free things to do in singapore

[2023] 20 free things to do during Christmas and New Year’s Day Holiday in Singapore

Not sure what to do during Christmas and the New Year? Here's how to celebrate the festive season without breaking the bank!

by Tan Jia Hui

The holiday season is around the corner! While gift exchanges and lavish parties may seem like the norm, celebrating the holidays does not always have to be a costly affair. Check out these 20 free activities to do in Singapore this year-end holidays. After all, there’s nothing better than getting to soak in the festive atmosphere and making full use of the upcoming public holidays — all while staying on a budget.

1. Visit Gardens by The Bay

Catch Garden Rhapsody, a light and sound show with spectacular views of the Supertrees. This Christmas, bask in the festivities as the Supertree lights dance to covers of Christmas jingles sung by local artists.

christmas wonderland

Source: Christmas Wonderland | Facebook

If you already have tickets to Christmas Wonderland, you can enjoy the show at Supertree Grove. Otherwise, head on to the various vantage points at World of Plants to catch Garden Rhapsody for free! Show timings are at 7.45 pm, 8.45 pm and 9.35 pm.

2. Walk along Orchard Road to catch the annual light-up

What better way to kickstart the festive season than to be enthralled by 3.1km of Christmas lights along bustling Orchard Road? Now in its 40th year, the dazzling light-up displays overhead, with over 100 trees lit up in multi-coloured lights, definitely make for stunning views and photos.

There are also Christmas carols from 10 am to 6.59 pm daily — what’s not to love?

3. Shop, dine and play at the Great Christmas Village

the great christmas village

Source: Great Christmas Village | Darren Bloggie

With a carnival section including fun rides like the Euro Swing, retail booths selling quirky products and vintage items that make for perfect gifts, and a wide variety of food and snacks, there is something for everyone. This year, the Great Christmas Village will open at three locations: Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza (from 24 November 2023), Plaza Singapura (from 1 December 2023), and Shaw House (from 8 December 2023). 

Bring your family and friends, young and old, for a lively Christmas party!

4. Catch a free live performance at the Esplanade

Music lovers, rejoice. The Esplanade will be hosting performances by artists from all walks of life, and the best part is that it’s free! Ring in the festive season with various renditions of the catchy Christmas carols with your loved ones. But if Christmas carols are not your cup of tea, there are plenty of other performances you can catch. Be it grooving to jazzy tunes or bopping to the hypnotic rhythm of drum beats, Esplanade is the place to be.

5. Join a free workout programme at your nearest CC  

It’s the time of the year when your long-forgotten New Year’s resolution to exercise more and get fit creeps up on you again. Well, better late than never! 

With the Health Promotion Board’s Healthy 365 app, free guided exercise classes are just a click away. These active events hosted by HPB are suitable for both the young and old, with exercises ranging from high-intensity dances like salsa and Zumba to low-impact aerobics and qigong. There are also a variety of activities that are specifically adapted for seniors, such as resistance band exercises, and senior-friendly Zumba and K-pop dances. 

Besides being physically active, there’s also the added benefit of expanding your social circle and staying mentally engaged! But if you prefer to work out at home, there are also virtual events held over Zoom. 

Feeling competitive? Join a challenge through the app to earn rewards!

Get support with your daily living and leisure activities

Should you require support getting to and from your classes, prefer personalised exercises suited to your individual needs and goals, or need physiotherapy, we can help. Reach out to our Care Advisors by filling in this form to find out how we can support you.

6. Volunteer for a good cause

homage employees

Christmas is the season of giving. As we feast and celebrate, let’s not forget that this time of the year can be trying for others. 

There are many ways you can capitalise on your skills and strengths to give back to the community. This includes volunteering with organisations like Food Bank, Touch Community Services’ Meals-on-Wheels and Willing Hearts to prepare and deliver meals to warm the tummies and hearts of others. Love running or shopping? Run for charity at Santa Race for Wishes, shop at social enterprises like The Art Faculty Christmas Shop by the Autism Resource Centre, and donate your lightly-used books, non-perishables and/or money to support various communities and causes.

7. Visit a local museum for free

Did you know that many of our local museums are free to visit for Singaporeans? Gear up for a weekend of family-friendly fun at the Asian Civilisations Museum or National Museum of Singapore.

Committed to supporting the well-being of seniors, including persons living with dementia, the National Museum also organises senior-friendly on-site and Zoom tours. If you need a caregiver to bring your loved one to the museum or for company and to set up Zoom, you can engage one of our friendly Care Pros.

8. Head to Changi Festive Village 2023

This year, the Changi Festive Village is returning with a new theme — Candy Wonderland. With a number of games and carnival rides at the Candy Carnival and festive food picks, as well as roving performances and meet-and-greets with Santa himself, don’t miss out on a day of free family fun at the Changi Festive Village. 

9. Cycle along Singapore’s coast

Work off the calories from your Christmas feast while exploring the best cycling routes in Singapore — from mountain bike trails for cycling enthusiasts to well-laid out paths for those looking for a leisurely ride.

