Spooktacular fun at LEGOLAND Malaysia {Brick-or-Treat Party Night experience}

Posted by ~Summer~ on 29.9.16
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We like to celebrate and join in Halloween parties not because we are in love with vampires, monsters and witches, but because it gives the kids a chance to dress up and be imaginative, exposes them to traditions and cultures, and let us be able to laugh, bond and create happy memories as a family.

Remember we shared about the Halloween Brick-or-Treat Party Night held in LEGOLAND Malaysia last year? I still find it hard to believe that a year has passed and when we returned to this kid-friendly Halloween celebration last week, I had a 9-month-old baby snug against my chest. Yup, it was baby Asher's first time visiting LEGOLAND! As for the girls who have been here nearly a dozen times already, all I can say is they can never get tired of coming here and thankfully, their excitement, joy and zest was contagious and I was feeling just as enthusiastic as them.

In fact, we went shopping for their Halloween costumes, came up with ideas to dress up each kid and got everyone all psyched for the big day. It was the first time I was travelling into Malaysia without the husband (who drove in and joined us later in the evening), and with all three kids, and I was glad that with a fair bit of nagging, we survived the WTS coach ride which took us from Singapore Flyer to LEGOLAND hotel (You can read our review of the hotel here).

In this post, I'll share with you all the fun things we did and what you can expect from this year's Halloween Brick-or-Treat Party!



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HALLOWEEN BRICK-OR-TREAT PARTY NIGHTS 


EVENT DATE 
Brick-or-Treat Party Nights take place from 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays from now till end of October (30 Sep-1 Oct, 7-8 Oct, 14-15 Oct, 21-22 Oct and 28-29 Oct).

TICKET PRICING
Walk-up admission tickets for Brick-or-Treat Party Nights is priced at RM85 (You can book your tickets here). With admission day tickets (1-Day Theme Park ticket, 1-Day Combo ticket or 2-Day Combo ticket), entry to Brick-or-Treat Party Nights is FREE.

*Kids who dress up in Halloween costume on Brick-or-Treat Party Nights will get FREE admission to the Theme Park!

*This is applicable for kids aged 3-11 years old and they need to be in full Halloween costume. Free admission is only applicable on the Halloween event date. LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort reserves the right to reject any non-qualified costume.

OPENING HOURS
While the Halloween activities take place till 9:00pm, note that not all of the rides will be extended. Areas that are open during Brick-or-Treat Party Nights until 8.30 pm include rides at LEGO Kingdoms, Miniland, Lost Kingdom and LEGO Star War Miniland.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE EVENT

-> Dressing up

This was definitely what the kids were most excited about! Presenting to you Angel the Rapunzel Witch, Ariel the Little Mermaid Pumpkin and Asher the Superbaby Devil.



Cute? I love, love, love this picture and was glad I managed to take a few shots before the baby started yanking off his cape. Haha. As for the girls, they were simply ecstatic to dress up! We were so enthusiastic that we even packed wands, hats, hairbands and pumpkin buckets into our luggage and lugged everything here on our own.


A few people have asked us about the 'make up' on the girls and well, they were simply decorative stickers we got from Daiso. Easy to put on, easy to remove! It just makes you feel so much more in the Halloween mood, doesn't it?





-> Explore Brick-or-Treat Trail

Located at the LEGO Kingdom, the Brick-or-Treat Trail consists of 10 huts and all you have to do is collect all the 10 stamps on your trail card (which are distributed to kids at the entrance) to receive a commemorative brick. I thought the brick design was really cute!





While we were told that there were activities and games at the huts, for instance laugh like a witch, ring toss and memory games, this did not happen in our case and the only thing we did was to count the number of bats hidden in the maze at Lord Vampyre's Castle. Other than that, it was basically just collecting stamps and goodies from the staff who were all dressed up for the Halloween theme.




I did wish that they could have participated in more hands-on activities as I vividly remember they enjoyed laughing like witches and standing like scarecrows last year. So, I've provided feedback to LEGOLAND and hopefully other kids have a chance to do the fun tasks when they explore the trail. This will, however, be dependent on the circumstances and the crowd for the day itself.



