5 highlights kids will love at EcoTrail Singapore
Updated: 2 days ago
Located at Singapore's Lorong Chencharu, EcoTrail is a refreshing and educational nature learning tour that kids and adults will enjoy.
Being a mosquito-magnet and prone to sweating buckets under the hot sun, I've never really been big on trekking and nature walks (erm sounds a lil like one of my book characters?!) - likewise for my family! But man did we enjoy this tour by EcoTrail Singapore!
Held at a private farmland at 91 Lorong Chencharu in Yishun, EcoTrail is a refreshing getaway from city life, especially when farms like these are a rarity in Singapore. The 1.5-hour educational guided tour lets you get up-close with plants and farm animals while learning about nature and its ecosystems. Here's our review and 5 things we love about EcoTrail:
1) Getting up-close with animals
The best thing about the tour was being able to get up-close with animals - some you could observe from outside their homes and some you could hold and pet! Like at the guinea pig pen, where we got to mingle with these cute critters!
The older kids were allowed to carry the guinea pigs while guides were there to help them do it correctly.
If you're game, you can also hold some earthworms. Not many went for it though!
We also got to pet some Silkie chickens, which my girls love!
Here are some of the other animals we saw along the way. These ducks and chickens are part of the tour stations but it was still good to see them!
We also got to observe these carpenter ants upfront.
We also saw and learn about insects like praying mantis...
and stick insects.
2) Feeding animals
You get to feed some of the animals too. Like at the guinea pig pen and at the fish pond where we fed dried mealworms to tilapias and terrapins.
We were supposed to feed the silkie chickens too but alas, there were no spoons at the station and you can't feed them with your hands as they might peck! My girls were rather disappointed they didn't get to feed the chickens as they really liked the silkies but it was still nice to see them!
3) Basking in nature
Living in Singapore, it's not everyday you get to visit farms and be among nature and animals. The environment really feels like a nice getaway from the city. Here's the view where we stopped to see the earthworms.
View from the bridge.
Here's one of the pond where we fed the fishes and terrapins.
Along the way, we also spotted lots of interesting and beautiful plants, like these flowers.
And these yellow flowers. BTW, those tents in the background of the pic below are glamping tents. You can actually book for a glamping holiday here though I don't think it's directly with EcoTrail. You can probably find more info on that by searching 'glamping' and 'Orto'.
Also saw this huge pea plant.
And these carnivorous plants that are part of the insect tour station.
4) Learning about the ecosystem
The tour allows visitors to learn about the various ecosystems. I would say the tour covers some of the science syllabus the kids learn in primary 3 and 4 and being able to see for themselves the things they read in their textbooks does make science that much more interesting. The tour would make for a great school excursion actually! Here's a map of what's actually covered in the tour.
Kids are also given an EcoTrail activity book which they can complete along the way or after the tour.
5) Friendly guides
We had 2-3 guides for our group of 20. The guides are knowledgeable and scientific facts are explained simply to young children. Here's our guide telling us about organic greenhouse farming.
After our guide explained how plants grow, the kids collected some soil and seeds which they could take home.
Here we were introduced to egg incubating and the lifecycle of chickens.
At the end of the tour, we saw some of the staff playing with some cats that were adopted by the farm. They are not part of the tour but the staff were happy to tell us about the cats when we asked about them.
Bonus tips for you trip:
i) Read up on the FAQs
There's an excellent FAQ at EcoTrail's website that answers questions like the age group the tour is suitable for (age 3 and above!) and what happens if it rains (raincoats are provided for light drizzle or tour may be postponed or cancelled due to heavy rain) so I didn't bother with a "things to know" for this post. I do find their FAQs to be helpful and accurate.
But just to let you know the important stuff first, the tour costs $21 per participant - the website says this is an early bird rate but there is no indication on when this early bird rate ends - and children age 1 and above will need their own tickets. There is a capacity limit of 20 pax per tour at the time of writing.
Also, while the FAQ says the tour is for children age 3 and above, personally I find primary school-age kids would be better at appreciating and understanding the science knowledge and facts. But younger kids can still go along to see the animals and insects, which they are likely to find interesting as well.
ii) Bring repellant
I didn't see a lot of mosquitoes when there but it would still be good to slap on the repellant as advised by our guide.
iii) Book ahead
We went on this tour during the December school holiday and I noticed the slots during the school holidays were quickly taken up. After the holidays, the tour operates during weekends and public holidays from 9am-5pm. Bookings are opened up about a week in advance. So you might want to book early to secure your preferred slot. A random check on Sunday showed some of next Saturday's morning slots are already fully booked. We were there for the earliest tour at 9am. Though a little early, I believe it was probably a lot cooler at that time compared to the later timings.
This is the last outing we had before school reopened and it's really the most memorable! What memorable places have you visited during the school holiday? Do share with us in the comment box below!
Disclaimer: We paid for our tickets, and my opinions and reviews here are strictly my and my family’s own.
©Vivian Teo. All content and photos are copyrighted to Vivian Teo unless otherwise specified.