Singapore's "Christmas in the Tropics" simply isn't complete without light-ups and displays along selected thoroughfares. From November to the first week of the New Year, Orchard Road will be lit up with stunning electric light displays that illuminate Singapore's prime shopping district.
To accompany the light and sound show, malls along Orchard and elsewhere compete to put on the finest Christmas decorations and sell the most attractive sales promotions to draw in the crowds.
Most malls keep their doors open late into the night to sweeten the deal.
Going shopping in Singapore can be quite overwhelming, so come prepared - read these articles about Christmas Gift Tips and Seven Tips to Help You Stop Making Holiday Shopping Mistakes.
Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up
"Christmas on A Great Street", the annual festive light-up on Orchard Road, illuminates Singapore's main shopping drag. The light-up proper spans 2.88km from Tanglin Mall to Plaza Singapura.
About seven star-studded set pieces can be found up and down the street, each one optimized for selfie-taking and sharing on social media (the Orchard Road Business Association suggests you share with the hashtag #OrchardRdXmas.)
Working with the theme “Spread the Joy”, the light-up works revered Christmas iconography – reindeer and glittering stars among them – into the light-up's overhangs, sidewalks and Christmas trees, bathing the street in blue, turquoise and sapphire light.
2016's Orchard Light-Up lasts from November 12, 2016 to January 2, 2017. The whole shindig is a collaborative effort between ORBA, the Singapore Tourism Board, and their corporate partners Hitachi and MasterCard.
The Orchard area is most accessible via MRT; disembark at the Orchard MRT Station (NS22).
Ion Orchard Christmas Tree & Maze
Key Orchard Road mall ION Orchard adds its own Christmas cheer with a 20-meter-tall Christmas Tree with over 2,000 custom-designed tree ornaments provided by renowned jeweler Tiffany & Co. Visitors can actually walk inside the tree and interact with the interior, crafted to look like the New York skyline at night!
You can have a photo taken against the skyline backdrop, which recreates a series of fireworks as the shutter snaps. Photos can be picked up at the Tiffany & Co. duplex on Level 1 of ION Orchard.
A sparkly Christmas labyrinth next to the tree completes the ION Orchard Yuletide experience.
Merry Medley Floral Display at Gardens by the Bay
The Gardens by the Bay's climate-controlled Flower Dome becomes a setting for floral Christmas cheer, putting Christmas plants like amaryllis, Christmas roses and poinsettias at work in charming Yuletide tableaux.
The Merry Medley Floral Display lasts from November 11 to January 5, and shows off the Christmas experience from a decidedly plant-based perspective.
Live Christmas trees – evergreen conifers that thrive in the Dome – stand in the background of sculptures that evoke the season, including ballerinas in glass globes; angelic choirs; and nutcracker soldiers.
The Dome turns even more gorgeous as night comes on, with Italian Luminarie lights transforming the Flower Dome's interior into a magical Christmas wonderland.
Join the free ASK Me! Tours for more information on the spot about the plants that we all connects with the Christmas season. For other details on this Marina Bay, Singapore landmark, read our list of Things to Do at the Gardens by the Bay.
HIPPO Christmas Orchard Light-Up Tour
See Orchard's light-up from a unique vantage point - an open-top bus rolling up and down the street. Duck and HiPPO Tours offers a "HiPPO Christmas Light-up Tour" that explores the country's top Christmas light-ups.
The tour operates between December 2 and 24, with twice-nightly departures from the Duck & HIPPO Tourist Hub in Suntec City.
Tour guests must meet at the Tourist Hub at least 15 minutes before departure time. The 45-minute tour takes visitors riding on an open-top HiPPO Bus down the Light-Up's length, beginning at Tanglin Road and winding up at Bras Basah before circling back to Suntec City.