Usher in the Christmas spirit in the traditional European fashion by heading down to Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay from now until Jan 1, 2017, from 3.30 to 11pm daily.
Back for its third year running, Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay is bigger and better. With the dizzying array of activities, food and shopping options at the new 57,000 sq m event ground, the fun to be had is endless.
Here is a complete guide to Christmas Wonderland 2016, the place to be this holiday season — covering the must-sees and must-dos.
A magical atmosphere of light
Christmas Wonderland is easy to spot from Marina Bay — just look out for the exquisite handmade light sculptures, known as Luminarie, scattered throughout the sprawling Gardens.
The highlight is undoubtedly the Spalliera Castel del Monte, the largest Luminarie in Southeast Asia. Bearing a magnificent design inspired by Castel del Monte, a 13th century castle in Southern Italy, and made with 240,000 multi-hued bulbs, the Spalliera stands at 19.7m tall and 24m wide.
Other than the Spalliera, 66 enchanting handmade light sculptures will be nestled within the Supertree Grove, Dragonfly Bridge, Meadow Bridge and Flower Dome, adding to the magical atmosphere. This year’s designs are based on 17th and 18th century Baroque architecture, bringing a slice of traditional Europe to our tropical island.
The best time to visit the Spalliera is at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm daily, where children and adults alike can take pictures under the backdrop of falling “snow” during Blizzard Time. Each blast lasts 5 minutes so prepare your phones in advance to get that Instagram-worthy shot.
Carolling and Yuletide performances that add to the Christmas mood
Get into the Christmas spirit with a specially curated line-up of festive entertainment. Yuletide performances are held on the stage of the Cassa Armonica gazebo, a magically illuminated structure set amidst the SuperTrees.
Some of the participating schools are Hwa Chong Institution, Tanjong Katong Girls’ School and Dunman High School. They will be joined with a cappella groups like Vocatones and 1023.
On weekends, there will also be Christmas-themed performances by singers, singer-songwriters and bands, including Michaela Therese, The Next Movement, and newcomers Mars and Roze Kasmani. For the full schedule of performances, refer to the entertainment schedule here.
Enjoy winter in Singapore
Immerse yourself in a winter wonderland at the Ice Palace, which offers winter activities and also a respite from the humidity and heat of Singapore. Go ice-skating at the 400 sq m ice skating rink, slide down an all-new 25m long ice slide or make a snow angel at the 96 sq m snow playground.
And just as though you’re holidaying in an Alpine ski lodge, the Ice Palace is where you can indulge in a hot chocolate or savour traditional Yuletide dishes like roast beef with red wine sauce as you look out over the ice skating rink, snow playground and ice slide.
Accessible only to children between two and 12 years old, tickets to the snow playground cost $12 to $16 depending on session date. Each session is 20 minutes and includes the rental of snow boots (sizes 26 to 36). Socks and gloves are available for purchase. Book tickets in advance here.
For the ice slide, tickets cost $4 per person and children below 0.9m must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets must be bought on-site.
Ice skating sessions are ticketed at $18 per person, inclusive of skate rental (sizes 26 to 47). Each session is 45 minutes. Socks and gloves are available for purchase. Book tickets in advance here.
A “Funtastic” time for kids
The award-winning themed playground, Hi-5 Funtastic House, is coming to Singapore for the first time ever.
Styled like the hit Australian television series Hi-5, this interactive playground lets children sing and dance to their most popular songs, dress up in Hi-5 costumes and take Polaroid pictures as mementos. Do take note that the actual cast of Hi-5 will not be there.
Older children are likely to enjoy the Ready, Set, Bounce zone especially, where they can go wild on the bouncy castle, manoeuvre the Hi-5 Castle obstacle course and slide down the Hi-5 SuperSlider.
Tickets cost $24 per 45-minute session for 1 child (aged between 4 and 12) and 1 accompanying adult. The playground is open from 4 to 8pm daily (multiple sessions). Pre-book sessions or check timings here.
Outside of the Hi-5 Funtastic House, younger children can ride on Christmas trains, bumper cars, bug cars, or sit on a mini Ferris wheel. Rides start from $6 and height requirement applies for certain rides.
Taste traditional European festive dishes
For foodies, the festive snacks and international delights offered at Christmas Wonderland will put you right in the Christmas spirit.
At the Glass House, an air-conditioned two-storey house located in the Supertree Grove, dine on delicious food while overlooking the Spalliera, Supertrees and the Festive Market.
Here, tuck into dishes exclusive to Christmas Wonderland, such as Churros Factory’s Mao Shan Wang durian churros and Brewerks’ turkey burger with cranberry mayonnaise and brussels sprouts slaw.
Or head to Hard Rock Cafe’s pop-up store for their renowned burgers and chicken wings, as well as limited edition Christmas T-shirts.
Well-established bar and restaurant Harry’s will also bring in Christmas-inspired creations such as Merry Wings, Mrs Claus’ Baked Salmon, eggnog and mulled wine.
Complete your Christmas Wonderland gastronomic experience at the Festive Market. Travel with your tastebuds and try Dutch mini pancakes by The Dutch Pancake Store, kürtőskalács (traditional Hungarian chimney-shaped cakes) or peri-peri chicken from African Tandoor.
Get unique Christmas gifts from the Festive Market
You don’t need to fly to Europe for Christmas market crafts. Take a relaxing stroll at Christmas Wonderland’s Festive Market and shop for handmade crafts from boutique stores housed in wooden huts that are specially imported from the UK.
Some of the highlights here include miniature gifts from Blue Stone Craft Gifts and Toys, natural soy candles from Sally’s Room and artisan perfumes from Freda’D Parfum. And while you’re shopping, why not support local brands by getting apparel and leather accessories from CATCH and ONE+ONE?
This year, there are 11 game stalls at Christmas Wonderland, up from last year’s seven. With returning games such as Fishy Fishy, Lobster Pot, Can Toss, and Hi Striker, you can relive your childhood and challenge your friends to see who can win the most Disney soft toys. Carnival games start from $4.
Visit Santa's Cottage in a magical forest
Explore a magical forest consisting of 80 festively decorated Christmas trees as you walk toward Santa’s Cottage. There, you can take a picture with Santa and bring home a memento from $20.
Santa's Cottage will be open daily from 5pm to 10.30pm.
Book early to save
To manage crowds, entrance to Christmas Wonderland is ticketed this year via an online system. No ticket sales will be conducted on event grounds. Tickets cost $6 to $8 depending on the day of visit and each paying adult can bring in up to three children under 0.9m free of charge.
Christmas Wonderland and Visa have come together to bring you a special holiday experience. Enjoy 25% savings on your entry ticket when you make a booking with Visa Checkout using a Visa card. Enter promo code VISA to enjoy the discount. Only applicable for new Visa Checkout accounts.
Christmas Wonderland is organised by Blue Sky Events and supported by Singapore Tourism Board.
All ready to go? Visit www.christmaswonderland.sg to secure your tickets now.