December is when everyone gets into a tizzy preparing for the usual Christmas and New Year celebrations. If you are tired of going to the same annual countdown events or watching the same festive-themed shows on television, here are some unconventional ways to have fun.
1) Let's Xin Yao BBQ Fest @ Gain City
Tired of yet another turkey with cranberry sauce, glazed ham and log cake? Celebrate this holiday season with local fare instead.
Gain City’s idea of a good time involves sambal stingray, sotong and satay grilling over a barbecue pit with friends at the Let’s Xin Yao BBQ Fest at the rooftop of its Sungei Kadut megastore on Dec 30.
And the local flavour isn’t just limited to the food. Gain City will do away with the traditional Christmas carols in favour of some xinyao (Singaporean Chinese folk music).
Some of the biggest names and voices from Singapore’s xinyao scene will be present to sing the night away. They include Roy Li, Melody Wee and Wilson Huang. Livening up the party will be DJs from SPH’s latest radio stations, HaoFM 96.3 and UFM100.3.
Shuttle buses to Gain City’s Megastore @ Sungei Kadut run from Yew Tee MRT at eight-minute intervals, and from the bus stop opposite Lot 1 Shoppers’ Mall every 22 minutes. If you are driving, you will be entitled to six hours of free parking.
When: Dec 30, from 6.30pm to 9.30pm
Where: Gain City Megastore @ Sungei Kadut
Tickets: $59 for adults and $39 for children (Free for children below six years old)
Visit www.gaincity.com/bbq2017 for more information.
2) Soak in the views at the rooftop observation deck
If you love to chill out to a good view, the rooftop observation deck at Gain City’s 11-storey megastore at Sungei Kadut provides panoramic views of the surrounding areas.
Unlike other popular spots in the Central Business District located further south, the megastore towers over surrounding buildings, giving you a completely unobstructed view.
Spend a romantic evening watching skies turn a gorgeous shade of crimson over the Straits of Johor. Observation binoculars are available.
3) Shop to your heart's content
Gain City’s Megastore @ Sungei Kadut is a haven for all your shopping needs for your home. Expect good and affordable deals on furniture, household appliances and numerous electronic gadgets.
It also boasts the largest live air-conditioning showroom on the island, with the widest range of live air-con demo units on display, from Mitsubishi Electric Starmex inverters to the world’s first 360 Bladeless Cassette by Samsung. With the sheer number of brands and types of air-conditioners available, you will be spoilt for choice.
After a long day of bargain-hunting, settle down to dinner in the megastore. The selection at the two in-house bistros rivals even that of the megastore itself, with a menu that boasts everything from burgers to claypot chicken rice to fish and chips.
4) Explore nature at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
While it may not be as glamorous as Coney Island or Pulau Ubin, the sheer magnitude of biodiversity in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve makes it a gem all its own.
A popular stop for migratory birds, Sungei Buloh is known for having the widest variety of bird life — over 200 species — in Singapore. Some of the species you can expect include the buffy fish owl, white-bellied sea eagle and Oriental pied hornbill.
If you are lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the elusive saltwater crocodile, or the family of otters that has recently graced so many Instagram feeds.
For those who are interested in learning more about the park, join free guided walks every Saturday from 9.30am to 11am, courtesy of NParks’ nature guides.
5) Step back in time at Sungei Tengah
While we may have one of the most beautiful skylines in the world, Singapore isn’t all glass and steel. Up north, there is still some unspoilt rustic beauty unknown to many folks.
There is no better way to discover this than by exploring the area on a bicycle. Cycle to Farmart Centre on Sungei Tengah Road and you will feel as if you have been transported to the kampung (village) where it used to be.
Go on a farm tour to find out more about sustainable farming in Singapore, or spend the day prawning at the prawn pond. On weekends, bring your kids to the animal corner to let them get up close and personal with goats, rabbits, tortoises and more. When hunger pangs strike, there are many dining options to choose from.
A note of warning, though — you might want to take something a little sturdier than ofobikes or mobikes, as some of the off-road options can be tough to ride on.
This article is brought to you by Gain City.