We may be 25 days away from Christmas, but it’s never too early to get into the merry mood. From 30 November to 26 December, Singapore’s annual Yuletide extravaganza Christmas Wonderland will be making its return to Gardens By The Bay – complete with an exciting lineup of festive performances, delectable grub and delightful attractions set against a dazzling backdrop of light structures. Before making your trip down, here are 8 things you can look forward to!

#1  Enjoy savoury delights and sweet treats at the festive market

10-Reasons-to-Get-Festive-at-Christmas-Wonderland 2018-01-Savoury-Food

But first, food. Get chomping away at The Festive Market where you can tuck into a mouthwatering selection of savoury delights such as the Truffle Lobster Roll Croissant from Street Food Circus SG, and Cheezy Truffle Nachos from Chocho Nachos. For those with a sweet tooth, there are also tons of sugary treats to feast on including the signature Japanese Souffle Pancakes from Out In The Woods, and handcrafted churros from Churros Republic.

#2 Take home unique crafts from local craftsmen

10-Reasons-to-Get-Festive-at-Christmas-Wonderland 2018-03-Unique-Crafts

Food options aside, The Festive Market also offers a myriad of artisanal finds that range from beautifully handcrafted jewellery, to one-of-a-kind sock toys. If you fancy getting gifts with a personal touch, these handmade goodies are sure to please even the most fickle-minded person on your list.

#3 Savour wallet-friendly gourmet cuisine by award-winning chefs

Slice of SAVOUR

Who says you can’t enjoy an authentic gastronomic experience for cheap? Here at Slice of SAVOUR, you get to sample a curated selection of French, Italian and Chinese cuisine from esteemed chefs from just $6! Finish off your gourmet meal with creative beverage concoctions or jolly-tasting artisanal cocktails crafted by Three Wisemen.

#4 Check out the light up of Asia’s tallest luminarie Christmas tree (and largest mirror maze)

Luminarie Mirror Maze

The highlight of Christmas Wonderland is undoubtedly the luminarie light sculptures, each piece decadently decked out in gold. Besides witnessing the 21-metre Christmas tree in its towering glory, another attraction not to be missed is the seven-storey high mirror maze. Sprawling over 314 square metres, this illuminated labyrinth is one we don’t mind getting lost in.

#5 Catch your favourite local acts at Yuletide Sessions

10-Reasons-to-Get-Festive-at-Christmas-Wonderland 2018-06-Yuletide-Sessions-Singers

To help ring in the festive cheer, Christmas Wonderland has also invited an exciting lineup of local musicians – including Joanna Dong of Sing!China fame and more of Singapore’s finest talents – to serenade audiences in a series of intimate semi-acoustic performances.

#6 Skate the night away under the stars

Outdoor Skating Rink

Lace up your boots and skate to your heart’s content at the outdoor skating rink, which is imported straight from Switzerland! It also features an lit-up Christmas tree nestled in the middle of the rink, which makes for a magical photo spot amidst the dazzling lights.

#7 Step right up for the carnival games and kiddy rides

10-Reasons-to-Get-Festive-at-Christmas-Wonderland 2018-10-Carnival-Games

Ready to challenge the seemingly unbeatable carnival games? Besides the traditional game stalls, there are also kiddy rides, gingerbread inflatable houses and other new attractions to add to the fun. Games start from $4 and rides cost $6 – simply exchange some tokens and begin your quest to win those adorable plushies!

#8 Stand a chance to win attractive prizes at lucky draws

10-Reasons-to-Get-Festive-at-Christmas-Wonderland 2018-08-Win-Prizes

Aside from getting to enjoy the many sights and sounds at Christmas Wonderland, all visitors will get a chance to win prizes in the grand draw which includes a Genting Dream cruise holiday, and a 3D2N trip to Bali, Pattaya or Penang. You’ll also be able to participate in an instant win where you can win various Christmas Wonderland experience worth up to $30! Truly the season of giving.

