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Detailed Review of HO2T @ Katong V
I finally made it to Ho2T! To be honest, this was not my first attempt to visit. I had brought the kids all the way to their doorstep before – but was aghast to see their entrance fee. I was there on a weekend: The price for 1 kid (above 2 years old) alone was $30 for 2 hours.
I walked away. Look, the only other indoor playground whose admission fee went up to $30 range was Amazonia, but Amazonia was HUGE in comparison to Ho2T. Ho2T was only a tiny fraction of their size, both in terms of floor space and height – no kidding.
Ho2T had cheaper entrance fee for just 1 hour of playtime. So I made a mental note to come back on a weekday with 1 kid, just to complete my mission of visiting every indoor playground in Singapore. (Lesson learnt from visit to Playful Elves: NEVER bring both kids to try out an untested playground.)
When I entered, I did my usual scrutiny and realized there was no space for storage of diaper bags and no diaper-changing table. Hmmm.. Not a good start at all. But, keep an open mind, keep an open mind.
Ho2T Active Play Area
Ho2T brags about their creative competitive play on their website.
After I paid the admission fee, MY just dashed in on his own. No wristband was given to us. No introduction of how their ‘creative play’ worked. There were two lanes to enter the active play area named ‘human’ and ‘robot’, but they eventually joined up. To me it was just a run-of-the-mill active play area. I wasn’t sure what’s so creative about it?
I spotted some coloured lights along the way. Nothing happened when I tried hitting them.
I gave up on their so-called creative play and just let MY roam around like in any other indoor playground. I must say that the play area here was very colourful!
Don’t the colours look so pretty?? I know I’m superficial, but all the bright colours did make me a little less unhappy over paying more than normal for admission.
There was another slide and a trampoline within the active play area.
Overall the active play was pretty simple and catered more for toddlers. Older kids would probably be bored here.
And.. that’s it! Yup! That was the end of the active play area. Told you it was only a tiny fraction of Amazonia.
Okay, in the corner, there was an air blasters zone. The guns here were quite different from the metal ones we see at other playgrounds. It was plastic and used smaller rubber balls instead of foam balls. And there were soooo many of them!
The guns were short enough for 2 year old MY to reach.
The balls, smaller and harder than the usual foam balls. Not sure if I want to be hit by them. And they were pretty difficult to find! Imagine after shooting them, you need to scramble around to find these tiny balls. MY kept going, “Where ball? Where ball?”
And in the middle of the air blasters zone, there was a TV screen.
Oh, I get it at last! So when you press the lit buttons, the score on the TV screen would increase! Duh… How was I supposed to know?? This TV screen was all the way inside, hidden at the innermost corner. Sheesh.
Ho2T Pretend Play Area
Under the active play area were some toys for pretend play.
The pretend play area was actually not too bad. But I felt that it was not very well maintained. It was pretty messy and disorganized. Like, they just bought random toys and dumped them at any space there was. And a lot of the toy parts seemed to be missing.
There was a shelf for books which was a pretty half-hearted attempt to include a library.
There was a swing in the pretend play area which was quite amusing for me, because MY kept falling off it.
But it was not all that bad. MF had quite a bit of fun with the ride-on vehicle (SINGULAR – there was only one) and random Thomas train he found.
And this Lego-style brick house.
Ho2T Space Maze
Just beside the entrance, there was this big board on the floor called ‘Ho2T Space Maze’.
There was an instruction on the wall.
I asked MY to try moving the balls with the stick, but he couldn’t move them.
So I took over and tried. It was really difficult. After not sure how long, I FINALLY formed one equation. It was more frustrating than fun, trying to get the balls to move.
Before I went to the playground, I read on their website about their second passion: Coffee.
Sounds so awesome right? I was expecting a superb cafe surrounded by smell of coffee beans and a nice cushy lounge. Afterall, they said it was their second passion.
That looked more like the mamak shop at my HDB void deck than a place selling ‘artisanal Italian brew’. (By the way, the ‘what I was expecting’ picture shows Yahava Koffeeworks, one of my favourite cafes in Singapore.)
And what about the lounge area that acts as a social hub?
Well, it was a social hub alright… Social hub for kids at a birthday party. Their Lounge area = Party Room. In other words, if there is a party going on, there won’t even be a lounge area. And does it look like a place I would want to sit around sipping artisanal Italian brew?
Okay, to be fair, obviously an indoor playground cafe cannot be compared to Regent Tea Lounge. But when they raved about their Cuppa concept on their website, I was really expecting more than this.
Birthday Party at Ho2T
Ho2T has pretty reasonably priced party packages, starting at $298 for 10 kids on weekdays.
You can also book the playground exclusively for $698 on weekdays / $848 on weekends. They stated that this is for 20 kids. Considering how small the playground and party room was, I really wouldn’t advise exceeding this capacity.
They also had a pirate-themed exclusive party package.
You can also get food catering from them.
Considering that it wasn’t very crowded when I passed by on a weekend, it would make a nice cosy place for a small party. Probably for toddlers, since the play area is more suited for them.
Admission Fee (Play Rate) for Ho2T
I frankly found their play rates way too expensive. You gotta know your competitors yo. Nearby, Happy Willow at One KM only charged $10 for kids below 2 and $18 for kids above 2 for unlimited play time on weekdays. Just across the road, Fun at Giggles charged $12 for kids 1 – 2 yo and $20 for kids above 3 for unlimited play time on weekdays (and FREE admission for babies below 1).
The only group of people I would recommend coming here are those who stay nearby with a 1 year old toddler. You can invest in the membership so that each visit is not so ridiculously expensive. The active play area here is also more suitable and safe for 1 year olds, as compared to bigger playgrounds like Polliwogs (which also has a branch nearby at East Coast Park). It is actually a pretty good training ground for exposing 1 year olds to active play.
- A mixture of active and pretend play
- Active play easily managed by babies and toddlers
- Colourful play area
- Too expensive
- Pretend play area could be better maintained
- Cafe was not very inviting
Information on Ho2T:
Address: Katong V, 30 East Coast Road, #03-09/12, Singapore 428751
Tel: 6635 4704 / 9270 0975
Opening Hours: 10am to 9pm daily
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