Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘gardens’ Category

We happened to be meeting my parents for dinner, and as the rain had stopped we decided to go and check out the Gardens by the Bay Christmas Wonderland event. I had heard that there was a Christmas market and was very keen to go. I loved all the Christmas markets in Europe when we were staying in London, and hoped to relive some of that at Gardens by the Bay. And I suppose it’s as close as it gets. Because of the rain, the air was very cool, almost cold. And with all the beautiful light sculptures and market stalls, it did feel like we could be in a cold country somewhere.

Beautiful light sculptures

Beautiful light sculptures

Family photo (and my kids have laser eyes)

Family photo (and my kids have laser eyes)

2014-12-19 20.28.39 The light sculptures made it seem like there were ornate buildings completely decorated with lights. I wished there was mulled wine, because that was one of the things I completely loved when we were in Europe during Christmas time. The drink somehow makes everything feel much more Christmassy. But there were only regular wine stalls, no mulled wine. I have tried making mulled wine in Singapore before, but it’s best drunk in cool weather.

Boys were so happy to go on a train ride

Boys were so happy to go on a train ride

It was as close to ‘magical’ as you can get when there was fake snow drifting through the air at the Spalliera, a lighted sculpture that formed a ring around a grassy patch (or what was once a grassy patch – hope the grass grows back!). I loved it. The cool weather, the ‘snow’, seeing the kids so happy, Jon, my parents. What more could you wish for? (well, except maybe a glass of mulled wine!)

So happy to see the 'snow'

So happy to see the ‘snow’

Trying to reach for the 'snow'

Trying to reach for the ‘snow’

Inside the snowy ring

Inside the snowy ring

Christmas Wonderland goes on until 1st Jan 2015, but the Christmas markets have ended their run. Gardens by the Bay people, if you are reading this, next year please get someone to sell mulled wine please!!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The boys had no school on Friday and I had all kinds of plans for the day.  But in the end we just whiled the day away at my parent’s place. The boys can be quite homebodies, and were more than happy to play indoors.

But it was such a pity to stay in all day. The weather was beautiful. So I dragged the whole family to Gardens by the Bay to see this year’s Mid-Autumn festival lantern display. We almost turned around though because there was such a long queue of cars entering the carpark. In the end we parked at some far away spot and walked over. I was a little worried than the place would be over-run with people and unbearably crowded, but we were already there and the hubby had actually agreed to go (!) so better to just press on.

Thankfully Gardens by the Bay is spacious enough to absorb the crowd nicely. The lanterns are set up around the lake area nearer the walkway linking MBS to the Gardens. The ones on the lake looked really pretty, especially with their clear reflections in the still lake, and the supertrees in the background. We particularly enjoyed the lanterns showing iconic buildings and characters/animals from different parts of the world.

Floating lantern against a backdrop of supertrees

Floating lantern against a backdrop of supertrees

Sumo wrestler and Mount Fuji in Japan

Sumo wrestler and Mount Fuji in Japan

Big Ben and MBS

Big Ben and MBS

Bull and matador in Spain

Bull and matador in Spain

Asher and I being silly, pretending to be bulls :)

Asher and I being silly, pretending to be bulls :)

 

There were a few that were quite amusing/bewildering. There was one display that I thought was meant to represent India, with the Taj Mahal, an elephant, snake-charming and some characters wearing Indian costumes. But then another mother walked by and told her daughter that it was a scene from the Middle East like where Princess Jasmine lived. Ok to be fair, the building that I thought was the Taj Mahal could be a palace from the Middle East, and there were a couple of characters that were wearing costumes that seemed more like Arabian costumes. So…yes it could be construed either way (though I still think it’s India!).

India?

Pretty sure this is India

Then the Italy display had the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, a chef (yes, they are famous for yummy Italian cuisine), and…a strange girl (no I don’t think they have famous dancers like in Spain), a bird with an eggshell on his head, and a pig. I’m sorry, I don’t get it. Can anyone enlighten me?

Here's the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Here’s the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Who are these creatures are the foot of the Tower??

Who are these creatures are the foot of the Tower??

And who is this (supposedly Italian) woman?

And who is this (supposedly Italian) woman? Looks like Sailor Mars from the Sailor Moon series.

My favourite display was definitely the one showing horses. I thought they were done in surprisingly natural poses. Except for the wires supporting the cloth of the lantern, I thought they were quite realistic in their expressions. The whole display also reminded me of Cavalia which we watched recently!

Handsome horse

Handsome horse

Majestic horse

Majestic horse

There are also food stalls if you are hungry, nightly performances, displays from the lantern making competition that intrigued the boys quite a bit because most of them were made from recycled material, chinese chess, and the ever-intriguing and completely over-my-head Chinese riddles (another thing I wouldn’t mind someone enlightening me about).

Overall it was a lovely walk in the gardens. Asher walked almost the entire time, while Ellery sat in the stroller and complained a lot when we got him to walk a bit when Asher wanted to rest. Need to up that kid’s stamina and determination big time.

The lantern display is on daily until 14 Sep, and is completely free!

Read Full Post »

We were around the Bukit Batok area and since we had some time on our hands, and the weather was good, we decided on a whim to go to Xiao Guilin. Originally a granite quarry, it’s now a park and the quarry area has been flooded to become a lake.

It’s been eons since I went there.  The last time was when I was either in primary or secondary school when I went for a walk with my parents.