Photo credits: Christmas Wonderland

Christmas Wonderland 2018 is happening from 30 November to 26 December, 4pm to 11pm at Gardens by the Bay. Admission tickets start from $6, and can be purchased at www.christmaswonderland.sg.

JCube Christmas Market

Looking for something to do this weekend? Head down to the Whimsical Food Fair at Marina Square to feast on sweet treats and savoury delights that are oh-so Instagram-worthy. Happening from 22 to 25 November, you’re in for a ‘gram-tastic time as you indulge in good food and good vibes. Overwhelmed for choice? We took a taste test around the fair to bring you five must-try items that you simply can’t miss!

#1 Earl Grey Choco-Lava (The Wicked Cream)

Up-Your-'Gram-Game-at-the-Marina-Square-Whimsical-Food-Fair-01-The-Wicked-Cream-Co

Nobody does gourmet marshmallows best like The Wicked Cream. A must-order is their Earl Grey Chocolate Lava, which comes with a fluffy roasted marshmallow poof and a syringe filled with oozy chocolate sauce. It’s available chilled or hot, but we recommend getting yours chilled as it can get really messy when the marshmallow starts to melt. Oh, and remember to snap a photo before the poof gets out of shape!

#2 Mermaid Cupcake (Twentygrammes)

Up-Your-'Gram-Game-at-the-Marina-Square-Whimsical-Food-Fair-02-Twentygrammes

What’s better than a cupcake? A DIY mermaid cupcake! For those with a sweet tooth and want to try your hand at designing your own cupcake, Twentygrammes lets you do just that. You’ll get a small tray of colourful sprinkles, a mermaid tail and a cupcake with frosting – go on and do your magic!

#3 Assorted Churros (Loco Loco)

Up-Your-'Gram-Game-at-the-Marina-Square-Whimsical-Food-Fair-03-Loco-Loco

For those who fancy churros with a local twist, check out Loco Loco for their signature handmade churros with uniquely Singaporean flavours including ondeh ondeh, chilli crab and the ever-popular salted egg yolk. Our favourite? The ondeh ondeh churros that come coated with a dusting of cinnamon powder, drenched in gula meleka sauce and topped with freshly grated coconut. Shiok!

#4 Doubly Twin Cup (Street Food Circus)

Up-Your-'Gram-Game-at-the-Marina-Square-Whimsical-Food-Fair-04-Street-Food-Circus

Most people would flock to Street Food Circus for their Insta-popular Circus Ramen, but don’t miss out on their Doubly Twin Cup either. Perfect for those who enjoy the best of both worlds, sharing’s a lot easier if you and your friend can’t decide on a flavour. They offer a wide assortment of innovative combinations, but we recommend going for the rainbow concoction if you want extra aesthetic points.

#5 Starlite Milkshake (Rainbow Works)

Up-Your-'Gram-Game-at-the-Marina-Square-Whimsical-Food-Fair-05-Rainbow-Works

What’s a visit to Whimsical Food Fair without getting your unicorn fix? This gorgeous unicorn milkshake by Rainbow Works is so adorably pink that even Pinkie pie herself would want seconds. It’s head to toe IG-ready, decked in sugary pink goodness that includes marshmallows, fruity pebbles and a pink balloon. All that it’s missing is a close-up!

Photo credits: Marina Square Singapore

Whimsical Food Fair 2018 is happening from now till 25 November 2018, 11am to 9pm at Marina Square Central Atrium; admission is free. Click here for more information!

JCube Christmas Market

Nothing spells fun more than a good ol’ board game sesh. With attentive staff, a great selection of games plus a solid menu of brunch items, here are some of the best ones in town to check out with your best mates.

Experience Point

Experience Point

Tucked away in Little India just minutes away from Lavender MRT, Experience Point is a no-frills, almost minimalistic cafe devoting its efforts towards the curation of tabletop games. Here, you’ll see a decent variety of games, about 200, including card games, pen-and-paper roleplaying games, and more. However, unlike other board game cafes, Experience Point has all but scraped the classics and dove straight into obscure titles involving murderous abbey monks and competitive knitting. But fret not, they will still personally handpick options suited to your tastes. They carry games like Limpeh Says, the local version of Cards Against Humanity, too.

