My ABCs: X is for X'mas - 10 Places to Enjoy the Christmas Season

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Christmas trees and decorations have started popping up at the shopping malls and this could only mean one thing - Christmas is coming! Ho Ho Ho!!!

Christmas is one of my favourite holidays on the calender. It is a festive of giving and sharing and also an occasion of gathering. It also reminds me that the year is coming to an end. It is the period when I will reflect about the past year and look forward to a brand new year.

During Christmas, we always look forward to visiting places and events with the festive theme. Here is a list of 10 places where you can enjoy the Christmas season with your whole family.

Jet-Setting Christmas
Changi Airport
14 Nov 2014 - 5 Jan 2015
Fee applies for some of the activities

Mickey Mouse and Friends have turned Changi Airport into a holiday wonderland! Take off to T3 to enjoy the view of Swiss Chalets, and showtime spectacular at Germany's Neuschwanstein Castle. Step right up to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Bouncy Playground. Go down a slide three-metres high, and have fun in an endless ball pit and super sticky velcro wall! At T2, snap a picture with a larger-than-life Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse topiary in Spain! Plus, visit the sights of Broadway at T1's New York City. 

Snowy Christmas Celebration
Universal Studios Singapore
1 Dec 2014 - 4 Jan 2015
Tickets from $45 onwards

Universal Studios Singapore turns into Santa’s Land for a Christmas celebration twinkling with snowflakes. Come with friends and family to soak in the wonderful atmosphere – we promise a jolly good time for one and all!

Here are the exciting programmes lined up for you this Christmas!

Witness enchanting snowfall on the hour
Be dazzled by pyrotechnics and multimedia shows
Catch special performances by the Toy Soldiers
Take pictures with Santa and his helpers
Meet characters all dressed up for Christmas
Have fun at the “Sesame Street Saves Christmas” show

Merry Fishmas
S.E.A. Aquarium
17 Nov 2014 - 4 Jan 2015
Current promotion of $50 for 2 adults

Jingle your way to S.E.A. Aquarium for a special line-up of eye-opening programmes and activities:

- The Great Christmas Trail
- Santa Clause & Elf Appearances
- Sharing sessions by aquarists
- Ocean Dreams - Christmas Edition

Christmas Joy: Santaville
Port of Lost Wonder @ Sentosa
21, 25, 26 Dec 2014, 10am to 9.30pm
$25/child below 12 years old, accompanying adults enter for free

This Christmas, Sentosa’s Port of Lost Wonder will be transformed into Santa’s village, Santaville! Come visit Santaville complete with Santa’s house and bustling with his elves running around preparing for the festivities! Bake gingerbread cookies, take a picture with a balloon sleigh and make your own snowman at Santaville! There’s lots of activities for the whole family!

Sentosa PLAYcation
Merlion Plaza, Beach Plaza, Palawan Beach
15 Nov 2014 - 4 Jan 2015, 11am - 9.30pm 

This holiday, come down for a host of fun-filled activities that is bursting with the widest variety of Giant Inflatables, spectacular Symphony of Lights show and celebrate the festive season with great music and mouth-watering grilled delights at Grill N’ Chill. 

Christmas Wonderland
Gardens by the Bay Supertree Grove
29 Nov 2014 - 1 Jan 2015
Free entry

The first of its kind in Southeast Asia, Christmas Wonderland @ Gardens by the Bay is set to redefine the experience of celebrating the festive season in the tropics with a magnificent display of light sculptures from Europe and a charming Christmas market. Nestled in Singapore’s award-winning Gardens by the Bay, this magical light-up experience promises to delight visitors from near and far. 

The Supertrees are joining in the festive celebrations and adding to the magical atmosphere at Gardens by the Bay with a Christmas Edition of the “Garden Rhapsody”. Be entertained by familiar Christmas tunes as the towering vertical gardens come to life every evening in a specially choreographed 12-minute music and light show. 17 Nov 2014 - 6 Jan 2015, 7.45pm and 8.45pm

Yuletide in the Flower Dome
Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome
17 Nov 2014 - 6 Jan 2015
$8/child, $12/adult (Local Resident)

Come chill in a wintry wonderland with temperatures to match, as a glistening tower gleams in a realm of dreams. Admire a charming little town adorned with poinsettias and Christmas trees, then learn more about how plants adapt to survive winter on our Garden Trail.

