- Vivian Teo
(UPDATED) 6 must-knows before taking kids to Changi Experience Studio
Through fun games and interactive features, children will have an engaging time at Singapore's Changi Experience Studio while learning about Changi Airport.
UPDATED: 25 June 2021
Having spent most of our June holidays at home, we decided to take the kids out for another outing before the holiday ends this week. We decided to revisit Changi Experience Studio (CES) at Jewel Changi Airport as we still had unused tickets and my kids really enjoyed the attraction the last time we were there!
Jewel and its attractions have since reopened after it was closed due to a COVID-19 cluster at Changi Airport in May. Some people are probably still wary about visiting Jewel because of that. That's actually one of the reason why we decided to go to Jewel - the crowds are likely to be thin. And it sure was as we had never seen Jewel so quiet on a school holiday (we were there on a Wednesday afternoon).
So with our visit, I'm taking the opportunity to update this blog post as we didn't get to visit the Garden of Harmony and also in case there are folks wondering what it's like at CES now! Here are another 3 things to know if you're planning a visit to CES!
1) How crowded was it at CES?
We were there on a Wednesday school holiday afternoon and the place was quite empty. Including our family of four there were only about ten people there. About an hour later around 2 plus, there were more families who came but it was still easily less than 20 people at the attraction.
2) What's new at CES?
Cloud, the futuristic room that greets you when you enter the attraction (see original post below for details), was cordoned off as "under maintenance" when we were there. Unsure if this has anything to do with COVID-19 measures but wasn't a biggie as we were more interested in the interactive games.
There are safe distancing measures for the Amazing Runway stationary bikes; basically there is a non-usable bike between every usable bike. No biggie too because not many people were there and hence, there was no queues for the bikes.
There is a new Chair of Resilience exhibit since we were last there.
It's a robotic exhibit whereby the chair comes apart, then reassembles itself on its own. The reassembling took more than five minutes (hence my fast forward video below) but that said, it was still pretty amazing to see the technology at work.
The last time when we visited, we didn't get to see the Garden of Harmony as there was an ongoing workshop. Well, we did this time and I must say it does look and feel very magical. You can "play" different instruments by lifting and lowering your visitor guide by standing at different spots in the Garden.
At regular timings, there is also a very majestic-sounding symphony that plays as butterflies "fly around" the garden.
The interactive games (see original post below) are unchanged and in my opinion, still the main draw for kids at CES. And as the attraction was rather empty when we were there, there was no need to wait at all for the games.
3) Any perks for visiting now?
There is free parking now at Jewel from 10am – 11pm daily, with no minimum spend required, till 11 July 2021. Valid for parking at Jewel / T1 Carpark, B2 to B5 (excluding short-term parking).
ORIGINAL POST - 28 December 2020
I've been thinking about visiting Changi Experience Studio (CES) at Jewel for a while. It was opened for more than a year and I had thought it would be somewhat like a museum about the development of Changi Airport, which might be a lil boring for our kids. But after hearing feedback from fellow parents and also encouraged by our SingapoRediscover Vouchers (SRV), we decided to pay CES a visit and I must say, we weren't disappointed.
In fact, our girls (age 8 and 10) had so much fun, they were very reluctant to leave at the end of our visit. We spent about three hours there as the girls were very engaged by the games and interactive features. So here's what to expect at CES and six things to know before heading down with your kids.
1) What do you actually do at CES?
Okay, in CES' words, you "go on a journey of fun and discovery through the exciting virtual world of Changi Airport" where you "engage in the wonder of amazing projection experiences and enjoy interactive games and immersive shows." My summary is kids can enjoy interactive games while learning about Changi Airport.
When you enter CES, visitors can immediately try out their Travel Guide (which looks like a foldable board) at Cloud, an all-white futuristic-looking room. When placed under projections, your Travel Guide will unlock surprises like fluttering butterflies at Cloud and information about Changi Airport at various rooms and stations. Your Travel Guide will also allow you to play the interactive games and record your scores, so keep it with you at all times when at CES.
At the Hanging Garden, you can learn more about the development of Changi Airport via the interactive stations.
