What is Christmas without a festive market? Head down to the fifth edition of Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay from now until Dec 26 to be enthralled by Singapore’s biggest yuletide celebrations.
Read on to find out 10 things you can look forward to at this must-visit fair, featuring one of Singapore’s most spectacular Christmas lighting displays.
1. Be wowed by magic
Christmas is a pretty magical time as it is. But you can add even more magic to your Christmas by making a stop at the fair’s performance tent to catch the critically acclaimed The Magic of Rob Lake.
One of the top illusionists in the world, Mr Rob Lake was a quarter-finalist on America’s Got Talent 2018 and the youngest-ever recipient of the Merlin Award.
The 45-minute show runs every Tuesday to Sunday at 7pm and 9pm, with an additional 5pm show on selected days. Get yourself a ticket at the gate at $14 per adult and $10 per child, or save $2 by purchasing online. Alternatively, save up to 30 per cent with the Family and Friends bundle, only available online.
2. Lose yourself in the lights
Traditionally, Christmas Wonderland sees the Gardens graced by luminarie light sculptures during the year-end holiday season, which are handmade by Italian craftsmen using white wood from the south of Italy.
But for the first time this year, one will stand out above the rest — literally — as the tallest luminarie Christmas tree in Asia. You can also get lost in the wonder of the 22m-tall luminarie mirror maze, which towers over Christmas Wonderland.
In all, around 300,000 bulbs, 90,000m of iron cables, 3,500m of electrical wiring, 515 wooden poles, 56 mirrors, 20 tonnes of cargo and 30 days were needed for this year’s setup — which truly has to be seen to be believed.
3. Pay Santa a visit
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to Santa at his house. But rather than save up for a plane ticket to travel all the way to Lapland, simply head down to Christmas Wonderland to tell St. Nicholas what you want for Christmas.
An Alpine House has been constructed just for Father Christmas at Santa’s Grotto. The largest installation of its kind in Asia, this year’s iteration features more Instagram-worthy festive installations and a kinetic light display, flown in all the way from Germany.
Access to Santa’s Grotto is free with your Christmas Wonderland ticket.
4. Glide across the ice
How often do you get to skate outdoors — especially in tropical Singapore? Get those skates on nice and tight and go Skating Under The Stars, thanks to an outdoor skating rink specially flown in from Switzerland. The largest skating rink to grace the Christmas Wonderland yet, this year’s rink boasts the mesmerising touch of an 8m-tall illuminated Christmas tree in the middle.
Skating Under The Stars is open daily from now until Dec 26, from 4pm to 11pm.
5. Grab a Yuletide bite
The highlight of any festival is always the food, and Christmas Wonderland is no exception.
This year’s new bite-sized format of the SAVOUR Gourmet Festival concept, aptly named Slice of SAVOUR, focuses on making gourmet comfort food accessible to all.
Some of Singapore’s trendiest restaurants will be making their appearance at the fair: sample modern French cuisine by Michelin-star chef Emmanuel Stroobant of Saint Pierre, contemporary Italian cuisine by Sinfonia alongside modern Chinese bites by Blue Lotus and juicy burgers straight off the grill from Three Buns, to mention but a few. Finish off with artisanal cocktails — some exclusive to Christmas Wonderland — by Three Wisemen.
Food prices start from $6 onwards, with access to Slice of SAVOUR free with every Christmas Wonderland ticket.
6. Experience "snow" in Singapore
Snow in Singapore? It’s no longer an impossibility, thanks to "Blizzard Time" at Christmas Wonderland. Every evening, the Gardens will be blanketed by a dusting of "snow", making for an unforgettable scene.
Exactly how is it going to "snow" in the tropics? There’s only one way to find out — to step headfirst into the blizzard for yourself.
7. Rediscover the joy of having fun
As much as Christmas is a time for giving, it is also a season for fun. Scattered throughout Christmas Wonderland are traditional carnival rides, kiddy games and inflatable gingerbread houses, providing hours of fun for you and your kids.
8. Get your Christmas shopping done
What’s a festival without a marketplace to traipse through? The Supertree Grove will play host to this year’s Festive Market, a collection of 24 specially-designed wooden huts modelled after renowned Christmas markets throughout Europe, such as those from Hyde Park in London and the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris.
Among the goods available in the Festive Market are handmade crafts, boutique goods and vintage finds. And if you ever get hungry, there is no shortage of specialty food and beverages as well.
9. Sing along to some Christmas favourites
There is no better way to get into the spirit of the season than listening to your favourite Christmas tunes. Every evening, join in the Garden Rhapsody — the Christmas Special for this time-honoured tradition. Watch the Supertrees come alive in a blaze of colour, light and music, as you sing along to seasonal favourites.
10. ‘Tis the season for giveaways
It would not be Christmas without presents, so look forward to some exciting giveaways. Other than complimentary event experiences given out as instant wins, visitors also stand a chance to win holiday packages in The Christmas Wonderland Giveaway, which include Genting Dream cruises and Hard Rock Hotel stays in Bali, Pattaya and Penang.