Mar 13, 2021

Kids can Climb on a Giant Cempedak & jump on huge Saga Seeds at Gallop Extension's Como Adventure Grove Playground!

An extension of the Tyersall-Gallop Core of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Gallop Extension opened in late 2019 with two features. The other features were due to open in 2020 but we all know what happened. COVID-19 delayed pretty much everything but the good news is NEW features are now open at Gallop Extension!

Located next to the Learning Forest and accessed via Tyersall Avenue, the previously-opened features consisted of the Mingxin Foundation Rambler's Ridge, a re-created tropical ridge habitat, and the OCBC Arboretum which is a living library of trees with more than 200 species of dipterocarps.

Great for families, no doubt but I highly suspect that there is an even better reason NOW to bring the kids.

That's becasue from today, more features at the 8-hectare Gallop Extension have opened. These include two conserved buildings that have been refurbished into the Botanical Art Gallery and Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum, the COMO Adventure Grove nature playgarden, and additional trails, scenic lawn and landscaped areas and naturalised habitats.

For kids though, this would be the MAIN draw.


The Como Adventure Grove is a nature-inspired play area for children to learn about native flora and fauna.

But more than that, kids can have loads of fun while doing so too. They can swing, slide and climb on structures resembling parts of trees and fruits as these adaptive components will help introduce children to nature through play.

Yep, much like this GIANT Cempedak where kids can scramble over its warty surface. No rules, no dictating of play - just plain climbing fun.

I couldn't resist too. 😁

Another cool play area is the one where it is made up of many huge saga seeds!

Kids are free to roll or jump around the seed pod of a Saga tree.

Oh, and there are sand toys for kids to play with too. Just remember to place them back on the tool board once they are done playing.

And of course, there is the main play area.

The main play area consists of various play structures, like two long slides, swinging hammocks, see-saw, swings, climbing ropes and other rope obstacles.

The great thing about COMO Adventure Grove is it is inspired by the distinctive parts of trees found within the Gardens. For example, children can swing, slide and climb on structures resembling the aerial roots of the Weeping Fig.

Definitely a huge playground for the kids to spend loads of time at!

Another aspect of the play area that I love is there are other natural elements planted around it as well, like these logs and stumps where kids can test their jumping and agility skills too.

So if you only need one reason to visit the new Gallop Extension with the kids, COMO Adventure Grove will be it.

But wait, there are other new family-friendly features to check out too:

Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum

No.5 Gallop Road, known as Atbara, is the oldest surviving black and white colonial house in Singapore. Built in 1898, it was originally owned by John Burkinshaw, who set up one of Singapore's earliest law firms. For several decades, the house also served as the former French Embassy.

Today, the refurbished Atbara houses the Forest Discovery Centre @ OCBC Arboretum, which showcases exhibitions on Singapore's living forests and ongoing efforts to conserve their rich biodiversity and complex ecosystems. Everything in this Centre is designed to complement the outdoor experiences of the Gallop Extension and Learning Forest. 

Room 1- Welcome to Atbara

This room showcases the architectural heritage of Atbara and the story behind its English garden landscape setting. Compared to other black and white houses, Atbara lacks verandahs and has a unique L-shaped plan that takes advantage of the beautiful forested views on the outside.

Room 2- Our Living Forests

This exhibit is an audiovisual and interactive overview of Singapore's protected forest habitats. The centerpiece is an installation featuring the types of native trees that can be found in a variety of habitats across Singapore. The species count wall highlights Singapore's native species, which include over 300 species of butterflies and more than 400 species of birds.

Room 3 - Forest Conservation Gallery

Learn more about Singapore's vital forest in this gallery. Experience the wildlife that can be found in these forests through interactive exhibits, including a camera trap booth and speakers where you can choose different wildlife calls to listen to.

Room 4 - Nature Explorer Zone & Pangolin Room

This area serves as a launch pad for various activities, such as storytelling and workshops, under the Community in Nature Initiative.

There is even a telescope here for kids to do some bird-watching!

Botanical Art Gallery

No. 7 Gallop Road, known as Inverturret, is one of the oldest black and white houses in Singapore. Built in 1906, Inverturret and the surrounding land was sold to Charles MacArthur, an early chairman of the Straits Trading Co.. For several decades, it also served as the residence of the French ambassadors.

Today, Inverturret houses Singapore's first permanent gallery of botanical art. An extensive in-house collection of watercolour paintings, ink drawings, prints and other artefacts collectively tell a story about art's vital role in the scientific documentation and conservation of the flora of modern Singapore and the region. 

Apart from admiring the works of natural history exhibited in the gallery, visitors will also be able to learn the art of botanical illustration through interactive displays and hands-on activities.

Level 1 - Temporary Exhibitions

A designated exhibition space featuring botanical artworks, works from the Gardens own collections, as well as art pieces on loan from other galleries, museums and botanical institutions.

Level 2- Permanent Exhibition

Beginning with the development of the Gardens' collection of botanical art from 1890 to the present, the exhibition tells the story of how painting and drawing have contributed to scientific discovery. It then explores how botanical art supports the Gardens' efforts to study and conserve our local and regional botanical heritage.

There is also an activity room where both adults and children get to try out basic botanical illustration techniques.

Useful Information

Gallop Extension

Address: Opposite 1, Tyersall Ave

Admission: FREE

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