10 Top Tips for Visiting Singapore Zoo with Kids

Here we share our top tips for visiting Singapore Zoo with kids, based on hundreds of visits! How to avoid the crowds, where to eat, and how to cool down in the Singapore heat.

Singapore Zoo tips

The Singapore Zoo is often regarded as one of the best zoos in the world, and a day here is an absolute must-do if you are visiting Singapore with kids.

About Singapore Zoo

Set in a natural rainforest environment, the Singapore Zoo is a model example of an ‘open zoo’ concept.

Old-fashioned oppressive cages are notably absent here, and in their place animals dwell in spacious, landscaped enclosures separated from visitors by concealed moats, or in glass-fronted enclosures.

Do not miss the free-ranging orang utan enclosure, where you can watch the resident primates swinging and climbing above you to their hearts content.

Singapore zoo orangutan

There is an enormous amount to take in here – there are 2,530 Singapore Zoo animals from 315 species housed within the 28 hectares.

So here we share our best tips to help you get the most out of your visit, particularly if you are visiting with kids.

Singapore with Kids book

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Our Top Tips for Visiting the Zoo

Here are all our best tips for visiting Singapore Zoo.

1. Get to Singapore Zoo Early

The best time to visit Singapore Zoo is when it opens, especially at weekends when it gets BUSY! The Singapore Zoo opening hours start at 8.30am but the crowds don’t usually start to appear en masse until late morning.

So if you can get here for opening, you can have done the majority of the park and be cooling off in the water park by the time the other exhibits get crowded.

You now need to buy your tickets for Singapore Zoo online, which is a good thing as it saves you having to queue for the ticket desk.

Download the Mandai App before you go. It includes a Singapore Zoo map so you can plan your route.

Click here to save money and buy tickets online.

2. Have Breakfast with the Orang utans

Did you know you can also have breakfast at Singapore Zoo? One of the highlights of a visit here is enjoying the Singapore Zoo breakfast with the orang utans.

The Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife takes place in Ah Meng Restaurant every morning from 9am – 10.30am.

A generous breakfast buffet is laid on, and the orang utans usually swing by for some breakfast of their own and to pose for photos with the crowd around at 9.30am.

Click here to buy discounted Singapore Zoo tickets for the Jungle Breakfast with wildlife

3. Feed the Animals

There are various Singapore Zoo feeding times throughout the day, which are accompanied by live commentary of fun facts about the animals.

Singapore Zoo with kids

With a few of these, you can join in with feeding the animals too, including the elephants, giraffes, goats and white rhino. Try to arrange your timings so you don’t miss these, the kids will love it!

Check the website for Singapore Zoo feeding times.

4. Feed Yourselves

As with all tourist attractions of this type, the dining options at the Singapore Zoo tend to offer average food at above-average prices.

We usually arrive at the zoo early, bring snacks for the kids to keep them going, and then leave in time to grab lunch back in town somewhere. However, if you do want to eat here, there are several options for restaurants in Singapore Zoo.

There are a few food outlets at the entrance, including the Ah Meng Kitchen, which serves up local favourites, the Chawang Bistro for hot dogs, pasta and soups, and the Wild Deli for sandwiches and pastries.

Within the zoo itself, you are really limited to KFC (next to the water play area in Rainforest KidzWorld) or the main Singapore Zoo restaurant, Ah Meng Restaurant, which serves a selection of local and western dishes.

Safari Scoops dishes up ice cream at a few locations, including the entrance, Rainforest KidzWorld and the Ah Meng Restaurant.


5. Watch the Shows

There are three fun Singapore Zoo shows to watch, each show with both a morning and afternoon session.

The Splash Safari stars a Californian sea lion, who will wow you with his Frisbee-catching and ball skills.

At the Rainforest Fights Back, you are introduced to otters, snakes, macaws, lemurs and spider monkeys, while the Animal Friends show features the more familiar dogs, cats and cockatoos.

All the shows are great fun, and informative so try to fit in at least a couple during your day.

You can check the Singapore Zoo show timings on the zoo website.

6. Bring your Swimming Gear

It is hot and humid in the rainforest, and you will surely work up a sweat walking around the zoo.

