Having spent the entire week counting down to the media preview of Kiztopia on Friday, little Elliott was bursting at the seams to get in. But first, we had to find which corner of Marina Square it’s actually tucked into. Turns out, the new Kiztopia is located where Emporium Shokuhin used to be, and has its own entrance into the mall, facing Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.
We liked the first thing we saw – there’s only one way in and out via gates flanking the reception. This means kids can’t wander out of the premises unsupervised. Once we had our wristbands on, Elliott eagerly led the way. After shoes came off – there are plenty of cubicles and lockers – and socks went on, it was time to play!
Superb for Small Kids
Spanning 18,000 sqf, Kiztopia is the largest indoor edutainment playground in Singapore. It’s designed for kids up to 12 years, although majority of the 18 play zones seem targeted at younger kids. But four-year-old Elliott was perfectly fine with that!
Pretend Play Zones
Elliott really loved the different pretend play zones. At Raby’s Mart, kids can grab a shopping cart and go grocery shopping, or play the role of a cashier. He kept talking about the supermarket even after getting home that night, so that was probably his favourite.
Next door is Bell’s Cuisine, a well-equipped culinary studio and restaurant. Here, Michelin-star chef wannabes can whip up a meal, then serve it and enjoy it at leisure. There’s even a bakery counter where the baked goods look, feel and even smell like real bread!
Elliott’s mummy’s favourite was Tina’s Snip – “Because I get to dress him up in fancy outfits!” Kids can get or give a ‘haircut’ and cosplay their favourite characters at this makeover studio. Cue Elsa gowns and superhero costumes! They’re welcome to wear them as they explore the rest of Kiztopia too.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Well, there aren’t any planes here, but you can hop on a motorised train and go chugging around the tracks at Chug Eli. The tracks are fenced in, so there’s no worry that any child might be run over by the train. And if you’re lucky, as Elliott was, you can even be the train driver. Choo choo!
Over at Pio Drift, there’s a car racing track, complete with a fleet of vintage ride-on cars. Kids can refuel at the self-service petrol station, even while parents refuel at the in-house café beside it. Yes, this restaurant serves real food – but more on that later.
Excitement in The Pits
Of course, you can’t have an indoor playground these days without a sand pit, ball pit, climbing frames and slides. While there’s no lack of these at Kiztopia, a sizeable area has been dedicated to toddlers. At Raby Pit, excavate a crashed space shuttle, or simply roll around in the ‘sand’. It’s a lovely sensorial experience, especially when the sand is actually made of smooth wood-based cubes.
Right next to Raby Pit is Sprite, a combination of toddler-friendly climbing frames and slides. They’re safe enough for tots, yet challenging enough for preschoolers. Elliott particularly loved scrambling up then zooming down the spiral slide, before jumping into Pepe’s Ball.
Pepe’s Ball is arguably the deepest ball pit we’ve ever seen for toddlers. And they had a ball getting buried in it! We really like that all the balls at Kiztopia have a squishable texture too. This means little ones are less likely to slip or get hurt when they catch one in the face.
Brilliant for Big Kids
The younger kids may have more play options, but it makes sense since they also have shorter attention spans. Conversely, the spaces for the older kids are full of challenges that will keep them busy for hours. While he is still too young to truly appreciate these play zones, Elliott still gamely attempted them all.
Explore Cosmic Space
It was easy to lose track of where you are in Cosmic Space, a massive combination of climbing concepts. With five thrilling sets of slides, it was the first area in Kiztopia that attracted Elliott. However, it’s definitely designed for older kids who will thrive on the challenging multi-layered levels within.
For one thing, the slides are pretty steep, so you’re supposed to lie back as you slide down. As he kept looking out for his Mummy, Elliott ended up bumping his head a couple times on the way down. He soon found his way out of Cosmic Space – and over to Sprite – leaving Mummy wondering if he got lost in space!
Attend Junior Ninja School
Elliott also attacked the Ninja Warrior course, even though he’s under the 130cm height requirement. With lots of prompting and supervision, of course. He did fall quite dramatically a couple of times, but the course is really well-padded, so no harm done.
The unique obstacles here will definitely test budding athletes’ agility, with positive ‘side effects’ of perseverance and confidence-building. Besides the usual rope bridges and spinning logs, the course also incorporates twisting platforms, a rock wall and more.
Find Your Mojo
Mojo Zone is a sprawling ball pit with three major features. First up, two giant intertwined spiral slides for thrill-seekers at least five years old and 120cm tall. This is the biggest highlight at Mojo Zone, but take note that you have to wear pants, not shorts, and they can’t have buttons on the back which could catch on the slides.
