SINGAPORE: Singapore's tallest outdoor play feature opened on Sunday (Mar 28) at the former Big Splash site in East Coast Park, said the National Parks Board (NParks).
The iconic landmark - which ceased operations in 2016 - has been redeveloped into Coastal PlayGrove, a 4.5-hectare development with an outdoor play area, a water play area and new retail and dining offerings, said NParks in a media release.
One of the main features is a 16m-high Play Tower, a reconstruction of the iconic Big Splash tower.
The new development also houses an outdoor classroom by the sea for pre-schoolers and a nature play garden.
In the release announcing the opening on Sunday, NParks also laid down plans to create a 15km nature trail that will run through the entire length of East Coast Park.
"Coastal PlayGrove and the upcoming nature trail will offer more diverse recreational opportunities at East Coast Park, ranging from active play to tranquil nature-based interactions for families and the general public.
"This will help to redistribute crowds across Singapore’s largest park," added NParks.
16M-HIGH PLAY TOWER WITH SLIDES
The Coastal PlayGrove houses a 16m-high tower that NParks said is Singapore tallest outdoor play feature.
The tower features a vertical net play area - known as the Vertical Challenge - for youths.
Play activities in the Vertical Challenge include stepping pods, hammocks, hoop maze, zig-zag bridge, ball step traverse, wobble link, grip wall, wave traverse and disc swings.
The design concept revolves around the theme of "waves and shores", in line with the water park and coastal heritage of East Coast Park, said NParks, adding that the new feature is painted in the same "vibrant colours" as Big Splash's previous water slides.
The tower also has two tube slides, at heights of 7.3m and 11.9m, on the third and fourth floors.
"The Play Tower is designed with various rope-based obstacles for more challenging and exploratory play," said NParks.
At the base of the tower is Leisure Nets, designed to resemble waves along the shore and are suitable for children aged 5 to 12 years old to climb and explore.
Next to the tower is a water play area that features a wading pool and jets of water with illumination at night in various colours.
A narrow stream with the water jets connects the two main pools, with platforms to allow wheelchair access along the main pools and the stream.
The Vertical Challenge and water play area are open from Tuesdays to Sundays between 8am and 8pm.
The newly opened Coastal PlayGrove also features a nature play garden with three zones for children to explore.
In the last zone, a trail leads to the sand pit, with a balancing board as a play element.
Next to the nature play garden is an outdoor classroom for pre-schoolers.
It is equipped with a chalkboard with boulders and log stools, with a view of the sea.
NParks said it will put in place strict safe management measures at Coastal PlayGrove, including restricting access when a certain capacity is reached.
"We seek the public’s understanding and encourage them to visit Coastal PlayGrove on weekdays or during off-peak hours to avoid disappointment," it said.
NEW NATURE TRAIL ALONG EAST COAST PARK
Over the next 10 years, NParks also plans to create a nature trail that will cover the entire length of East Coast Park, from Changi to Gardens by the Bay East.
It will connect existing and upcoming therapeutic gardens, nature playgardens and forest patches.
"The trail will bring people closer to nature for a more tranquil, nature-based experience within East Coast Park," said NParks.
READ: New central green corridor connecting East Coast Park and Changi Beach Park to be created - Heng Swee Keat
East Coast Park is Singapore's largest and most popular park with 7.5 million visits a year, according to NParks.
Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong opened Coastal PlayGrove on Sunday morning together with National Development Minister Desmond Lee.
Noting how the former Big Splash site is "a special place for many Singaporeans", Mr Goh said: "I am excited at the opening of the reimagined Coastal PlayGrove today, where residents of all ages can gather and create more fond memories together."