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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Singapore's Top 10 Indoor Playgrounds

(Daddy blogs)

I was approached to pen 2 articles for the Preschooler Survival Kit handbook, a publication which is distributed to parents of preschool kids. The first article was about short family vacation destinations, and you can read it HERE.

The second article touches on the Top 10 Indoor Playgrounds, which my 2 boys had a hand in assessing each of 10 playgrounds. 

With the excessive saliva that Mother Nature has bestowed upon us the past few days, there isn’t any need to bang our heads on the walls to figure out where to bring your kids for a day of fun. Just head on down to one of the many Indoor Playgrounds in Singapore and let the kids bounce off the walls instead. 



Here is the second article reproduced in full.

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Rain or shine, heading down to one of the many Indoor Playgrounds in Singapore and letting the kids release some of that pent-up energy will do wonders for them and us parents too.

And the best part? We have done the homework for you. Here are the top 10 Indoor Playgrounds in Singapore, in alphabetical order, which my kids are raving madly about.

1. Amazonia

Boasting an adrenaline-inducing four-tiered wave slide, coupled with a dedicated toddlers' area for those below 3 years of age, this Indoor Playground surely has got the right ingredients to get kids of all ages truly pumped up.

And if that isn’t enough to tire them out, kids can partake in 2 Glow-in-the-Dark games: Spaceball where up to 4 players on each team load up their air guns with foam balls and attempt to shoot target boards located above the opposing team, and 3D Glow Golf where kids can try out the 9-hole putting course under the watchful eyes of Marine animals, Pirates and Dinosaurs!


Website: http://www.amazoniafun.com/

Area: Central

Yay: High fun factor, especially with refreshingly entertaining play features like the 3D Glow Golf, Spaceball and the ultimate Wave Slide.  Also, the cafe is situated right across the main Play area, which makes it easy to watch over the kids.

Nay: The entrance fees. Fun as it may be, the entrance fees and additional charges for the Golf & Spaceball games may be a tad too much for the wallet.

Did you know? The 8-metre slide is the tallest Indoor Playground 4-tiered wave slide in Singapore.

Price: 1-3 years old - $22 for 2 hours | 3-12 years old - $33 for 2 hours | Babies under 1 year old – Free
3D Glow Golf - $8.60 | Spaceball - $5.35

Verdict: 4.5 thumbs up (out of 5)

2. Fidgets

Mister and Miss Ants-in-their-Pants will find an outlet for all energy in Fidgets’ impressive multi-storey play structure — a maze of tubes, slides, obstacles, and even a zip line.

Add two party rooms which can accommodate up to 80 children and a 100-seater cafe for the weary parents to the mix, it has every ingredient for the entire family to enjoy. And if that doesn’t entice you, how does free parking sound?


Website: http://www.fidgets.com.sg/index.html

Area: Central

Yay: Lots of climbing structures, and 3 separate areas for babies, toddlers and older kids. Very affordable entrance fees, which allow kids to play all day for a flat fee.

Nay: May be a tad inaccessible if one doesn’t drive.

Did you know? Custom designed and manufactured in Australia by world leader Playtec, the structure includes the first automatic and interactive ball washing machine in Singapore reducing over 99% of germs.

Price: 1-2 years old - $8 for unlimited play per entry | 2-10  years old - $15 for unlimited play per entry | Babies under 1 year old – Free

Verdict: 3.5 thumbs up (out of 5)

3. Go-Go Bambini

Priding itself as being one of the pioneers in the Indoor Playground scene here, the 6-metre high play structure features 4 levels of wild fun for the kids to explore. And the list goes something like this: ballpits, two climbing walls, a ball blower, tunnels, flying fox, slides and much more.

Parents can seek solace in the café which offers free Wifi and two computers for use. Food on the menu boasts an impressive range which includes gourmet burgers, organic coffee, kid’s meals and baby food.


Website: http://www.gogobambini.com/

Area: Central

Yay: The use of jungle theme and bright colours to make the entire place a vibrant and fun environment for kids to enjoy play. And not forgetting that the café serves palatable fare too.

Nay: Just like Fidgets, it may be a tad inaccessible if one doesn’t drive.

Did you know? In addition to its in-house recycling efforts, Go-Go Bambini also contributes to the Alpha Biofuels waste oil recycling programme, which helps to recycle used cooking oil into eco-friendly bio-diesel.

