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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or send a Facebook message for group reservations of eight people or more
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)
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.
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
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
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