If you’re a parent and you find yourself frantically googling ‘kids activities’ or ‘Singapore with kids’ each time the weekend rolls around, you’re not alone. I, for one, have found that letting my kids go wild is the only way to keep sane, especially in these crazy times.
HomeTeamNS may be a non-profit association set up to recognise the contributions of NS (national service) men, but did you know it’s also got some great recreational kids activities that are open to the public? My progenies (who are 5 and 7) and I spent about a week climbing, scampering and whooping around some of these places in the name of research.
Here’s what we thought:
For adventurous ones: Clip n Climb
We’ve been to a few climbing gyms but what sets New Zealand’s Clip n Climb apart from the rest is the imagination that goes into the place. Each wall is graded in terms of difficulty, agility and courage – my 5-year-old found the grade 1 walls enjoyable and challenging enough. There’s good ol’ rock climbing but you can also ascend a wobbling ladder, scale a skyscraper and clamber up dry ice with a pick if you please.
They’ve even added some elements to gamify your experience; there’s a wall that times your climb, for instance. My elder son liked competing on the Face to Face wall with one of us. That way, they’ve turned a solo sport into a social activity, and our whole family loved it!
Available at HomeTeamNS Tampines.
For games enthusiasts: PlayPen
For some mellow fun, check out PlayPen. It’s a kids activity that’s popular with adults who like to kick back occasionally too. There are three rooms that have been jazzed up to look like a bachelor’s den, complete with beanbags and consoles. You can choose from a Nintendo Switch or PlayStation 4; the former can accommodate up to four players. There are over a dozen games to choose from but the kids particularly loved Super Mario. (So guess what we did for a full hour?)
Playpen also has several board games you can rent, including classics like Risk to newer ones like Escape Room (yes, we wonder how it works too!). These must be booked separately in COVID times to avoid cross-contamination. We had plenty of fun nevertheless – if only the adults could have some beer to cap off the experience!
Available at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok.
For energetic ones: Laser Quest
Here’s another of the kids activities in Singapore that are fun for adults too. The first thing we noticed about this laser tag facility is its list of rules, including no running and no crouching. But don’t let that put you off; it makes the place sound more dangerous and stifling than it actually seems!
After being briefed, we were told to put on our vests – it comes with a gun and weighs about five kilos! It’s really dark inside, but your eyes will soon adjust to the low light and you’ll be able to see the nooks and crannies that you can hide in. Each game lasts for about 10 minutes. The three of us eventually ended up running and sweating a ton – we didn’t expect it to be such a great cardio workout! We would’ve loved to go for a second (and third!) round if it weren’t for my younger son. He’s not above 1.20m – the minimum height to play – but he was well looked after by one of the friendly attendants outside.
For younger tots: T-Play
T-Play is made entirely in Sweden and assembled locally. T-Play Khatib is a medium-sized indoor playground with a beautiful Peranakan theme. It comes complete with several thrilling slides, a ball pit, a shooting arena, and one of the prettiest chill-out spots for parents I’ve ever seen – in a playground, at least!
One of the more affordable indoor playgrounds in Singapore, T-play in Bukit Batok is a lot smaller and less flashy than its Khatib counterpart. However, I’d recommend it for young ‘uns five and below, since it had fewer kids (due to the maximum capacity of the space) and none of the wild Khatib slides. Parents can recline on socially-distanced beanbags and watch their kids go wild in the adorable transport-themed playground filled with hidden nooks and crannies. There’s a tiny zipline and trampolines; it sure
beats jumping on the sofas at home!
Bonus! Villas at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok
For more quality time together in Singapore with the kids, check out the sprawling two-bedroom villas by HomeTeamNS. There are three different categories of villa; the premier deluxe ones are kitted out with game consoles and board games to keep the children entertained, while you fire up the barbecue (yes, these are included too). Cost is $300 per night, with 30 percent off for a minimum two-night booking from Monday to Thursday.