I am so overdue a decent blog and I apologize for the silence once again. I had a business trip to London and then came home to get struck down with the horrible flu virus doing the rounds at the moment. The boys seem to have missed it so far, which is good, their Dad hasn’t. But I’ve got a great adventure for you today, and if it’s been a while since you’ve visited the Grandstand at Turf Club Road, can I tell you it is now starting to get a little bit awesome! Last weekend PasarBella Farmers Market finally opened and I love it, but also Fidgets has had a complete make-over and is now one of the best indoor playgrounds on the Island.
Transport-wise, Turf Club Road used to be a real pain to get to if you didn’t have a car. Getting a taxi home from there was impossible – more so in the rain – and it used to be a little bit of a nightmare when we went there without the car. Driving remains the easiest option, but as it’s changing so much, actually getting a car park is becoming more of a struggle. But check out The Grandstand link for more information on public buses, as well as three free shuttles from Newton, Botanic Gardens and Toa Payoh MRTs. That should improve things.
When you arrive, one of the first things to do is check out all of the wonderful restaurants and cafes that have recently opened up. There is an incredible collection of high quality, healthy eating options, from pub food and pies to gourmet food and vegetarian burgers. I took the boys for an ice-cream at Latte e Miele, and the best bit – there was a little indoor playroom – that was a peaceful cup of coffee, well except when they started hanging off the lights. There are also some interesting shops within the Grandstand complex, especially if you go to the upper floors, however I still find The Grandstand incredibly confusing – it’s just hard to work out how to get up into the higher levels. As it improves and the renovations continue, I’m sure it will become easier. But this “outdoor but really indoor” café concept is perfect for Singapore.
From there it is PasarBella Farmers Market and I’ve been very excited about this. I don’t know whose idea it was, but what a revolutionary thing to see in Singapore. It’s kind of like the great farmers markets you see in Australia, except it’s all indoors, which means you can stay cool or dry – depending on the weather. A terrific place to shop for anything organic, it also has specialty shops selling beautiful stuff you’d find in the great markets of the world, stalls selling really great quality food, it’s got a beer stall and a wine tasting section, and for now at least, there are entertainers doing the rounds to keep the kids happy. Also check out the kid’s hairdressing salon – I know I have to take the boys there for their next haircut. They get to sit in elevated cars and watch a bit of TV too – perfect. PasarBella’s Farmers Market is just one of those places where you could spend a lot of money and buy lots of lovely things with a big smile on your face.
All of the tenants at PasarBella haven’t arrived yet, and you’ll see signs for who is coming, but there is plenty already and hats off to the creative genius behind this idea, because I really think it’s sensational and would be surprised if anyone reading leaves unimpressed. Go and check it out when you can, but do expect it to be busy on weekends, as there’s a fair bit of excitement around it.
By this point, your kids will probably be getting rather annoying (mine did) so head upstairs to Fidgets – the entrance is currently within PasarBella – so you can’t avoid it even if you want to. We’ve been taking the boys to Fidgets for years and it’s now a brand new and swanky kids playroom, taking on any of its competition for quality. The main play area remains, but they’ve given it a complete spruce up, with new flooring and all of the protective stuff on the poles has been replaced. Where the little kids section used to be, that’s now the entrance (with a very impressive shoe rack), along with some great new party rooms that are a decent size.
Out the other side of the main structure, they’ve opened this up, and it now features a great big café, a catwalk (which all of the boys seemed to love using as a running track) and a small kids play area, which also has a ride-on vehicle section – a little dangerous for the little ones when the big ones get a bit crazy! They also have a face painting stand under the Carousel, a learn how to bake facility, as well as an arts and crafts section. I have to tell you, I was thoroughly impressed with what they’ve done to Fidgets and can guarantee that if it’s been a while since you’ve visited, you won’t be disappointed and neither will the kids. You can spend a lot of time with your treasures here.
There’s lots more you can do at The Grandstand, but I think discovering what is on offer there is part of the fun. I love the fact I can take the boys, a bottle of water and socks for Fidgets, knowing that I can get them food at a healthy cafe (and not necessarily expensive) and every time we go there we’ll have a completely different experience, because it’s constantly evolving and improving.
Well done Singapore for recognizing what a great opportunity The Grandstand offered to deliver something completely unique and perfect for the whole family.
With that, I’d like to wish all of the Mum’s a very happy Mother’s Day tomorrow and hope you have a special day with your family. I might actually take the boys to The Grandstand again, because Steve hasn’t seen it yet and I know he’ll love it. The picture of the Paella made his eyes light up!
PS: a few more pics below of Fidgets and Pasarbella.