Jewel Changi Airport has become the must-visit place in Singapore since its opening on April 17, 2019, But just how kid-friendly is this gargantuan complex that is meant to be the shining star of Changi Airport?
Despite its sprawling size, we think Jewel Changi is a fantastic place to hang out with your kids and even the grandparents on weekends. Here’s what you must see, do and eat during your (many) visits to this gorgeous new complex.
How to get to Jewel Changi
Jewel Changi Airport is well served by the public transport that serves the airport. Head towards the arrival hall of Terminal 1, which connects you to Jewel.
If you park at Jewel’s car park at Terminal 1, take note that the first two levels (B2M and B2) have much higher parking fees after the first 90 minutes. They’re meant for short term parking, so avoid them if you plan to spend more than 1.5 hours at Jewel.
The airport now uses a Video-based Parking Guidance System, so if you forgot where you parked, just use any one of the information panels within the mall to locate it using your licence plate number.
Toilets, nursing rooms and baby care facilities
Jewel Changi’s toilets (pictured above) are swanky and on par with Ion Orchard. Some cubicles have child seats and child-sized toilet seats.
There are nursing rooms (pictured above) on each floor. The one we visited had two diaper changing stations, two nursing rooms and a water dispenser with hot and cold water.
Visit the HSBC Rain Vortex and Shiseido Forest Valley
The crown of Jewel Changi is, of course, the magnificent HSBC Rain Vortex that falls dramatically 40m down from the roof to the basement – it’s the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.
The vortex is circled by the lush terraces of the Shiseido Forest Valley and accompanied by a stirring in-house soundtrack that makes you feel as if you’re in a Jurassic Park movie. Your kids will love exploring this super Instagramable oasis! We would love to spend an afternoon here just people-watching.
Since Jewel Changi is the hot place to be right now, we recommend that you go early in the morning on weekdays, before it gets super crowded.
But if you can’t make until the afternoon, then make sure to stay for the stunning light show (pictured below) that comes on hourly from 8.30pm to 12.30am daily.
Watch a movie at a Singapore’s first dedicated cinema hall for families
Yes, finally! Shaw Theatres Jewel has the nation’s first dedicated cinema hall for families, called Dreamers. In case you didn’t know, the cinema chain already screens kid-friendly movies every first weekend morning at selected cinemas. At these screenings, the volume and brightness are reduced, there’s soft lighting, and families with squirmy kids are welcome with open arms.
Dreamers – don’t you just love the name? – takes it to a new level, with colourful seats and an open space in the front with bean bags for the little ones.
That’s not all. Its 11 halls also include Singapore’s first IMAX with Laser theatre hall, and Lumiere, a premium movie-going experience with only 26 seats, perfect for date night with your spouse. The cinema is at #B2-237, tucked away near the food hall.
Visit Singapore’s first Pokemon Center
The queues for Asia’s first Pokemon Center outside of Japan can get really long, but can you blame anyone? Even though we’re no longer playing the Pokemon mobile game with our kids, there’s something about this retail wonderland that had us oohing and ahhing at all the irresistible plushies, accessories and toys available here. “Gotta buy ’em all” seems to be the slogan here!
Look out for the store exclusives, such as Pikachu plushies in the form of a pilot and cabin attendant with SIN initials, a Lapras name card holder, and a clear folder with the Singapore skyline and many Pokemon like Lapras, Pikachu and Celebi depicted together.
Your little Pokemon fan will also want to check out the touchscreen interactive Pokedex – a digital encyclopaedia that provides information about the various Pokemon. The Pokemon Center is at #04-201/202.
Dine at family-friendly restaurants
Jewel Changi Airport is so big, there are over 100 food and beverage outlets to choose from. Right now, we’d avoid newcomers A&W and Shake Shack until the insane queues stop. The lines at other food outlets can also be long during peak dining hours, so we recommend eating at off-peak times if possible.
Among the family-friendly eateries, Beauty in the Pot deserves a special mention because of its amazing kids’ play area (pictured above).
The only hotpot restaurant in Changi Airport, this brand by the Paradise Group serves six nourishing soup bases, such as the Signature Beauty Collagen Broth, Signature Spicy Nourishing Soup (Pork Bone Soup), Herbal Drunken Chicken Broth, and Cooling Coconut Broth.
Add your choice of meat, seafood, vegetables and noodles, and take your pick of over condiments and sauce. Must-try items include its Signature Homemade Fish Tofu, Ebiko Prawn Paste and Fried Beancurd Skin. It opens daily from 11.30am to 6am.
Make a beeline for family shops on level 4
Level 4 is the most kid-friendly floor, with the Pokemon Center, shops, cafes, a kids’ hair salon and more.
We’d love to have a drink and some ice cream at this train-themed cafe by Andersen’s of Denmark.
Another pretty cafe to chill out at. It’s opposite The Better Toy Shop (pictured below), which has an eye-catching display of oversized animal plush toys.
Times the Bookshop also launched a new Times Junior concept store at Jewel (pictured below). You’ll find books, toys and more here.
Take a break at these relaxing nooks
There’s just so much to do and see at Jewel Changi Airport with kids, you’ll need to pace yourselves if you’re exploring it. We spotted this cute playground next to Tim Ho Wan restaurant at #02-223. There are benches where you can rest and grab a bite, too.
Another lovely resting area we spotted on level 2 with lovely views.
Coming up: Explore fun mazes
The 14,000 sq m Canopy Park – the size of 11 Olympic-size swimming pools – opened on June 10. Read our guide to fun and safety here.
At the east wing of the park, there will be two mazes spanning over 500 sq m – the hedge maze will have 1.8m-high walls. You will also be able to explore a mirror maze, the first such maze designed for an outdoor park environment.
A 50m-long walking net, suspended 25m high, will offer a thrilling perspective of the lush greenery below.
For a more playful experience, there will also be a 250m-long bouncing net, which at its highest point will be suspended 8m above ground. The park will also have a 50m-long and 23m-high Canopy Bridge, with a glass bottom at the centre portion.
With so much to see and do at Jewel Changi Airport with kids, once is never enough!
Additional reporting: The Singapore Women’s Weekly
Canopy Park photo: The Straits Times