Whether having the kiddos let off some steam before power shopping, or rewarding them for patiently accompanying you through tedious errands, you’ve got plenty of reasons to be thankful for Singapore’s many mall playgrounds, mama. We’ve rounded up our fave spots across the island so you can strategically map out your next shopping trip. Some include water features, all are free!
Reward well-behaved littles with a post-shopping splash in the rooftop water play area at VivoCity. The huge free-to-use, knee-deep water area (it looks kind of like a swimming pool) is a nice, if rather hot, spot for kiddos to paddle. On level 2 of VivoCity there is also an awesome outdoor play area, perfect for water babies to run around in under the fountains, while wild toddlers can get weary on the playground equipment. It can get really sunny here so slather on the sunscreen mamas!
Smaller indoor playgrounds are also available at Paragon (level 5), Marina Square (level 3, in front of Kiddy Palace) and 313 Somerset (Sky Terrace, level 5).
VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk, Singapore 098585, www.vivocity.com.sg, Open daily 10am – 10pm.
We love the water park on the 4th floor of I12 Katong Mall. It’s a sprawling space, with plenty of shade in the morning, and enough water slides, fountains, swings, water showers and huge buckets of water to satisfy your child’s water loving ways. Appealing to everyone from tiny tykes to school-aged children, a session at this free water playground is guaranteed to wear the kids out and might even get junior to willingly take his afternoon nap.
I12 Katong, 112 East Coast Road, Singapore 428802, www.112katong.com.sg, Open from 10am to 10pm daily.
Changi Airport T3 Slide
There’s no need to make any excuses for including an airport in this list – as we all know, Changi Airport Terminal 3 is essentially a shopping mall with runways. And The [email protected] (billed as “the world’s tallest slide in an airport”, a really competitive category) is the bizness. There are two – the 4-storey tall slide which goes from the Arrival Hall (level 1) to Basement 3, or the smaller one that starts on the food and shopping level at Basement 2. The smaller one is free, and gets rather crowded on weekends; the bigger one is a real thrill but the rides must be redeemed (every $10 spent at the airport may be redeemed for one ride). There are height and age restrictions (at least 6 years old and 1.1 metres tall for the smaller slide; at least 8 years old and 1.3 metres tall for the bigger slide), ignored merrily by many of the preschool set. There is also a small playground in Basement 2.
Terminal 3, Airport Boulevard, Singapore, www.changiairport.com/at-changi/entertainment-lifestyle/the-slide-t3, Open daily 12.00pm to 10.30pm.
Changi City Point Mall
East Coast mamas will especially enjoy the ‘The 3 House’ – the interactive wet and dry park on the 2nd floor of Changi City Point Mall. Ideal for younger tots, there are swings, gentle fountains and mini pools for cooling off in, and a playground with climbing equipment (best for older siblings as the ropes course can be tricky!).
Changi City Point Mall, 5 Changi Business Park Central 1, Singapore 486038, www.changicitypoint.fraserscentrepointmalls.com, Open 10am to 10pm daily.
On level 6 of the freshly renovated Eastpoint Mall, there is a great hulking structure crossed by strong ropes – perfect for a nautical-themed playground and for little climbing monkeys! There is a ship-like play structure, there are slides, little swings, more things to climb, but – be forewarned! – there is very little shade.
Eastpoint Mall, 3 Simei Street 6, Singapore 528833, www.facebook.com/fcm.eastpointmall
Kallang Wave Mall
One of the newest water playgrounds is this sweet play area on the rooftop (level 3) of the Kallang Wave Mall. Here there are water sprinklers, waterslides (with different options for children of varying ages who are more or less comfortable in water), a merry-go-round with little bucket seats, fountains, sprays, everything fun that can be done with water. Here, the kids can frolic in a good 50cm of water, which makes it a really decent pool – all with a great view of the downtown skyline!
Kallang Wave Mall, 1 Stadium Place, Singapore 397628, www.thekallangwave.sg, Open daily 8 am to 10 pm.
Fans of Jungle Junction will love the jungle-themed water playground at Tampines One Shopping Mall – we promise you’ll have a whale of a time! Water slides, mini pools, swings and scavenger hunts are perfect for little tykes to burn maximum energy, while animals (that would be grown-ups dressed in animal costumes) roam the grounds keeping the kids entertained. It is jungle-themed after all!
Tampines 1, 10 Tampines Central 1, Singapore 529536, www.tampines1.com.sg, Playground open daily from 10am to 9:30pm, except Mondays when it’s closed from 4pm for cleaning.
IMM Water Play Park
IMM Shopping Mall in Jurong has a flower-themed water play area on the third level of the Garden Plaza, complete with watermills and spraying flowers. With the clever use of rubber floors, there is no slipping over for wet babes. Older children can take great pleasure in controlling the water fountains, just watch out mama – you might get wet, too!
