12 new things to do in Singapore

Singapore, a juxtaposition of new and old, is famous for its shopping and street food but there are so many more great things to do on the island.

Super tree sky garden.
  • Mia Chenyze and Pearlyn Tham
  • September 2018

Kayak in hidden mangrove swamps, catch a murderer in 1940s Shanghai, sail on a rare tall ship and more, with one activity for every month of the new year if you wander outside the centre of Singapore.

Top free things with kids in Singapore opens in new window
The best of Singapore on a budget opens in new window

1. For a crafty good time

Join the DIY movement by doing a craft workshop. Locations like Itchy Fingers, where it’s all about keeping the spirit of craftsmanship alive, offer classes in painting, stamping, and making textiles, terraria, jewellery and more. Make natural soaps, cast metal jewellery, dye fabric, fashion miniature snacks and desserts from clay, carve wooden utensils, arrange bouquets... the list goes on. Workshops are all conducted by local artisans, and class sizes are kept small. The Little Happyshop is another crafty-class location, where you can learn to embroider, write calligraphy or arrange bouquets of flowers. Lessons at both locations are beginner- friendly, with the necessary materials on hand for you to access.
Itchy Fingers opens in new window 157A Jalan Besar.
The Little Happyshop opens in new window 19 Lorong Kilat, Tan Quee Swee Building,
#01-05 Basement Studio.

Goat eating hay.
See goats milked or give them a pat at Hay Dairies.

2. Check into the countryside

To explore a different side of Singapore, head north. The heart of Singapore’s agricultural industry, the Kranji Countryside is a lush cluster of crop and aquaculture farms. To soak up the experience, book a farmstay at Gardenasia. Set within a horticultural garden, the spacious villas are inspired by colonial-era bungalows, and built with upcycled materials; there’s also a swimming pool. To get around, hop onto the neighbourhood shuttle, the Kranji Countryside Express. Set off bright and early for Hay Dairies to see goats be milked, then let the little ones feed animals at Farmart. At Bollywood Veggies, wander through fruit trees and shrubs, such as banana trees, sweet potato plants and horseradish trees. Leave some time for the Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve, a sanctuary encompassing mangroves, mud flats, ponds and forests. The walking trails will have you sighting mudskippers, crabs, monitor lizards, otters and more.
Gardenasia opens in new window 240 Neo Tiew Cres.
Hay Dairies opens in new window 3 Lim Chu Kang Lane.
Farmart67 Sungei Tengah Road.
Bollywood Veggies opens in new window 100 Neo Tiew Rd.
Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve opens in new window.

A watermelon themed play ground.
Have fun discovering the massive Tampines suburbs with the Tampines Heritage Trail.

3. Unleash the Hulk

You know when you are so stressed, you just want to smash something? Well, now you can, without even having to clean up the mess. For SGD $38, you get 30 minutes of rage time at The Fragment Room, including a baseball bat and a crate of breakables, as well as safety gear. You could spend your half hour smashing plates, wine glasses, television sets or vases, and if you want to bring your own goods to whack for your catharsis, that can be arranged for an extra SGD $15. Think of it as an opportunity to vent your anger or stress on something other than your colleagues, friends or family. Pro tip: placing the objects on the floor and bringing your bat crashing down onto them gives maximum impact.
The Fragment Room opens in new window 3 Balestier Rd.

4. Over (your own) good food

Forget about obstacle courses and motivational talks. Taking a cue from the millennial obsession with food, OUE Social Kitchen lets you and your colleagues or friends bond over the rituals of preparing food together. Kitchen stations can be booked for SGD $48 per hour (good for four people; halal stations also available) and are fully equipped with modern appliances, basic condiments, and all the utensils you’ll need. Most crucially, they’ll take care of the cleaning up so all you need to do is plan your meal and shop for ingredients. There’s also a chef and kitchen staff on standby to help you along if you need some advice. When you’re done, just move over to the communal tables to feast on your meal. (Psst… there’s also a bar.)
OUE Social Kitchen opens in new window 6A Shenton Way Downtown Gallery, #03-02/03.

Virtual room reality.
There are five realistic scenes together at The Virtual Room in Singapore's Chinatown.

5. Be an avatar in a virtual reality game

Shift your perception of reality at Virtual Room in Chinatown, which offers virtual-reality adventures to groups of two to four. You’ll step into separate rooms, don virtual reality headgear equipped with microphones and hold a pair of controllers which act as hands, allowing you to wave at each other, slam-dunk rocks, unlock treasure chests and catapult fire-tipped arrows at a larger-than-life dinosaur. There are five realistic scenes altogether – and you’ll really duck when your friend ‘passes’ something to you. Priced from SGD $44 each, this 45-minute-long game has game masters stationed at the control deck outside to monitor every room so you never feel like you’re all alone.
Virtual Room opens in new window B3 Lucky Chinatown, 211 New Bridge Rd

6. Nab a murderer in old-world Shanghai

Go back in time with Shanghai 1943, an interactive role-playing investigation game at escape-room chain Xcape. The goal here is not to find your way out of a locked room but to find out who killed Red Rose, the fictional cabaret singer at The Paramount. Round up five or six friends and choose from roles including a detective, a reporter, the young marshal and the boss of the nightclub, dressed in vintage-style costumes. Then, in a large, well-furnished space, collect evidence that will prove your innocence and let you accuse your friends. At the end of the 150-minute game, costing SGD $48 each, even if you don’t manage to solve the crime, staff will reveal the pre-determined murderer among you.
Xcape RPG 154B Rochor Rd, Bugis Village.

Four-mast luxury tall ship Royal Albatross docked at Resorts World Sentosa.
Sail around the Singaporean coastline on Royal Albatross, a tall ship with four high masts and 22 sails.

7. Set sail into the sunset

If you are bored with the usual dinner-and-movie weekend plans, book the Sunset Sail Saturday at Resorts World Sentosa (SGD $195 per adult/SGD $145 per child). For 2.5 hours you get to sail around the Singaporean coastline on Royal Albatross, a tall ship with four high masts and 22 sails. There are only 150 such ships in the world and during this evening cruise, you’ll enjoy a welcome drink, dinner and entertainment.
Royal Albatross opens in new window, 8 Sentosa Gateway.

8. Embark on a suburban heritage trail

Discover the massive Tampines suburbs with the Tampines Heritage Trail by the National Heritage Board. Three routes will tour iconic sites in the area, from a 90-minute bus-and-walk one that covers religious institutions and their distinct architecture to a 60-minute cycling one that lets you discover where old kampong (villages) were once located.
Tampines Heritage Trail opens in new window.