It’s a no-school day on Friday. Looking for some fun for the whole family? Head to these malls for their indoor playgrounds and play areas and indulge in some retail therapy while you’re at it.
WORDS ANGELA LOW
Children, for the most part, crave attention and entertainment. They don’t like being dragged around shopping malls while you’re running errands, buying groceries, and looking through racks of clothing. Kill two birds with one stone at these 10 retail locations with indoor playgrounds, where you can have your fun while your children have theirs.
A fully air-conditioned play space for your little ones sits on the fifth level of Paragon, one of the many shopping centres located along the retail stretch at Orchard Road. While the 20-storey mall features mostly luxury brands and boutiques, this particular storey is dedicated to mothers and children. Fittingly surrounded by a plethora of children’s stores such as Armani Junior and Toys ‘R’ Us, the indoor playground is fitted with slides, tunnels, a climbing wall, and padded floors. Nearby are a few coin-operated rides, as well as long benches for you to rest your feet.
City Square Mall
Not far from Paragon is City Square Mall, which is situated where the iconic New World Amusement Park used to be. The first eco-conscious mall in Singapore, it comes with a stunning 49,000sqft urban park that offers endless amusement to children of all ages. Despite being the main attraction of the establishment, there’s also a free indoor playground in the basement. Designed for the younger tots, its enchanting treehouse, rides and slides are sizably smaller than the ones upstairs. Other indoor kids entertainment facilities are available as well, such as the world’s first suspended playground, but those come with an entrance fee.
If you live closer to the West, you’ll want to check out Star Vista, an open-air mall that is also designed with green features. Known as the Playmobilo Playground, this indoor space isn’t your typical playground. Hidden behind the customer service counter is a free recreational area, where instead of slides and seesaws, there are blocks of blue foam. They come in a diversity of shapes and sizes, and are meant to serve as giant Lego pieces, free for your munchkins to build whatever their minds can conjure.
Nearer to the East is Waterway Point. Its public play space on the second floor is named Wonderland, after the renowned children’s novel by Lewis Carroll. A technicolour space that transports you into another world, it is filled with kid-friendly sculptures of caterpillars, butterflies, rabbits, and Alice herself as well as wall-mounted sensory playboards, and benches for the adults. Given its miniature structures, however, it might be more suited for toddlers than adolescents.
Situated outside Poney and Kiddy Palace, this little jungle gym on the third floor of Marina Square is made of quirky, colourful rides. Besides the animal-shaped climbing walls and the spring seesaw car that fits four tots, the highlight of the space goes to the main play structure that looks like a truck on one side with a fireman’s pole, and a house on the other with a slide (for those who prefer a safer descent).
Great World City
Great World City is home to an abundance of services and offerings, and one of them is Amazonia, a ticketed family entertainment centre that promises a world of fun. There’s a glow-in-the-dark, dinosaur-themed mini golf area, an alien invasion area where you get to shoot balls through cannons, and loads of ball pits and massive slides. You can either join your munchkins in the mayhem, or kick back at the on-site cafe.
Admission: From $22.
An arcade, a sand pit, a carousel, a digital colouring board, a DIY crafting room, a Lego building area, a kinetic sand table, a mammoth jungle-inspired playground – these are the things you’ll find at Kidzland. Located at the Grandstand, this flurry of activity and excitement is the perfect place to hold a jamboree – or satisfy the little ones after a long day of shopping. Aside from the entrance fee, certain areas and rides will require a separate ticket.
Admission: From $16.
Suntec City is chock-full of indoor playgrounds (such as Cool De Sac and The Polliwogs), but save those extra bucks, and let your kids run wild at the free entertainment area on the third floor of the East Wing instead. With tunnels, slides, rides, climbing structures, sensory boards, and a whole lot of padded space to frolic in, it will be more than enough for your urchins to have a good time.
Clarke Quay Central
A much more organised playroom at Clarke Quay Central with an admission fee, The Joy of Toys is divided into two spaces: One for toddlers aged between nine months and three years, and one for children aged three and above. While the older kids will love the cornucopia of puzzles and brain teasers, the young’uns will be hooked on the role play area. What’s more, the toys change every month.
Admission: From $18.
One of the most thrilling (and affordable) indoor playgrounds in Singapore lies in AMK Hub. eXplorerkid has something for everyone from toddlers to tweens such as a glowing pit of transparent balls, an obstacle course, and a station of ball blasters. On top of that, there’s a roster of workshops on cooking, crafting, singing, dancing, and even yoga. Don’t forget to bring socks though, or you’ll have to buy a pair before entering.
Admission: From $5.