Price: 12-23 months old - $12 for unlimited play per entry | 2-11  years old - $25 for unlimited play per entry ($25 for 2 hours on public holidays, $6 for each subsequent 30 minutes)
Babies 11 months and below – Free

Verdict: 4 thumbs up (out of 5)

4. Happy Willow

Located at the Fushionopolis, Happy Willow is billed as an enchanting playground for children of all ages, particularly from 9 months to 9 years old. Step into a world of fantasy, where fairies and elves roam the Play Garden.

The playground is essentially divided into 2 areas - a Kids' Den for older kids and a Toddlers' Turf for kids below 2 years old. Besides the usual slides, ballpit and zip lines, kids can snuggle up at the Book Burrow reading corner, or dabble in some arty work in the art and craft corner.


Website: http://www.happywillow.com.sg/

Area: West

Yay: The kids loved the whimsical fairy-tale like décor of the Indoor Playground

Nay: Play structures are a little limited due to space constraint.

Did you know? Happy Willow has 2 ball pits; one for older kids, and the other for toddlers – which is a welcome relief for parents with young children.

Price: 
9-23 months old - $10 for 3 hours (2 hours for Weekends & Public Holidays); $3 for each subsequent 30 minutes | 2 years old and above - $18 for 3 hours (2 hours for Weekends & Public Holidays); $3 for each subsequent 30 minutes| Babies 9 months and below – Free (if he/she is accompanied by a paying child.)

Verdict: 3.5 thumbs up (out of 5)

5. Hokey Pokey

Imagine walking into a toy store and getting to pick whatever educational plaything without a single objection. That is the premise of Hokey Pokey, a brand new Indoor Playground located right at Suntec Mall.

Its padded play area is strewn with toys, ride-ons, toys, slides, toys, ball pits, toys – you get the picture yet? - making it perfect for the 6 and under crowd. Imaginations soar with make-believe toys like a kitchen, a castle, game corner, and musical instruments. All of this plus XBOX Kinect for the older kids.


Website: https://www.facebook.com/sghokeypokey

Area: Central

Yay: Finally, an Indoor Playground which is catered with the younger toddlers in mind. The staff do take safety and hygiene very seriously too. There were staff stationed at the various corners of the play areas at all times, and for the 2 hours that we were there, I spotted staff sanitizing the toys no less than 3 times.

Nay: There are no climbing structures or scream-inducing slides here, so older kids might want to look away.

Did you know? 5 mummies had come together to set up Hokey Pokey because they had realised that there were a shortage of play gyms that actually catered to the needs and abilities of younger toddlers.

Price: $25 for unlimited play per entry (2 hours for Weekends & Public Holidays); $8 for an additional hour of play

Verdict: 4 thumbs up (out of 5)

UPDATED: Hokey Pokey has moved to a new location, and you can read the new review here: http://www.cheekiemonkie.net/2013/04/the-all-new-hokey-pokey.html

6. Jumperzillas

Set amongst the luxury boutiques of The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, there exists an exclusive fun zone just for the little ones. Jumperzillas is divided into two zones – the Playscape and the Craft & Play, which are chargeable separately.

The Playscape area houses the usual play structures that one normally associates with an Indoor Playground. What sets Jumperzillas apart is the Craft & Play zone which has dedicated arts and crafts instructors for their workshops. Older kids need not fret: the wide array of XBOX Kinect and Playstation 3 games will keep them suitably entertained.


Website: http://www.jumperzillas.com

Area: Central

Yay: Great place to dump the place after a sunny day out at Gardens by the Bay while parents take some time off to go shopping. And here is a promise by Jumperzillas – at the Arts and Crafts zone, every child learns something new each time they come to Jumperzillas.

Nay: The somewhat limited play structures available, and the pricey admission charges should one opt for the Arts and Crafts workshop.

Did you know? Jumperzillas uses craft materials such as air dry clay that provides nice clean fun that is totally safe for children and easy to use.

Price: 
Playscape: Weekdays - $19 for 2 hours, $8 per additional hour; Weekends & Public Holidays - $22 for for 2 hours, $9 per additional hour
Craft & Play: Weekdays - $35 for 4 hours, $8 per additional hour; Weekends & Public Holidays - $38 for for 4 hours, $9 per additional hour

Verdict: 3.5 thumbs up (out of 5)

7. Kidz Amaze @ SAFRA Jurong

Unlike other Indoor Playgrounds, Kids Amaze isn’t housed over a sprawling site. Instead, it is equipped with a five-level vertical maze and the latest play technology that is specially designed for both children as well as adults. And the steep climb culminates with a 3-storey winding slide for a quick descent.

