Most kids just love animals, especially the exotic ones that you can only see at the zoo or in remote parts of the world! If you live in Singapore or are just visiting, you are probably reading this article because you are interested in visiting the Singapore Night Safari with your baby, toddler or child and are unsure what to expect.
Recently Wildlife Reserves Singapore upgraded our family Zoo Annual Pass to include all four parks (thank you WRS), so we decided to finally check out the Night Safari with the boys (ages 7 & 5). Since bedtime for the boys is at 7:00pm, and the Safari opens at 7:30 pm you can see how going to the Night Safari was a super special occasion for us – the kids don’t usually stay up so late, nor do they venture out much at night. This was their first visit to the Night Safari and we felt they were the right age to truly experience the Safari and make it a memorable family outing.
The Night Safari is a great experience and something that is not to be missed, but make sure to plan accordingly and you will have an awesome time. Here are some helpful tips that will ensure that you are well prepared with your kids.
Useful Night Safari Info:
Address & Location: 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826. The Night Safari is a 2 minute walk from the Singapore Zoo and River Safari, and all three parks are located approximately 30mins from Orchard Road (depending on traffic).
Hours of Operation: The Night Safari is open from 7:30pm to 12 midnight. The gift shop and eating venues open at 5:30pm. Visitors will be allowed to enter the Safari starting at 7:15pm.
Ticket Prices: Adult: SG$45, Child (ages 3-12): SG$30, Senior Citizens: SG$18. There are lots of promotions and bundle deals available online and through tour operators. If you plan in advance and you should be able to get a good deal. Click here to buy the tickets online from the Singapore Night Safari website (currently 25% off).
20+ Helpful Tips For Visiting the Night Safari with Kids
Tip #1 – Go on a Weekday
If you live in Singapore or are in town for awhile, go to the Night Safari on a weekday! Otherwise, get ready for a super packed venue and slightly longer wait times.
Tip #2 – Visit the Zoo, River Safari & Night Safari in 1 Day
If you are from out of town or just a super eager local resident, it is definitely possible to visit the Singapore Zoo, River Safari and Night Safari all on the same day if you have slightly older kids (ages 5+).
My recommendation would be I to start with the Zoo before lunch (preferably at 10am when it opens). See all the animals, splash in the waterpark at the Kidzworld and eat lunch at the Zoo. Then around 3:00pm head over to the River Safari. The River Safari is not that big and not that crowded. You should easily be able to see everything in 2-3 hours (including the free Boat Cruise and Amazon Boat Ride). When you are done with the River Safari, walk over to the Night Safari. Relax for a bit, eat dinner outside the Safari and go in at 7:15. It will be a long day, but your kids will definitely have a great time.
Bonus Tip: If you do plan on being out all day, don’t forget to bring your phone charger! You can find an outlet and power up in between attractions or while you eat. You don’t want to want to miss out on those quality photo opps.
Tip #3 – Arrive Early
The food establishments and shops at the Night Safari open at 5:30pm. It will take you some time to get your tickets and get yourself situated with your surroundings. Get there early to ensure that you are able to look around and take some pictures before the crowds start arriving.
Tip #4 – Park at the Zoo Parking Lot next to the exit
If you are driving, park in the Zoo outdoor parking lot near the car exit gantry. The entrance to the Night Safari is across the street from the Zoo carpark. Make sure you have enough money in your cash card to exit. The maximum parking amount is SG$8 for the day (three hours or more).
Tip #5 – Eat Dinner at the Night Safari
Get to the Safari early and eat outside at one of the restaurants. The Night Safari offers a variety of cuisines (Asian, Indian, Western, Korean and a few more). The selection of food at the Night Safari is much better than the food at the Zoo, River Safari and Jurong Bird Park. Most of the food is freshly prepared or buffet style, but be forewarned, the prices are at least double of what you would find in the city (and more expensive than the zoo). For picky eaters, I recommend packing some food from home (like we did for my 5 year old) and buying food for other members of your family.
Bonus Tip: There are also some Night Safari food vendors who serve alcohol. After a day site-seeing with your kids, you might need a drink. LOL
Bonus Tip: If you eat dinner at Bongo Burgers, get a seat outdoors right next to the stage. This will ensure that you have an unobstructed view for the Thumbuakar Performance (the fire show).
Tip #6 – Line up at the Entrance Before 7pm
People start lining up around 6:45pm or earlier. Unless you are a Season Pass holder (member), get in the line closest to the stage. This way you can watch the Thumbuakar show and stand in line at the same time.
Tip #6 – Go on the Tram Ride First
You want to make sure your kids get the Safari experience before they get too tired. Although the first “Creatures of the Night” show starts at 7:30pm, you want to first get on the tram because that is the main attraction. You will have plenty of time to make it to the next show or walk around at night.
Super Note: Since we got on the 2nd tram at approximately 7:25pm, we actually got a bit of daylight/twilight before it became pitch black and were able to take some pictures.
Tip #7 – Take Pictures before it gets Dark!
The entire Night Safari is a NO FLASH zone. So unless you have night vision or some other advanced lens on your camera, you will end up not having any pictures to share of your exciting night adventure.
