Feeling Christmassy no more? Check out our list of things to do and places to dine or chill out over the public holidays...
Hands up if you’re feeling all Christmassed out – no more gift buying and turkey feasting please. Or perhaps you just don’t celebrate Christmas and want to find something to do. The big question is, what’s open during the public holidays here in Singapore? Well, we’ve had a look around and realised there’s actually plenty going on around the island, from family-friendly restaurants to museums and swanky beach bars…
Where to eat
The Summerhouse and Wildseed Cafe & Bar
Nestled in the ‘ulu’-ness of Seletar Aerospace Park is the gorgeous The Summerhouse and Wildseed Cafe & Bar. We love the colonial chic decor and brunch at The Summerhouse (and cocktails after dark on that verandah, of course).Those craving some romantic time can choose to dine in one of the air-conditioned domes amidst the lush greenery. Downstairs, Wildseed is a more chilled-out atmosphere, and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch some local musos doing an acoustic set. There’s everything from brunch to tea-time favourites like the Pea Flower Coconut Muffin, and even a unique communal dining menu featuring items sourced from farmers and growers all over the world. Brought the kids? There’s a super fun aerospace-themed playground right next to the restaurant.
Wildseed Cafe & Bar and The Summerhouse. Level 2, 3 Park Lane, Seletar Aerospace Park. Singapore 798387. Open 9am to 5pm daily for Wildseed Cafe, 5pm to 11pm (Sun – Thurs) and 5pm to 1am (Fri, Sat and eve of Public Holiday) for Wildseed Bar, 12pm to 3pm (Sat, Sun and Public Holiday) and 6pm to 10pm (Wed to Sun, eve of and Public Holiday) for The Summer House.
All-day breakfast is served here throughout the year, so you can easily pop into one of its two outlets for a casual gathering with friends and family, even during the public holidays. Besides the usual staples such as Eggs Benedict and French Toast, those looking for something more substantial can go for the Full Melba Breakfast, which also has a vegetarian option. There’s also a bouncy castle and lots of grass at the Goodman Arts Centre branch, which makes it great fun for the kiddos while the parentals engage in some off-time of their own.
Cafe Melba at Goodman Arts Centre, 90 Goodman Road, Goodman Arts Centre, Blk N #01-56, Singapore 439053. Open weekdays from 10am to 10pm, weekends and public holidays from 8.30am to 10pm. p. 6440 6068
Cafe Melba at Mediapolis, 1 Stars Avenue, #03-01, Singapore 138507. Open everyday from 8am to 10pm. p.6352 2721
Open Farm Community
Here’s another family-friendly fave. As an open-concept dining with a restaurant and a beautiful garden, kids are free to roam the grounds while the parents tuck into locally sourced fresh produce. The establishment is also home to numerous events throughout the year, including the recent Kampong French Paris French pop-up which opened to rave reviews. And when you’re done with your meal, you can explore the nearby Botanic Gardens for some holiday frolicking.
Open Farm Community, 130E Minden Road, Singapore 248819. Restaurant: Open 12pm – 4pm and 6pm – 11pm (Mon to Fri), 11am – 4pm and 6pm to 11pm (Sat, Sun and Public Holidays). Cafe: Open 8am – 9pm (Mon to Sun). p.6471 0306
Not to be confused with Wheeler’s Estate at Seletar (next to The Summerhouse, above), this Wheeler’s Yard is in often regarded as one of Singapore’s first few “Instagram hotspots”. Cafe-hoppers couldn’t resist when it first appeared with its iconic blue doors, bicycle themed design and industrial warehouse vibes. If you don’t need to ‘gram those doors, you should still visit for its homely mains and coffee. And if you’re in a mood for some post-food exercise, bicycle rentals are available at an hourly rate.
