A new indoor playground, The City, that specializes in pretend play recently opened at Liang Court. I reckoned someone needed to give Royce a run for its money. But as it turns out, The City caters to an older group of kids whereas Royce caters more to babies and young toddlers.
According to their website, The City is designed for children aged 2-8 years old. MF just turned two years old recently, so once my confinement *sort of* ended, I brought MF there to check it out, with MY tagging along.
The City, as the name suggests, is made up of pretend play stations that simulate a city. For example, you will find a Police Station and a Fire Station, where you can dress up as Policemen and Firemen.
The biggest play area is the Supermarket.
The interesting thing about the supermarket here is that they stock it up with real items you find in real supermarkets, not just toys like fake fruit and vegetables.
Another interesting thing is that they actually have cashiers! I remember when writing about Tickle Tickle, I commented that they should have a cashier in their supermarket playhouse. So I was quite happy to see the cashier tills at the supermarket here.
And MF absolutely loved being a cashier (except for the split moment when he thought the tiny coin was a chocolate and wanted to pop it into his mouth and I grabbed his hand and screamed at him. Which reminds me.. They have some fake bread in the supermarket that looks so realistic that MF wanted to eat them. So parents of young toddlers, please watch your kids closely when they play here.)
There is a clinic / nursery which MF showed no interest in.
A hair salon, which I find pretty creepy with the mannequin heads around.
A Post Office where the kids can make their own postcards, complete with The City’s stamps.
A classroom, well-stocked with educational toys.
A Hero area, where you can use foam pieces to build a city within The City.
But alas, MF was no hero, he was the destroyer.
And right in the middle to The City is a cafe where the kids can cook, serve and eat.
I have no idea how MF knew to operate the coffee machine. He must have seen me using the Nespresso machine at home once too often. This once again reminds me that kids do not need to be taught, they learn by watching and imitating.
And they have these little vehicles that you can drive around.
And many more costumes for the kids to dress up in.
And for parents, you can relax in the very comfortable and spacious lounge area.
Overall, The City is a great educational playground. But frankly, this will be the first and last time I visit. It is not really The City’s fault, just that it was not MF’s cup of tea, neither did it cater to my needs as a mother who brings two young kids to the playground alone and seeking a place to relax while MF plays.
Firstly, they do not allow you to change diapers within the playground. When MF decided to poo, I saw that they had no diaper-changing table around, and since the nursing room is freaking far away, I just used my own stroller to do a quick change for him. The staff immediately came over and told me I can’t change diapers within the playground. I have been to almost every indoor playground in Singapore, and this is the FIRST time I have been stopped from changing diapers. It really didn’t help that I had one-month old MY with me, and you know how newborn babies poo non-stop. I had to make numerous trips to the handicap toilet to use the diaper-changing table there. (At least I did not have to go all the way to the nursing room. Nursing mums, please bring a nursing shawl along because really, the nursing room is very far away on Basement 1.) Thank goodness hubby was around that day to look after MF while I did that. I cannot imagine if I was there alone and had to take MF and MY out together every time MY pooed. Some parents may like it that there is such a rule in place because it keeps the place clean and hygienic. But to me, diaper-changing facility is a basic must-have for a kids playground.
Secondly, they have a rule that you are not allowed to remove items from each pretend play area. Again, I can understand why they have this rule, because it helps keep the place orderly. But because I was perpetually glued to the lounge area nursing MY, MF wanted to show me what he was playing with and kept running out with the toys. The moment he took anything out of a play area, the staff stopped him and put the thing back. After he was stopped a few times, he got so bored that he stopped playing and decided to just sit beside me. It made me feel very sad, because MF had been confined at home for so long while I was on confinement, and finally he got to go to a playground. He was bursting with excitement and enthusiasm when we first arrived, but in less than an hour, all that excitement disappeared and he just wanted to stay beside me and play with MY instead. So we packed up and left after an hour, setting a record for the shortest stay in any indoor playground. (MF is known to be able to stay a whole day at playgrounds.)
Thirdly, if your kids are as young as MF, close parental guidance is definitely needed for your kids to enjoy the playground. Most of the toys are a bit advanced for 2 year olds to play on their own and require adults to teach them. There are also small items around that they may just pop into their mouth and choke on. So if you are looking for a playground to let your tots play while you relax at the side, this is not the place for you.
The last thing that particularly annoyed me was this: Before arriving, I read from another blogger’s review that she had feedback to them about sharp corners in the play area and the bosses said they would look into it. Apparently they didn’t, because I could see many sharp corners around the playground. That post was written on 20 Dec and I visited on 5 Feb, how long does it take them to go buy those corner protectors? MF just narrowly missed banging into the sharp corner of the tables in the lounge area. It annoys me when people take customer’s feedback, say they will act on it but don’t. Don’t patronize us.
In conclusion, if your kids are older (toilet-trained, can pretend play on their own, won’t run around and bang into sharp corners), then this is a pretty interesting place to bring them to. But for kids below 3, I suggest you head to Royce downstairs instead. It is not worth the $18 or $22 for them in my opinion.
Address: #03-04A Liang Court, 177 River Valley road, Singapore 179030
Adults and Babies under 1 year, Free
Under 2 years, $18
From 2 years, $22
Unlimited playtime per entry