If you are parents like us, you may be looking for fun ways to tire your kids out in the day (especially on weekends for working parents), in the hopes that they will sleep well at night. While there is no shortage of children’s play gyms in the malls, some of these can be quite costly and we prefer not to visit them on a weekly basis. Free playgrounds are the best, right?
In this week’s blog, we’ve chosen several children’s playgrounds to feature, based on the places we frequent and on some good friends’ recommendations. While there are many more available across the island, our children really enjoyed themselves at these few.
Dry Playgrounds (indoor)
Two of our favourite dry indoor playgrounds are the ones at Marina Square and Paragon. In those malls, all the kid-related shops are centred around the playground, which makes for easier shopping. At Marina Square, the playground is located on level 3. While the playground has a smaller side wing intended for younger children, our 15-month-old (who we’ve nicknamed Kwazii) preferred to ride on vehicles at the main playground, as well as the coin-operated rides. There are several kid-related shops including Mothercare, Kiddy Palace, Maternity Exchange, Baby Online, and BumWear surrounding the playground.
At Paragon, the playground is located on Level 5. It has some springy ride-ons, as well as some climbing tunnels and a slide. One drawback we have heard is that as there is a children’s clinic nearby, there is thus the possibility of ill children coming out to play at the playground. However, our four-year-old has played here several times and has never fallen sick afterward, so we hope that this is just a rumour. Like Marina Square, all the kid-related shops are on the same level which makes it very convenient to do your shopping, and Toys “R” Us is just one level up.
Dry Playgrounds (outdoor)
We often visit City Square Mall, which has an outdoor playground with environmentally-friendly wooden equipment certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The play area has large swings and a large spinning roundabout that children love, but one downside is that the entire playground is unsheltered, so it can get sweltering on hot days. However, it is definitely worth a visit if you are at the mall on a cool afternoon, or in the evening.
As recommended by a friend, West Coast Park has a lovely playground with sand and several play structures for kids of all ages. Pasir Ris Park also has similar facilities, and is lovely for a picnic as there are shelters under which you can lay a picnic mat. Both parks may also be less crowded than East Coast Park.
Wet & Dry Playgrounds
Two of our favourite wet and dry playgrounds are the ones at VivoCity and Waterway Point. Our 15-month-old has a keen affinity for fountains, and it was the fountain at VivoCity that encouraged him to take his first steps unaided about a month back. Our four-year-old (who we’ve nicknamed Barnacles) loved going up and down the large hill and slide, and there are also climbing structures geared towards older children up to the age of 12. If you don’t mind spending some cash, there are also motorised vehicles for rent.
At Waterway Point, there is an indoor playground at level 2 that is quite comparable to the babies area at Kids Amaze at Safra Toa Payoh, with several similar structures. Kwazii loved walking in between all the structures, and climbing up and down the staircase. Outdoors on the same level is a wet and dry playground that is suitable for children up to 12 years old. This is one of our favourite playgrounds as the large overhead structures provide some shade, so it is possible for the kids to play outdoors even on a hot day. There are slides, tunnel slides, trampolines, climbing structures of varying difficulty, and even a hammock for the kids. The small water play area is also lovely, but sometimes, children playing in the wet area tend to run over to the dry area, leaving the dry play structures wet as well.
While we frequent Nex shopping mall in Serangoon, we have never actually taken our children to the water play park on level 4R, mainly because it is unsheltered and cooler for play in the evenings – which is usually when we are heading home for Kwazii’s early bedtime. However, the playground recently re-opened in April 2017 after a revamp, and it certainly looks appealing – both our kids were raring to rush in when we went to have a look.
Even though we believe that outdoor play is important for children, we have not been very diligent at taking our kids to play outdoors regularly, and usually end up at shopping malls. However, seeing how our kids loved the play areas we visited so much, we have resolved not to let them miss out on the great outdoors, and are planning to visit two outdoor play areas in the coming weeks: The Far East Organization Children’s Garden at Gardens By the Bay, as well as the Jacob Ballas Children’s Playground at the Botanic Gardens, which our friends have raved about.
So if you are looking for a place for your kids to have a great time running around, do check out one of these playgrounds!
Mummy and Daddy Daycare are the pseudonyms of a Singaporean husband and wife who are raising two young boys aged four and one, nicknamed Barnacles and Kwazii from the children’s Octonauts series. Get into the minds of this couple who describe parenthood as a lifetime adventure – you are always learning something new! Whoever said parenting was a walk in the park?
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