The entire arena consists of themed interactive soft play centres which serve to stretch a child's imagination. As they navigate through the multi-level play centre, friendly facilitators will be on hand to guide them along as well as to keep a watchful eye on them. For toddlers, there is also a separate and fully equipped play area with a gated entrance.


Website: http://www.safra.sg/Enjoy/Family/Kidz-Amaze#.UKSe5uSTiSo

Area: West

Yay: It’s big, fun and full of challenging obstacles, especially for older kids. Even parents can join in the mayhem, if their oversized bodies can fit through the nooks and crannies of the play structure that is.

Nay: Smaller children might get lost in the climb to the summit as the ascent might prove to be too challenging for them.

Did you know? Kids Amaze is the only Indoor Playground in this Top 10 list that offers a Family Package for entrance fees.

Price: 
18 months – 18 years old:  Weekdays - $11.20 for unlimited play per entry; Weekends & Public Holidays - $16.50 for unlimited play per entry | Less than 18 months old: Free |Accompanying adults: $2.15
Family package (2 Adults & 2 Children): $34.25

Verdict: 4 thumbs up (out of 5)

8. The Petite Park

Designed to be an imaginative, challenging, and fun yet safe environment for children to play and explore, The Petite Park offers 2 main play spaces: Active Play & Pretend Play.

The Active Play area consists of colourful play structures ranging from a ball pit, bubble tunnel to a giant inflatable slide. The Pretend Play area features an impressive selection of play toys for toddlers; from train sets & tables, kitchen toys, make-believe food stalls, to music instruments and educational puzzle toys.

Parents can also observe their young-lings from a distance, by getting a rest on the bar stools right outside the playground while enjoying a cuppa or reading a magazine.


Website: http://www.petitepark.com.sg/index.html

Area: East

Yay: Located at Changi City Point, The Petite Park is a well-padded Indoor Playground, with its play structures and toys well-thought out for the younger children. Which makes it the perfect place to deposit toddlers while the adults go shopping, especially if there is an I.T. fair or Warehouse sale at the Singapore Expo next door!

Nay: Older children above the age of 6 might not find the play structures particularly challenging.

Did you know? The Petite Park is designed for children under 130cm.

Price: 9 months and above:  Weekdays - $16 for unlimited play per entry; Weekends & Public Holidays - $18 for 2 hours and $6 for each hour thereafter | Less than 9 months old: Free

Verdict: 3.5 thumbs up (out of 5)

9. The Polliwogs

Now open at two locations (East Coast Park and Robertson Walk), The Polliwogs has a number of incredible amusements to offer kids. At the East Coast Park branch, they are encouraged to run amok and go crazy in the indoor play arena or jump wildy in the outdoor Poliwobbly – one of the largest outdoor inflatable structure in Singapore.

At Robertson Walk, children can climb the walls or jiggle on the water bed, all these on top of rampaging through the bigger play arena.


Website: http://www.thepolliwogs.com

Area: East & Central (2 branches)

Yay: A big thumbs up for the giant play area for toddlers, which has got to be one of the largest among all Indoor Playgrounds in Singapore. Also, I love the chill area for parents which come with comfortable seating overlooking the entire indoor play area.

Nay: It can get really crowded during the weekends.

Did you know? Free one-hour art & craft and storytelling sessions take place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 4pm (usual admission charges apply).

Price: 2-12 years old: Weekdays - $18 for unlimited play per entry; Weekends & Public Holidays - $20 for 2 hours | Below 2 years old: Weekdays - $10 for unlimited play per entry; Weekends & Public Holidays - $10 for 2 hours

Verdict: 4.5 thumbs up (out of 5)

10. The Playhouse @Rochester

[Dec 2013 UPDATE] Rochester House will be closed with effect from 2 January 2014 for a major makeover. Its re-opening date has not been announced.

[OCT 2013 UPDATE] Some of my readers have brought it to my attention that the playhouse has become rather rundown and badly-maintained. If you do intend to head down, do let me know of its existing condition in the comments section below. Thanks!

Housed in a grand colonial bungalow, The Playhouse is unlike the other Indoor Playgrounds featured. It is situated beside Seb’s Bistro, an extremely family-friendly outdoor café, with a sole purpose – to provide parents some some personal time while their kids play freely in The Playhouse under supervision.

