Mar 20, 2017

5 New Singapore Attractions for Kids that Opened in 2017

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We are nearly approaching the end of the first quarter of 2017 and while there are the usual places to bring the kiddos, there are a few new places that have sprouted up this year to discover together as a family.


Some of them may be familiar names but to the kids, they offer a different fun experience! So the next time the holidays or weekends come along, here are 5 new adventures - of which 3 are FREE for all! - to take your pick from.


1. Diggersite @ ORTO

Located at ORTO, Singapore's first 24-hour multi-recreational park, Diggersite offers little diggers the chance to realise their dream of operating a real-life working excavator! Previously at East Coast Park, Diggersite now occupies a larger area in Yishun which means that the construction vehicles are spaced out further apart.


All of the previous stations at East Coast have been replicated here - some with a slight twist. In total, there are now 5 stations where one of the fave will be kids having the chance to drive - yes, DRIVE - a forklift around the Diggersite compound while transporting a wooden mallet from one point to another. For kids who love sand play, there is a dedicated sand pit with sand toys.


Head HERE for a detailed review.

Address: 81 Lorong Chencharu, #01-01, Singapore 769198
Opening hours: Weekdays 11am - 9pm | Weekends 9am - 9pm
Cost: $5 per ride (7 minutes per ride, except for Forklift which is 5 minutes)
Website: www.facebook.com/diggersite

2. Palawan Pirate Ship

Port of Lost Wonder at Sentosa may have closed its doors in December last year, but the water play park with the iconic pirate ship comprising of plenty of water slides and cannons for the kids to splash around and run amok has OPENED its doors again this year. And best of all, it is FREE for everyone!


Re-branded as Palawan Pirate Ship, the water play area retains all the play features that the kids love. Housing a signature water play area in the shape of a huge pirate ship, expect lots of water pistols, slides and water jets. There is also a wading pool surrounding the entire ship!


Head HERE for a detailed review.

Address: Palawan Beach, Sentosa
Opening Hours: 10am - 6pm daily
Cost: FREE

3. Former Ford Factory

Previously known as Memories at Ford Factory - or more recently, Syonan Gallery - the Former Ford Factory is the site of the surrender of Singapore by British forces to the Japanese Imperial Army. Re-opened in February and a national monument, its contents have been revamped and now features refreshed content and a new focus. The gallery highlights a new area of focus for the exhibition by looking at the impact of the war and the Occupation years, including the immediate and longer-term legacies of this period on Singapore and the region.


The exhibition space proper is broadly divided into three zones: Fall of Singapore: Outlines the events leading up to that fateful moment where British forces surrendered unconditionally to the Imperial Japanese Army in the Ford Factory boardroom, Becoming Syonan: Captures the diverse experiences of people during the Japanese Occupation and Legacies: Highlights the various legacies of war and Occupation in Singapore, from the political and social changes that arose and the ways we remember the war in Singapore today.


Head HERE for a detailed review.

Address: 351 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 588192
Opening Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 9am – 5.30pm | Sundays, 12 noon – 5.30pm
Cost: FREE Admission for all Children under 6, Singaporeans and permanent residents, Singapore student pass holders and Museum Roundtable members | Others: $3 per person

4. Clip 'n Climb

Okay, so I cheated a little because this attraction opened late last year. But hey, this is one indoor playground with a difference and one which I am sure kids will go crazy over!


New Zealand's indoor climbing theme park Clip 'n Climb has set up base at HomeTeamNS Tampines' space located at the refurbished Our Tampines Hub, a community and sports centre. Quirkily designed walls awash in bright colours greet climbers at Clip 'n Climb, which is not your run-of-the-mill indoor climbing joint. There are 19 wall designs in the 260sqm facility that range from easy for the rookies to difficult for the more experienced, such as the snaking beanstalk from fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk, a lightning bolt and Morse code-inspired one.


