Jurong Central Park
Jurong Central Park is a new 8-ha regional park in the Jurong West area and is the first in Singapore to have life-sized board-game features in a park. Situated across the Boon Lay MRT Station, the park is accessible via the Jurong and Jurong West Park Connectors. The park is also located next to the upcoming new Safra clubhouse in Jurong West. The life-sized Snakes and Ladders playground and Ludo Garden were developed based on the traditional indoor children's board-games enjoyed by many internationally. Visitors can now enjoy the games outdoors using the dice tower built in the park for game play. The life-sized games were developed to add a new dimension to the play experience using greenery, sculpted terrains and various play equipment to fulfil diverse aspirations for play in Singapore.
The plants and trees selected for planting at the Snakes and Ladders playground include lush foliage such as the Calathea lutea and Raphis excelsa. When mature, the trees will provide visitors with the experience of playing in a jungle setting. Colourful plants were also selected for planting in the Ludo Garden, to complement the Ludo game which uses bright colours for different playing teams. Various types of aquatic plants can be found in the wetland to complement the existing plants at site to bring visitors closer to nature. The park was designed to retain its existing wetland as a habitat for wildlife species and dragonflies. Two species of dragonfly have been spotted at the wetland - Crocothemis servilia (Red Darter) and Potamarcha congener (Orange-streaked Dragonfly).
The bright colours of the dragonflies add a beautiful contrast to the green vegetation background of the wetland. Yellow bitterns and pacific swallows have also been spotted. As the wetland becomes more established over time, it will serve as a habitat to a greater number of wildlife species and continue to help bring nature back to the urban environment. Apart from the games and wetland, Jurong Central Park also sports an event lawn, a 2km cycling and jogging track, fitness corner, benches, and shelters for visitors.
Upon entering the park, you will realize that there are plenty of open spaces which will be great for picnics. You will spot an abundance of mimosa leaves as well. During the night on weekdays and weekends, there will be plenty of people laying their mats on the grass or just sitting under the trees chilling. You will see people of different nationalities, mostly foreign workers as Jurong Central Park is located near the industrial area as well as their dormitory.
Jurong Central Park is a hot spot for joggers as well as for people to fly kites. There are paths marked for joggers to do their jogging or to train. The lamps are far apart and the place can be not well lit at night, especially some areas or corners. If you are tired, take a rest at any of the many shelters along your way. Nearby, there is a McDonalds to get a quick bite. When it is close to exam period, you will find many students studying there as well. Other than that, Jurong Central Park has nothing interesting, just the usual few park amenities. Unless you are living nearby, not worth just making a trip down.
Near to the park is a 24 hr MacDonalds and the Safra Centre where you can grab a bite or a drink. The big car park next to MacDonald offers free parking for the first hour (it used to be free parking). Pop by Safra which offers good dining choices and some temporary specialty booths (e.g. books, branded bags) occasionally on a weekend.
I do, however, wish that there are some playgrounds within the park for children, like those found at West Coast Park.
The park is pretty big and spacious, a great place for children and families to hang out and have picnics. Having Jurong point at such close proximity is also beneficial, the whole place becomes very alive and buzzing with people.
There are large open spaces for kite flyers as well, or for those who'd like to marvel at the LED kites light up the sky at night. I've always found it to be quite a pretty sight! It is a really nice place to just chill, and take a breather from the hussle and bustle of life.
There is a Macdonald's outlet there as well. I love how the roof is made of grass! It gives it an edge and blends in well with the park!
For more relaxing events, this park is really popular with kite flyers as there is enough open space, and no high rise buildings around which would block the wind. There are many kites that go up in the night, lighting up the whole skies with their LED, and also the bigger parachutes looking kites. Although there is a notice prohibiting people from flying kites due to some airspace safety issue, this has resulted in substantial cut down in the amount of kites, especially the LED ones, but there would still be some lone rangers that appear in the daytime.
There is also a McDonalds recently built which provides park goers with easy access to food, and making it easy to hold impromptu picnics. As for the super big game board, it was a novelty to have a dice along with the clock, but most children cannot really be bother with that anyway. It simply a case of all rules go in such a wonderful park.