SINGAPORE: Gardens by the Bay welcomed its 100 millionth visitor on Dec 2 as it launched its Christmas celebrations.
Mr Lester Er, 45, and his wife, Ms June Tan, were at the Gardens with their 21-month-old twins, Joshua and Faith. They were given a commemorative gift hamper, a two-year Friends of the Gardens Family Plus membership and a two-night stay at the Garden Pod hotel.
The family are frequent visitors, especially to the cooled conservatories. “We love spending family time in Gardens by the Bay. The blend of indoor and outdoor activities is just right for us,” said Mr Er.
The self-employed professional, who has been a Friends of the Gardens member since its early days, said: “We believe it’s crucial to expose Joshua and Faith to nature early. The Gardens is perfect for this, especially with the changing floral displays and themes, which introduce them to different cultures.”
Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, who was guest of honour at the launch of the Christmas Wonderland fair, wished visitors a merry Christmas.
He also greeted young cancer survivors who attended the event. Last week, they and their families lent a hand with the Christmas decorations in the outdoor gardens, under a tie-up with the Children’s Cancer Foundation.
He said: “Christmas is also a season of giving, and we are very glad that this year at Gardens, we are able to partner with the Children’s Cancer Foundation, and we can do something for the children and give them some hope as they recover in their various hospitals.”
Christmas Wonderland, Singapore’s biggest yuletide fair, covering an area of 27,000 sq m – from the Supertree Grove to The Meadow – marks its 10th year in 2023.
From now till Jan 1, 2024, visitors can experience “snow” against the backdrop of a 20m-tall light installation inspired by an Italian castle, and a 24m-long Holly Roger ship with pirate elves.
Visitors can also enjoy a Walk of Lights tunnel and meet Santa Claus in the Supertree Grove.
There will be food and drinks for sale, nightly performances, carnival games and rides such as bumper cars at the fairgrounds.
A series of free concerts will take place on Dec 16-17 and Dec 22-24 at the Supertrees of the Silver Garden. The audience will be treated to performances by local artistes such as Charlie Lim and Benjamin Kheng, and by community organisations such as the Institute of Technical Education Show Choir and dance school Danz People.
Light displays include structures in the shape of a 25m-tall Christmas tree at the Golden Garden and arches leading to the cooled conservatories.
In the Flower Dome, the annual Poinsettia Wishes floral display has a Vikings theme this festive season, with a Nordic-inspired winter landscape featuring more than 20 real Christmas trees and poinsettia varieties.
DPM Wong told visitors on Dec 2: “Whatever your plans are, whether you’re here, overseas – Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas in advance. I wish you and your families all the very best as we look forward to 2024.”