Pororo Park Singapore: Bringing Fun and Learning in the Most Innovative Way
Published 29 August 2017 at 21:27
TiсkiKids Test Patrol moms Sylvia Sang and Selena Tay have gone to Pororo Park Singapore, the only Pororo-themed park in South East Asia and also the largest character-themed park in Singapore!
They’ve kindly shared their impressions about this indoor-themed edutainment playground and told us about the experience that their little ones had there. We hope you will find it useful!
1. Getting to the location:
Pororo Park is easy to locate with clear directions within Marina Square itself. The Pororo & Friends characters and merchandise on display at the corner where Pororo Park is situated would be catchy enough to tell you that you are at the right place! If you come from the other side, the glass panel from which you can admire the beautiful snow scene through which the Pororo Express (a Choo Choo Train Ride for children 8 years and below) plies on its track, would be another attraction to a kid who happens to walk past Pororo Park.
There might be a short queue at the ticketing counter, however, the staff who attend to you make the entry into the park a smooth and swift process (verifying your NRIC and BC details against the list they had prepared, checking the temperatures of everyone, and ensuring that everyone has a pair of socks before being allowed into the indoor playground.)
The moment you step into the venue you feel that it is a happy place for kids. It is a very nice environment for children to play and due to the good space planning it doesn't feel noisy or claustrophobic even though there are many kids around. The place is well lit but not overly bright, thus it feels very comfortable. It is also quite a relaxing place for the parents as there are many areas where they can take a seat and rest while eyeing the little ones in the play area.
2. What’s in there for kids?
Sylvia Sang, mother of a 3-year-old:
"The moment my boy stepped into the venue, he was already so excited to explore the whole place. And we had to ask him a few times before he agreed to leave the place. I think it is safe to say that he loves the place. What he likes is the space to run around, different activities and play areas to explore. He likes particularly the Hinoki Pool and the play gym area. He spent quite a far bit of time in the Hinoki Pool, using the different toys provided to dig, scoop, fill and pour out the hinoki woods. The gym area is of good size, well cushion, good height for kids. My boy has some fear of tight space, but here, he just went in and out with much ease.
The most memorable impression of the Park is the 20 min interactive performance at Tong Tong's Little Theatre. The hosts are fun and engaging. And of course, the appearance of Pororo got all the kids very excited. The only thing is that if they allow some time for photo session after the performance, it will be awesome. Because during our visit, there is no meet and greet session. But at least the kids get to hug and 'Hi 5' with Pororo."
Selena Tay, mother of a 10-year-old, 4.5-year-old and an 11-month-old:
"My 11 months-old boy enjoyed himself most on the small Pororo swing giggling loudly as he was being pushed, and he kicked his legs excitedly to get the swing to move higher.
He also enjoyed playing in the Hinoki Pool, which I personally found therapeutic (known to have an aromatic and relaxing benefits on the mind and body, according to the website). The Hinoki Pool, filled with these small 1-cm wooden cubes, looked like a sand pit from afar. Sand play toys (e.g. spades and rakes) and vehicles (e.g. fire engine, cement mixer) were also provided for play within the Hinoki Pool.
My 4.5-year-old daughter loved the iconic Pororo Express, a choo choo train ride with Pororo and Eddy, in a scenic snow scene with the other characters seen along the route around the rail track. There is a train schedule (different for Mon - Fri, Sat and Sun) available on the website and on-site. The only down-side was that the train rides are only for children 8 years old and below, so adults with one young kid only (e.g. my 11 months-old who would not sit in safely unattended) may not be able to let the kid enjoy the train ride (Luckily, I had my 10-year-old to accompany my 11 month-old, but she could not manage him too when he started crying).
She also enjoyed the Pororo Mini Musical at 12.00 p.m., where she sang and danced with Pororo and Friends at her seat (She's still singing the Pororo Song at home these 3 days).
She was also attracted to the mini computer game in Pororo's House, but Mummy forbade her to be on the gadget for long and asked her out to play at other areas. She was also delighted that Mummy bought her a $9.90 Pororo Watch at the end of our visit.
My 10-year-old daughter enjoyed herself most at Poby's Play Gym, which had the usual indoor playground obstacles elements and slide. She made friends there with other older children and played Ice and Water Game (similar to Catching) as they chased and run up and down the steps, slops and slide. Coincidentally, one of the new friends made was from her school, so we sat and chatted with the parents at the Cafe, and realized they are Pororo Park members and would frequent the play park almost every weekend. Being the regular visitor, the new found friend told my daughter to take the centre seat on the front row at the Special Show: World Of Bubbles at 2.00 p.m., and true enough, she was invited to go up to help make a big bubble.
Mummy and 10-year-old liked the idea of a projector playing images of Pororo and Friends on the white snowy roof on the outside of Pororo's House, like a movie show on the roof (though not many people would have heeded any notice about its existence).
Both the girls said they had a good time at the Daily Classes: National Day, where they coloured a DIY Drawstring Bag (with Pororo and National Day pictures) with markers. The male staff was friendly and interacted well with the kids, who played Hi5 with him, giggled and laughed now and then as they did their colouring. They were both happy to own a piece of useful DIY souvenir from their visit to Pororo Park.