There is also a Scream-O-Meter where you can donate RM$1 to charity and then give your loudest scream. The one who has the highest number on the meter will stand to win a grand prize. No, my girl squeaked like a mouse and will never stand a chance.


-> Photo opportunities

So what do you do when your kids are all dressed and you have plenty of beautifully decorated backdrops and roving mascots? You take lots and lots of pics, of course!






You can take pictures at the huts with the crew in their monster costumes, you can pose with the props and you can take as many shots as you want with the cardboard figures and Halloween setups. One of my favourite character was the Pumpkin man on stilts, how cool, right? Also, check out the humongous pumpkin made of LEGO bricks and the prison wagon below!




I must say that the organisers did a fine job in decorating the place and creating the Halloween ambience all around. You can find backdrops not only in LEGO Kingdom but also in many other spots all around the theme park too. I was tickled that Ariel asked to take photos every time she saw a....... pumpkin, of course!




When night falls, it gets even better as the pumpkins illuminate the park and create a more spooky, but not scary, atmosphere. This is one of those nights where I think it's cool to let the little ones stay up and enjoy what the fun-filled evening has to offer. After all, we're on holiday, right? Wait, in the first place, my kids sleep at midnight, so it doesn't matter to me.





-> Watch the Monster Catcher Mayhem

This was the most enjoyable for us because the kids really loved watching the live Halloween show, Monster Catcher Mayhem, that took place on Castle stage in LEGO Kingdom. There were two fun-loving, lively emcees who were the monster catchers and had to capture Lord Vampyre, Green Witch and Frankenstein. The whole show was very interactive because they engaged the little ones in the audience and got them to participate along the journey too.





For us, the most memorable part was when our little Pumpkin got chosen as one of the finalists for the Best Dressed Competition! Woohoo! She was the very first one to be called and I was amazed that she wasn't afraid at all, but instead marched confidently up to the stage when she heard her name and also gave her fiercest, which I think really means cutest, monster roar. Kudos to you for the effort, dear Ariel, and even though we didn't emerge as the champion, it was the fun that really mattered! (Check out the cool Spiderman and adorable Batgirl of The Perfect Father who were also finalists too!)



-> Join in the Monster Parade

Now, if your kids like things to be a little more creepy, then be sure to watch the Monster Parade where you can see all the monsters up close and join in their dance too. I must say their makeup was quite impressive and they even made eerie expressions and ghostly gestures to bring up the spook factor.



If your kids are a little freaked out by it, do assure them beforehand and watch it from afar if possible. For my girls, well, they were right there in the first row and nope, they didn't even twitch, especially the little sister who is the braver of the two.



->  LEGO Building

If you have some spare time, find a place to sit down near the Castle Stage and let your kids learn to build some pumpkins and bats out of LEGO bricks. Step-by-step instructions are provided so this can be a really fun bonding activity for parents and kids!





-> Face Painting

For those who love face painting, then don't miss the chance for them to get some colour and Halloween related drawings on their faces for FREE! We gave this a miss because the girls had plenty of glitter and gems on their faces already.



-> Cupcake Decorating

And if your kids love to decorate cupcakes, then you can top up a small fee to let them do it at King's Grill. You can choose from vanilla or red velvet flavours and the best thing is they give lots of toppings for the kids to decorate with (and play and eat in the process too)!







THE FUN CONTINUES AT THE HOTEL

Since the activities take place till late evening, why not consider staying a night at LEGOLAND hotel? I tell you, my kids love this place so much that they probably wished they could live here forever. From the themed rooms to LEGO play areas to the fun dancing on Xbox Kinect and sumptuous buffet spread at Bricks Restaurant, it is a perfect place for a family retreat.

This Halloween, LEGOLAND Hotel will be featuring a special Day & Night Hotel Promotion:

Booking Period: 25 Aug - 30 Oct 2016
Stay Period: 18 Sep - 31 Oct 2016
Room Rate: From RM$1190 onwards

What Halloween heroes will get:
•    Daily breakfast
•    Dinner for 2 adults and up to 3 children below 6 years old (3rd adult or child above 7
    years is chargeable at RM95/adult & RM50/child)
•    Halloween Brick-Or-Treat Commemorative Brick (one brick per child in room, while
    stocks last)
•    Day & Night Hotel Halloween activities

To make your booking online, go here.

