Christmas Wonderland 2016 at Gardens by the Bay: Gift of memories for loved ones and friends

Plenty of wefie opportunities at Christmas Wonderland 2016 at Gardens by the Bay.
Plenty of wefie opportunities at Christmas Wonderland 2016 at Gardens by the Bay.PHOTO: BLUE SKY EVENTS

Spend quality time with your loved ones at Singapore’s biggest Yuletide fair.

With a week left before Christmas day, this is also the season of giving and a wonderful time to express love and thanks by giving presents. But giving could be experiential too.

Many would agree that memories, which stay with us, are more precious.

This year, give the gift of quality time and company. Whether you are celebrating the festive season with your loved one, family, friends, or colleagues, Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay is the most festive spot in Singapore to relish the joyous atmosphere of Christmas.

The spectacular lights offer plenty of photo opportunities that would make a great album.

This annual affair is not to be missed, and Christmas Wonderland is on from now until Jan 1, 2017. The event is open from 3.30pm to 11pm daily.

Snow, games and adventure

If your children have yet to experience snow, Christmas Wonderland has that covered.

Children playing at the snow playground. PHOTO: BLUE SKY EVENTS

The all-new 25m ice slide. PHOTO: BLUE SKY EVENTS

They will have a snowball of a time at the Ice Palace where they will be able to ice-skate or slide down an all-new 25m ice slide. All these, while mingling with other children and perhaps forging new friendships.

Tickets to the snow playground (for children aged between two and 12) and ice-skating rink (for anyone aged above four) must be booked in advance here.

For the ice slide, tickets are $4 per person and must be bought on-site. Children below 0.9m in height must be accompanied by an adult.

If your children are big fans of the musical group Hi-5, then this will make their day.

At the award-winning, interactive Hi-5 Funtastic House, they will be able to sing and dance to popular Hi-5 songs, dress up in Hi-5 costumes and take Polaroid pictures for mementos.

Slightly older children will absolutely love the bouncy castle, Hi-5 obstacle course and Hi-5 SuperSlider. The playground is open to children aged between four and 12 but the Hi-5 cast will not be there. A 45-minute session per child costs $24 and sessions can be pre-booked.

Special rides for children. PHOTO: BLUE SKY EVENTS

If that is not enough, there are Christmas trains, bumper cars, bug cars and a mini ferris wheel for children, with tickets starting from $6 per person.

Romantic date under twinkling lights

Plenty of fun for dating couples at the Christmas Wonderland 2016 fair. PHOTO: BLUE SKY EVENTS

Just like kissing under the mistletoe, you and your partner can have a romantic moment under beautiful, twinkling light sculptures, also known as the Luminarie.

It doesn't matter if you are on your jittery first date, or if you and your spouse are looking to have a special night out to break away from the daily routine. Standing under the magical lights of the 19.7m-tall Spalliera Castel del Monte, the stresses of life should dissipate.

The design of the Spalliera is inspired by a 13th-century castle in Southern Italy and has been created with 240,000 multi-hued bulbs. Apart from Spalliera, 66 other enchanting light sculptures are placed all around the Supertree Grove, Dragonfly Bridge, Meadow Bridge and Flower Dome.

The 17th- and 18th-century Baroque designs transport you into another world - a very magical one.

Choral performances at the Cassa Armonica gazebo. PHOTO: BLUE SKY EVENTS

Right next to the Spalliera, at the Cassa Armonica gazebo, be serenaded by choirs from educational institutions such as Nanyang Technological University, Queensway Secondary School and Tanjong Katong Girls' School, and a cappella groups like Vokatones and 1023.

A Christmas experience is incomplete without a festive spread, so head to La Noel chez PAUL in Ice Palace to indulge in dishes like roast beef with red wine sauce and baked camembert cheese with toast.

Finish it off with a cup of hot chocolate, flavoured with gingerbread, while watching the little ones have a good time at the ice-skating rink, snow playground and ice slide.

Catching up with pals

If you have been neglecting quality time with your closet friends due to the daily grind, make good this festive season. Instead of the usual brunch at a cafe or dining in a mall, let Christmas Wonderland provide a different backdrop for this year's gathering.

Once done with photo-taking, walk through the Festive Market, where 27 unique food and craft outlets await.

Try special European dishes like Dutch mini pancakes, kurtoskalacs (traditional Hungarian chimney-shaped cakes) and stroop waffles, served hot with an oozing caramel centre.

The Dutch Pancake Store. PHOTO: BLUE SKY EVENTS

Christmas Wonderland 2016 has something very special in store for Harry Potter fans too.

From digging into Special Battered Fish & Chips and oozy-woozy Black Inked Cheese Fries with golden magic dust, to drinking magical potions, be tantalised by these magical dishes concocted by Street Food Circus.

For more snacks and desserts exclusive to Christmas Wonderland, head to the Glass House, where you can have Christmas delights such as Mao Shan Wang Durian Churros from Churros Factory, or try eggnog and mulled wine at Harry's.

Harry’s foie gras beef sliders. PHOTO: BLUE SKY EVENTS

After eating, challenge your friends at carnival games to see who will be the first to win a Disney soft toy. This year, there are 11 carnival games compared with last year's seven.

Carnival games. PHOTO: BLUE SKY EVENTS

Prized photo moments

More than anything, Christmas Wonderland is a photographer's playground, where every nook and corner is beautiful - both in real life and on camera.

Instagrammers, here is your chance to set the personal best record for number of Instagram likes.

Firstly, visit the Spalliera during Blizzard Time at 8pm, 9pm, 10pm and 10.30pm daily for a White Christmas shot. Each blast of foam snow lasts five minutes, so prepare your camera in advance.

Then, go onto the OCBC Skyway to take a magnificent aerial view of the Spalliera and the surrounding Festive Market in the Supertree Grove. The OCBC Skyway is open daily from 9am to 9pm.

Truly, a photographer's playground. PHOTO: BLUE SKY EVENTS

The OCBC Skyway in full splendour. PHOTO: BLUE SKY EVENTS

Being on the ground at the Festive Market is a good spot as well. Stand against the backdrop of wooden huts imported from the UK while holding European snacks, and you might look like you are celebrating Christmas in Europe instead.

Another classic photo opportunity is hidden in the magical forest, surrounded by 80 festively decorated Christmas trees. Your images will be simply enchanting.

While you are in the forest, don't forget to also enter Santa Cottage to take a picture with Santa.

The Santa Cottage offers an enchanting photo opportunity. PHOTO: BLUE SKY EVENTS

Get your cameras ready too for Nanyang Technological University's contemporary dance group Contemp, as they move through the grounds, showcasing their amazing choreography in glittery costumes during the Nutcracker Parade.

Book early to save

To manage crowds, entrance to Christmas Wonderland is ticketed this year via an online system. Ticket sales will not be conducted on event grounds.

Tickets cost $8 and each paying adult can bring in up to three children under 0.9m, for free.

Christmas Wonderland and Visa have partnered to offer a special holiday experience. Enjoy 25% savings on your entry ticket when you make a booking with Visa Checkout using a Visa card. Enter promo code VISA to enjoy the discount (only applicable for new Visa Checkout accounts).

Christmas Wonderland is organised by Blue Sky Events and supported by Singapore Tourism Board.

Have someone in mind you would love to explore Christmas Wonderland with?

Visit www.christmaswonderland.sg to secure tickets now.