12 November 2017

Wild fun for kids during the December school holidays!

Lots of exciting nature walks for kids and the family this holidays. Many are free! The highlight is the Children's Festival at the Children's Garden throughout the year end!
There are also many night walks specially for kids. Explore our mangroves, wetlands, forests and gardens. Join nature camps, a story telling session or experience traditional prawn farming. Learn about migratory birds, frogs and more!

FREE happenings

11 Nov - 26 Nov: Singapore Botanic Gardens Children’s Festival 2017
Celebrate our amazing world of plants at the upcoming Singapore Botanic Gardens Children’s Festival! Learn about farms, composting and propagation techniques. Participate in daily hands-on activities and demonstrations. Be amazed by the numerous uses of plants! The Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden invites children of all ages to get in touch with nature through play, craft, storytelling, investigations and walks. On weekends, enjoy the festival activities and performances, and movie screenings at the Eco-Garden. Not to be missed are the specially created insta-worthy horticultural displays! There will be activity booths for three fun-filled weekends where various games will be available and children can win prizes! At the same time, savour food from your childhood, and dishes tailored specially for your young one.

18 Nov (Sat): Young Naturalist Camp at Sungei Buloh

This one-day camp encompasses a series of fun-filled and educational indoor and outdoor learning of the wetlands and nature conservation issues through worksheets, nature walks and hands-on activities. Suitable for children from 7 to 12 years.

18 Nov (Sat) and 25 Nov (Sat)
2 Dec (Sat) and 9 Dec (Sat) and 16 Dec (Sat): Ecolife Tour at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
This family tour introduces Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and its biodiversity through the use of interactive exploration themes and activities. Have fun working together to answer worksheets, conduct surveys and photo hunts, among other activities.

25 Nov (Sat) and 16 Dec (Sat): Free Chek Jawa boardwalk tour with the Naked Hermit Crabs
The Naked Hermit Crabs introduce you to Chek Jawa without getting your feet wet. Even though we are not going on to the shore, there is still much to see and enjoy. There are monitor lizards, fiddler crabs, spiders, rare plants, wild boar, mudskippers and lots of fruit trees. If we are lucky, we might even spot the Oriental Pied Hornbill, White-bellied Sea Eagle and the giant Atlas Moth.

2 Dec (Sat): Prawn and Fish Harvesting Demo at Sungei Buloh
Once again we bring you on a journey back to the past, where the history of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve as prawn and fish farms is one not to be ignored. The importance of mangroves as a spawning place and nursery for prawns and other life played an important role in shaping Sungei Buloh today. The traditional method of prawn harvesting will be demonstrated and how the tidal influence play a part in this activity will be brought to life.

3 Dec (Sun): Pollyilympics - storytelling and crafts for kids at Sentosa
Join this storytelling and crafts session by the Raffles Institution. Deep in the forest, there is a great pollination competition that few have heard of, and even fewer have seen. Join the pollinators on a fun-filled adventure to see who has what it takes to be crowned the best pollinator! But things don't go quite as planned...Come watch this pollination competition come alive through a storytelling skit by the authors!

MORE happenings

16 Nov (Thu): Colugo Watch at Bukit Batok Nature Park

Join Cicada Tree Eco Place to see the Colugo, one of the strangest animals of our world. It is a gliding mammal. It has a skin membrane stretching from its neck to its webbed fingers, to its webbed toes, and to the tip of its long tail. As you can imagine, when gliding it looks like an opened umbrella in the air! It also has an adorable face, with a pink nose and ears, and huge eyes to help it see in the dark. Singapore is one of the very few places in the world that you can easily see a colugo on any night that you go looking for it. A population lives in this mature park and we should be able to find some. Once our colugos have all glided away into the forest, we will walk the paths here to look for other critters of the night, such as owls, nightjars, bats, and a multitude of lovely creepy-crawlies. $13 per participant, free for kids of participants aged 6 yrs and below.

