Monday, June 04, 2012

Changi Airport Terminal 3- Earned a brownie point with us (again!)

Following my earlier post on indoor playgrounds, Changi Airport is one of my favourite place to go as it is spacious, clean, nice dining options and NEAR OUR PLACE. Despite Singapore being a small island where you can drive from one end to the other within like 2-3 hours on a normal traffic day, the last reason is a very important consideration for us when choosing places to venture. Yes, we are practical this way.

2 weeks ago, we went for dim sum brunch at Imperial Treasures, Crowne Plaza Hotel at Terminal 3 to celebrate Mother's Day. As we were early, we took a leisurely walk around the airport as my parents had only came a few times. We chanced upon "The Millionaire Life" at the Departure Hall, a magnificent 3D illusion art piece created by world renowned 3D artist Kurt Wenner specially for Changi Airport. I had seen some of his art pieces online before and was really excited to see it in real life. While the art piece is, in reality, simply a drawing installed on 2 perpendicular flat panels, Wenner's anamorphic technique created an astounding effect that makes the elements 3D and so amazingly real that they seemed to rise out of the picture or deep into the ground depending on the placing your cameras at strategic angles.

Friends would know that I am rather bad at taking pictures as my pictures usually turn out blur even if I use the "anti-handshake" function. However, looking at how these pictures turned out, I can conclude that Wenner is really a very talented artist and the 3D effects are visible, especially for someone who cannot even take stationery, 2D pictures clearly.

We brought Gerrard to the SingKids@PlaySystems at Terminal 3 today and Gerrard attempted the Roller-car on his own. He had mastered how to use his butt muscles (shake his bum bum) and hands coordination to move the car. Although he still get stuck in serving the corners occasionally, it is a great improvement for him and we cheered him on. There were some kids who are older, more agile and took fun bumping into people's cars but Gerrard found it funny instead =)

He also had so much fun in the big bouncing fly-away balloons- this is the first time he was so excited to go in and played with his might!

 Formula One Grand Prix....

 While waiting for dinner, Gerrard suddenly grabbed Daddy & planted a kiss!

After dinner, we passed by yet another exciting attraction- "Safari @ Changi". This event featured a Safari play area for kids to explore and challenge themselves in the Giant Safari Play Area. About 10 kids are allowed to enter at 20 minutes interval (parents are only allowed on the ground level) and there are guides at subsequent levels to help the kids navigate the area. Gerrard was eager to try it out and couldn't contain his excitement. We told him that we can't follow behind him as he climbs and I must have asked and reconfirmed with him at least 10 times that he is ok with that because it is really his first time navigating the levels of an indoor playground by himself.

Much to our delight, Gerrard had thoroughly enjoyed himself in this- it must have been one of the proudest moment in his life. He carefully moved along, had some slips but picked himself up and tried again. Our boy managed to navigate through the play area and we were beaming with joy watching him go from one stage to the next!
 Instructions to children before play
 Hands sanitisation is key!
 Jumping on the tremboline

 Scaling his way up

 Cautiously crossing the "plank bar"
His favourite guide
Coming down all by himself

You did it Gerrard- Hip hip HURRAY! =)

Indoor playground adventure- May 2012

Being in a country like Singapore that has almost "passing showers" every other day makes indoor playgrounds a hit with kids and parents alike. The air-conditioning for indoor playground is an added bonus when the weather is terribly hot and humid too. 

On 25 May 2012, Derek & me took leave from work to bring Gerrard for his passport collection at the ICA Building. Not knowing what a passport is, he isn't too excited until I told him that it is a book that has his photograph in it and allows him to go to other countries. The first "characteristic" seemed to perk him up more as it made the small book more personalised. I'm really glad I made an e-appointment for the collection as the place was filled with people (as usual). We arrived just 10 minutes before the appointment as there were no available lots at the carpark and the whole waiting and collection took about 30 minutes in all. I am really impressed by the improved efficiency as I remembered a few years ago during my own passport/ IC collection, I had to wait at least 1 hour. 

And because of ICA's efficiency, we ended up with a bit of time on our hands before our dinner. Since we were already in the city area, we decided to check out Hokey Pokey at Suntec City. This indoor playground was opened in March 2012 and I recalled reading online that this was conceptualised by a group of young mothers who became online friends after they got pregnant. Wanting a place where kids can roam freely (and safely) with a wide variety of educational toys, they decided to open Hokey Pokey. As it was an "impulse visit" for us, we had not brought along our socks which are a must for indoor playgrounds. In fact, we have many pairs of socks (kids AND adults as we accompany Gerrard in) at home already. Nevertheless, Gerrard was excited to start playing. 

What's great
The slide was very fun as it ended in a ball pit with pastel-coloured balls (that's a plus point visually for us mummies!) 

- Gerrard was immensely thrilled by this "Roller Coaster" where he holds onto a car and pushes himself down a slope. He was very careful initially, wanted me to push him but after a few rounds, he couldn't wait to do it himself. I think it sort of gave him an exhilarating feeling coming down. 

- The place is bright with natural light streaming in near the windows and is clean. Halfway during our play, the staff turned on the bubble machine for the children and I observed one staff using a cloth to mop the floor area after the bubbles session. Think it's really nice of them to take that into consideration as we are always on the look-out for our kids to be careful not to slip on the soapy bubble water.
- As only 1 parent could accompany the child, the other parent/ friends get to enjoy a cuppa and read some magazines. 
- This place is not only about just playground stuff, it has a range of other toys like kiddy laptops, kitchen sets, alphabet blocks, musical instruments like drums, triangles, castanets, toy pianos, Fisher price, Leapfrog items and so on.. It is like a combination of playground & Toys Haven.

Even, better, if...
- I had expected it to be bigger. I am not too keen to come on a weekend as I can imagine how crowded it will be. Even the parents waiting outside may not get to sit around as there are only 4-5 seats at the counter area.
- In addition to the ball pit slide, there are 2 other smaller slides but as they are placed on the floor without an extra mattress/ padding, the bums can get pretty painful from sliding down. Gerrard said "Ouch!" when he landed and I had to drag a flat bean bag over to ease the pain.

- It is rather costly at $25 for non-members on a weekday although it is unlimited play. Maybe they had intentionally priced it this way to entice patrons to sign up as members as it cost $15 for members. 

To Gerrard, the plus points heavily outweigh the minuses and he was reluctant to leave for dinner. I think we might go back again the next time we are on leave on a weekday =)
Situated at Suntec Tower 3, 3rd Floor, between Toys R Us and the GV cinema. 
Tel: 68845385

Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers