Although we are park lovers and love going to the park on weekends, but we also love going to the malls. Usually, we go to the mall to dine out, when it’s raining outside, when it’s too hot to play outside, to shop, or when the boy wants to play in the funforfree malls’ playground (well, actually for him as long as it’s a playground he’ll be okay, but if you have free playground, why going to the paid one?). In some days, we just need to go to the mall like to collect the boy’s race pack, go to our cable TV’s provider, we need handphone service, etc.
Going together to the mall is better then going alone for me, simply because the rest of the family don’t like window shopping so it saves my wallet almost all the time from buying unnecessary things………….If I go alone or I have time to go alone very often, I might end up buying clothes, cosmetics, accessories, or other things quite often, hahaha…………
That’s why I avoid going to the mall on weekdays alone except for grocery shopping, because when I see things that bring my interest, I will end up thinking about them for days and always ask myself: “Should I come back and buy or not???” I’m not an impulsive buyer………..I have to think first before I buy new clothes or shoes or other things, because I know that most of the time the clothes are only good when I try at the stores, and when I arrive at home I regret buying them because they’re actually just don’t really look nice at me or I just can’t find the right place and time to wear them. I read that the stores have special lightning that will make us good when trying their products………………and looks like it’s true because almost everything looks good at the stores………..
Long story short, going to the malls can be extremely fun and cheap and even free (except for the transport unless you walk to the malls). There are many malls with free indoor and outdoor playgrounds, and with the expense under $15, the three of us can have sumptuous meals at the food court mall. To our surprise, there is actually many good food with very reasonable price at the malls’ food court. We were also delighted to find a nice restaurant with good food that could make us really full with only $34. Daddy always says he wants to go back there, but the locations are just too far away from where we live, so we just wait until they open their new branch in Eastpoint Mall in the near future.
The point is, the are also many interesting things to do at the mall even with very low budget. My motto is: when the kid is happy, then everyone else is happy because we don’t have to deal with cranky child. And sometimes to make a kid happy is very simple………….and will not cost a lot of money. Here are some of our recent visits to the malls, and mostly we went to play in the playgrounds and to eat.
We visited City Square Mall (nearest MRT station: Farrer Park) to collect the race pack and somehow I remembered that the boy and I had been here before. And yes, we were certain when we saw the eco playground. We’d been here before to play in the playground and took pictures with the Christmas decoration, and although it was just a small playground but it was still nice and quiet (maybe not too many people aware of this play area). There was even a tire swing in this outdoor play area! Where else can you find a tire swing at the mall! And even at the park playground, a tire swing is very rare, so we really love this one.
And the hit of the day was when we found Saizeriya (an Italian Restaurant) in the mall which was cheap and the food was surprisingly not bad at all. We spent $34 for 2 pizza, chicken nuggets, baked rice with salmon, 2 salad, and all you can drink which included all kind of soda, lemon tea, ginger ale, juices, mineral water, tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. Self service Parmesan cheese, chili, tomato sauce, and sugar. The pizza was quite big and we especially loved the margherita pizza (for only $7.90 nett, absolutely cheaper then any other pizza in town…………as far as we know………..).
Then, on rainy days when we didn’t feel to go too far from the house, we just brought the boy to Explorer Kid Downtown East (there’s another branch in Ang Mo Kio). The boy is a member of Explorer Kid (seriously, if you have children and live near these play areas, signing up your kids for membership is a good option. Membership fee is extremely cheap and really worth the money. They also have promotion from time to time, and when we visited this playground, we only needed to pay $15 for all you can play and the ball play area was free on that day. And it was on weekend!).
The boy loved when the place is crowded and full of kids. He spent 4 hours in here and made some new friends too.
Sometimes, unexpectedly, we got very lucky and got surprise package like this
There are many promotions happening in Downtown East Mall, and that’s why we like this mall. Once we got free goody-bag just by showing our NTUC Card, free Popsicle, free shows, free photo booth hosted by an airline, free movie tickets by shopping in certain stores, etc. So I usually check in the website and see what are their upcoming events and promotions.
Sometimes, there are also many good spots to take photos that seem to just appear suddenly and if you happen to take good pictures, you can also win prizes, like this 3D picture in White Sands Mall:
Going to the library at the malls is also nice and reduce our cost on air conditioner at home, especially when it’s very hot outside. When we don’t know what to do at home, we just go to the library. It’s cool…………..
And don’t forget that Westgate Mall has a nice, new, big, and free dry and wet playground. And yes, it’s located in Jurong East which is very far from our house, but it was National Day holiday and daddy and the boy had nothing else to do, so the boy decided that he wanted to go to this playground again. My best friend Susy was coming to town that day, so while we spent the whole girls day out together, daddy and the boy spent their bonding time together…………..actually plus my dad which came to visit us on that day and my sister and brother in law who joined them during lunch time. Do visit this playground with your children if you haven’t…………..guarantee it will be very difficult to drag them home.
Vivo City Mall is probably one of the most well known mall when you search for free playground. It has wet and dry playground which is free of course. The water play area although not as big or as complete as the ones in IMM, Katong, or even NEX Mall, but still always very crowded with children having fun with the water fountains. We visited this playground more often then any other play areas at the mall because of its very strategic location.
In one occasion, we also found this spot to take picture, posted on the instagram, and who knows we might win a prize too……….
This is the reason why we always bring extra clothes for the boy in the car:
We already knew about this pool and when we went to this mall, we saw children playing inside this pool. But it’s a shallow pool so usually the boy never showed interest to play here. I didn’t know why, he suddenly asked to play here.
This big pool is located outside Food Republic and just in front of Marche. We always choose to eat in Food Republic because the varieties of the food are better according to us. Marche is just too expensive and the food somehow just doesn’t match to our taste.
Although it was just raining minutes before, the playground was still full of children, which was good because after they played, all the equipment especially the slide and the seesaw would be dry………hahaha……….
Do you want to watch free movie under the stars? Go to Star Vista Mall in Buona Vista. The mall has scheduled free movie (please check the schedule with the mall for more info) and the sitting area is also very nice. There is a big green carpet which looks like green grass where you can sit and have a nice picnic while watching the movie. I saw this when we went to daddy’s company event in this mall. We also watched movie but from the upper floor. This mall has an open concept with many restaurants on each side which will give different ambiance compared to other malls.
Last but not least, is IKEA. Although it’s not a mall, but it’s a nice area for shopping, eating, drinking, and playing. We spent hours in this place while waiting for the rain to stop so we could go home by bus. There are lots of things we can do in IKEA and I love going on weekdays because it’s not crowded at all.
That was our weekends or holidays at the malls, and there are many good places to visit too during weekends or holidays. I will post about them again next time. Hope this can give you ideas of where to bring and entertain the kids especially with small budget in hands.