Christmas Wonderland at Gardens By The Bay – Singapore’s biggest yuletide fair - is probably the most talked about attraction in Singapore this Christmas.
Christmas Wonderland is for everyone – young and old, lovers and friends. The Garden lights up in full glory when night falls, and it is a picturesque sight that is nothing short of stunning. It is little wonder everyone is putting this on their Christmas to-do list.
It runs from 27 November 2015 to 03 January 2016, and is open from 4pm to midnight daily. If you are planning a trip, here is a simple guide on What To Expect At Christmas Wonderland at Gardens By The Bay.
THE PARKING SITUATION IS CRAZY
Set off earlier, because chances are, you are gonna be stuck in a queue – a queue to turn in to the car park, and a “queue” to park your vehicle. We joined the long line of cars at about 7pm, and only got an unofficial lot at 7:45pm.
There are various car park and entrances, but we suggest turning in to the Meadow car park because it is a relatively shorter walk to the rides and carnival games area. There is also a “designated area” for unofficial parking – if you know what we mean.
Of course, the main entrance sees the longest queue, so those with more patience can turn in from that entrance.
WEAR LIGHTER CLOTHES
Singapore doesn’t have the kindest humidity level; we all know that, yes? Even more so at Christmas Wonderland at Gardens By The Bay, where the human density is high and being less than one arm’s length apart from another human means it is going to be even hotter.
Go dressed in lightweight apparels and fuss-free clothes. Breathable sportswear works best, as with a pair of good walking shoes. You are gonna walk a lot, so ditch them heels. It may be a Christmas Wonderland but we ain’t gonna survive with furry capes and high heeled boots.
Skirts and dresses aren’t advised unless you do not mind the “exposure” when you take the rides and fool around on the Trickart set (we will talk about this in a bit).
DO NOT BRING BIG BAGS
This is not a rule, but it is always easier to move around with minimal baggage, yes?
And when it is going to be so crowded, all you want is to simply enjoy the night without having to worry that someone might stick their hands into your bag through your blind spots.
ADMISSION TO CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND
is free. Yay!
But rides and games are payable – optional, of course. Strolling around the beautiful compound is still free, so is snapping a thousand and one photos.
PREPARE (LOTS OF) CASH
While admission is free, you should still be prepped with cash on hand – for the rides, for the games, for the food, for candy floss, for souvenirs…
The rides and carnival games are payable via tokens, and generic tokens are sold at various token booths across the compound. To give you a gauge, a go on the big slide costs S$8 per person, and a carousel ride is S$10 per person. Yes, that is why you need lots of cash.
Expect many booths of carnival games that are suitable for both young and old. They are mostly kids-friendly, but of course, the help of an adult may increase your chances of winning that Minion/ Toy Story stuffed toy.
We tried most of them, and let’s just say there is a reason why we could easily count the number of visitors who walked away with prizes with a pair of hands.
Light sculptures after light sculptures, these architectural gems are handmade in Italy and can be spotted throughout the Garden.
LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW!
The 20.3-metre wide Ice Palace is a highlight of the Christmas Wonderland, and it features both a Snow Playground and an Ice Skating Rink.
Open from 4pm to 11pm daily, it costs S$12 for a 30-minute session at the Snow Playground (inclusive of boots) and S$14 for a 45-minute session at the Ice Skating Rink (inclusive of skates). The admissions are payable via tokens only, so get your tokens ready (buy them at the Token Booth) before you queue up!
You should bring your own socks and gloves, though. Otherwise, they can be purchased at the booth.
FOR THE YOUNG ONES
The kids will have a ball of a time with the many rides that are favourites at typical European Christmas fairs.
The vintage Carousel is the most gorgeous, and makes a perfect backdrop for photos! Hop on for a ride at S$10 per ride per person.
There is also a big slide that is 14 metres tall. Toddlers are not advised to take the ride unless it is with the company of an adult. It costs S$8 per ride per person.
Kids will also love the Magic Swing – a safe ride with harness and the accompaniment of the evening breeze. It costs S$8 per ride per child.
And something for the whole family is a ride on the Christmas Train, where you will be taken for a spin around the Garden to admire the festive lights alongside all the other happy souls onboard. It costs S$6 per ride per person.
Do note that for all the above, the payment mode is via tokens and the tokens have to be exchanged at the Token Booth prior to the ride.
FOOD AT CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND – YOU CAN GO WITHOUT DINNER
Lots of dining options are available at the Garden, including food trucks, pop-up restaurants and a food court.
Some names include Harry’s, Waterfall Ristorante Italiano by Shangri-La Hotel Singapore and Culina.
But of course, you are more than welcome to pack your own basket and have a picnic on the many grass patches and corners at Gardens By The Bay. That is quite some unadulterated fun you can enjoy under the Christmas lights with your loved ones!
Have fun with the original 3D optical mirror-illusion at the TrickArt corner and create a portrait that is one of its kind! This is probably the only time you get to “sit on Marina Bay Sands”, and go on a Sleigh Ride. *cues Christmas carols*
Otherwise, there are regular photo booths that you can have fun at and get some photos taken. They are at S$5 per session.
Have fun at Christmas Wonderland at Gardens By The Bay. Merry Christmas and have a happy new year!