Thursday, February 25, 2016

KidZania Singapore Partners Qatar Airways

It’s finally coming this April, KidZania Singapore will offer real-life experiences, empowering, inspiring and educating kids through role-play in a kid-sized city. Truly, A City Built for Kids!

What is KidZania?
KidZania, the world’s fastest growing family entertainment phenomenon, is an unique, safe and interactive indoor edutainment center where children can experience the world of adults in a replica of a real city. Children of ages 4 and above are empowered and inspired to pursue their dreams in KidZania. Various role-playing activities will offer diverse learning experiences to help children develop new skills and attitudes to be more creative, become more aware about social values and be more confident.

Facts of KidZania Singapore
Located at Palawan Beach, Sentosa Island, KidZania Singapore will be a 7,600 square meters facility. It can have a capacity of 1,500 people at any one time.

Concept of KidZania
Play it Big only in KidZania – the land of cool kids. More than simply a kid’s theme park and a family edutainment center, KidZania is a kid-sized city where children can pick form a large number of role-playing activities, earn a salary (in the form of kidZos, the official currency of KidZania), pay for goods and services and manage an ATM card – all the things they see adults do in real life. In KidZania, kids are empowered to take charge and make their own decisions, through role-play.
The KidZania experience is about real-life experiences, reproducing adult life and therefore providing a vision of the ways in which children relate to the environment and learn from the adults around them. Children in KidZania are motivated to achieve their optimal potential. They feel good about themselves, are entertained while they learn, and gain new experiences each time they revisit the city.

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Honored to be invited for the announcement of KidZania Singapore partnership with Qatar Airways to offer children a taste of aviation fun and learning. It was an eye opener for me, especially hearing from the Group CEO of Qatar Airways, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker.

Voted the world’s best airline in 2015, Qatar Airways will be the Official Airline Industry Partner for KidZania Singapore, slated to open in April 2016. KidZania Singapore will be the second KidZania City that the multi-award winning airline is partnering with, after KidZania Kuwait.

 

Mr. Akbar Al Baker’s witty and clever replies during the short 30-mins or so interview, left most if not all of the media personnel wanting to hear from him more. When asked by the Indian media, why KidZania chose Qatar Airways instead of Singapore Airlines, Mr. Baker’s answer was a simple factual reply, “Qatar Airways has been named Airline of the Year by Skytrax 2015 and is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world now. With more than double figures growth.” A simple and direct answer that outlines the importance of this partnership, dealing with the “best”.

 

Upon arrival at the Palawan Kidz City at Palawan Beach where KidZania Singapore is housed, visitors will be welcomed with the sight of a life-size decommissioned Boeing 737 that measures 25 metre long with a full wingspan of 28 metres. Of all the 22 KidZania cities located worldwide, KidZania Singapore will be the only KidZania to showcase the full fuselage of an actual place within its City.

 

 

Visitors entering KidZania Singapore will be greeted at the Qatar Airways branded airport terminal, complete with check-in desks and personnel dressed in Qatar Airways uniforms. The facility is also home to the Aviation Academy where kids can immerse themselves in the world of aviation and travel.

 

With the help of Zupervisors, aspiring pilots at KidZania Singapore can experience flying two of Qatar Airways’ flagship aircraft – the 787 Dreamliner and the A380 Superjumbo aircraft – using state-of-the-art flight stimulators. The flight stimulation facility was also specially designed to demonstrate taking off and landing at Qatar Airways home base and hub, Hamad International Airport in Doha and Singapore Changi Airport.

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The Experience
Upon arrival, kids will check-in at the KidZania airport and pass through immigration into KidZania City!
KidZania Singapore offers multiple role-play activities where kids are exposed to real-life situations and in the process learn about how a society functions. They can pick up useful skills and values such as responsibility, independence, creativity, confidence, teamwork and financial literacy during role-play.
At KidZania Singapore, the safety of each kid is of utmost priority. Every kid who enters the park will be given a unique security bracelet for the duration of the visit, so a kid cannot leave the city without an authorized adult.
Get ready for an engaging learning experience like no other and most importantly, lots of fun!

KidZos Currency
The official currency of KidZania, kidZos are earned with every job that a kid performs. The more jobs they take on, the more they can earn, save or spend! Recognized at every KidZania city throughout the world, kidZos are used to buy products and services in KidZania City.
On their first visit to KidZania, kids will need to open a bank account and receive kidZos. They can withdraw kidZos from their account to play, shop or even save their kidZos for future visits.

You’re Hired!
From a firefighter, chef to a radio DJ, KidZania Singapore offers over 80 realistic role-play activities in more than 60 establishments with a range of difficulty to meet the abilities and interests of every child. Kids can start to earn a salary by choosing an occupation and learning about their job. They don an uniform or outfit and complete the activity or task.

