Located in the far north of Singapore, Woodlands is a residential town — arguably well known as the stopover point when you want to cross the causeway into Malaysia, and for an array of “bring your passport” jokes.
But “ulu” it is not! Woodlands has transformed entirely from the late 1800s, when it was an agricultural area filled with plantations growing products like pineapple and rubber. The first new town was built in the 1970s, the MRT station in 1996, and in 2021, the largest Integrated Transport Hub (ITH) as well.
Today, with the new Thomson-East Coast line, residents are even better connected to the city centre, and can travel from Woodlands to Orchard in 35 minutes. Not that they need to leave the area at all, because there are plenty of recreational facilities and services, including but not limited to Woodlands Health, a 1,800-bedder hospital, and malls such as Causeway Point, 888 Plaza and Woodlands North Plaza, just a short walk or bus ride away!
Let’s check out some family-friendly elements of Woodlands that make living there a joy:
Playgrounds for the children
Image source: NParks
Scattered around the town are an array of playgrounds with unique features for the little ones to enjoy. Notable mentions include the 26 slides at Admiralty Park — which is the most any park in Singapore has — as well as the massive, netted, two-storey climbing structures at Woodlands Waterfront Park.
Those looking for something closer to where they live can also try the Alice and Wonderland themed playground at Vista Park, Fu Shan Garden Park’s Dinosaur Playground, and even an ant and grasshopper styled playground found between blocks 573B and 573C of Woodlands Drive 16.
Family-friendly facilities for a Healthier SG
Image source: ActiveSG
Families looking to keep fit will benefit from amenities like Woodlands Stadium and Woodlands Sports Hall. The former includes a football field and running track, while the latter is equipped with six badminton courts and a pool where aqua aerobic classes are conducted. There are also regular fitness programmes for adults and school holiday programmes for children. Earlier this year, the FFLC @ Woodlands team collaborated with ActiveSG for the NDP@Heartlands Celebration 2023 at Woodlands Stadium with over 10,000 families participating in family-friendly activities such as photo-frame designing and Becky Bunny mascot photo-taking sessions. Later in the year, families can expect to participate in similar family-friendly activities with FFLC at the year-end Marsiling Countdown to 2024, organised by Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC , at the Woodlands Stadium.
Image Source: NParks
And for those who prefer to exercise in nature? There’s always the option for a walk along the coastline and jetty at Woodlands Waterfront Park, with some vantage points along the trail offering scenic sights of the Straits of Johor.
Mr Ganesh (WBG Chairman) and some early volunteers at the foot of the garden’s hill.
Image Source:WBG website
Located on the Northern slope of Woodlands Town Park East is the Woodlands Botanical Garden (WBG), a 9-storey multi-award winning community garden with over 200 varieties of ornamental plants that brings joy to all nature lovers. Purposefully created to also address the importance of mental wellness, WBG strives to bring peace and tranquillity to the mind and refreshment to the body and soul. The garden has won multiple awards such as Community in Bloom Awards 2022 and Garden of the Year 2022.
Community Spaces for everyone
Image source: Yusof Ishak Mosque website
For mosque-goers, Yusof Ishak Mosque is a nearby option for Muslim families to visit with numerous facilities to cater to the needs of the elderly and more spaces dedicated to family praying area to cater to the socio-religious needs of the Muslim community in the North. FFLC Woodlands team had recently collaborated with the mosque to organise a dedicated parenting programme (Triple P) on 14 October for low-income Malay-Muslim families to equip parents with skills to improve their children’s psychological, social and emotional competence. The seminar was conducted for the first time at the mosque and was delivered in Malay language. Parents can expect more of such programmes to be conducted at other community spaces in Woodlands in the future!
For avid readers, the Woodlands Regional Library (WRL) is like a safe haven. Occupying four storeys and part of a basement over a floor space of 11,100 square meters in the Woodlands Civic Centre, it is a one-stop information centre for the northern sector of Singapore. The reading area in their children’s section is designed as a park, with an Enchanted Tree, inspired by the proximity of the library to three nature reserves (Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Sungei Khatib Bongsu and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve). Parents can also expect to attend storytelling sessions, parenting talks and parenting programmes like the recent Triple P Grandparenting Seminar series conducted for grandparents with grandchildren up to 12 years old on 13 and 20 Oct.
Image Source: HDB
Just a train stop away from Woodlands is Kampung Admiralty, an 11-storey 'modern kampung' that features 100 flats for the elderly, a two-storey medical centre providing specialist outpatient care, an Active Ageing Hub co-located with a childcare centre, dining and retail outlets as well as a 900-seat hawker centre. Many community and family-centric events have taken place here including a Health Carnival on 1 October where more than 1000 families attended to take part in health challenges, educational booths and fun activities.
Support for families
Last but not least, support abounds within Woodlands no matter what stage of life your family is in! New residents can get to know the neighbours through community activities held at Woodlands Galaxy Community Club, a short walk from Admiralty MRT, and Woodlands Community Club, which is just a few minutes from Woodlands MRT.
For new parents, there is the Woodlands Parents Group , an online Telegram community, supported by Families for Life (FFL), offering access to FFL parenting resources, upcoming events and activities happening in Woodlands and a platform for parents to interact, offer advice and exchange tips.. Whether you're a new parent looking for peer guidance or an experienced parent who wants to share your knowledge, the group is the perfect place to connect with other parents in your community.
In addition, you can check out these family programmes offered by FFL appointed social service agency, Care Corner:
Whether you’re a young married couple, soon-to-wed or newly-wed couple, or transnational couple, these programmes can help you improve communication between you and your significant other, so you build a firm foundation for your marriage
This one's for parents with children between the ages of four to six years old! Over the course of five weeks, you’ll learn 10 evidence-based strategies to support your child’s learning journey through play and common home activities in a programme developed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Parenting Research Centre in Australia. Keep a lookout for any upcoming Purposeful Play sessions in the neighbourhood!
Struggling to relate to your growing tween? Or simply wondering how you can better help them navigate through the ups and downs in life? Triple P is an evidence-based programme that offers you useful techniques to support your child up to the age of 16 years old on how to develop their psychological, social and emotional competence. .
Register your interest for any of the three programmes here!