We loved the Halloween corner that greeted us at the lobby level as well as the various decorative touches all around the hotel. There were zombies hanging from ceilings, draculas hidden behind walls, bats flying around and pumpkins placed all over.


Even the food and desserts at the buffet dinner at Bricks Restaurant were in line with the Halloween theme too! Check out the black skull, spider, skeleton and tombstone!


There was also a Halloween show that took place at the lobby and kids were invited to join in the activities such as searching for hidden items, building pumpkins out of LEGO blocks, opening locks with secret keys and mass dance sessions too!


So, if you are thinking of a kid-friendly way to celebrate Halloween this year, do consider making a trip to LEGOLAND and join in the activity-packed and fun-filled Brick-or-Treat Party Night! Don't forget to dress up the kids in their best Halloween costumes and let your hair down, get wild, dance, scream on the rides and just be merry!


Disclosure: We were invited by LEGOLAND Malaysia to experience Brick-or-Trick Party Night and received complimentary park tickets and one night stay at the hotel. All opinions are our own.

Creativity 521 #100 - Fun ways to learn to write your name

Posted by ~Summer~ on 22.9.16
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I've reached the 100th post in my Creativity 521 series! Woohoo! Now, that is definitely a milestone for the blog and I'm glad that after so many years, I'm still keeping up with the series. Has it always been easy? No, sometimes I don't have any inspiration on what I should or what I can do with the kids. Does it take up a lot of time? Of course, from researching on the web, gathering materials to trying to craft with the elder two while a needy baby clings onto me can be quite a complex affair. Plus, I still have to upload, edit the pictures and subsequently blog about it. Sometimes, I seriously wonder why I even bother to keep it going since I don't think it interests a lot of readers.

That said, I've always believed that a blog can thrive and sustain only when you write on things that you are passionate about, not things that will attract eyeballs but do not interest you much. Besides, Creativity 521 is the reason why I get motivated every fortnightly to fork out some time to do some easy but fun-filled art and craft projects with the kids.

In this week's Creativity 521, I did something that I've been wanting to do - teach my little girl to write her Chinese name! Yes, since she doesn't attend any Chinese lesson, I always feel like I've shortchanged her because we just do not seem to be able to find time to sit down and practise any writing. While she has mastered writing her English name earlier on this year, I just didn't have time to teach her the same for her Chinese name.

So, what better way to learn then through fun and play, right? Here's sharing 5 ways we did in order for her to learn to write her Chinese name!

1) Using objects

I wrote her Chinese name on a piece of drawing block and got her to use small pebbles to form the words, making sure that she learnt the strokes in the process. I find it important for her to understand and remember the stroke sequence correctly from the very start. If you are unsure of the strokes for any word, you can check it up here.

So, as she arranged the pebbles one by one, she was tasked to say out the stroke too, like 点,横, 撇, 点, 竖, 竖钩。 You can use any small items such as pebbles, stones, buttons, beans, uncooked pasta and so on.

2) Rainbow tracing

I made dotted lines for her name and the strokes corresponded to the colours of the rainbow. Yup, which means she could practise saying the colours of the rainbow in the process. 红橙黄绿蓝靛紫! 

It was also a good chance for her to recognise the names of the colours in chinese and match to the corresponding markers.

3) Cotton bud painting

What better way than to involve paint? For a start, we kept it easy and fuss free by doing cotton bud painting.

Once again, I tasked her to trace out the word and name the strokes in the process.

4) Finger painting

Now, it gets even better if you get to dirty your hands, right? So, I drew bubble words on the drawing block and asked her to write her name by painting with her finger.

In fact, she was the one who asked me "Mama, can I have a rainbow name, please?" Sure, why not? I thought this was the prettiest artwork of all!

5) Sand writing

Lastly, I asked her to practise writing freehand but to make it more fun, she was to write in sand!

