Alright alright, I finally got my lazy bum to Waterway Point – the much anticipated shopping mall in Punggol which opened, ermmm… many months ago? With so many BTO flats in the Punggol-Sengkang area, it came as no surprise that the mall would come with family-friendly amenities like nice nursing rooms and free playgrounds for young children.
But in a way, I was surprised. That there were not just one but two play areas – and one of it was actually indoors. Air-conditioned and all!
Let’s start with Wonderland – the free indoor play area at Waterway Point. Since indoor play areas in shopping malls are the rarer breed.
The play area was rather signature of playgrounds at Frasers Centrepoint Malls. It was catered more for young children – with soft foam structures for kids to climb around.
Just like Woodlands Causeway Point’s playground and the now-under-renovation-hopefully-will-be-replaced-by-something-awesome Yishun Northpoint’s playground, both of which are under Frasers Centrepoint Malls, the play area had a theme.
The one at Causeway point had a jungle theme, so you would find lions and giraffes there. The one at Northpoint had a farm theme – with animals like chicken and cow. The one at Waterway Point had a whimsical Alice in Wonderland kind of theme.
I thought my boys would have outgrown a simple playground like this, but strangely they enjoyed climbing around the structures.
And of course jumping off them.
There was a tree which they could climb through – it looked pretty much like the one they used to play with at Northpoint, just newer.
While most of the structures were stationery, the mushrooms would wobble a little when the kids climbed on them – which upped the fun factor for the boys somewhat.
What really impressed me about this new playground was the addition of activity boards. I always think activity boards are great – they don’t take up much space and they can be very engaging and educational.
The boys also found a little ‘slide’ – in the shape of a piece of cheese.
Happy Park (Dry Play Area)
Wonderland was clearly catered for young children, so before Happy Park opened, I expected it to be catered for older children.
In a way it was. There were two big slides, meant for children age 6 and above. One of the slides was a bit challenging to get up to – requiring the kids to climb through a series of ropes.
The other one was slightly easier to climb up – via a web which reminded me of the playground at Marine Cove. So if your kids can manage the playground at Marine Cove, this one should be easy peasy.
The slides were pretty fast – so here’s a warning to you. Make sure your kids are not hanging around the end of the slide at all times. The children coming down from the top of the slide cannot see if there is anyone standing below. While I was there, I witnessed more than one occasion where kids coming down from the slide collided into someone standing at the bottom of the slide.
For younger children, there were shorter slides available.
Moving further in, we found a rope structure which the boys enjoyed climbing over.
There was a little ‘hammock’ style swing.
And two other small single swings.
And right at the end there was a little bridge course which MF breezed through.
And not forgetting the trampolines-with-a-view.
There were some semi-circular metal rings along the slopes of the playground. I wasn’t sure what they were for, the boys simple exercised their creativity – crawling and swinging through them.
There was also a little tunnel for kids to climb through if they do not wish the climb over the mounds.
What I found most amusing was this tunnel that kids could go into and peep out from a little dome. I have seen something like this before in a zoo, can’t remember which one, where we could pop our heads out to look at the animals in their enclosure.
MY was too short to reach his head out, so he just amused himself by banging on his brother from the top.
Happy Play (Wet Play Area)
Right next to the dry play area of Happy Play was a water play area.
The water play area was something like a wading pool, where there was enough depth for kids to sit around and splash in the water.
There was no clear distinction between the two play areas – which is why you would see kids in swimming costumes running around the dry play area.
The water play area wasn’t much – no buckets of water pouring down, guns for kids to shoot water at each other with, nor little slides for kids to splash into the water.
There was just water squirting out from various flower and leaf shaped structures.
And some ‘lily pad’ like steps where the boys hopped around like frogs.
There was a little ‘horn’ – which was probably the most exciting thing in the water play area for MF.
I think the playgrounds are Waterway Point are great for young children. The indoor play area, Wonderland, was particularly great for rainy days. So you can be assured that there will be a play area for your toddlers to keep themselves occupied with – regardless of weather. But I heard the play area is perpetually crowded, and when playgrounds get crowded, you can expect children to bump into each other and stuff like that.
The outdoor play area, Happy Land, had elements catering to both younger and older children – which I thought was great. The water play area, however, was catered more for young children. Older children probably wouldn’t find the water play area very engaging. I think older children would prefer water play with buckets of water pouring down on them at least.
As far as shopping centre playgrounds are concerned, Westgate Wonderland has set the bar very hard. The playgrounds at Waterway Point are great for residents of Punggol who would be frequenting Waterway Point anyway. They are much better than many other shopping centre playgrounds. But if I wasn’t staying anywhere near Punggol, these playgrounds will not be enough to entice me to visit the mall more often – unlike how Westgate Wonderland has been drawing me to go all the way to Jurong East for shopping and dining although I stay in the North.
Information on Waterway Point:
Address: 83 Punggol Central, Singapore 828761 (Playgrounds are located on Level 2.)
Getting there: Punggol MRT (NE17)
Opening Hours for Play Areas: 10.30am to 9.30pm
Tel: (65) 6812 7300
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