There are a quite few things that bind Singaporeans together. Our love for food aside, we also have many shared memories of iconic places visited during our free time. For instance, Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park. Recall a time in your childhood—a particular school or family trip, perhaps—where you got to admire and even interact with the vibrant feathered kinds?
Jurong Bird Park first opened its doors to the public in 1971. After a colourful 51 years, this best-kept paradise is preparing to make its big move to Mandai Wildlife Reserve. Plans are made for operations to cease next year on 3 January 2023. You know what that means: Time’s ticking for that one last visit.
While this is not the last we’ll see of the birds, it would be a final goodbye to the place they’ve called home for so long, including the park’s iconic 30m-tall waterfall—one of the tallest artificial waterfalls in the world. Before Jurong Bird Park officially ends its time at Jurong Hill, here are several activities that are worth checking out.
1. Hop on an historic heritage trail
Until its final day of operations, expect to find a barrage of activities, tours and trails dedicated to the park’s grand farewell. Among the many interesting activities under ‘A Flight to Remember’ is the Heritage Trail.
To put it simply, this is where you’ll learn about the park’s past and its astounding achievements over the decades. All you’ll need to do is locate these heritage checkpoints around the park and scan the QR code. If you complete at least three checkpoints, you’ll get to redeem a Jurong Bird Park memento!
While you’re at it, why not download an Insiders’ Guide too? This is a staff-curated trail that allows you to explore the park through the eyes of a dedicated team. Surely, the ones running the park’s daily operations would know it best. Through this, you’ll get to discover their favourite spots and the park’s best kept secrets.
Don’t forget to check out ‘Kampung Jurong’ too—a special festive event where 1970s-style push carts will serve traditional hawker delights like Chendol and Carrot Cake.
Heritage trail & Insiders Guide:
- Location: Around the Park
- Schedule: Between 8:30am to 6:00pm
- Location: Flamingo Lodge
- Schedule: 11:30am to 2:30pm (Last order at 2:00pm)
2. Capture memories at special photo points
While we’re riding high on nostalgia, pictures are a must to keep the memories long-lasting. I would recommend heading over to the several curated photo points for that. One of these is ‘Countdown With Us!’, where you will get to make your mark at its iconic entrance; simply snap a picture before it gets torn down for good.
The second photo point, branded ‘#ShareYourMemories’, is located at the Penguin Coast. This is where you’ll get to share your favourite park memories on an interactive digital photo wall. You’ll also get to pen down your most cherished experiences at the park, and read ones by other visitors.
Finally, get onboard the ‘Panorail Photo Point’. It’s a special treat in-store—this lets you relive highlights of the park onboard a 2D replica of the panorail. The now defunct station, which previously closed in 2012, is now open for some final photo opportunities.
Here’s what you need to know for each photo point:
‘Countdown With Us!’
- Location: Park Entrance
- Schedule: 8:30am to 6:00pm
- Location: Penguin Coast
- Schedule: 8:30am to 6:00pm
Panorail Photo Point
- Location: Above Wings Kiosk & Opposite Tram Station 1
- Schedule: 8:30am to 6:00pm
3. Get personal with the park’s inhabitants on once-in-a-lifetime private tours
If you haven’t hopped on a private tour of Jurong Bird Park before, here’s your golden chance. The ‘Nostalgic Signature Tour’ is specially designed for those yearning a more intimate encounter with the various birds. Along with a specially curated handbook, you’ll get to ride a buggy (up to 7 pax) with a personal guide, who will tell you more about its avian inhabitants and the rich, sprawling history of the park grounds.
- Public: S$400 for a 1.5h tour
- WildPass members: S$360 for a 1.5h tour
- Friends of Wildlife members: S$320 for a 1.5h tour
Schedule: Mondays to Sundays—9:30am to 11:00am, 2:30pm to 4:00pm
On top of that, there are also behind-the-scenes tours, namely the ‘Bird's Eye Tour’. On this one, you’ll get to meet some of the most beautiful birds from Africa, such as Starlings, Turacos, and even formidable Kings of the Skies—White-tailed Sea Eagle, Hoodle Vulture and more.
Seasoned experts will take you through bird feeding sessions at African Treetops and Waterfall Aviary. They’ll even explain how endangered hatchlings are cared for at the Breeding & Research Centre.
For enquiries and tour bookings, write in here.
- Public: S$98 Adult | S$65 Child
- WildPass members: S$88.20 Adult | S$58.5 Child
- Friends of Wildlife members: S$78.4 Adult | S$52 Child
4. Feed the residents of Jurong Bird Park
One of the most exciting things you could do in Jurong Bird Park is to feed the beautiful birds. Not only do these feeding sessions provide an up-close experience, they also give you a peek at how these birds go about their daily lives. It’s surely an unforgettable experience both for children and the young-at-heart.
That said, do note that not all feeding sessions are open to the public. Be sure to check the available schedules and make your bookings online beforehand!
- Location: African Treetops
- Schedule: 9:30am, 1:00pm & 4:30pm
- Location: Penguin Coast (Outdoor)
- Schedule: 10:30am & 3:30pm
Lories and Lorikeets:
- Location: Lory Loft
- Schedule: 11:30am & 1:30pm
5. Have a splashing wild time with little ones
Not only do kids get to interact with magnificent birds at the park, they can also have some splashing fun at a bird-themed playground, named ‘Birdz of Play.’ Here, little ones get to frolic in water under Singapore’s tropical heat. They’d likely get their load of fun with just water sprays. Beyond that though, they can also ride on tunnel slides and get thoroughly soaked at the splash zone under an overhanging bucket.
Over at the dry zone, older kids can enjoy anything from two-seated see-saws, to swings and even a flying fox. What’s more, there are retail shops, and even a cafe, situated nearby for parents to unwind for a tea-time break whilst the young ones go wild.
Operating hours: Monday to Friday—11:00am to 5:30pm, Weekends, public and school holidays—9:00am to 5:30pm
6. Gawk and awe at animal shows
Jurong Bird Park has long been known for its spectacular presentations, where birds get to show off their talents and capabilities. Each show plays twice a day and lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes. While short, they nonetheless provide an unforgettable experience that many of us remember till this day.
Two iconic shows are still available—namely ‘Kings of the Skies’ and ‘High Flyers’. Both of these are spectacular showcases of top-flight avians like the Great Pied Hornbill and Yellow-naped Amazon. Just like the past, you’ll get to marvel at these star birds and experience their free-flying performances as they swoop through hoops and take centre stage at Jurong for the last time.
Kings of the Skies:
Location: Hawk Arena
Schedule: 10:00am and 4:00pm
Location: Pools Amphiteatre
Schedule: 11:00am and 3:00pm
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