Sunday, June 24, 2018

Begonia Brilliance at the Flower Dome & Children's Garden at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

The past week has been all sorts of things - hectic, exhausting, fun, stressful and exciting! The husband is away on a business trip and I have been trying to hold the fort in the midst of a packed working schedule, finding ways to keep the twins occupied during the holidays, finishing their school project, managing them in the evenings, maintaining my daily exercise schedule, meal planning, grocery shopping, eating healthy and devoting my time to a few important commitments that unexpectedly popped up this week. I do have my domestic helper for support but my bad habit of trying to take on more tasks than I can handle often wears me out. For instance, right now, my kids are fast asleep and common sense dictates that I should be too but instead, I feel like I ought to blog and that is what I am doing (sometimes even I find myself infuriating 😛) Anyway, back to the subject, being a single parent while the significant other is away is not easy so I salute all those of you with frequently traveling spouses who do it year round! You are all crusaders! I think it would drive me completely nuts 😝

On the rare occasions that I find myself in this situation, I find weekends particularly challenging because I need to plan activities for the kids. Now especially with the school holidays ongoing, their usual art classes have been temporarily suspended and they have a break from their swimming lessons too. Add to that, most of their playground friends and classmates have been mostly away on holiday. The net result for the poor critters is boredom. And although I am not opposed to the notion of my kids being bored, this substantial lack of activity and interaction is a tad too much for my comfort (and theirs!). That being said, I always tend to overthink these matters because the kids have been nothing but cheerful and manageable during the past month. They spent a lovely ten days with their grandparents at the start of the month. Subsequently, we devised various indoor activities to keep them engaged during the day and our helper is religiously taking them out to play in the morning and evening so it isn't as awful as it seems 😛

But with their beloved Daddy being away, I have been determined to make their weekends extra special because I feel like they deserve it. And doing that, given the facilities Singapore has, is not a difficult task. I love love love how Singapore is such a family-friendly country. There is no dearth of options when it comes to activities for kids - both indoors and outdoors. I've mentioned this before - going to water parks is something my kids enjoy more than anything else. The Far East Organization's Children's Garden at Gardens by the Bay is particularly close to their heart and since I had two corporate passes to the cooled conservatories with me, I decided to buy two more and take my helper and the kids to check out the Begonia Brilliance floral display at the Flower Dome and then treat the kids to a splashing good time at the Children's Garden. 



So, I've done an entire blog post on the Gardens by the Bay. I also did two individual posts on previous floral displays namely the Tulip Mania and Blossom Bliss. I didn't actually plan on doing a blog post for the Begonia Brilliance but it turned out the photos I took were decentish and I had absolutely no drafts or other plans for me next blog post so I put it together very last minute and in record time 😛 I'm glad I did because I realise I hadn't included the Children's Garden in any of my previous posts. 

The kids had been badgering me to take a trip in the MRT. They don't usually ride the MRT so it is somewhat of a treat for them! After a ride that seemed to take eternity (I think we got a year's worth of MRT 😝) we still reached the Gardens fairly early, around 9:45am. The weather was moody en route with alternating grey and blue skies and sudden unexpected showers. I wasn't sure if we could do the Children's Garden considering how it looked like the skies would open up any minute but I pushed the thought out of my mind. We first occupied a nice bench and gave the hungry kids a hearty breakfast. We then immediately headed to the Flower Dome. 


Begonia Brilliance Floral Display

I was familiar with the name Begonia and could identify the flower from a line-up but I had no idea how many varieties there were or how supersized they could be!  Some varieties of this eye-catching flower are much sought after for their large and stunning flowers. This floral display is the first of its kind at Garden's by the Bay showcasing more than 50 varieties with beautiful blooms in a spectrum of reds, oranges and yellows. Apparently some of the flowers have been grown by Gardens by the Bay’s horticulturists. 



Stepping into the cool Flower Dome, we were instantly taken with the bright pops of colour within the floral display at the entrance. The girls went "WOW!" and after constant (and I mean constant!) reminders to not touch the flowers, I think the message finally sunk in that a pluck-fest was definitely out of the question!




