It is an undisputable fact that the playgrounds in Singapore of today are tamer than those in the past. Don’t lose hope just yet though, as there are still a handful of them out there that are more entertaining than your average neighbourhood playground.
Here are 10 cool playgrounds around our little red dot, categorised according to whether they will bring joy to kids, hipsters or both.
— Ideal For Kids —
First, we have the playgrounds where kids will have a whale of time. Unlike the standard playgrounds that consist of a simple climbing frame and slides, these few have interesting concepts and activities that children especially can immerse themselves in.
1. Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden Rainforest Adventure
This playground is Asia’s first children’s garden and it is the only interactive play area in the Botanic Gardens dedicated to children. Being surrounded by nature can let your child cultivate an appreciation for plants and the environment.
There is a security post where a guard ensures that the only adults admitted into the premises are parents with children, so be rest assured that your children can play safely in this outdoor compound.
Singapore Botanic Gardens, 753 Tyersall Ave, Singapore 257700
2. Westgate Wonderland
This gem can be found on the rooftop of Westgate Mall. It is currently the largest playground in a shopping mall, with a 10-metre tall tree house complete with enormous watering cans, insects, lily pads and flowers.
This isn’t a real tree house but it sure looks majestic. Let your child feel at the top of the world playing at this glorious playground.
Westgate Mall, 3 Gateway Drive, Singapore 608532 (Next to Jurong East MRT station) | Opening Hours: (Daily) 10am – 10pm
3. Wallholla Vertical Playground
Wallholla is the first vertical playground in Asia that is perfectly suited for land scarce Singapore. The Wallholla’s undulating ribbons encourage kids to climb, hide, crawl, swing, slide, jump and think of imaginative ways to play.
Eight Wallholla Vertical Playgrounds are available to the public and they can be found at the locations listed below.
266 Bt Batok East Ave 4, Singapore 650266; 815C Choa Chu Kang Ave 1, Singapore 683815; Carpmael Park, Along Carpmael Road and Ceylon Road (Joo Chiat); Blk 158 Bishan Street 13, Singapore 570514; Junction 8 Shopping Centre, 9 Bishan Place Level 3, Singapore 579837; Cambridge Estate along Cambridge Road; Ang Mo Kio Ave 2, along Jalan Mengkudu; Block 673A Edgefield Plains
4. Train Playground
If you’re looking for a playground that your kid would enjoy, I got-choo. Your child will be raring to go at the sight of this train with tilted cabins at Tiong Bahru Park.
If the climbing structures and slides aren’t exciting enough for your children, there is even a zip-line, merry-go-round and mini maze.
Tiong Bahru Road, Singapore 168732
— Ideal For Photo-Hungry Hipsters —
Who said that playgrounds are just for children? Next, we have playgrounds for the hipsters who are merely looking for a photo opportunity.
Scenic playgrounds are great backdrops for those hankering after an Instagram-worthy post, so add them to your list of places that you have to visit!
5. Dinosaur Playground
I have a vivid imagination and I would like to think that the larger Tyrannosaurus Rex is protecting her clutch of unhatched dinosaur eggs from the other dinosaur.
Sadly, you can barely do anything with Mama Rex because of the steep incline. A good shot would be for you to reach out for its front claw and jump for the sky. Be careful though — I got an abrasion trying to hold on for too long.
If you’re hardcore about your photography, you can head up to the HDB flats to take an aerial shot of the dinosaurs.
Blk 27 Kim Keat Ave, Singapore 730827
6. Watermelon Playground
The watermelon playground is the most popular out of the fruit-themed playgrounds created by Ms Lee-Loy Kwee Wah.
There used to be a swing in the middle of the watermelon but it was replaced by two benches. While this leaves children with fewer things to do at this playground, that hopefully means more space and time for you to take quality shots.
If you would like to feature the mosaic design of the playground, you can do so while playing with unconventional angles.
Blk 856F, 856 Tampines Street 82, Singapore 526856
7. Mangosteen Playground
Just a stone’s throw away, you can find the mangosteen playground, another creation by Ms Lee-Loy. This is another mosaic playground where the swing has been replaced by a bench. You can stand on the bench and pretend that you’re carrying the mangosteens on your shoulders.
Blk 858, Tampines Ave 5, Singapore 520858
— Ideal For Both —
Last but not least, here are photogenic playgrounds that are suitable for both kids and hipsters.
8. Dove Playground
Designed by Mr Khor Ean Ghee in 1979, the picture perfect Dove Playground can be found in Dakota Crescent.
Lo and behold, a mosaic playground that hasn’t been stripped of its swings! Not to mention that these are rubber tyre swings, which make the playground twice as cool. There is even a fireman’s pole for the more adventurous kids too.
Although the residents have vacated the blocks in Dakota Crescent due to en bloc redevelopment, we hope that this playground will stay for years to come.
10 Dakota Crescent, Singapore 310028
9. Learning Forest
This is technically not a playground but we’ll add it to the list because it’s a bundle of fun. Your safety is guaranteed as there is a finer black netting below the canopy web that acts as an extra precaution.
Just close your eyes and imagine that you’re on a hammock. You can take cool wefies while lying on the web and maybe (just maybe) someone might comment asking you where you are and if you are on vacation.
Singapore Botanic Gardens Learning Forest, 753 Tyersall Ave, Singapore 257700
10. Dragon Playground
Why are you even surprised that this made it to the list? This playground is the mother of all playgrounds in Singapore and it was even nominated as one of the icons of Singapore.
Also designed by Mr Khor, this playground is certainly one of the nostalgic things left in the Toa Payoh neighbourhood.
The gaps on the dragon spine were large enough to scare me, a twenty-year-old with US38 feet. I imagine that it would be rather thrilling for kiddos with feet smaller than mine to walk across!
28 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310028
Well, “it’s never too late to have a happy childhood”, so kids and hipsters are both welcome to visit any of these playgrounds for a smashing time.
Are there any playgrounds that we’ve missed out on? Let us know in the comments below!