So you’ve been stuck in Singapore for the past two years and life is starting to get pretty boring. You’ve exhausted all the malls, walked down Orchard Road a million times, and visit Gardens by the Bay too.
What else is there to do, and what have fellow Singaporeans been doing to keep themselves entertained in this small country?
The good thing is that not everything in Singapore is horribly expensive. Food, while nowhere near as cheap as it is in the rest of Southeast Asia, is still manageable if you stick to hawker centres and food courts.
So is public transport on the MRT and buses. Then there are more public gardens and parks than you’d imagine. Are there fun, cheap, and free things to do in Singapore? Yes, there are.
Here are some things you can do in Singapore, and a cost guide so you can figure out how much you’ll need.
Things to do in Singapore this weekend
This coming weekend, the May 20 to May 22, 2022, is the final weekend before the June School Holidays start next Friday. If you’ve got children, this is your last chance to fix you and your partner a solo date night.
Here are some things you can do in Singapore this weekend:
Introduction to trail running workshop by The North Face (ladies only)
On Sunday, May 22, 2022, The North Face will be holding an introductory workshop to trail running for ladies only. If you find working out with men uncomfortable, here’s your chance to try this sport and meet likeminded females.
The event runs from 7am to 10am, is priced at $35 per pax, and will be led by national athlete and marathoner Jasmine Goh.
Date: May 22, 2022
Time: 7am to 10am
City Sprouts: Blast to the Past
Social enterprise City Sprouts (102 Henderson Road) will be holding a nostalgic and retro kampong-spirited event on May 21 and 22, 2022. You’ll get to revisit super old school games such as capteh, congkak, five stones, marbles, skipping rope zero point, eat kueh, kacang puteh, and explore edible plants and old school bugs.
You can choose to get a $0 ticket or a $12 ticket (basically coupons for you to play games with). Activities and games range from $2, $4, to $12.
Date: May 21 to 22, 2022
Time: 9am to 12pm
CineWav Keppel Bay: Silent cinema
This weekend, you’ll be able to catch The Greatest Showman at the outdoor silent cinema, CineWav, located at the Marina @ Keppel Bay.
Basically, while the film is being aired on the giant screen, you’ll be able to listen to the audio with your own headphones via a HD audio file accessed by your mobile phone. Ya, better bring your power bank.
Each ticket is priced at $35, but you’ll need to beat the queue and book your tickets a week in advance. If you’re booking for the weekend ahead, next Saturday the May 28 show will be The Kid Who Would Be King.
Date: May 21 to 22, 2022
Free walking heritage tour at Capitol & CHIJMES
Prefer something free this weekend? There’s a free walking heritage tour uncovering the history behind Capitol Singapore and CHIJMES this Saturday, May 21, 2022 held by the Society of Tourist Guides.
Date: May 21, 2022
Time: 4pm to 6pm
Tiong Bahru walking tour
Love going to the Tiong Bahru cafes on weekends with your squeeze? You might as well get a little schooled about its colourful history.
Join Uncle Chris’ Tiong Bahru Walking Tour this Saturday, May 21, 2022, from 9am to 12pm. The tour promises to uncover the rougher side of Tiong Bahru, is free on paper, but you should still tip Uncle Chris at the end out of courtesy.
Date: May 21, 2022
Time: 9am to 12pm
Republic Poly street dance competition
Whether you’re a Republic Poly graduate or a dancer, this weekend you have a reason to visit Republic Poly for its RPresenting to the Fullest 14 Street Dance Competition. Running on the Saturday May 21, 2022, from 7.30pm to 9pm, this event is free for all.
Date: May 21, 2022
Time: 7.30pm to 9pm
Cocoa Farming & Harvest Workshop
If you’ve got $388.58 per pax to spare and happen to be a huge chocolate lover and self-proclaimed dark chocolate connoisseur, sign yourself up for the Where’s the Chocolate? Cocoa Farming & Post-Harvest full-day workshop by the Cocoa Association of Asia.
Held at the Ficus Classroom at the Gardens by the Bay, this 9am to 5pm workshop will introduce you to the world of cocoa farming, cocoa from the Philippines, how cocoa is harvested, and quality control protocols.
Date: May 21, 2022
Time: 9am to 5pm
ACJC alumni choir concert
ACJCians, it’s time to reunite and check out your fellow batch mates and cute seniors/juniors this weekend at the An Evening with Friends concert by the ACJC Alumni Choir.