The place hasn’t changed much.  Still peaceful and tranquil, though much smaller than I remembered.  There was a couple taking cosplay pictures there, and I suppose it provided the Chinese wu xia (martial arts, swordsplay kinda thing) backdrop they were looking for.

Looking for fish

Looking for fish

Still looking for fish.  There were none by the way.

Still looking for fish. There were none by the way.

Taking a break on the rock

Taking a break on the rock

Lovely Xiao Guilin

Lovely Xiao Guilin

Good for a short walk and to enjoy the peaceful environment.  I loved the beautiful fields of lalangs growing along the hillsides by the path.  Lalang fields seem to be popping up everywhere these days.  Very pretty.

The boys pretended the lalangs were arrows and spears and attacked Jon.  After I pointed out that there was another weed that left it’s seed stuck on your clothes but was pokier than lalangs, Asher cheekily went to pick that and attacked Jon with it too.  Jon was later quite grouchy because the seeds were poking him through his t-shirt when he was driving, so I had to pluck them out one by one! :)

Field of white on the hillside

Field of white on the hillside

Lalangs glowing in the sunlight

Lalangs glowing in the sunlight

 

 

Read Full Post »

Headed to the Botanic Gardens with the girls for a picnic and was surprised to see how much water has evaporated from the lake!  Along with the brown grass and yellowing leaves, this dry spell is really taking it’s toll on the environment.

It’s been a long time since we gathered for a picnic.  The last time there was only 1 kid, some of Shan wasn’t even married yet.  This time around, we had three kids running around, and Obi was a lot bigger.  Janine couldn’t make it because she had just delivered Joseth a few days before, so we were missing her, Desmond and Jovinia.

Pot lucked it, and we were impressed that Alex had gotten up early to cook bee hoon complete with veg and meat.  Though some of us were initially skeptical, her bee hoon was really quite good :)

Had a nice morning chatting, eating, and just chilling.  I was grateful that my friends helped to run after the boys a little so that I could just relax :)

The picnic party

The picnic party

Obi had his own little space in the middle

Obi had his own little space in the middle

Ellery playing soccer with Daokai

Ellery playing soccer with Daokai

Trying to crawl up my back

Trying to crawl up my back

Enjoying Alex's noodles

Enjoying Alex’s noodles

You can see his dead tooth getting darker

You can see his dead tooth getting darker

That same day we met the Cais and Sngs at District 10 for lunch where the kids just played non-stop for almost three hours while we hung out.

Bouncy castles - what a great invention

Bouncy castles – what a great invention

Then immediately after we met my parents for a swim at Temasek Club.  We swam for two hours before adjourning for dinner.

I had assumed the boys would be completely worn out, but they still slept fairly late.  Too much stamina!

Read Full Post »

Jane, her boys, and us headed to the new children’s garden at Gardens by the Bay for a play date.  We had heard about this place and wanted to see whether it was a fun place for the kids.  And it certainly was!

There are two main areas – the sand play area which features a playground and slides, and the water play area.

The playground was quite unlike any other I’ve seen.  It was embedded within a green space, making the playground seem like a hidden world in a forest.  The boys especially liked the jug-like rope parts of the playground, and spent quite a bit of time climbing in and out of them.  I appreciated very much that there were park rangers stationed at the elevated parts of the playground to ensure safety so that parents (like preggers me!) don’t have to scramble up with the kids.

The playground at the sandy area

The playground at the sandy area

Kaizer & Asher in the 'pitcher plants'

Kaizer & Asher in the ‘pitcher plants’

Inside the jug

Inside the jug

Sliding through the foliage

Sliding through the foliage

A big, open slide

A big, open slide

The tunnel slide

The tunnel slide

Spider web

Spider web

Pretending to be caught in the web

Pretending to be caught in the web

Initially the sandy playground-slide area would seem quite big because the slides are located away from the climbing area, but the kids quickly get the layout and if they are old enough it’s quite safe to let them loose to run around on their own.  The slides aren’t the super slick kind, so Asher felt brave enough to try them (he tends to get intimidated by the fast ones).  Kaizer and Titus were really gung-ho though!  They went to wet their bums at the water play area and before going down the slides so that they’d go much faster :)

The water play area featured some interesting spinning poles that I’ve not seen at any other water play area in Singapore.  Asher and I thought it was very fun, but Ellery found the spinning water intimidating and refused to go into the water area when all the fountains were spinning and spraying water everywhere.  He only relented when the poles became stationary again.  But as they started spinning at unpredictable times, he decided to just leave that area altogether and play at the tamer fish themed water play area for toddlers.

Spinning poles at the water play area

Spinning poles at the water play area

Happier here

Happier here

Avoiding the 'poison'

Avoiding the ‘poison’

Lit up at night

Lit up at night

The lot of us had dinner at the amphitheatre area which was shady and well-ventilated.  I had packed fried rice for the kids and specifically instructed the person taking my order to omit the eggs and prawns, but in the end there were still some eggs in it and poor Kaizer and Titus couldn’t eat the rice because they are allergic to eggs.  I felt really bad when Kaizer started itching.  It was a good reminder to myself to double remind and double check when making orders for kids with allergies, and it made me admire all parents like Jane for the trouble they have to go through at every meal to make sure the food is safe for their kids.

Dinner time

Dinner time

Anyway, the boys had fun together, and I was especially happy to see Asher running around with Kaizer because at the moment, Asher is the only boy in his class of 15!  He really needs some boy time.  Thank goodness he has Ellery on a day-to-day basis.

Anyhow, we are already planning to go back there again for another play date, maybe before baby no.3 comes!

Read Full Post »