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.

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• 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

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