We used our kinetic sand, a tray and a chopstick for this. How easy, right?

So, we did these 5 activities in under an hour and I think it has helped her tremendously in learning to write her name. She can now write her surname on her own, at least, and is also slowly but surely learning to write the other two characters too. Woohoo!

Won't you have a go at letting your child learn to write his/her chinese name through fun activities too?

For more DIY tutorials and craft inspiration, visit my gallery here.

Our Home, Our Heart, Our Singapore - Asher's 7th and 8th months

Posted by ~Summer~ on 20.9.16
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Nowadays, when we go on the streets, it's not uncommon to hear someone comment on Asher "Oh, what a happy baby he is!", which totally makes my day because I love how he warms up to strangers, smiles incessantly at them, pats them gently and even attempts to pull their hair sometimes. Haha.

Their comments are usually followed by a "One year old already?" and some even said "18 months?" I am hoping that is because they don't have kids or don't remember how big or small these little tiny beings are when they are this young. That said, I do admit this baby of mine is pretty heavy for his age and he is the reason why I think I am seriously doing a fair amount of weightlifting every single day.

Nonetheless, if not now, then when? I can't help it but love and cherish the fact that he is still my smallest baby and I can still scoop him up easily and carry him around. I hope, really really hope, I can continue to carry him for many more months because I'm seriously gonna miss having a baby snug on my chest next time. Don't grow up too fast, will you? 



Dear Asher,

Happy turning 8 months old, my boy! Do you know that we have come up with nicknames for you and your jiejies? Well, da jie is 瘦瘦 because she is the skinniest amongst the three of you, er jie is 圆圆 because she has the roundest and chubbiest face, and you? Well, we all decided to name you 重重 because you are really getting heavy! Many aunties and uncles who have tried to carry you said they got tired after a few minutes because even though you don't fidget much, you are quite a weight to lift. 

Despite my aching back and arms, I should be happy at that, right? That just means you are growing up well. Remember how you didn't take to Mummy's homecooked porridge in the beginning? Now, you love it so much and you don't like to eat anything else except what I made for you at home. Just like your sisters, you are a good eater and can finish three small bowls of porridge in one meal. You also love to eat all kinds of fruits and have started munching on apples, honeydew, pears, peaches, oranges, grapes, bananas and watermelons. How awesome!

Mummy knows that soon she will need to have more energy to keep you with you because you are one active baby! You have learnt to sit up now and can stand on support, but you already seem like you are ready to take on the world and you would try to walk to, or crawl towards anything that fascinates you - which is basically everything - and then you will try to devour it. Haha. You also love to keep jumping whenever you stand up and once you jumped over 100 times in a matter of minutes when you were standing on my tummy! That might be a good way to help me get rid of the flabby belly, I suppose.

It heartens me everyday to see your big, wide grins and I can only count my blessings and be so very thankful that we have you in our lives. Three kids. It's really a handful and I'm worn out every single night after taking care of the three of you (plus, you tend to wake me up every 1.5 hours at night), yet I wouldn't change my decision or trade my place now for anything in the world. I'm just so glad you are here in my life, my dear. May you be my happy, healthy boy always!

With lots of love,
Mummy

Ice skating family fun at The Rink

Posted by ~Summer~ on 14.9.16
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It was the September school holidays last week and even though we didn't travel out of Singapore, I really wanted to bring the kids to explore new places. Places where we've been wanting to go but haven't had the chance to. Places which are kid-friendly, haze-free and don't get affected by rainy weather. Places which are fun-filled, exciting and offer a experience that we will never forget.

So, I planned a surprise outing where we travelled over an hour by MRT and ventured all the way to the west. Nope, the kids had absolutely no idea where we were going till we got there. Woohoo! Boy oh boy, you bet they were simply ecstatic!

For the first time, we were going to ICE SKATE at The Rink in JCube! Now, if you remember, we did try ice skating when we were onboard Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas (read more about our cruise experience here). That was almost two years ago when Angel was 4 and Ariel was not even 2. Their legs were perpetually wobbly and it ended up that the hubby and I were practically lifting them up and pushing them across the ice. This time round, I didn't know what to expect but I just wanted all of us to have a fun, fun, fun time.  And yes, it was absolutely enjoyable and here's sharing with you more about the place!

