It’s official. The hype over the new Marine Cove at East Coast Park is dead. At least on weekday afternoons.
For a few weeks since the new Marine Cove at East Coast Park opened end of last month, it felt as if the public playground at Marine Cove was the only playground in the whole of Singapore. EVERYBODY was bringing their kids to Marine Cove. My personal Facebook feed was flooded with photos of friends bringing their kids to Marine Cove. Except that very often, I couldn’t find their kids in any of the photos because the playground was swarmed with sooooo many kids. It was insane!!
But look at it now.
Ahhhhh….. *breathe in the smell of sea, not sweat*
This is how a playground should be. No need to queue up to climb up that rope ladder. No need to queue up for slides.
Ample space to run around without bumping into other kids every other second.
Being able to jump around without worrying about crashing into 10 other kids.
Alone on the swing. How lovely is that.
So if you have, like me, been waiting for the crowd to die down before visiting the new playground at Marine Cove, you can start planning your trip there. On weekdays at least. I doubt it will ever be uncrowded on weekends and holidays. C’mon, this is Singapore. It is crowded EVERYWHERE on weekends.
What can you find at Marine Cove Playground?
The main play areas of Marine Cove Playground were constructed for children aged 5 to 12 years old. You may want to take note of that before you start trotting down with your toddlers.
The main play structure involves children climbing up pretty tall rope ladders – which requires certain age, agility and guts. 5+ years old MF had little problem, and MY who was only 3.5 years old also managed to climb up just fine via the rope ladder which was slightly inclined.
There was another rope ladder which was vertical. This one was a tad more challenging.
After getting up, the kids had to make their way across the rope tunnel – which freaked MY out initially. He climbed to the top alright, but sat there and cried. It took a while, but eventually he overcame his fear and made his way across safely.
There were little handles at the side for children like MY to hold on to. But older children like MF would just run across. If it was crowded, I can imagine the older children bumping into the younger ones who are clinging on to the side and making their way across slowly. Remember, this playground was NOT meant for toddlers.
At the end of the tunnel, there were 3 slides of varying heights. MY only dared to slide down the two shorter slides.
The tallest slide required the kids to climb up some more and exited from where the rock-climbing wall was.
Moving on to the rock-climbing wall, it was about twice of MF’s height so I guess it’s about… A bit more than 2m high?
The left end of the rock wall was slightly taller than the right end. So the boys had a little competition, where MF climbed the left side while MY climbed the right side.
Although MY lost, he was still very proud of himself when he made it to the top. He did not dare to climb the taller side and kept only to the right side. I was quite glad that the rock wall could cater to both boys.
Moving on, there was a little ‘mountain’ with ropes for the kids to cling on to while they scaled the ‘mountain’. But hmmm… The ropes were largely ignored.
The whole time I was there, kids were just running up and down and hopping around and nobody bothered picking up those ropes.. Lol! MF came up with a game where they had to hop between the yellow mounds without touching the blue part. I thought his game was awesome fun. More fun than whatever they were supposed to do with those ropes.
Below the slides, there were also three of these spinning swings – which MY had fun spinning MF around on.
Okay, so that was just the main play area. Moving on, there was this metallic climbing structure nearby.
MF tried climbing to the top using the ropes in the middle. He said it was easy peasy.
Then he also tried climbing up via the metal rings – which he said was a little scarier.
Either ways, he made it to the top just fine and was pretty proud of himself!
While the older children are climbing up and down, younger children can play with the 3 activity stations at the bottom. The child model is Ollie, Nat’s kid (from so.natty.sg), in case you think I secretly went off to have a 3rd kid. I DID NOT OKAY?
There was another climbing structure that was made of ropes instead of metal bars. This was slightly more conventional and you can find something similar at many other park playgrounds. The one here was pretty small in comparison.
MF made it to the top with ease.
Of course, there were also the usual playground elements like swings, see-saw and merry-go-round. I thought the design was somewhat futuristic.
MF was super funny. He was spinning and spinning on the merry-go-round, and right after he came down, he spotted the balancing beams (which were right beside the merry-go-round) and decided to challenge himself to them while feeling dizzy. Well, I think he did alright for a dizzy boy.
MF also loved the see-saw here. It was longer than most see-saws at playgrounds these days.
This meant that he could go much higher than he was able to at other playgrounds!
The one thing that amused a lot of the kids at the playground here were the ‘telephones’. Basically when you speak into one end of the pipe, your voice would come out loud and clear on the other end of the pipe. I felt like I was in Science Centre!
The boys had a lot of fun talking to each other through these ‘telephones’.
By the side, there was a little playground which was great for younger children.
The yellow and green structure would be a great place for toddlers to hang out. Both my boys ignored it because it was too unchallenging for them. MY loved the red and grey structure- which I thought was just right for his age.
There were also these bumps on the ground by the side which I wasn’t sure what they were for. MY just kept jumping around from red to green, green to red. Oh well.. whatever makes him happy.
And as you go nearer to the toilets side, there was a maze which was largely neglected. MF loves mazes and managed to solve this one in a jiffy. Then we came up with our own games like ‘dog and bone’ where we placed in leaf in the middle as the bone and the boys and I each took one corner as our home.
Keeping up with the digital age kids, there were also digital play elements at Marine Cove playground. I thought it was hilarious that MY continued to climb up and down here like he did at other non-digital parts of the playground.
Until the older brother came along and demonstrated the proper way to play with this digital play equipment.
Uh… Okay… I think he gets it now.
By the end of the day, he was totally well inducted and joining in the fun with the rest of the kids instead of camouflaging as a koala bear.
In the meantime, while the older boys were engaged in their digital play, Ollie managed to self-entertain by the side. I loved how there were play elements to cater to different age groups within the same area!
There was another slightly smaller digital play area – which the boys didn’t find as fun so they didn’t hang around there much.
The playground has a toddler’s area for childred aged 2 to 5 that was separated from the rest of the playground by a fence and a gate to prevent toddlers from running out on their own. However, judging from how empty it was, it wasn’t very appealing even to the toddlers.
The boys had a lot of fun for two hours at Marine Cove playground. It was big enough to keep them well occupied. And we got lucky with good weather that day – not scorching hot and not raining.
However, I didn’t feel there was a lot for toddlers to play here. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring your toddlers to Marine Cove. Because some of the cafes and restaurants at Marine Cove have play areas that can keep toddlers entertained. With them, I concede that Marine Cove is indeed an AWESOME family hangout.
No wonder everyone was flocking to Marine Cove.
Marine Cove Eateries with Play Areas
While the eateries at Marine Cove have alfresco seating area facing the playground, it was still quite a distance from the playground – which I felt was quite a pity. Can you imagine if the playground stretched all the way to the grass patch just beside the alfresco dining area? How awesome would that be? We could be sitting there drinking our kopi while still being able to keep an eye of our kids! But alas, it was not to be. And I think I’m asking for too much.
But some of the cafes & restaurants at Marine Cove had set up play areas within their premises.
The Coffee Bean at Marine Cove had a play area with activity boards to keep toddlers occupied and little tables and chairs for them. This play area was within the cafe – which meant it was indoors and air-conditioned!
Babalicious is a Peranakan restaurant with a little play area at the corner. Again, the play area here was indoors and air-conditioned.
Adding to the list of McDonald’s with playgrounds, the new McDonald’s at Marine Cove offers a digital play area. When the kids stood in front of the screen, a McDonald’s character would appear and imitate the actions of the kids.
Information on Marine Cove
Address: 1000 East Coast Parkway, Singapore 449876
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