Downtown East - A Destination for Heartlanders

Nestled amidst the balmy seaside town of Pasir Ris, Downtown East has positioned itself as a playground for the average Joe, providing entertainment in all its forms to unionists, members of the public, and their families. The transformation of what used to be NTUC Pasir Ris Resort into this one-stop mecca of mass entertainment was pretty extraordinary, considering how sleepy and rustic it used to be. Many people now know that you can get a lot more than just chalets at this Eastern destination.

My family and I decided to check out Downtown East yesterday, after being away from it for a few years. Here's our visual journey.

With a huge building looming large, the external facade of Downtown East has transformed dramatically from holiday resort to shopping mall.

This huge multi-storey carpark is a godsend to drivers, but I found the parking charges somewhat steep for a heartland venue.

This map looked uncannily similar to the ones I used to see here in terms of the use of colours. The difference though is that the E! Hub, multi-storey carpark and Wild Wild Wet are new.

A merry go round and train ride for tots gives much cheer to children.

What's new in Downtown East is the higher number of retail outlets. We took advantage of the 20% discount to buy Ethan a basketball!

Next was to check out the Popular Roadshow at Downtown East located in the huge marquee in the middle.

Loads of bargain basement books were on offer, together with stationery items, CDs and others.

Was my eyes playing tricks on me? Yes, there was another "sister" marquee - this time cladded in green - which offered more irresistible offers. Unfortunately, we weren't too keen in its merchandise range.

Some of the old favourites, like this bowling alley operated by Orchid Bowl, were still around albeit in a different location.

We next took a walk to the new E!hub which occupies a total 5 levels, and was greeted by this gaily coloured indoor ferris wheel.

Naturally, an NTUC Club operated establishment should have an NTUC Fairprice supermarket in it!

This eXplorerkid indoor playground looked fun but was pretty expensive at about $20 an hour ($11 for members).

The amusement arcade operated by Zone X was still there.

And so was the billiard saloon with the funky name.

What is this? Sounds like an aquatic animated hero?

Well, nebo is a club for youths and teens which teaches them to be entrepreneurs. These pushcarts were operated by them apparently.

There was even a cinema and a karaoke outlet (operated by KBox) in the same building! Here are the popcorn retail outlets just outside the theatre.

We finally decided to venture outdoors - for once - and checked out Escape Theme Park, one of the mainstays at Downtown East.

What's that coming around the corner?

Its a little choo-choo train with Ethan and Tina inside.

Next were rides in the brightly coloured ferris wheel...

... followed by a roller-coaster ride on a mini family coaster.

Naturally, there were other high thrill rides in the theme park, but they weren't quite suitable for our almost 5-year old.

Have you been to Downtown East lately? What do you think of this leisure complex?

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