Bonus Tip: It is very dark on the tram ride. Only the animals are dimly lit – there are no other lights.
Tip #8 – Use the Free Wifi
The Singapore Zoo, River Safari and Night Safari all have free wifi! So even if you are from out of town and on airplane mode, you can easily stay in touch with your family and/or post your selfies online.
Tip #9 – Bring Mosquito Repellent
Singapore is a tropical environment. Mosquitoes love the outdoors and the dark. So come prepared.
Tip #10 – Bring an Umbrella & Rain Ponchos
Check the weather before you go to the Night Safari. If it is raining, I would recommend choosing a different day (if possible) to visit, as it may be difficult to see the animals because they will be hiding (especially if it is thundering). Also, the Creatures of the Night show may be cancelled if the weather is too bad.
If you do think it will be a rainy night, make sure to pack an umbrella and some ponchos if you can. The Singapore Zoo does sell ponchos, so I am sure the Night Safari will as well if it is raining. The tram is covered and most of the eating establishments are covered, however the Safari entrance line is not covered and neither are the Safari walking trails.
Tip #11 – Wear Comfortable Shoes
In addition to the tram ride and the shows, you are also able to walk around the Night Safari. There are a variety of trails that are lit up with safari staff guiding the way. Make sure you and your kids wear comfortable shoes to walk around in, especially if you plan to do a little late night exploring.
Tip #12 – Get an AISLE seat for the “Creatures of the Night Show”
The Creatures of the Night Show, is entertaining and good for all ages, babies, toddlers, kids and adults. Get a seat in the aisle if possible, some of the animals enter from the top of the stairs. The show is a good way to chill out and really see the animals up close (in case some animals are sleeping while you were in the tram).
Tip #13 – Stroller Parking is Available
Stroller parking is available at the Night Safari. Strollers can go on the tram ride, but there is limited space and you will need to wait if others are also with strollers. Babies and toddlers are not allowed to sit in the stroller during the tram ride. Your baby or toddler will need to be sitting on the seat or your lap, so make sure your child can easily be moved if they are already sleeping in the stroller. There is stroller parking outside of the Creatures of the Night Show – strollers are not allowed inside.
Bonus Tip: If you are planning on bringing your baby, please be advised that it is very quiet on the tram ride (the tram is full, but most people are silent). A crying baby will definitely disturb the other passengers who are there to experience the Safari and hear the tour guide describe the animals. Just try to plan sleeping/feeding times accordingly so your baby/toddler is not in tears. FYI, even we repeatedly kept telling our two boys to speak in an inside voice or whisper on the tram.
Tip #14 – Bring Snacks & Water
Drink vending machines are available, but limited inside the Safari. Once you enter the Night Safari there is only one restaurant, the Zebra Cafe, which is located at the first tram stop. We did not get off the tram so I don’t know what it looks like, but I do recommend bringing (or buying before you enter) some snacks & water if you think your kids will get hungry while walking around or at the show.
Bonus Tip: All the restaurants and gift shop do stay open late, but they are located just outside the entrance/exit turnstile and not accessible from inside. You can get a hand stamp to re-enter if you need to exit.
Tip #15 – Bring Glow in the Dark Items
The Night Safari is DARK! Since this was a special for the kids to stay up so late we decided to go all out and make it a super fun outing with some glow in the dark items. Also, your kids will be easy to spot.
Bonus Tip: We went to Daiso and picked up some glow in the dark sticks for $2. My boys were all lit up in their necklaces – which made them easy to see in a crowd.
Tip #16 – Bring Flashlights & Toys that Light Up
I am sure your kids, like mine, have tons of light up toys. What better place to put them to use them than the Night Safari where it is very dark. If you are from out of town, you can purchase some cheap light up toys wands from the gift shop. Needless to say other kids without light up toys were looking enviously at my boys. We were able to keep track of each other in the dark and light our path at the same time.
Tip #17 – Keep An Eye on Your Belongings
Now if you are from another country, you probably already do this, but for those of us that are in Singapore we are used to a very low crime rate. Just be forewarned it is dark and crowded especially after the show. Keep an eye on your kids and your stuff.
Tip #18 – Know the Bus Timings & Line Up Early
If you are taking the bus, make sure you know the bus time schedule and get in line early! The bus does get full and the last thing you want is to stand in line with very tired kids and miss the bus.
Tip #19 – Download the Singapore Taxi Apps
If you are planning on taking a taxi back to town, make sure you download the taxi apps. There should be a line of taxis at the taxi stand waiting for passengers, but this is variable based on the amount of Night Safari visitors and the weather. If it is raining or even a peak holiday, it might be very hard to get a taxi, just be prepared. Make sure you have the Grab Taxi, Uber and City Cab apps on your phone in case you need to call for one.
Tip #20 – Make sure to have FUN!
Seeing the Night Safari through your kids eyes is definitely different than seeing it as an adult. This might be a once in a lifetime experience for many of you, so make sure you plan appropriately and have a great time with your kids.
If you have any questions or any of your own tips to add, feel free to leave a comment below. Hope you and your kids have a super fabulous Singapore Night Safari experience!!