Trekking Singapore with Baby: Pram-Friendly Walks
Every weekend I go out trekking Singapore with my baby. I am on a mission to discover every pram-friendly walk on this island nation – from the beautiful, to the touristy, to the wild and grassy. There are more than you think!
There are many benefits to taking your little one out for a walk. I’ll start with the obvious – it is a great way to stay in shape and shed the last of those pregnancy kilos! Going out walking is also a wonderful way to bond with your cherub. Think of it as an adventure. Bundle your little one up in a comfy pram and go out and explore all of the wonders of the world together. Going outside and experiencing nature is important for a baby’s sensory development. Talking together about what you are seeing, from pointing out coloured flowers to naming wildlife, helps them develop comprehension and language skills.
The hot and humid weather in Singapore can make it difficult to walk for long distances comfortably. Dehydration or heat stroke are always risks. Head out early in the morning, between 6-8am, before the sun is in full force. Remember to use baby-safe sunscreen on your little one before heading out too.
All of these pram-friendly walking routes are around 30-40 minutes (excluding commuting time). If you are worried about baby spending too long seated in the pram, pack a blanket so you can stop for some tummy time mid-route. If you pack a thermos of coffee, it can also be a welcome break for mummy too!
When babies are exposed to a lot of sensory stimulation they will become drowsy. If your little one falls asleep during a walk do not disturb them. Naps are still counted even if they are in the pram and not in the cot.
Around Fort Canning is great walking because there are a lot of inclines – just what my flabby thighs need! Majestic leafy trees line the wide walkways and provide ample shade. Fort Canning has a rich and varied history. It’s where Singapore’s first Botanical Gardens were situated. It is also where the decision to surrender Singapore to the Japanese was made during World War 2 was made. Today, the Fort Canning site is home to the Registry of Marriages, an iconic lighthouse, and nine historic gardens.
Start: Doby Ghaut MRT
End: Doby Ghaut MRT
Distance: 3.2 kilometres
Time: 35 minutes
I like to start my journey at Doby Ghaut station and zig-zag my way up the hill via the Fort Canning Park Tree Tunnel. I continue past the Battlebox (a WW2 bunker) and through the Fort Wall to Pancur Larangan. This is a fantastic pram-friendly park where you can also do a small workout – think squats, situps and pushups! I then loop around the Fort Canning Centre before heading back down to the Doby Ghaut MRT station. There are so many nooks and crannies to explore around here. Visit the Fort Canning official map to devise your own unique route.
Special tip: Visit the amazing Iroha Mart Japanese supermarket in Plaza Singapura – right next to Doby Ghaut MRT – on your way home. They sell an awesome range of sakes, instant ramen noodles, as well as all sorts of baby food imported from Japan!
This is one of my favourite walks because the Botanical Gardens are brimming with amazing sounds, sights, and smells that are nothing short of pure delight for my little one. Whenever we go for a wander here I like to point out all the different coloured flowers. The fragrance is just breathtaking. Sometimes, we are lucky enough to spot a rooster or wild bird too. The grounds of the Botanical Gardens are meticulously maintained so you can hang out on the grass for some tummy time too.
Start: Botanical Gardens MRT
End: Botanical Gardens MRT
Distance: 3.2 kilometres
Time: 40 minutes
I prefer to do a circular route here, starting at the Botanical Gardens MRT station and walking to the main waterfall and back again.
Special tip: Finish your walk with a cup of Italian coffee and a scoop of gelato at Gastranomica cafe.
Labrador Park is a wonderful spot to enjoy the very best of Singapore. You get nature, butterflies, cool sea breezes, and even a dose of modern architecture. This is where the famous Reflections at Keppel Bay is located. It’s one of the ugliest but most memorable condos ever built. People like to aaaahhhh at the clever curves. Then, on closer inspection, they oooohhhhh at how it feels like a futuristic prison.
Start: Labrador Park MRT
End: HarborFront / Vivocity
Distance: 3.1 kilometres
Time: 38 minutes
There are a number of treks around Labrador Park. The most pram-friendly walk starts at Labrador Park MRT station. Swing left and walk through the lush greenery along the Berlayer Creek Boardwalk. After about 15 minutes you will see the vast blue sea when you arrive at the Bukit Chermin Boardwalk. Enjoy strolling along the water, past the fancy condos, until you reach the Keppel Bay Bridge. They turn left onto the main road from where it is only a couple of blocks to HarborFront and Vivocity.