Address: 803 King George’s Ave #02-190, Singapore 200803
Opening hours: 6pm – 11pm (Mon to Fri), 12pm till late (Sat & Sun); Closed on Wed

[email protected]

Games@Pi

Located smack in the centre of Singapore, this underrated, unexplored games haven proves the point that Ochard Road is more than just upscale malls and boutiques. At [email protected], it’s all fluorescent office lighting and racks upon racks of games for sale or rent. Together with the staff, you can browse and learn more about the scene. The retail area is out front, while the back area is dedicated to casual plays and tournaments alike. Pick a few to try, and if you fancy, purchase the games here too. Regular patrons appreciate the fact that [email protected] are very up to date with their offerings.

Address: Midpoint Orchard #03-01, Singapore 238852
Opening hours: 12pm – 10pm (Mon to Sun)

King and the Pawn

King and The Pawn

On the second floor of a shophouse along Purvis Street is homey 55-seater King and the Pawn. With a solid menu of hearty grub, locally-roasted coffee and laidback vibes – and best of all, no imposition of a time limit, this is one of our favourite hangouts. All the cafe asks for is a “cover charge” of $8 per person (Tues to Thurs) and $13 (Fri to Sun) for whoever’s playing. Easy crowd favourites include Riff Raff , a game that tests your dexterity by having you balance tiny game pieces atop a precariously swivelling ship; and Cards Against Muggles – a clear Harry Potter twist on the notorious Cards Against Humanity (also available) – that’s bound to have Harry Potter fans and non-fans alike in stitches. Try the Tomato and Roasted Grape Bruschetta that comes with a generous tub of feta cheese; as well as the aromatic Truffled Honey Croque Madame.

Address: 24 Purvis Street Level 2, Singapore 188601
Opening hours: 5.30pm – 11.30pm (Tues to Thurs), 5.30pm – 2am (Fri), 11am – 2am (Sat), 11am – 10pm (Sun)

Mind Cafe

Mind Cafe

For 12 solid years, the longstanding Mind Cafe has seen many a gathering of board game geeks and casual groups. Conveniently situated at Dhoby Ghaut, it boasts an impressive list of 500 games with classics like Snakes & Ladders and Monopoly. As the go-to cafe for the uninitiated and experts alike, do not expect the games to be in pristine condition but depending on the purpose of your visit – including team building – your group can even enjoy having its own personal facilitators. The basic fee is $5 an hour but other packages that come with free flow drinks and snacks from Old Chang Kee and Polar will see hours of mindless noshing and gaming.

Address: 60A Prinsep Street, Singapore 188664
Opening hours: 2pm – 11pm (Mon to Thurs), 12pm – 6am (Fri), 10am – 6am (Sat), 10am – 2am (Sun)

Play Nation

Play Nation

A cash-only, fun-loving cosy space, Play Nation, with a wide variety of board and console games, closes late at 11pm earliest. It has expanded to four branches, two in the Orchard area and one in Tampines – east siders take note; and most recently, the newest one in the Philippines. Each store is a different concept, but all equally welcoming, with jaunty beanbags, a smorgasbord of Insta-worthy cafe grub such as pancakes, eggs benedict and open bagels; and beverages, as gaming accompaniments.

Address: 58 Prinsep Street, Singapore 188686
Opening hours: 12pm – 11pm (Mon to Thurs), 12pm – 2am (Fri), 2pm – 3am (Sat), 2pm – 11pm (Sun)

Settlers’ Cafe

Settlers' Cafe

Settlers’ Cafe’s veritable list of 600 board game titles is its biggest draw. Being in operation for 15 years, this much-raved about halal-certified space has its loyal fans. Ambience is made cosy with low lighting, low-slung furniture and the nostalgic oak racks of well-worn games. A strong contender with the younger King and the Pawn, Settlers’ Cafe will serve you a heaping plate of fries along with other snacks that come in sharing portions. Sip a cuppa as you contemplate your next move, or order from the thoughtfully curated menu. Try the Seafood Laksa Pasta, the Pistachio Rose Cake or the Matcha Lava Cake. Here, you can have your cake and eat it too.