Although it was early there were already quite a few visitors (although nothing compared to the throngs of people I witnessed at a previous Blossom Bliss). While my helper kept an eye on the girls, I was able to easily take photos of the showy flowers at my own pace. 






The Flower Field was (as usual) the main highlight with Begonias arranged in an undersea realm set-up with octopuses, jelly fish, manta rays and giant clams.

A photographer's dream!





The display showcased home-grown tuberous begonias and unique home-bred hybrids. I learned that there are 14 hybrids on display which took the in-house horticulturists two years to do research and cultivation. To be a bit more technical, here are some of the names - Begonia 'Trumpet Rose Yellow', Begonia "Sensation Orange', Begonia 'Trumpet Rose Red', Begonia "Prima Donna Orange', Begonia 'Prima Donna Red' and Begonia "Prima Donna Sunburst'.

No matter the name, each are stunning in their own right! 





The kids were eager to get to the Children's Garden and considering there was no rain, we wrapped up our tour of the Flower Dome. 

To conclude, I'd say this display to me was a success. Kudos to everyone involved!

Event Details:

Date: Friday, 25 May 2018 - Sunday, 1 July 2018
Time: 9.00am - 9.00pm
Location: Flower Dome
*Admission charge to the conservatories applies

Apply online to avail 10% discount (which I did) but you can also get discounts at the counter if you possess OCBC credit card or NTUC cards.


Far East Organization Children's Garden 

This is a sprawling, free water play zone targeted at children aged 1-12 which is clearly demarcated into two zones. 

The larger one is for the kids aged 6-12 and mainly features water jets, sprinklers and splash buckets. The programmable water play is linked to sensors which detect the movement of children to create a corresponding sequence of water effects. 

 The smaller area is for toddlers (2-5 years old) and has an interactive landscape of water tunnels and fish sculptures letting out gentle bursts of water. 



Keep in mind that the kids require swimwear and they have a strict rule about no footwear beyond the water play zone. The staff will toot their ear-piercing whistle on you should you flout the rule. 

As expected, my kids went completely bonkers once they were in their swimwear and allowed into the wet play area. They alternated between the larger play area and the toddler play area so they got the best of both worlds! Parents are allowed in with the kids but I chose to stay comfortably dry and watched from a safe distance. 



It was 12pm by the time the kids were willing to step out of the water zone. While my helper aided to get them dry and changed, I went over to the Children's Garden Cafe located adjacent to the shower rooms and got some food and drinks for everyone (the cafe serves mostly junk food I'd like to add). There is a small dry play area just outside the cafe and some benches which was super convenient so that is where we had our leisurely lunch. The play area has a sway bridge, climbing feature, slide, swings, a three-way seesaw and stepping springs so it can keep young children occupied for a fair bit. We easily spent an hour there and it was lovely. After getting our bellies filled and spending the entire morning at the gardens, we were ready to call it a day. 




We haven't checked out the Rainforest Tree Houses yet (too enthralled by the other stuff!) but when we do, I will update this space. 

I'd totally recommend the Far East Organization's Children's Garden as an ideal place to have a fun-filled family day with interactive play delights, water play features and educational programmes embraced by picturesque surroundings.

Attraction Details:

Weekdays* (Tues^ - Fri): 10.00am - 7.00pm
Last admission at 6.30pm
*Closed every Monday.
^Closed on Tuesday if the preceding Monday is a public holiday.

Weekends (Sat, Sun & Public Holidays): 9.00am - 9.00pm (Last admission at 8.30pm)

Waterplay and Fish Fountain areas are closed at 6.30pm on weekdays and 8.30pm on weekends/public holidays.

Free admission but be sure to check closure dates before planning your visit!

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I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as we enjoyed the experience! And I also hope you may find this post useful if you are planning a visit to the Gardens by the Bay in the near future. I'm quite sure we will be back soon (my daughters insisted they want to return the next day but as much as I love them, that is not going to happen 😝)


Cheers,
Megha

This is NOT a sponsored post or invited review

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