It’s a Christmas wonderland at every corner! (To borrow a word from this year’s Orchard Road Light-Up theme)
(Click here if you want to view the pictures in video form, with Christmas music!)
Velocity @ Novena Square
While not really a hotspot for Christmas decorations or photography, the setups at Velocity are actually pretty good. Was it last year that they had a skating rink? Or the year before that? Anyhow, they are using the traditional Christmas wonderland / magic approach this year. Being an old(er) fashion kind of guy, I have to say I like this very much. If only they have a carousel for adults!
Ang Mo Kio Hub
AMK Hub continues its practical approach to festive decorations from last year, by again using kiddie rides to grace its main entrance. When lit up in the evening, these very effectively generate a festive, carnival feel, and in my case, managed to lure me into getting off the MRT for a closer look. I’m assuming kids staying near AMK Hub would be pestering their parents to bring them to the rides throughout December. A smart marketing move, I must say. Kudos to the brains behind it.
Orchard Gateway seems to prefer the unusual when it comes to festive light-ups and decorations. If I remember correctly, they had an under-the-sea theme last year. And they once had acrobatic zombies! This Christmas, they went the sci-fi route with Santa in a jetpack and colourful planets all around. (A santanaut!) Something different amidst all the usual candy canes and snowmen!
The Centrepoint, Orchard Gateway’s neighbour across the road, is famous since the 80s for its fantastical year-end displays. This year, they adopted a completely different approach. Click here to see what their theme is this Christmas!
Ngee Ann City
If you’re Singaporean or you’ve been living here for at least two years, you’d know massive Ngee Ann City has two Christmas traditions.
Big tree at the heart of the ground floor atrium.
Festive fairs in basement two. Of which the trim shop would always be at the corner nearest to the credit card and insurance promoters.
Both tend to look the same every year. But each year, both also remain immensely popular. Is this the magic of Christmas or the potency of consistent marketing? A festive business question to chew on.
Tanglin Mall has consistently been grand with its yearly decorations. If I’m not wrong, they were among the first malls to introduce the artificial snowfall spectacle. (Actually, were they the first?) Their decorations also tend to be traditional. Cottages, Santa, gingerbread men and the likes of. Being in the quieter part of Orchard Road, I think these bring on a certain old-world romance. I personally always enjoy strolling past their displays on peaceful midweek nights.
Changi Airport Terminal 3
I can’t remember when it started but Changi Airport is nowadays one of the key places to head to for year-end cheer and decorations. With so much space, they could get really elaborate and huge with their setups, which, by the way, they always do. As for this year’s theme, it’s Changi’s Mythical Garden with Sanrio Characters, featuring everyone’s favourite cat with no expression. When I visited, there was a long queue to ascend the centrepiece for photographs. Are you surprised if I tell you that half of the people in the queue were selfie-eager adults? And not squealing kids?
Orchard Road’s First Christmas Village
Last but not least, the current showpiece of Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up 2017. The shopping stretch’s very first Christmas Village! To be honest, after all the hype over it, I thought it looked a little drab in daytime. Why whitewashed sheds instead of Brothers Grimm cottages and the likes of? Interestingly, these sheds take on a wholly different feel the moment it gets dark. Together with the fairy lights and kids rides, there was a certain magical Christmas feel hanging about.