The Ultimate Family's Guide To Singapore Botanic Gardens

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The Singapore Botanic Gardens is the country's first UNESCO Heritage Site and a great place for families to enjoy fresh air and the outdoors! 

Venue: 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
Opening Hours: 5 am - 12 am

One the best places for families to visit in Singapore is the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Whether it is for an evening stroll, a half-day picnic or a visit to the playgrounds, the gardens has everything you need to create family fun! Let us share the different places and activities within the park that is great for families! 

Jacob Ballas Children's Garden

Photo Credits: NParks 

Venue: Bukit Timah Core of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, 481, Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259769
Opening Hours: 8.00am to 7.00pm (last admission at 6.30pm). Closed on Mon (except when Mon is a public holiday)
Admission: Free (Adults are permitted entry only if accompanying a child)

A dedicated kid's garden and play venue, the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is a four-hectare experiential learning garden for kids to learn more about nature through exploration, adventure and play! 

There are 8 zones within the garden, these are Play, Grow, Explore, Learn, Farm, Orchard, Stream and Forest. From these zones, young adventure seekers can explore the suspension bridge and nature play areas; budding naturalists can walk along the stream and climb into the tree-houses; and urban gardeners can observe how plants grow and pick up some gardening tips! 

Photo Credits: NParks

If you have seen pictures of children playing on a flying fox at the gardens, Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is where you will find it as well as treehouses and rope bridges for the kids to play at too!

And if the stomach starts growling, you will be please to know that there is a family-friendly café, Little Spot, located conveniently at the entrance of the park.

*Note (As at 1 Jan 2022): The water play area is closed until further notice. 

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COMO Adventure Grove Playground

Photo Credits: Playpoint Asia

Venue: Gallop Extension, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Opening Hours: 7 am - 7 pm
Admission: Free

COMO Adventure Grove is a nature playgarden where families will find the opportunity to play and connect with nature. The playgarden draws inspiration from the trees found within the garden, and recreates the experience of tree-climbing! 

You will find a 5.8-metre tall Banyan Tree Tower with lots of climbing structures and slides for kids to climb up and slide down! You will also find giant saga seeds and a giant jackfruit (or cempedak) as part of the play structures - and great for photos too! 

After play, you can climb up the stairs behind the playground to use the washrooms and grab a meal at Bee's Knees Petite, a grab & go kid-friendly outlet that serves comforting all-day-dining fare.

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Forest Discovery Centre

Photo Credits: NParks

Venue: Gallop House No. 5, Gallop Extension, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Opening Hours: 9 am - 6 pm Daily (Closed last Mon of the month)
Admission: Free

Gallop House No. 5 (Atbara) is Singapore’s oldest surviving colonial era or black-and-white bungalow. Built in 1898, it now houses the Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum, which showcases Singapore’s forest ecosystems, and highlights the importance of conserving them. Kids will enjoy the interpretive and interactive displays, enjoy a bird's eye view of Singapore’s diverse forests, and learn about the Gardens’ historical role in conserving them.

Photo Credits: NParks

Highlights include a photographic installation of forest trees, family-friendly displays and videos featuring three distinctive forest habitats, freshwater swamp forests, coastal and mangrove forests, and tropical rainforests, found in Singapore, and their unique flora and fauna. 

Complementing the Forest Discovery Centre is the OCBC Arboretum, which is a first-of-its-kind high-tech arboretum in Southeast Asia. Opened in October 2019, the arboretum plays an important role in the Gardens’ conservation work, housing and displaying the Gardens’ growing collection of rare dipterocarps.

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Singapore Botanic Gardens Seed Bank

Photo Credits: NParks

Venue: Bukit Timah Entrance, House 4, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Opening Hours: 9 am - 6 pm Daily (Closed last Fri of the month)
Admission: Free

The Singapore Botanic Gardens Seed Bank is a conservation, research and education facility in the Singapore Botanic Gardens that focuses on conserving plant species by preserving the seeds and germplasm of plants in Southeast Asia. The Seed Bank has an interpretive gallery that introduces the Seed Bank and explains its importance to plant conservation and research in Singapore and the region, as well as a seed dispersal garden with seed sculptures showing the different seed dispersal mechanisms.

Photo Credits: NParks

At the interpretive gallery, families find out what happens to seeds as they start their journey from the forest to the seed bank. find out what happens to seeds as they start their journey from the forest to the seed bank.