LOCATION

The Rink is Singapore's first Olympic-sized rink and sits on Level 3 of JCube, a shopping centre that can be easily reached on foot from Jurong East MRT station. I recommend that you check its public skating sessions calendar before you plan your visit so that you are aware of its opening hours and public session availability.

BUMPER CARS

We were fascinated by these 'cars' that we saw parked at the entrance. Can you guess what they are for? Well, these are Bumper Cars and those who can't skate can enjoy an adventure ride on the ice at $8 for 10 mins on Saturdays from 5:15-9:30pm. As fun as it may sound, note that when it happens, 1/4 of the rink will be used up so skaters can only make use of the other 3/4. If you were to ask me, I prefer to come at a time when we can feel free to skate around the entire rink.



EXPRESS LANE

There is a self-ticketing kiosk at the entrance which is an automated kiosk that allows skaters to skip the queue at Customer Service and be able to purchase admission tickets, skating accessories and redeem online purchased tickets. You can only purchase tickets for the same day at the kiosk but if you would like to book advance tickets, you can do it online here.

I was pleasantly surprised that the staff came up promptly to help us with the purchase of the tickets and we were done within a couple of minutes. We purchased the Pay-as-you-skate tickets ($14 for adult admission and $12 for child admission, not including skating accessories) and that basically means that we were free to enter at any time of the day but once we scanned the tickets and entered the gantry, we were only granted a stay of 2 hours 15 minutes.



If you exceed the time, you have to top up an additional $3.50 for every 30 minutes. Note that for skaters, tickets are valid for one-time entry only and once you exit the gantry, you will need to pay again to enter. If, however, you are a spectator and have paid $3.50 for your ticket, you can enter and re-enter as you like.

GETTING YOUR BOOTS AND ACCESSORIES

To collect socks, gloves and skating aids, you need to present your redemption ticket at the Customer Service Counter. If you have purchased the pay-as-you-skate tickets and plan to come back later in the day, you can still collect your gloves and socks first to save on the waiting time later. Note that while gloves are strongly recommended, they are optional. Socks, on the other hand, are compulsory. If you have these at home for the little ones, do bring your own and save on the expenses! Oh, and don't forget to bring their jackets and let them wear long pants for extra protection from the ice.

For the skate boots, you will need to collect them at the Skates Rental counter. To make things easier, just pass them your shoes so that they can issue you the right sizes. Note that the smallest size is Euro 27, which is a tad too big for the toddler but she managed to survive in them for the whole 2-hour experience.

Oh, I know you must be wanting to ask this question. WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AGE FOR KIDS?
  
As of now, the minimum age for children is 3 and above. Child below 6 years old will need a parent/guardian accompany on ice. Yes, obviously babies are not allowed and that is why we could only come for an evening session - so that the hubby could join us after work and help look after the baby while I went on the ice with my girls.



FACILITIES

Lockers, which cost 2 x $1 each, are readily available for those who need to deposit their bags or belongings. There is a coin changing machine located beside the toilet for your convenience if you don't have any $1 coins with you. Yes, there are toilets inside the rink and you can go in even with your skates on. Phew!


If you need to grab some dinner before your session starts, there are plenty of choices nearby the rink, including Eat @ Taipei, Nando's, KFC, Manhattan Fish Market and more.




For those who need a quick bite or just to drench their thirst, vending machines are also available right after the gantry.

PARTY PACKAGES

Party celebrations can also be held at The Rink at a cost of $35 per skater (minimum of 10 per party). Note that this fee includes a dedicated skate party host, admission, skates rental, and use of the party room. Food catering is not included in the package rate and guests are free to set up their own catering at the party room. To book your party package, go here.



SKATING AIDS

Now, this is very important! If your kids, or yourself, are skating for the first time ever, then I strongly advise you to invest in a skating aid. In fact, I decided to come all the way here because I knew my kids were going to love these cute animal skating aids (I was half right and half wrong, will show you why later!)