18 Nov (Sat): Migratory Bird Watch at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Join Cicada Tree Eco Place at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, one of Singapore’s most treasured nature sites. It opened in 1993 and is visited by thousands every year, from families to schools and tourists. It’s the peak migratory bird month here and we are going there to witness and be awestruck by the thousands of shorebirds winging in synchronized formation into the Reserve. They are the wading birds who live and breed in the arctic tundra, coming here to the tropics to escape the northern winter. Their annual journey is an incredible and dangerous one, and many will not make it back home. Sungei Buloh is a crucial resting, roosting and re-fueling stop for them. Come see these amazing wild birds…whimbrel, sandpiper, turnstone, redshank, greenshank, plovers and more. $13 per participant, free for kids of participants aged 6 yrs and below

22 Nov (Wed) and 29 Nov (Wed) and 6 Dec (Wed): Nature Keeper Camp for kids
Designed to stimulate the interest of the young and inculcate in them an appreciation of our forests. This one-day Nature Keeper Camp aims to nurture young minds in active protection and conservation of our natural heritage. Suitable for children 7 - 11 years old (Primary 1 to 5). $25 per child (includes all materials, tea breaks and lunch)

24 Nov (Fri): Nite Critter Watch at Pasir Ris Mangrove Boardwalk
Join Cicada Tree Eco Place at this location, which is very good for a night wild critter walk and that’s why we keep going back there. As dusk falls, we look out for emerging bats and observe their acrobatic feeding flight. Kids will get to use our bat detector to catch their calls. We explore deep into the mangrove forest via the extensive boardwalks to look for other nocturnal critters who live here, such as water snakes and owls. Tree-climbing crabs may be seen perched high above on branches, as if they're birds. Fireflies also live in this lovely mangrove forest patch. Though only seasonally numerous, we should meet some. Other exciting nocturnal critters met here include the Reticulated Python, Palm Civet and Mangrove Flatworm. For those who wish to see a Giant Mudskipper, we should be able to spot some asleep in this swamp. This easy walk is on level pathways and wooden boardwalks with no stairs. We will take a night-snack break at one of the shelters. $13 per participant, free for kids of participants aged 6 yrs and below. 
Join Cicada Tree Eco Place on a walk at this garden for children, whose theme is ‘All life on Earth depends on plants’. Many of the exhibits here are for hands-on study, encouraging kids to learn about the natural world around them through their senses.  This garden has just been upgraded with additional eco-features and habitats created to increase biodiversity. Kids will have fun trying out the various interesting learning stations here. $13 per kid. Parent/guardian and siblings of participants aged 5 yrs and below attend free

30 Nov (Thu): Alien Invaders - Rainforest Edition
Invaders alert! Did you know that not all species found in the forest are native? Some of these invaders cause harm to the local plants and animals who call the forest their home. Learn how to identify these aliens during the guided tour and help the native species protect their home. Suitable for children in P3 – P6 Levels. $6 per child and $6 per accompanying adult

1 Dec (Fri): Night Critter Watch at Rainforest Boardwalk
Join Cicada Tree Eco Place for this walk at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a lovely old garden created almost 200 years ago. It still retains its original Primary Rainforest patch and this is where we will be exploring to look for the nocturnal critters living here. Although now totally surrounded by housing, busy roads and more development, the garden is still home to some wildlife. Four species of lovely owls have been recorded in this patch—the Spotted Wood-owl, Collared Scops-owl, Brown Hawk-owl, and the Buffy Fish-owl who breeds here. Both insect and fruit eating bats roost in the garden’s palm trees. Kids get to try out our bat detector. As dusk falls, we venture onto the boardwalk to look for nocturnal creepy-crawlies, and maybe a sleeping Whip Snake too. $13 per participant, free for kids of participants aged 6 yrs and below.

2 Dec (Sat): NSS Kids’ Fun with Frogs at Tampines Eco- Green
Singapore has a number of commensal frogs that have adapted to living in parks and other modifed habitats. Join the Education Committee as we explore Tampines Eco-Green at twilight to seek out our amphibian friends including the Banded Bullfrog, Four-lined Tree Frog, Asian Toad, Dark-sided Chorus Frog and Painted Chorus Frog. As a bonus, we might come across hunting snakes. For children (4 to 12 years old). $2 per child (member) or $10 per child (non-member) will be collected on the spot. Parents, caregivers and older siblings are encouraged to join in at no charge.

Go wild on your own!

You can also explore on your own! Check out the many DIY Trail Guideson the NParks website. More about our wild places on wildsingapore. A tip to avoid the crowds on school holiday weekends, come early. That's when wildlife is more active anyway. And leave before it gets too hot.

MORE school holiday activities on the wildsingapore happenings blog.

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