IMM Shopping Mall, Level 3 Garden Plaza, IMM Shopping Mall, 2 Jurong East Street 21, Singapore 609601, Open daily 10am – 10pm.
Lot One Shopper’s Mall
The wet playground at Lot One will cool grumpy munchkins off with fountains, spray tunnels and water jets all available for the taking. Take note mama that the water play area is only available from 12 to 2pm and 5 to 8pm on weekdays and from 12 to 8pm on weekends. We admit it’s not exactly around the corner from most S’pore dwellers, but is a fun way to try something different (you can always catch public transport there and really make it an adventure for your busy bunnies).
Lot One Shopper’s Mall, 21 Choa Chu Kang Avenue 4, Singapore 689812, www.lotone.com.sg, Open daily from 10am to 10pm.
There is a perfect playground in Jurong for cheeky pixies and elves – Westgate Wonderland, the fantasy garden that has sprung up on level 4 of Westgate Mall. Here, a gigantic watering can rains down on drenched and squealing elves, while water fountains spout liberally from the ground. Bigger kids can shimmy up the playground’s towering tree house while the younger set romps among oversized bluebells, fruits and critters, some of which respond to touch with light and music!
Westgate Mall, 3 Gateway Dr, Singapore 608532, www.westgate.com.sg, Open daily 10am – 10pm.
Bishan Junction 8
If you’ve had your fill of water-soaked outings, it’s time to try this playground on level 3 of Bishan Junction 8. Here, for the younger set, there is a see-saw, in addition to other swinging, bouncing and balancing rides. For the bigger kids, there is a not-very-big-but-pretty-satisfying climbing structure incorporating wavy platforms, tunnels and slides. Daredevils can try the climbing challenge constructed out of three man-sized polyhedrons.
Bishan Junction 8, 9 Bishan Place, Singapore 579837, www.junction8.com.sg
At Causeway Point, you can take your pick of three playgrounds: there is a safari-themed one for toddlers on level 2 with lions, a giraffe, hippo, monkey, crocodile and a lonely zebra-striped car. There is a second one on the same level for train-crazed children, featuring a good-sized locomotive with slides. Finally, on level 7 is where Santa (or Santa’s good buddy, Mama) rewards those who have been good with water sprinklers, sprays, fountains, water guns, and a great big water bucket. Are you ready for a good soaking, mama?
Causeway Point, Woodlands Square, Singapore 738099, www.fraserscentrepointmalls.com
NEX Shopping Mall
Another great free water playground, here you’ll find an abundance of sprinklers, fountains, giant buckets of water (watch out!) and a whole lotta H2O. Padded floors are perfect for kids who want to run around, whilst a dry playground will keep smaller ones occupied if the water play is a little too much for them. The word is out with this one however, so it can get super busy on weekends. It’s probably best to leave the tinies at home (or visit during the week when the big kids are at school).
NEX Shopping Mall, 23 Serangoon Central, Singapore 556083, www.nex.com.sg, Open from 11am – 9pm.
North Point Shopping Mall
A popular haunt for families, North Point Mall has a 5,400 square foot wet/dry playground on the centre’s roof (seems to be a common theme in the newer shopping malls here but not one we’re complaining about!) that will have your water babes squealing in delight. There are dinosaur-themed water features, water jets, tunnels, fountains and multi-play structures, plus a small playground for those kiddies who prefer to stay dry.
North Point Shopping Mall, 930 Yishun Avenue 2, Singapore 769098, www.northpoint.fraserscentrepointmalls.com, Open 11am-9.30pm daily.
The playground at Seletar Mall, one of the newest malls on the island, can be found on level 4. Partially sheltered, there is a good range of play things here, from good old slides to climbing nets and bouncy cars, swings, see-saws, balancing lines and climbing platforms. This accessible, colourful playground is particularly suitable for under-5s.
Seletar Mall, 33 Sengkang W Avenue, Singapore 797653, www.theseletarmall.com
A bit off the beaten track for those mamas living centrally (but perfect for those living in the north), the kids can run wild in the 15,000 square foot open-air wet playground (whoa!). That’s a ton of water pistols, propellers, buckets of water and fountains to keep your kiddies out of mischief. Although the playground is open all day, the splash area only gets wet between 11am and 2pm and again from 5 to 8pm daily. Pick your time to make sure you get there when it’s wet! A small playground is also on offer for the little ones.
Sembawang Shopping Centre, 604 Sembawang Road, Singapore 758459, www.sembawangsc.com.sg, Open daily from 10am to 10pm.
Image #4 sourced via Watertoys