Best Christmas events in Singapore
While snow isn't on the list this holiday season, that doesn't mean our sunny island's anywhere short of festivities and Yuletide cheer. From Christmas markets to carolling sessions to 'snow' fall, here's where to find the X'mas spirit in town.
Get your Pokémon game on at these events
If you thought the Pokémon hype has died down – just like the augmented reality game – think again. With the release of the latest film instalment Pokémon XY and Z, Pikachu and his pals are back in Singapore to satisfy all you Pokéholics. From a Pikachu parade to a Pokémon-themed marathon to the return of the Pokémon café, we round up the (what else) Pokémon events happening around the city. And you’d definitely wanna catch ‘em all. Pokémon Catch 'Em All at Liang Court To celebrate the premiere of Pokémon XY and Z, Liang Court will be hosting a slew of activities for the fans. Catch episodes of the cartoon series at the main atrium to prep yourself for the movie's release, or try your hand at making Pokémon figurines from nanoblocks or Pokémon-shaped origami. Pikachu will also be meeting and greeting fans from November 25 to 27. Pokémon Catch 'Em All at Changi Airport 'Tis the season of Pokémon. Celebrate the school holidays and catch not one but ten life-sized Pikachu as they line up for a parade in Changi Airport. Pokémon Café Eat your weight in Poké Balls as the Pokémon-themed pop-up café returns to EwF at Bugis Junction this November. This time, it'll feature characters and themes from the Pokémon Sun and Moon games. As before, the café will be decked out in memorabilia – right down to the placemats and coasters – of the critters. Pokémon Research Exhibition Aspiring Pokémon trainers, don your lab coats for the Pokémon Research Exhibition. Choose your Poké Ball
Best outdoor activities in Singapore
Ditch the air-conditioning and get your dose of Vitamin D with these outdoor activities
Best hotels for a staycation in Singapore
Feel like taking a short break without leaving the island? Let the Time Out Singapore team show you around the best hotels for the job
Free trails in Singapore
Here are different kinds of free trails for you to start your adventures on
Guide to Singapore's offshore islands
Lush flora and diverse fauna beckon from Singapore’s offshore islands – we heed the call and check them out
National Gallery Singapore is throwing a huge art party – and there’s something for everyone
For its first anniversary, the gallery is pulling out all the stops to put together a massive bash
Five NYE buffets at the Grand Hyatt Singapore
Indulge in any of these lavish dinners before ushering in the New Year at Belle Époque countdown party
These creative masterminds are transforming the Singapore Flyer
As part of Heineken’s CITIES campaign, these five movers and shakers are putting their own spin on the Singapore Flyer
Story of the Forest
From the same people behind Future World, this art installation brings to life sixty-nine works from the William Farquhar Collection of National History Drawings within the museum’s Glass Rotunda. Look forward to roving animals, digital flora and seasonal weather in an expansive forest created by Japanese digital art collective teamLab.
Get ready all you party people, because the annual beach blowout is back and it's bringing well-known international DJs such as Hardwell, Martin Garrix and Zedd to grace the decks. This year's line-up also includes indie-electronic project RAC, British electronic duo Snakehips, the freshest queen of dance music TOKiMONSTA and British-Norwegian music producer Alan Walker. The local and regional roster features familiar names like KoFlow, Lincey, Maurice Simon, Goldfish & Blink, and gogo-dancing troupe CyberJapan Dancers. So you can expect a weekend of non-stop partying for sure.
Bill Bailey - 'Larks in Transit'
The British comedian returns to Singapore after a sold-out show here back in 2014. This time armed with tales and jokes about travellers, derived from Bailey’s long list of stories culled from 20 years as a travelling comedian. You may even hear a little quip about an 'excruciating' encounter with the one and only Sir Paul McCartney.
