Ten must-knows before taking the kids to Houbii Spot Singapore
Updated: Jul 12, 2021
Houbii Spot Singapore is great for kids to get started on rope courses while its variety of obstacle courses keeps it fun for little ninjas.
We've been wanting to visit Houbii Spot Singapore for a while now as our girls love rope obstacle courses. They had so much fun at Forest Adventure such that we had been looking for new obstacle courses to visit for variety sake. We almost made a trip to Houbii Spot a few months back but at the last minute we realised it was located inside the zoo, which meant we would have to pay entrance fees for the zoo just to get to Houbii Spot. So we didn't go in the end as our main interest was the rope course.
Well, we finally made a trip to the zoo this June holiday. We had mostly been home during the Phase 2 Heightened Alert period which took up about half of the June holidays. So when restrictions on group gatherings were increased to five, we decided to make the trip so the kids would have a chance to enjoy the attractions before school restarts. And since we were at the zoo, of course we were going to visit Houbii Spot!
So, here are ten things to know if you're thinking of taking the kids to Houbii Spot (our review is mainly relevant to The Real Thing rope course rather than the Mini Course as we had participated in the former):
1) Where is Houbii Spot?
Houbii Spot is located inside the Singapore Zoo, which means you need to pay Zoo entrance fees to get to Houbii Spot. Walk in the direction towards "Kidzworld" and you'll find it at Garden with a View between "Kidzworld" and the African penguin exhibit. If you're taking the zoo tram, it's between tram stop 1 and 4, right next to the Ah Meng Memorial.
2) How much does it cost?
There are two courses at Houbii. The Real Thing is for those 110cm and taller, and recommended for those six years and older. This costs $25 per pax. For children below the height of 110cm who wish to participate in The Real Thing, 1-to-1 adult supervision is required. Klook has a adult and child ticket package at $38 specifically for kids below 110cm who wants to go on The Real Thing.
The other Mini Course is for those below 110 cm and cost $20 per pax. Adults can't go on this but can watch from the side of the course.
Tickets can be purchased at Houbii Spot itself. Zoo entrance fees apply.
3) Are face masks required when on the course?
The attraction follows the legal requirement for face mask-wearing in Singapore which means those six years and older need to wear face masks when out. So yes, you'll need to wear your face masks on the course if you're six years and older.
4) What are the opening hours?
5) Best time to visit?
The staff at Houbii told us that it's usually very quiet on weekdays and on weekends, mornings are usually more crowded than the afternoons. We were there around 130pm on Wednesday during the school holiday. There were only a few kids on the course when we arrived but at 2pm, more started arriving and there were around 15 participants on the The Real Thing during the time we were there.
With around 15 on the course, it didn't look very crowded to us, especially since there are many obstacle courses which participants could "detour" to should one obstacle course have a participant on it. But we noted that there were sometimes "traffic jams" at certain spots with four or five participants waiting as one tried to maneuver their carabiner to their desired obstacle course.
6) Is there a capacity limit?
There is a limit of 21 climbers on The Real Thing while one observer per climber is allowed at the course area. No advance booking is required but your entrance to the Zoo is subjected to the Zoo's capacity limit. Pre-booking for entrance to the Zoo is required at current time of writing.
7) Is the course supervised by instructors?
When we were there, there were two instructors who monitored participants from the ground level. Before starting on the course, participants are taught how to maneuver their carabiner to their desired obstacle course. It seems relatively easy to do so but some kids might flounder, like Little E (8 years old) who said hers kept getting stuck when she was changing to another obstacle course. I think it's mainly because she wasn't used to it (you're suppose to keep the rope slack when doing so but I saw hers was taut when she tried doing so, so I'm guessing it's more of a user problem).
8) Is there a time limit to complete the course?
There is no time limit. You can actually descend from the course, take a rest and have a drink and return to it again - so long as you haven't removed your safety harness. Once you've asked the staff to remove your harness, you won't be allowed to return to the course.
9) How challenging is The Real Thing?
My kids are pretty gung-ho on obstacle courses. They practically flew across the Kids Course at Forest Adventure when they were younger. The Real Thing at Houbii has two levels and is not as high as the Kids Course at Forest Adventure. In terms of height, Big E (10 years old) and her sister said they didn't find The Real Thing scary but some of the obstacles courses at The Real Thing were a bit harder compared to Forest Adventure, like one with tires which was rather hard to get across.
They liked the variety of obstacle courses at The Real Thing but would have preferred the attraction to be bigger and wider, like Forest Adventure.
We saw some kids on The Real Thing course around the age of six and they didn't seem scared either. But that said, everyone has their own fear threshold - there was a kid there around age seven who was too scared to move initially and an adult who proclaimed "this is harder than it looks!". I don't believe in forcing my kids to try out such obstacle courses - they were the ones who requested to go to Forest Adventure when they were younger because they said it looked fun! So I think if such high element obstacle courses are new to your kids, it might be good to go up there with them or be prepared for them to "chicken out" when they are there.
But generally I suppose if you want to expose your children to obstacle courses, Houbii Spot is a good place to start off given the less challenging height and more compact feel which can make it less daunting for first-timers.
I think the challenge lies more in having to wear a face mask and attempting the course while it's hot. My kids were done in an hour's time as they found it too hot to keep going.
10) What attire is required?
Participants need proper secured footwear. Shoes are available for rental. Helmets are also provided but you can bring your own.
We probably wouldn't pay entrance fee for the zoo just to visit Houbii Spot but if you're planning to visit the zoo, it's a nice activity to include for the kids. After an hour on the the rope course and 3 hours going around the zoo on foot, we were all knackered at the end of the day! But all good fun!
Are there any rope courses in Singapore that you would recommend? Tell us in the comment box below!
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.