What to do at Changi Airport with kids?
When thinking about fun places to visit with kids, airports usually aren’t on the list. In fact, I can’t think of any other destination where I would willingly spend my weekend at its airport. But, as with most things, Singapore has taken its airport to the next level making terminals at Changi Airport a delightful experience for families.
Pro tip: A family vacation in Singapore deserves more than selfies! I recommend a Flytographer photoshoot of the traveling family to capture those precious memories. After all, aren’t the memories from the trip the best souvenir? (Use the code LITTLETRAVELLER for $25 off)
If you fly solo with kids, read our guide on how to survive a long haul flight alone with toddlers
It’s no ordinary airport, mind you. If you know where to go, it’s a massive playground for kids and kids at heart. And a shoppers’ paradise, for that matter, but let’s review it from the perspective of visiting Changi Airport with kids.
Changi Airport with kids: the best attractions and activities
Jewel Changi for kids
Changi’s Jewel is a massive futuristic-looking, nature-themed entertainment, and retail complex connected to the Arrival Hall of Terminal 1. Its centerpiece is the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, the impressive Rain Vortex, which you can see in the picture below.
The entire area around it is surrounded by a terraced forest called the Shiseido Forest Valley. It’s a huge indoor garden spanning five stories.
On the top level is the Canopy Park, featuring more gardens, mazes, climbing nets, slides, bouncing nets, foggy bowls, and other facilities perfect for kids and kids at heart.
All over the place, there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and retail outlets. Name a high street brand, and you’ll most likely find it on one of Jewel’s many levels (five above-ground and five basement levels).
The good thing about visiting the Jewel is that you don’t necessarily have to take a flight. Anyone can come, have a blast and take a taxi or a train back to the city.
Activities for kids in Changi’s Jewel (with reviews)
Canopy Park is located at the top level (L5) of Jewel. It welcomes the young and the young-at-heart with various exciting activities. The admission tickets can be purchased at the ticket counter on L5, at Jewel concierge, or booked online in advance.
Admission to Canopy Park includes:
From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, have a blast at Canopy Park’s slides!
2. Foggy Bowls
It’s a super nice area for little kids to run around and enjoy the mist that appears from the ground at specific intervals. This is Thea’s favorite activity in the entire Jewel!
3. Petal Garden
Get ready to take your ‘gram game to the next level with global blooms that bring the spirit of each season alive!
4. Topiary Walk
Stretch your spotting skills and test your imagination with the topiary animals of this scenic spot – can you find them all? It’s a selfie-taker’s paradise!
This sculpture embodies the proverbial principle “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” Did you know that monkeys have names? The one covering his eyes is called Mizaru- he sees no evil. Kikazaru covers his ears and hears no evil. The third wise monkey, who is supposed to cover his mouth and say no evil was absent. Therefore Thea, born in the year of a monkey, took over his place… Let’s speak less evil and be kind to each other.
Separate admission charges apply to:
The Canopy Bridge is a 50-meter-long bridge with a glass walkway. It connects the two food and beverage zones on the top level and offers unobstructed views of the Rain Vortex and Forest Valley. I expected walking on the glass so high above the ground to be somewhat spooky. It wasn’t.
2. Hedge Maze
As the name suggests, a Hedge maze is… a maze. The first time we went there, my daughter was three years old. She found it hilarious. Some flowers suddenly pop out from the bushes and then close and hide again… kids seem to find that super entertaining.
A mini observatory tower is fun to climb up to and offers views of the maze from above.
3. Mirror Maze
Another maze, this time among mirrors. It was pretty fun, but it would have been better if the mirrors were clean. Unfortunately, the illusion broke down because of the many fingerprints. We used colorful plastic sticks to navigate and poke around the maze and made our way out quickly.
4. Bouncing Net
We loved Bouncing Nets! How could jumping around on a giant net stretching 250 meters not be fun?
5. Walking Net
How about a walk on a net 25 meters above the ground?
Please note that there are height restrictions for bouncing and walking nets. It is also recommended that you wear closed shoes and pants for these two activities.
Jurassic Mile @ Changi Airport
A must-visit place for dinosaur 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.
Singapore airport terminal attractions
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.
Okay, so Jewel is exciting, but the fun does not stop there.
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 colorful 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 level. From the deck on the upper level, you can observe the flowering plants, butterflies, and airplanes in the background. Little travelers 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.
Changi airport play areas for kids (aged 1-12)
Locations: Terminal 1/Terminal3/Terminal4
Changi Airport Map can be found here
When we lived in Singapore, we used to fly to Europe from Terminal 1 via Finland. While waiting for our 23:55 flight to Helsinki, I used to 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 negotiation as soon as the lights dimmed on the aircraft.
There is a huge maze-like structure with an obstacle course and a kind of helicopter cockpit on the top level where she can climb, jump, bounce, crawl, slide, run, and make new traveling friends. Highly recommended.
Location: Terminal 1, Level 3. Departure transit hall.
While the above places I do recommend going to with kids, the Cactus Garden, although sounds appealing, is not a place I intend to return to, and I don’t recommend it for travelers with young children. It could have been a really great place to hang out with kids and explore different types of cacti outdoors if it weren’t also a smoking zone!
I really can’t stand cigarette smoke, and secondhand smoke is not really what I want my daughter to 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. Enjoy!
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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