Are you planning a visit to Singapore? One of the most iconic sites to visit is the Gardens By the Bay, with their famous supertrees and bio-domes.
Singapore is a great Asian destination, and it’s so small that in just a few days, you really can cover a lot of ground. On our last trip, we had fun hitting the top ten sights of the city as well as really indulging in eating some fantastic food in the Hawker Centers. On our final day, we headed over to the famous Gardens by the Bay.
What is in this article:
How To Get to Gardens By the Bay
Probably the easiest, cheapest, and most convenient way to get to Gardens by the Bay is to take the MRT, either Circle or Downtown line, and get out at the Bayfront Station. From there, easy-to-follow signs point the way to the gardens.
You can also drive and park. Parking costs about $1.80 SGD an hour, with a cap of $25 for the day.
Special note: All this thought, work, upkeep, and education costs money. Gardens by the Bay certainly wasn’t the cheapest thing we did in Singapore, but it was more than worth it! For all of you traveling on a budget, you can do all the outside parts, the Meadows and the Supertree Grove for free!
Gardens By the Bay
A state-of-the-art and futuristic museum, Gardens of the Bay is educational, other-worldly, beautiful, and altogether an impressive and fun day out. Combining guided tours, interactive games and displays, thousands of informational placards, knowledgeable and helpful docents, and of course engaging exhibits, everyone will love spending time there.
There are two bio-domes showcasing the flora from all over the world. The domes were built to be ecologically sustainable with the ability to minimize solar heat gain, dehumidifying the air before cooling, cooling only the places where it needs to be cooled allowing excess heat to escape, and harnessing the waste heat to provide perpetual energy. (source)
One of the great things about this sight is that they really kept it interesting for people of all ages. It’s on our Singapore with kids list for a reason. Every child I saw, as well as my grandson, loved the bio-domes, loved the cutsie characters, the artwork, and the many interactive displays on site.
Flower Dome was the first on our agenda, and immediately we were greeted with a digital display of various flowers. This led us into a tunnel where there were ecological video games that teach how to be more environmentally aware. We took our turns at them, and they weren’t too challenging as a game, but they were very informative. The kids were loving them as they moved around doing more than just looking.
Upon entering the greenhouse, the path winds through a number of countries’ climates and plants that are indigenous to them. My favorite was the baobabs and the olive trees, but there were so many varieties that it was a bit overwhelming. Informative placards told visitors about the climates, the plants, how the plants were used in that country’s economy, and much, much more.
One of the most enjoyable areas of the Flower Dome was the ever-changing, themed floral display. As we were there during the Christmas season, it was holiday-themed. I was surprised at how much I learned and how fun it was. This was another area that really pleased the kids with all the festivity. Informational signs pointed out all kinds of plants from the everyday to the exotic, their uses, and some interesting trivia. I love that kind of stuff!
From the Flower Dome, we walked across directly to the Cloud Forest. If we felt cool and comfortable in the first conservatory, this one was even better as we were greeted with the spray from the waterfall.
This amazing greenhouse is set up in such an original and innovative configuration. It’s basically an inside hill (35 meters tall!), with exterior walkways and tunnels through the middle. The first thing you do is take the elevator to the top so you can slowly make your way down through nine levels of ecological zones.
The tropical feel and amazing flora is the main reason you are there, but there are also other exhibits on each level, like the crystal gallery and the multi-media changing Earth cinema. It was easy to spend a few hours reading and soaking in all kinds of information as we marveled and meandered around the walkways.
At the bottom were two entire rooms dedicated to education on what’s happening on the planet at any given time, like what will happen if our temperature is raised +5 degrees Celsius. Again there is so much information coming at you from a dizzying array of digital graphs and videos that it is too hard to really digest it all. Numerous visits would be a must!
The two conservatories far exceeded our expectations, and it was so nice to be able to explore them during the heat of the day when the outside temperature and humidity could easily wear you down.
From there we walked through the souvenir shops and the Supertree Grove, although due to high winds we weren’t able to go up on the skyway while we were there. The supertrees were awe inspiring melding modern technology and nature with breathtaking beauty.
Walking through the grove and gaping at the massive metal structures, I felt like I was in some type of Alice in Wonderland trip. The “trees” are vertical gardens hosting all types of plants and birdlife. But more than that, they are an integral part of the garden’s sustainability system.
It seems that while we were researching our trip, photos of the lit up super trees were on every website, and it was one of the things to do in Singapore at night. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see them lit up, but we will next time.
Pro Tip: If you love photography, this is a place to bring your macro lens. There are many plants that are so close to you, and you can get fantastic photos.
Best Time to Go to Gardens of the Bay
I wish we had gone earlier in our trip, because I probably would have visited at least twice since there is so much to take in. I also would have liked to go around sunset instead of spending all my time there during the day.
This would have allowed us to see the lights and have a cooler walk around, but I don’t think we would have seen so many open plants, so I do think it takes a couple of visits. If I lived in Singapore, I would buy a season pass!
So the best time to go to the bio-domes would be anytime during the heat of the day. The flowers are blooming and the air is cooled so you can stay as long as you want without over-heating. To see the supertrees, I would definitely check them out during the day and at night both.
Gardens by the Bay has a fantastic website as well. Not only can you plan and buy your tickets ahead of time, but there are books for children, links to 360 degree panoramas, and just a wealth of information. Make sure to really peruse it before going so you can make the most out of your visit.
Visiting the Gardens by the Bay was everything we expected and more. I love a well-thought out exhibit where you can follow a path and see everything without having to double back. I love a museum, or in this case greenhouse, that is informative, educational, takes the visitor from plant to product, tells trivia and stories, and is interactive.
Not only was it a great walk, up and down, high and low, it was so different in each part that you really felt that you were getting a lot out of it. The docents were knowledgeable and helpful. There are numerous educational programs, self-led and docent-led. Gardens By the Bay has programs for children and adults, seasonal programs, and events. It was all really impressive. I loved it.
Jim and I enjoyed the Gardens by the Bay so much I would put it as one of my top attractions in the world for new and innovative ways to learn about plants, biodiversity, and our planet. Excellent!
Have you been to the Gardens by the Bay? What did you think?
Other Articles for some Travel with Kid Inspiration
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- Gardens By the Bay – Singapore
- The Real Fairytale City – Odense, Denmark
- Riding on the Children’s Railway in Budapest
- Making Ramen at the Cup Noodle Museum in Yokohama
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- Biking the Trails of Hoge Veluwe in the Netherlands
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Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.