After hearing all about the newly reopened Admiralty Park Playground, our pint-sized slide-loving fun-seeker Elliott had to check out the biggest park in northern Singapore for himself
We got very excited when we heard about a new playground with TWENTY-SIX slides as three-year-old Elliott loves slides and takes sliding really seriously. Recently, he’s even been experimenting with different ways of getting down a slide − on his bottom, lying back, on his belly, and so on. If he happens to have a toy car or ball in hand, he enjoys sliding those down at the same time just to see which would reach the bottom first. Usually the toy wins.
So that morning, Elliott woke up in the morning feeling super excited. Starting from 6am, he wanted to get dressed and kept declaring − in his words − “go play slide”!
When we arrived at the car park from Admiralty Road, we could see the playground very visibly just to the right. Making full use of the naturally hilly landscape, Admiralty Park Playground is cleverly built over a series of terraced slopes. It features three main areas designed for different ages and abilities.
Multi-level Family Fun
The Family Play area takes advantage of the hilly terrain at Admiralty Park, and is targeted at kids aged five to 12 years. Rather than stairs to get up from terrace to terrace, there are orange tubes and cargo nets criss-crossing the hillocks. It’s perfect for getting creative with how you get up, down and around.
The first slide − make that a pair of slides − that caught our eye is the Double Barrel Slides. Measuring 23m long and 9m tall, they are the longest and tallest tube slides in Singapore’s public parks! Between them is a cable net you can climb to get to the top of the slide, which is a cool touch. Otherwise, you’d have to navigate to the top of the terraces via various obstacles before racing your friend down the slide to see who reached the bottom first.
Contrastingly, the Waterfall Climber is a gentle, wavy slide that Elliott could get up to by climbing up a series of cargo nets. I was a little nervous at first as the area is clearly not meant for three-year-olds. But Elliott impressed me that day with his tenacity. He managed to scale the cargo net, the highest he has climbed to date. Despite getting stuck on the nets a few times, he went down that slide at least a dozen times.
We crossed a bright yellow suspension bridge to get to a shorter green tube slide. Elliott absolutely adored this slide and didn’t want to leave it. There are three ways to get back up to the bridge once you slide down. Given the choices of the cable net, staggered steps or a rock climb, he picked the rock climb. Unfortunately, he ended up with scratches and bruises on both knees, not that he felt anything until we got home!
Child’s Play…and Inclusive Too!
After coaxing Elliott back down to ‘ground level’, I herded him towards the Junior Play area. It was less nerve-wracking for me here, yet still offering plenty of challenges for little ones aged two to five years. Unlike the usual kiddie playgrounds with tiny slides, it’s more like a scaled down version of the Family Play area.
(See also: Elliott Visits Waka Waka by The Polliwogs)
There were many − albeit shorter − tube slides, as well as a pair of open metal roller slides that little kids can go head-to-head in races down the hill. Little bridges lead to a spider web-like cargo net for budding climbers. And that’s how you get to the top of a smaller version of the Waterfall Climber! Also, families who enjoy sliding together will love Singapore’s first family slide. It’s wide enough for four people to go ‘wheeee!’ at the same time.
Then there are lots of swings too. Little ones can swing themselves, or parents can enjoy the Expression Swing, where they can swing in tandem with their toddlers while watching the expressions each other’s faces. What impressed me the most, however, was the wheelchair swing. In fact, it’s really wonderful to find an Inclusive Playground where kids both with and without disabilities can have fun together. Apart from the swing, there is also an inclusive merry-go-round.
Adventures for the High Rollers
Towards noon, it started warming up and some slides that were not in the shade began to heat up. We had been there since 9am and Elliott was getting hungry too. Before calling it a day, of course, we had to check out the Adventure Play area. It is designed for fun-seekers of mixed ages and basically comprises two major features.
At 34m, the twin Curved Roller Slide can boast to be the longest outdoor slide across Singapore’s public parks. I was a little concerned for Elliott’s fingers as there are small gaps between the rollers, but he seemed to be fine. However, it wasn’t as easy to slide in a sitting position as the slopes and curves are too gentle to gain momentum. We tried various ways and the trick seems to be sliding down in a squatting position. With other sliders catching up behind him, Elliott mostly pushed himself forward all the way down.
Last but not least is the High Adventure Roller Slide that is worth a visit after dark. It is set up with colourful motion-sensor LED lights on either side, and from 7 to 11pm each night, it lights up as you slide down! You need to climb up a pretty high cargo net to get to the top of the 32m long slide. Elliott kept getting stuck along the way, but a kind gentleman helped lug him up. The slide down saw a very happy little boy flipping to belly-mode halfway down, reaching the bottom with a big grin.
- Both adults and kids should wear good sports shoes suitable for climbing and sliding around. Flip flops are a bad idea!
- If you have younger ones who climb with their knees, consider putting on knee pads or at least pants that protect their knees. You may want to take a first-aid kit along too.
- Include a towel and change of clothes if you’re not going home right after.
- Prepare the usual sunblock and mosquito patches.
- Bring plenty of water and snacks. The usual drinking fountains are available by the park toilets, but otherwise, there is only a soft drinks vending machine and Sakura International Buffet Restaurant within the park.
- However, multiple food courts and dining outlets at Republic Polytechnic next door are open to the public.
Address: 31 Riverside Road, Singapore 730000
How to get there:
By car/taxi − car parks accessible via Admiralty Road or Riverside Road (near Sakura International Buffet Restaurant)
On foot − 15-minute walk from Woodlands MRT Station; Take bus 903 from Woodlands Bus Interchange