Wheeler’s Yard, 28 Lorong Ampas, Singapore 328781. Open 10.30am – 10pm (Tues to Thurs), 10.30am – 11pm (Fri and Sat), closed on Mondays (except for Public Holidays). p.6254 9128
All that feasting pre-Christmas has made you feel like you need a thorough cleansing of your insides. Well, nothing to worry because health food joint Coocaça will still be open throughout the holidays to satisfy your “eat-healthy” urges. There’s everything from smoothie bowls to salads and granola bowls, and you definitely should not miss out on their colourful acai bowls. Perfect for a grab and go! (so you can continue binge-watching Netflix in your room)
Coocaça @ Somerset, 1 Grange Road, #01-03 Orchard Building, Singapore 239693. Open daily from 11am to 9pm.
Coocaça @ Orchard, 541 Orchard Road, #01-K1 Liat Towers, Singapore 238881. Open daily from 8am to 10pm.
Need a cup of coffee? Looking to refuel after nights of partying and counting down to the big 2018? Lucky us, because RONIN remains in business 365 days of the year and we can always count on them for a nice cup of brew. Top it with a plate of homely eggs on toast and we can safely say we’re ready to kickstart any day.
RONIN, 17 Hongkong Street, Singapore 059660. Open daily from 8am to 6pm.
Where to drink
Tanjong Beach Club
Sun, sea, and just a place to chill with good company and the Christmas madness thrown far, far away? Well, you probably just described Tanjong Beach Club – one of our go-to beach clubs in Singapore. If you’re done with the shopping and gifting, perhaps it’s time to head to the sandy beaches where you can indulge in a great brunch or cocktails by the pool. Feeling ravenous? Try the TBC Seafood Platter and be blown away by the lobster, clams and more… certainly a good change from all the turkeys you’ve been having.
Tanjong Beach Club, 120 Tanjong Beach Walk, Sentosa, Singapore 098942. Festive opening hours: Open 10am – 10pm (24 and 25 December), 10am – 2am (31 December), 10am – 10pm (1 January), 12pm – 10pm (2 January). p.6270 1355
Ola Beach Club
If you’re craving a getaway from all those Christmassy feels, jetsetting to a sunny paradise like Hawaii would help. But if you’re feeling cash-strapped and unable to get a year-end plane ticket, Ola Beach Club will do the trick. Feast on all-day breakfast and Hawaiian treats like Ahi Poke and the Loco Moco, chill with their mojitos and colourful Tiki cocktails, and end your day with water sports on the sea. We can’t wait to grab our ohana for a fabulous day out!
Ola Beach Club, 46 Siloso Beach Walk, Singapore 099005. Open 10am to 10pm (Monday to Friday, Sunday), 10am to midnight (Saturday). p.6250 6978
No. 5 Emerald Hill Cocktail Bar
Here’s where you can pop in for drinks and cocktails, even on a public holiday. This colourful bar calls a Peranakan shophouse on Emerald Hill its home and offers a unique selection of cocktails that are as exotic as they look. The intricate interiors of the two-storied establishment are also worth checking out. After all, nothing beats a good night out with friends in a pleasant and charming environment.
No. 5 Emerald Hill Cocktail Bar, 5 Emerald Hill Road, Singapore 229289. Open Monday to Thursday from 12pm to 2am, Friday, Saturday and Eve of Public Holiday from 12pm to 3am, and Sundays and Public Holidays from 5pm to 2am. p.6732 0818
Go Mediterranean at FOC Sentosa while soaking in the vibrant beachy vibes. Sun beds and alfresco terraces, an indoor bar and restaurant, tapas, paella and a delightful selection of BBQ dishes – we’re so glad this piece of beach haven remains open on public holidays for us to pop by when we’re finally done with our Christmas duties.
FOC Sentosa, 110 Tanjong Beach Walk, 098943 Sentosa Singapore. Open 11.30am to 11pm (Tuesday to Sunday, eve of Public Holiday and Public Holiday). p.6100 1102.
What to do
Universal Studios Singapore
This is probably one of Singapore’s most mainstream attractions but this Christmas, they’ve upped the fun factor and are determined to make your visit with friends and family a most memorable one. Besides the usual rides, from 1 Dec 2017 to 1 Jan 2018, you can join in the “Universal Christmas” celebrations complete with a Santa Claus parade, singing Sesame Street friends, and an after-dark light spectacle with aerial acrobatics, projection mapping and special effects. There will also be Christmas Fireworks at 9.30pm on 2, 9, 16, 23 to 30 December and 12am on New Year’s Eve.
