Last Updated on January 12, 2021 by Travels with Kids
Gardens by the Bay is the MOST iconic site in Singapore. Worldwide, the Super Trees are recognizable as a bucket list spot. It is natural then, that you will want to visit Gardens by the Bay with kids. Why not plan the BEST visit possible with our tips?
So, while it is easy to find information about Gardens by the Bay, we’re here to help you plan to get the best out of your Gardens by the Bay visit when traveling with kids. Having spent plenty of time researching our visit, I’m confident that we offer unique and kid-friendly ideas about how to get the best out of your visit to the Gardens by the Bay Singapore and the Supertree Grove.
There are three main sections in the Gardens by the Bay that were of interest to our family. The first was the domes (The Flower and Cloud Forest Dome). The second was the Supertree Grove and the third was the children’s section. This section includes the Gardens by the Bay children’s water park and the playground.
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Planning Your Day At Gardens By The Bay
Singapore is hot and humid, and we strongly recommend that you plan your day around the heat. We visited these beautiful gardens over 3 days and allowed lots of time for gardens by the bay water play.
How Long Does It Take To See The Gardens By The Bay?
We were traveling with multiple ages of children and an elderly person and went slowly. In all our total visit time was eight to nine hours. This means you could dedicate just one whole day to Gardens by the Bay Singapore, and still have a successful visit.
However, in our experience, it’s far better to have the children engaged and stimulated for a couple of hours than for a whole day when they invariably will get tired and grumpy. In our Gardens by the Bay itinerary, we visited over three days. This was ideal because we broke it up with other nearby (air-conditioned) sites like the Marina Bay Sands.
Gardens By The Bay Day 1: The Domes (The Cooled Conservatories)
Gardens by the Bay has some incredibly unique gardens that are outside. If you arrive early in the morning (it opens at 8:30 am) you can visit the clock dial, the Kingfisher and Lotus Gardens which are located in the central area. By the time the heat begins to climb (which is usually by 10:30 am), head to the Garden Domes. The first Garden Dome we visited was the Flower Dome. It features garden exhibits from all around the world like South Africa, South America, California, and Australia.
Interestingly a lot of the featured gardens were very similar to what we grow in our garden at home in Perth Western Australia. This was an interesting experience for our family. It was nice to see plants we see every day admired so enthusiastically by thousands of people.
Another Flower Dome highlight for the children was the wood crafted animals that abound through the garden. These included horses, dragons, and antelope all. As if the amazing plant displays are not enough to keep your kids happy, the dome is maintained at 23- 25 degrees Celsius (74-77 Deg F). This means it’s not quite air-conditioned, but it’s very pleasant to move around and you don’t feel the heat outside. Depending on the season that you visit, there’s also a changeable seasonal display. When we visited, the Flower Dome was celebrating the Chinese New Year and highlighted an orchid extravaganza.
Inside the Flower Dome, there are plenty of places to sit down and rest for an older person. In our case, we also stopped and fed the baby in the cool air while the children played nearby. In total, we spent one and a half hours in the Flower Dome. As soon as we walked outside the reality of Singapore’s midday heat hit us. We quickly moved over to the Cloud Forest Dome, which you’ll immediately recognize from Instagram and social media. The Cloud Forest Dome is truly spectacular from the time you enter to the spray of an amazing waterfall.
There is no doubt that the Cloud Forest Dome was our kids’ favorite; it wasn’t just the spectacular walkways and waterfalls, it is that we had mini-adventures within the dome.
Our little Lego fanatics favorite part of the Cloud Forest Dome was the very creative Lost World Lego Garden. This unexpected discovery left true smiles of joy on our small people’s faces. Without a doubt, the Gardens by the Bay captures the magic of gardens and your whimsical side. Your imagination is allowed to run wild and a true appreciation of plants can’t help but bloom.
At the same time, when you’re traveling with a nine-year-old, a five-year-old and a baby, there is only so much magic that we can absorb in one day. At this point, we headed home to our hotel!
We visited from around 10 am – 12noon, and it was busy but not intolerably so. The busiest time of the day for the conservatories is apparently after 4 pm through to 7 pm when the Gardens by the Bay light show commences.
Accessibility With A Baby
The Cloud Forest Dome is 100% accessible. The elevated walkways are designed in such a way that while they are high, they were easy for us all to walk over. We never felt afraid of the height.
When you’re traveling with a baby in a pram, we had to keep going in and out of lifts to access the different levels. So while it is pram friendly and kid-friendly, it is also a bit inconvenient and would’ve been better us to park the pram at the bottom and carry the baby in her sling.
Gardens By The Bay Ticket Prices
We liked that you could buy separate tickets for the different attractions at Gardens by the Bay; and especially that the vast majority of the gardens were free and required no ticket at all!
