03 May 2021

Forget Going to a Park – Here are Better Ways to Have Fun Outdoors

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Sam David When not scuba diving or birdwatching, Sam's busy binge-watching true crime documentaries.

Hiking at our nature parks isn’t the only thing to do, y’know…

Crowded parks weren’t even a thing in Singapore once upon a time. People generally had a preference for shopping malls and restaurants. Then COVID happened. Suddenly, people were flocking to the nearest parks in droves like how some Apple fanatics queue overnight to get their hands on the latest iPhones. It was weird and strange. Thankfully, the situation has improved. We no longer see overcrowded parks like last year when restrictions were in full force. But still, going to the same old parks can be a little boring, especially if you are looking for an escape and can’t wait for that VTL flight to come around. Here are some of the best ways you can enjoy the outdoors without heading to a park:

Go standup paddleboarding
Go standup paddleboarding
  • Out-of-city Experience
  • Group Travellers

Why hike and burn 300 calories per hour when you can standup paddleboard and burn 460 calories per hour? That’s right. The choice is obvious now. Hit up Ola Beach Club, take that board out onto the waters of Siloso Beach, and work up a sweat with that sea breeze in your hair. After that, lounge around and be a total beach bum because you earned that downtime.

Explore Fort Canning Park RPG-style
Explore Fort Canning Park RPG-style
  • Group Travellers
  • Heritage

Did you know that Fort Canning Park’s storied history spans the era of medieval Malay royalty to WWII, where the British surrendered Singapore to the invading Japanese army? Learn all about that and more when you sign up for this unique puzzle adventure game where you’ll have to search for clues scattered around Fort Canning Park.

Comb our shores for marine life
Comb our shores for marine life
  • Families with Kids

You never know what you’ll find when exploring the strange “Twilight Zone” along our beaches. Also known as the intertidal area, this is the coastal zone between the highest and lowest tidemarks and is one of the most stressful environments to live in as plants and animals here are exposed to the air only twice a day. Keep an eye out for horseshoe crabs – they have blue blood, which is key to making a COVID-19 vaccine and making human medicines safe.

Kayak around Ketam Island
Kayak around Ketam Island
  • Group Travellers
  • Out-of-city Experience

Forget cycling around Pulau Ubin with the rest of Singapore; go kayaking around Pulau Ketam instead. Pulau Ketam is a narrow strip of land across a channel from Pulau Ubin’s south. It was once full of mangroves and crabs and there were plans to set up an eco centre here years ago. Sadly, that never materialised, but that doesn’t mean the island and its wonders are completely off limits to explorers. During this tour, you can kayak around the mangroves of Pulau Ketam with a trusty guide.

Zorb around greenery
Zorb around greenery
  • Group Travellers

ZOVBing (pronounced as ‘zorbing’) is the act of strapping yourself in a gigantic clear plastic air-cushioned ball and being rolled around green spaces and downward slopes for the ultimate anti-gravity adrenaline rush. This wacky activity was once only available in New Zealand, but now you get to experience it right here in Singapore on the vast open fields along Old Holland Road.

Take a stroll to admire orchids
Take a stroll to admire orchids
  • Iconic
  • Group Travellers
  • Families with Kids

Fact: the National Orchid Gardens at the Singapore Botanic Gardens is home to the world’s largest orchid display, featuring a whopping 60,000-odd plants and orchids. The Gardens also has orchids named after the likes of Jackie Chan, Elton John, and Princess Diana. Spend the day feeding your curiosity about the world of botany by exploring its four “colour zones”: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.

Marvel at colonial-era homes
Marvel at colonial-era homes
  • Heritage

As unassuming as it may seem, the Adam Park estate is steeped in WWII history. The cluster of black-and-white houses here was built for the British civil service and members of the military in the colonial era. You won’t be able to enter the homes, but the things you’ll learn during this walkabout – like how paintings of Mother Mary were discovered in a house previously used as a modest Roman Catholic chapel – are intriguing enough to draw anyone in.

Try night hiking
Try night hiking
  • Hidden Gem

OK, if you really want to hike, why not do it at night? Never thought about it, huh? Go on a guided night tour to see our green spaces in a different light. Rare nocturnal creatures such as owls, scorpions, and snakes await, and you’ll gain a better understanding of their habitats, diets, and behaviours.

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