With his ‘terrible twos’ right around the corner, Elliott’s starting to hate being cooped up indoors for too long and he’s not afraid to show it. While outdoor activities are fine and dandy, the relentless heat and erratic weather of late makes it hard to plan ahead.
So when we heard there was a newly revamped indoor playground (see 6 Best Indoor Playgyms for Toddlers) that has just reopened its doors near our house, we jumped at the opportunity to check the place out.
Located on the third floor of E!hub (Downtown East) and spanning a massive 10,000 sq ft, eXplorerkid is easily one of the largest indoor playgrounds we’ve been to in Singapore, making it the perfect stomping ground for ‘runners’ like Elliott.
Within its massive interior were different pockets of space cleverly carved out to cater to kids of varying ages and interests – from a toddler’s play area equipped with kiddy ball pools, themed playhouses and a tree slide to a multi-level obstacle course stacked with maze-like tunnels for the older kids.
You could see Elliott’s eyes light up the moment we stepped in. The space was so huge we didn’t know where to begin! The friendly counter staff recommended we check out the Toddler Play Area first, which was right around the corner from a communal sofa area where cartoons were being screened.
Perfect for the Little Tots
Elliott was immediately drawn to a unique ball pool filled with soft transparent balls; a warm glow of light emits from its base. He was so fascinated with the balls taking on the hues of the rotating colours that he spent more time fixated on that than actual playtime.
But alas, Elliott being Elliott, all it took was throwing a couple of balls his way before he returned to being his usual mischievous self again.
One thing to note, when the Lit Ball Pool gets crowded it can be quite intimidating for toddlers like Elliott. Hence, we proceeded to a smaller ball pool at the toddler’s play area, where the balls only came up to his knees and were brightly coloured. Needless to say, he had a ball of a time.
Within the Toddler Play Area was also a row of themed playhouses – from bowling alleys to a doctor’s office – fully equipped with child-friendly props to match the theme. With the right amount of imagination, the possibilities are endless.
Elliott went from one room to the other, mixing up the props in the process. Thanks to the friendly roving staff who helped put the props back in their respective playhouses; there would otherwise have been very confused children following Elliott’s messy trail.
Another attraction in the Toddler Play Area was a boat-themed playpen. Kids could climb up the boat and slide down into a mini ball pool. It was a bit too adventurous for Elliott, who is only just discovering his love for slides. Luckily there was a smaller tree slide that was perfect for his amateur sliding skills.
Adventures for Older Kids
The Mega Play area takes up almost half the space with maze-like tunnels and mini ball pools for the older kids to explore and keep themselves entertained.
At the back was a rock climbing wall that caught Elliott’s attention but he could barely walk straight on the mattress, much less scale a wall.
While getting some refreshments at the entrance, we were approached by a staff who asked if we’d like to try their new Adventure Highlands rope course. It seemed a bit too advanced for Elliott, but the staff explained that the newly revamped course now has two levels – the lower level for the younger ones below 110cm in height and the upper level for the older kids to challenge themselves.
We decided to give in to our sense of adventure and give it a try. Elliott was placed in a safety harness and there were trained staff guiding him every step of the way, but my little scaredy cat basically cried throughout the entire course. Maybe we’ll give it another go when he’s older.
Unless you go to the beach, kids hardly get a chance to play with sand these days. Imagine our surprise when we saw a room filled with kinetic sand spread across communal tables.
There were different moulds to help kids create their own fantasy sandcastles and the best part about kinetic sand is that it’s mess-free! In a world of iPads and touch screen toys, this was definitely a refreshing back-to-basics experience for Elliott.
There are also private function rooms perfect for birthday bashes. In fact, there was one going on while we were there. Equipped with kiddy tables and chairs and a catered buffet spread, party goers are able to join in the celebration and also explore the playground to their hearts’ content.
All in all, the newly revamped eXplorerkid E!hub did not disappoint. Gigantic in space with imaginative play areas all round, it was a treasure trove of fun-filled activities for kids of all ages and interests. In fact, the three good hours spent chasing Elliott all around is surely testament to that.
Our connoisseur, Elliott’s rating:
• Socks must be worn at all times by both children and accompanying adults within the playground. If you forget to bring socks, you can purchase a pair for $2.50 at the entrance.
• Shoes are to be deposited at the designated Shoe Store before entering the playground.
• The Adventure Highlands rope course carries an extra cost of $5.50 per child per circuit.
• A nursing room is available.
Off-peak – Mon – Fri, Noon – 9 pm
Peak – Sat, Sun, public holidays, gazetted school holidays, PSLE marking days, 10am – 10pm
Admission rates (inclusive of 1 adult entry):
Infants (0 to 12 months) – Free entry
Toddlers (13 to 24 months) – Off-peak, $5 (unlimited play); Peak, $10 (2 hours), $12 (unlimited play)
Children (up to 12 years) – Off-peak, $20 (unlimited play); Peak, $28 (2 hours), $30 (unlimited play)
eXplorerkid Members (up to 12 years) – Off-peak, $9 (unlimited play); Peak, $20 (2 hours), $20 (unlimited play)
Additional adult entry – $5 per adult
Address: E!hub @ Downtown East, 3rd floor, 1 Pasir Ris Close, Singapore 519599