5 places to hang out during the holidays - on a student's budget

Thank goodness the school holidays are here. We get it: freedom from school, teachers and homework for almost two months!

But that also means having to decide what to do, where to hang out - usually with a student's budget.

We’ve sussed out some of the best places in Singapore to go on a budget. Added plus: some of these places are totally Instagram-worthy. 

1. Picnic at the Botanic Gardens or Marina Barrage 

Cost: Free entry!

You don’t need to travel overseas to find a Unesco World Heritage Site - the Botanic Gardens in Singapore is one. 

The gardens was put on the world heritage list last year. It is the only one of its kind in Asia, and one of three in the world. 

Pack your own picnic, bring your own mat, and choose a sweet spot for you and your friends. Some of the favourite spots include the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage… 

...or the famous Bandstand.


Tip: Instead of buying ready-to-eat food, drinks and disposables from the supermarket, why not make it personal by preparing your own food and drinks, and use reusable containers and cutlery? (And cut down on wasteful commercial food packaging and disposables.)


For evening picnics to avoid the sun, try the Marina Barrage. When dusk falls, the night view of Singapore’s skyline is one to remember. 


2.  Get adventurous at MacRitchie TreeTop Walk

Cost: Free!

The TreeTop Walk is a free-standing suspension bridge that connects the two highest points at MacRitchie. It cuts through the forest canopy, and is 25m above the ground at its highest point.


The bridge is the first of its kind in Singapore and in the region. 


You might also be able to catch a glimpse of a natural freshwater stream along the trail, where you might spot small fishes and dragonflies. 

To get to the TreeTop Walk, enter from MacRitchie Reservoir Park or the carpark at Venus Drive. A round trip including the TreeTop Walk takes three to five hours depending on your walking pace. 

Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays, 8.30 am to 5pm
Closed on Mondays, except on Public Holidays

More information here.

3. Discover new acts at Esplanade 

Cost: Free!

Dying to go to a concert but can’t afford hefty ticket prices? Head to the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre instead, where performances are always free. 

Up-and-coming local acts often perform here before they get discovered, and who knows, you might just chance upon the next Gentle Bones or Linying. 


After that, you can head over to Marina Bay Sands to catch a 13-minute light and water show at no cost too.

The show happens every day at 8pm and 9.30pm, with an additional show at 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. 

4. Exercise at a trampoline park

Cost: From $10 per hour 

Did you know that jumping around on the trampoline apparently burns more calories than jogging? And it’s way more fun too. 


At least three trampoline parks have sprung up across Singapore, and if you haven’t tried it yet, perhaps you should. 


Some parks are more pricey than others, but Amped Trampoline Park appears to offer the most competitive hourly rate, at $10 per hour on Mondays at its Jurong branch. 

5. Explore Coney Island

Cost: Free!

Ride a bike or take a hike at the tranquil Coney Island, which opened to the public last year

There’s no electricity or piped water here, but that adds to the rustic feeling of the park. There used to be a free-roaming bull on the island, but unfortunately it died in October


There’s plenty to explore, including the only surviving native cycad trees in Singapore, a beach villa that can only be accessed on guided walks, and nationally critically endangered birds. Read more here.  

You can reach the island from two bridges - one from Punggol Point Park and another from Pasir Ris Coast Industrial Park 6.


The park is open from 7am to 7pm. More information on Coney Island here.