Luckily there is a great water-play area in Rainforest KidzoWorld, complete with water fountains, water slides, water guns and the jumbo water bucket that releases a deluge of water on everyone’s heads at regular intervals.

Singapore Zoo with kids

So another of my Singapore Zoo tips is to bring your swimming costumes. Don’t just pack swimmers for the kids though – pack them for everyone.

If you need to get anywhere near the water play area, you will get wet! The on-site shop sells swimming costumes, towels and swim nappies/diapers too.

7. Use Wheels

Singapore Zoo is large, and the weather is hot and humid. Smaller kids will likely get tired pretty quickly, and nothing ruins a fun day out more than a whining child.

If you don’t want to bring your own buggy, you can hire both strollers and pull-along wagons for your kids to sit in.

There are also free trams patrolling the park, with hop on-hop off stations located at various points.

8. Be Prepared for all Weather

It rains in Singapore A LOT, and the Singapore Zoo is located right in the middle of the rainforest, so the chances of rain at Singapore Zoo are pretty high.

Rainy day singapore zoo

You might leave your hotel in glorious sunshine, and an hour later there could be torrential rain. So don’t forget your umbrella – and you can also buy plastic ponchos at all the zoo shops.

If it’s not raining, it will likely be hot and sunny, so also bring your sunscreen, hats and sunglasses.

8. Bring Water Bottles for Everyone

It’s hot and thirsty work walking through the rainforest. Bring refillable water bottles for everyone and you can top them up at the filtered water dispensers around the park, including at Ah Meng Bistro.

9. Don’t forget your insect repellent

Another essential item to pack is your mosquito repellant. Those mosquitos love the rainforest!

10. Buy a Package

If you are planning on visiting the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari, River Wonders and/or Bird Paradise within one month of each other, you can buy 2-in1, 3-in-1 and 4-in-1 Park Hopper tickets at a discounted price.

You can also buy Singapore Zoo online tickets at a discounted price here

How to Get to Singapore Zoo

The zoo in Singapore is about a 30-minute drive from the centre of town and honestly, for me the best way to get to Singapore Zoo is to take a taxi. Taxis are relatively cheap in Singapore, so this is not an expensive option, especially for a family.

You can store your car seat free of charge at the zoo, which is great if you take a taxi to get here. (You can also store luggage in storage lockers and at the oversize luggage counter.)

If you’re on a budget it is possible to take the MRT and then connecting bus to Singapore zoo, and you can check out the details here.

There is also other ways of getting to Singapore Zoo. The zoo run a shuttle bus called the Mandai Khatib Shuttle that runs from the Khatib MRT station. You can read more about the Mandai Shuttle here.

There are plenty of other family-friendly attractions in Singapore – See our list of 50 Things to Do in Singapore with Kids.

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Singapore Zoo tips for visiting

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4 thoughts on “10 Top Tips for Visiting Singapore Zoo with Kids”

  1. Great tips, followed most of these, only addition probably would be, to do the Zoo, River & Night safaris the same day… And Bird park in another as Jurong is little off. Also,, what I accidentally discovered. Long Cab waiting meant I took the Hippo tours open top city bus tour, and boy did I get a bang for the 5 bucks. Plus, the Mandai area is a few degrees cooler, so the trip was awesome after the humid hot madness the entire day….

    • Thanks for the tip about the Hippo tours! I think I would find doing the zoo, river safari and night safari in one day a bit much, but I guess if you were short of time and visiting with older kids with lots of energy it could be ok.

  2. Thanks for detailed information about zoo. I will be traveling to Singapore in coming September with my 4 yr old daughter and old parents. We are very very excited to visit zoo. We would like to target zoo and night safari on same day. Can you suggest an itinerary of zoo that we could take so that we could feed giraffe, elephants etc and also do not miss any shows?

    • Hi Sneha – I would take a look at the zoo website as you can find all the feeding times there and organise your timings around them. I think elephant feeding is first thing in the morning, around 9am? So you would need to be there early… it will make a very long day if you also want to stay around for the night safari, as it doesn’t open until 7.15pm and there’s not really much around there, so not all that easy to do in one day, especially with a young child and elderly parents. Have fun!


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