No visit to Singapore is complete without checking out the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is over 150 years old, and a nature-filled landmark loved by locals and foreigners alike. Its convenient location just a stone’s throw away from Orchard Road also makes it a favorite for outdoor adventurers.
But what is there exactly to do? From cafes to galleries, there is actually plenty to check out on your next visit. We’ve curated a checklist of things to check out at the Singapore Botanic Gardens so you can plan a full day ahead with the whole fam!
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If your family day out includes the fur kids, then Bee’s Knees is your kinda place. The pet-friendly cafe is situated within a monochromatic conservation building and has alfresco dining so can bask in the great outdoors while you dine. Their all-day menu includes pizzas, pasta,s desserts, and brunch fare to cater to any foodie!
Halia translates to “ginger” in Malay, so it’s no surprise that The Halia is located within the Ginger Garden within the vast park. The restaurant serves up European-Asian fusion dishes, such as the Singapore-style Chilli Crab Spaghettini (SG$26). You can also choose to sit indoors or outdoors depending on your preference.
Most people would be familiar with Privé’s chain of restaurants, and there is one right in the heart of the Botanic Gardens. The family-friendly eatery is extra special here, as they have multiple features to entertain kids such as the indoor playground, the rock climbing wall, book corner and coloring activities while adults dine in peace.
Nestled at the Tanglin Gate of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Fusion Spoon beckons as an exceptional casual dining destination, perfect for both families and friends. Here, visitors are treated to an extensive array of delectable yet affordable culinary delights, spanning Western, Asian, and Japanese cuisines. For those seeking a sweet indulgence, a waffle and Korean bingsu ice kiosk await to satisfy your cravings post-Garden exploration. The indoor dining area charms with its cozy, earthy aesthetics and a vibrant green wall, seamlessly blending the restaurant with the surrounding nature. Meanwhile, the outdoor dining section offers an al fresco experience, allowing diners to revel in the natural beauty of their surroundings. Keeping the little ones entertained, Fusion Spoon boasts both indoor and outdoor play areas, ensuring a delightful dining experience for all. Gather your loved ones and make your way to Fusion Spoon for an unforgettable culinary adventure amidst lush greenery!
Located at Singapore Botanic Gardens' Tanglin Gate, Fusion Spoon offers a unique casual dining experience for families and friends. Visitors can savor an extensive selection of affordable dishes and beverages representing diverse cuisines, including Western, Asian, and Japanese. The restaurant also features a waffle and Korean bingsu ice kiosk, perfect for those seeking a sweet treat after exploring the Gardens. Fusion Spoon's main indoor dining area, adorned with warm earthy interiors and a green wall, seamlessly blends nature with the dining experience. Additionally, the outdoor dining area provides an al fresco option, allowing diners to immerse themselves in the natural surroundings. Families with children will appreciate the indoor and outdoor play areas, ensuring kids have an enjoyable time while parents dine. Fusion Spoon welcomes everyone to indulge in great food and company in a delightful garden setting.
Sprouts Food Place, situated at Raffles Building, introduces an array of culinary delights through its three distinct stalls. Guests can kickstart their day at the Drink Stall, serving coffee and tea for an affordable SG$0.60! For a hearty meal, The Original Botak Jones offers Western cuisine, while Melben Seafood tantalizes taste buds with Zi char dishes. Don't miss the opportunity to savor weekday lunch set meals priced at just $5++. The location at Raffles Building, Nassim Gate, ensures convenient access, with each stall operating on varying schedules, providing a range of delectable options throughout the day.
You're in for a treat at 'Ice Cream Man and Friends.' As you approach this inviting ice cream kiosk, you'll be charmed by its whimsical decor and the delightful choice of 14 ice cream flavors awaiting your selection. Don't miss out on the kiosk's specialty, 'The Black Swan' iced coffee, or explore a variety of tempting teas and sodas. Whether it's a weekday from 9am to 7pm or a weekend from 7am to 7pm, you have the flexibility to indulge in your favorite frozen delights at your convenience.
Pangium, a tasting menu-only restaurant at the Gallop Extension of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, offers a modern dining experience with panoramic views of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Chef-Owner Malcolm Lee and the COMO Group present a contemporary interpretation of Straits cuisine, deeply rooted in tradition. Named after the pangium tree, the restaurant reflects a spirit of discovery and creativity. Operating hours include Wednesdays for dinner and Thursdays to Saturdays for lunch and dinner, closed on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.
Spur learning among your little ones at the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. The interactive play space is suitable for kids up to 14 years old and has tons of amenities that will train their motor skills like bridges, balancing beams, a mini maze, and even a treehouse. Further your adventure with the trampoline and flying fox!
Free playgrounds are common in Singapore, but not all of them are as expansive and fun as COMO Adventure Grove Playground. Designed with nature elements in mind, the space has forest-themed climbing, sliding, and swinging opportunities for little ones to enjoy to their hearts' content. What’s more, there are also giant saga seed bouncing pads and a huge cempedak installation, both throwbacks to childhood memories of many Singaporeans.
If hiking is on your agenda while visiting the Botanic Gardens, then the Learning Forest is a must. The rainforest trail spans six hectares and includes the rather new Keppel Discovery Wetlands that will get you closer to Mother Nature, the SPH Walk Of The Giants boardwalk for a bird’s eye view of your surroundings, and the Canopy Web which offers an ideal vantage point to admire the towering trees. Get the little ones to spot flora and fauna species during your walk here!
A popular spot on the weekends, the Symphony Lake is home to the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage where orchestra concerts also take place on occasion. The spacious lawn allows kids, families, and pets to roam around freely, or chill the day away with a picnic. It’s the most ideal way of slowing life down, while still getting in some quality time together.
Orchids have held a special connection with the Botanic Gardens since 1859. The orchid breeding program initiated in 1928 has yielded remarkable results that deserve a dedicated showcase. The intricate design of these orchids can be likened to a masterpiece meticulously crafted by the Gardens' devoted horticultural team, committed to enhancing the beauty of every hybrid cross. With an impressive display featuring over 1000 species and 2000 hybrids, the National Orchid Garden offers a breathtaking spectacle of these exquisite blossoms that must be witnessed.
A certain charm to the Singapore Botanic Gardens is also attributed to the rustic colonial buildings, and you might wonder about the black and white ones along your trail within the compound. Well, that is actually the Gallop extension that includes both the Botanical Art Gallery and Forest Discovery Center. The former has artwork inspired by the heritage site itself, while the latter pays homage to the diverse range of plants and flowers within the gardens with paintings and photographs!
To find a secluded spot away from the crowds, enter the Singapore Botanic Gardens by the Tyersall gate and you’ll spot a calming waterfall within the Ginger Garden. The picturesque sight can serve as the backdrop for your family photo, before you also soak in views of the lilypads, and get this, over 250 species of gingers located around the vicinity!
If you enter via the main gate, chances are that you’ll walk past the iconic Swan Lake. Yes, real swans gather here around the clock, including the White Mute Swans that originate from Amsterdam. The lake is known to be one of the oldest features of the gardens, having been around since 1866, and is the perfect spot to share memories with your little one.
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