The only area that the girls didn't spend long at was Poby's Supermarket, as it was more suitable for younger children. Moreover, the toys (fruits, vegetables, supermarket trolley, cooking utensils, cashier, etc.) have all been thrown in a mess on the floor, instead of being arranged nicely in the trays on the supermarket shelves or on the kitchen stove area, so the imaginary role play and learning could not take place ideally. Maybe a staff to supervise and tidy the area would have been helpful, like what we saw at a similar supermarket and home cooking area at KidsStop."
3. What’s in there for parents?
Most parents are accompanying, playing with and supervising their kids at the play areas, especially at Hinoki Pool, Shark Ball Pool, and during the various shows at 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. They also have to be there to put their kids on the Pororo Express before leaving the platform to take photographs or videos of the Choo Choo train rides. For parents who do not need to supervise the kids (e.g. older kids, helper around, additional adults who have come together), they are mostly seen at Loopy's Café. Others are relaxing on the massage chairs and other seats nearby the different play areas to just keep an eye at their children nearby. There is also a Pororo Merchandise shopping area upon exit (and adults are allowed re-entry), so some do go out to browse and buy the items before coming back in.
There are suitable attractions to cater to children from vastly differing age groups, so it could still be a family bonding activity which each and every one of the family would enjoy, even though it may not be the same favourites for each. The place looks well-maintained and clean, with the play equipment all looking clean, bright, colourful and new, so parents can be at ease with the children playing safely and with low chances of getting HFMD.
The daily schedules and train schedules are also well planned such that it is seamless to move from one activity to the next, without any rush. There are also announcements 15 minutes before the start of each activity, so it allows you time to get to the respective venues at the time required, without you having to remember the timings nor missing them. Pororo Park Singapore's website is easy to navigate, information is clear, and everything that you need to know about the place and what to expect is there, making the preparation prior to the visit very much easier, minus all the frustrations with not being able to get the necessary information on some other indoor playground's websites.
Sylvia Sang: "We attended the performance together with my boy. When he was playing around the venue, one of us followed him around while the other would take rest at the plenty seating area around the venue."
Selena Tay: "The whole park was big and spacious, so even though the weekend crowd was still big, the place does not feel crowded and it was not noisy at all, my husband and 11 mo could still have a good 1 hour nap together at the cafe. Personally, I like the Hinoki Pool which was quite therapeutic to sit in and just relax and supervise the kids play. We also saw many adults lying in the pool to rest while the kids buried them with the wooden blocks, just like what we do with sand on the beach.
I personally liked the fact that the Shark Ball Pool was big (compared to many other indoor playgrounds), so the children could run, walk or crawl around, without knocking, bumping or stepping on one another, and even adults would enjoy frolicking in the pool. My big-sized husband liked the fact that the ball pit was big enough for him to play comfortably in, without a worry about blocking the way of the other kids. He and the two girls went to the far end inside to play Ball Throwing and Catching, without any interference to others nor risk of their thrown balls hitting other children in the process. They also had fun in the mini competition to see how many balls they could throw into shark's mouth.
The staff were friendly and efficient, and it was remarkable that they could remember and describe us to their manager, Cathy, who came up to me when I was at the Cafe, to check if I was from TickiKids. The staff to children ratio (4 to 10) was also good for the Daily Classes, and it could be seen from outside the glass windows and door that the crew were sociable and could handle the kids well, with good interaction and fun times inside.
When we were invited by Cathy to enter the Theatre first for the Pororo Play & Learn (National Day Edition) at 4 p.m., the kids were expecting that they would be given priority to go up on stage to help Pororo with completing the missing puzzle pieces of pictures related to National Day. However, Pororo did the piecing by himself and only allowed one child to help with the last piece. The session could have been made more interactive with several kids being invited to go up and piece the missing pieces, making learning more hands-on and experiential instead of just watching Pororo do the job."
4. Anything not to be missed?
Sylvia Sang: "The most memorable impression of the Park is the 20 min interactive performance at Tong Tong's Little Theatre. The hosts are fun and engaging. And of course, the appearance of Pororo got all the kids very excited. The only thing is that if they allow some time for photo session after the performance, it will be awesome. Because during our visit, there is no meet and greet session. But at least the kids get to hug and 'Hi 5' with Pororo."
Selena Tay: "Anything "not to be missed" would definitely be the iconic Pororo Express since Pororo Park is the only playland in Singapore that offers a train ride service. Would be good if parents can accompany the younger kids on the train ride. Being the largest character-themed park in Singapore, and an indoor-themed edutainment playground for children, the unique mix of education and entertainment elements would also be a plus point for parents and kids. The Pororo & Friends mascots are definitely a hit among kids and adults alike. Meet & Greet sessions with the characters after the shows (which are available with photograph opp on weekdays for crowd control reasons) would definitely be welcomed on weekend, if that could be added in. The Hinoki Pool and Pororo Mini Musical would be the other two interesting attractions at Pororo Park, which you would not find in any other indoor playgrounds."