Outdoor play has countless benefits for kids ― it builds up your peewee’s confidence, while teaching him rules about teamwork when he plays with others, even as it keeps him connected to nature. Outdoor playgrounds are great for kids of all ages ― luckily for us, there’s one to be found at every nook and cranny around the Lion City. Best of all, they’re free! Here are our top five must-check-out hot spots.
#1 CHILDREN’S GARDEN AT GARDENS BY THE BAY
18 Marina Gardens Drive. Opening hours: 10am to 7pm (Tuesdays – Fridays) & 9am to 9pm (weekends and public holidays). Closed on Mondays.
WHY GO There’s something for everyone at this entertaining children’s garden. It boasts four main play zones: Adventure Trail, Rainforest Treehouses, Toddler Play Zone and Water Play areas. A café serves Western and Asian snacks.
LOOK OUT FOR The 130m-long adventure trail comprising 14 exciting obstacle courses little hands and feet will be itching to explore. Your thrill-seeker will have the time of her life attempting to cross wobbly bridges, finding her balance on singular beams, swinging off monkey bars and scaling a gigantic spider web-like structure.
ADDITIONAL COOL POINTS FOR The water features at the wet zone that are linked to sensors, so they splash water when they detect any kids’ movements. There’s even music playing in the background! Also worth checking out, the Fish Fountain which has water tunnels and fish sculptures spouting water. Junior will have heaps of fun climbing over the sculptures while trying to dodge the water jets, or maybe he’d even dare to stand in the line of fire!
#2 JACOB BALLAS CHILDREN’S GARDEN
481, Bukit Timah Road. Opening hours: 7am to 8pm (closed on Mondays, unless it’s a designated public holiday).
WHY GO Spanning 20,000sqm, the entire garden is one big playground, offering various interactive features and activities to encourage kids to learn, play and explore. It’s a great way to spend the day, plus a café at the reception area serves decent family-friendly fare.
LOOK OUT FOR The ginormous tree house ― junior can explore it in its entirety by climbing the stairs, ladders and bridges then zipping down the tunnel slide. Adventure-seeking sprogs will enjoy running up and down the suspension bridge and getting lost in the maze, while water babies will have a splashing good time at the wet zone.
ADDITIONAL COOL POINTS FOR Instilling a love for nature in the little ones. The garden is home to a wide variety of plants that the peewees can touch and smell. A signboard at each plant states its name along with background info, so kids and parents can learn more.
#3 TIONG BAHRU PARK ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND
Along Tiong Bahru Road and Lower Delta Road
WHY GO Home to lush greenery, koi ponds and turtles, this park also has a plenty of play structures and is the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon.
LOOK OUT FOR The tilted life-sized train perched on top a raised structure. The locomotive has crookedly-placed cabins, making it that much more challenging and fun for your active tot to navigate. It’s also attached to slides and stairs so junior can independently move around as he pleases.
ADDITIONAL COOL POINTS FOR The flying fox, which spans the length of the playground, as well as the retro merry-go-round. The entire play area is covered in sand, so your sweetie can even build a sandcastle!
#4 MARINE COVE
East Coast Park Area C, 1000 East Coast Parkway.
WHY GO This brand-new 3,500sqm wide mega play area is so large that it can fit 200 kids and still have space to spare. Barely a year old, the playground offers a good mix of play equipment for kids up to age 12. Plus, it boasts toilets and showering facilities that are situated along a stretch of eateries.
LOOK OUT FOR The play tower at the centre, which is connected to a rope bridge and three slides at different levels. Active kids can challenge themselves to get to the top of the tower by climbing a funnel net that leads them all the way up.
ADDITIONAL COOL POINTS FOR Swings with safety harnesses for young ’uns to have a go, along with sensory play panels to hone motor and speech skills, plus hand-eye coordination.
#5 HAPPY PARK AT WATERWAY POINT PLAYROUND
Waterway Point, Level 2, 83 Punggol Central. Opening hours: 10.30 am to 9.30 pm daily.
WHY GO Fun reigns at this river-themed rooftop play area which has wet and dry zones. Bonus points for its padded environment to ensure that the little ones are kept safe. It also has a fab view of the waterway and since it’s within a mall, mum and dad can squeeze in some shopping, while the kiddos go bananas!
LOOK OUT FOR The “lake” with jet sprays and cushy lilypad-like stepping stones that your mini-me can leap from. Since it has some depth, junior can also just sit down and splash around in the water, while babies can enjoy the mini-fountains.
ADDITIONAL COOL POINTS FOR The trampoline at the dry zone which the kiddos can bounce on to their heart’s content. There are even “rabbit holes” your kewpie can crawl in and out of and a hammock to chill in.
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