Family Chill-out Spots
Running out of places to go on the weekend? Consider these spots where your children can have fun while you enjoy some downtime – without running after them. And most of the places are free, too.
• Terminal 3, Changi Airport
A must-do for little ones (and you too, if you’re game) is swirling down Singapore’s tallest indoor slide. The slide is four storeys high, so kids must be at least eight years old and 1.3m tall. Find the entrance on the first floor (the slide goes all the way down to Basement 3), at the far corner of the arrival hall. To ride, just spend at least $10 at the airport. There’s also a free slide at Basement 2, which is one-anda-half storeys high. Kids need to be at least six years old and 1.1m tall.
After that, head to the painting corner at Basement 3 for a spot of arts and crafts. Kids below eight years old can be left at the free indoor playground (but note that it’s usually crowded on weekends), and there are plenty of seats around for you to relax on while keeping an eye on them.
OPENING HOURS Open 24 hours daily, although most shops close by 1am. The slides are open from noon to 10.30pm.
• Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
Balls, bubble guns, pails and a change of clothes – these are all you need to keep the kids happily occupied at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.
The park is divided by Marymount Road into two parts – River Plains and Pond Gardens. River Plains, flanked by Bishan Road, is usually busier, with eateries nearby. But it never feels crowded because the park is so big.
Sit on designer-looking wooden chaise longues littered around the park and let the kids loose on the expansive green. You can linger on bridges to spot fishes and turtles in the river below, or catch a glimpse of the sunset.
At Pond Gardens, flanked by Upper Thomson Road, the water playground is the highlight for kids. Over an area roughly the size of half a football field are mini sluice gates and ropes that let your little ones control the flow of water into small gullies, and low mounds to climb on and pretend they’re kings of the hills.
Splashing around in ankle-high water will keep them entertained for hours. The playground surface is rough and non-slip, and safe for kids. So mums, spread out your picnic mats, sit back and relax. OPENING HOURS The water playground is open only on weekends, 8-11am and 4-8pm. The rest of the park is open 24 hours.
• Junction 8 Playground
Level 3, Junction 8, 9 Bishan Place The space the playground takes up may be smaller than a basketball court, but it’s interesting enough to visit even if you’re not at the mall to shop. What you get is an industrial-looking cagedin playground that’s high rather than flat – to get anywhere, and have more fun, kids have to go up, up and up in the two-storey-high cage.
Beside the cage is a 2m-tall structure made up of three connected hexagons with hand and foot grips – similar to what you’d find on rock climbing walls. There’s also a little hammock-like swing and a hopscotch pattern on carpeted ground.
You’ll find lots of seating around the partially sheltered outdoor playground, so pick a spot in the shade, and park yourself there. It’s easy to keep an eye on your kids here because of the linear layout of the play area.
OPENING HOURS 7am-11pm
A bridge in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park
The indoor slide at Terminal 3 in Changi Airport is Singapore’s tallest.
The caged-in playground
at Junction 8
Water playground at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park