8 must-knows before taking the kids to Nestopia at Sentosa (including how to get free entry!)
Updated: Dec 26, 2020
Because going out these days is not the same as pre-COVID days, here are eight must-knows before taking the kids to Nestopia at Sentosa, Singapore (including how to get free entry!).
(13 September 2020 - CORRECTED 6d) to clarify that if the attraction you're visiting requires more than ten tokens, you can buy extra tokens - in which you will be issued a separate fun pass specifically for top-ups - you need at the ticketing counter itself, which means check ahead on how many tokens you'd need for the attraction you're visiting.)
Original post - 12 September 2020
When I first heard about Nestopia at Sentosa, I wasn't quite sure if I would take the kids there as it requires entrance fees - we are all used to loads of free outdoor playgrounds in Singapore after all 😆. But we decided to visit after redeeming the free NDP Sentosa fun passes (more on that below!) which covered entry for two kids. And I must say when we got there, I was pretty impressed by the playground structure. It looked about two stories high which made it really exciting for the kids.
The girls had a ball of a time climbing nets, crossing bridges and sliding down slides (one's pretty fast and steep, they say!). Being outdoors at 10am was rather hot though, especially with face masks on 😅 But they lasted for the hour we were booked for! And I must say there’s something about playing at a playground with the beach in the background - felt like we were on holiday somewhere!
If you are thinking of a trip to Nestopia, here are eight things to know!
1) Do you need to make a booking before heading down?
It's not necessary but preferable as currently there is a 15 children capacity limit at Nestopia for every hour-long play slot. Nestopia takes walk-ins but if capacity limit is already reached, you won't be able to enter. Note that the capacity limit does not include adults accompanying their children and one adult can enter free with each paying child, while children below the age of 7 must be accompanied by an adult. For reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +65 63711067 or +65 63711062. If it rains before you arrive, you can always call ahead to cancel/re-book.
2) How crowded was it?
We were there 10-11am on a Tuesday school holiday morning. It wasn't crowded with only around 8 kids. But we heard from a staff that the popular hours are typically late afternoons during weekends. The playground is really quite big and I believe even with 15 kids, it would still be pretty spacious.
3) Would kids last for the hour wearing face masks in an outdoor playground?
That's one concern I had. It's really not the most comfortable for children to have to wear face masks while playing in an outdoor playground - 10am or late afternoons in Singapore can still be pretty hot. But I'm glad to say our kids survived the 10-11am slot. Yes they did complain it was rather hot and drank lots of water while there, but Nestopia was fun enough to engage them for the hour. However, I don't think they would survive beyond an hour, so one hour is really good enough for them.
4) Is it suitable for young children?
Nestopia says that it is suitable for children aged 5 and above. It doesn't sound like they will bar you from bringing your kids below that age in, but yes, the climbing structures are more suitable for those 5 and above. Younger ones might find the slides and bridges - which reach about 2 stories high - rather daunting.
I had asked my eight and ten-year-olds if they were afraid of the heights but they said, only in the beginning and they were quite alright with the height thereafter. That said, the younger one didn't dare to try the steeper slide (there are two tube slides) and the elder one after trying the steeper slide, decided not to go again as she thought it was rather fast and scary. But that said, they still enjoyed the other slide and climbing structures.
5) You were saying something about free entry?
Yes, we entered for free as we had redeemed our two free NDP Sentosa Fun Pass which every household in Singapore is eligible for as part of NDP celebrations, and the two fun passes - which has ten tokens in each pass - covered entry for two kids at Nestopia (one kid requires ten tokens). Note that this free pass is only for locals and residents in Singapore. You don't have to use these passes for Nestopia; they are also valid for other attractions in Sentosa. See the link above for details, T&Cs and places you can use them.
6) How do you redeem these free NDP Sentosa fun passes?