In 2019, entry to the two conservatories (Flower Dome & Cloud Forest Dome) was Adult $28 & Child (up to 12) $15. We made the purchases quickly and easily before entering.
Day 2: The Super Tree Grove & Gardens by the Bay Water play
The next day we were a little wiser and a little smarter and arrived at the Supertree Groveby 8:30 am. The Supertrees are engineering marvels and an absolute icon of Singapore. However, by the time we had queued for a very short time (due to our early start) and made it up onto the high walkway, our not so epic little travelers were already hot and bothered! The walkway itself offered spectacular views of Singapore and the Gardens by the Bay. It was not busy when we visited so we took our time. Keep in mind that even early in the morning it was hot, and we were exposed to the full heat of the sun.
The OCBC Skyway Tree Top Walk through the Supertree Grove is open from (9 am to 9 pm) with peak hours after dark. In peak times each visitor is only allowed 15 minutes of entry.
From the Supertrees we headed directly over to the Gardens by the Bay Waterpark and let the kids loose where they played happily. Entry to the water park is 100% free! We’d packed our own lunch and had lunch under the shaded area before the kids went back to do some more play in the great water fountains! They had a wonderful time and certainly didn’t feel the heat too badly!
If you are keen on lots of Gardens by the bay Water play, keep in mind that while this is a great water park, it is fully exposed and kids could get very sunburnt in the tropical heat. Our kids wore their rashies, hats and lots of sunscreen.
The Gardens by the Bay Water Park is located immediately adjacent to the Far East Organization Children’s Playground which is an excellent adventure playground. It’s a one-way circuit that can be done in about 20 minutes. We did the Gardens by the Bay playground circuit twice. However, given the extreme heat didn’t play as much as we would normally – if we had of been there later in the day I can imagine the kids would have started their own games and really engaged with the equipment.
To be honest, in Australia we have some incredible free water parks and playgrounds so our kids are very spoiled by having access to some ‘wow’ free kids play area. The Gardens by the Bay Children’s Playground was very good, but it wasn’t incredible compared to our playgrounds. So considering the heat and what our children were normally exposed to, they didn’t spend as long as they might have otherwise. Keep this in mind if you are planning a successful Gardens by the Bay kids outing. Another good idea would be to visit the Childrens garden by the Bay in the early evening, before the light show.
Gardens By The Bay Day 3: Supertrees By Night & Gardens By Bay Light Show
Our third visit to Gardens by the Bay was at night and this time. Instead of taking taxis, we decided to take the MRT ( Mass Rapid Transit, abbreviated and referred to locally as the MRT). This meant we avoided the taxi queue after the light show at Gardens by the Bay. During the cooler night hours, we visited the Giant Baby statue as well as enjoying running in the Colonial and Malay Gardens. In terms of enjoying the Gardens by the Bay, I do think we enjoyed this evening’s exploration the most due to the coolness of the evening air.
Gardens by the Bay Light Showtimes are at 7:45 pm and 8:45, but we would strongly recommend arriving about 2 hours before. Not only to get a good spot to watch the show but to enjoy the Gardens in the late afternoon. The light show is only 15 minutes in duration and it costs nothing but it is very worthwhile. We recommend finding a spot at least 30 minutes before the show starts. We enjoyed some biscuits and a refreshing drink while watching the colorful musical show.
Entering from the Marina Bay Sands side of the gardens you get some very different perspectives of the Supertrees before following the crowds to the Supertree Grove itself.
We watched the light show from immediately underneath one of the large trees and this was a very good viewpoint. In retrospect, the best spot to watch the night show at Gardens by the Bay would be from the grassed area immediately adjacent to the Supertree food hall. There was a lovely grassed area and it had the best view of the Supertrees at night.
Garden By The Bay Ticket Price
With the majority of attractions at the Gardens by the Bay free, you could visit and not pay an entrance fee and have an amazing experience. The tickets allow you entry to the Cooled Conservatories and the Super trees Walkway. Both wonderful and special, but if you are traveling on a budget you might prefer to do one attraction only. We would pick the Conservatories or Domes in preference to the walkway.
Gardens By The Bay: A Once In A Lifetime Experience
Visiting the Gardens by the Bay was truly a once in a lifetime experience for us, and we were so happy to fulfill a dream by visiting. That’s why we took it slow and visited over three different days. We really wanted to absorb and get the best out of our time there. Without a doubt, the highlight for the children was the Gardens by the Bay Water play. For this mum, I most enjoyed the Super Tree Grove and the light show.
Having great memories is also important, so you want to make sure you plan your stay to include the Best Photography Tips for Gardens By the Bay.
For up to date information, check out Garden by the Bay Singapore’s website here.