The park utilises an automatic belay system, which means kids can climb the different walls at the same time without having to take turns. Experience a twist in rock climbing at the Dry Ice wall where you’ll be given ‘ice picks’ - a pair of wooden sticks - to scale the structure and manoeuver yourself to the top.There is no minimum age for climbers, they just need to weigh between 10 and 150kg.


Head HERE for a detailed review.

Address: Our Tampines Hub, 51 Tampines Ave 4 #03-03, Singapore 529684
Opening hours:
Monday to Thursday: 12pm – 9pm | Friday and Saturday: 10am – 11pm | Sunday and public holiday: 10am – 9pm | School holiday and eve of public holiday: 10am – 11pm (1st Monday of every month: 2pm – 9pm)
Cost: From $18 for 90 minutes. View all rates HERE.

5. Chestnut Nature Park

There are two areas to Chestnut Nature Park – Chestnut Nature Park (South) and Chestnut Nature Park (North). Chestnut Nature Park (South) opened last year and is Singapore’s first nature park with separate mountain biking and hiking trails. Chestnut Nature Park (North) opened in February this year and together with the southern portion, Chestnut Nature Park now totals 81 hectares, making it Singapore’s largest nature park to date.


If you are planning to bring the kids for their first taste of hiking, great news - the hiking trail is slightly undulating and pretty straightforward. Chestnut Nature Park (South) has a 2.1km hiking trail, while Chestnut Nature Park (North) has a 3.5km hiking trail. Click HERE to download the southern hiking trail and HERE for the northern hiking trail.


For more adrenaline thrills, the 8.2 km mountain biking trail at the fully completed Chestnut Nature Park comprises varying levels of difficulty ranging from easy, moderately difficult, very difficult and extremely difficult. Visitors can rent mountain bicycles at AIRE MTB (Address: 201 Chestnut Avenue, #01-K1, Singapore 679525).

Address: Located along Chestnut Avenue
Opening Hours: 7am - 7pm daily
Cost: Free Admission
Website: www.nparks.gov.sg/gardens-parks-and-nature/parks-and-nature-reserves/chestnut-nature-park


I'll update the list whenever new attractions open in Singapore, so do check back often!


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Mar 16, 2017

T-Play & Clip 'n Climb: New Indoor Playgrounds at HomeTeamNS Clubhouses that pack a punch!

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We hardly visit Indoor Playgrounds nowadays, which is a sure sign that the monkies are growing up. Predictably, they now find such playgrounds rather kiddish.

Well, that was until they found out about this indoor playground.


Located on the premise of HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok, T-Play is the first augmented playground introduced in HomeTeamNS and covers an impressive 4,200 square foot area. Made entirely in Sweden and assembled in Singapore, the specially crafted kid-friendly indoor playground boasts one of the most interactive transportation-themed playgrounds in Singapore.



From rockets and aeroplanes to roads and vehicles, T-Play has incorporated the theme of transport into the design of the playground.



At first glance, the entire playground may look a little small but T-Play has somehow managed to pack in as many fun and challenging play equipment as it possibly could. So there were the usual suspects of crawling tubes and nets, foam obstacles, bridges and tunnels. Oh yes, and a wave slide of course.


But perhaps the greatest advantage T-Play possesses over other indoor playgrounds is it actually encourages parents to play TOGETHER with their kids! Unlike other indoor playgrounds where the risk of getting stuck while scurrying through a hole is very real, the entire play structure here is designed to fit adults.

Here, I found it quite the breeze to scamper after the monkies... and this coming from a Daddy of my size, I guess that is saying a lot. Most importantly, I did NOT get stuck. LOL.


Other than the usual suspects of tunnels, obstacles, suspension bridges and spiral tube slides, the main play area, which is best suited for older children up to 12, consists of other hidden gems which kept the monkies occupied.

Like this trampoline.


And the transparent climbing wall.


The funny thing about kids and slides is kids ALWAYS find it fun to climb up the slide from below. At T-Play, one slide has been specially marked out for this purpose, with grips added inside the slide to aid in their climbing quest.


