Playgrounds for big kids: Giant slides, mazes and bouncing nets at Jewel's Canopy Park

Playing at the two Manulife Sky Nets is the perfect opportunity to get an adrenaline rush. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - An air-conditioned playground? An elevator ride up from Pink Fish restaurant, where I can tuck into salmon burgers afterwards? Three floors above Tokyu Hands store, where I can load up on skincare and stationery? Sign me up.

That was my reaction when I was asked to write about Canopy Park, located on the top floor of Jewel Changi Airport.

But after a trip there on Monday (Oct 19), I discover that the draws of this park go far beyond its proximity to good eating and shopping.

The 14,000 sq m space is framed by a sparkling glass canopy and landscaped with luscious foliage. It has giant slides, enchanting mazes, and bouncing nets to delight young and old - and I am somewhere in between.

I head straight for the Discovery Slides, which are many things at once - a work of art, a playground and a viewing deck.

Guests can climb up to a 6.5m-high viewing platform at the rim, where they can see spectacular views of the surrounding lush greenery. They can also spiral down on the slides. Alas, there is a long line of squealing kids before me.

Nearby, toddlers play amid puffs of cloud and mist at the Foggy Bowls - four concave bowls that emit mist, creating a dreamy setting.

The Foggy Bowls - four concave bowls that emit mist, creating a dreamy setting. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

While I am decades too old to roll around in the bowls, I watch with vicarious delight.

I snap lots of photos of the animal-shaped topiaries at the Topiary Walk. The cheery elephant and flamboyant peacock are massive draws, but my favourite is a red, open-jawed crocodile, crafted from a mix of fresh and artificial plants and preserved moss.

The cheery elephant at the Topiary Walk. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

These sights can be accessed for a fee of $4.50 for Singapore residents. But there are other more thrilling attractions with separate admission charges.

I find the Hedge Maze, billed as Singapore's largest indoor hedge maze, beautifully landscaped, with surprises around every corner. Wandering in it makes me feel like Alice in Wonderland - minus the blue-and-white dress.

The Hedge Maze is billed as Singapore's largest indoor hedge maze. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Another highlight is the Mirror Maze. With plants hanging overhead, it feels less claustrophobic and easier to navigate than the typical horror-themed house of mirrors at amusement parks. I confess I have been to more than my fair share of those.

The Mirror Maze at Canopy Park. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Playing at the two Manulife Sky Nets - one for walking and one for bouncing - is also the perfect opportunity to get an adrenaline rush. However, they are not for everyone - a visitor who is afraid of heights asks me to accompany her by hand across the nets to the exit.

For safe distancing purposes, the park is operating at only up to 50 per cent of its capacity. Guests must also wear masks at all times.

On the whole, the park's attractions are varied enough to offer genteel as well as heart-pumping air-conditioned fun to both low- and high-energy visitors.

I have a gem of an afternoon, topped off by burgers and bargains afterwards.

Pro tip: If you are afraid of losing your balance on the Manulife Sky Nets, stay close to the sides. You will be able to grip onto the sides with your hands.

Canopy Park

Where: Level 5 Jewel Changi Airport, 78 Airport Boulevard

Open: Mondays to Thursdays, 10am to 10pm; Fridays to Sundays, public holidays and eve of public holidays, 10am to 11pm

Fee: $4.50 a person for Singapore residents, $3 for Changi Rewards and CapitaStar members. Separate admission charges apply for the Canopy Bridge, Hedge Maze, Mirror Maze and Manulife Sky Nets

Info: Jewel Changi Airport's website

For more stories on exploring Singapore, go to the SG Go Where page.

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