Side Note – Get travel insurance! Even though Singapore is extremely clean and safe, accidents happen. Singapore is generally hot and humid year round; for someone not acclimated this could cause issues. Not only does travel insurance typically cover health-related incidents but make sure it includes evacuation, medical coverage, theft, and cancellation. World Nomads offers really affordable Family Travel Insurance.
Another Top Tip For Visiting The Gardens by the Bay With Kids
If you have flexibility within your schedule, you might like to Google, “Gardens by the Bay Children’s Festival” and plan your trip around this, depending on what the theme is. In prior years, from approximately 15 to 30 June, the Garden’s by the Bay Children’s Festival transported the Supertree Grove into a vibrant carnival filled with kid-friendly games and activities. For example, in 2019 the theme was Toy Story inspired by Buzz, Woody, and the other Toy Story characters. Stay tuned for future years!
Gardens by the Bay Facts For Kids
Why Are The Gardens by the Bay Famous?
Along with the Kew Gardens in the UK, the Gardens of Versailles in France, and the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Singapore’s Garden’s by the Bay are one of the world’s most famous – and visited gardens. As of 2018, a whopping 50 million people have visited the Gardens by the Bay Singapore!
But what makes them so famous? Well, that is a matter of opinion. Some people consider them the most amazing man-made tropical gardens in the world. Not only are the gardens presented in an innovative way but they also offer a welcoming oasis in the concrete metropolis of Singapore. Whatever your opinion, there are many amazing Gardens by the Bay facts that make Gardens by the Bay for kids so interesting.
Why Were The Gardens by the Bay Built?
The Gardens by the Bay was built on reclaimed land just south of downtown. Officials in Singapore wanted Singapore to be a ‘city in a garden’ and constructing Gardens by the Bay was a step towards achieving this. This nature park was also intended to be a top tourist destination that in turn added to the quality of life of many Singaporeans.
Gardens by the Bay Are The Result Of A Worldwide Design Competition
In January 2006, Singapore’s National Parks Board hosted a competition for people and firms to submit their ideas for the design of the Gardens by the Bay. Grant Associates and Gustafson Porter both from the United Kingdom, won the competition with their designs. Each designing a different part of the gardens.
Another fun fact is that the Sydney Opera House was also the result of a worldwide design competition and so was the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk in Western Australia.
How Many Plants Grow At The Gardens by the Bay?
This Gardens by the Bay fact is almost unbelievable but Gardens by the Bay has over 2,000 species of exotic plants and over 7,000,000 natural plants. Yes, that is right, over 7 MILLION natural plants displayed. That number is astonishing if you ask us.
Why Are They Called Supertrees?
The Supertrees really are super! These are man-made “tree” which act as vertical gardens housing all kinds of varieties of plants. Some of the Supertrees even generate electricity photovoltaic cells which harvest solar energy that lights up the Supertrees.
Each Supertree is built with the same design but houses different plants. Each one has its own color and planting-scheme. The 18 Supertrees range in height from 25 to 50 meters. The canopies of these “trees” provide shade during that day and come alive at night! The Supertree Grove hosts a music and light display each night.
How Are The Supertrees Environmentally Sustainable?
One of the coolest Gardens by the Bay facts for kids about the Supertrees is that they are built in an environmentally sustainable way. As we mentioned above, 11 of the trees harvest solar energy that powers the light show each night.
Besides creating solar energy, the Supertrees have other energy-efficient features built into them such as cooled water pipes. In fact, 7 million dollars was spent studying the most efficient way to make the non-native flowers in the Supertrees bloom.
You Can Actually Walk In The Supertrees!
That is right if you want to get a more close up look at how the Supertrees were built you can actually walk among them. The OCBC Skywalk allows you to walk between two of the tallest trees. Not only is this awesome to get up close to the Supertrees themselves but it gives you a fantastic view of the Gardens by the Bay as a whole. If treetop adventuring is your thing, check out our post The Best Tree Top Walks Around the World which features the OCBC Skywalk in Singapore.
Gardens by the Bay Has The Largest Greenhouse In The World
At 1.2 hectares the Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest greenhouse in the world. What amazing Gardens by the Bay facts for kids! Besides being huge, the Flower Dome also exhibits exotic plants and flowers from all 5 continents!
The Verdict – Gardens By The Bay Singapore With Kids
If you are visiting Singapore then a stop by the Gardens by the Bay is a must! It is one of the most visited, and most iconic landmarks in Singapore. Be sure to do your research and plan out your time there as there is so much to see and do. Also, as we have mentioned, make sure you plan for Singapore’s hot climate. If traveling with kids you will find that the Gardens by the Bay water play is a real winner! Whatever you do, don’t miss out on seeing this bucket list Singapore destination.
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