Address: 39 North Canal Road Singapore 059295
Opening hours: 6pm – 11pm (Tues to Thurs), 2pm – 1am (Fri), 1pm – 1am (Sat), 2pm – 8pm (Sun); Closed on Mon

A version of this article first appeared on SG Magazine.

More related stories: 5 Local Cafes Every Minimalist Lover Needs To Check Out6 Character-Themed Cafes You Need To Visit In Singapore

Informatics Jan 2019

Sales, sales, sales! 11.11 was just a warm-up – Black Friday (and its neglected but equally important cousin, Cyber Monday) is the real deal, TBH. To help you snag the best discounts, we’ve put together a list of splurge-worthy local deals to fill your carts with once 23 November rolls around. Go on and shop away!

Amazon

You can always count on Amazon aka the Godfather of e-commerce sites to cover all your shopping needs. If you’re a Prime member in Singapore, you get access to exclusive deals on everything from beauty products to tech gear to home essentials across its bottomless inventory. Don’t miss out on discounts off items such as the GoPro HERO6, Canon All-In-One Printer and Fujifilm Instax mini 8 Instant Film Camera. The best part? Thanks to its speedy delivery service, you can get your goods delivered to your doorstep in just two hours!

Charles & Keith

There’s no better time to get yourself some new kicks or a brand new bag for school, as Charles & Keith is offering crazy discounts for more than 2,000 marked-down items! For instance, a pair of strappy flats can be yours at $17.50, while a drawstring bag that usually costs over 50 bucks is now sold for a mere $17.90. To sweeten the deal, the fast-fashion brand also provides free delivery for all orders.

Daniel Wellington

If you’re in the market for fresh wrist candy, hit up Daniel Wellington. Besides giving away free straps with any watch purchase and 20% off selected combinations, the Swedish brand is also slashing the prices of their Dapper Collection down to half – which means you can get your hands on a DW timepiece for only $130!

Expedia

Itching to go on a vacay this holiday season? Check out Expedia for special discount coupons up to 50% off select flights and hotels to hot destinations including New York, Paris and Miami. Pro tip: download the Expedia app to collect double reward points when you book via the app.

IKEA

IKEA fans, get excited ’cause the Swedish giant is holding a Black Friday extravaganza for the first time ever. With over a hundred items on sale both online and in-stores, you can grab your home essentials and furnishing knick-knacks at rock-bottom prices.

JD Sports

Touted as the one-stop shop for limited edition drops and exclusive designs, leading sports retailer JD Sports will be cutting prices up to 30% off on major brands such as adidas, Nike, Converse and Puma. What’s more, shoppers who spend a minimum of $200 at their ION Orchard store will also receive a bespoke custom tote bag.

KLOOK

With a tagline like “double the savings, double the fun”, you know you’re in for some seriously unbeatable deals from KLOOK. Besides granting you 10% off any activity and 50% off F&B activities, there are also exclusive Buy 2 Get 2 flash deals that allow you to purchase a buddy package for Ocean Park Hong Kong, early bird tickets for Everland in Seoul, and a one-day ticket to Universal Studios Japan amongst others.

Lazada

When it comes to Black Friday sales, Lazada is hard to beat. For this year’s edition, the e-commerce retailer upped the ante with a Slash It campaign where you can slash deals down to as low as $0. To help you get started, here’s a handy list of items under $9.90 to snap up which includes a wide range of beauty products, fashion accessories and electronic gadgets.