Universal Studios Singapore A Universal Christmas, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098260. Open 10am – 9pm (1 to 30 Dec) and 10am – 11.30pm on 31 Dec.
We’re forever keeping our eyes peeled for the latest exhibitions at this mind-blowing museum by Marina Bay Sands. Not only are they absolutely Instagram-worthy, but the interactive exhibits usually make good options for family outings and date nights. If you’re looking for something to do over the festive holidays, current exhibitions include Future World and Treasures of the nature, featuring items from the Natural History Museum London. Anyone up for a history lesson?
ArtScience Museum, 6 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018974. Open 10am to 7pm daily.
Red Dot Design Museum
We were sad when we had to bid farewell to the iconic Red Dot Design Museum at Tanjong Pagar. But our sadness didn’t last long as Red Dot Design Museum is now open again at Marina Bay. Opening hours are until 2am (!) so you can take your time in exploring the various exhibitions, check out the museum shop and grab a bite at the museum cafe and bar. Of course, do also check their website regularly for any upcoming MAAD dates. Check out our video tour of Red Dot Design Museum’s new space!
Red Dot Design Museum, 11 Marina Boulevard, Singapore 018940. Open 11am to 2am daily. p.6514 0111
If you’re feeling like some soul-searching or in need of “me-time” during the festive holidays, there’s no other place better to be than lost in the galleries of art and culture. The interiors are amazing, there’s plenty to see and do, and best of all, there’s free admission on Christmas Day as part of its Christmas Open House from 10am to 7pm.
National Gallery, 1 St. Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957. Open 10am – 7pm (Sat to Thurs), and 10am – 9pm (Fri). Public Holidays and Eve of Public Holidays will follow the operating hours of the day it falls on.
National Museum of Singapore
Just a stone’s throw away from Bras Brasah station is the National Museum, currently home to a diverse selection of exhibitions ranging from digital, to the interactive, and the historical. The architecture itself is also a piece of artwork and you often see visitors taking their #OOTD shots at random corners of the building. If you’re feeling like a mid-day break, the museum cafe Food for Thought is also open throughout the week from 10am to 7pm so you don’t have to worry about going hungry on a holiday.
National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897. Open 10am to 7pm daily.
Parks in Singapore
Of course, there’s always the parks. Looking for some family fun? Bring the kiddos and the kidults to the newly revamped Admiralty Park where they can go wild on the 26 slides. Nature lovers can bask in floral and fauna at the Botanic Gardens, open from 5am to midnight daily, and if you’re feeling hungry, all-day dining establishment Bee’s Knees at the Garage is great for their all-day dining. We think the Carbonara is delish!
Admiralty Park, 31 Riverside Road, Singapore 730000.
Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569. Open 5am to midnight daily.
Bee’s Knees at the Garage, 50 Cluny Park Road, Singapore 257488. Open 8am to 10pm daily. p.9831 1106.
Where to shop
Shopping Malls in Singapore
If you still haven’t got your fill of shopping (we won’t judge), some malls are still open. While not every shop is going to be open, you’ll probably get lucky in one of the major shopping centres like VivoCity and Suntec City. Check out Takashimaya Shopping Centre as the department store remains open throughout the year. Heading somewhere ‘touristy’ like Shoppes at MBS is also another good idea, as shops will likely stay open to cater to the visiting crowd.
VivoCity, 1 HarbourFront Walk, Singapore 098585. Open 10am to 10pm daily.
Suntec City, 3 Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038983. Open 10am to 10pm daily.
Takashimaya Shopping Centre, 391 Orchard Road, Singapore 238872. Takashimaya Department Store, 391A Orchard Road, Singapore 2388723. Open 10 am to 9.30pm daily.
The Shoppes at MBS, 10 Bayfront Avenue. Open 10.30am to 11pm (Sun – Thurs and public holidays), 10.30am – 11.30pm (Fri, Sat and eve of public holidays)
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