This year’s Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay promises to be the biggest, brightest and most magical as yet. We bring you a first-hand peek into all the family-friendly highlights you won’t want to miss.
If you were there last year for Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay, you may wonder why you should go see it again this year. Well, for one thing, did you know that the magical luminarie light sculptures are not the same ones recycled year after year? In fact, the magnificent sculptures are actually not just newly designed, but we had the honour of watching the Italian artisans painstakingly building them on site!
And that’s not all. During the media conference that happened yesterday, we found out everything there is to know about this year’s Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay, just for you. From 1 to 26 December, the 57,000sqm fairground promises to push the limits to present an experiental yuletide fair like no other. It all looks and sounds absolutely amazing, so don’t miss it!
1. Santa’s Grotto – NEW!
Santa’s Grotto artist impression. Credit: Gardens by the Bay
Smile for a photo with Santa Claus at one of Asia’s largest Santa’s Grotto, an alpine house decked in pinewood. While you’re there, get more selfies with life-sized flying reindeer in the starry nightscape and other photo op installations.
All Santa’s Grotto visitors will receive a lucky draw ticket, with over 100 prizes given away daily. Instant prizes include free carnival rides and games, Circus Abyssinia tickets, as well as food and beverage vouchers. You also stand a chance to win the grand prize of a trip for two to Lapland, Finland! Santa’s Grotto is open from 5pm to 10pm daily.
2. Luminarie: Sculptures of Light
Once again transforming the fairground into a luminous wonderland, this perennial favourite is back with even more illuminating backdrops for your social media slideshows. 252,000 multi-coloured bulbs will light up 80 luminarie sculptures made of white wood from the south of Italy. These include the brand new 13m tall Christmas ‘tree’ and the ever popular Spalliera – Southeast Asia’s tallest luminarie at 22.5m high and 37.5m wide.
While the main fairground – with the bulk of the sculptures – is located at The Meadow, do wander around the rest of the Gardens in search of other pieces. Psst, the places to look include the Supertree Grove, Dragonfly Bridge, the Visitor Centre and even the main entrance! The luminarie light up at 7pm daily until 31 December.
3. Skating Under The Stars – NEW!
Skating rink artist impression. Credit: Gardens by the Bay
For the first time ever, skate under the starry night on a 240sqm outdoor skating rink specially brought in from Switzerland. Located at The Meadow, it will be framed by luminarie light sculptures, which means you’ll have out-of-this-world Instagrammable shots to look forward to.
Skating aids are available on a first-come-first-served basis, with priority given to children. Entry to the skating rink must be purchased separately at $10 per adult and $8 per child (4-12 years). The skating rink will be open from 4.30pm to 11pm daily.
4. Blizzard Time
Blizzard Time 2016. Credit: Gardens by the Bay
Who says it doesn’t snow in the tropics? The Spalliera will once again host the popular Blizzard Time, where visitors can experience a white Christmas! This year, you can play with snow five times daily, up from three times in previous years. It makes for many beautiful family photos!
Entry to Blizzard Time is free with your entry ticket to Christmas Wonderland. As the session timings have not been confirmed, stay tuned to the Christmas Wonderland website for updates.
5. Circus Abyssinia Present Ethiopian Dreams – NEW!
Credit: Circus Abyssinia
Experience an enthralling performance as highly acclaimed Circus Abyssinia brings the rhythms of Africa to Singapore! Ethiopian Dreams is a jaw-dropping circus spectacular featuring a mix of gravity-defying stunts and enchanting adventure. This is their first outing to Asia, but Ethiopia’s Circus Abyssinia was a sell-out smash hit at this year’s Edinburgh Festival.
Circus Abyssinia will be performing at The Meadow on Tues to Sundays and on Christmas Day. Tickets are available online and on-site at $12 per adult and $8 for children above 0.9m. Kids under 0.9m can enter free if they sit on an adult’s lap.