But the greatest fun for the monkies was derived from an enclosed space filled with huge rubber balls. Here, they went absolutely bonkers as they flung themselves (and the balls) at each other amid the cushioned walls with decals of planes.


For younger kids, the toddler area has age-appropriate mini slides, a ball pit, and a separate play area with foam blocks and larger-than life Lego-like stackable blocks designed to train motion coordination.


The playground is also well-equipped with toilets (both for adults and children) and a nursery room, so you don’t have to rush out in case of any emergencies.


For parents who prefer to chill instead, there are ample seating area near the entrance of the indoor playground... while keeping an eye on the kids from a distance.

As a bonus, T-Play's staff also periodically organises mini games for the kids.


As you can tell, Ale enjoyed herself tremendously!


At first glance, T-Play may look a tad smaller compared to other indoor playgrounds but it still consists of the usual play equipment that children love and find challenging... and more! The play activities for the younger ones are functional and offered more variety to keep them stimulated and busy. To top everything off, the place is new, bright and clean!

And the monkies definitely approve!


While both Ash and Ayd did enjoy T-Play, they got bored of it after about an hour's worth of play... which to be honest, exceeded my expectations.

But the next indoor playground which we visited got their adrenaline pumping so much that they did not even want to leave after our session was up!

And this was the culprit.


How colourful are this climbing walls???

This is one indoor playground with a difference! New Zealand's indoor climbing theme park Clip 'n Climb has set up base at HomeTeamNS Tampines' space located at the refurbished Our Tampines Hub, a community and sports centre.

You may have gone wall climbing before BUT the walls here are like nothing you have ever seen before.


Quirkily designed walls awashed in bright colours greet climbers at Clip 'n Climb, which is not your run-of-the-mill indoor climbing joint. There are 19 (!!!) wall designs in the 260 sq m facility that range from easy for the rookies to difficult for the more experienced.

And even better news, there is no minimum age for climbers! You just need to weigh between 10kg and 150kg, and you are good to go. No wonder the monkies were getting tired of my constant photo-taking... they were itching to scale the walls. Okay, me too actually.


Once I gave them to green light to start climbing, there was no stopping them.


Trouble was, there were so many unique wall configurations - with all except one standing at eight metres tall -  that I did not know where to begin! Fortunately, the different wall configurations are designed to suit various climbing abilities.

Each wall is accompanied by a plastic sign at its base, which states the difficulty level (one clip is easy, two clips for moderate and three clips for advanced) as well as various challenges that a climber can complete to earn points. Points are only for bragging rights, in case you are wondering.


But the great thing at Clip 'n Climb is everyone can climb, whether you are a beginner or expert climber. Everyone will be challenged according to their preferred difficulty level.

Here is a quick look at ALL of the walls at Clip 'n Climb:

BIG CHEESE
Difficulty Level: 1



ROPE LADDER
Difficulty Level: 1


TWISTER (Left)
Difficulty Level: 2



TWISTER (Right)
Difficulty Level: 3



The difference between this Twister wall and the previous one is this wall has underhand grips instead of the usual overhand grips, which makes it a little tougher to maintain a good grip while scaling.

TREE TRUNK
Difficulty Level: 2


AMAZING
Difficulty Level: 1


MORSE CODE
Difficulty Level: 2


CLOUD 9
Difficulty Level: 3


ZIGG ZAGG
Difficulty Level: 1


SKYSCRAPER
Difficulty Level: 2


PIXETRON
Difficulty Level: 2


ALIENS
Difficulty Level: 1


SPEED CLIMB
Difficulty Level: 2


Climb to the top of the wall to stop the timer and try to set the fastest time of the day. No wonder this was one of Ash's fave walls!

LIGHTNING CRACK
Difficulty Level: 3


SPAGHETTI JUNCTION
Difficulty Level: 3


DRY ICE
Difficulty Level: 2



Experience a twist in rock climbing at the Dry Ice wall where you’ll be given ‘ice picks’ - a pair of wooden sticks - to scale the structure and manoeuvre yourself to the top.


