Lights, fireworks, action: Celebrate Christmas, New Year in style

There is no reason to stay home on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, not when they fall on a Saturday. The Straits Times susses out the best tinsel-themed activities and 2017 countdown celebrations to end the year on a bang

Yuletide festivities

CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN ON ICE


Count down to Christmas on ice at The Rink in JCube. PHOTO: THE RINK

Pretend it is winter by going skating at this Olympic-sized rink, which will have snow falling at the stroke of midnight on Christmas. On New Year's Eve, there will be a countdown with a DJ will be spinning on ice.

The minimum age of entry is three and children aged between three and five will need to be accompanied on the ice by a parent or a guardian.

Where: The Rink, Level 3, JCube, 2 Jurong East Central 1

When: Tomorrow, 9.45pm to 12.45am

Admission: $28

Info: www.therink.sg

 

LEPARK TO A CHRISTMAS MUSICAL

Head to rooftop bar-restaurant Lepark for an intimate night with Christmas classics sung live by home-grown singer-songwriters Maricelle and Shak'thiya Subramaniamm, who will be performing some of their original songs too.

The festive menu includes dishes such as a Christmas pork knuckle ($38) and The Grinch ($12) cocktail.

Where: Level 6, People's Park Complex, 1 Park Road

When: Tomorrow, 8pm to midnight

Admission: Free. E-mail meow@lepark.co or send a Facebook message for group reservations of eight people or more

Info: www.facebook.com/leparksg

BOUNCEOFF! FIESTA


BounceOFF! Fiesta. PHOTO: BOUNCEOFF!

Unleash your inner child at the BounceOFF! Fiesta, where inflatables are spread over 40,000 sq m in the Marina Bay area.

There are 32 inflatables that are divided into three zones: bounce, slide and jump.

Highlights include the Skyscraper, a mammoth inflatable 16m tall, 70m long and 18m wide, as well as the Blobber, where you leap from a height of 7m onto a 3m-deep inflatable bag.

The fiesta will operate till later on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Where: The Promontory @ Marina Bay, 11 Marina Boulevard, and Bayfront Event Space, 1 Bayfront Avenue

When: 2pm to 2am tomorrow and on New Year's Eve. Runs till Jan 1, 5 to 11pm on weekdays and 2 to 11pm on weekends

Admission: Pay-per-rides range from $3 to $40, or get an all-day pass from $48 to $128

Info: www.bounceofffiesta.com.sg

SECRETS OF THE CHRISTMAS STAR

Christmas meets science in this planetarium show on the origins of the Star of Bethlehem, also known as the Christmas Star.

In the biblical account, the star led the three wise men to baby Jesus, but astronomers question whether it was in fact a supernova explosion or a comet instead.

The 30-minute show will be presented by a science educator while visuals are projected onto a 23m- diameter dome screen.

The show is recommended for children aged seven and above.

Where: Omni-Theatre, 21 Jurong Town Hall Road

When: Till Sunday, 3pm

Admission: $14

Info: www.omnitheatre.com.sg

SANTA'S ALL-STAR CHRISTMAS


People dance with performers at a Christmas attraction in Universal Studios Singapore on Dec 12, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Kids will love the range of special programmes lined up for Christmas at Universal Studios Singapore.

Three new festive productions, featuring the park's all-star cast including Marilyn Monroe, the cheeky Minions and Ebenezer Scrooge, will take place at various spots and times in the park.

Visitors can also drop in at Santa's Village, where Father Christmas, his wife and elves hang out.

To top it off, there is regular snowfall at select locations and times daily too.

Finally, families can end the day with a spectacular light display, which earned a Guinness World Records title last month for the largest light bulb display in an indoor venue.

There are 824,961 light bulbs spread across eight thematic zones, which range from a trippy time warp tunnel to an enchanted pine forest.

Where: Universal Studios Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa

When: Till Jan 2, 10am to 10pm daily (except for Dec 27, Jan 1 and 2, when it closes at 9pm and Dec 31, at 1.30am) 

CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND


Christmas Wonderland 2016 at Gardens by the Bay. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Singapore's largest Yuletide fair at Gardens by the Bay returns with a bigger edition that gives visitors more to see and do at the Supertree Grove and The Meadows grounds.

Organised by events company Blue Sky Events, the festival has a general admission fee of $8.

Certain attractions are separately ticketed.

The festival grounds are decorated with intricate handmade Italian luminarie, or sculptures of light. The centrepiece is a stunning 19.7m-tall Spalliera Castel del Monte at the Supertree Grove.

Visitors can also wander through a Magical Forest with 150 Christmas trees that are up to 4m tall or visit Santa at Santa's Cottage at The Meadows.

There is also a market selling bites such as turkey burgers and durian churros, as well as handcrafted trinkets and items including artisanal perfume.

Activities that are separately ticketed include the popular Ice Palace, where there is an upsized snow playground, ice-skating rink and 25m-long ice slide; and the Hi-5 Funtastic House, where young children can play in a bouncy castle or sing along to their favourite Hi-5 songs.

Both are at The Meadows.

