Saturday, 19 March 2016

A March Snow Holiday

Snow City as a place to visit was something that crossed my mind but for a fleeting moment.

Coco was an asthmatic child so I always struck it off the list thinking that the sub-zero temperature environment would trigger her asthma. I am also not a winter person so I had never been very keen on visiting a snowy place.

This March holiday, I decided to take the two girls there. I had not visited the place either so I was naturally curious about it too.

I had imagined that it was a huge place, given that the website broke the place down into zones.

After reading the Visitor Guidelines on the website, we wore long pants and jeans, brought gloves and socks with us and thought all was set. The jackets would be provided at Snow City.

I was a little shocked at the condition of the place when we got there.

Firstly, the lockers required two OLD $1-coins. It has been quite a few years since the new ones are minted and the lockers are still asking for old ones??

I could not find the second old coin in my wallet so I aborted the renting of a locker. To my dismay, the system confiscated my first coin! I gave my feedback to the lady minding the boots counter and she kindly advised me to change for an old coin at the cashier's, after which she would help me open and relock the locker.

Secondly, the lockers locked for a one-time use. Most places of attraction have, by now, changed their systems so that lockers can be reopened multiple times in case the owner needs something from the locker. I was unluckily lucky that my first coin was confiscated and so the lady offered to help me the second time when I told her I forgot to get our gloves out from my bag.

Thirdly, the adult jackets were only in sizes starting from L onwards. The remaining sizes were XL, XXL and XXXL. And there was only one L which I gave to Coco while I put on an XL. Hello, we are XXS and XS by Mango's and H&M's standards.

Fourthly, the jackets were poorly maintained. Quite a few were torn here and there, and their zips were either torn or gone.

Fifthly, the boots were rather sad-looking. I am sure they were never cleaned. And my first pair also had a defective zip.

Overall, I felt that the place was poorly maintained based on the necessary apparels and equipment even before I stepped into the snow area.

After about 15 minutes of choosing the jackets, putting on the socks, gloves, jackets and boots, we were finally ready to step into the sub-zero environment!

I was half glad that we were not allowed to bring our own camera into the area since I could concentrate on playing but it would also mean I could not capture pictures myself.

Zone 1 was an area with an ice-sculpted igloo and some winter animal sculptures, namely a husky, a fox, a polar bear and an owl.

A photographer helped to take pictures of families he fancied taking pictures of.

Out of the blue, Coco picked up some snow, molded it into a ball and hit Baby on the back of her head. It caught Baby by surprise and it was not very unpleasant when the chunk of snow got trapped on the back of her neck! She told me that she was in pain and I ran out of the snow chamber with her to take the jacket off her to remove all the ice bits and chunks stuck on her back while tears streamed down her cheeks.

We returned to the sub-zero environment after she recomposed herself. I told Coco what had happened and cautioned her not to do that again.

We locked our arms to slide down a 60 metre, 3-storey high slope on individual tubes. 
It was hardly a glamorous sight as we slid down so we did not buy that picture.
Quite fun but a little scary, I felt.
Lastly, we went to the last zone where I read we would get to try ice-fishing but found nothing like that. This artificial igloo has a TV (hidden behind us) that features some educational talks which we did not pay much attention to.

We were asked to fling snow into the air!

After this antic, I realised that I had underestimated how cold snow was. Baby's and my gloves were all wet and our fingers were freezing! We retreated to the gloves counter and requested to have two pairs of gloves which I would pay for the rental afterwards.

Then we returned to the snow chamber where we took turns to slide down a short ice-slide. 
Quite slide-able, but our pants were all wet on the rear! 
We should have rented their waterproof pants but well, we heeded the advice of the cashier and thought our pants or jeans would do fine.

Snow City was really a small area that one could cover in less than an hour. I quickly understood why the cashier had advised me to pay for the one-hour ticket.

Very few visitors were there and many left rather quickly after covering all grounds.

I feel sorry for Snow City in that it must be a very costly environment to maintain and by right, it should have been an interesting place for the locals who have never been to a snowy environment to visit. However, it lacks interesting concepts to attract visitors, much less second-timers. The only way it could earn any revenue would be from the purchase of photographs. It charges $20 per photograph and $55 for 5 photographs, so naturally, we opted for the latter.

Snow City is good for a one-time visit and it was a rather good experience appreciating a sub-zero environment.

Ticketing info:

$12 per child (Singaporeans and PRs)
$15 per adult (Singaporeans and PRs)
$18 per adult (Foreigners)

The admission charges include complimentary use of winter jackets and boots.
Gloves and waterproof pants are available for rental.
Gloves rental: $1.60 for child and $2.10 for adult
Socks purchase:  $2.60 for child and $3 for adult

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