This Mid-Autumn at Gardens by the Bay took me completely by surprise. I had come anticipating to see our favourite Garden adorned with beautiful lanterns but walked away with much more! Beyond just lanterns, it was actually very culturally immersive! A unique place to learn just that bit more about Chinese culture and folklore!
Here’s 10 reasons why you should visit:
1. Gigantic Lanterns: There are 10 beautifully lit, larger-than-life lanterns that depict the story behind the Mid-Autumn festival. Download the app ‘Mid-autumn @ Gardens by the Bay’ and it will guide you to where these beautiful lanterns are!
2. Storyboards: I personally loved these – next to the lanterns are the large storyboards explaining the folklore. It’s not just entertaining but educational as well. Do spend some time reading these to appreciate the folklore deeper. The boards are also quite well-lit (Thanks GBTB!) at night for visitors to read.
3. The App: Download the ‘Mid-Autumn festival @ Gardens by the Bay’ app, turn it on and using Bluetooth connection, the app will see the phones light up in different shades of colours as you walk down the lantern procession route. It’s like your very own interactive lantern! Fun! The app can be downloaded for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play store.
4. Cultural Activities: There are plenty of booths offering a variety of Chinese cultural activities – from painting paper lanterns to guessing Chinese riddles and to tea appreciation, there’s something for everyone. Go early to participate in these activities before the crowd builds.
5. Colonnade of Lights: This was my favorite display. I would return just for this actually – 4000 paper lanterns hand drawn by residents from all walks of life hanging along the corridor which seems to stretch for miles! How mesmerizing and meaningful!
6. Cultural Performances: Beyond just lanterns and crafts, there are professional performances to enhance your enjoyment of the Gardens. These acts range from dance performances to musical ensemble. It’s truly a rare chance to watch all these cultural performances all under the canopy of the Gardens. Click here for the schedule.
7. Story Telling: This is not your usual story-telling. Be part of an interactive story-telling session where scenes may be acted out and audiences get to play a part. Too good to be true? Catch them everyday and on weekends during the festival. Click here for the schedule.
8. Food Street: Just right outside the Super Trees Dining area is a selection of delectable food stalls selling an eclectic mix of drinks and food including Churros, freshly-made French Crepes and other delectable snacks. No way you’ll leave the Gardens hungry!
9. Picnic under the Canopy: Bring along a mat and chill at the Super Tree Grove together with your family and friends, enjoy a picnic together as you soak in the Mid-autumn atmosphere and be mesmerized by the Super Tree Light Rhapsody that is synced to the rhythm of the music. Magical!
10. Offers: Here are two fantastic offers:
a. Flash the Mid-Autumn @ Gardens by the Bay App at the ticketing counter outside the Conservatories to enjoy 20% off local admission rates for double conservatory tickets between Sept. 3 to Sept. 18.
b. Children who bring along a lantern and show it at the ticketing counter outside the conservatories, get to go inside both conservatories for free between 3 and 18 September 2016. 5pm to 8pm daily.
I suppose the best reason to visit would be to immerse in the atmosphere of the Mid-Autumn Festival, introduce a bit more of the Chinese culture to our kids and spend quality time as a family in the outdoors to create long-lasting memories. Happy Mid-Autumn 2016 to all!