The holidays are here and with travelling out of the question, there is no better time than now to explore local attractions – and hidden in the heartland lies a trove of unique activities that are waiting to be discovered. From sliding down the longest slide in Singapore to getting up close to wildlife, it’s time to explore the great heartland outdoors this holiday!
1. Playgrounds in the Park
This one’s more for the parents out there looking to expend junior’s seemingly endless energy. When it comes to entertaining the kids, parks and playgrounds are tried and tested, and there are plenty of options located conveniently in the heartlands.
Wish to see dinosaurs but not quite ready to battle crowds at the Jurassic Mile display at the Changi Airport Connector? Deep in the heart of Woodlands, Fu Shan Garden’s dinosaur-themed playground is hidden gems waiting to be rediscovered.
The playgrounds that were established in 1997 feature dinosaur sculptures and play installations. During its revamp, new dinosaur friends and signs containing nuggets of information about dinosaurs were added. From sliding down the dinosaurs to climbing onto their backs, prepare for a day of fun with the young ones!
The mega playgrounds at Admiralty Park can only be described in army lingo – a Standard Obstacle Course (SOC) built for the kids.
The park is the largest in the northern region and is home to 26 slides, more than you can find in any park in Singapore! The park contains three main play areas for different age groups (check for facts) – Junior Play, Adventure Play, Family Terracing Play – and also features an inclusive playground, to cater to all visitors.
Located in a tranquil part of Sembawang with a beautiful beach nearby, the playground at Sembawang Park is designed like a warship marooned on a soft sandbank – in homage to the town’s naval heritage.
Sand and water play are attractive options here but the real star at Sembawang Park is the play structure that offers a variety of exciting rope ladders, rock walls, tunnels and slides which have been cleverly incorporated into its design.
2. Wildlife Encounters
Being around and interacting with animals can be a therapeutic and relaxing experience. Done the Zoo too many times? We have some interesting alternatives here for you.
Kebun Baru Birdsinging Club
Endless rows of 20-foot poles stretch out to the sky at the vast venue of the Kebun Baru Birdsinging Club at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. Quite a sight to behold, the place can get especially lively during weekend mornings when bird owners from across Singapore visit the venue in a bid to train up the vocal talents of their pet birds.
Beyond a community for bird lovers, the Kebun Baru Birdsinging Club has recently become an increasingly popular Instagram spot. The venue is a 5-minute walk away from the Mayflower Market and Food Centre. Perfect for a morning walk amongst the melodious singing of birds followed by a hot meal of local delights.
Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum
The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum in Yishun (near Khatib MRT Station) holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of live turtles and tortoises in the world. It is home to mostly abandoned pets or rescued animals from illegal trades, including rare species which alone make the admission fee worthwhile.
The museum adopts a barrier-free approach for its friendlier residents which roam the museum compound, always ready to interact and be fed by visitors!
3. Cycling Trails
Cycling around the heartlands is a great way for the family to bond and unwind together. Here are some suggested routes!
Punggol Northern Eastern Riverine Loop
The 26km route which takes approximately 2 hours to complete runs through the heartlands of Buangkok, Sengkang and Punggol. The flat terrain makes it an easy ride, suitable for beginners, and the scenic view along the waterways are bound to keep you motivated.
Starting at Punggol Park, where a bicycle rental kiosk is conveniently located, the route moves in a loop along a series of park connectors near water bodies.
Along the way is the Punggol Promenade which is not only filled with Insta-worthy spots around the container restaurants, but offers some interesting food options for cyclists to fuel up for the journey ahead.
Other scenic landmarks along the way include the popular Punggol Beach, Lorong Halus Bridge and the Sunrise Bridge.
Western Adventure Loop
The 12km Western Adventure Loop takes you around Choa Chu Kang, Bukit Panjang and Bukit Batok before ending at Jurong Lake Gardens. The journey begins at Choa Chu Kang Park and stretches along the Bukit Panjang Park Connector, before leading to the Hillview and Bukit Batok Park Connector.
This route takes approximately an hour to complete and is filled with sights such as the charming landscapes of Bukit Panjang Park, Dairy Farm Nature Park and Bukit Batok Nature Reserve.
Landmarks here include the granite formation and lake (known as Little Guilin) along Bukit Batok East Park Connector. Cyclists along the way are also in for a treat of wildlife, including White-bellied Sea Eagles, Macaques and even the elusive Sunda Pangolins.
All ready to explore the heartland? Drop us to a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your adventures or favourite heartland haunt.