Held at the Victoria Concert Hall this Sunday May 22, 2022 evening, 5pm, you can expect to see some old friends and familiar faces. Tickets are priced at $35 each.
Date: May 22, 2022
Time: 5pm to 6pm
Young adults aged 18 to 30 living in Tampines, meet your neighbours at JustCo Asia Green (9 Tampines Grande) this Saturday May 21, 2022, from 3:30pm to 5:30pm. The afternoon will surround topics such as dealing with Covid-19 and how the pandemic has changed your life/ lifestyle. Admission is free.
Date: May 21, 2022
Time: 3.30pm to 5.30pm
Yoga for a Change
The fully charitable Yoga for a Change is back in full swing this weekend with two sessions: Saturday 8am at Fort Canning Green, and Sunday 8am at East Coast Park.
The current beneficiary of Yoga for a Change is Aisha, an initiative which offers financial literacy education for foreign domestic workers and lower-incomed women in Singapore.
Date: May 21 & 22, 2022
Time: 8am to 9am
Kebun Rasa Sayang Guided Tour: Residents’ Gardening Tour
All you plant lovers. Here’s your chance to gather and go on a heartland tour around Boon Lay Drive. At $10 per pax, the 1.5 hours tour will take you through the many personal gardens residents have built around their HDBs along Boon Lay Drive, including their personal stories and attachments to their plants.
Date: May 21 to 22, 2022
Time: 4pm to 5.30 pm
Fun things to do in Singapore
For adrenaline junkies looking for some action and excitement, there are activities aplenty in Singapore for you too. We’ve avoided listing the usual cliche tourist traps like Universal Studios Singapore (USS), Adventure Cove, and the Sentosa Luge. Instead, here are a few novel and fresher outdoor ideas:
Glamping at East Coast Park
Does a weekend out get more exciting than lying in a tent to the envy of passerbys at ECP? At $260 for two pax, the glamping package comes with the bare necessities: a tent, bed, and pillows. You will need to get a camping permit, figure out your own toilet access & toiletries, and your own food and drinks.
You get to host up to six persons in your tent, meaning it’s a pretty great place to catch up with your friends for the day before you sleep through the night and check out at 10/11am.
There are other similar glamping experiences at Changi Coast Walk (in front of Changi Village) priced at $300 for up to five pax, and glamping at Pasir Ris park for $330.
Try touring the coasts of Singapore from a different light…by kayaking around the island. Here’s a northern coastline and mangrove kayaking expedition ($95 for three hours), a kayak and cycle tour around Pulau Ubin ($205 for eight hours), and a Sentosa to Lazarus Island kayak expedition ($80 for 2.5 hours).
Stand up paddling
Another activity that’s been gaining traction of late is Stand Up Paddling (SUP). Some of the most popular Stand Up Paddling spots include Ola Beach Club in Sentosa ($35 per hour), and the super scenic and therapeutic Sembawang Park to Sungei Simpang Mangroves ($100 for two pax, three to four hours).
Don’t have an actual driver’s license, fret not. Get your 30km/h adrenaline rush at one of the several Go Kart circuits in Singapore. P.S. If you’ve never been go karting before, it’s actually pretty tiring (no power steering) and especially so if you’re go karting in the afternoon sun.
For starters, try two circuits to get a feel and whiff of rubber burning against the tarmac. The two main Go Kart providers in Singapore are KF1 ($28/10 mins for 30km/h) and The Karting Arena ($25/10 mins for 30km/h).
KF1 locations: Kranji, Expo
The Karting Arena locations: Bukit Timah, Jurong
Wakeboarding & Wakesurfing
The home bases of wakeboarding and wakesurfing is in Punggol, Marina Country Club and East Coast Park. Most wakeboarding and wakesurfing schools offer equipment, coaching, and are beginner-friendly. Rates are pretty competitive…all are expensive. Here’s a comparison:
Singapore Wake Park: $50 per hour (per pax)
Edge Wakeboarding: $150 per hour
Wakemusters: $500 for two hours (two to three pax), with dedicated coach
Wake Time: $360 for two hours (one to two pax), captain-coach included
Ryders: $320 for two hours (one to two pax), captain-coach included
Surf n Wake: $460 for two hours (one to two pax), only one captain-coach available
This island off the east coast of Singapore is as close to a rural village as you’ll get here. The bumboat ride to the island costs about $3 and you can pre-book a bike on Klook and rent a bicycle for $14.55 to $36.89, which is well worth the effort as you can ride out to sites like the Chek Jawa intertidal flats.
