the beautiful granite quarry and pond.
Talk about room to run with a view! Marina Barrage is the perfect open space for kids to play, right in the heart of the city. Marina Barrage is actually Singapore’s largest reservoir and atop its structure is a brilliant green roof, where the kids can run, play and even fly kites. Marina Barrage can get busy on weekends, but is brilliant for a mid-week hang or early evening picnic.
This 10 acre space is a tranquil escape from busy life. Billed as a gardening resource centre, HortPark features themed gardens, workshops and events, but the reason we love it for the kids is that they can run ragged here without fear of going near traffic or ponds and there’s also a sweet play area just for them. HortPark is part of the Southern Ridges Park Connector Network, so getting there is relatively fuss free.
Labrador Nature Reserve
Nope, this is not a park full of dogs, as we suspected for some time (it’s actually named after a prominent ship chandler, whose home was called ‘Labrador Villa’, in case you needed to know). Labrador Nature Reserve feels a million miles away from the city, with jungle, sea views and a bit of history thrown in for good measure. The kids will love running along the nature trails and boardwalks and exploring the remnants of the historical British military battle post.
MacRitchie Reservoir Park
OK people, pop on your activewear and head to MacRitchie Reservoir Park for some outdoor adventures. You can choose how you want to tackle MacRitchie – older kids will love the hiking and TreeTop walk, or you can hang with littlies at the entrance to the nature reserves, where there’s loads of grass to run around on.
Fort Canning Park
Yet another of Singapore’s impressive urban parks, Fort Canning Park is nestled in the heart of the city and has loads of grass for running, playing and ball games. Perfect for a low-key morning or an action packed day out, there’s lots to see here, including the Battlebox, the World War II British command centre located nine metres underground (entrance fee applies). And did you know that the decision to surrender Singapore to the Japanese on 15 February 1942 was made in here?
East Coast Park
Now this is a park with something for all kids! Stretched across 15 kilometres of coastline, East Coast Park has so many places for the kids to appreciate the great outdoors and get themselves messy it’s impossible not to wear them out. They can play at the beach, visit the awesome Marine Cove playground, go scooting, cycling, skateboarding or even go wakeboarding!
West Coast Park
Not to be outdone by its east coast counterpart, West Coast Park also deserves a mention. It provides heaps of grass areas for the kids to run ragged, as well as some impressive play equipment, spread across eight play sets for kids of all ages. A bit of shade wouldn’t go astray here, so our tip would be to visit early morning or late afternoon.
Dairy Farm Nature Park
Another off-the-beaten-track gem, Dairy Farm Nature Park is a bit like the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, just less busy. You can start your rustic adventure at the Wallace Education Centre where you can find out about the reserve’s changing landscape. Embark on a nature walk and follow the Wallace Trail to spot loads of flora and fauna on your exploration.
Pasir Ris Park
Beachfront, playgrounds, grass, barbecue pits, pony rides – Pasir Ris Park has a bit of everything for Singapore’s eastern dwellers. We love the spacious feeling of being near the water and the relaxed vibe of Pasir Ris Park. If you fancy something a little different, you could head to Pasir Ris Town Park instead and watch the fishermen doing their best to land a big one in the marine pond.
Punggol Waterway Park
One of our favourite places for a scoot or cycle, Punggol Waterway Park is a beautiful way for the kids to feel unrestricted. We love that the kids can run along the beautifully cared for paths without fear of getting lost. There’s lots to see here, with the Punggol Reservoir running through this park, a sweet little waterplay area and lots of bridges and ramps to keep little feet busy.
Top photo: Brian Flanagan via Flicker
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