10. Go for a hike

Why stay home by an artificial lit-up conifer when you can bask in nature’s wonders alongside thousands of towering trees! Trek along one of Singapore’s many hiking trails and spend quality time with your loved ones discovering the native flora and fauna and watching wildlife.

11. Visit Christmas markets in Singapore

Illustrated image used for Public Garden's 2023 Christmas Fair

Source: Public Garden | Website

Christmas markets are not only in Europe, we have plenty of them in Singapore too! 

Fulfil your little ones’ wishes to meet Santa at Cluny Court, discover independent brands from all around Asia at Public Garden Christmas 2023 and Razzle Dazzle Christmas Fair, and support local bakers and makers at Crane’s Festive Market.

12. SmileyWorld @ Downtown East

Step into a world of fun with SmileyWorld, located in Downtown East. Conveniently located in the heartlands, this exhibition features fun, free-to-play activities, such as the Ball Pit and Jenga, as well as photo booths to capture your memories with your loved ones.

You will find the games at the Event Square (level 2), which is free to enter from 10 am to 9 pm daily from 1 December 2023 to 1 January 2024.

13. Interactive installations at Raffles Place

Image of a Christmas tree installation at Raffles Place, Singapore

Source: Raffles Place | Website

Prominently located in the city centre, you may have seen the larger-than-life installations of a Christmas tree, a giant snowflake, bells, gift boxes, a wreath and many other ornaments at Raffles Place. But did you know that you can control the colours of the lights and even make them dance to a tune of your choice? Try it out by scanning the QR code the next time you pass by it.

These installations are only up til 31 December 2023, so catch them before the year ends!

14. Head out for a picnic

picnic

Source: Unsplash 

Lay down your picnic mats away from the hustle and bustle of the city as you wind down towards the end of the year. Now that the weather is cooler, it’s the perfect time to head outdoors. Hang out with friends and family and dine outdoors with a view of nature. If you are too lazy to prepare your own food, there are picnic baskets that you can purchase as well. Remember to slap on plenty of sunscreen and bring along an insect repellent! 

15. Make your own Christmas decorations

Instead of buying your Christmas ornaments, why not turn them into a fun activity for the family instead? Get creative and look for items around the house that can be turned into an ornament or part of a wreath. If you’re feeling uninspired, you can always turn to Google for DIY upcycled Christmas decoration ideas.

16. Go fishing

Fishing is a great way to get some fresh air, socialise, meet new friends and bond with old pals. Being near water helps us connect with nature and has been proven to improve our mental health as well. As a bonus, you can also have a Christmas feast with your fresh catch!

17. Beach cleanup


Source: Unsplash 

Singapore is known for sunny beaches and clean streets. However, if you have visited some of the local beaches, you will notice that they are not as pristine as we think. Keeping our beaches clean goes beyond our enjoyment, but is key to protecting the local wildlife and marine ecosystem.

Grab your kakis and organise a festive-themed beach clean-up to have some fun while giving back to the environment. Learn how you can do so here.

18. Sembawang Hot Spring Park

With the weather getting chilly as we approach the “winter season” in Singapore, stay warm by soaking your feet at the only publicly accessible natural hot spring in Singapore. Freshly renovated in 2020, the park features cascading pools, a water collection point, and enhanced accessibility for wheelchair users. Those with mobility issues can consider hiring a Homage caregiver to accompany them to the hot spring park so they can enjoy the hot springs with peace of mind.

19. Hay Dairies

Source: Unsplash

Bring your little ones to the only goat farm in Singapore that produces milk locally. Hay Dairies is free to enter and has over 800 goats onsite. If you want to observe the goat milking process, make sure to arrive between 9 am to 10.30 am. You can also pet the friendly goats and purchase a bag of alfalfa hay at $5 to feed them. 

The farm is open from 9 am to 4 pm daily, except Tuesdays and public holidays.

20. New Year’s Eve Countdown

An image of fireworks during the New Year's Day countdown, as an example of free things to do in Singapore

Source: Unsplash 

Say goodbye to the old and hello to the new as we usher in the new year. Start off 2024 with a bang as the highly-anticipated New Year’s Eve fireworks display is back! Here are some places where you can catch the spectacular display for free:

  • Helix Bridge
  • Marina Barrage
  • Waterfront promenade at the Bay East Garden of Gardens by the Bay
  • Mount Faber Peak
  • Marina Bay Sands Promontory, Merlion Park
  • Waterfront Promenade at Esplanade
  • The Lawn @ Marina Bay

Conclusion

As we jostle with the crowd to catch the best Christmas attractions and activities, it’s also important to take a breather at times so it doesn’t get too overwhelming. Christmas and New Year’s Day are a merry time for most, but can be stressful for others, like parents busy planning activities for the kids, and caregivers who still continue to shoulder the responsibility of caregiving 24/7.

If you would like to take some time off for yourself, or could use additional support bringing your loved ones to Christmas events, our friendly Care Pros can help! Reach out to us at 6100 0055 or fill in the form below for a free personalised care consultation. 

Fill out the form below and our Care Advisors will get back to you with care information you need.

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About the Writer
Tan Jia Hui
Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can. In her pockets of free time, you can find her snacking on ice cream and fries with her 80-year-young Grandma at home.
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