A typical day in Singapore may be hot and humid, but don’t let that stop you from finding your idyllic spot under a leafy tree for a weekend of breezy fun. In other words, if you’re planning for a picnic, make it a scenic one. From blue skies to picturesque views to lush pastures, the city is home to an abundance of sandy beaches, nature reserves, parks, and gardens.
For something apart from the usual suspects like Marina Barrage, Sentosa, Gardens by the Bay, and our UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Singapore Botanic Gardens, these are some of the most bucolic landscapes Singapore has to offer. So pack a picnic basket, roll up your mats, spritz on a splash of sunscreen, and head to these outdoor spots for some quality time with nature.
We haven’t quite thought of a proper reason to venture past Yishun, but this park makes a solid case for rounding up your entire family on a journey to the north (of Singapore). It’s home to a huge urban adventure area with 26 slides, the most out of any park in the city, alongside an “inclusive playground” for children with and without special needs to frolic in. Plus, massive green terrain flourishes with more than 100 species of plants and animals, offering ample space for you to pick your picnic spot away from the crowds.
After you’re done lazing around on your mat, bask in the beauty of nature while getting your heart rate up by following any of its numerous trails in the hopes of spotting monkeys, birds, and butterflies along the route.
On the hunt for a spot of greenery to unwind among the myriad plants and creatures of nature? Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, located near Singapore’s city centre, is where you’ll find almost half of the country’s native flora and fauna. The recently restored landscape also includes the nation’s highest hill, Bukit Timah Hill, so you can work in a hike after your picnic.
Fancy watching the planes go by while you nibble on a sandwich? One of Singapore’s oldest coastal parks features BBQ pits and shelters scattered along its beach shores, where you can hear the occasional rumble of aircrafts flying overhead from the nearby Changi Airport. Plus, it’s not as crowded as the neighboring Pasir Ris Park or East Coast Park, which makes for a laidback afternoon of chillin’, cycling, and sunset-watching.
It’s a bit of a trudge to get to the Chinese- and Japanese-themed gardens that are tucked away in the boondocks (or rather, Boon Lay Way). But these serene landscapes, coupled with grand structures modeled after details from imperial Chinese and historical Japanese architecture, make it worth your while. You won’t find a frenzy of families here, so all the more space for you to set up your picnic and settle in for a pleasant afternoon.
One of the most popular beach-side escapes in Singapore, East Coast Park is resplendent at sunrise or sunset, when you can bask in the soft orange-red rays with your partner and feel the sea breeze in your hair while you feed each other chocolate-covered strawberries (does anyone actually eat that, though?).
However, it tends to teem with families and friends once the day gets started, especially over the weekend, so plan your outings accordingly. Besides having a leisurely picnic, you can also dabble in a little sporting action like beach volleyball, cycling, and cable skiing.
Part of the Southern Ridges, which also encompasses Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, and Kent Ridge Park, this tranquil haven offers plenty of sweet spots along the promenade for picnics with stunning seaside views. Besides sharing the space with its resident birds and squirrels, you can also traipse around the trails to track down historical World War II relics, which include secret underground tunnels and a fort.
MacRitchie may be somewhat notorious for its fearless troupe of monkeys — which will nab your snack or hat or whatever you’re not paying attention to — but that’s no reason to avoid its lush grassy patches, shaded hiking trails, and elevated TreeTop Walk. Head over in the morning with your picnic basket before those scorching sunny rays hit their peak, then rent a kayak or canoe to explore the reservoir on water.
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