“Hot and humid with a chance of rain…” goes the daily Singapore weather report, but don’t let that put you off! Hit one of the following perfect picnic spots – and remember the umbrella, the picnic blanket, the sunscreen and the insect repellent.
The Botanic Gardens
One of our all-time favourite spots in Singapore, the gardens are great for sophisticated picnics. You could lay down your blanket almost anywhere, but our favourite patch of grass is probably at Palm Valley and Symphony Lake, especially when they’re staging one the regular free classical music concerts.
MacRitchie Reservoir Park
A popular destination for nature lovers and exercise enthusiasts, MacRitchie has plenty of convenient amenities such as toilets, drinking fountains and showers, as well as great walking or running trails for those who want to move, and good views across the reservoir for those who just want to sit. Beware of sneaky monkeys, though!
The Green Roof at Marina Barrage, approximately the size of four football fields, is open to the public for recreational activities. Enjoy panoramic city views while you tuck in.
Chinese and Japanese Gardens
For an Asian twist to your French picnic, try the iconic Chinese and Japanese Gardens in Jurong. Among the attractions are a rainbow bridge and a pagoda, inspired by structures in China and modelled on the gardening techniques of Japan. 1 Chinese Garden Road.
Work up an appetite on the steep-ish paths and check out the spice garden and archaeological remains at Fort Canning Park before shaking out your picnic blanket.
If you fancy spreading yourselves out on a huge lawn, HortPark’s one-stop gardening hub could be the ideal picnic spot. There’s plenty of shade, too. 33 Hyderabad Road.
Gardens by the Bay
There are lots of areas within Gardens by the Bay to picnic in, but we suggest Bay East Garden. This 2km waterfront stretch has sublime views of the Marina Bay skyline, plus open lawns, swaying palm trees and waist-high flowering shrubs.
Esplanade Roof Terrace
The Esplanade Roof Terrace is city central and a great spot to sit back and watch the Merlion in action, against the backdrop of the Marina.
Jurong Hill Park
About a ten-minute walk from Jurong Bird Park is Jurong Hill Park and its Garden of Fame. Admire the 27 trees planted by foreign dignitaries such as Queen Elizabeth II, and enjoy the great views. 2 Jurong Hill.
East Coast Park
With a scenic coastline that stretches more than 15km, the beach at East Coast Park is an excellent venue for a weekend picnic. Grab a spot under the shade of the casuarina trees, close your eyes, take in the breeze and just imagine you’re on holiday. East Coast Park Service Road.
West Coast Park
Another great open space by the sea! There’s a bicycle obstacle course, a sand-play area, plus lots of swings and climbing structures that older kids will have fun on. Take frisbees and sand play equipment.
Pasir Ris Park
Great for the whole family, it has an adventure play area with a flying fox, swings, a sand area and rope climbing pyramids. There’s a mangrove walk, a horse-riding centre, cycling paths, a maze and a kitchen garden. Keep a lookout for the ice cream uncle.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
Trek to Singapore’s highest peak, keeping – 164m! – keeping an eye out for monkeys, lizards, flying foxes, birds and beautiful flowers. Take good supportive walking shoes and plenty of mosquito repellent.
Kranji Reservoir Park
Grab one of the pavilions or benches and enjoy the panoramic view of the Straits of Johor. Pack your fishing rod. The park has two fishing grounds, so if you’re feeling lucky try catching your own lunch.
A peaceful, scenic walk from hilly jungle down to the yachts at Keppel Bay. Plus, check out The Training Shed, an awesome, chilled-out event in Labrador Park that’s staged once a month.
St John’s Island
Take the ferry from Marina South Pier for a picnic on Lazarus beach. Join a pre-picnic guided nature tour with the Tropical Marine Science Institute. The island’s natural shores are ringed by coral reefs, so bring your snorkelling gear to swim in the lagoons after picnicking on the beach.
After even more ideas? Try…
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
Clementi Woods Park
Dhoby Ghaut Green
Jurong Central Park
Lower Seletar Reservoir Park
Raffles Place Park
VivoCity Sky Park
Food for the picnic basket
Picnics are easy if you can cobble together something decent from leftovers in the fridge. Pasta the night before? Put together a pasta salad with red peppers, tomatoes, olives, fresh herbs and a glug of extra virgin olive oil. Leftover boiled potatoes? Add mayo, onions and gherkins to make a potato salad. Or if you have more time, put together a gourmet picnic hamper by visiting Four Seasons Gourmet Market (8A Marina Bay Boulevard #B2-49 Marina Bay Link Mall).
Alternatively, order a ready-to-go hamper from Food for Thought. A picnic hamper for two costs $42 and includes two sandwiches (try the grilled eggplant with pesto), two sides such as fries, chargrilled broccoli or sugar peas, and two desserts like marshmallow brownie cups, plus drinks, a picnic mat and disposable cutlery. Baskets require a deposit of $50, refundable when returned on the same day before 6pm. (Food For Thought is at 1 Cluny Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Tanglin Gate, #B1-00).
For more helpful tips head to our living in Singapore section.