These aids help you to glide across the ice, give you a sense of confidence and practise your skating skills. Currently, there are three types of skating aids available at The Rink.



-> Penguin skating aids ($10 for 2 hour) are suitable for children below 1.2m height and below 10 years old.



-> Snowman skating aids ($10 for 2 hour) are suitable for older children and adults who need guidance on ice.



-> Seal skating aids ($15 for 2 hour) are suitable for older children and adults, meant for 2 persons. This seal skating aid is the newest addition and look, it even doubles up as a fun sled for the little ones! How super duper fun and cute, right?

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OUR EXPERIENCE

Right, after saying so much, just how did it go for us?



I have to tell you that it was really so fun that we wish we didn't have to leave! Despite the hubby and I asking them if they were tired and if they wanted to get out of the rink a little earlier, the fact was these two girls had so much energy to spare (at past 9pm at night, yesh) and not only did we end up staying in the rink throughout, we stayed till the very, very last second where the announcement came and said that the rink was closed. Awwww.


In the first hour, we had so much with our skating aids! Seriously, it has been quite a while since I last skated and it was only because I had the aid that I dared to go really fast across the ice. Let's go to the middle of the rink! Of course. Let's make a U-turn! Done. Let's race across the ice! No problem.

It was easy to see that the kids felt confident with the aids too, although they were still both a little apprehensive when we first stepped onto the ice. I taught them how to open up their feet to make a V and to glide along, rather than just trying to walk, and I think they both grasped that concept pretty fast.


See? I even tried to sit on the seal and make them push me along instead. Which they did, with difficulty. Haha.

Anyway, the highlight of the night came when Angel told me "Mummy, I don't want to use the skating aid. I want to try skating by myself." I was only too happy to let her try, even though she ended up falling a few times. Hey, no pain, no gain, right?

In fact, this girl cut her right thigh with her left blade the first time she fell. The thing was, the cold was probably numbing or her endurance was not too bad, because despite the fact that the wound was bleeding a little and starting to swell (actually, we didn't realise it till we got home), she got up on her feet and continued to skate bravely. It wasn't just once that she fell; she must have fallen at least 4 or 5 times that night. But she managed to pull herself up every time and even when I told her to rest on the seal so that I could push her, she would decline and say "It's okay, I want to skate on my own". My stubborn, sometimes wilful but ever so determined firstborn. I'm so proud of you, Angel darling!

As for the little sister, well, monkey see monkey do, right? That's the thing about being a second child, you learn so quickly because you just don't wanna lose out to your older sibling. Haha. So, this 3-year-old girl, who was one of the tiniest ones on the rink that night, amazed us by being able to skate, balance and move around the rink freely after a while, just like her sister. I'm not sure why she is as gutsy as she is - she's not afraid to touch creepy crawlies, she's not afraid to jump into pools, she's not afraid to swim in the sea, and now she's not afraid to skate on ice - but I hope it will turn out to be a positive trait for her. Good job there, dear Ariel!

That also means in the second half of our session, we didn't really make use of the skating aids much which I was half happy about because it meant my kids were learning fast, yet a little dismayed because these aids were not cheap! Nonetheless, we were thankful that things went the way they did and we enjoyed ourselves tremendously (can't say the same for the hubby).


Now, photos are great but they can't really show you what went on that night, right? So, here's a short video for your view! Check out how we had fun gliding across the ice on our animal skating aids, how the girls started skating on their own, how they fell, how they picked themselves up (I'm a firm believer of 自己跌倒自己爬), how we shared so much joy and laughter and don't miss the cameo appearance by baby Asher who was watching from the spectator seat.



One thing is for sure, we'll definitely be back for more ice skating fun at The Rink!


The Rink
2 Jurong East Central 1
Level 3, JCube
Singapore 609731

Email: info@therink.sg 

P.S. Thanks to the hubby for being so supportive that night and for helping to capture some precious memories! This is not a sponsored post in any way, yar? We just wanted to share with you on our fun-filled experience and all opinions and experiences are entirely our own.

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