Where: Supertree Grove and The Meadows, Gardens by the Bay

When: Till Jan 1, 3.30 to 11pm daily 

Admission: $8 for general admission, free entry for up to three children below 0.9m in height with each paying adult.

Buy tickets online before going to the event. There will not be ticket sales on-site.

Some of the activities are ticketed and visitors are recommended to pre-book online. 

Info: www.christmaswonderland.sg


New Year's Eve parties

CELEBRATE 2017: COUNT DOWN WITH THE STARS

Party into 2017 with your favourite home-grown celebrities at Mediacorp's annual year-end street party, which will be televised live from 11pm to 12.15am on Channel 5.

Highlights this year are collaborative performances between Taufik Batisah and DJ duo Rave Republic, and Mandopop singer Tay Kewei and alternative band The Facade.

Other acts include host and entertainer Najip Ali, singer-songwriter Gentle Bones and rapper Shigga Shay. Fans of TV stars such as Elvin Ng, Felicia Chin and Chen Tianwen will get to snap selfies with their idols too.

The countdown will culminate with a fireworks display and the party will continue past midnight with Rave Republic at the decks. 

Where: Suntec Plaza (next to the Fountain of Wealth), Suntec City, 3 Temasek Boulevard 

When: 7.30pm till late

Admission: Free 

Info: toggle.sg/celebrate2017 

MARINA BAY SINGAPORE COUNTDOWN 2017


The fireworks display from last year's Marina Bay Singapore Countdown. PHOTO: BRYAN VAN DER BEEK

Leave your car at home and take part in the street festivities spread out in the Marina Bay area.

Shop at the Marina Bay Waterfront Bazaar where you can find artisanal items and bites.

From 8pm on Monday, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore will also project colourful 3D displays on its facade. The five-minute animation will take place hourly each night till Dec 31.

On New Year's Eve, leave enough time to get to your favourite spot to watch the highlight event - an eight-minute spectacular fireworks display above the water at Marina Bay at the stroke of midnight.

A new lights, lasers and flames show will be added to the mix.

This year, the celebrations extend into the Civic District.

St Andrew's Road and Connaught Drive will be closed to vehicles from 4pm on New Year's Eve until 2am the next day.

There will be an arts market in Connaught Drive and activities such as an outdoor concert, movie screenings and sunset yoga session at Empress Lawn and Esplanade Park.

From 9pm to midnight, there will be a fitness countdown party by the Health Promotion Board in St Andrew's Road. Participants can work off calories in zumba or K-pop cardio dance workouts.

Where: Various locations around Marina Bay and Civic District 

When: From 3pm till late

Admission: Free. Some activities require prior registration. 

Info: www.marinabaycountdown.sg 

ROCK ON! 

Spend New Year's Eve with Grammy winner Alicia Keys, American rock band Hoobastank and Taiwanese multi-hyphenate Rainie Yang at star-studded countdown party Rock On! 2017 at The Float @ Marina Bay.

The stellar line-up of 12 international and home-grown acts includes Taiwanese crooner Eric Chou, Malaysian singer-songwriter Penny Tai and rock band Shirlyn & The UnXpected.

Each act will take the stage for at least 20 minutes in the eight-hour extravaganza. 

Where: The Float @ Marina Bay 

When: 5pm to 1am 

Admission: $48 to $218 from ApacTix (www.apactix.com) and all SingPost outlets (excludes booking fee)

Info: www.facebook.com/imclivegroup

SILENT DISCO ASIA NYE 2016/17 


Revellers enjoying a silent disco party. PHOTO: SILENT DISCO ASIA

Dance to your own beat at this year-end shindig, where party- goers put on a pair of wireless noise-cancelling headphones and pick from three channels playing disco, house or rock tunes.

The organisers are keeping mum on what to expect moments before the countdown, but there will be lots of glitter. 

Where: Kult Kafe, 11 Upper Wilkie Road 

When: 8pm to 1am 

Admission: Early-bird price of $35 on a first-come-first-served basis. Otherwise it is $45 (includes one drink) 

Info: www.facebook.com/silentdiscoasia

SILOSO BEACH PARTY 


Last year's edition of the Siloso Beach Party. PHOTO: SENTOSA

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of this iconic beach rave, Dutch DJ and producer Quintino will headline the party.

A rising name in the international dance music scene, he will be joined by Singapore's DJ Kaylova and the Philippines' Kat DJ.

Where: Siloso Beach, Sentosa 

When: 6pm to 6am 

Admission: Standard ticket is $55 till Monday, $67 till Dec 31 before 4pm or $77 at the door. Includes one drink 

Info: www.sentosa.com.sg/silosobeachparty

HILLTOP COUNTDOWN 


Celebrate new year's eve onboard a cable car at Faber Peak Singapore. PHOTO: FABER PEAK SINGAPORE

Escape the crowds and welcome the new year 100m above sea level at Faber Peak Singapore.

Fireworks will be set off at midnight and you can book a 11/2-hour package for up to six passengers in a cable car called the Celebration Cabin.

The package includes two bottles of Laurent-Perrier champagne, a dessert platter and party packs.

Only 30 cabins are available. 