Landscaped according to the various dispersal mechanisms of wind, water, animal, and self-dispersal, the Seed Dispersal Garden features plants unique to the region. Families can look out for four sculptures which are creative interpretations of seeds and their environment.

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SPH Walk of Giants

Photo Credits: NParks

Venue: Tyersall-Gallop Core, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Opening Hours: 7 am - 7 pm
Admission: Free

The Learning Forest features a network of boardwalks and elevated walkways that allow visitors to explore different habitats. Families can learn about freshwater forest wetland ecosystems at the Keppel Discovery Wetlands and walk amongst a collection of some of the tallest tree species in Southeast Asia at the SPH Walk of Giants.

We like to highlight the SPH Walk of Giants, an elevated boardwalk which measures approximately 260 m in length and takes visitors from ground level up to a height of 8 m. The boardwalk brings visitors up-close to a diversity of plant species that are found in lowland rainforests in the region.

Photo Credits: foursquare

Here, you will also find the Canopy Web that allows families to experience being in the canopy of a forest from a height of about 8m! You can laze on the Canopy Web and gaze into the crown of the forest! 

Note: while it looks like trampolines, the Canopy Web is not meant for jumping on. 

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National Orchid Gardens

Photo Credits: NParks

Venue: Nearest to Tyersall Entrance, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Opening Hours: 8.30 am - 7 pm

  • Singapore citizens, permanent residents and those living in Singapore: $1 (Seniors), $5 (Adults), $1 (Students), Free (Child below 12 yrs)
  • Standard:¬†$3 (Seniors), $15 (Adults), $3 (Students), Free (Child below 12 yrs)

The National Orchid Gardens is the only paid attraction in the gardens. You will find the world's largest orchid display with some of the most exotic orchid collections in the world - over 1000 species and 2000 hybrids are on display!

Photo Credits: NParks

The National Orchid Gardens was recently revamped (Apr 2021) with the introduction of the Tropical Montane Orchidetum designed to simulate the experience of ascending through a tropical cloud forest - so don't be surprise to when the temperature dips to 16 degree Celsius. The Orchidetum contains three display houses - The Sembcorp Cool House, the Yuen Peng McNeice Bromeliad Collection and the Tan Hoon Siang Mist House. 

Photo Credits: NParks

Connecting all the three display houses is the Secret Ravine, which imitates the lush and biologically diverse habitats found in the deep, narrow valleys of tropical mountains.

When visiting, you won't want to miss the Mist Garden and Silver Arches, The Enchanted Garden, and the Golden Shower Arches too. Do also look out for regular promotions where the admission fees are waived! 

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Symphony Lake - Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage

Photo Credits: Wikipedia

Venue: Nassim Entrance, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Admission: Free

Probably the most popular spot in the Botanic Gardens, seated in the middle of the Symphony Lake is the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, where many incredible orchestra performances has taken place. This was a popular spot for families to have a picnic at and it gets crowded whenever a performance is happening too. 

Unfortunately, due to COVID, LIVE performances were halted. There is hope that we will see concerts happening soon at the stage as the Singapore Symphony Orchestra had a concert on 9 Jan 2022 and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra on 22 Jan 2022 - hopefully we will see more performances happening at this wonderful spot in the near future!

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Eco-Lake and Eco-Garden

Photo Credits: Singapore Botanic Gardens

Venue: Bukit Timah Entrance, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Admission: Free

A beautiful setting coupled with a soft and natural atmosphere, the Eco-Lake is an ideal place to wind down after a long day at the gardens. Try to family of elegant Black Swans, from Western Australia, as well as other important plant and animal species.

The Eco-Garden is a discovery garden of plants of economic importance through human history. The plants found here have economic value, whether as ornamentals, sources of dyes, resins, fibres or timber, or as foods such as fruits, herbs or spices. Some of the plants to look out for are bamboos, bougainvilleas and a variety of fruit trees.

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Swan Lake

Photo Credits: NParks

Venue: Tanglin Entrance, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Admission: Free

The Swan Lake is a major attraction in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. It was formerly also known as the Main Lake or the First Lake. It was constructed in 1866, shortly after the Gardens formation. It is considered to be the oldest ornamental water-feature in Singapore.

The Swan Lake is named as such because of a pair of beautiful mute swans from Amsterdam that glide gracefully across the lake. These swans never fail to thrill visitors.

