Saturday, January 31, 2015

How to Have Fun Mall Dates in Jakarta

It’s rainy season and mall seems like the best weekend destination. If you're in Jakarta (or most big cities in Indonesia), going to a mall is unavoidable. Be it for food, movie or checking out the latest sale. Despite the different shopping center selection, we're never that fond of malls. But when we do have to end up in a mall, this is what we do to make an out-of-the-box trip:

  1. Takeover Oma’s shopping list. Mama can’t really cook and is clueless when it comes to groceries. So, if we’re going to a mall with a large supermarket, we try to play detective by taking Oma’s shopping list. This was a favorite when Andrew was younger because it’s like a show-and-tell of fruits, vegetables... and seafood.
  2. Hit the game center. The gadgets at home are hard to resist but game center doesn’t deprive you from social interaction. At least not for us because once we’re at the game center, we always find something we can both play. We learn to tolerate each other’s preferences because we have to play together. From basketball and bowling to racing and zombie shooting games, game center dates are always awesome! P.S. Challenge yourself with a dancing game.
  3. Bring your homework. When it’s hard to concentrate at home, just bring your stuffs out and hit the corner of your favorite cafe in the mall. Set an hour or two only for homework.
  4. Bookstore stop. Checking out the latest books and comic collection, English-language publications on sale, or just sit and read for the rest of the afternoon.
  5. What’s on. In “winter” some malls like our favorite Pondok Indah Mall has ice skating. Others may offer seasonal attraction as fun as snow fall, mobile planetarium, cartoon shows and different events at different time. So, check out the calendar before starting your car.
  6. Sign up for holiday classes. Some malls have playground and kids informal school of some kind. Check out what they have to offer for the holiday and if there's anything that might spark an interest, why not giving it a try?
  7. Mix and Match. I did this with Dudu sometimes when there are sale at the department store, where clothes are dumped in large baskets. We have to dig in to see what's available and to prevent Dudu from being bored while waiting for caught-up-on-a-sale-mom, I would give him task such as "find a green shirt." He would be busy treasure hunting and I'd be happy to have another pair of hands searching for the item I wanted.
While we don't go to malls, if we have other places like park, nearby zoo or science museum we can visit any weekend, these places never cease to amaze us. The never-ending attraction, like they're trying their best to win visitors' heart. Some malls are more family-friendly than others, simply because they have labelled themselves as "family mall." 

A research and forecast report released by showed 27 new malls on the pipeline for at least the next three years. Not only Jakarta, shopping centers are expanding to the suburban area of Bogor, Depok, Bekasi and Tangerang. So, hopefully, when these malls are being more creative, we can actually see them as a destination instead of merely an extension of shopping and another branch of stores we have in nearby shopping centers.

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