The Playhouse is peppered with loads of toys in every corner - a make-believe cooking kitchen play area, an area where dress-up play is encouraged, and even a slide with a ball pit in the middle of the playhouse.


And there’s more. A train table with lots of trains to keep the boys occupied, while the girls can chill at the craft area to complete some colouring or handiwork.

Website: http://www.rochesterhouse.com.sg/The_Playhouse.html

Area: West

Yay: A prerequisite of the Playhouse Pals staff is to have experience in handling young children so that they can mind the children while the parents get the opportunity to relax over a meal.

Nay: Children above the age of five will get bored rather quickly.

Did you know? While parents are allowed in the Playhouse, they are not encouraged to stay inside, as the Playhouse’s concept is to allow parents some personal time while being still near their children.

Price: Weekdays: - $7 per hour or $12 for 2 hours; $15 for unlimited play per entry
Weekends & Public Holidays: $10 for 2 hours; $18 for unlimited play per entry
No charge for immobile infants.

Verdict: 4 thumbs up (out of 5)

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This article first appeared in Preschooler Survival Kit (November 2012), a handbook targeted at parents with preschool children and is distributed at preschools in Singapore.

20 comments:

MarionWAM said...

Very Useful post ! I'm going to share it on White As Milk facebook page !

Cheekiemonkies said...

Thanks Marion! :)

San Mah said...

Very informative blog, I specially like the way they analyzed each indoor play structure facility. All I would suggest that they can add few more constraints for better judgement, like location, quality of structure and equipment, etc. Although, overall it is very informative.

Anonymous said...

Very useful site. Love it. Will go Happy Willow as nearer to home. :)

Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi,

Thanks for your kind comments! Happy New Year! :)

Sheron said...

Hi,
Very informative post, thank you!
You should check out The City @ Liang Court!
Brand new Learning playground for role playing.
www.thecity.com.sg

Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi Sheron,

Thanks for your kind words!
Yes, we have checked out The City just last week! Stay tuned for our review. :)

Kris Spade said...

You can check also at this site http://www.orchardjeepney.com/p/kids.html

Bitchy Galz said...

Hi, I think u better edit happy willow entry fees. I went ytd and it was not free for 9mths below infant. It is only free when there is accompanying paid child/ sibling. So another words is buy 1 free 1.

Michelle Hon said...

Thanks for this list. My husband commented that maybe our baby wasn't getting enough stimulations. So I googled and found this list. Very helpful and save me lots of time than going to each of their websites.

I shared it on my The Chill Mom's FB page!

Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi Bitchy Galz,

Thanks for your input! I've already made the change. :)

Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi Michelle,

Thanks Michelle for your kind words, and for sharing the post with your readers too!

Adora Tan said...

Hey Kelvin thanks for sharing this. So useful to split the info to talk about baby areas too! PS did you know that your kids' pics are on Happy Willow's page?

Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi Adora,

No prob! Glad you found it to be useful! :)

Yes, they asked me for permission to use the photos from my blog for their website.

Andrew H said...

Hello, we will be visiting Sing for Oz with a 3 and 6 year old. My wife will be visiting friends so I'm left with the kids (blessing or curse I'm not sure!). Thanks for the info, I'll be sure to make use of a couple of these places!

Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for dropping by our blog. I'm glad you found the list to be useful! Have a great time in Singapore! :)

Anonymous said...

Very useful information. I took my son, who is almost 2, to Petite Park today after reading your blog entry about indoor playgrounds. He had a great time.

I had questions about Amazonia. The Amazonia web site says kids under 3 can't go onto the large structure. It also says there's a separate toddler play area for kids under 3.

Is the toddler play area and the large structure secured off separately at Amazonia? Or is it easy for a younger kid to just run over to the large structure and start climbing?

Thanks.

Cheekiemonkies said...

Hi Anon,

Thanks for your kind words!

Yes, the toddler and main play areas are secured separately at Amazonia. There is only one point of entry/exit at the toddler area so it should not be too easy for your child to wander away from sight.

Hope it helps!

Anonymous said...

There's a new Polliwogs at Vivo and I like their membership plans as well. Much more affordable for us to come back again and again. Check it out!

-Raf-

Kelvin Ang said...

Hi Raf,

We did check out the Polliwogs at Vivo too (http://www.cheekiemonkie.net/2014/01/polliwogs-vivocity-seriously-fun.html)!

This compilation is getting a little outdated so looks like I have to update it soon! :D

Thanks for sharing!

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