If you can stop playing Farm Heroes Saga or Farm Frenzy for just a moment, you'll realise that there are actually quite a lot of real farms that Singaporeans can visit.
You know, farms? Those big plots of land where you can see real live plants and animals before they get harvested and eaten? No, I'm not asking you to drive to Malaysia - they're all right here in Singapore. Some might even be in your neighbourhood.
Not only are farms educational and Instagrammable, they're also either free or very cheap to visit. Bookmark this page for those "waiting for payday" family outings or dates.
13 VEGETABLE & ANIMAL FARMS IN SINGAPORE TO VISIT
All right, let's get the obvious out of the way. Bollywood Veggies in Kranji Countryside is probably the most high-profile veggie farm in Singapore (yes, there's more than one).
It's free to enter and wander around Bollywood Veggies during their opening hours. You can support them by buying their produce or dining in at the reasonably-priced Poison Ivy Bistro.
For groups of 20 or more, you can book them for a guided farm tour ($12 to $15/pax) or other hands-on activities like paddy planting ($15 to $18.50/pax) and harvesting produce ($12 to $15/pax). List of paid activities here.
Address: 100 Neo Tiew Road, Singapore 719026
HAY DIARIES GOAT FARM SINGAPORE
Another big attraction of Kranji Countryside is Hay Dairies, the only goat farm in Singapore.
It's free to enter, but the farm tour package for groups of 10 or more is one of the cheapest around. It costs $6.42/person and includes goat milk to take away, a souvenir and hay for feeding goats.
If you come in the afternoon, the package is $4.28/person, which is cheaper because goat milking time is over, so there's no orientation or explanation of the milking process.
Address: 3 Lim Chu Kang Lane 4, Singapore 718859
Not quite as famous as Kranji Countryside but still very much worth a visit, Sungei Tengah is another cluster of farms near Choa Chu Kang.
The main highlight here is Farmart Centre, an educational animal farm complete with goats, bunnies, birds, frogs, tortoises, fish and hamsters. Admission is totally free and you can feed the animals too.
For groups of 30 or more, paid guided tours are available at just $6 or $8/person.
Address: 67 Sungei Tengah Road, Singapore 699008
QIAN HU FISH FARM SINGAPORE
While you're at Tengah, nearby Qian Hu Fish Farm is worth a visit too. This is one of the largest ornamental fish farms in Singapore so there's lots of marine life to observe.
While gawking at the colourful fish, rays and corals are probably sufficient entertainment for hours, they also offer a range of affordable activities for groups of 20 or more.
There's a guided farm tour ($3 or $4 per adult), longkang fishing ($8 including tour) and weekday fish spa package ($7 per person). For mo re details, see the Qian Hu Fish Farm website.
Address: No. 71 Jalan Lekar, Singapore 698950. Free daily shuttle bus service available.
THE ANIMAL RESORT
The Animal Resort is more of a zoo than an animal farm. It's a nice place for any animal lover to spend some time as the animals here aren't reared for food purposes.
There are farm animals like chicken, ducks and geese, plus exotic birds, guinea pigs and rabbits to feed. But the star attraction here is a retired chestnut racehorse called "PIN Number".
Best of all, it's completely free to visit. For groups of 25 or more, there are paid group tours from $3 to $8 per person, and you can add on $4 for stream fishing (kids only), or $10 if you want to bring the fishies home.
Address: 81 Seletar West Farmway 5, Singapore 798061
QUAN FA ORGANIC FARM
Over at Murai Farmway off Lim Chu Kang Road, the most visitor-friendly farm is Quan Fa, one of the biggest organic vegetable farms and distributors in Singapore.
Quan Fa is free for the public to visit. If you want, you can support them by buying produce direct from the farm. Groups of 20 or more can also book a guided tour at $10 per person ($15 with a drink and packet of greens to take home).
Address: 35 Murai Farmway Singapore 709145
GROUND UP INITIATIVE KAMPUNG KAMPUS
Kampung Kampus by Ground Up Initiative is a super adorable community farm near Khatib MRT run by passionate volunteer farmers.
It's free to visit, and if you want to get involved, you can actually sign up as a volunteer and help run the farm too. There's a 45-minute Paddy Harvesting and Planting session that costs $35, where families can experience how it feels like to plant rice. A great eye-opener that you can use to teach your picky eater of a child why s/he shouldn't waste food!
They also run crafting and woodworking workshops if getting covered in soil isn't your thing.
Address: 91 Lorong Chencharu, Singapore 768201
Oh Chin Huat Hydroponics Farm is different from the other farms on this first. It's a hydroponics farm and it has a very cute butterfly lodge where you can hang out with butterflies and caterpillars.
Visiting is free, but for groups of 20 or more, you can sign up for one of their many reasonably priced farm tours and activities.
Guided tours cost only $4 (farm) or $5 (butterfly lodge) per person. Those who want to try hydroponics farming at home, which is very feasible since it doesn't require a plot of land, there are also tours that teach you how to start your own little farm at home ($7 to $10 including starter kits).
Address: 14A Bah Soon Pah Road, Singapore 769970
EDIBLE GARDEN CITY CITIZEN FARM
Urban farming startup Edible Garden City runs a community farm that's conveniently located just 10 minutes' walk from Queenstown MRT.
You can visit for free during their opening hours. Groups can opt for paid farm tours ($25 to $30/person) and/or urban farming workshops ($20 to $80/person).
If you want to try your hand at farm-to-table cooking, you can sign up for Citizen Box ($35 to $42/week). This is their subscription service where you can pick up a box of fresh produce every week - each box is supposedly good for 3 to 4 meals.
Address: 60 Jalan Penjara, Singapore 149375
OPEN FARM COMMUNITY
Edible Garden City's other public veggie farm is at Dempsey's Open Farm Community, which is free to visit too.
It's not much of a proper farm, but it does have some plants growing and is a nice place to hang out at brunch. You can also purchase individual Citizen Box from the cafe here if you want to take away some produce.
Address: 130E Minden Road, Singapore 248819
URBAN FARM AND BARN
Run by local urban farming consultancy Pocket Greens, Urban Farm and Barn is a very cute little community farm hidden atop Bukit Panjang Hill. It comes complete with an eco pond, a tiny rice plot and fruits like grapes and strawberries.
They don't charge for entry, but you can support them by buying plants, gardening supplies or growing kits at the Urban Barn retail store.
Address: 201 Petir Rd, Singapore 670201
Today I learnt there's actually an urban farm on the rooftop of Scape. Who knew? ComCrop is a tiny urban farm that grows mostly microgreens and herbs, like wasabi, peppers, basil and mint.
It's usually not open to the public, but every first Saturday of the month, they do a free tour from 10.30am to 12pm. Slots are very limited and you will need to sign up through their Facebook page.
Address: 2 Orchard Link, Scape, Singapore 237978
KAMPUNG SENANG ORGANIC FARM
Over in Tampines, NGO Kampung Senang runs a little community organic farm with fruits, veggies and herbs. You can join as a volunteer to help run the farm too.
Unlike most others on this list, it's not open to public all the time. You can only visit on Saturdays from 8:30am to 2pm.
It costs $35 per adult ($15 per kid below 12) to enter, and this fee covers an organic lunch as well as farm tour and access to their weekend fresh produce mart.
Address: 840 Tampines Street 82, #01-111, Singapore 520840
This article was first published in MoneySmart.