Jasmine: We decided to bring Dilly to Petite Park at City Square Mall last week! Not only is it an eco-friendly mall, it is surprisingly kid-friendly too. More on that at the end.
We started off two doors down, with lunch at the budget-conscious, kid-friendly Saizeriya. The staff were prompt and friendly to Dylan, and for busy parents with their hands full handling kids, there is a call button on every table that you can press for assistance, instead of futilely waving your hand trying to attract a waiter.
Food was very decent given the price range. My chicken doria (baked rice with cheese and chicken) was tasty, creamy and filling.
To give you an idea of the pricing, mushroom soup is just $2.90! Paired quite nicely with the crispy, savoury garlic butter bagettes! There is also a drinks bar where you can have free flow soft drinks, coffee, tea and Milo (though sadly the machine was out of order that day) for just $3 top up.
Andrew: In addition, the carbonara was $6.90 and the escargots were $5.90 for six – the escargots were deliciously buttery and garlicky, perfect for bread and good for the price! Definitely going to come back again. Our rather elaborate meal with drinks and a few starters (incl potato wedges for Dylan) cost us only $30. Coffee really sucks though. Heh. And yes, bring back the Milo! I actually witnessed one of the restaurant patrons complaining about the lack of milo to the waiter and asking her to serve him free flow milo! Singaporeans are the most demanding customers!
Jasmine: Unlike Hokey Pokey at Millennia Walk with its amazing array of make-believe play areas , this one has more interesting active play areas, which are designed and imported from Japan, such as the carousel (but meant for older children who can hold on independently) and the ball pool and balloon cage connected by slides. I actually intended to visit SingKids at Vivocity, but after close Internet photo comparisons, I happily realised Petite Park at City Square Mall had the exact same play structures and was much nearer to our house to boot!
And the good ol’ staple bouncy castle. We only brought Dilly in when it was empty, and he loved jumping in it and making it bounce!
Jasmine: The highlight for Dylan would have to be the balloon cage. This was essentially a netted area with fans blowing in to make the balloons float.
Very clever use of space too, as you could have a view of the entire play area and the space under was converted into a den for life-size foam building blocks. I would probably have capitalised on the darkness and done something glow-in-the-dark, though.
For more safety-conscious parents, all the Japanese structures were padded, making it very safe for staircase-loving babies. (Andrew: This is where I felt it was better than Hokey Pokey in Millennia Walk. I felt like I could just let Dylan run all around here on his own and he wouldn’t get hurt.)
Andrew: What I really liked about this space was that it wasn’t some toy you could just buy and place within your own home, but it was something creative and not replicable in your own home. Dylan was quite mesmerised by the balloons when he first went in and just sat there – staring at them. I guess that’s the same as why the TV attracts him too – moving images and sound capturing his attention.
Jasmine: Connected to the balloon cage was a series of three slides and two more ball pools. Nice fast route to get down, though I thought it would have been even more fun if the slides were of d ifferent heights or gradients.
Jasmine: Not to forget the usual smorgasbord of kiddy ride-ons. I found the blue rubber cow quite endearing (maybe I was craving Ben & Jerry’s) but Dilly thought otherwise- see how mournful he looked when I tried to sit him on one for a picture.
There were also a couple of merry go rounds, the one with horses would be better for younger children as you can push them slowly, and the pink-and-white striped one in the background of the fourth pic, which kids have to push themselves on and can go super fast.
Jasmine: And this old standby, the Fisher-Price rocking horse, which Dylan loves getting on at every indoor playground and toy store, which granny now wants to buy for him… But my house where got space? And also, um, it doesn’t go with my color scheme. Sorry, I know that’s superficial.
Jasmine: Another play structure they had, which proved quite popular with the kids both big and small, were these “roller coasters”, made of undulating tracks and a ride-on. Dylan was too small to go alone (we were afraid he would tumble off as it sped down) but had such a blast with his Dada escorting him.
Andrew: I was really tempted to let go of him and let him have fun, but I couldn’t – guess I’m still the more protective kinda dad. Heh. He really had a great time though on this toy!
Jasmine: Although we went for the active play areas, Petite Park’s make-believe play area was not to be scoffed at, either. There were train tables, musical instruments (including, unusually, a concertina which had several kids quite entranced by the sound and movement) and a lineup of cutesy kitchen sets.
Jasmine: I somehow thought that Dylan would be too young for imaginative play, but he was super-attracted to the wooden food table, especially the pizza set (with Velcro toppings) and the cake set, the layers of which were held together by magnets and which had fruity decorations that could be poked into the topmost layer. (Afternote: I found the same pizza set by Melissa & Doug on Amazon! I’m still on the lookout for the cake set though. I saw some pretty and affordable plastic ones while Christmas shopping for baby girls last year but I would really prefer a wooden set for durability and aesthetics. Call me old school, handling the weight and feel of wooden toys is quite a different experience from plastic.)
Dylan also tinkered for a long time with all sides of this revolving wooden activity cube..
Speaking of cardboard houses, this grocery store might be worth making too! Dylan loves going grocery shopping with us. I like to think it is a multi-sensory experience of sights, smells, textures and colours, but in truth, I suspect kids just love riding in the supermarket trolley. Anyhow, the “Grocery Store” canopy can be reversed to say “Lemonade Stand”, and although Dylan was too short to stand behind the counter, the tubs of fruits were at the perfect height for him. No surprise then, that he picked out his favourite banana "(or “nana” as he calls it) and put it in his shopping basket right away. Heh.
This “nana” tastes weird, Mum
Jasmine: Ending off with the one and only family selfie we took at Petite Park! We aren’t very good at angling our camera for selfies but at least Dyl is smiling for the shot. At $18 for 2 hours on weekends, its pricing is average in the costly world of indoor playgrounds. However, the convenience of it being a 7-min MRT ride from our home means we might be back at some point. There’s also Daiso there- my new favourite “toy department”! (Andrew: Oh, better Daiso than Toys R’ Us.)
Andrew: We should find a weekday to come back – it’s only $10 for unlimited play – though I’m not sure how long I can last beyond 1.5 hours at playgyms. Heh. City Square Mall is also an extremely baby-friendly place with wide aisles, lots of kids’ shops, family rooms on every other floor, and even seating for kids within the toilet cubicles!