Public Garden Christmas 2016
There's still time for a last minute roundup of Christmas gifts. At this annual Christmas fair helmed by Public Garden, discover unique finds presented by local and regional sellers from cities like Chiang Mai, Bali, Jakarta, Brunei and Bangkok. Goods range from stationery and art to accessories, apparels and beauty, so you won’t leave empty handed. Look out for pop-up cards and paper paraphernalia by Paper.Therapy, original two-way tote-and-bucket bags by noise.design and DIY craft kits by the homegrown crafters at Shù.
Singapore Dance Theatre brings a reprise of The Nutcracker for this year’s holiday season. Last performed three years ago, the performance transplants the quintessentially Christmas classic to pre-WWI Shanghai. Celebrate the festive spirit with choreography and staging by SDT’s artistic director Janek Schergen, and music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
For the young at heart who still look longingly at bouncy inflatable castles, your time has come. Conquer and bounce on more than 15 massive inflatable obstacles, trampolines and slides along Marina Bay. For those looking for a rush of adrenaline, take a leap of faith and launch yourself off a blob before hopping off to the Feast zone where a range of cusine such as Thai, Korean and local fare are offered. We heard there'll be a foam pool and giant inflatable beer pong table, too.
Explore Singapore's best
Best farms in Singapore
Farms? What farms? The Little Red Dot is as famous for its agriculture industry as Jamaica is for bobsledding. But even though less than 1 percent of our land area is dedicated to farming activities, there’s an impressive variety of farms in Singapore. Whether you are looking for a family-friendly activity on the weekend or a getaway from the hustle and bustle, pick any of these for a breath of fresh air.
Where to go for quiz nights in Singapore
We put our useless trivia skills to the test at these pub quizzes in the city
Best KTV places in Singapore
We test out the best karaoke venues in town where you can get a private room for your party
Best museums in Singapore
There’s a lot more diversity than you’d reckon when it comes to museums in Singapore. Besides the usual arts-focused spaces, we’ve rounded up a broad spectrum of other funky collections: toys, optical illusions and more
Best hotels with hourly rates
We all know it can be hard to get some privacy at home, particularly if you've got helicopter parents who insist on open doors whenever your significant other is around. Even behind closed doors, you might have a squeaky mattress that gives you away, or perhaps you just want a change of scenery. Whatever the reason (we're not judging), your neighbourhood Hotel 81 or Fragrance Hotel is the place to go if you need a room for a few hours without burning a hole in your wallet. And with nearly 44 branches combined, there is indeed one in almost every neighbourhood in Singapore (though, of course, you'll find the largest concentration of them around Geylang). Here we check in to a few branches to see how they stack up.
City stories: Rochor Centre
Goodbye, yellow-bricked HDB flat. Come September, the iconic Rochor Centre – in red, blue and green stripes, too – will be the latest casualty claimed in the name of development. From its ashes will rise the North-South Corridor, a 21.5-kilometre expressway slated for construction in 2017 that will have a dedicated lane for express buses as well as pedestrian and cycling paths. Touché, LTA. Built in 1977, Rochor Centre was originally white with red bricks – it was painted over during upgrading works in the early ’90s – and comprises both residential and commercial properties. Apartments stack atop three storeys of kopitiams, offices and heartland-esque stores that hawk hardware, handphone accessories and traditional confectionary. And in a rare feature in today’s HDB estates, Rochor Centre’s ‘void deck’ can be found on the fourth level, similar to the one in Bras Basah Complex. Before Rochor Centre breathes its last, head over to capture these vibrant blocks on camera. Go late in the afternoon for the best light – and set aside a few minutes to grab a bench on the ground floor to watch residents bustling around. If you’re keen to explore deeper into the estate, make your way to the void deck at Block 4. There, you can view Community Quilts, a photography project by Ivan Tan, Juliana Tan and Samuel He. It’s a series of eight vertical panels, each a superimposition of three to four photographs, depicting various neighbourhoods and everyday scenes of city life. RIP, Ro
City stories: Jurong Fishery Port
It's one in the morning, and the air hangs with a dank stench. Men clad in rubber boots (and not much else) are hurriedly dragging pomfret, squid, lobster and other types of seafood around a warehouse-like space. At this ungodly hour, Jurong Fishery Port is just starting to get busy. The Port opened in 1969 as a docking base for foreign fishing vessels, as well as a huge wholesale fish market (about 20 basketball courts huge) that houses more than 100 lots for the trawls to be auctioned off. The Port is open all day and night – except Mondays between 2 to 6am – but the action peaks at around 3am. That's when the boats are unloading their catch and throngs of hawkers, chefs and wet market stall owners are buying in bulk. Yes, you can pick up a red snapper or two, some still flapping in their styrofoam boxes, for dinner. But even if you don't intend to, there's plenty of sights and sounds – not to mention smells – to check out, too. Jurong Fishery Port is at Fishery Port Rd.