Bored of Coney Island? Visit Lazarus Island for your nature fix. Go picnic, roll around in the white sands, and enjoy the sun and sea in the quiet and private beaches of Lazarus Island. After that, walk over to St. John’s Island to discover the vicinity before hoping on a ferry back to Singapore.
How to get to Lazarus Island? To get to Lazarus Island you’ll need to hop on a direct $15 ferry ride from Marina South Pier (at Marina Bay) by Marina South Ferries.
You’ll be alighting directly on Lazarus Island, but you’ll need to walk across a bridge to St. John Island to get to the ferry terminal to catch the return ferry trip. From Marina South, Island Cruise also brings you to St. John Island at $15 per pax. Otherwise, catch the ferry from Sentosa Cove to Lazarus Island at $20 per pax.
Things to do in Singapore for couples
Been to way too many staycations with your significant other in the past two years? Tried couple pottery classes, dining in GV Gold Class, Sentosa cable car sky dining, all the usual romantic couple and tourist attractions, and completed all the shows on Netflix and DisneyPlus? You’re not alone.
If you and your partner are getting bored and morphing into roommates, there are things you can do to keep the spark alive. Just get Googling and you’ll find a slew of couple and marriage psychology articles online telling you that couples who try new things together tend to keep the romance alive.
So, the key is to create a shared connection via new experiences and memories together as a couple. Here are some cheap yet fun things you can do in Singapore as a couple:
Go on hawker adventures
I highly recommend that you join the Can Eat! Hawker food Facebook group for some of the most genuine hawker food recommendations under $12 or $15.
When you find yourself asking each other, “What you want to eat ah? I also dunno leh”, whip out this Facebook group, pick the latest review and go on a hawker adventure with your partner.
It’s 100 per cent fun to discover new neighbourhoods or even kopitiams in your hood that you never knew existed. Very wallet and tummy friendly, too!
Spend quality time at Botanic Gardens
If you and your partner have never been to the Symphony Stage at Botanical Gardens, this is your cue to go this weekend. You’ll need to pack yourself a picnic mat, drinks, and some snacks.
If you don’t have one, you can get one for free by booking yourself a picnic set by Bee’s Knees (you collect your food box when you arrive at Botanic Gardens, then you get to keep the picnic mat). Once you’ve walked into the sprawling green area in front of the Symphony Stage, you’ll get what we mean.
The Symphony Stage at Botanic Gardens is a romantic couples’ haven. From young teenage puppy love to mature love and companionship in old married couples, all the different stages of love are on display for you to see.
The array of picnic setups is something for you to enjoy and take in, too — spot teenagers come in with McDonalds and plastic picnic mats, while married couples and parents come rolling in with massive cooler boxes, full flight of wine glasses, wine, and trays of roast, lasagne, and salads just for two.
Ha! The kids don’t get to eat my A5 Wagyu!
This is one couple’s spot where you don’t have to feel self-conscious. Older folks are clinking their wine glasses away, and teenagers are all atop each other making out and taking TikTok videos. It’s honestly one of the best and most romanic couple’s dating spot in Singapore.
Go to a board games cafe together
Relive childhood memories, and share your favourite childhood board games with your partner at a board game cafe. Here are the best board game cafes in Singapore, and prices range from $4 to $12.90++ per hour depending on the package you choose (with drinks, with a meal etc.)
Most of these board game cafes are located near MRT stations as well, so you won’t have to fret about walking in the sweltering hot weather of late. If your partner is a sore loser, he/she may just show his true self to you too.
Go ice skating and bowling
Blast to the past! If you’ve ever been to a date with your secondary school squeeze (that basketball guy or netball girl?) in the former Jurong Entertainment Centre (JEC) ice skating rink, here’s your chance to revisit those memories once again.
Located at the exact same JEC spot, The Rink at JCube charges $18 per hour for ice skating plus skate rental. Do remember to bring your own gloves and socks, and coins for locker access.
Prefer to go bowling? The usual bowling alleys are still around in Singapore, namely SuperBowl all around the country, Kallang Bowl, Orchid Bowl in Yishun, and Westwood Bowl in Bukit Batok.
Prices for Superbowl range from $18 to $30 per hour, and $2 for shoe rental. Alternatively, try switching up your bowling experience and try the young punk-friendly cosmic bowling night at K Bowling Club at Somerset ($11 to $17 per game).
