If you feel like getting into the Christmas spirit, here’s an adventure we did I thought was worth sharing. I took the boys on a Christmas tree/Santa hunt along Orchard Road, and while we were unsuccessful in locating Santa, we certainly had a successful hunt for Christmas trees, plus the boys used up a tonne of energy along the way. I think Orchard Road is a fabulous area to wander, because of its lovely wide footpaths, most of which are in the shade, however at Christmas time, there’s plenty of extra stuff to engage the young ones – like this red mirror box, which tickled the boys fancy. There are a few special red boxes along the way, so keep your eyes open for them.
We parked up in Wheelock Place, getting there quite early in the morning, but you could start anywhere along Orchard – including getting a train into the city – because Christmas is certainly all around you! The only thing I’d say is if you’re going to do it in the day, start off early. By the time we headed back to the car around 5pm, we were faced with walls of people, and that can be intimidating for smaller kids. Without question, the best time to see Orchard Road during Christmas time is at night, which is great for families who put their kids to bed a little later. So definitely take advantage of that if you’re a late-to-bed family. But we still get our kids off to bed early-ish, thus the reason for doing it during the day.
We started at Wheelock and headed straight to ION. Quickly establishing a great reputation for its decorating class, there’s a giant Christmas tree out front with doors on both sides, so you can go in and get a totally different perspective of the tree. There’s also a long rope attached to some bells and all of the kids loved that – if they could reach of course. The interior structural support, which includes a few ladder-type structures, is, of course, a bit of a lure for the climber. I’d suggest being aware of that, as I didn’t go in straight away and found my monkey heading up the scaffolding. Beyond the tree, ION has done a mini winter-wonderland park, with a temporary fountain to boot, and judging the photographic frenzy, it’s certainly a hit with the tourists. We had to contend with a pretty snarly security guard though, because of course the boys wanted to get up close and personal with the fountain – but she wasn’t having any of it! As an aside, inside ION, on the ground floor, there’s a stall selling fabulous decorations, so if your tree or home is looking bare, a great place for something special. I would love to buy the disco ball inspired tree – another year maybe.
We went right on past Wisma Atria because they aren’t into the Christmas spirit at all – not even a tree – but Ngee Ann City always does a great job, and this year it’s a Bulgari sponsored blue and silver tree reaching up to the roof. All throughout Ngee Ann City and Takashimaya there are loads of decorations, and if you’re lucky, there’s a mega toy sale in the basement if your shopping isn’t done yet. Not sure how long it’s going to be there for, but expect absolute chaos after work hours and on weekends.
From Ngee Ann City we kept walking down Orchard Road, with Visa decorating the next shopping centre, then across near Singapore Tourism Board for the “Christmas Village” – and well, keep on walking to be honest. It seems more Formula One inspired than anything to do with Christmas. But ladies, keep your eyes peeled on Abercrombie and Fitch – the guy without the shirt was welcoming shoppers and I thought you might enjoy the heads up – because let’s face it, he has a lovely body! The Christmas tree out the front was alright too and at least a good pond navigation exercise for the boys.
Back across the road to Paragon – which also has a fabulous Christmas tree out front, as well as lots of ledges and edges for the boys to climb up/on/over – but up on the kids’ floor and throughout Paragon they’ve done a great job with the decorations as well – including teddy bear inspired trees on the kid’s floor. This is a good stop for a traditional playground type of break, and it’s good for Mum or Dad if you want to cool down a bit in the aircon.
Our final stop was Tangs, which has gone all pink and whimsical, but by this time we were done and I just wanted to go home. I’ve barely touched the surface on the Christmas wonder to show the kids at this time of year in Singapore, but if you want to do something a bit different and get the kids into the season, Orchard is a great place to start. I reckon Raffles/Chijmes would be a good spot to explore as well, and I know Parkway Parade is rocking because Steve took the boys the other day, and apparently the basement is now dedicated to fancy dress and Santa photos – out of the city is obviously the place to find Santa. There’s loads more going on around town for the kids – IF you can cope with the crowds of course.
Don’t forget one other thing to do with the kids over the Christmas period – the Tanglin Mall snow (aka foam) fiesta. We haven’t taken the boys yet this year, but it’s been going for a couple of weeks now, and timing details can be found on its Website. Last date for this is 1st January 2013 I believe.
Right another idea to keep in mind for the coming weeks, especially as a lot of people have kids home from school for the Singapore school holidays.