6. Carnival Rides & Game Stalls
Christmas train ride 2016. Credit: Gardens by the Bay
The rides are so popular that this year’s edition features eight kiddy rides, twice as many as last year’s. The kids can look forward to classics such as Bumper Cars, Mini Ferris Wheel, Christmas Train, Tea Cups, Chair O Plane, Water Bumper Boats and of course, the ever popular Carousel. Traditional carnival games such as Ring Toss, Lobster Pot and Pyramid Smash also make their return. Step up and pit your skills at any of the 11 stalls to win prizes.
Open from 4pm to 11pm daily, carnival rides start from $6 each while carnival games start from $4 each. Tokens must be purchased separately on-site.
7. SAVOUR Gourmet Village – NEW!
Singapore’s premiere gourmet food festival brand SAVOUR brings a special edition to Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay. Feast on cuisine from celebrity chefs and award-winning restaurants: two-Michelin-star Shoukouwa and one-Michelin-star Saint Pierre. A total of 10 restaurants will be featured, from the Fullerton Pavilion’s Monti to Gardens by the Bay’s very own Pollen. Visitors can also sample wines from around the world at a specially curated Wine Market.
The best part is that dishes start from just $6 each! Once you’ve purchased your food and drinks, dine in one of the lovely snow globes around The Meadow. While your ticket to Christmas Wonderland will also include entry to SAVOUR’s main Gourmet Village and Wine Market, you may also purchase priority passes coupled with SAVOUR Dollars at www.savour.online.
8. Festive Market & Entertainment
Festive Market 2016. Credit: Gardens by the Bay
Shop for one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts at the annual European-style Festive Market located at the Supertree Grove. There’ll be unique trinkets and crafts to surprise friends and family with, as well as yummy food stalls. Vendors include BOLD&CRAFT, The Raclette Factory and Propupstore.
Tired from shopping and eating? Sit back and relax on the lawn while taking in choral performances at the magical 8m wide Cassa Armonica gazebo. Of course, the Supertree Grove is also home to the signature light and sound show. Sing along to popular festive tunes at this special edition of Garden Rhapsody at 7.45pm and 8.45pm daily till 31 December.
9. Poinsettia Wishes
Credit: Gardens by the Bay
While not exactly part of Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay, the festive season isn’t complete without a visit to the Flower Dome. The Poinsettia Wishes floral display will make you believe that you’re in the Nordics, with its wintry landscape of blooms and conifer trees. If they’re not naughty but nice, the kids may get to meet Santa Claus in his reading cabin or post office, or his elves busy in their toy workshop. After the sun sets, watch the floral display take on an enchanting glow from a magical Northern Lights display!
Poinsettia Wishes will run from 10 November to 8 January next year, 9am to 9pm daily. There will also be special programmes for the kids, including storytelling by Santa’s elves, pantomime and dances by Santarinas and Wise Wee, the Gardens’ Bear Botanist. These take place at selected timings from 7 to 10 and 14 to 17 December. Separate admission charges to the Flower Dome conservatory apply. A combo ticket to both Christmas Wonderland and the conservatories is also available at www.gardensbythebay.com.sg.
10. Free Entry to Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay for Children under 0.9m
Parents, here’s a bonus if you have little ones. Each paying adult can bring in up to three children under 0.9m in height! Do note that there are three types of tickets, depending on which date you plan to visit. Each is valid for one-time entry. Tickets are available on-site, but get your tickets online for further savings!
Green ticket: $4 online, $6 at the gate (1-7 December)
Red ticket: $6 online, $8 at the gate (8-14 & 26 December)
Gold ticket: $8 online, $10 at the gate (15-25 December)
Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay 2017
Where 18 Marina Gardens Drive
When 1 to 26 December 2017, 4pm to 11pm daily
Admission From $4 per adult and child over 0.9m in height (Free entry for up to 3 children under 0.9m for each paying adult)
Featured image courtesy of Gardens by the Bay