Walk it off at Mount Faber, Macritchie, and other Nature Trails
When was the last time you and your partner put on those sport shoes and went to Macritchie for a walk? Walking or jogging uphill burns more calories than you would on a normal surface. And it’s free.
Try visiting Macritchie on a weekend morning or afternoon. You’ll be surprised to see so many likeminded couples of varying ages on the road, walking along hand in hand, enjoying the forest breeze and chatting with each other.
Some of these elderly couples are honestly so fit that I felt embarrassed of my couch potato flabby tummy.
Things to do in Singapore at night
Where to go in Singapore after 10 pm? Now that malls close around 9pm and restaurants shutter at 10.30 pm, there really isn’t much nightlife or things to do in Singapore at night.
If you try to Google, you’ll be met with the same usual expensive options: go to a spa and massage place that opens late, go to Springleaf Prata or Al Azhar, shopping at Mustafa (it’s not even 24 hours anymore), and Don Don Donki.
Before you wound up in yet another 24-hour NTUC Extra to walk off your boredom, here are some late night and 24-hour activities that you can consider if you need something to do tonight:
Marina at Keppel Bay (until 12am)
Did you know you can actually take a scroll around the Marina at Keppel Bay and admire the yacht and all the rich people who live there? You can get to the Marina at Keppel Bay by train (15 min walk) and bus (10 min walk).
If you drive, there’s a carpark at the Marina at Keppel Bay. Carpark rates range from $2.50 to $5 per entry after 6pm.
Sentosa & Sentosa Boardwalk (24/7)
What time does Sentosa close? It doesn’t. You can try harder than us to find a closing time on the official Sentosa website, but there isn’t. Maybe here’s your chance to run around the empty roads of Sentosa at night and train for your marathon with your significant other, or go hanky panky in one of the remote carparks.
If you’re roaming around the beaches, just remember that swimming after sunset is strongly discouraged for safety reasons. Don’t be like those TikTok girls who went swimming at East Coast Park at night, ok?
It’s free for you to walk into Sentosa via the Sentosa Boardwalk (link from Vivocity). All you’ll need is a valid EZ-Link card to tap entry.
Alternatively, you can take the Sentosa Express train from Vivocity into Sentosa for free. However, the train closes at 12am. For drivers, entry to Sentosa is free for personal cars, and carpark charges are $2.40 per entry after 5.01pm.
Karaoke and KTVs (until 5am)
Belt your heart out at the long-lost KTVs. Karaokes and KTVs were finally allowed to open on April 19, 2022. How are Singapore’s favourite KTV joints doing and what are their current prices like? Here’s a list of the best karaoke spots in Singapore:
Teo Heng KTV: Open till 1am, and prices range from $12 to $24 per hour (room holds one to 10 pax)
Cash Studio: Opens until 3am/4am, and prices range from $9.90++ to $30++ for two hours
Jewel Music Box (former Ten Dollar Club): Opens until 1.30 am, $12 to $18 per pax for three hours
Party World KTV: Opens until 2am/5am, prices range from $12++ to $35++ for two hours
K.Star Family Karaoke: Opens until 3am/ 6am, $20++ to $40++ per hour (for small room, up to six pax)
HaveFun Karaoke: Opens until 12am/1.30 am/3am/5.30am, $18++ to $38++ (for small room, up to six pax)
Candy K Bar: Opens until 3am, $9.90++ to $18.90++ per pax (one hour)
K Suites: Temporarily closed due to Covid-19
Manekineko (former K Box): Temporarily closed due to Covid-19
82 Social House — Kommune (Korean Karaoke only): Opens until 11pm, $15 to $28 per hour (for small room, up to four pax)
Ten Dollar Club used to be a secondary school favourite with the affordable $10 nett price, free drinks, and free flow prawn crackers and kacang puteh.
It’s now been bling-ed up and rebranded to Jewel Music Box. If you’re singing till late, it seems like Jewel Music Box has the cheapest prices at $18 per pax for three hours. Other establishments are charging $30 to $35++ across the board for weekend night bookings.
Otherwise, sing it out and rival fellow diners at dart and KTV bars such as Aviary (Chevrons), Good Cheer 2 (Kallang Wave Mall), and any KTV bars along Telok Ayer.
Chill at Gardens by the Bay, Botanic Gardens, Fort Canning Park, Esplanade/ One Fullerton
If you’re just looking for a bench to sit down and chill with your fellow friends, and you don’t really need bright lights, most of the public areas and tourist attractions open till late night (12am for Botanic Gardens) or remain open 24/7…and honestly the Singapore night skyline/nightscape is pretty breathtaking.
