How to Spend December in Singapore

Good luck finding time to do any Christmas shopping, what with this fun-packed festive lineup. December in Singapore sees the city aglow with festive cheer, from Twilight Encounters at Night Safari, to twinkling trees and buildings on Orchard Street, to gingerbread-and-glühwein thrills at Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay and, of course, the ultimate countdown on New Year’s Eve. Go forth and make merry…

Merry Medley Floral Display

When: 11 Nov–5 Jan
Where: Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay
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The Flower Dome blossoms all year round, but it gets an extra shot of dazzle dust during the festive season. Twinkling lights grace Christmas trees and the Dome’s crisp climate helps Christmas roses, amaryllis and poinsettia thrive in vivid abandon. Magnificent evergreen conifers in all shapes and sizes will lend their woody scent to proceedings. There’ll be performances too, from a celestial choir, toy soldiers and little ballerinas; by night, everything becomes even more magical, as Italian luminaire lights add extra glow.

Christmas On A Great Street

When: Mid Nov–late Dec 2016
Where: Orchard Street
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Admire Orchard Street’s festive fairytale transformation from mid-November until late December. Shopfronts, arches and trees from Tanglin Mall to Plaza Singapura will glitter with lights; the most sparkly of them all will take home the coveted Best Dressed Building award. Orchard Street will also host some eye-popping street performances, tasty pop-ups and other celebratory events. If you’re here with little ’uns in tow, don’t miss Tanglin Mall’s wintry wonderland and the enormous Christmas trees that grace Ngee Ann City and ION Orchard.

Twilight Encounters

When: 18 Nov–10 Dec (Fridays and Saturdays only)
Where: Night Safari, 80 Mandai Lake Rd
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As if a nocturnal zoo wasn’t exciting enough, Singapore’s Night Safari is offering a bit of extra sparkle over Christmas. See the park transformed with fairy lights and twinkling trails; meet Chawang the elephant (and Night Safari mascot); admire the animal sculptures and watch live performances by dancers and costumed ‘animals’; watch the real things respond to special treats (it’s Christmas, after all).

Christmas Wonderland 2016

When: 2 Dec–1 Jan (3.30pm–11pm)
Where: Gardens by the Bay
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Garden by the Bays is getting its annual festive makeover; head to the sparkly playground to join the fun. Singapore’s Winter Wonderland is three years old this year and it’s bigger than ever: its expansion into the Meadow at Gardens by the Bay has added 22,000 square metres of lights and celebration to the spectacle, backdropped by the Flower Dome and Dragonfly Bridge. Blue Sky Events are in charge this year, with help from the Singapore Tourist Board. Items to look out for include the Ice Palace, the new Hi-5 Funtastic House, a magical forest of Christmas trees, light sculptures – or luminaire – imported from Italy, plus more shopping, dining and drinking options than ever before. Don’t leave without having gingerbread and glühwein (mulled wine). If you time your visit carefully, you might even get to experience snow in the tropics, thanks to the daily ‘blizzard’.

ZoukOut 2016

When: 9 Dec–10 Dec
Where: Siloso Beach, Sentosa Island
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Prefer psytrance to Santa? Join the other nocturnal party animals at ZoukOut, a celebration of all the best dance music – and one of Asia’s biggest beach parties. The action takes place on Sentosa Island’s Siloso Beach; previous ZoukOuts have lured DJs such as Carl Cox, Afrojack, David Guetta, Avicii, Ferry Corsten, Paul van Dyk, Masters at Work, Sven Väth and more. Obviously, the music is the main event, but there are plenty of food and drink stalls on the beach to keep energy levels high from dusk til dawn (and longer, if you can stay standing).

Marina Bay Countdown

When: 31 Dec–1 Jan
Where: Marina Bay
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Great things are on the cards for the 11th Marina Bay Countdown, including a spectacular eight-minute fireworks display (including a new viewing area on Jubilee Bridge) accompanied by an original score by Julian Wong. You can also expect to see buildings bedecked with lights around the Bay and a special light projection, played onto the Fullerton Hotel’s handsome facade. In the last couple of months, locals have been invited to pen their wishes for 2017; these will be displayed and lit in a moving visual installation from 26 Dec–31 Dec. There will also be musical performances and a Waterfront Bazaar with festive wares on sale from 3pm.

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