Have you been to any playground lately? I went to the Dragon Playground last weekend. It really brought back a lot of memory for me.
For many kids and parents, the playground is part of social connection and the broader community. Nowadays, our playground in HDB estates is much safer – rubber flooring, flexible structures and not too high.
But if you are nostalgic enough, you can bring your kids to Toa Payoh to play at the Dragon Playground. This is one of the oldest playgrounds in Singapore and is totally and refreshingly different from the typical playground you see now in HDB estates.
How to get there
If you are driving, just use Google Map and search for “Dragon Playground” and drive towards the carpark near Blk 29. You can also park at SAFRA Toa Payoh and walk across Lor 6 Toa Payoh. You can get the map here.
For public transport, you can take any bus to the Toa Payoh Stadium bus stop and take a 5 min walk to the playground.
The Dragon playground is located at Lor 6 Toa Payoh. It used to be surrounded by 4 blocks of flats. But these flats were demolished in 2014. The playground now stands alone amongst the empty fields. But it is still accessible through a footpath.
There is a bit of history about the dragon playground and why it is still there even the blocks of flats surrounding it was demolished. It was designed by Khor Ean Ghee from HDB in 1979. The playground became famous when a blogger in the US featured it and credited it as something very unique. You can find a similar one in Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, and smaller versions in Braddell and Macpherson.
What so special
I must say that I am impressed by the beauty and practicality of the playground. Even now, it is still relevant. The body of the dragon is made of steel tube so that kids can climb or walk on it. This will lead them to the dragon head made of concrete and covered with mosaic tiles. From the head, they can slide down using the slide made of terrazzo tile. The kids will land themselves onto the sand! The play is simple compared to the current design of the playground. But I think simplicity has its beauty.
More than just playground
My visit to the dragon playground reminded me of my childhood days. How we played together and how parents get to know each other. In those days without the Internet, this place is the centre of socialising. I still remember seeing kids using a cupboard to slide down the little hill at Blk 51! Beats going to all those sophisticated slides that we have now.
What about you? What memories do you have after seeing the dragon playground?