Detailed Review of Playful Elves @ West Coast Plaza
Playful Elves, located at West Coast Plaza, has been around for AGES. But I never made it to this part of Singapore ever since MF was born. Heck, I haven’t been there since my NUS days when West Coast Plaza was still called Ginza Plaza.
Last week I was finally in the area and decided to bring the kids to Playful Elves to play.
MF was pretty excited to see the entrance. “LOOK! That guy is pretending to be a helicopter!” So we happily entered… But I was a bit hesitant to go any further because it cost a whopping $40 for both my kids! On a weekday. The playground didn’t look that impressive to warrant $40. But I told myself, keep an open mind! Maybe I will be surprised like I did at Kaboodle Kids.
But surprised I was, just not in a good way.
To convince myself to go in, I told myself, they have been in business for so many years, can’t be that bad right? They had some pretty high-quality costumes dangling at the entrance. And there was even a train table! You can’t go wrong with train tables.
So I parted, somewhat unwillingly, with my $40 and the boys ran in happily.
Play Area at Playful Elves
Since the train table was just beside the entrance, naturally the boys gravitated there. “Where are the trains?” MF asked. GOOD QUESTION. What did I say about you can’t go wrong with train tables? I take that back. You CAN go wrong – when there are NO TRAINS! I checked with the staff and he said somebody took off with the train and they never replaced it.
You think they are the only playground with this problem? THEY ARE NOT. Royce Kids Gym definitely faced the same problem, which was why they had posters plastered all around their train tables to warn kids (and parents) NOT to steal the trains otherwise they would be reported to the police. Punish the thieves, not honest customers like us okay??
Oh yes, but there were the costumes. MF wanted to wear the Spiderman costume.
But as I reached out for it, the staff came running over to stop me. She said I had to pay to rent them: $15 for 30 minutes! Are you kidding me? I paid 20 freaking dollars per kid for admission already and I still had to top-up $15 for costumes? Forget about it! And if you want to charge for the costumes, at least PUT UP A SIGN! I found it extremely misleading for them to put the costumes at the entrance of the playground like a carrot but without a sign to say that there were additional charges to use them. *FUMING MAD*
So the kids took off and headed for the driving area. 1/3 of the playing area was dedicated to the driving area, I expected it to be good.
Unfortunately, they only had Little Tikes vehicles which were all essentially the same. What era were we in already? Did they ever see the array of ride-on vehicles offered at other playgrounds? Obviously not, let me show them.
If you are going to dedicate 1/3 of your floor area to ride-on vehicles, shouldn’t you make it count? Some variety please?
Okay, it was not all THAT bad. MF discovered one of the vehicles was slightly different – He and didi could ride on it together!
Moving on… There was a bouncy castle next to the driving area.
Anyone told them that Snow White was so passe?
And the hole to access the slide was a bit… small.
If you think that I was being over-critical and hard to please, you should listen to what the 4 year old had to say.
Me: MF, do you want to play in the bouncy castle?
MF: No. You go! It’s for you only!
Me: What do you mean?
MF: It’s for you, not for me, not for didi, not for papa. It’s for GIRLS.
Fine! Let’s move on to some manly stuff. Air blasters should be manly enough for him? We headed to the air blasters zone.
They had this basket for the kids to fill up with foam balls. The kids would then press a button and the whole basket of balls would rain down. I remembered seeing it at Kidz Amaze Toa Payoh.
But gosh… The number of foam balls they had was so little! That pathetic few balls raining down was barely fun.
You want to have something like that, you gotta have more balls!!
Since that wasn’t very fun, the boys went around to play with the air blaster guns and whatever else they could find. They were somewhat entertained for a while.
And we reached the end of the playground (yes, already) where the active play area was. Do we really have to go there?? Okay, I think we do. Just so you are absolutely convinced that this was my worst indoor playground visit ever.
There were two activity boards which the boys totally ignored.
The ball zone, I could see the floor. Not good. Ball zones should be deep enough for the kids to swim in.
The slide. It’s so….. short.
And to make it worse, it was NOT slippery. The 4 year-old indoor playground critique threw in the ultimatum, “Mummy, can we go to a playground where I can slide? This is not fun.” Seriously, go ask Fun N Laughter what polish they used for their slides and start polishing yours!
MF was so super bored by then, he wandered around to see what he could do. He found a box of *badly vandalised* Duplo bricks and played with them for a while.
Next, he saw a sad-looking doll house. He proceeded to make it look not-so-sad. I could tell he was REALLY bored.
And he even went on to pack up the train table for them. Maybe I should ask the owner to deduct the staff’s salary and refund me my entrance fee since MF was doing their job for them?
After he helped tidy up the playground, MF was all ready to leave. On our way out, MY suddenly spotted the toddler’s area.
I haven’t made my $40 worth yet. So I happily let MY go in and play (despite the fact that there was a gate there – nobody stopped me anyway). MF was so unimpressed that he didn’t even want to go in. There were just some building blocks inside.
Well, the interest didn’t sustain long. MY got bored pretty quickly.
Cafe at Playful Elves
Okay, so the playground was not great. Maybe the cafe was?
Errr.. Nope. Did they get lost in time or something? The wall painting and furnishing just didn’t cut it. As I mentioned before, pretty wallpapers can make everyone feel much happier. But I guess if they weren’t even going to invest in a train for their train table, they were more unlikely to invest in wallpapers.
And the menu. I applaud their honesty for telling me the coffee was 3-in-1 so that I wouldn’t order it. I didn’t expect professional baristas, but couldn’t they get a Nespresso machine like Hokey Pokey did, or Dolce Gusto like Tickle Tickle? Why even bother opening a cafe if you are going to serve 3-in-1 coffee???
And just to be absolutely annoying, they had these signs:
Just so I would pay $2 for 3-in-1 coffee? Forget it! You’re just pissing me off. And speaking of belongings, there wasn’t even a locker or bag rack in sight!
Admission Fee for Playful Elves:
(Do you really need to know?)
Information if you still want to visit:
Address: #02/02-04, West Coast Plaza, 154 West Coast Road, S(127371)
Tel: +65 61000353
Opening Hours: 10am to 9pm daily
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