Bring on the baubles

Ion Orchard
Ion OrchardPHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Wheelock Place
Wheelock PlacePHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
Paragon
ParagonPHOTO: PARAGON SHOPPING MALL
Paragon
ParagonPHOTO: PARAGON SHOPPING MALL
Parkway Parade
Parkway ParadeST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
Tanglin Mall
Tanglin MallST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI
Star Vista
Star VistaST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Millenia Walk
Millenia WalkPHOTO: JAMIE KOH
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
The Shoppes at Marina Bay SandsPHOTO: LIM YONG TECK FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Fairy tales and snow-covered Christmas villages seem to be the trend when it comes to decking the malls. Alyssa Woo checks out eight of the best and brightest

1. ION ORCHARD

The highlight of the illuminated Christmas park wonderland is an 8m-tall bubble snow machine that blows out about four litres of bubbles every night. Around 2,000 baubles, 56 fake doves and 13 reindeer are used for the decor.

And you will not miss the 20m-tall Swarovski Christmas tree outside the mall's main entrance. It is adorned with more than 28,000 clear crystals and its walk-in interior showcases a rotating chandelier with crystals, mirrored ceiling and a kaleidoscope of lights.

2. WHEELOCK PLACE

The design is based on the popular children's book

The Little Prince by Frenchman Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It tells the story of a little prince leaving his planet to explore the universe beyond his and learning about the ways of adults.

The decorations feature a hanging mobile of planets in its atrium and a painted styrofoam structure of the titular character standing on his asteroid home B-612 outside the mall.

3. PARAGON

Giant gift boxes and fancy balloons add a playful spin. The 12m-tall Christmas tree is decked with gold and bronze baubles. A total of 25,000 baubles and 30,000m of fairy lights are used for the mall's decorations.

4. PARKWAY PARADE

Enter a wintry Christmas village dotted with cottages, reindeer, trains and a 7.5m-tall tower filled with tin soldiers. From now till Christmas, kids can play with "snow" at the 10-minute Snow

Fun sessions at 5pm on weekdays and 5 and 7pm on weekends.

5. TANGLIN MALL

The area outside the mall has been turned into a magical Christmas village, with cottages surrounded by pine trees. There is also a fairy tale castle, with 2m-tall Nutcracker soldiers standing guard.

More than 200 LED fairy lights and 10 LED floodlights illuminate the village, which took about 21/2 weeks to set up, and 6,475 baubles decorate the area. There are snow times every night, starting from 7.30pm, until Jan 3. Go to www. tanglinmall.com.sg for details.

6. STAR VISTA

The mall's A Whimsical Christmas Dreamland features "goodies" such as lollipops and cupcakes. One of the candy trees is made from heavy-duty fibreglass that has been chemically treated to create a realistic-looking tree bark texture. The indoor wonderland at the basement plaza has an eight-horse carousel where kids can take rides with a minimum spending of $60. It operates daily from noon to 9pm till Dec 27.

7. MILLENIA WALK

The 10m-tall paper Christmas tree by Melvin Ong of local design consultancy Desinere is inspired by the old churches in Europe.

The white exterior symbolises the purity of snow and Christmas, while the gold interior represents a warm, loving home. Up to 20 shoppers can enter its base at any one time. Look up inside the tree to see intricate pleats on the corrugated boards and pleated paper hanging ornaments.

Mr Ong spent 11/2 months to design the tree and another two months to produce two prototypes, hand-score, fold and assemble the final product - with help from a team of structural engineers and paper carpenters. The structure is the Tallest Cardboard Paper Tree in the country, as certified by the Singapore Book of Records.

8. THE SHOPPES AT MARINA BAY SANDS

The mall's 600 sq m skating rink at basement two is now a Christmas village where a 9m-tall tree takes centre stage. The tree took about 16 hours to set up over two nights, has about 2,100 ornaments and weighs about 1,500kg. Visitors can check out the houses where Santa Claus and his friends come alive as mascots.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2015, with the headline 'Bring on the baubles'. Print Edition | Subscribe