I am so in love with our airport! There's something new to see each time we are there (yes, still talking about the airport, not some museum).
There are airports, and there are airports. I've been to my fair share of airports and I think that the number of food outlets at Changi Airport is probably more than all the food outlets in all the airports I've been to, combined. How many of us say "We'll just grab dinner at the airport before we board the plane"? That's not always possible at every airport! I used to take it for granted, but one very quickly learns to appreciate Changi Airport, especially when one has landed in some foreign country at 4am, starving with no food options available.
Family friendliness? The closest child-friendly thing I've seen is a little playground at Doha airport. Changi Airport on the other hand, has gone all out to ensuring that it's a fun destination not only for travellers, but also for those who visit for no reason at all.
Here are five of our favourite free things to do at Changi Airport!
1) The viewing gallery
When it comes to watching aeroplanes up close and personal, nothing beats ceiling to floor glass panels. The viewing gallery at Terminal 3 is really gorgeous. There's even an area of glass bottom floor to scare the crap out of acrophobic Mamas. My almost 2-year old enjoyed it the most; her favourite word now is "aeroplane" :)
Lots of paper and crayons provided at these stations that were big enough to accomodate 8-10 children at one go. Did the kids enjoy it? Oh very much, thank you.
3) Free play areas
And I'm not just talking about railings at check-in counters that kids can hang from. I'm talking about serious play areas.
Like The Slide @ T3 (incidently the world's tallest slide in an airport) - 12 metres high (4 storeys tall)!. There are actually 2 slides - the 1.5 storey one (located at basement 2) is free, and the 4-storey one (located at level 1) requires a spend of $10. Both slides are open daily from 12noon to 10.30pm, height and age requirements apply.
Those who aren't too big on an adrenelin rush can check out the smaller play area which is so strategically placed right next to the big slides.
And perhaps our happiest discovery today was to learn that Canopy at the viewing gallery of Terminal 1, is now free! There used to be a small admission fee but it's now been scraped. Hooray!
4) Lots of fun displays
Our favourite of all was the Kinetic Rain display at the departure hall of Terminal 1. This was one of the few times we've seen it in action and were all mesmerized by it. 1216 bronze droplets moving in perfect rhythm in time mimicking shapes like dragons, aeroplanes, rainfall ... through soft fluid movements.
Each droplet is connected to a motor and the entire installation took 20 months to get set up! Worth it? Oh yes. Cool? You betcha. You can watch it in action here. And to think that as kids, we found the good ole 'strings of water from the ceiling' thing entertaining!
5) Free kiddy transport!
I'd forgotten about these things and were so grateful to have spotted an empty one! Parents, you understand. My biceps thanked me profusely.
If you're planning a trip to the airport soon (let me guess - Singaporean, yes?), here are some other activities you might want to check out.
PS other things that might interest you:
- there are lots of toilets and they are clean!
- nursing rooms are available
- there's the Exotic Turkey exhibition at T3 from now till 14 April
If you're local, tell me what your favourite thing about our airport is, won't you?