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Come April, we will be thrilled to be stepping into the latest KidZania (first KidZania experience for us). Pretty sure all the kids will be dashing around the place, trying everything. When we told our girls about earning their own allowances (kidZos) and in turn used it to buy their own food, they went crazy and have both declared to stay in KidZania.

Maybe KidZania can incorporate a “hotel” segment in their facility, the girls will be want to have their own undisturbed staycation without parents. Or better still, only with their friends.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

MOSH!

Imagine a world where your creativity comes to life. The recently opened MOSH! is the new family edutainment with the latest digital technology, a creative space that challenges the boundaries of one’s imagination.

MOSH! (Moshi) builds on the timeless belief that imagination fuels innovation. Just as the name alludes to “Greetings” or “If” in the Japanese language, it is an invitation to “welcome tomorrow”.

Before the girls enter the space, one of the crews explained the story of King MOSH! and the MOSH!cots.

 

Kingdom MOSH! is a place filled with great imagination, where dreams comes to life. King MOSH! and his MOSH!cots would celebrate whenever somebody thought of something new. One day, Baku, the Dream Eater appeared and ate up all their dreams and over time, the MOSH!cots lost their ability to dream.
Because of this, the MOSH!cots became dull and unhappy. King MOSH! then gathered the best mosh-gineers and the smartest most-sits to inspire MOSH!cots to dream again. The MOSH!cots dreamed and MOSH! became a happy place again.

Inside the digital interactive room, there are 5 areas where the kids can turn on their imagination and be “wow” by the attractions.

LAND: Hide & Seek

Place your hands on the interactive table and see little creatures come to life. Cover the little creatures under your palm and catch them before someone else does.

Suitable for younger kids, probably age 3 to 6. But the girls still enjoyed themselves trying to guess where the creatures will pop out from. Must be played with more people for maximum fun.

AIR: Paper Plane Adventure

Create your own paper plane and set them flying towards the motion-sensor wall. You will be surprised the various aircraft or birds that is created involving an interactive projection with vector sensors.

Joey spent the most time here, setting off her planes toward different scenes (the scene changes every 3-5 mins).

 

SEA: Doodle Aquarium

 

The best station for some family bonding. Pick up one of the doodle cards specially prepared according to the required size, draw whatever you want to see in an aquarium, then place it on the scanning table and see your drawings be transported to the large aquarium wall in front of you.

As you can see, we drew a crab, jellyfish, prawn, butterflies, mermaid, and even a stickman. Just be creative!

 

Make sure your drawing is clear and neatly connected, the interactive table can only scan and detect the largest item on the paper, so don’t draw 2 starfishes but just 1. Place the card and wait for a few seconds.

And the aquarium is filled with our creation.

  

SPACE: Firework Party

Another great station for family play. Step on the floor in front of the interactive wall, look out for the stardust on your feet, once you are stepping on some stardust, start to wave, jump or run along the wall to create the fireworks. There are some pretty cool fireworks in the shape of “Hello Kitty”, “Hello Melody”, “Stars” and etc.

FANTASY: World of Wonder

 

Take a piece of the MOSH!cots coloring paper and fill in your colors.

 

Once you are done, place it on the scanning machine and watch it appear on the MOSH! family wall.

 

 

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Visit the place on a weekday if you can, so that you have more time to explore the place and you do not need to wait for other kids to get a chance to try out the interactive stations.

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Adults: $28 / Child: $22 (Family Bundles available)
Opening hours: 10am – 9pm
Playtime of 2 hours will apply during weekends and public holidays.

Getting there:
From Beach Station, take a short 5-minute walk towards Palawan Beach or you can take the Palawan-Tanjong Beach Tram and alight at the first tram-stop outside Port of Lost Wonder.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Taipei Family Trip (Part 2)

Click here to read on my Part 1 post.

Been to Taipei several times, but this is the first time I tried out the hotspring at Beitou (北投). I was expecting it to be an outdoor spot but was a little disappointed that most of the hotsprings are indoor.

At least the price is very reasonable, we paid about NT2500 (S$105) for the usage of a room for 4 hours. Super worth it for a family use. The ladies only used the bath for less than 20mins.

 

From Beitou, we went on to Fisherman’s Wharf (漁人碼頭). This where you can find Dan Shui Old Street (淡水老街) and Lover’s Bridge (情人橋).

Time your visit to the Lover’s Bridge around sunset, so that you can really capture the beautiful scene of the place.

 

Looking back, I am glad we decided to bring both the mothers along on this trip. This will be one of the most precious memories we have created with them.

