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Christmas is just around the corner! While most of us would love to visit Christmas markets in Europe or spend it in a colder climate, with the current Covid situation, the majority of us would be staying in Singapore.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a jolly good time with your friends and family.
Here are 10 family-friendly activities (both indoor and outdoor) you can do this December!
No, it is not just for couples only! Family and friends can visit too.
Christmas Wonderland is Singapore’s biggest yuletide event at Gardens by the Bay with a sensational array of stunning new light displays, including carnival games, a carousel and a light and sound show.
While Covid has affected the event industry badly, as one who visits Christmas Wonderland almost every year, I would say the organisers have outdone themselves this year. Although it was crowded, this has been the most lively event!
I had fun taking photos with my friends, playing carnival games and vibing to the Christmas music blasting in our ears.
Back by popular demand, this year it has a photo booth, carnival games, retail and food booths.
It is a great place for photo opportunities, bringing families and loved ones together and soaking in the ambiance and atmosphere.
Get your tickets here.
Orchard Road Christmas Light Up
After Christmas shopping, walk down the streets of Orchard Road from Ion Orchard to Plaza Singapura and admire the sparkling lights.
It’s been a difficult year for retail and tourism, so the light-up this year, themed “Christmas in Bloom”, is meant to symbolise hope and resilience, as businesses along Singapore’s most popular shopping strip yearn for a return to normalcy, says the Orchard Road Business Association.
This year’s iteration will see a giant outdoor video projection that takes up an entire wall of the Mandarin Orchard hotel — together with augmented reality fireworks that shoppers can see through a mobile app.
Skate under the stars at CHIJMES
Huh? Singapore can ice skate under the stars meh? But Singapore is so hot.
Capitol Singapore and Chijmes are spreading the yuletide cheer with a Christmas market, a massive singing tree and an ice skating rink.
The skating rink is at Chijmes’s mini lawn and is open from 5pm till 9pm daily. Entry into the skating rink costs $5 for 30 minutes.
The minimum age to enter the skating rink is 10 years old, while guests under 12 will require adult supervision.
Capitol Singapore and Chijmes also have a list of workshops and fun Christmas activities such as floral watercolours and brush calligraphy and Christmas candle-making lined up for families, friends and couples!
Book slots for the skating rink here.
Changi Jurassic Mile Light Up
Cycling has become one of many Singaporeans’ favourite activities since the pandemic started.
Rent a bike from Anywheel SG, SG Bike or bike rental shops at East Coast Park and cycle from there to the Changi Jurassic Mile.
The Changi Jurassic Mile has garnered a lot of attention since its opening, and Dino Dazzle will be another reason to visit during the Christmas holidays. Spruced up with festive lights, neon signs and decorations, the Dino Dazzle puts a Christmas spin to the Jurassic Mile.
Best of all, it is free! The lights are turned on daily from 6.30pm to 1am and there are many Instagrammable spots!
Wildlife Reserves Singapore
When was the last time you went to Singapore Zoo, River Safari, Jurong Bird Park or Night Safari? Wildlife Reserves Singapore has brought back its night exhibition called Rainforest Lumina.
Into its third and final season at the Singapore Zoo, the evenings will be further illuminated with Christmas magic in a very special edition, so do not miss out on this chance to explore this magical universe!
Also till Dec 31, Night Safari is having a special exhibition called “Wild About Twilight @ Night Safari: A Pangolin’s Tale”.
There are multiple interactive stations consisting of an augmented reality journey, quizzes and AR photo booths.
Get your tickets here.
Family baking time
A fun, bonding activity that families with young children can do together is to spend a few hours in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies, brownies or cupcakes!
While there are many other baking channels on YouTube, my personal go-to would be American food writer and chef Claire Saffitz.
But I am not a baker myself, I just use a Betty Crocker premix. Sorry Claire!
But premix or not, the fun doesn’t end there. Parents can decorate cookies, cupcakes or brownies with their younger ones. How creative you can get is up to you!
Family movie night
Grab your favourite snacks and gather the family to watch a feel-good movie.
Whether or not it’s Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime or any other streaming service, there are many wholesome offerings to share with your loved ones.
Don’t say bojio hor, Disney+ now has Chinese rom-coms and movies such as 那些年，我们一起追过的女孩（You Are The Apple Of My Eye) alongside other popular animated movies such as the Toy Story series and Christmas classics like Home Alone. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is my personal favourite.
Instead of a movie, you could also organise a family games night. A classic Monopoly or UNO game can bring out everyone’s competitive side. Or try one of these wholesome card games to get to know your family members (and yourself!) better and learn values such as empathy.
For younger kids, opt for simple family games such as Twister, puzzles or Lego.
It doesn’t have to be tabletop games either. If you have a console, there are many party games such as Overcooked, Super Mario Party and Jackbox Party Pack 6? Of course, there’s always the classic Mario Kart if all else fails!
Arts and crafts
Bring the whole family together to create a canvas painting by the numbers. This is a family friendly activity that anyone can do, artistic talent or not. Just paint within the lines and follow the instructions for a relaxing fun activity that you can leave off and pick up anytime later!
There are many creative designs that you can find just by searching for the keyword “paint by numbers“.
If painting is not your thing, you can also organise mini art projects by picking up handicrafts like resin earrings and keychains to keep the kids busy at Daiso.
When the circuit breaker happened last year, this was my go-to activity so that I would not laze around all day!
If you want to throw caution to the wind, try out indoor skydiving to end the year on a high.
I had my first iFly experience earlier this year and I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was such a surreal experience to step into a wind tunnel and float into the air like a feather!
Tickets start from $59 so it may be a bit of a pricey experience. However, iFly Singapore accepts SingapoRediscovers Vouchers (SRVs), so what are you waiting for?
Get your tickets here.
Christmas at ArtScience Museum
If you love pretty lights and interactive screens, visit the Singapore ArtScience Museum. It has a new decked-out interactive screen for the Christmas season!
You can get your creative juices flowing at ‘Sketch Christmas’, a special festive installation at Future World: Where Art Meets Science. Watch in awe as your hand-coloured drawings come alive in the imaginative festive town where flying colourful sleighs and reindeer abound.
As a bonus, ArtScience Museum offers discounted family tickets, and accepts SRVs as well.
Get your tickets here.
Bonus: HoodChampions ‘Cheerful Christmas Corridor Decoration’ Competition
Want to share the joys of the festive season and bring the Christmas cheer into your neighbourhood? Decorate your HDB or condominium corridor with your neighbours for a chance to win shopping vouchers and a goodie bag that includes a limited edition Singa plushie. (Be sure to practise safe distancing!)
Each participant will receive a decorative pack. You can also find downloadable printable coloring sheets that can double up as decorations from www.kindness.sg. Boost your chances of winning by involving your neighbours for the team work!
Once you’ve received your pack, submit a photo of you and your neighbours getting creative, together with another of your jolly-worthy decorations. Contest ends on 31 Dec.
Register for the competition here.