Hello my friends. With this crazy weather impacting us all at the moment, one of the things we’re all on the lookout for is good indoor activities to do with the kids when the heavens open. So I found an option and until January the 5th (I believe) you can head down to Changi Airport (mainly in terminal three) for the Christmas at Changi celebrations.
Age-wise, with it’s Mickey Mouse theme, both of my boys enjoyed it and Lex is now eight. I can’t imagine you’d get away with taking much older kids, but you never know. Kids seem to mature at different ages and Mickey’s appeal is enduring. Changi has been a great place for indoor activities for families for a long time now – I wrote about it here ages ago. It still has the big indoor slides, massive shopping area, hawker center, playground, and a whole lot more things you can waste your money on, but it does the job when you need to get out of the rain or the heat.
The Christmas festivities bring another dimension to Changi for the family, with the main activity a big Mickey Mouse bouncy castle type structure. Things went a little awry for me at this point. The sign very clearly states that for the children to go on Mickey, you need a receipt for each child showing you’ve spent $30+ at Changi Airport. The boys were not happy when I tried to explain that we had to go and spend some money to go on the ride. So we headed up to the great travel store, where I easily spent $200. I like that shop.
With my hefty receipt in hand, we went back to Mickey, lining up with the other parents, and when I get to the front of the line, I was told no, I needed two receipts showing I’d spent $30 in each. You’re kidding! Seriously? BUT it was my fault and to say I was pissed is an understatement. I was not happy – mainly because I was stupid – and stormed off towards the Christmas Palace, with two crying children – ugh. At the Christmas Palace there are shows going on throughout the day – so do check in advance to ensure you know what is on before you arrive. Timing is everything.
I’d calmed down a little by this point and explained to the boys we needed to go down into the shopping area to spend another $30 to go on Mickey. They weren’t happy but came along (moaning) anyway. However, do you think I could find anything to spend $30 on? Not a chance! Then I looked at the time and realized it was already after 6pm on a Sunday night, so the chances of getting them home at a reasonable time and into bed for school the next day was already impossible. I also knew that leaving without the Mickey experience was not something I wanted to endure either.
Our next discovery were ride on animals – something the boys are so close to out-growing – so of course, we had to do that. No problem, here you go guys. Two rides, knock yourselves out. But I didn’t get the required $30 dollar receipt, and as with all things at Changi, no place for the parents to sit while the kids have fun. This meant more waiting around, which I wasn’t happy about after my previous lining up failure. I have to say that hanging around really bothers me, but at this visit, it seemed to bother me a whole lot more than normal. Parents, you have been warned. Expect lots of hanging around if you go.
After the animal rides, we were still in need of our $30 so what to do? Hey guys how about we have dinner at Pasta Mania? Yay! They love that place and I detest it, but getting my required receipt and having two happy boys was more important. As we went to go in, I noticed a huge line near the entrance and I asked for a table, no problem. Then I asked the lady what the line was all about – hoping it was for take-aways – but no. We had to sit at the table and THEN line up to order food. AWESOME, another line.
I have no idea what the boys got up to while I lined up, and frankly, I didn’t care. Eventually the order was in, my cold pasta arrived fairly quickly, and by the time I finished it, their pizzas arrived. It wasn’t the greatest experience, but hey, it never could be for a grumpy Mum who’d had enough.
The important thing is no matter how bad the food and service was, we had our receipt, and once again lined up for Mickey. BUT by the time we got to the front, the first opportunity available was 9.30pm. No, no NO!!! I think they recognised they had a mother on the edge and very graciously gave the boys tickets for the next session, which meant lining up in yet another line, and here’s where it got good.
The staff were amazing. They were so great with the kids and seemed to love every minute of what they were doing. They quickly learnt the boys names, were playful, and the boys had an absolute blast. Although I should acknowledge that the skinny boy who had to pick my boys up and stick them to the valcro wall certainly had his work cut out for him. He did it though. The whole experience seemed to be over in a flash, but the boys were happy and we had a peaceful ride home.
As the Mickey Castle will be a central focus for your children, can I recommend a couple of things:
- Do not go anywhere near it until you have a $30 receipt for every child you have to entertain
- There are timings for this and you could find yourself with two hours to kill before it’s your turn. Get there early, get the tickets straight away and be prepared to spend a decent chunk of time at Changi this day. We went too late in the day to manage it properly
- Be willing to line up a lot and wear comfortable shoes
So there you have it. While I didn’t exactly have a pleasant experience myself, the boys did and their happiness is everything to me. I made a lot of stupid mistakes, and hopefully you’ve learnt from them in this blog, so you won’t have to endure the unpleasant moments I endured. Just the lining up kills me, but that is the world today right? I just don’t enjoy lining up all that much and really, I should be better at it by now. Kids and lines seem to be synonymous.
Let me know what you think if you go or have already been?