Not many people get to play for a living. But EpicLand’s Karina Aswani and Koren Thomas are living the dream. The pair opened EpicLand – the largest indoor family entertainment centre in Hong Kong – in 2014, and five years on, they have just revved up the fun factor through a major revamp.
“We always have so many ideas of how we can continually improve the playground,” Koren and Karina say. “You need to keep things fresh in Hong Kong and our ‘adventurers’ love to be constantly challenged.”
After closing in January, EpicLand reopened on April 18, and is hosting an exclusive celebratory party, for invited guests and VIP members, this month to coincide with its fifth anniversary. Karina and Koren are excited to see their bigger, bolder dreams for EpicLand become a reality after a four-month long renovation project.
Five years of watching the flow of play and how kids interact and explore the centre helped the partners know which attractions needed to be expanded and which needed to be adapted. They have also introduced new experiences like the Warrior Zone.
Sealing new heights on EpicLand’s renovated and expanded climbing wall
But the bottom line is that every EpicLand attraction has to fulfil their philosophy of learning through play and physical activity. “The beauty of play isn’t just in the environment but also in the imagination that is ignited through play,” say Koren and Karina. “It can never be just one thing. Our goal is to keep inspiring, keep the excitement going and keep giving everyone the wow factor that they love.”
The renovation project first began with 12 months of research, which included visiting different countries and talking to different playground manufacturers. “We wanted someone who would work with us out of the box,” Karina and Koren say. “We are quite happy with the way it has turned out.”
Prior to the renovation, EpicLand already boasted the largest indoor slides in Asia, trampolines, an airtrek obstacle course, virtual reality rides, laser tag and mini golf. By expanding the Rock Climbing Arena (the climbing structure now covers four floors) and the Nerf gun Ballistics Area, the partners have taken the opportunity to grow the attractions for older children and teens still further. There are also more activities on offer for professional team-building events.
Hugely popular with young children thanks to its Kids Zone playground and toddler area, EpicLand is also known for its comprehensive party packages. Additional party options now on offer include ‘Epic Slime’ and ‘Bubble Football.’
Jumping for joy on the trampoline
In a perfect world, the partners would have loved to add another 20,000 square feet to the 14,000-square-foot venue. “If we could just move all the restaurants around us to the waterfront, then we would turn the whole of DB North Plaza into an adventure play zone,” say Koren and Karina.
They are constantly being asked to open EpicLand in more locations and this may well be in the cards because they have finally found a manufacturer that they work well with.
In any case, the job of maintaining a play centre is never done. Even after five years of operation, they are still astounded by the amount of destruction children can wreak.
“The maintenance is never ending,” say Karina and Koren. “And if there is the remotest chance of children exploring every inch of our playground, then you can bet they will try it! We just have to make safety our first priority and be one step ahead of them at all times.”
Tags: children, epicland, north plaza