Do away with wads of thick brochures and unwieldy maps, and make your smartphones do the walking.
Little Day Out has made it even easier for you to plan – and carry out – your next walking trail. Here are some of the best feature-rich apps (and they are free! Yay!) to take you on your next family walking adventure.
You will still have to do the actual walking, of course. It’s time for an app-venture!
by National University of Singapore
Not content with being a follower? Create your own trail for your family’s walking tour with Crowd Trails! This homegrown app by National University of Singapore allows registered users (for free, of course) to explore, create, socialise and share trails. You can check out any trail created by someone else, too.
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For instance, there’s a Kranji Heritage Trail curated by Kranji Countryside that takes you through a history of early farming in the area, and present-day farms like Bollywood Veggies and Lian Wah Hang Quail and Poultry Farm (essentially some of the key farms participating in the quarterly Kranji Countryside Farmers’ Market), as well as historical areas like the first Japanese invasion sites in the dark days of February 1942 that led to the fall of Singapore.
There’s a good handful of user-generated trails submitted by other users too, including food, historical, photography and nature trails.
Kampong Glam: Singapore Heritage Trail
by National Heritage Board
Choose from three walking trails in this app and explore the historic Kampong Glam, with interactive features like games and maps.
Home to the Malay royalty in the past, Kampong Glam is also where one of the most important mosques in the country, Masjid Sultan, is currently located.
The first trail takes you through the colourful streets of Kampong Glam’s conserved area, covering Arab Street, Beach Road, Jalan Sultan and Victoria Street. Find out what life used to be like, from its culture, communities, trades and crafts.
The second trail covers the area adjacent to Kampong Glam. Learn about the boats and shipyards that used to operate along the beach and rivers, and the kampongs that used to exist in Kallang.
The third trail takes you to Kampong Glam’s outlying area along Victoria Street and Kallang Road. You will see one of Singapore’s oldest madrasahs (Islamic schools), the only mosque started by Malabar Muslims and the first Tamil Catholic Church here.
Balestier: Singapore Heritage Trail
by National Heritage Board
Today, people journey to Balestier to savour aromatic bak kut teh and hearty chicken rice. Some venture to this area to shop for home lightings and fixtures.
But more than these, Balestier Road’s story spans nearly 180 years and the locale has seen Singapore’s remarkable journey from a British trading post to a modern city-state.
Get ready to pound the five-foot ways that still line much of Balestier Road, for it’s a long and winding tale.
This district was where key moments of the 1911 Chinese Revolution happened and classic Malay films were shot. And even today, the kopitiams that brew traditional coffee still draw in customers with their heady aromas, and the old bakeries still offer their fluffy breads.
You’ll be glad to know that this includes a food trail, where you can chomp down yummy local delights along the way.
World War II: Singapore Heritage Trail
by National Heritage Board
After Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942, the country was renamed Synonan-To (Light of the South). The island, which was feted as an “impregnable fortress”, spent more than three years under the Japanese Occupation.
This app identifies 50 war sites all over the island, and bite-sized notes about the historic sites and events associated with the battle for Singapore and the Japanese Occupation. The war sites are divided into six areas for the walking trail, marking either a battle area or commemorating a significant historical event – for instance, where the last defenders put up brave resistance.
Too many locations for your tired legs? The app lists the Top 5 must-visit sites, so that should crunch it down nicely for the family.
Chijmes Heritage Trail
by Pre 8 Investments Pte Ltd
If you’d like your walking trail with the family to cover a smaller area, the Chijmes trail is a good one to explore. Uncover the heritage that journeys into the origins of the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) in Singapore, now named Chijmes.
The app’s virtual map pins historical landmarks, including the Gothic-style chapel Chijmes Hall and Caldwell House. Now the chapel is a multi-purpose hall, and Caldwell House is an art gallery. Both are national monuments.
Used as a Catholic convent for 132 years, the complex of convent buildings was revamped between 1991 to 1996 to include restaurants, bars, retail shops, and entertainment spots.
Snap away photos of the beautiful architecture, sit down and have a hearty meal with the family. Take up the challenge of the in-app Quiz as a family, to see how much of Chijmes’ history you’ve learnt.
This feature-rich app covers Singapore’s parks, Park Connector Network (PCN), nature reserves, and lifestyle options near you.
Plan your little day out with the family with sParks*, a location-based app which includes a map, upcoming events, walking trails and more. You can also search dining, educational, and fun spots in the vicinity, among other options.
Share on Facebook and Twitter as you progress on your walking trail, to commemorate the family’s favourite spots.
Other features in the app include promotions from participating merchants, interest groups which you can join or even create, and social sharing in the Must Try category, where other users share their recommendations.
Singapore Botanic Gardens Navigator
For two years in a row, the Singapore Botanic Gardens has been ranked the top park in Asia by leading US website TripAdvisor. And you have all of 74 hectares of the lush garden to explore.
A good feature of this app would be the offline data and interactive map, where you can use to find your way around the Singapore Botanic Gardens even without an Internet connection.
Choose from walking trails, which include guides to the National Orchid Garden, the Rainforest Walking Trail, the Heritage Trail and Evolution Garden. The Trails section of the app includes a GPS map, and an informational e-brochure for every trail.
Even if you just want to have a stroll through the Botanic Gardens, the map will guide you through suggested routes, while showing you points of interest. Opening and closing hours of the attraction are also highlighted, just so you won’t be disappointed.
Download the app on the App Store.
Gardens by the Bay
by Gardens by the Bay
Want to head outdoors, but not so keen about the sweltering heat? You can cheat a little by setting up your walking trail at Gardens by the Bay in air-conditioned comfort.
Embark on an educational virtual journey of flora and fauna discovery at the Gardens.
The Gardens by the Bay app includes interactive trail maps, augmented reality challenges to earn badges, and several interactive mini-games as well as memory quizzes.
Gardens by the Bay is the latest cultural institution in Asia to be included in Bloomberg Connects, a global commitment that provides funding for the development of technology to increase access to cultural attractions and enrich visitors’ experiences.