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The Bandstand

Photo Credits: Singapore Botanic Gardens

Venue: Tanglin Entrance, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Admission: Free

A prominent spot within the gardens and definitely one for pictures, The Bandstand was erected in 1930 and has retained its original form over the years. In its early days, audiences gathered on the lawn to enjoy music performances by military bands but these days, you will find this iconic landmark used as a popular photo spot, especially for wedding photos!

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Where to Eat at Singapore Botanic Gardens

All that running, walking and playing must have gotten the family hungry! Luckily, there are lots of dining options around the gardens. 

Cluny Food Court

Venue: 1J Cluny Road, Singapore 259597 (beside Raffles Building)
Opening Hours: Varies for each stall

Providing all-day casual and fuss free dining, Cluny Food Court is Les Amis Group's first-ever food court and it promises to be an affordable and convenient dining destination where food and people meet. This open-air casual dining space is located right within the lush and greenery of the Singapore Botanic Gardens and features five food stalls and one drink/dessert stall. 

Bee's Knees

Venue: 50 Cluny Park Road, Level 1, Cluny Park Gate, Singapore 257488
Opening Hours: 8 am - 10 pm daily

Located on the ground level of The Garage, Bee‚Äôs Knees aims to pollinate the Gardens with warm hospitality, and sincere, genuine service. It is a fun and laidback, family all-day-dining garden caf√© and bistro, with takeaway options and retail offerings. ‚ÄėBee social,‚Äô ‚Äėbee connected‚Äô is the friendly promise.

Bee’s Knees offers a breakfast menu of eggs, waffles, house-made fruit bowls, and cakes, a Pizza and Pasta menu, as well as an extensive Salad and Sandwich menu, making it the perfect pit stop for park visitors as well as joggers at the Gardens.

Bee's Knees Petite

Venue: Annexe at Gallop Extension, 10-minute walk from Gallop Entrance
Opening Hours: 8 am - 6 pm (Weekday), 8 am - 7 pm (Weekend)

Bee's Knees Petite is grab & go kid-friendly outlet at the heart of Gallop Extension that serves comforting all-day-dining fare.

Expect kids breakfast, lunch options and refreshing fruity beverages a stone's throw from COMO Adventure Grove. Perched atop the slope surrounded by the Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum and the Botanical Art Gallery, Bee's Knees Petite serves an array of breakfast options, eggs, sandwiches, house made fruit bowls, croissants as well as salads and pastas. There's also pastries and desserts to end your meal for the sweet tooth! 

Botanico at The Garage

Venue: 50 Cluny Park Road, Level 1, Cluny Park Gate, Singapore 257488
Opening Hours: 6 pm - 10.30 pm (Wed - Thu), 12 pm - 3 pm & 6 pm - 10.30 pm (Fri), 11 pm - 3 pm & 6 pm - 10.30 pm (Sat & Sun), Closed (Mon & Tue)

Located on Level 2, Botanico at The Garage offers a contemporary-bistro, seasonality-driven menu, presenting the gifts of soil, land and sea in a cuisine inspired by the natural cycles of the year and by bistronomy.

The Corner House

Venue: Nassim Gate (Visitor Centre), E J H Corner House
Opening Hours: 12 pm - 3 pm and 6.30 pm - 11 pm (Tue - Sun), Closed (Mon)

The Corner House is a #1MichelinStar casual fine dining restaurant in a colonial house that offers a unique dining experience, where the life and work of E J H Corner, is the animating force, inspiring and shaping every aspect of the restaurant concept. The result is a unique melding of gastronomy and memory: a luminous moment to be cherished and remembered in a very special building.  

*Shorts and bermudas are allowed with loafers or shoes. No slippers.

Little Spot 

Venue: Jacob Ballas Children's Garden
Opening Hours: 9.30 am - 5 pm (Tue - Fri), 9 am - 5 pm (Sat & Sun), Closed Mon unless it is a designated PH

Situated near the entrance of Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, Little Spot is a family-friendly café aims to instill an appreciation for the environment in children.

Amidst a lush landscape of flora and fauna, Little Spot's 40-seater eco-conscious caf√© features an upcycled colander light installation, themed recycling bins and a potted herb wall ‚Äď all to instill a love for nature in its visitors.¬†Its intimate space boasts an interactive play area complete with a little reading nook. Under whimsical fairy lights, the little ones can sip on a babycinno and indulge in their all-day brunch items.