Redeeming these free NDP fun passes really wasn't the most convenient or straightforward such that it probably deserves an entire blog post on it! I remember having to do quite a bit of planning just to redeem these for Nestopia. But here are the things to note:
a) Sign up online first
Firstly, sign up at the NDP free Sentosa fun pass website above and you'll receive a confirmation email on successful redemption of the passes. Note that these are while stocks last and the free pass promotion had started from 1 August 2020. But in my enquiry to Sentosa, a staff had told me that as long as you're able to receive the confirmation email, the passes are still available.
b) Upon successful registration, you'd need to go to a Sentosa ticketing counter to redeem the physical passes
After successful registration online, you'll be directed to a website to select your visiting date and the Sentosa ticketing counter where you'll be redeeming the tokens - yes, you will still need to go to a Sentosa ticketing counter to get the physical passes (which is really 2 paper tickets). Note that you don't have to choose the date or ticketing counters immediately, you can do so when you arrive at the ticketing counter on the day you're visiting. Once redeemed, you'd need to use those passes within two days, including the day you redeemed it. So don't think, oh I'm going to Vivocity today, I'll just redeem the tokens first and use it for another day. Nope, doesn't work like that. Redeem them on the day you're using them please.
c) Check Sentosa ticketing counter opening hours and plan ahead depending on what time you need to be at your attraction
There are four Sentosa ticketing counters but their opening hours are different, like the one at Beach Station opens at 11am, while the one at Vivocity (at third level near the monorail entrance/exit at Lobby L) opens at 9am. Not all the counters are open daily as well. So do check what time you'll need to be at the ticketing counter so as to arrive at your attraction on time. E.g. Don't go to the Beach Station counter expecting to be able to redeem the passes when you need to be Nestopia at 10am.
In our case, because our Nestopia booking was 10am, we could only drop by Vivocity at around 9-plus in the morning to redeem our tickets. Also factor in that you may need to take a bus or tram to get to the attraction after you have redeemed your tokens. There might also be a queue at the ticketing counter too.
d) Each household only gets two passes with ten tokens in one pass
You can only use one pass for one person i.e. you cannot combine them as 20 tokens to use for one person at an attraction. For Nestopia's case, it requires ten tokens for 1 child. So the two passes of ten tokens will give you entry for 2 children. If the attraction you're visiting requires more than ten tokens, you can buy extra tokens you need at the ticketing counter itself - in which you will be issued a separate fun pass specifically for top-ups - which means check ahead on how many tokens you'd need for the attraction you're visiting.
BTW, if you have relatives/friends living at different addresses who don't intend to redeem those passes, they can redeem them and give you the passes. But note that, during redemption at the ticketing counters, the person holding the ID that was used for the redemption will need to be the one redeeming it. So, you can't bring grandma's IC to redeem on her behalf, not even if you have an authorisation letter. I know, because I emailed to ask Sentosa. So yeah, grandma or grandpa will need to be there to redeem the tokens herself/himself.
7) Too troublesome! How much do I need to pay for Nestopia?
Now you know why I said redeeming the tokens could use one blog post, right? If you rather pay, locals are at $9 and non-locals $10 for one hour's play at Nestopia. You can purchase your tickets from Sentosa's online store or from Sentosa ticketing counters.
8) Where exactly in Sentosa is Nestopia?
Nestopia is owned by Shangri-la but it's not located inside Rasa Sentosa hotel. We actually went inside the hotel thinking that it's in there! It's located at Siloso Beach. You enter from Siloso Point Station, outside the Rasa Sentosa gate gantry and opposite where the Underwater World used to be. Sentosa's free shuttle Bus A also drops there. It's then a short five minute walk from the station to Nestopia.
The girls had fun at Nestopia and the staff there are really friendly and helpful too. One of them went up with our kids when they just arrived to show them how they could slide down the slide faster using a scarf they provided.
Little E said she'd like to visit again but Big E is undecided as she said it felt a little too hot. If there is some promo on entrance fees, I guess I don't mind taking them there again if they'd like to visit again!
Have you visited Nestopia? Did you like it and would you visit again?
Disclaimer: My opinions and reviews here are strictly my and my family’s own.
©Vivian Teo. All content and photos are copyrighted to Vivian Teo unless otherwise specified.