What are the Gardens by the Bay?The Gardens by the Bay are a project that combines art and nature, with the goal of making Singapore a greener city. The garden project began in 2006 when a worldwide competition began to design the gardens, with two winners selected. The ground was broken in 2007 and the first phase of the gardens was opened in 2011. The gardens are continuously being extended and updated, so there’s always something new to discover! The Outdoor Gardens are free to visit and feature native plants, or plants from around the world which do well in Singapore’s climate, and plenty of sculptures from a range of artists. Then there are the two Cooled Conservatories which house plants from colder climates, and the Supertrees, which are both practical and beautiful and can be seen up close by taking a walk on the OCBC Skyway. Add restaurants and an extensive area for children in the Far East Organization Children’s Garden and you have an attraction which will take a whole day to explore!
What’s the OCBC Skyway?The OCBC Skyway is a 420 foot long (128m) path that winds its way around the Supertree Grove, 72 feet (22m) above the ground. Visitors who climb the OCBC Skyway can get up close and personal to over 150,000 plants, including ferns, orchids, and tropical flowering climbers which cover the Supertrees. You’ll also get a stunning view of the gardens below and the Marina Bay area, which you can enjoy while enjoying drinks and snacks from the Supertree-top Bistro.
What are the Cooled Conservatories?There are two Cooled Conservatories, the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest, and they’re the world’s largest columnless greenhouses. The Flower Dome replicates spring in the Mediterranean and other semi-arid regions of the world, from California to South Africa and Australia. There’s even a special area dedicated to succulents. The Cloud Forest replicates a tropical highland region, with the world’s tallest indoor waterfall standing 98 feet (30m) tall. With carnivorous plants, begonias, orchids, and a range of epiphytes (plants which don’t need access to the soil to grow), there’s a huge amount to learn about. But that’s not all! The Cloud Forest also has galleries which will teach visitors about geology and the impact of humans on the planet since the beginning of the Anthropocene.
Will my children enjoy a trip to the gardens?Absolutely! There’s plenty to see and do in all of the gardens and conservatories, especially if you download the Gardens by the Bay app, but families with children should definitely not miss the Far East Organization Children’s Garden. It’s open every day except Mondays and includes play areas, water play features (bring a change of clothes!), and educational programs which children will enjoy. There’s something for children of all ages to discover and delight in.
Can we bring a picnic, or are there dining options?Picnics are allowed throughout the gardens, with the exception of inside the conservatories. Please don’t bring any picnic furniture or use any open flames (including to barbeque). Please also make sure that you tidy up when you’ve finished eating. There are plenty of dining options if you don’t want to bring a picnic, including food from all kinds of world cuisines. There are a number of cafes scattered around the different gardens and conservatories, or you can try the new Supertree Food Hall, which features everything you could want, from pho and bento to US-style fried chicken and all-day brunch.
How long should I plan for my visit to the Gardens by the Bay?That depends on how many areas of the gardens you’d like to see. If you’re planning to take one of the Gardens by the Bay’s recommended routes then you have a choice of routes which take between 1 and 5 hours, but there’s no need to stay that long if you’d only like to see the OCBC Skyway, for example, or the two Cooled Conservatories - the Skyway can be walked in less than an hour and the two conservatories probably take about two hours to walk through at a swift sightseer’s pace. However, there’s so much to see that you could easily spend an entire day in the parks and gardens if you wanted to.