Fusion Spoon (Halal)

Venue: Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, Tanglin Gate, #B1-00, Singapore 259569
Opening Hours: 9 am - 10 pm (Weekdays), 7 am - 10 pm (Weekends & PH)

Located at Singapore Botanic Gardens' Tanglin Gate, Fusion Spoon is a unique casual dining place for families and friends Visitors can enjoy a wide selection of affordable food and beverages from various cuisine choices such as Western, Asian and Japanese. There is also a waffle and Korean bingsu ice kiosk at Fusion Spoon, for those looking for a little treat after a day out in the Gardens.

An indoor as well as an outdoor play area for kids are available, providing little ones with fun-filled activities while parents dine. 

Halia Restaurant (Halal)

Venue: Ginger Garden
Opening Hours: 9 am - 9 pm (Weekdays), 10 am - 9 pm (Weekends & PH)

Tucked within the lush foliage of the Ginger Garden at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, The Halia was established in 2001 and has been renowned for its European cuisine fused with Asian inspirations. Named after 'halia' ‚Äď the Malay word for ginger, it flies¬†the Singapore flag high and is a popular destination for tourists as well, with specialties including Halia's Singapore Chilli Crab Spaghettini.

The Provision

Venue: Ginger Garden
Opening Hours: 5 am - 5 pm (Weekdays), 8 am - 7 pm (Weekends & PH)

Located at the entrance of the Ginger Garden, The Provisions Store provides quality "grab & go" food and beverage, as well as gourmet retail of gifts and souvenirs for visitors to the Gardens.

Their restaurant-quality homemade items are prepared and packed in small batches in their kitchens to ensure great quality every time.

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Getting to Singapore Botanic Gardens

Getting to the Singapore Botanic Gardens is not difficult, but finding out the most convenient car park, bus stop or MRT station can be challenging for the uninitiated. 

As a starting point, download a map to identify where you are visiting within the park. Otherwise, you can use the details below for reference

Tanglin Entrance

To Visit: Bandstand, Bonsai Garden, Botany Centre, CDL Green Gallery, Herbarium, Heritage Garden, Library of Botany & Horticulture, Plant House, SBG Heritage Museum, Swan Lake, Tanglin Gate
To Eat: Fusion Spoon

By Bus: 7, 105, 123, 174, 174E, 75, 77, NR8, 106
By MRT: Orchard MRT Station
By Taxi / Private Hire: Pick-Up and Drop-Off point available at Botany Centre
By Car: Basement car park at Botany Centre (5am - 12am daily)

Tyersall- Gallop Entrance

To Visit: National Orchid Garden, Ginger Garden, Learning Forest, Botanical Art Gallery, COMO Adventure Grove, Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum, Mingxin Foundation Rambler's Ridge, OCBC Arboretum
To Eat: Halia, Provisions, Bee's Knees Petite

By Bus: Nearest bus stop at Holland Road with a 10 minute walk
By Taxi / Private Hire: Pick-Up and Drop-Off points available at Learning Forest (via Tyersall Gate entrance) and Gallop Extension (via Gallop Gate entrance)
By Car: Open-air car parks at Tyersall Gate and Gallop Gate

*Please only enter via Holland Road and Tyersall Avenue. There is no access via Cluny Park Road, Tyersall Road and Bukit Timah Road (Google Map might say differently).

Nassim Entrance

To Visit: Palm Valley, Rain Forest, Raffles Building, Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, Symphony Lake, Visitor Centre
To Eat: Corner House, Cluny Food Court

By Taxi / Private Hire: Pick-Up and Drop-Off point available at Visitor Centre (via Nassim Gate entrance)
By Car: Basement and open-air car parks at Nassim Gate

Bukit Timah Entrance

To Visit: Bukit Timah Gate, Eco-Lake and Eco-Garden, Foliage Garden, Jacob Ballas Children's Garden, Seed Bank (1D)
To Eat: Bee's Knees, The Botanica, Little Spot

By Bus: 48, 66, 151, 153, 154, 156, 170
By MRT: Botanic Gardens MRT Station
By Taxi / Private Hire: Pick-Up and Drop-Off points available at Downtown Line and Cluny Park Road
By Car: Open-air car parks at Cluny Park Road and Jacob Ballas Children's Garden

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This article is prepared by

Jiarong Yu
Daddy to 2 adorable little ones. Misses them the moment they are not around, regrets missing them the moment they are around.

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