Special tip: Treat yourself to a decadent hot chocolate and a gooey slice of cake at Awfully Chocolate Vivocity at the end of your walk.
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay wins the award for most picturesque pram-friendly walk. I am talking absolutely breathtaking views of Marina Bay Sands, the Singapore Flyer, and those thingy-me-jig fake tree things. I feel like I am witnessing Singapore with fresh eyes whenever I visit this place with baby. Just a word of caution – there isn’t much shade so make sure you arrive early in the morning to avoid the glare.
Start: Promenade MRT
End: Bayfront MRT
Distance: 3.6 kilometres
Time: 44 minutes
Get off the train at Promenade and walk across the Benjamin Sheares Bridge into the Gardens by the Bay. Continue walking along the water’s edge until you reach Satay by the Bay. Then turn around and walk back. On the way back you can stop at the Children’s Garden, which is a really cool and low-cost water park suitable for babes 6+ months. Exit Gardens by the Bay at Sheares Avenue, taking a left, and enter The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands for some air-conditioning. From here you can make your way home via Bayfront MRT.
Walking around Raffles Place can be nostalgic if you are a former city-worker like myself. I still get a kick out of seeing the shophouses along the Singapore River not to mention passing that amazing durian-like behemoth at the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay. Plus, this is the best foodie walk because you end up at City Hall where there are so many yummy things to eat.
Start: Raffles Place MRT
End: City Hall MRT
Distance: 2.1 kilometres
Time: 24 minutes
Get off the MRT at Raffles Place and head towards the water’s edge. Walk towards the old Fullerton Hotel (Fullerton, you’re like an old, weather-beaten man, but I still love you) and cross the Cavenagh Bridge. Enjoy the pleasant walk past the Asian Civilisations Museum and continue right along the gorgeous Queen Elizabeth Walk until you reach the Esplanade. From there, turn on to Raffles Avenue and keep going until you reach City Hall.
Special tip: There is a lot of great food in the basement of Raffles City at City Hall. Buy some gourmet chocolate at Janice Wong, grab a cheese cake from the Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory, and sit down for a ridiculously large meringue and a cafe latte at The Providore.
Clark Quay and Robertson Quay
A small word of warning with this walk – the bridges that cross the quays are not pram-friendly. They have stairs! So as long as you are happy to walk on one side only, you’ll be fine. Or you could also use a baby carrier when navigating the stairs. This walk is more of a shopholic-cum-expat walk. But, I don’t mind it for a change of scenery.
Start: Clark Quay MRT
End: China Town MRT
Distance: 3.2 kilometres
Time: 40 minutes
Start at Clarke Quay MRT. You might want to browse The Central shopping mall first before enjoying a pleasant stroll along the water’s edge. Keep walking, past Harry’s wine bar (don’t stop – it’s probably too early for wine) until you get to M Social. Then you can turn around and walk back again. Push yourself walking as far as China Town Point shopping centre (only three or four blocks from Clark Quay) where you can head home via the China Town MRT.
Haw Par Villa
A stroll around Haw Par Villa can either be super exciting or terrifyingly scary for your baby! There are a lot of mythical monsters. But there are also a lot of topless women. Give it a try but be on standby to get the hell out of there if your little one starts screaming. Haw Par Villa is an old theme park that was originally sponsored by Tiger Balm. Over the years it has gone from being a decrepit, forgotten playground to a decidedly wonderful interpretation of that old TV show Monkey Magic.
Start: Haw Par Villa MRT
End: Haw Par Villa MRT
Distance: 1.5 kilometres
Time: 20 minutes
The theme park is just a two-minute walk from the MRT station and is 100% pram-friendly. You can explore the whole part at your leisure in around 20 minutes. Be prepared for the fact there isn’t any shade or shops to stop and buy a drink from. The park is temporarily closed until 1 July 2021 for renovations.
Special tip: If Har Paw Villa has inspired you to read more Chinese folklore then head to the National Library for a great selection of books on the subject.
Enjoy every moment walking with your baby with these pram-friendly treks. If you know of other pram-friendly routes, please drop your suggestions in the comments box below. If you are a nature lover then don’t forget to check-out my blog on Coney Island too!