Next, you can navigate an inflatable banana boat through the river of balls. This would be a really fun exercise in teamwork! As Elliott’s legs are still too short, he couldn’t propel it by himself, but had fun jumping on and off.
Until he discovered the AR Wall at the far end. He loved pelting balls at the creatures projected on the wall, causing mini explosions of fireworks to go off. Using various games, the AR Wall encourages the development of motor skills, reflexes and even mathematics.
Excellent for Everyone
Of course, there are sections of Kiztopia that work for kids of all ages. Which is perfect for siblings or friends of various age groups to have fun together. And from time to time, meet-and-greets, activities and shows will take place at Hero Square, Kiztopia’s town square.
(See also: 13 Free Indoor Playgrounds in Singapore)
Augmented Reality Fun
Apart from the AR Wall within Mojo Zone, augmented reality (AR) also features in a few other zones. Perfect for budding Picassos is Chichi’s Art, where kids can see their imaginary friends come to life. They simply draw on the interactive screens, and watch their works of art pop up on the AR screen display in front of their eyes!
Then encourage your little Mozarts and Vanessa Maes to pick up music instruments at Honey Notes. Or rather, have them tap the instruments and objects on the AR screen to make them play. Elliott was particularly taken with the airplane and strange enchanted tree.
Another zone he kept returning to for more fun was Alley Oop Mark. It’s an AR basketball game where two players or teams can compete. Toss the mini basketball into the blue team or red team hoop that’s projected on the wall, and SCORE!
Bouncing is Tigerrific
Kids who can’t get enough of bouncy castles can bounce to their hearts’ content at Bouncy Tiger. Located next to Chug Eli, the oversized bouncy castle packs enough of a punch to keep them busy for hours. Once he bounced in, Elliott refused to bounce out, contented simply going up and down those bouncy slides.
For a different kind of bouncing, hop over to Trampio, a mini trampoline park. Unlike the dedicated trampoline parks, this one isn’t very big or packed with endless features. But it’s perfect for freestyle jumping across three trampolines for kids of all ages.
Need a break from all the intense play? There are rows of tables and seats alongside Mojo Zone catering to exhausted parents and caregivers. Or just head to Bell’s Pantry, a 100-seater café within Kiztopia that’s hosted by the oversized bear character Bell.
While Bell’s Pantry was not operating when we visited, we hear that it will be serving a healthy all-day dining menu, all freshly prepared from scratch in the in-house kitchen. Highlights on the specially curated menu include Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict, Mac n’ Cheese, and Stacked Pancakes. You can also order up a range of drinks at Magic Potion.
Of course, the opening of Kiztopia heralds a new venue for children’s birthday parties. Starlite and Starbrite are two function rooms created just for this purpose. Simply contact the friendly Kiztopia events team and customise every aspect to give your child their dream party.
“Play to Learn, Learn through Play”
This is the motto of Kiztopia, and Elliott’s Mummy thinks that it embodies this quite well. “It’s a very well-rounded playground that satisfies every aspect of play and learning,” she said. Children won’t realise it, but each play zone is integrated with Multiple Intelligences learning domains in mind.
One of the ways Kiztopia does this is through 11 original characters created by the in-house educational team. A clever scientist, Dr Chen, leads the way. Then there’s Bell the bear, Honey the bee, Tiger, Chichi the chick, Eli the elephant, Pio the penguin, Raby the rabbit, Pepe the pig, Tina the turtle, and Mark the monkey.
Each character helms specific play zones and has its own personality, profession and storyline, all designed to help kids identify and map out their own aspirations – through play! And if your child falls in love with Kiztopia characters, you could get them their very own at the gift shop.
And this isn’t even all of it! Kiztopia also has a series of enrichment programmes in the pipeline. For starters, these will include rhythmic gymnastics, music and movement, speech and drama, cooking classes, phonics and reading, visual arts, science and robotics. Classes will be open to the public, as well as school groups, from August this year.
“Despite loving both, Elliott has grown out of Cool De Sac and is a little young to truly enjoy SuperPark. I feel that Kiztopia fills the gap between the two,” muses Elliott’s Mummy. “It’s bigger than all the other indoor playgrounds and provides many distinct types of stimulation for kids his age. He’d been looking forward to it all week and it sure didn’t disappoint. We’ll be back!”
(See also: All-You-Can-Play at Cool de Sac Singapore)
The official opening of Kiztopia happens at 12 noon on Saturday, 15 June 2019. From now till 11.55pm on 14 June, take advantage of pre-launch sales and purchase admission passes at 15% off. Click here to find out more!
Where #01-09 Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard
Opening hours Sun to Thu: 10am-9pm | Fri & Sat: 10am-10pm