Ready, set, gift-shop

Home decor, food, gifts - get these and more at this year's festive markets, which may be smaller, but are cosier

Festive markets are trickling back just in time for Christmas.

There will be no big atrium fairs with thronging crowds this year. Instead, the markets will be smaller, cosier affairs curated and run by local vendors.

Or you can shop from the comfort of home - and responsibly - at The Virtual Green Christmas Market.

In line with safe distancing measures, many of the markets require registration for entry with limited slots available.

The Straits Times scopes out the best markets this festive period.

THE TIME CAPSULE

Ever walked into someone's home and wished you could buy an exact piece of his or her decor? At the upcoming experiential pop-up The Time Capsule, you can.

Housed in a showflat for luxury condominium The Iveria by Ove, the journey begins at the front door.

Walking through, shoppers will find the flat's three bedrooms and study kitted out with lifestyle items from some 35 local brands, curated according to the rooms.

The Grand Living Room brings together pieces like vases, ceramic plates and cushions. You will find leather-bound notebooks from Bynd Artisan in the Power Study and sheets from Sunday Bedding in the bedrooms.

A space called The Garden Room will feature artworks by local botanical artist Lucinda Law.

Registration is required, with a maximum of 15 people a slot.

Behind the experience is fashion designer Phuay Li Ying (of Ying The Label) and lifestyle property developer Joan Chang, 30, who runs boutique hotel Lloyd's Inn.

The entire concept is about stepping out of one's own home and into another, Ms Phuay, 31, says.

"We wanted to place the brands within spaces of the home, so people don't feel like they're just shopping at a booth or a mall. They are able to realise that some of these items can be a part of their life."

It was also the perfect opportunity for Ms Chang to officially debut her new brand of modern luxury condominiums in River Valley.

And with the new work-from-home normal, curating products within a home makes for relatable visual merchandising, adds Ms Phuay.

Shoppers will be given a slip of paper to mark the items they wish to purchase, before they pick them up and make payment at the end of the walk-through - a concept Ms Phuay describes as "Ikea-style".

She had been toying with the idea for a few months, after exploring collaborations with hotels to feature the watercolour art her clothing is known for in their rooms.

While that fell through, it gave her the inspiration to incorporate art - and retail - into daily life.

"Customers tell me they wish there was more brand story when they enter a store, so I'm always thinking of how to give experience to people and convey brand stories as part of their lifestyle," says Ms Phuay.

"I still feel that touch points for customers are very important. We used to have the big boutique fairs where shoppers were always very excited to touch and feel.

"The human touch is an important element and we can't forgo it."

Where: The Iveria by Ove, 58 Kim Yam Road When: Dec 4 and 5, 11am to 9pm; Dec 6, 11am to 5pm Admission: Free with registration at bit.ly/thetimecapsule2020. Go to str.sg/Jbrn

THE VIRTUAL GREEN CHRISTMAS MARKET

A fully online affair, the Virtual Green Christmas Market brings together a host of eco-friendly brands for conscious consumers across five categories: fashion, food and beverage, home and gifts, beauty and skincare, and lifestyle.

Pick up vegetable-tanned leather accessories from Kmana, hand-woven homeware from GreenieGenie, and beer made from unsold bread by local brewery Crust Brewing.

Keep an eye on the event's hourly cashback schedule to collect cashback for your purchases. Organised by online events platform Delegate, the event requires payment to be made via its payment gateway Delegate Pay.

Tomorrow and on Sunday, attend back-to-back workshops and talks from industry professionals on living a conscious life.

Topics range from sustainability in fashion to excess use of packaging during the gifting season to a cooking demo on how to make plant-based Christmas British mince pies.

Where: christmas.justdelegate.co When: Today, noon to 6pm; tomorrow and Sunday, 10am to 6pm Admission: Free with registration

DINO FEST

Dinosaur fever continues to sweep Changi Airport, with a Jurassic-themed carnival market happening every weekend next month at Terminal 4.

Organised by Invade - the company behind the Shilin Singapore and Artbox Singapore markets - the ticketed event includes activities for kids. Each ticket permits entry for a two-hour slot.

At the Dino Score play area, little explorers can snap photos, check out dinosaur eggs and paint a dino sculpture or tote bag at craft workshops.

After that, fuel up at the 20 F&B stalls - including Bober Tea and Taste Asia - which will retail dinosaur-themed food. Each adult ticket comes with a $5 Dino Dine voucher for use at the stalls.

For shopping, there are retail booths like Barefoot Toys, and succulent plant and gift shop Silver Spade.

Where: Departure Hall, Changi Airport Terminal 4 When: Next Thursday to Dec 27, Thursdays to Sundays, 3 to 11pm Admission: $5 for children above six, $6 for adults (Thursdays and Fridays); $7 for children above six, $9 for adults (Saturdays and Sundays). Free admission for children aged six and below. Info: changifestivevillage.com

THE CHRISTMAS ATELIER

The Atelier & Co's now annual Christmas market is back for its second edition, gathering some of Singapore's most-loved artisans.

On offer are leather gifts by Bynd Artisan, homeware by Scene Shang, jewellery from Carrie K. and apparel by Stolen, as well as food and beverages from the likes of Bakery Brera, Windowsill Pies and Brass Lion Distillery.

The Atelier & Co's florist arm, The Floral Atelier, will also be retailing fresh flower bouquets and mini Christmas trees.

The event has been fully subscribed, but you can still shop from the same vendors at its virtual market.

Where: The Atelier & Co, Level 8 Delta House, 2 Alexandra Road When: Today and tomorrow, 11am to 8pm; Sunday, 11am to 6pm Admission: www.thefloralatelier.co/pages/the-christmas-atelier

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2020, with the headline 'Ready, set, gift-shop'. Subscribe