To be honest, when I got the invite to visit Kiztopia with my kids, I was apprehensive. And I think that’s totally normal. On the one hand, you know the kiddos are gonna have a blast, having been kept away from indoor playground for so long. But on the other hand, how safe is it? Are ball pits equal germ pits? Is it foolish to think that just because everyone is wearing masks and there are hand sanitisers everywhere, that it would be impossible to catch Covid-19? Of course, nothing is 100 per cent safe and without risk. Going to the supermarket or to school is a risk, as is eating out, shopping or going for a facial. As always, it’s what you’re comfortable with. We know people who won’t go near a playground with a 10-foot pole, and others who would be like, “Why not? We can’t be hermits and cancel fun forever, right?"
Timed play sessions
So we headed to Kiztopia at Marina Square on a weekday afternoon (they reopened during Phase 2 on July 19), for our play time slot at 130pm to 430pm. You now have to book online for three play sessions daily, at 10am to 1pm, 130 to 430pm, and 5 to 8pm. There are cleaning intervals between the sessions and the park is closed every Tuesday for deep cleaning. The minute we headed in, a staff member gave each of us a spritz of hand sanitiser. So far, so clean.
Limited capacity in the park and in the different play areas
The number of people allowed in the park at any one time is now 120, as opposed to the 400 in pre-pandemic times, in the sprawling 18,000 sq ft premises. Kiztopia is Singapore's largest indoor playground in a mall. When we were there, we were told there were about 70 people in the park (they keep track), and it never felt crowded or that there were too many people in our immediate vicinity. The different play zones now have a maximum capacity as well — Raby's Mart, a pretend supermarket popular with the kiddos, is now limited to six people at any one time. Roving staff keep a sharp eye out and enforce safe distancing and capacity limits.
Masks on and automatic hand sanitisers everywhere
What has perhaps been surprising for parents during the pandemic is how the kids have largely managed to understand the need to keep their masks on. As we watched the kids play in the ballpits, on the slides and in the creative play rooms, not one child tugged off their mask or had a tough time keeping it on. After a while, they kinda just forget they have a mask on, 'cos they've having so much fun. This greatly helps to minimise risk. Also, the kids are encouraged (by their parents or the staff) to sanitise their hands when they see a hand sanitiser on the wall in each room, or before they go into a different play area, and some would even sanitise on their own without being asked to. Before the kids get onto the Chug Eli train ride, staff would spritz sanitiser on their hands. After the ride, the train seats are wiped down, and as the kids exit, more sanitiser.
Fogging machines and disinfecting mists
After each session, high touch areas are wiped down. Slides are cleaned. Disinfecting mists are used. What many worry about is perhaps the ball pit. Is it icky? Kids dive in and the potential for germs is maybe higher than if you just go down a slide or ride in a train. The ball pit, along with the rest of the park, is fogged with a machine at the end of every day, and they swap out the balls in the ball pits and the hinoki beads in the play pits every two weeks.
Kith Café opens at Kiztopia
The Kiztopia reopening also sees the opening of popular local resto chain Kith Café's full-menu cafe concept within the playground. The space spans over 2,000 sq ft and is also open to the public, who will come in from another entrance. Come here for the coffee, sea salt chocolate cookies, hearty food, kids' menu (which includes sets with a specially-designed brownie that has a Kiztopia character imprinted on it), and great vibes. Grab a prime spot and watch your kids play up a storm, and make sure they keep their masks on. Heh.
Do these measures at Kiztopia make you feel safe? Are you and your kids ready to head back into the indoor playgrounds in the new norm? We do what feels right and is comfortable for our families. Stay safe!
Get Kiztopia tickets at kiztopia.com/buy-tickets.
Photos: Celine Tan/8days.sg