Meet Miffy the rabbit, adorable snowmen and friendly reindeer for photo opportunities! Plus enjoy performances by jazz stars, singers and bands. You can also join workshops to make your very own snowflake greeting cards and more.

Christmas Activities on Ice
The Rink @ JCube
1 Dec 2014 - 25 Dec 2014
From $12 onwards

The Rink have prepared a whole list of activities on ice for a brand new skating experience! Meet JR, our new and cutest crew member at The Rink. Frozen fans can now ice skate with Olaf and meet Santa on Ice.

Real Snow, Real Fun
Snow City
22 Nov 2014 - 31 Dec 2014
From $15 onwards

Enjoy a cool winter experience this school holiday at Snow City. Have fun during the Snow Blizzard Experience, be awed by the effect of the liquid nitrogen, and participate in our Healing Scents of Christmas workshops while singing along to the Voices of Christmas. Plus, look out for Santa and Friends who will be going around Snow City during the meet and greet sessions. You may even get the chance to win exciting prizes in our Lucky Dip draw. There is no better place to be this holiday than at the Snow City.

Christmas on a Great Street
Orchard Road
15 Nov 2014 - 1 Jan 2015

What's Christmas without a walk along Orchard Road? This year Orchard Road is transformed into a galaxy of colourful stars, in celebration of a season of joy. Capture memorable moments at the interactive Christmas set pieces located along Orchard Road and share precious photos on social media. Walk down memory lane of Christmases past at the photo exhibition located near Shaw House and held in commemoration of 50 years of tourism development. Come and experience the Yuletide adventure by following our twinkling stars to a Merry Christmas on Orchard Road – A Great Street. Share your love for Christmas on Orchard Road by simply hash-tagging #orchardrdxmas on your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter posts. Celebrate with us and share your joy with loved ones!

Check out the following blogs for more ideas and places to go this November and December Holidays.
Cheekiemonkies: Christmas Shows at the Malls 2014, December School Holidays Activities for Kids 2014 
The Wacky Duo:  December School Holiday activites for kids 2014
MiraculeLive Shows and Meet & Greets Happening this Year End School Holidays 2014

This is a series of post of what each letter of the alphabet stands for to me. Click on the button below to find out the other ABCs of my life.

My ABCs: W is for... Water Play

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Both Js love water play. Whenever they are cranky or pestering us to bring them out, we will do water play. It is easy to set up and easy to clean up. We always end it with a bath, no more struggling to get them in for their bath. 

The benefits of water play are tremendous. Just ask Google and you will get the answer.

Here are 10 water play ideas for kids.

1) Save the Frozen Animals

Here's how we save the frozen animals.

2) Car wash

Big J loves cars and water. What could be more happy than playing with the two things he loves best! I told him the steps of washing (listening and following instructions), we counted the number of cars to wash, the scrubbing and drying helps with his motor skills.

3) Scoping Ping Pong Balls

This provides good training for hand eye coordination, patience, hand muscles, etc. I also take the opportunity to teach the concept of float.

4) Washing the Corridor

Gave him a milk jug filled with water and a scrub to scrub the floor. The heavy milk jug helps to train his strength and motor skills. Helping to clean is also part of life skills.

5) Simple Waterplay

Simple play with just a tub and some containers and spoons thrown in. A simple setup but it provide tremendous play opportunities and imagination.

6) Spray Bottle

A simple spray bottle does wonders. I will fill up a bottle and let Big J spray on the wall of the washroom. The squeezing of the nozzle helps in strengthening his hands muscles which is very important for writing. We also spray at each other and keep laughing away. A great way to play with the kids!

7) Painting with Water 

Draw on a blackboard using chalk and ask the child to paint on the board using water. See here.

8) DIY Swimming Pool

How about a mini swimming pool in our HDB flat? Remember to lie down some towels to prevent slipping.

9) The Real Pool 

When the boys are well, we will bring them swimming in the real pool. Nowadays, pools come with slides and playground and even lazy river. Total entertainment for the whole family.

