Nov 20, 2017

Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is now Asia's largest children's garden and has a NEW Forest playground!

There is a new play area at Jacob Ballas Children's Garden to bring kids to work off some calories, and it comes in the form of a giant Forest Adventure playground!

But more on that later, I promise. Because the playground is only a part of the entire rejuvenation of the Children's Garden... which coincidentally, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

Wow, time truly flies huh? I remember bringing the boys to its water playground when they were toddlers. And our last visit was actually five years ago when Ale was just a toddler as well.

And now with the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden at the Singapore Botanic Gardens having doubled in size to four hectares - following a two hectare extension - it is now Asia’s largest children’s garden.

The new extension is situated on the left side of the garden as you enter through the main entrance. And speaking of entry, did you know adults are only permitted entry only if accompanying a child? Kids are definitely kings and queens here!

If you have been to the pre-expanded Children's Garden, you will be glad to know that all of its original attractions and play areas remain intact which have been given new section names:


This is where kids can play to their hearts' content, with the Water Play area, Sand Playground and Maze providing free fun!


The Sensory and Potting Gardens can be found here, with kids having the opportunity to see, smell and touch various plants.


I guess this Tree House Playground needs no further introduction.


One of the monkies' fave, The Magic of Photosynthesis, is still here. It is an interactive exhibit where children discover photosynthesis and why this magical process is fundamental to all life on earth. A new addition though, is the Nature Play Pavilion, which can be reached via an elevated boardwalk.

And so we come to the four new zones, where the children can immerse themselves in different experiential learning.


Here, kids get to experience first-hand the growth cycle of economic plants and the joy of growing their own fruits and vegetables by taking charge of plots, sowing seeds in a nursery, re-potting them and harvesting the crops. There are periodic workshops conducted so do check out NParks' website for more information.

This attraction aims to inculcate in the young an appreciation of the effort that goes into the cultivation of food] crops.

Also, kids can get a first hand look at how compost is made too.


The Stream zone is where kids can learn about the water habitat and spot the animals and plants that live there.


Besides keeping a lookout for cocoa, tea and coffee plants, families can find out how some fo your favourite beverages and desserts are prepared and processed... thanks to the many colourful and informative panels.


And so we come to the new zone which appealed to the monkies most - a forest playground where they explored a tree top canopy and finished it off with the flying-fox!

Compared to the older Tree House playground in the old portion of the garden, this new playground occupies a larger area and consists of various obstacles to test kids' balance and agility.

After clearing the log obstacles, children could then get close to nature by exploring a network of canopy tree huts and rope bridges nestled in the tree tops.

Other play areas include a trampoline, seats which double up as percussion instruments and a swing.

Prior to the extension, the garden catered to children up to 12 years old. Now, the garden has included activities for older children. So children who are aged 10-14 can explore the trails and habitats of the new extension, and they can also learn more about plants and how these plants employ different strategies to adapt to their environments.

And if Ash and Ayd did not complain about feeling bored, then I think it is testament to that!

Oh and if everyone in the family is feeling hungry after a day out at the Children's Garden, there is a new cafe located just near the entrance of the garden.


Useful Information

Jacob Balls Children's Garden
Address: 481, Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259769
Opening Hours: 8.00am to 7.00pm (last admission at 6.30pm). Closed on Mondays (except when Monday falls on a designated public holiday)
Admission: Free admission. Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden is designed for children aged 14 and below. Children aged 12 and below must be accompanied by an adult. To promote a safe environment for children, adults are permitted entry only if accompanying a child. Adult visitors without children must consult the Service Desk for entry.
Accessibility: Wheelchair and stroller accessible
Getting there:
By Train:
10-min walk from Botanic Gardens MRT Station (Circle/Downtown Line)
By Bus:
Alight at “NUS Bukit Timah Campus” bus stop along Bukit Timah Road or “after Kheam Hock Road” bus stop along Dunearn Road. It is a 5-min walk from the respective bus stops.
Bus services along Dunearn Road and Bukit Timah Road: 48, 66, 67, 151, 153, 154, 156, 170, 171, 186
By Car/Taxi:
From Dunearn Road - At the Dunearn-Kheam Hock Road junction, turn right to enter NUS Bukit Timah Campus. Turn right into Jacob Ballas Children's Garden after car park gantry.
From Bukit Timah Road - At the Bukit Timah-Kheam Hock Road junction, turn left to enter NUS Bukit Timah Campus. Turn right into Jacob Ballas Children's Garden after car park gantry.
*Limited parking lots are available at Jacob Ballas Children's Garden and NUS Bukit Timah Campus.

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