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Singapore’s former Big Splash reopens as Coastal PlayGrove with city’s tallest outdoor play area

Singapore’s former Big Splash reopens as Coastal PlayGrove with city’s tallest outdoor play area
March 30, 2021

The former Big Splash site at Singapore’s East Coast Park has been revitalised as a 4.5-hectare park with new play features and expanded areas of open space.

The redevelopment of the site by Singapore’s National Parks Board (NPark) sees it offer a new aquatic play with wading pools, as well as a nature play garden for children and the tallest outdoor play area in Singapore.

Under development since 2017, the area is the latest addition to Singapore’s extensive green network, with innovative playgrounds an increasingly common feature of country’s parks.

NParks describe the site as offering “an immersive, multi-sensory experience for playing freely amid nature (with children) able to interact with their surroundings spontaneously in their own way, without external direction.

“The play space also allows children to reap the mental health benefits of spending time in nature, such as reduced stress and improved mood.”

Coastal PlayGrove’s central feature is the four-storey Play Tower, a reconstruction of the site’s former Big Splash Tower which, at 16-metres high, is the tallest outdoor play feature in Singapore.

Suitable for youths aged 13 years and above, the Play Tower features a vertical net play area and two tube slides that are 7.3-metres and 11.9 metres tall. There is also the Vertical Challenge, which includes stepping pods, hammocks, hoop maze, zig-zag bridge, ball step traverse and disc swings.

For younger children aged five to 12 years old, there are the Leisure Nets at the base of the tower for them to climb and explore while the water play area has wading pools and jets of water with illumination at night in various colours.

Designed for children aged three to 12 years old, the nature play garden is meant to encourage children to play in an environment integrated with greenery.

Using natural materials such as wood, sand and gravel its first zone is a bamboo tunnel trail, which is complemented with plants that provide copper and red tones from their foliage.

The second zone has play element including teepees for children to engage in imaginative play while the last zone is a trail that leads to the sand pit, with a balancing board as a play element.

The site’s outdoor classroom is planted with various fruit trees such as the Seashore Mangosteen.

It also has a former hornbill's nest to kickstart conversations about wildlife conservation efforts.

During the current pandemic, as part of NParks' safe management measures at Coastal PlayGrove, there are restrictions of access when the safe management capacity of the premise is reached.

Images courtesy of NParks.

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