Fresh fun: 4 new and revamped play areas for kids

Treetop obstacle courses and an indoor net playground up the play factor for all

Looking for a way for the children to expend some energy, but want a change from that same old indoor or outdoor play areas?

There are now more options for parents to choose from. At least four new and revamped play areas have opened here since the beginning of the year. The Sunday Times explores these new offerings.

Forest Adventure


The Spider Web segment in The Kids CoursePHOTO: FOREST ADVENTURE

Where: Bedok Reservoir Park, Bedok Reservoir Road Admission: From $36 for The Kids Course Info: www.forestadventure.com.sg

Let your inner monkey loose at this exciting attraction, where you can zip over tree tops, swing like Tarzan and see if you have what it takes to be Spider-Man. Located at Bedok Reservoir Park and making use of the surrounding water and greenery is Forest Adventure, an outdoor adventure arena that boasts close to 70 crossings and six ziplines across three courses.

The three courses – The Kids Course, The Junior Course and The Grand Course – each comes with its own set of obstacle rope challenges and ziplines. There is a different price for each course. Participants can go on any course, depending on whether they meet the minimum height requirement, which starts at 1.1m for The Kids Course and goes up to 1.5m for The Grand Course. Some highlights include the Grand Course’s Tarzan Swing, where participants hold onto their harnesses, jump off a deck close to 10m high and swing into a net.

Another is The Kids Course’s Spider Web, where participants have to pull themselves across a 13m-long “spider web” from a height of 6.5m. Apart from the courses, there is also The Big Zip, where participants whizz over water across Bedok Reservoir Park via a 300m zipline strung 14m above the ground.

This element requires a minimum height of 1.4m and a minimum weight of 50kg. First opened in 2007 by French national Stephanie Besse, 51, Forest Adventure was renovated last year and re-opened last month. The revamp saw a new arena being built from scratch, with 19 more crossings than before and three courses instead of two. Anyone who is at least seven years old and above 1.1m tall can go on the course without supervision.

Buds


Buds has an outdoor water play zone.PHOTO: SHANGRI-LA HOTEL SINGAPORE

Where: Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, 22 Orange Grove Road Admission: From $28 for toddlers, inclusive of one adult admission and three hours of play Info: E-mail buds.sls@shangri-la.com or call 62134-833/4844

Pretend to be a pirate or explore space, forests, mountains and fiery volcano lands at a new play space at Shangri-La Hotel Singapore in Orchard Road. The interactive area, for children 12 years and younger, spans more than 23,000 sq ft and is open to both hotel guests and the public.

Shangri-La Hotel Singapore is the first hotel in Orchard Road to design and build such a play space for children. Called Buds, it opened officially late last month.

Its Toddler Zone, for those aged one to three, offers sensorial experience with brightly coloured, multi-form play equipment. There are kiddy rides, a ball pit and slides.

The Explorer Zone, for those aged four to 12, allows kids to explore, imagine and play in landscapes such as mountains, the deep ocean and outer space.

The fun continues at four indoor activity spaces. There is Muddy, where children can unleash their inner artists; Stage, where they can perform to their hearts’ content; Bake, a fully equipped cooking classroom for children and parents; and Party Room for celebrations. Separate charges for activities in these spaces apply. For children who prefer to be in the sun, Buds’ outdoor arm boasts a pirate ship dry playground as well as a water play zone, where children can shoot water from cannons and get soaked by a giant water bucket.

With facilitators at the play areas, parents (of children four years and older) can drop their kids off at Buds so that they can run errands or relax at the cafe in the hotel if they wish to keep an eye on them.

Airzone


Airzone’s suspended net playground spans four floors.PHOTO: AIRZONE

Where: City Square Mall, 180 Kitchener Road Price: From $20 for a 30-minute session Info: www.airzone.sg

Experience being an “Airstronaut” at Airzone, which is touted as the world’s first indoor suspended net playground.

Here, participants can walk, fall without fear and bounce around on taut nets suspended in a mall. Located at City Square Mall in Little India, the playground had its soft opening last month.

 

The attraction spans four floors from Levels 3 to 6 of the mall.

A suspended ball pit holding a variety of balls – from the small and bouncy to giant Zorb ones – is on Level 3, while a free play area occupies Level 4. Level 5 contains a maze and the topmost level features a slide that connects the 6th floor to the 5th.

All ages are welcome, but children below the age of seven must be accompanied by an adult.

New activities will be introduced to the net structures every six months, says an Airzone spokesman. Potential new elements include mini-ziplines, augmented reality experiences, fitness classes and games sessions.

Made of a polymer, Nylon 6, the net structures are said to be strong enough to suspend two buses when the vehicles are laid on their sides.

Airzone is operated by Ultimate Entertainments Group, which is behind Singapore’s first bungy jump attraction AJ Hackett in Sentosa, and which also brought in amusement rides for the ongoing Prudential Marina Bay Carnival.

Timezone Flagship Store


The mini bowling alley comes with four lanes.PHOTO: TIMEZONE SINGAPORE

Where: VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk Admission: Rides and games range from $2 to $8 a try Info: www.timezone.com.sg

Singapore’s largest games arcade officially opens at VivoCity today.

Family entertainment centre veteran Timezone Singapore’s flagship outlet stands at 12,000 sq ft on Level 2 of the mall, offering 96 games and rides including bumper cars and a mini bowling alley.

The outlet was previously located at Level 3, occupying half the size at 6,000 sq ft and offering 70 games and rides.

Several of its key attractions, such as the bumper car rides, simulator ride and party room, are exclusive to this location.

Timezone has 10 arcades in Singapore, having opened its first one in 1997 at White Sands Shopping Centre in Pasir Ris.

The bumper cars are fitted with LED lights and the play area is deliberately kept dim, with upbeat music playing, as players compete in a discotheque-like arena.

The arcade’s four-lane mini bowling alley also has a unique feature: Smaller bowling balls are used, which allow for better grip and control especially for little ones.

Those who visit the store during its grand opening party today between 2 and 5pm will be treated to free churros, ice cream and dragon dance and magic performances.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 11, 2018, with the headline 'Fresh Fun'. Print Edition | Subscribe