The fun for kids really comes after the Hanging Garden towards the end of the attraction, of which you'll first encounter the Amazing Runway: stationary bikes which allow you to participate in a multiplayer virtual race. This game is based on an actual race between a Porsche 911 GT3 Carrera Cup car and a Boeing 747 aircraft at Changi Airport in 2009.
Our girls enjoyed this so much they returned to it quite a few times despite proclaiming that they were really tired after all the cycling!
Next up is the Sky Deck which is a really cool room designed like an airport control room. Here you can learn about the connectivity of Changi Airport, which is most impressive.
After the Sky Deck comes all the fun and games that kids will love, like the trolley game where you're to collect as many trolleys are you can around Changi Airport in a given amount of time. It would be really fun to do this in real life!
You can also play the taxi directing game where you have to send taxis to the pick-up points and passengers to the taxis. This is more challenging than it looks!
There is also a nectar collecting game where you guide a butterfly to collect nectar while avoiding obstacles.
Our kids spent the most time at the efficiency games station.
This station has four games: fingerprint matching, embarking and disembarking passengers, weighing and checking in luggage, and sending luggage to the correct lanes. Even for adults, we found the games really fun!
There is also a smile challenge where you can pit yourself against other visitors to see who has the best smile. Unsure what's the criteria for this but I'm guessing big smile showing lots of teeth will get you higher up in ranking?
At Finale, you get to watch a short video on the construction of Changi Airport which was quite a nice experience with the wide screen and grand music. I don't want to give too much away and ruin the experience, so just posting a pic here.
There is also another room called the Garden of Harmony which we missed because workshops were being held then. It was rather disappointing as we had seen pictures of it which looked really cool. I thought staff at the ticketing counter could have told us about it (there was a sign at the queue but we missed it) and we would have chosen to visit the room first before it was closed for the workshops.
2) What age group is CES suitable for?
Children at six and above will need tickets and I think that's an indication of the age of those who would enjoy the games and exhibits. As an adult, I found the games rather fun too but it's the kids from the primary- and maybe even secondary-school age who would find them most fun.
3) How much do tickets cost and how to redeem with your SRV?
Tickets are at S$19 for adults and S$13 for senior citizens and children 6-12 years old (those below can enter for free). Your SRV can be used for the attraction. I've written in previous posts on things to note when redeeming with your SRV. Do check them out!
4) There are a few packages when booking tickets via Klook. Which should I take?
If you're booking tickets via Klook (one of the platforms where you can use your SRV), you can get solely admission tickets at the above prices or get those which come with photos which I thought are really good value. We went for the package which includes admission tickets and four 6R photos, and it only costs $2 more (worked out to $0.50 for one photo) compared to solely buying admission tickets.
At CES, there is a Backstage area where you can take photos against a green screen and the photos turn out with Changi Airport-related backdrops. You can then get these printed out at CES' ticketing counter using your Travel Guide. This is one of the four pics hanging in our room which we got as part of our package and given that we weren't travelling this holiday, the photos really reminded me of going on a 'holiday'.
5) How much time to spend there?
CES recommends setting aside at least 90 minutes for the attraction. Some parents have mentioned that they had spent 1.5-2 hours there. For us, we spent a good three hours there and our kids still didn't want to leave!
6) How crowded is it?
We were at CES on a Friday during the December school holiday. I thought it wasn't very crowded. The games station usually had people there but they would move on to another game after they had completed it, so we didn't have to wait long for the games. The ticketing staff had mentioned to us that it wasn't too crowded on the day we visited, so I'm guessing it can be even more crowded on certain days. I would probably avoid visiting during the weekends as everyone has to take turns on the games and queuing is really not a way I like to spend my time, COVID or no COVID.
That said, the ticketing and photo-printing queue was rather slow even though there was only one or two in front of us. Even if you bought your tickets on Klook, you'll still need to queue at the ticketing counter to redeem your tickets and get your Travel Guides. So do factor in some time to redeem your tickets and photos.
We'll definitely return to CES again as our girls had so much fun but hopefully on a school-specific weekday holiday so they can have more time on the games!
What fun places have you visited this school holiday?
Disclaimer: We paid for our tickets, and 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.