Where: Faber Peak Singapore, 109 Mount Faber Road 

When: 6pm till 1am. Operating hours for the Mount Faber Line of the Singapore Cable Car will be extended to 1am (last boarding at 12.30am) 

Admission: $488++ a cabin (up to six passengers) 

Info: Call 6377-9688 or go to www.faberpeaksingapore.com to book; only 30 cabins are available

CE LA VI MASK & MIRRORS COUNTDOWN PARTY

Put on your favourite mask for this masquerade-themed party in Ce La Vi's club lounge on New Year's Eve.

The club's rooftop is also a prime spot to view the countdown fireworks at the Marina Bay Area. 

Where: SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands, Tower 3, 1 Bayfront Avenue 

When: 9pm till late 

Admission: $148 (pre-sale) or $198 (at the door), includes one glass of champagne 

Info: sg.celavi.com

COMMUNITY BASHES 

The People's Association's (PA) grassroots organisations are holding more than 200 New Year's Eve celebrations islandwide.

Rub shoulders with local celebrities such as Tosh Zhang and Kelly Poon at Nee Soon South's bash which will take place at the open field opposite Khatib MRT station.

Or catch martial arts and dance performances at the Boon Lay Countdown 2017 at the hard court beside Block 215 Boon Lay Place. 

Where: Various locations islandwide 

When: Various timings 

Admission: Mostly free, though interested attendees are encouraged to check with organisers 

Info: www.pa.gov.sg

AFTER DARK NEW YEAR'S COUNTDOWN PARTY 

After almost a year of closure, Kilo Lounge is back in a spanking new space at Tanjong Pagar.

The countdown party will feature beats spun by house music DJ-producer Betoko. 

Where: 21 Tanjong Pagar Road 

When: 9pm till late 

Admission: $100 entry (includes free-flow beer, house wines, house spirits and champagne from 9pm to midnight) and $50 for entry after midnight 

Info: www.facebook.com/kilolounge

HAJI LANE NYE STREET PARTY

Let your hair down at a street bash in hipster enclave Haji Lane.

The DJ will be spinning a mix of 1990s R&B, funk, hip-hop and reggae beats. 

Where: Haji Lane, next to Mexican restaurant Piedra Negra at 241 Beach Road 

When: 7pm to 1am 

Admission: Free

Info: www.facebook.com/events/325282414537933/


What I'm doing on the eve

The Straits Times speaks to five newsmakers to find out what they plan to do on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve

Shirlyn Tan, 40, frontwoman of home-grown rock band Shirlyn & The UnXpected

"We will be playing at Wala Wala Cafe Bar on Christmas Eve. It's very rare that I don't work on holidays. On New Year's Eve, we have a big gig at countdown concert Rock On! 2017 at The Float @ Marina Bay. We are thrilled to be performing on the same stage as big names such as Alicia Keys. I'm hoping to meet her and have a quick chat."

Derrick Wong, 37, barista and founder of the Longer Table Initiative, a volunteer-led elderly outreach crusade

"We plan to do something for the elderly at Kreta Ayer Square in Chinatown on Boxing Day so I will be busy on Christmas Eve baking a gingerbread house.

Some of these seniors have seen or heard about a gingerbread house but they have never tried one.

We will be packing goodie bags for them too.

I have no plans for New Year's Eve yet, but most likely, there will be a small gathering with the fellow stall holders at 73@Hillcrest (a coffee shop by day and a bistro by night in Hillcrest Road)."





Taufik Batisah, 35, singer

"My best friend is a Catholic, so every Christmas Eve, we go to his place for a potluck and there will be all the classic dishes such as turkey and mashed potatoes.

This has been happening since our secondary school days, so if someone can't make it, he will get mad (laughs). Over the years, the group has grown bigger as people have gotten married and have kids.

On New Year's Eve, I will be at Suntec City for a countdown event. It will be interesting this year as I will be performing with DJ duo Rave Republic.

It's a free show so everyone, come down!"

Sivakumar Palakrishnan, 39, actor who recently starred in the film A Yellow Bird

"I was born on Christmas Day, so it's always been special. On Christmas Eve, my wife usually cooks a fabulous meal.

We have a Christmas tree too, even though we are Hindus. We enjoy celebrating all holidays.

Another must-do is to watch the holiday classic Home Alone. It's a tradition I have kept since I was young.

For New Year's Eve, I'm going to a black-tie party at the Singapore Cricket Club. It's been a long time since my wife and I have gone for a year-end party as we usually gather at my parents' place."

Yip Pin Xiu, 24, Paralympian

"I will be meeting my brother in Dresden, Germany, where he works, and we will head to Poland and London later. I don't normally spend Christmas away from home, but since December is usually our only off season and my brother is in Europe, I thought, 'Why not go?' I'm excited to check out the Christmas markets in Europe.

I will fly back to Singapore on New Year's Eve and in typical fashion, count down to the new year with my relatives with a potluck. When it's close to midnight, we will head up to the rooftop of my apartment in Serangoon to watch the fireworks."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2016, with the headline 'Lights, fireworks, action'. Print Edition | Subscribe