Grandmother with Jayne. I think Joey was running after some dogs on the bridge.

 

With my lover!

 

More of our cool mothers!

On the Lover’s Bridge. If you are early, do take some photos first before the crowd comes.

 

 

The sunset was simply stunning, made perfect by the companions.

Headed back to Dan Shui and we tried the famous noodle.

Shopping along Dan Shui Old Street is not as elaborated as Shilin Night Market, but still we managed to find something we like.

 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Comeback Run

So it was, on a random night out with friends, one of them casually mentioned about a railway race, and I thought it would be interesting to give it a try. The following day, a group of 4 runners were formed, whatsapp group created, we submitted our particulars. Viola, the race is on!

Winding the clock back almost 4 years to the year 2012, when I ran my last race before I gave up due to a knee injury. I was 38 then and had a dream to complete a Full Marathon before 40. I have done 3 Half Marathon races, a couple more 10km runs, so I thought I was on track to fulfill the dream. Never a person to run for personal glory (aka best timing), but if I can just finish a 42km run, the achievement will be something.

However, age caught up faster than I expected. My knees, especially the left knee has been giving me problems and pains for a while. To cut the long story short, after a MRI and several physio sessions, my doctor advised me to stop running totally. I can still play certain sports but running will bad for my knees, and in the worst case scenario, surgery is needed. So end of running, end of dream. So I thought.

Coming back to just last Sunday. I overcame the hurdle of my knee injury and completed my first 10km race in the last 4 years. Thanks to Benjamin, Yong Siang and John, we bashed through the Compressport Rail Corridor Run 2016.

To be honest, I was enticed by the idea of running along the Rail Corridor route. I have been to the stations at Bukit Timah and Tanjong Pagar for photo shoots, but never travel on foot along the former railway tracks. It could bring back memories of the past when we were still kids, taking the train from Singapore to Malaysia.

Among the 4 runners in the group, I am probably the only one who has not been running as much, but the irony started right from the race pack collection day. All 3 of them totally forgot to collect their race pack. Only me who is the most excited (like a child), did the collection.

The race pack is a simple one, with the usual drawstring bag and some pamphlets inside. The new thing was a pair of Compressport socks. This will be my first pair of running socks, so pro.

 

Since the day we signed up for the race, I have been running pretty regularly, 2-3 times per week, each run is about 4-6km. During these runs, my stamina is still okay (thanks to the gym workouts and spinning classes), but the worrying thing were  the knees. Every time I ran, the pain will slowly surface when I reach the 5km mark. But amazingly, the last 2 runs 2 weeks ago, I was able to complete 5km without any pain, and break in between each run was only 1 day. I think I have cleared the psychological barrier.

Final week before the race. I was planning to keep my routine runs simple and light. Then on Tuesday, I was down with fever, flu and cough. It dragged on till Saturday night. I was even contemplating to skip the race. How can I complete the race with fever and a cough?

Well, the fact was, I recovered from the fever and flu in time for the race. But the cough is still my biggest challenge.

Super charged up just to see the thousands of runners getting ready. From the host, we knew that there were a few Kenya runners and Singapore’s own best Marathon runner, Mok Ying Ren were all present. So what he was trying to tell us was to give up on the podium places. Of course right? What a joke?

The weather was great, in fact too hot for a run. Starting at 9am was not a good plan. Organizers, please take note.

Starting point was at Bukit Timah Railway Station and the ending point was at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station. So all who brought along bags will have to deposit at the “truck” stations, where it will be transported to the ending for us.

The before flag off photo. We looked fresh and ready to go.

 

Starting Point. Can you see the muddy roads? That was what we are going to run on for the entire 10km race. I pity myself and my shoes, becos I will be washing it after the run.

 

The first 3km was the toughest. I seriously thought of quitting when I reach the half way point. The heat was merciless and adding on my constant cough, I was running with heavy breathing right from the start. But the word “discipline” popped up in my mind and I knew immediately that was the purpose of this run.

Taken nearing the 4km mark.

Slowly the hot sun relented a bit and we had some wind. Just when I thought everything will be fine now, the course started to show us its true self. Little did we know because of rain 2 days before the race date, the road will be so muddy and ponded. Needless to say, my feet were soaked with mud water for the last 3km.

Along the way, we passed by some shelters like under the bridge or roads, and this particular under bridge shelter had a very nice wall graffiti. Pardon the tired face.

After 1 hour 33 mins 11 secs, I completed my 10km run. According to my Runkeeper app, the total distance covered was 10.99km. So that means I reached my target of running 10km within 90mins!

Oh, did I mention that my knee started to give me problem on the 6km mark? Guess, I have to do more strengthening in future. On to the next run!