Looking to escape the crowds at popular tourist destinations and ready for Singapore’s best-hidden places and secret spots? Here are 10 adventures you can plan for a weekend out with your tots and tweens. Heads up! Some of these places aren’t found on the mainland so you’ll need your GPS, a ride, and a sense of adventure!
Built in 1994 and overlooking the Tuas Second Link bridge, this 12-meter high icon flashes every 10 seconds with a beam that reaches 15 meters! It is located at the tip of Raffles Marina Club. Soak in the expanse of the beautiful sunset as you take a stroll down the pier to the lighthouse after a meal at the al-fresco Marina Bistro or air-conditioned Captain's Table, both outlets are open to the public. Opens daily from 8am to 10pm.
Raffles Marina Lighthouse, 10 Tuas West Drive, Singapore 638404, www.rafflesmarina.com.sg/about/group-1/rm-lighthouse.html
Haw Par Villa - formerly known as the Tiger Balm Garden – is an 8.5-hectare Asian cultural park, the last of its kind in the world. It was built in 1937 by businessmen Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par. Recently refurbished, one of the most famous features in Haw Par Villa is the “Ten Courts of Hell”, which depicts the punishment meted out in hell for each kind of sin committed on earth. Look out for Chinese classics such as Journey to the West, the Eight Immortals and be vigilant, for tigers, leopards and dragons lurk in corners! Opens daily from 9am to 10pm. Free admission.
Haw Par Villa, 262 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118628, www.hawparvilla.sg
By now, you’ve probably been to Coney Island, but did you know the park is home to hidden white sand beaches? This island is also home to 86 tree species and over 157 animal species, it is a treasure trove for wildlife and nature lovers. Opens daily from 7am to 7pm.
Coney Island, located beside Punggol Promenade Nature Walk, www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/coney-island-park
The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum is home to over 800 turtles and tortoises across 50 different species! Spot many exotic tortoises and turtles – the flattest tortoise is the Pancake Tortoise from Africa, the most dangerous turtle is the Alligator Snapping Turtle from America, and there’s even a six-legged tortoise which hails from Bangladesh. Opens daily from 10am to 6pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
Category 1 (3 – 6 years): SG$10.00
Category 2 (P1 or equivalent onwards): SG$14.00
Pink/Blue IC Holders
Category A (3 – 6 years): SG$6.00
Category B (P1 onwards): SG$10.00
Category C (60 years onwards): SG$6.00
Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum, ORTO, 81 Lor Chencharu #01-16, Singapore 769198, www.turtle-tortoise.com
Did you know there's a wetlands right in the middle of an aerospace hub? Lace up your walking shoes and head to this undisturbed nature spot at Seletar Aerospace Park. As you stroll along the scenic boardwalk, enjoy nature up close at the viewing decks or go on a trail for adventurers to look out for the area’s flora and fauna! The untouched sanctuary is home to butterflies, dragonflies and even birds like the white-throated kingfisher.
Hampstead Wetlands Park, 1 Baker Street, Singapore 799977, www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/hampstead-wetlands-park
As the very last kampong on mainland Singapore, this is a village that has been around since 1956. Look out for the exposed electrical lines and 4-digit postal code street signs! Today, there are 20-odd families who remain. Idyllic and serene, Kampong Lorong Buangkok is a bite-sized chunk of Singapore’s history that you can step right into and experience 'kampong' life all over again!
Kampong Lorong Buangkok, 7 Lorong Buangkok, Singapore 547557
Lazarus Island, also known as Pulau Sekijang Pelepah is part of Singapore’s cluster of Southern Islands and is connected to St John’s island through a causeway. Enjoy the clean, white, and sandy beach on the C-shaped lagoon and spend a quiet weekend afternoon away from the hustle of city life.
Visit www.islandcruise.com.sg/places-of-interest/lazarus-island/ for ticket prices and ferry schedules to and from the islands.
The adventure starts with a ride on a bumboat to this old school restaurant located between Pulau Ubin and Changi Point ferry terminal. You can either fish for your own food or chill at the breezy, modern kelong (offshore platform) and tuck into prawns, lobsters, mud crabs, squid, and mussels… all while feeling like you don’t have a care in the world. Opens daily from 10am to 8pm.
Smith Marine Floating Kelong Restaurant, located off Changi and Pulau Ubin, www.smithmarine.com.sg
The only natural hot spring on mainland Singapore is located within the grounds of Sembawang Air Base. During World War II, this hot spring served as a thermal bathhouse for Japanese soldiers. Today, there are three stations and taps which spew out hot water within the springs. Visitors can enjoy the new Floral Walk and see fruit trees and edible plants commonly found in kampungs, and flowers commonly seen in the 1960s and 1990s. Opens daily from 7am-7pm.
Sembawang Hot Spring Park, Gambas Avenue (between Woodlands Avenue 12 and Sembawang Road), www.www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/sembawang-hot-spring-park
Nestled in a lush 10-acre site in Kranji countryside, Bollywood Veggies boasts a rustic farm-to-table bistro, Poison Ivy. It was set up by Lim Ho Seng and Ivy Singh-Lim, who specialize in growing healthy local produce without using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and growth hormones. The organic farm also hosts culinary classes, hands-on horticultural programs, and tours. Opens Thursday to Friday. Closed from Monday to Wednesday.
Bollywood Veggies, 100 Neo Tiew Road, Singapore 719026, www.bollywoodveggies.com.sg