I got the idea of exploring unexpected playgrounds in Singapore when my wife chanced upon one at the rooftop of an old established shopping complex in the CBD area (check out the last entry here).
Of course, unexpected playgrounds do require verification of existence, so I spent last weekend with my wife and kid, making sure they’re still there. And lo and behold, here they are.
The Dragon Playground
At the foot of Block 28 Toa Payoh Lorong 6 sits an old dragon looking optimistically at a major road junction for some strange reason. The Toa Payoh Dragon playground is one of the last Singaporean vintage sandpit playgrounds still in existence. Its weather-worn mosaic facade houses a winding metal bridge body, with 2 spring-loaded rocking horses added in as an afterthought. The Dragon playground serves more as a retrospective for parents living out their 80s-90s childhood days, but still a wonderful introduction to Singapore’s past for your kids.
The Dinosaur Playground
Just 2 streets down from the Dragon playground, a female T-Rex stands in front of Block 27 Kim Keat Avenue wondering how she managed to get so lost. We know it’s a female because of the pile of eggs she has on her side (there’s also a velociraptor sniffing out the ground next to her). We also know she’s lost because she didn’t even notice a bunch of kids have started drawing on her belly with crayons.
The Train Playground
We move (slightly) away from HDB playgrounds to a park, where a wonky train sits in a sandpit among swings and park benches, perhaps making a tongue-in-cheek statement about our current state of mass rapid transport, only more fun. The Tiong Bahru Park playground is quite a visual treat and quite a few levels more interesting than its lizard-based brethren, although the flying fox attraction has been dismantled for what we guess are “safety reasons”.
The Towering Rope Playground
Set in the foreground of the famous “carton-box” HDB design of the Potong Pasir estate, this is one of 2 rope-climbing playgrounds in Singapore (the other being in Pasir Ris Park). The pyramid is a test of courage to be sure, and older children will enjoy looking over one of Singapore’s oldest residential estates — if you dare let them.
Bras Basah Complex
Up on the roof of Bras Basah Complex sits an unassuming playground that overlooks Suntec City. It isn’t immediately visible as you walk out of the stationery level of Popular Bookstore, but makes complete sense seeing as Bras Basah Complex is in fact a HDB estate. Great for a 15-minute break from scrapbook-material shopping.