Moms and dads, NParks has outdone themselves again. If you haven’t yet been, the new kids playground at the Jurong Lake Gardens is something else.
We all heard the big to-do around the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s masterplan for the Jurong Lake District. Besides their aim of turning Jurong into CBD part two, the sell of the area also includes a plenty of green and blue spaces, in keeping with the country’s garden city aspirations.
This is where we home in on the Lakeside end of Jurong Lake Gardens. We love this new addition to our rotation of going-out places because of the variety of things to do, and because it’s actually a really beautiful park. I will say on the outset though, that most of the activities are geared more towards older toddlers and bigger kids. Still, Giggles had a few stations she could enjoy and grow her skills on.
The kids activities at Jurong Lake Gardens are concentrated at Clusia Cove and Forest Ramble. To get there, I recommend dropping off or parking at the West North Carpark along Yuan Ching Road, then begin your trek in.
Closer to the entrance, you’ll find Clusia Cove, which is where you’ll take kiddo for water activities and a snack at Fusion Spoon, a family friendly cafe overlooking one of the area’s tiny ponds. Guys, I’m absolutely in love with the pools they’ve created at the Cove. Pretend to overlook the tropical foliage surrounding it, and you can almost hear a millennial coo at how it looks like Palm Springs, or a fancy desert resort in exotic somewhere. The water sits on a bed of sand, and beautiful rocks provide plenty of opportunities for kiddos to rest or use at a dry platform for whatever play scenarios come to mind. That said, I’m kinda hoping the Instagram influencer set won’t get wind of this picturesque space, so let’s keep this a secret amongst ourselves for now, yeah?
If you read the spiel from NParks, you’ll feel a little more rest assured to dunk the kids’ in the natural-looking pools. The water is supposed to be treated naturally as it filters through layers of sand, and before it’s pumped back into the playground, zapped with UV light to disinfect it. Pretty clever too, that they’ve designed the flow of water in some areas to mimic tides, create ripples and currents you’d find at sea.
As you walked in, you might have also noticed a huge water feature shaped like a shallow bowl. Just adjacent to that, you will find the public bathrooms, equipped with open-concept showers to wash off in after play time. Take note that Clusia Cove is closed on Mondays.
A five-minute walk south-east-ish from that same entrance you came in from takes you to the Forest Ramble, which is just next to the Chinese Garden island on Jurong Lake. This is where your kids can get active on dry land. The whole play area runs for quite a distance, so be sure to walk the full-length of the zone for maximum fun times.
Some of Giggles’ highlights when we visited were:
The trampoline zone, where the bouncers are built into the rubbery ground. It probably doesn’t hurt as much if your kids accidentally launch themselves off of them.
The sand pit with the swings. There are quite a few regular and tyre swings available, so you hopefully won’t have to queue for too long for a go during peak hours. At the other end of this pit, NParks has also installed a wheelchair-accessible swing so that the area is a little more inclusive. We also spotted a few families huddled under what little shade was available to build sandcastles, so bring your equipment.
For the older kids, there’s more than plenty to get excited about. There’s a zipline to launch yourself across,
plenty of beautifully designed, low ropes courses to train strength and agility on,
and this absolute unit of a treehouse for budding daredevils. By god, look at it – we think it’s about two to three storeys high at the top.
I don’t know if making those twists and turns out of metal is a good idea in scorching Singapore, but hey, I would have been tempted to go down that if it wasn’t noon and 34degrees out. (Yeah, we didn’t pick the best time to go…)
When kiddo is all tired out, there is a bunch of hammocks overlooking the lake to go rest on. Or swing boisterously on, whatever your style.
If I had one complaint about the overall experience, it would be the lack of shade all around. The gazebos are placed a little too far away to watch your kids while hiding away from the sun, and the plants plopped around each play space will still need some time to grow to become the lush, verdant shade we enjoy at a more mature park, such as the Botanic Gardens.
The whole play area is designed to be biophilic – in English, to connect us humans directly with nature – and I couldn’t be more thrilled about how nicely it’s all come together. For now, this park is a one-up on the Jacob Ballas Childrens’ Garden at the Botanic Gardens, we’ll find out if it stays that way when JB’s water playground opens again in October.
Jurong Lake Gardens
50 Yuan Ching Road