Singapore’s “Christmas in the Tropics” is simply not complete without lights and displays on select streets. From November through the first week of the New Year, Orchard Road will be lit up with stunning electric light displays illuminating Singapore’s main business district.
To accompany the sound and light show, malls throughout Orchard and elsewhere compete to put up the best Christmas decorations and sell the most attractive sales promotions to draw in the crowd. Most malls keep their doors open late into the night to sweeten the deal. (Learn more about shopping in Singapore.)
Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up
“Christmas on A Great Street”, the annual festive lighting on Orchard Road, lights up Singapore’s main shopping street. The light itself spans 2.88 km from Tanglin Mall to Plaza Singapura.
About eight star-studded pieces can be found on the street, each optimized for taking selfies and sharing on social media (the Orchard Road Business Association suggests you share with the hashtag #OrchardRdXmas).
Working on the theme “Disney Magic Moments,” the light illuminates Disney and Pixar characters on overhangs, sidewalks, and Christmas trees of light, bathing the street in blue, turquoise and sapphire light.
The 2018 Orchard Light-Up lasts from November 10, 2018 to January 1, 2019. The entire event is a collaborative effort between ORBA, the Singapore Tourism Board and their corporate partners Hitachi and MasterCard.
The Orchard area is more accessible via MRT; Disembark at Orchard MRT Station (NS22). For hotels in the vicinity of Orchard Light-Up, read this article: Hotels in or near Orchard Road, Singapore.
Singapore’s Great Christmas Village
The square in front of the town of Ngee Ann will be transformed into a Yuletide-themed village, with craft activities for the children and the presence of Santa Claus himself.
From November 15 to December 26, the Great Christmas Village will feature a collection of holiday-oriented events and activities, including an amusement ride, a two-level carousel, and a “Santa’s House” where children can perform. Christmas activities for free. Santa will also visit House for Meet and Greet sessions every Friday and Saturday from 7pm to 9pm.
25 food outlets serve international cuisine in the Village dining room, with brands such as PAUL, Royal Selangor and Starbucks.
The European-inspired décor really comes to life after dark, when twinkling lights transform the Village into a magical wonderland. On Christmas Eve, fireworks bring the village’s activities to a climax, as they all count until midnight and on Christmas Day.
HIPPO Christmas Orchard Lighting Tour
See Orchard’s lighting from a unique vantage point – an open top bus going up and down the street. Duck and HiPPO Tours offers a “HiPPO Christmas Light-up Tour” that explores the main Christmas lights in the country. The tour operates between November 16 and December 28, departing twice a night from the Duck & HIPPO Tourist Hub in Suntec City.
Tour guests must meet at the Tourist Hub at least 15 minutes prior to departure time. The 45-minute tour takes visitors riding an open-top HiPPO bus along the Light-Up, starting at Tanglin Road and ending at Bras Basah before returning to Suntec City. Visit the official site for more details.
Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay
In Marina Bay, Singapore, the Supertree Gardens by the Bay serve as the backdrop for Singapore’s ‘largest annual Yuletide event’, with light sculptures called ‘luminaries’ reminiscent of European churches and Christmas decorations (including a huge Christmas tree and a 7- mirror maze of a plant inspired by Alice in Wonderland).
To entertain the little ones, a magic show performed by an America’s Got Talent finalist will take place at the Meadow; Rob Lake performs magic tricks created exclusively for the festival. The festive market that accompanies the luminaries serves Michelin-starred burgers and high-quality Singapore street vendor food for all visitors.
Musical accompaniment will be provided by Christmas carols at the Cassa Armorica near Santa’s Grove.
Visit the official Christmas Wonderland site for admission tickets, priced at SGD4 per person; on-site tickets are SGD 6. Come to the Gardens by the Bay before sunset to see the light as it happens; Wonderland runs from November 30 to January 1.