Preview: Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay
Ever felt that Singapore lacks a true Christmas spirit? Fear no more, as the fourth edition of Christmas Wonderland at Gardens By The Bay brings plenty of that holiday cheer to our sunny island once more for the whole of December! Organized by Blue Sky Events with support from the Singapore Tourism Board, the annual yuletide affair takes place from 1st to 26th December this year, daily from 4pm to 11pm all around Gardens by the Bay.
This year, the festival is set to be bigger and better than ever before. Visitors can look forward to a whole host of events, from a spectacular Christmas light up to the Asian debut of one of the most highly acclaimed circuses from Ethiopia, not to mention, a well curated food market by SAVOUR and an entire Christmas Market with fun carnival games awaiting the whole family.
Expect a grand total of 80 lovingly crafted light sculptures that will be making an appearance at this year’s Christmas Wonderland. Delicately handmade by a team of fine Italian craftsmen using white wood imported from the south of Italy, Luminarie will light up your evening with intricate, illuminated architectural designs. With only eight workers racing to build these structures, each installation has been carefully constructed using traditional engineering techniques straight from the medieval period.
Highlights of Luminarie include the gigantic Spalliera, stretching to 22.5 metres and hosts the wildly popular ‘snow’ experience Blizzard Time, as well as the cozy Cassa Armonica gazebo a the Supertree Grove where choral performers will perform crowd-favourite Christmas carols, all of which provide incredible backdrops for great family photos to remember Christmas 2017 by. And of course, luminarie’s own Christmas tree – a spectacular 13 metre tall one that will light up the darkest of nights.
Not to be missed is the Asian debut of Edinburgh Festival favourite Circus Abyssinia, marking the first time a circus will be performing as part of Christmas Wonderland. Unlike places such as Canada, Africa is not a continent known for having a circus tradition. But talented brothers Bibi and Bichu have gone against the grain and with their experiences growing up as jugglers on the streets of Jimma, eventually founded the critically acclaimed Circus Abyssinia.
With reviews that have praised them as “pure circus gold”, expect only the most death-defying stunts performed by this talented troupe as they present The Rhythms of Africa at The Meadow during Christmas Wonderland from Tuesdays to Sundays, and Christmas Day. Tickets to Circus Abyssinia are priced separately from entry to Christmas Wonderland and are available here.
Singaporeans, of course, will also be interested to know that there are incredible culinary experiences to be had here as well. Besides taking in the visual delights all around the Gardens, your stomach will be satisfied by the well curated food market set up by SAVOUR. Still fresh from The Great Food Festival, SAVOUR returns to the scene to collaborate with some of Singapore’s very best restaurants and celebrity chefs, from Emmanuel Stroobant of Michelin Starred Saint Pierre to Garden by the Bay’s very own POLLEN.
The price of dishes is extremely affordable, starting from S$6, and there will even be a specially-curated Wine Market for wine connoisseurs to sample wines from all over the world. Note that only SAVOUR dollars can be used to purchase food and drink from the SAVOUR Gourmet Village and cannot be used outside. SAVOUR dollars can be purchased onsite, or online with special priority passes available here
Even if you can’t have a White Christmas, Christmas Wonderland will be bringing winter to Singapore with their first-ever outdoor skating rink this year. Set up at The Meadow, the Swiss imported synthetic skating rink is set to be the biggest yet in Singapore, spanning 240 square metres. Meanwhile, Santa Claus is coming to town again, as Christmas Wonderland brings back crowd favourite Santa’s Grotto. This will be one of Asia’s largest grottos, and is free to all ticket holders, boasting life-sized flying reindeer dashing across a starry sky, an Alpine House decked in pinewood perfect for photo opportunities with Santa, and every Singaporean’s favourite – lucky draw tickets with over 100 prizes given away daily, including tickets to Circus Abyssinia and F&B vouchers. And if you’re really lucky, you might even win the Grand Prize – a trip for two to Lapland, Finland.
No wonderland is complete without a requisite Christmas Market of course. There’s thrills and spills galore as Christmas Wonderland doubles up on the number of carnival rides available this year, with eight rides ranging from bumper cars to a Christmas train awaiting all the family. Visitors can also play classic carnival games such as Ring Toss and Milk Can Toss, and stand to win attractive toys and prizes. Meanwhile, the Supertree Grove will also play host to the annual Festive Market, where vendors such as The Raclette Factory and Propupstore will be present to dish out all your favourite festive food and souvenirs.
The Supertree Grove will also be home to a special Christmas edition of Gardens by the Bay’s Garden Rhapsody programme, where visitors can sing along to popular festive tunes and be charmed by the delightful light show at the Supertrees. The Supertrees aren’t the only ones stealing the limelight though, and the Flower Dome will be getting into the festive mood as well with the Poinsettia Wishes floral display from 10th November 2017 to 8th January 2018, where visitors will get to enjoy beautiful yuletide and Nordic plants not native to the region such as amaryllis, pine trees and of course, poinsettias. Admission to Poinsettia Wishes is as per normal admission charges to the Flower Dome, and can be purchased onsite or online here.
Said Blue Sky Events director Sarah Martin: “I remember a time, back in the 80s, when families would go down to Orchard Road during Christmas for the annual light up. It was such a magical, uplifting experience, and we wanted to recreate that with Christmas Wonderland. Having experienced incredible Christmas light ups in places like Kobe and Paris’ Galeries Lafayette, we wanted to bring a similar event down for Singaporeans to experience. We ended up filling in this gap in the annual calendar of events with this family-friendly festival, and hope that with each new edition, we keep improving and make it bigger and better for visitors each time.”
So when you’re ready to take a break from manic Christmas shopping, or if you have a little time before your annual holiday plans, take a day out of your busy schedule to spend some time with the family this December. With countless irresistible activities, tantalizing food, mesmerizing light displays and mindblowing performances suitable for all the family, there’s no better place to spend it than at Christmas Wonderland 2017 to fully soak up that festive atmosphere and experience the closest thing to a holly jolly Christmas extravaganza here in Singapore.
Christmas Wonderland takes place at Gardens by the Bay from 1st – 26th December, 4pm – 11pm daily. Tickets for entry and certain attractions priced separately and are available both onsite and from their website here. Each paying adult can bring in up to three children under 0.9m free of charge. A child above 0.9m requires a ticket.
A bundled ticket option that covers entry to both Christmas Wonderland and Gardens by the Bay’s conservatories at a discounted rate can be purchased online at www.gardensbythebay.com.sg. On-site sales for the bundled ticket option will start from 1 December for the purchase of actual-day bundled tickets.