TRIFFID
Difficulty Level: 3


Inspired by the snaking beanstalk from Jack and the Beanstalk, the monkies declare this the most difficult of the lot!

FACE TO FACE
Difficulty Level: 2


For ultra-competitive climbers, this wall is for you! Two climbers will be able to climb simultaneously on each side of the transparent wall and see who gets to the top first.


 For the record, I beat the wifey. Heh.


The final wall at Clip 'n Climb is a low one which do not require any safety harness. Kids who need some time to overcome the heights of the tall walls can choose to climb at this wall first.


The unique thing about Clip 'n Climb is it utilises an automatic self-belay system, which means that climbers don’t need a ground partner in order to start climbing. Kids and adults will be able to climb the different walls at the same time without having to take turns.


All you need to do is to ensure that you are clipped before the climb and it's done! And the process if clipping and unclipping is relatively straightforward - Ale was able to do it on her own after some practice.

So what happens when you reach the top? You just let go of the wall and enjoy the free-fall!


I have to admit the letting go bit is more terrifying than climbing up the wall. But it's all about learning to trust the belay system.

And trust me when I say 90 minutes' worth of climbing will be enough to expend every ounce of one's energy.


Tiring, yes. But as my monkies will tell you, it is "very very very very FUN!".


The different climbing difficulty levels at Clip ‘n Climb means that this is one activity that the whole family can do together... and burn some calories at the same time too!


Family-friendly environment, check.
Quirky wall designs, check.
Minimal waiting time at the walls, check.
Top-notch fun entertainment, check.

Little surprise then that the monkies begged to return to Clip 'n Climb soon!


Oh, and if the kids are still pumped up from all the climbing, head to Laser Quest, a massive laser tag arena located next to Clip ‘n Climb. With 10 different missions to choose from, Laser Quest is Singapore’s second laser tag arena boasting a futuristic Tron vibe.


GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Thanks to HomeTeamNS,  I have the following prizes to give away!

- ONE set of 3 tickets to T-Play at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok 

- TWO sets of 4 tickets to Clip 'n Climb at HomeTeamNS Tampines


Congrats to the following winners:

- ONE set of 3 tickets to T-Play at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok: HAZELNUT TAN

- TWO sets of 4 tickets to Clip 'n Climb at HomeTeamNS Tampines: SHAWN QUEKJENNY CHNG

Please email me at kelvin@cheekiemonkie.net for prize collection details. Thanks!


To participate, simply complete the following steps:

1. LIKE T-Play's Facebook page HERE AND Clip 'n Climb's Facebook page HERE.
2. TELL us which prize you would like to win - or you can choose BOTH too! Leave your comment either in the corresponding Facebook post HERE or in this blog post.

WANT TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING?
SHARE this blog post of the giveaway on Facebook for a BONUS chance! Remember to set your profile to public so that I can see the shared post.

Giveaway ends on 21 March 2017, 2359 hours.

GOOD LUCK! :)


Useful Information

T-Play @ HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok
Address: 2 Bukit Batok West Ave 7, Level 2, Singapore 659003
Opening Hours:
Monday – Thursday 1pm – 7pm | Friday 1pm – 9pm | Saturday, Sunday, Public Holiday 10am – 9pm | School Holidays: Monday – Friday 10am – 7pm
Charges: From $4 per 2 hours. View all rates HERE.
Website: www.hometeamns.sg/t-play/

Clip 'n Climb @ HomeTeamNS Tampines
Address: Our Tampines Hub, 51 Tampines Ave 4 #03-03, Singapore 529684
Opening hours:
Monday to Thursday: 12pm – 9pm | Friday and Saturday: 10am – 11pm | Sunday and public holiday: 10am – 9pm | School holiday and eve of public holiday: 10am – 11pm (1st Monday of every month: 2pm – 9pm)
Charges: From $18 for 90 minutes. View all rates HERE.
Website: www.hometeamns.sg/clip-n-climb-hometeamns/



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