10) Waterparks

There are many water parks in Singapore. Here are some that we have visited, Zoo, Port of Lost Wonder, Jurong Bird Park, Marina Barrage, RWS, Vivo City, Westgate and many many more.

This is a series of post of what each letter of the alphabet stands for to me. Click on the button below to find out the other ABCs of my life.

Weekend Wanderings: Changi Airport

Friday, 7 November 2014

I remember when Big J was still learning to walk, we brought him to Changi Airport. Being a first class airport, fully air-conditioned and carpeted, where else could be a better place for a toddler to learn walking.

Small J has been walking very steadily and doesn't need more walking practice. But we still want to make our journey to the far east for some fun!

We were at the Basement of Terminal 3 and the boys spent quite a while looking at the fountain. Small J was especially excited when the water shoots out.

We went to rent the stroller. Even though we had come here for quite a number of times, this was the first time we finally got the strollers. See how comfortable the strollers are that they were almost falling asleep.

We proceeded to the 'walking + rolling' area. This is the area right at the end of the Departure Hall at Terminal 3, just behind Coffee Club. This place is quite empty and big enough for both Js to play at. 

Kor Kor, what are you doing?

Argh! Daddy!

Let's roll!

Next, we were off to see the planes of course. Along the way to Terminal 1, we couldn't miss the Kinetic Rain display. Looking at the raindrops can be quite therapeutic.

For viewing of planes, we like to go to the Viewing Gallery at Terminal 1. We can get a closer look at the planes from here. We spent some time talking about the plane, where it goes, how it has big wings, etc. It's a pity that we were not able to see the landing and taking off of the planes from here. I remember when I came to the Airport as a kid, I was able to see planes taking off and landing on the runway. Not sure why they have taken it away. Or else, this could be a very good learning opportunity for the kids.

Both Js could only listen to me for a while before they ran off to this playground.

I would actually preferred the playground to be somewhere else. Which kid would still be interested in learning about planes when there is a playground right in front of them? The Canopy Playground is free for all. So, you can imagine how rowdy the place is.

Next to the Canopy Playground, there is a woodblock rubbing station. Papers and crayons are provided for visitors to do woodblock rubbing that depicts the Singapore scene from the 50s and 60s. You could also use these to let your child do colouring or drawing.

Changi Airport is also a great place to do shopping because you do not need to pay the 7% GST here. It is a great place for the whole family to eat, shop, play and learn.

Save the Frozen Animals

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

'Let it go! Let it go!' 

Sounds familiar? Yes, that's the theme song of 'Frozen'. My boy has been singing this song almost everyday. I was shocked the first time I heard him sing this and wondered where he learnt this from. 

So, since he is so interested in 'Frozen', I thought to do something related to this - ICE!!

I froze some animals in water. While freezing these animals, I ran into some problems. The animals are floating to the surface of the water and makes it difficult to freeze them the way I wanted - submerged. After some trial and error, this is what I did. I first freeze about half the water with the animal floating on it. When this layer has frozen, I added more water to cover the animals. Since the animals are already held on by the first layer of ice, they won't float. Erm... I hope you understand what I am trying to say.

Once the ice are all frozen, we are ready to save the animals!

Oh no! All the animals are frozen! They are so cold. How are we going to save them?

We feel the ice and learnt that ice is cold, hard and slippery. I mentioned that ice is actually water. When it is very cold, the water will turn to ice. 

The boys begin digging the ice using the plastic scoops. I added the metal spoons and asked them to try using this. We noticed the ice coming off as we knocked hard on the ice using the metal spoon.

The boys hard at work

Can we eat this? LOL

They spent some time knocking on the ice. I then said that when it gets hotter, the ice will melt and turn into water. Let's add some warm water and see what will happen.

'Oh... the ice melts already, Mummy!'

I poured away the cold water and we added more warm water to help the ice melts faster. No, I didn't pour the water down the drain. I saved them up for other washing purpose.

And we saved a dog!

They continued to save the cow, the horse and the pig

Learning points:
- Ice is cold, hard and slippery.
- Water freezes to ice and melts when hot.
- Animals and the sounds they make.
- Knocking on the ice helps to strengthen hand muscles.

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