City stories: Singapore at dusk
There’s an old-timey rule in photography – if you can accept rules in photography – that says the best time to roam the streets for photographs is in the ‘Golden Hour’: an hour after sunrise or before sunset. Hefting the iPhone 6 Plus, whose size demands two hands to take a photograph, I went around my neighbourhood in Kembangan, scouting out Singaporeans during this so-called golden hour. After a few days spent revisiting the same areas (MRT station, park connectors, small parks), dawn and dusk seem less like twins and more like funhouse mirrors. Same light, completely different moods. The early morning is crowded yet silent. But an hour to sunset, grown-up feet shuffling home from work are joined by the smaller feet of children – wantonly zooming down park trails on tiny scooters or pounding hard concrete to chase after a football. For the adults (and one particular feline I chanced upon) who’ve had a hard day’s work, they can finally put up their feet up and snooze on a park bench as the sun fades under the horizon.
Singapore’s best parks for picnics
After spending many a sweaty hour trekking around various parks, here's our list of the best spots to picnic at in Singapore. These places don't require you to travel to the middle of nowhere, they're scenic, they have some shade and decent patches of grass, and most importantly, they're located near the toilets (but not too near). So pack your basket, pick up your mat, and head to these parks for some fun in the sun.
Top five things to do in Kranji Marshes
Metal cranes are a dime a dozen in Singapore, but it’s always good to seek out some of their feathery counterparts out in the wild – and get a few deep breaths of fresh air while you’re at it. MacRitchie Reservoir and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve are (literally) evergreen favourites, and the newest kid to join the green club is Kranji Marshes, which, at a sprawling 57 hectares, is our island’s largest freshwater farmland. It was cultivated since the ’70s, when the Kranji reservoir was dammed, forming a wild diversity of terrains such as marshland, grassland and secondary forests. We wade through the green and suss out five unique things you can do in this slice of paradise.
Things to do in Singapore at 3am
Besides supper and bar-hopping, there’s plenty to do in the wee hours here, from shopping for flowers to practising your dribble. Move aside, New York – we’re a city that doesn’t sleep, too
The best spas in Singapore
Your ultimate guide to the swankiest spas in Singapore – all tried and tested by Time Out Singapore
Best free water parks in Singapore
Singapore's weather can get quite hot, so cool down with the whole family at these aqua playgrounds around the island. We've checked out where to go for the best sprinklers, bubblers and water fountains that are great for kids, and adults, too. Best of all, as they are in public spaces, they come free of charge (no admission fees).
Guide to Pulau Ubin
It may not have the white sandy beaches you’d expect of an island, but the eccentricity and charm of Pulau Ubin makes it a magical place to travel to. One of the two remaining kampongs in Singapore (the other being Kampong Buangkok in Yio Chu Kang), this island is just a 15-minute boat ride away from the mainland. Whether you’re a nature lover or a thrill seeker, here’s how you can soak in the tranquillity and discover a myriad of hidden treasures on the island.
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Arts and Culture
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