Qoo10 

What’s Black Friday without including one of the biggest players in the e-commerce market? As soon as you enter Qoo10, you’ll be greeted with tons of great deals, exclusive coupons and membership rewards to help you save major bucks. Take part in their Rocket Auction, which allows you to bid for your desired item starting from $1, all through the weekend! Some of the highlights include the Nintendo Switch Console System, Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer and Sony M3 Wireless Headphones.

Sephora

In Sephora we trust. Beauty junkies can now stock up on their favourite makeup and skincare products online and in-stores at 15% off on E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. What’s more, all Sephora outlets will open their doors an hour earlier at 9am this Friday so you can beat the TGIF crowd and get more shopping done. ‘Nuff said – we’ll race you to the stores.

Shopee

In case you need more reason to go crazy on Christmas gifts, Shopee has over 100 unmissable deals across brands like adidas, Marshall, Marc Jacobs and more at the lowest price guaranteed. For the tech-savvy, you’d be glad to know that there’s also a Crazy Cyber Monday Tech Sale where you can snag the latest gizmos ahead of your geeky peers.

ZALORA

Where else to score massive fashion bargains than ZALORA? With an extensive selection of over 500 international and local brands for you to choose from, you’ll be getting some real cool outfits at impossibly low prices. Now you can look like a million bucks at a fraction of the original price!

What’s on your shopping list? Tell us in the comments below!

JCube Christmas Market

Calling all witches and wizards; it’s time to head back to the Wizarding World!

Just in time for the festive season, Changi Airport has been transformed into a Harry Potter-themed paradise complete with life-sized setups, colourful Christmas lights and snow showers across all three terminals. From now till mid February 2019, fans of the boy wizard will have a chance to explore a magnificent recreation of Hosmeade Village and participate in spellbinding activities at Diagon Alley as you soak in the bewitching atmosphere. Here are some of the highlights waiting for you to discover at A Wizarding World Holiday.

QUIDDITCH TOSS

A-Wizarding-World-Holiday-at-Changi-Airport-01-Quidditch-Toss

Ever dreamed of making the Quidditch team? Well, here’s your chance to practice your skills and see if you have what it takes to make the cut for the fictional sport. Quidditch Toss will give you the opportunity to throw the Quaffles into the three hoops to score points, all while riding a broomstick. Don’t worry about the Bludgers or the Quaffles flying back at you – this is a keeper and beater free zone.

NIFFLER CHALLENGE GAME

A-Wizarding-World-Holiday-at-Changi-Airport-02-Niffler-Challenge-Game

Challenge your fellow Potterhead pal to a balancing game with an adorable giant Niffler that won’t be stealing the shiny coins. All you need to do is spin the wheel and stack the required number of coins on your respective sides. You and your friend will each take turns stacking the coins until the Niffler tips – the heavier stack wins!

MADAM MALKIN’S ROBES FOR ALL OCCASIONS

A-Wizarding-World-Holiday-at-Changi-Airport-03-Madam-Malkins-Robes-for-All-Occasions

Show off your house pride with the Hogwarts school uniforms available for you to dress up in your Harry Potter best. To make things more magical, you can even create your very own GIF image in front of the magical mirror which makes for a perfect, lasting memento of your enchanted day out.

SNOW AND LIGHTS SHOW AT HOGSMEADE VILLAGE

A-Wizarding-World-Holiday-at-Changi-Airport-04-Snow-and-Lights-at-Hogsmeade-Village

Inspired by the original Hogsmeade Village from the Harry Potter universe, be enthralled by the daily snow and lights show happening on weekdays at 6pm, 7pm, 9pm, and on weekends at 1pm, 6pm, 7pm and 9pm. Aside from photo opportunities at notable shops like Zonko’s Joke Shop, Honeydukes and the Owl Post, fans will be delighted to know that you can also get up-close to a recreation of the iconic scarlet steam engine, the Hogwarts Express!

Photo credits: Changi Airport Singapore

A Wizarding World Holiday at Changi Airport runs from now till mid-February 2019, 10am to 1pm daily.

JCube Christmas Market

Get the Juicy Bits Delivered Fresh To Your Inbox