It’s not often that you’ll find us recommending an airport as a hot destination – especially when it comes to travelling with kids.
In fact, between the endless loudspeaker announcements, tedious waits, bad food and uncomfortable seating, it’s safe to say most families want to minimise the time they have to spend hanging around in transit lounges!
But Singapore’s Changi Airport is a bit different from your run-of-the-mill terminal. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it has so many good-quality entertainment, eating and accommodation options, you could literally have a family getaway without ever stepping foot outside.
Here are some of our favourite family-friendly attractions to be found at Changi:
Whizz down Singapore’s tallest slide and the world's tallest slide in an airport! At 12m tall (or four storeys high), ‘The Slide@T3’ is easily the highlight of any adventure at Changi Airport. Kids and adults can hop into the tubular slide from level 1 and take an exhilarating ride all the way down to basement-level 3.
Ever dreamed of playing in the clouds? At some point, looking out of a plane window, it must have occurred to all of us that a cloud playground would be ideal.
Well, get ready to make those dreams a reality at Changi’s newest ‘Jewel’ precinct, which features an incredible, misty garden playground for kids to get (safely) lost in.
The butterfly garden
In this one-of-a-kind garden in an airport, you can learn alongside your little ones about the life cycle of butterflies. You can even witness the birth of a butterfly, and see it take its first flight!
Designed as a tropical butterfly habitat with a profusion of flowering plants, lush greenery and a 6m grotto waterfall, the garden includes more than 1,000 tropical butterflies from as many as 40 species. Educational corners and individual enclosures let you witness the breeding and feeding of butterflies at close range.
It’s open 24 hours, so you can go no matter how jetlagged you are!
Create your own imprints from rubbing surfaces of icons inspired by local culture and Changi Airport. Crayons, paper and of course, woodblocks, are supplied at these charming stations, located in all terminals.
There’s historically been a stigma around airport hotels; in the past they’ve often been an ugly, cheap and unpleasant bolthole to stay at and escape from as soon as humanly possible.
This is emphatically not the case at Crown Plaza Changi Airport, which has been named the world’s best airport hotel, five years in a row – and looks to be a likely winner again in 2020.
With a huge central outdoor space dominated by a family-friendly swimming pool, the hotel is the perfect spot to unwind after a long-haul flight, or freshen up for the second leg of your journey.
Apart from the amenities, the main thing we always remember about any hotel stay is the hospitality shown by the staff – and Crown Plaza Changi may just be the friendliest hotel we’ve ever stayed at, with staff welcoming exhausted parents and children with open arms. In fact, the manager literally gave this reviewer a heartfelt hug when we checked out!
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