Whenever I meet people and tell them I used to write the food pages for a magazine, they assume that I’m a fervent foodie who spends every Friday evening at a hip new diner and every Saturday afternoon having brunch and coffee at a just-opened cafe. The truth is, I’m as boring as they come. Also, I am as cheap as they come. I don’t believe in spending money when I want to hang out outside, so here, I’m going to tell you about 9 things you can do for free in Singapore.
#1 GO FOR A HIKE
Okay, I know this isn’t the most ingenious of suggestions, but really, it’s such a great free activity. There are plenty of routes to choose from, whether you’re after only a leisurely walk or a heart-pumping, quad-burning trek. Pack food to make it a picnic and double the fun. If you’re a lone ranger looking for company, search outdoor activity groups on Meetup.com to find trekking kakis. Along the same lines of this suggestion would be visiting parks or going to the beach.
#2 GO SAMPLE “SHOPPING”
Back in Her World, I was tasked by my editor to live on $0 for a week. I failed, mostly spending money on groceries to make my own food. But one thing I realised was an easy freebie, were beauty products samples, whether from departmental stores or individual retail outlets. Obviously, this shouldn’t be the only way you get your beauty hoard because that’s just plain not nice. If you’re strapped for cash with payday not till next week and you’ve run out of moisturiser, then head to these counters to tide you over.
Here are 12 Kids Friendly Activities in Singapore! These places not only enhance parent-child bonding, but create fun experiences for the little darlings as well!
#3 ATTEND A FREE CONCERT AT THE ESPLANADE MALL
I think the Esplanade team would be really upset if you didn’t know by now that they have regular free performances held on the compound throughout the week. Stumped by the dreaded “What do you want to do now?” question and don’t have much moolah left? Enjoy some free live music with our island’s gorgeous CBD skyline in the background.
#4 GYM HOP WITH FREE TRIALS – ‘NUFF SAID
I have a friend of a friend who saves so much on exorbitant gym fees by visiting a new gym every week. Free trials – ’nuff said. Sure, it can be a hassle constantly going somewhere new but think of it as exploration. Yes, some of you may say you can go running outdoors and not spend a cent too, but seriously, if everyone was motivated like that, there wouldn’t be a multi-million dollar gym industry.
#5 PICK UP SPEEDMINTON – TENNIS AND BADMINTON
It’s a sport that combines Tennis and Badminton, using a racket similar to a Squash one. It can be played anywhere because the “court” is basically some lines you set up yourself. There’s a group that comes together to play at various parks every Sunday at 9.30am so make your way down to learn more about the game. It’s totally free and equipment is provided. If you enjoyed yourself, the group also sells the kits. Click here (link: https://www.facebook.com/SpeedmintonSingapore) for updates on location and playing schedules.
So where do you go when you’re looking to escape the city bustle, or are simply seeking pocket-friendly options for a quiet retreat? You can escape to the following 6 places in Singapore.
#6 EAT FOR FREE
Yes, you read right. The Buddhist Lodge temple, located in the River Valley area, dishes out free vegetarian meals every day and you don’t have to be a low-income individual to enjoy it. Many Buddhist temples in Singapore offer the same service but we heard that Buddhist Lodge has the biggest spread with a buffet of several dishes (think soups, congee, noodles, vegetables and fruits). Of course, if you aren’t actually strapped for cash, do leave a donation so the temple can providing good food to those in need, at no cost.
#7 WATCH ALTERNATIVE FILMS
Tired of mainstream movies? Get clued in on the local indie art scene at the Substation. Yes, I know the place might make you wonder if you’re cool enough to be there, but don’t worry too much about that – any support for local directors and filmmakers is very much appreciated by the community. There are short films shown every first Monday of every month under their First Take programme.
Whether it’s your computer, television, or your mobile phone, I say it’s time to get unplugged, and indulge in some good old offline fun. Here are five weekend activities you can try without relying on technology:
#8 GO ON A FREE TOUR AROUND SINGAPORE
The Singapore Footprints team will take you around the Singapore River and Bugis and Bras Basah area, enthralling you with tales of the yesteryears. The tour is run by a bunch of passionate students from the Nanyang Technological University’s Tourism and Hospitality Management Club; you can leave a donation if you enjoyed yourself so they can continue providing the service for free.
Another one I recommend is a visit to Baba House, near Chinatown. It is a restored Peranakan heritage home that belonged to a rich local family in the early 20th century, accessible only by this free hour-long tour held four times a week. Email [email protected] for more information.
#9 GET OUT TO THE COUNTRYSIDE
It’s hard to fathom that we have a countryside, beyond the city skyscrapers, high-rise residential areas and industrial parks – so get out there and see it for yourself. The Kranji area is home to a wetland reserve, vegetable farms, fish farms and even a frog farm. A Kranji Countryside Express Bus service takes you from Kranji MRT station to several points of interests like Bollywood Veggies, Jurong Frog Farm and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (which has a free guided tour). If you are up for spending some money and want to take the experience up a notch, stay the night at D’Kranji Farm Resort. You shouldn’t expect city-slick amenities and 5-star service because then you’re missing the point. There are going to be bugs flying around – it is the countryside after all, people.
About the writer:
Ruby Tan used to write for Her World, and is now a freelance writer with a dream to travel the world. She believes that the some of best things in life don’t have to be bought. If you want to make a friend, share travel tips and advice, or even to discuss deeply about life, write to her at [email protected]