The Playhouse @ Rochester Park
September 23, 2011

Closure Notice

Please note that The Playhouse and Rochester Cafe have closed down.

Want to go for a romantic meal with your spouse but dining with your kids is as far from romantic as you can get? No worries, there’s Seb’s Bistro & The Playhouse at Rochester Park! Rochester House is a French bistro with al fresco dining with an indoor and outdoor playground. The outdoor playground features a trampoline, while the indoor playground, called The Playhouse, allows you to leave your kids (of course, your kids need to be old enough to play on their own, otherwise you will still need to watch over them in the Playhouse) while you enjoy your romantic meal.

I visited The Playhouse recently with another two mummies and our 10-month old babies. The Playhouse is near Buona Vista MRT, but since there is nothing to eat around Buona Vista, and we didn’t want to spend a bomb on dining in Rochester Park, we decided to meet at Clementi for lunch. After lunch, we took a cab to The Playhouse. The cab fare from Clementi was about $6 (non-peak hour).

We followed the advice from the website and told the cab driver to bring us to Anglo-Chinese Junior College when he didn’t seem to know where Rochester Park is. From ACJC, one of the mums who was familiar with the area navigated us to The Playhouse. Their sign was pretty small and inconspicuous.

You can drive there, but note that they only have space for 5 vehicles and it cost $6 per vehicle to park there.

Play rates for weekday is currently $6 for 1 hour and $10 for 2 hours. (Free for immobile infants, so our 10-month old babies had to pay.)

First impression when we entered The Playhouse: It is like a mini version of Royce Kids Gym, with little toys littered around. However, there number of toys available is far fewer compared to Royce, and older, not as well-maintained.

I tried to make MF do a bit of crawling through the toy for a photo, but he refused to. The moment I walked away to take photo of other things, he went right through.

MF had lots of fun rummaging through the box of car / trains… Boys will be boys:

No playground would be complete without a ball pit.. Here it is, with a slide running into it and MF eagerly waiting at the side for me to carry him in:

Walkers and bouncing horses:

They have a mini piano. It’s not just a toy.. it is a real organ which actually works!

There is a costume corner where your kid can dress up.. However, all the costumes are too big for babies. They also have masks (but I figure MF would scream if I attempted to put a mask on him, so I passed), a basket of hair accessories and fairy wings for girls.

There is also a kitchen area, but if you have been to Royce Kids Gym, the one here looks so sad that we passed.

There is an Art & Craft corner, but there wasn’t any activity going on while we were there:

There is supposedly another play area on the second storey, but it is for older kids, so we did not explore. You can view pictures of that on their website.

There is a diaper-changing cum nursing room there, but it is quite small and cramp:

We paid for 2 hours playtime, but played for about 1.5 hours and the babies started falling sleeping, so we left. We took a short walk to Buona Vista MRT, taking a short cut through the construction site of an upcoming condominium (after the condominium is complete, you will probably have to take a longer route to get there).

Considering I stay in the North, I probably won’t visit The Playhouse much.. I would rather pay a bit more to go to Royce Kids Gym where there are nicer toys.. Or somewhere that is free for babies, like Fidgets, Peek-a-boo or Go Go Bambini. But if I am in the vicinity for a meal, I may just pop in for an hour (which is plenty for babies.. there isn’t enough things suitable for young babies there).

For more information regarding opening hours, location and rates for Seb’s Bistro & The Playhouse, please visit their official website.

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