It gets hot in Singapore. Very hot. So hot in fact, that I often loathe going outdoors where there is nothing but sweat and tears, or rather, the kind of sweat that eventually forms itself into tiny rivulets that course down the face.
This is why I love taking my kids to the pool. We all get exercise without the sweating. Oh yes, there’s nothing like being cool in the pool when the sun is high in the sky. Swimming is one of those life skills that the Barn Owl and I insist that the children must learn early.
Open air swimming pools are practically everywhere in Singapore – we have a wonderful pool just downstairs of our flat which we visit at least once a week. When we were still living with the Aged Ps, we used to visit the public pool over at Buona Vista Swimming Complex before it closed in March last year. I have fond memories of bringing J there to splash about in the pool there when he was just a tiny baby. All the public swimming pools in Singapore are incredibly clean and well-kept, with lifeguards on duty at all times, and the cost of entry is minimal.
We live a stone’s throw away from the Jurong East Swimming Complex so this week, we decided to give it a go this week!
AND IT WAS AMAZING!!!!
First of all, the place was HUGE! Apart from the usual rectangular competition pool for people who want to swim laps, there was also a large water play area for kids, a small splash pool for tiny tots, a mushroom fountain play pool, three giant twirly slides (one of which was at least 3 stories high), a lazy river to drift in, and a huge wave pool!
There’s also plenty of shady picnic tables and loads of benches to lounge on. Additionally, there’s a KFC and a Pastamania on site if you haven’t brought your own refreshments.
When we were about to pay for entry to the pools, the counter staff told us that each of us were entitled to $100 worth of credit as part of the ActiveSG national sports programme. This credit could be put towards the entry fee for swimming complexes around Singapore and membership to ActiveSG is free for every Singaporean and Permanent Resident. So, I used my credit to pay for entry to the swimming complex for myself, the Barn Owl and the kids…which means that we didn’t pay for anything at all!
CHEAP AS FREE!!!
We decided to rent the a large inflatable doughnut for floating around in, which were SGD$2 for a few hours (you pay a $5 deposit and they refund you $3 after you return the tubes), and the kids enjoyed taking turns with it.
J and Little E really loved playing hide-and-seek in the water playground, and zipping along the lazy river in the inflatable tube. The Barn Owl brought them into the wave pool which the kids deemed “Very Good Fun” and J even gathered up his courage and had a go on one of the twirly slides. Meanwhile, Thumper and I sat at one of the shady areas or paddled at the edge of the wave pool enjoying the sound of the water and the feel of it between our toes.
I brought my brand new GoPro camera with us, in the hope of getting some awesome underwater videos, but the camera fell out of the pocket of the Barn Owl’s swimming trunks and sank to the bottom of the lazy river before we had a chance to use it.
The poor Barn Owl tried his best to find it by himself, swimming round and round to no avail. In the end, the lifeguards clubbed together to help him. One of them turned off the pump to the lazy river, whilst one of the others swam alongside the Barn Owl, searching the bottom of the pool for the camera. Thanks to their help, the Barn Owl was able to retrieve the GoPro camera in a matter of minutes.
He didn’t want to lose it again, so we ended up not taking any videos in the water. Maybe next time!
After several hours of splashing about, the kids were super hungry, so we brought them to the KFC for a quick snack before taking them home for a well deserved nap!
We’ll definitely be visiting again the next time the Barn Owl gets a chance to have a weekend off!
21 Jurong East St 31
Tel: 6563 5052/65652297
Weekends & Public Holidays: Children/Senior Citizens: $1.00, Adults $2.00