Bustling Christmas markets, snow-capped villages and festive yuletide carolling – there’s nothing quite as joyous and magical as a White Christmas. While the pandemic might have thrown a wrench in your wintry end-of-year vacation plans, there are still plenty of ways to soak up the festivities in Singapore this year. From an epic igloo dining experience to a fun-filled day in an indoor snow playground, we’ve rounded up a few ideas on how you can recreate a White Christmas experience that’ll put you in a merry mood in no time.
1. Soak up the festivities at the Orchard Road Christmas light-up
The Orchard Road Christmas light-up has become a festive calendar highlight for many in Singapore, and this year is no different. The lights will go on display from November 13 all the way till New Year’s Day; and the theme is Love This Christmas. Keep your eyes peeled for the Christmas ornaments and decorative streetlights and baubles, as well as the illuminated snowflakes intertwined with mistletoe and hollies in white, gold and blue dazzling the streets along Tanglin, Orchard and Somerset. In a first for the annual light-up, you can also enjoy the decorations virtually, through a 360-degree tour via the Community Chest’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
2. Dine in an igloo at the SEA Aquarium
Always dreamt of dining in an igloo? You can do just that at Aqua Gastronomy, S.E.A. Aquarium’s pop-up dining experience which transforms into a magical underwater winter wonderland this Christmas. Cosy up in the Instagram-worthy igloo-like dining pods, which are surrounded by stunning panoramic views of the aquarium’s marine life. The seafood menu is completely sustainable, and you can enjoy the delicious nosh in the company of dreamy lighting effects, oceanic soundscapes, diving performances and more in this truly immersive dining experience.
The Aqua Gastronomy pop-up dining experience is available from 6 November onwards. Fully booked for November, reservations for December will open on 10 December.
3. Experience Christmas Wonderland from home
With its breathtaking light displays, yuletide markets and festive carols, the annual Christmas Wonderland at the Gardens by the Bay is a must-see festive highlight for many Singaporeans. Back for its seventh edition, this year’s revamped event is bringing the Christmas cheer to your home instead through an array of digital experiences. Expect interactive games and activities, an online market, as well as holly jolly performances to tide you into the festivities.
4. “Vacation” through Europe onboard the Orient Express
Mark your calendars: the iconic Orient Express is in town this festive season. This will be the first time that the luxury locomotive has made a stop outside of France. While it’s not quite a Christmas experience in the literal sense, stepping onboard the train will – momentarily – whisk you away to Europe. This immersive experience lets you see the original carriages up close, learn about its rich history and even glimpse its famous scenic stopovers. Adventurous passengers will also delight in the Hercule Poirot-themed escape room experience, while foodies will love the replica café you can dine in onboard.
The Once Upon A Time on The Orient Express will happen from December 2020 till June 2021.
5. Have a jolly good time at Universal Studios Singapore
The Big Apple is typically a popular spot to be this time of the year – but until we get to experience the magic of Times Square during Christmas, the streets of New York in Universal Studios Singapore is a pretty close second. Snap a ‘gram of the glittering lights that deck the streets here, meet popular characters such as the Merry Minions of Christmas, Sesame Street’s friends, Shrek and Princess Fiona and more, or try your luck at the various carnival games available. If all that excitement has left you feeling peckish, sink your teeth into the slew of fun festive foods after.
“A Universal Christmas” is happening from now till 3 January 2021.
6. Create your own festive feast at home
Not keen on the idea of jostling with the crowds? Why not host your very own Christmas dinner? Deck your home with garlands, snow globes, mistletoe and stockings (you can easily purchase these from any supermarket or décor store) and you’ll have your very own White Christmas at home in no time. But if toiling away in the kitchen feels too effortful, there are plenty of at-home, chef-prepared Christmas hampers and sets for your picking. Resorts World Sentosa’s festive roasts – like its signature Turkey Wellington, a sumptuous puff pastry roulade of moist turkey breast, portobello mushroom and prosciutto served with turkey gravy and cranberry sauce – will surely please your guests. Executive pastry chef Kenny Kong has also whipped up an impressive dinner centrepiece for that extra festive touch. The handmade ElderFlower Festive Ball, a red coconut praline shell made with a French Ruby Chocolate, is his stunning interpretation of a Christmas Noel Ball and brims with a chockfull of sweet treats such as an elderflower-infused sponge, almond biscuits and more.
Pre-order RWS’ festive goodies online here. Pre-orders will close on 26 December 2020 at 5pm.
7. Frolick on a snowy playground at Snow City
While a gambol to the North Pole is unfortunately not on the cards this year, you can still squeeze in some snowy fun in the Little Red Dot. At Snow City, Singapore’s first indoor snow playground, you can try your hands at sliding down a snow slope, ride an ice bumper car, brave your way through a snow blizzard and snap a shot with Santa himself.
8. Watch it snow and “glamp” overnight at Changi Airport
Magical snowfall, a two-storey snow funhouse, and overnight glamping stay – it’s sure beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Changi Airport. Snow-seeking visitors will love the hourly snowfall spectacle happening at Jewel Changi’s indoor garden, Shiseido Forest Valley and Canopy Park, every evening between 6.30 pm and 10.30 pm. The airport is also gearing up for the festivities with an impressive 16-metre tall Christmas tree at Shiseido Forest Valley and plenty of twinkling lights, ornaments and decor decked throughout. The snow-filled fun doesn’t end here: a two-storey tokidoki-themed snow fun house boasting a 12-metre long snow luge in sub-zero temperatures will also amuse both the kids and kids at heart. And, if a day trip to this iconic travel hub isn’t enough, why not spend a night glamping in the clouds at Cloud9 Piazza and wake up to an uninterrupted and envious view of the HSBC Rain Vortex?
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking and seating requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.