Christmas markets are probably the next best thing after, well, Christmas itself.
With gaily costumed figures, larger-than-life decorations, seasonal treats and more fairy lights than you can shake a candy cane at, it’s no wonder more and more Singaporeans are falling for their festive allure.
Whether you’re looking to recapture that good ole Christmas spirit, need to spruce up your Instagram feed with some festive-themed shots, or simply want to hunt down unique gifts for those near and dear, here are the best Christmas villages you shouldn’t miss for 2018.
‘Tis the season to be decorating, and if you’re hunting for the best baubles and knick-knacks to transform your tree and your home into something merry and bright, look no further than the Christmas Fair at Paragon Shopping Centre. With a wide array of Christmas ornaments and festive decorations, from beautifully crafted snowflakes, to Santa, candy cane and angel ornaments as well as gold stars and other embellishments, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
If you got your hands on some Bullarum Christmas ornaments between Dec 4 and 16 (12pm to 7pm), make sure you get them personalised by a Bullarum artist. While at the mall, don’t forget to admire its 5-metre tall fresh Noble fir Christmas tree with a selection of musical performances (starting from Nov 29).
METRO (Singapore)’s Christmas Fair at Paragon Shopping Centre
Atrium, Level 1
Paragon Shopping Centre, 238859
After a successful first run last year, the Great Christmas Village is back again for 2018. Expect the same winning combo of live music, delicious food, seasonal shopping and kids’ activities — a delightful mix sure to keep the whole family busy and happy. This year’s live performances will feature Unified, Raw Earth, Supersonic, The Common People and more, with light bites and libations available at the Timbre X Food Village and Bar.
Meanwhile, children can delight themselves at themed rides like the Great Carousel, Pirate Ship and London Train, in-between visits to Hitachi House for complimentary craft sessions and to catch a glimpse of Santa himself. The village is part of Disney Magical Moments — Christmas on A Great Street!, so don’t forget to admire the dazzling lights along Orchard Road that are inspired by Disney’s favourite characters.
The Great Christmas Village at Ngee Ann City
Till 26 Dec, 2018
Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza, 238873
Frequent goers to the mall’s outdoor space in search of its traditional towering Christmas tree (which is always Instagram-worthy) will be greeted by something even better this year — a sparkling 14m-tall Cartier Ferris Wheel adorned with 2,688 light bulbs that is quite a sight to behold. Don’t forget to make a beeline for the Cartier photo booth at the base of the ferris wheel for a complimentary photo print-out.
Near this centerpiece is a magical park with a playful maze of Christmas trees and over 800 beautifully wrapped gift boxes, making it the perfect backdrop for your festive photos. From 30 Nov, be entertained by roving performances by dance group the ION Sparklers and the Roving Brass Band, and a live Juke box at L1 Atrium, backed by passionate singers from the band Overdrive belting out Top 40’s and rock music hits as well as evergreen classics. Santa will be making an appearance too (Dec 14 to 16 and 21 to 25 Dec, 1 to 2pm and 6 to 7pm at L1 Atrium). How fun!
Christmas at ION Orchard
Till Jan 1, 2019
ION Orchard, 238801
Christmas Wonderland is back this year to imbue the lovely Gardens by the Bay with that special Christmas magic. For its fifth iteration, Singapore’s largest Christmas Village promises to go big and bold. From Asia’s tallest Christmas Tree to a majestic 22m-tall mirror maze, an even larger Santa’s Grotto complete with a mesmerising kinetic light installation from Germany, and even a brand new Christmas special light show at the Supertree Grove, visitors can expect a truly spectacular time.
If you’re a fan of magic shows, then you’ll be thrilled at the sight of Rob Lake (America’s Got Talent 2018 Quarter-finalist), who will be here to enthrall you with his tricks and illusions. Or, simply come for the Festive Market and buy all the holiday-themed gifts and presents you could ever want. Also, stop by the Flower Dome if you want some cuteness overload. The festive-themed Disney Tsum Tsum Floral Display will add to the Christmas cheer — as if you need any more reason to visit!
Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay
Till 26 Dec, 2018, 4pm to 11pm
Gardens by the Bay, 018953
Admission tickets are from $4. Get your tickets from www.christmaswonderland.sg, or buy at the door.
Fans of kawaii Japanese characters will love what Bugis has done to its premises. A gigantic 10-metre tall Christmas tree-shaped centrepiece at Bugis Square will be accompanied by life-sized TO-FU OYAKO characters decked in festive outfits for that perfect photo op. Get your selfies and wefies settled in a mirrored space within the centrepiece that is filled with countless strings of multi-coloured baubles. Then head to the Christmas Market at the fountain area, where you can shop for goodies such as lifestyle and F&B items, accessories, toys
and collectibles at 20 booths helmed by both Bugis Junction and external retailers. Try your luck at the carnival game booths there as well, and maybe you’d get to bring home a prize!
Christmas In Tomorrowland at Bugis Junction
Open daily from 12noon to 9pm, till 30 Dec, 2018
Level 1 Bugis Junction Hylam Street
Level 1 Bugis Junction Bugis Square
Looking to celebrate Christmas with a twist of art? Head on down to Tanjong Pagar Centre and check out A Hullabaloo Christmas. Held in collaboration with The Artground, the event sees the Urban Park transformed into a visual play space by local artist Nur Aida Binte Sa’ad.
But this isn’t the kind of art you simply sit and stare at. Visitors are invited to jump into things with a giant urban foam pool, and get in touch with their inner crafter via a pompom pets workshop. Rather just sit back and soak it all in? You’ll be in good company with performances by Sherraine Low, Jarrell Huang and Ecuadorian act KAYNA.
A Hullabaloo Christmas at Tanjong Pagar Centre
Till 25 Dec, 2018
#31-01 Guoco Tower, 1 Wallich Street
Tanjong Pagar Centre, Urban Park, 078881
If you’ve always suspected Fido feels left out when the Christmas festivities rolls around, here’s your chance to make it up to your furry friend.
Featuring the first-ever Christmas-themed night market for dogs, the inaugural Singapore Dog Festival celebrates the unique local dog culture found here in Singapore. Expect a lineup of homegrown and international vendors, educational talks by experts, sharing sessions with fellow dog owners and other fun family and child-friendly activities. This is going to be the happiest Christmas for your pooch yet.
Singapore Dog Festival: A Canine Christmas at The Grandstand
From 14 to 16 Dec, 2018
The Grandstand Outdoor Event Space
200 Turf Club Road, 287994
For a taste of a snowy Christmas right here in Singapore, bring the family to indoor snow centre Snow City for Hansel and Gretel’s Winter Adventure. Chock full of fun activities such as mascot meet-and-greets, Hansel & Gretel storytelling, science demos and Christmas carols, there’s plenty of fun for the entire family.
Be sure to catch the highlights — live snowfall, and blizzard and wind chill simulation — so the little ones can see for themselves what a wintery Christmas is truly like. It’s the next best thing to the real deal.
Hansel and Gretel’s Winter Adventure at Snow City
Till 1 Jan, 2019
Snow City, 21 Jurong Town Hall Road, 609433, tel: 6560 2306
Calling all foodies and thrill-seekers! What better way to celebrate Christmas and New Year than with the type of raucous fun that only proper carnivals can provide. The Prudential Marina Bay Carnival is known for its satisfying carnival thrills, exciting visual spectacles and lip-smacking snacks and treats. This year, the event returns with over 50 rides and game stalls in an area the size of four football fields, so even the most hardcore carnival fan will be satisfied.
Ready for a change of pace? Run along and seek out the many arts and crafts workshops led by a selection of local creators for a different but no less satisfying thrill.
Prudential Marina Bay Carnival at Marina Bay
From 22 Dec, 2018, to 24 March, 2019
Bayfront Event Space, Marina Bay
By Chip Chen and Joy Fang, Updated by Sandhya Mahadevan, December 2018
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