When we arrived in Singapore 2 years ago, we decided to explore the Botanical Gardens. Unfortunately we picked to do so during a monsoonal downpour, but we got the gist of the Garden (and Singapore weather)from under umbrellas.
We also noticed that some building work was going on in one corner of the park, and the notice on the gate said that a children's garden was being built. We have been anticipating the opening of this new garden ever since.
And finally, the garden is open to the public. As with anything new, there is a certain amount of hype surrounding the opening, so it was very busy on Saturday. But that didn't spoil the kids' fun.
Immediately in front of you when you enter is a water play area, which is always going to be a draw in humid Singapore. Some families had come prepared with bathers, watering cans and water pistols, but we weren't so organised. Our kids just slipped off shorts and splashed around anyway.
There is also a lovely maze built from hedges, which is reminiscent of English mazes, a suspension bridge, a cave, a pond with floating platforms, and best of all, a tree house.
The wooden tree house has stairs and ladders for the more adventurous child to climb up to different platforms, and a very steep bright orange tube slide and a not-so steep slide. It is situated by a beautiful overhanging fig tree, providing plenty of shade for expiring parents.
Of course the heat is always going to be an issue with any outdoor activity in Singapore, so I would recommend visiting early morning or late afternoon. The surrounding foliage does provide some shade, but a sail over the water play area would have been welcome.
There is relief at the Kidz Cafe, in the Information Centre, just before you enter the Garden.
As the name suggests, it is very kid friendly, with lots of Ikea kids furniture (bit of a tight squeeze for parents) and some great drinks (a delicious vanilla milk iced blend was $2.90) and food (a few types of spaghetti, fish n fries, 'nice brown rice' etc) with nothing over $5. It did get a bit noisy in there so we were happy to leave, but it was a surprisingly unstressful experience.
So I would recommend heading down to the Children's Garden for an extension of your Botanical Gardens visit. If you arrive at the main Information Centre off Nassim Rd, it is a lovely 15 minute walk past the Evolution Garden (worth a visit), some huts to shelter or picnic, a lake, and a banana grove . Bring lots of water to drink, a hat, and you cant go wrong.


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