I am extremely happy to be able to participate in Hokey Pokey‘s beta testing this afternoon. Here is a quick introduction to this new playground.
It is located on the 3rd floor of Suntec City Mall, inside the MPG section near the Kids Zone. I walked straight along the 3rd storey all the way from Carrefour side to Toys R Us and failed to spot it the first time round, coz the layout of the MPG section is kinda confusing.. You need to make a turn towards the Vietnamese Pho restaurant and you will find it.
The beta testing session was at 1pm, and I arrived 15 min early. They have an area at the entrance where I was allowed to feed MF his lunch, high chair provided.. Excellent! I remember grousing how eXplorer Kid at Downtown East has an eating area but no baby chair.. Glad that they have some here!
After gobbling up his lunch (which he cooperatively did, because I kept telling him he needed to finish his lunch before he can play with all the cool toys), MF had his temperature and hand and feet checked. This place is great.. Not just do they check temperature like most indoor playgrounds do, they also check the kids’ hands and feet for HFMD. While that was happening, I kept my belongings into one of the lockers which is provided for free! I’m loving this place more with every second.. Most of the bigger playgrounds like Polliwogs, Go Go Bambini, eXplorer Kids etc charge for the use of lockers.
So in we go! I went around to snap some photos of the place before the crowd came in.
At first glimpse, this place is pretty much like Royce Kids Gym, though the kitchen pretend play area and toy selection is a lot smaller here in comparison and they only have one club house and one tree house.. However, they have some pretty funky stuff that is not found in any of the other indoor playgrounds I’ve visited.
For example, check out this funky structure that makes me feel like I’m at Science Centre or something.. I asked the staff how to play with it, she said the little plastic tubes contain different textures and make different sounds, some sort of multi-sensory stimulation I guess… There are many balls of varying size, shapes and material, so the Scientist in me tried rolling them down the various tubes and observed how they rolled down differently.. Interesting, but must say 14 month old MF didn’t exactly share my passion..
So what was MF more interested in? Ball pits! There are two here.. a smaller squarish one and a bigger one where the slide of the tree house leads to..
The slide is really cool.. It is super slippery and all the kids were like WHOOOSH right into the ball pit and balls would fly all over.. I managed to snap a photo of MF before he disappeared down the slide!
There is also a small rubber pool with some balls inside..
So besides balls, what else was MF most interested in? The train table.. Sigh, boys.
Next, MF discovered this REALLY cool music table.. I absolutely love this.. It’s a table with bells, drums, mallet, triangle and cymbal all attached! MF had so much fun banging on the different instruments, it attracted the attention of many other kids who came to join him.. Makes me wish I have one of this at home, I could invite all of MF’s playdates over and they can form a little band.. How lovely that would be!
MF also had a bit of fun running in and out of the club house and playing peek-a-boo with me through the windows.. See how happy he is!
I took my eyes off MF for a while and suddenly he disappeared! I looked around to see why he suddenly ran away, and saw that one of the staff had switched on the bubble machines.. And MF was happily trying to catch the bubbles with the other kids.
The test session was just one hour, there were lots of things that MF didn’t explore, like the music corner, puzzle corner, activity boards and tool bench.
There is also an Xbox kinect there, but the whole time I was there, the only people playing with it were the staff..
So what’s my verdict after one hour? Like Royce, this place is meant for babies and toddlers, it doesn’t have big climbing structures for older kids or the more adventurous souls.. As compared to Royce, Hokey Pokey is smaller with fewer toys, but they have an area for eating and you get a view of the entire playground from the eating area, so you can have a sip of coffee or tea (they sell TWG tea and Nespresso coffee here!!) while watching your kids play, something that totally trumps Royce!
There is a diaper-changing table within the playground, although the baby care room is not far away.
Their play rates are cheaper than Royce’s, and with unlimited play time on weekdays and reasonable rates for non-members, this is definitely my preferred choice of venue for playdates.. It is always such a headache to arrange for playdates at Royce when our babies have different nap times and they stick strictly to the given timing, and I always hesitate to invite my friends who are non-members to Royce because of their exhorbitant play rates for non-members.
Hokey Pokey is having an opening promotion this month, so I will definitely be back again some time this month to sign up for the discounted membership!
If you miss the opening promotion, there is another promotion for OCBC card holders, including the baby bonus card.