eXplorer Kid at Ang Mo Kio Hub opened on 3 Nov (Thursday).. But since I wasn’t free that day, I brought MF there the next day, which is a Friday and considered a ‘Peak’ day. The good is on peak days, they open early at 10am, so I could get MF there before the older kids come out from school. The bad is that it costs a bomb to go there on a peak day.
The AMK outlet is a lot smaller than the Downtown East outlet (which is kinda expected) with much fewer attractions.
For MF, it didn’t make much difference. The things they omitted, such as Adventure Highland and The Cliff were not appropriate for MF anyway.. And I could do without the massage chairs and vending machines at The Mound. What I miss is the abundance of crawling space, as well as The Cave and The Forest which MF quite enjoyed crawling around. The toddler play area at AMK is kinda sad.. But MF doesn’t play in the toddler play area anyway, he goes straight to Mega Play!
One thing that is similar about the two places: They are both freezing COLD!! No idea why they switch their air-conditioning so cold.. Brrrr…. If you are not going to be crawling around with your kids, bring your jackets! No kidding.
The first thing I noticed when I stepped through the gate is that the flooring at AMK outlet is those ABC playmat material, unlike the cushion material at Downtown East:
The Mega Play zone has 3 storeys. On the first storey, there is a tunnel and some bridges and obstacles. Some of the obstacles are highly challenging for adults and babies to get through, so I didn’t bring MF through them.
The second storey is a lot more adult and baby friendly. MF could get through most of the obstacles on his own by now (after going through all the training at the various playgrounds I’ve been bringing him to), with the exception of the first tunnel (the long one nearest the entrance). That tunnel is extremely slippery! I had a lot of difficulty getting through it myself with my socks on! Other than that, you can see how MF crawls though everything like a pro:
After maneuvering through the second storey with MF, we had a choice to go down the slide, or go up the steps. I decided not the waste my effort of climbing through the whole second storey and go up to explore the third storey first.
The third storey is pretty small, nothing much.. And the only way to go down is via the super curvy slide, or back down the steps we came up from. Clearly, I chose the safer option of going back down the steps.
After getting MF back down the steps and down the small slide, we are back on the first storey. I brought MF to explore Ball O City. There were no older kids around while I was there (on a Friday morning), so I let him crawl around to explore.. If there are older kids, you may not want to do that, unless you want your baby to get hit by balls.
There are guns within Mega Play’s second storey to shoot the balls, but you will need to gather the balls from the first storey with the bags provided and bring them up. I let MF try pushing the button to shoot a few balls on the second storey, and he was totally thrilled by the *bish* sound that the guns made!
Moving on… My favourite part of eXplorer Kid: The Lit Ballpool!! At Downtown East, the Lit Ballpool is waist-deep (MY waist, not kids’ waist, mind you) and they do not allow kids under 3 to enter.. But at AMK, there is not stated age limit for the Lit Ballpool and it is just knee-deep, so MF could go in the play! (But I got chased out.. They said no adults allowed.. Bummer! :( )
There is another ball pool. According to the map, it is for toddlers, but there is no clear sign to say so, unlike at Downtown East where there is a sign that says ‘For Kids Below 3 only’. Maybe they just haven’t gotten down to putting up the signs. It is not any shallower than the Lit Ballpool. MF sank into both a few times.. So please watch your babies / toddlers while they are in either ball pool.
There were some other stuff for toddlers to play.. But MF was not the least bit interested in them. Honestly, I think the toddlers play area here is so small and sad… It could do with a few more toys. Really, how much would it cost them to buy a few more walkers or toys like what Amazonia does?
Without the Mound, adults can only rest along some seating at the back of Mega Play, or around the toddlers play area.
There is a diaper-changing cum nursing room within eXplorer Kid itself.. But it cannot be locked. It puzzles me why they go through the trouble to install a decent nursing room but not install a lock.
On the whole, I think older kids who have been to Downtown East will probably be disappointed by the AMK outlet. Mega Play at Downtown East is a lot taller and bigger.. And there is The Cliff (rock-climbing) there.. I’m not sure having Ball O City thrown in makes up for it. But for toddlers, it is good enough. I personally think that the AMK Mega Play is more suitable for toddlers than for older kids, as all the steps are very low (imagine 10-month old MF can climb up the steps on his own!). But the toddlers play area itself is just sad.. I hope they purchase more toys for the toddlers play area.
Well, considering I stay up in the North, the AMK outlet is good enough for me! It is so much more accessible than Downtown East.. So you can be sure I’ll be back! :)