If you’re concerned about the pitch darkness and safety, avoid Botanic Gardens, F1 Pit Building, and Fort Canning Park. Places such as Clarke Quay (waterfront), Marina Bay Sands outdoor deck, One Fullerton, Esplanade, the Merlion park are more brightly lit, and are downright scenic and breezy at night.
Gardens by the Bay is kinda dark, but it’s pretty crowded with roller bladers, skaters, and cyclists all night singing Jay Chou and Selena Gomez hit songs.
Things to do in Singapore with kids
What to do with your child this upcoming June School Holidays 2022? We’ve got a bunch of ideas ranging from enrichment lessons, dance, science, maths, robotics, coding camps, marital arts classes, and more. Here are more parent-child activities that you can do with your child throughout the year:
Try parent-child yoga
Are there yoga classes where both parent and child can practice together? Yes, there are many parent-child yoga classes in Singapore. From as early as four weeks, you’ll find postpartum mom and child yoga classes at Hom Yoga ($48 for first-timer trial), and Baby Yoga for toddlers aged three to 10 months at Inspire Mum & Baby ($50 for trial class).
Parent-child swimming lessons
How about having your child acquire a new lifeskill while you bond with your child? At Inspire Mum & Baby, the Aqua Big Tots class for toddlers aged two to three allows parents to pop into the pool to assist the child (not teach!) as they learn water confidence and glide through water.
Dip Swim Singapore ($70 or $100 for individual trial class), however, adopts a different approach by teaching parents to understand their child’s learning behaviour and, therefore, how to coach their child.
It’s definitely more stress and work on the parent, but not entirely a bad thing to learn this transferrable teaching and coping skillset which could be applied in all other areas of your parenting life.
Walk/jog at Macritchie or any other nature trails
This is often an overlooked option for most parents. It’s one of my favourite go-to weekend activities for my three girls. Take your child on a semi-jog/walk up and down the hiking or running trails at Macritchie and other nature parks. It’s free, save for the Grab/Comfort taxi/ parking fee/bus fare that you will need to pay.
Compared to Gardens by the Bay, Marina Barrage, and other neighbourhood parks, I personally love Macritchie simply cause the kids are forced to stay on trail and keep going. Once you’ve embarked on a Macritchie trail, there’s practically no option to give up and sit down somewhere.
Instead, the children they learn to pace themselves, take breaks, keep going, not give up, and eventually finish the course.
Parents, pack a backpack full of ice cold water, tissue paper, and some plastic bags. If your child has bad cardio like mine, he/she might start puking on the way…even if it’s just brisk walking.
Factor ample time for a two to 3km walk, since they’ll demand to rest pretty frequently at every bench they see. Do not bring food or snacks, since there are many monkeys along the trail.
Time your trip well. Do it in the late afternoon if possible. Once they are done, go for a meal. Get home, shower, and the kids will be so exhausted that they will confirm plus chop knock out within minutes promptly at their 8/8:30 pm bedtime. Tried and tested many times, trust me.
Grasslands at Jurong Lake Gardens (near Bird Hides)
If the weather is fine and dandy, bring your child to the idyllic Grasslands at Jurong Lake Gardens. Tucked away in a quieter corner of Jurong Lake Gardens, the Grasslands is a scene reminiscent of some European country.
There are gentle rolling hills and knee-high tall grass for your child to play maze in. The grass is pretty safe and clean, and your child will enjoy climbing up the small hills and rolling down after.
Just be a responsible parent and walk around the grass play area to inspect the ground for any foreign objects before you let them run wild.
This corner of the Gardens is so quiet that you can whip out a picnic mat and umbrella and just…take a nap there. It does get pretty hot in that area since there’s no shade at all. Best time to visit? 8am to 10am on a clear, sunny day.
Go on a bus adventure
Tired parents, this is another tried and tested activity. Get to any bus stop, and have your child choose any bus he/she wants to board. Most likely, your child will wait out for a double decker bus and insist on going upstairs to take the “driver’s seat”.
But anyway, let your child go on a bus adventure to the interchange where you’ll find amenities such as toilets and food centres. Have a meal, sort your child out, and take the same bus back home. It’s cheap, and the bus journey will keep them occupied for an hour or so, giving you time to just rest.
What are your favourite things to do in Singapore? Share your secret locations with us, don’t gatekeep lah!
This article was first published in MoneySmart.
published 2022-05-20 16:06:28