When thinking about places to go to with young kids, airports are not something that would usually pop up in your mind.
Well, Singapore’s Changi Airport is no ordinary airport and if you know where to go it’s a massive playground for kids. And a shoppers’ paradise for that matter, but lets review it from the perspective of travelling with young children first.
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If you fly solo with kids, read our guide on how to survive a long haul flight alone with toddlers
THE JEWEL AT SINGAPORE’S CHANGI AIRPORT FOR KIDS
Jewel in Terminal 1 is Singapore’s latest addition to its crown of many other jewels and it’s well worth a visit!
I’ve heard some sceptics say something like ‘oh, it’s just another fountain, don’t waste your time’, but boy, I beg to differ. It’s not just a massive rain vortex but also the activities all around it. By all means I don’t say it’s perfect and while it is a really cool place to take your kids to, I will share the downsides too.
You can visit the Jewel even if you are not travelling that day
The good thing about visiting the Jewel is that anyone can go there. You don’t have to be a passenger. The time my daughter and I went there we were not travelling. It was just a random Saturday and we took MRT from Central Singapore. On the other hand, maybe if it was restricted to travellers only, there would be less crowds… I used to always complain about crowds, but after this long Covid- 19 lockdown I will never complain about places being crowded again.
Let’s review what The Jewel at Singapore airport has to offer for kids:
Opening hours: 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Address: Changi Airport, Terminal 1, Level 5
Entry ticket to the park: Standard fee:
Adult/Child (3-12 yrs)/Senior (60+)-$5; Singapore Residents- Adult/Child/Senior – $4.50)
Please mind extra fees are applicable to some of the attractions.
While the name suggests a Park, in fact it’s more like a giant indoor playground for everyone. Some of the activities are for free, some for an addition fee. You can also just buy the entry ticket to the park and walk around pretty topiary and petal gardens. There are many animal sculptures made of various flowers and plants. Most of them make great spots for that perfect Instagram shot.
THE HEDGE MAZE AND THE MIRROR MAZE
For an additional fee you can try out the MIRROR MAZE and/or the HEDGE MAZE. My three year old daughter loved the hedge maze as there are some flowers that suddenly pop out from the bushes and then close and hide again… kids seem to find that hilarious and super entertaining. There is a mini observatory tower offering the views of the maze from above (one of the pictures below).
Mirror maze was nice too, but it would have been better if the mirrors where clean. Unfortunately the illusion broke down because of the many fingerprints. The lady at the entrance of the mirror maze gave us colourful plastic sticks to navigate and poke around the maze and we successfully made our way out in no time. I think if it was longer it would be more fun for adults too, not just kids.
Personally I will probably not go to either of the mazes again, but if you have young kids and some time to kill, give it a go once.
There are height restrictions on some of the attractions (more on that later), however there is an area for the tiny tots called Discovery slides and Foggy Bowls. There is a kind of stream of mist coming from the ground of a green lawn at certain intervals. Kids can run all around the place and I see it as a good option to get my daughter tired before long haul flights.
THE CANOPY BRIDGE
The Canopy Bridge is a 50 meter long bridge with the glass walkway. It connects the two food and beverage zones on the top level and offers unobstructed views to the rain vortex and Forest Valley. However it costs $8 per person and although nice, the views are pretty similar to what you can see for free. Besides the glass floor is not clear, it is kind of frosted so you don’t really get a real sense of walking on glass high above.
MANULIFE SKY NETS BOUNCING AND WALKING
Manulife Sky Nets Bouncing and Walking look like the most fun and popular activities. How could leaping about a giant net stretching 250 meters be not fun? However because of height restrictions (minimum height requirement is 110cm) we were unable to check them out.
Now waiting for my daughter to grow those extra few centimetres so that the next time we go, we can bounce to our heart’s content (and update this blog).
A must-visit place for dinosaurs fans! Jurassic Mile is an outdoor display of life-size prehistoric creatures. Meet a T-rex and other carnivorous and herbivorous species! Dinosaurs that fly and their massive eggs are also on display to admire while you walk a path stretching 1 kilometer. It is stroller friendly and makes a perfect family outing.
You don’t have to be a passenger to visit this attraction at Changi airport. Click the link here to learn more and the ways to access Jurassic Mile.
HSBC RAIN VORTEX
Well this rain vortex or sometimes referred to as a waterfall is being titled as the marvel at Jewel’s heart. There is an old saying- ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ so here goes the picture of the world’s tallest indoor waterfall:
Things to consider:
- Visiting the Jewel at Changi Airport with kids is definitely a nice experience however level 5 can get a bit confusing as there are different entrances to each attraction. Just like my daughter and I there were many confused people navigating the crowds and looking as to where they need to go for which attraction.
- You need to queue separately for each attraction, thus this adds the time to the visit.
- Admission to Canopy Park includes:
- Separate admission charges apply to the following, please refer to the below links for admission information:
Okay, so the Jewel is fun, but there are more exciting places for kids at Singapore’s Changi Airport to choose from!
Location/Map: Terminal 3
Departure transit lounge. Levels 2&3
While waiting for your flight take your kids to the Butterfly Garden to watch some pretty butterflies take flight. You can find them in Terminal 3 near Hudson’s Coffee. By ‘some’ I mean over 1000 tropical butterflies from as many as 40 colourful species from all around the world to brighten up your pre flight hours.
The garden is very spacious with a mini grotto waterfall and a staircase leading to the upper lever. From the deck on the upper level you can observe the flowering plants, butterflies and airplanes in the background. Little travellers can witness the feeding and breeding of butterflies at a very close range. Moreover they can also learn about butterflies’ life cycle at special educational stations.
PLAYGROUNDS FOR KIDS AGED 1-12
Locations: Terminal 1/Terminal3/Terminal4
Changi Airport Map can be found here
When we fly to Europe we leave from Terminal 1 and while waiting for our 23:55 flight to Helsinki, I take my daughter to this playground each time. It proved to be the most effective way to make her happy and tired and thus fall asleep with little or no negotiations as soon as the lights are dimmed on the aircraft.
There is a huge maze like structure with an obstacle course and a kind of helicopter cockpit on top level where she can climb, jump, bounce, crawl, slide, run and make new travelling friends.
Location: Terminal 1, Level 3. Departure transit hall.
While the above places I do recommend to go to with kids, the Cactus Garden, although sounds appealing, is not a place I intend to return to and don’t recommend it for travellers with young children. It could have been a really great place to hang out with kids and explore different types of cactus outdoors if it weren’t also a smoking area!
I really can’t stand cigarette smoke and second hand smoke is not really what I want my daughter be exposed to. So while it’s a really nice natural habitat mixing it with a smoking area was a bad bad idea…
If cigarette smoke doesn’t bother you and you have plenty of time to kill, go ahead and check it out, if not, the above are more fun things to do with kids at Changi Singapore.
And last but definitely not least, relax in Changi Airport’s premium lounge!
If you have a long stopover in Singapore check out our article about things to see, do and eat with kids during a 24 hours layover in Singapore
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