Here are some places to experience snow in the tropics

Here are some places to experience snow in the tropics
Christmas Wonderland, Gardens by the Bay.

You do not have to hop on a plane to escape to wintry countries for snow this Christmas.

From the verdant, sprawling Gardens by the Bay in the downtown Marina area to suburban malls such as City Square Mall in Farrer Park and JCube in Jurong, snow is now a stroll or bus ride away.

There are at least seven places here offering artificial snowfall this festive season, Life!Weekend has found.

All of them use variations of room temperature, non-toxic snow foam, which dissipates quickly.

The newest and biggest draw is Christmas Wonderland at the Gardens by the Bay, which has reeled in more than 140,000 visitors since its launch a fortnight ago.

The festival, which will wrap up next month, features snow foam raining down on visitors four times a night, near the open-air Supertree Grove. The snowfall will run till Dec 21 and is subject to weather conditions.

It is hard not to get into the Christmas mood, with the sight of children frolicking on the grass, giggling in delight with their palms outstretched to catch the cascading blizzard.

"It's a great visual, to have the snow falling while the light show's going on. And with the music, it's already got me in the Christmas mood," says university student Guo Zheng Bin, 24, who headed down with his friends last week.

City Square Mall is also releasing snow foam for 15 minutes outside the mall at 8 and 9pm nightly, between now and Dec 28. Other Christmas activities include a locomotive-themed live show, as well as hand-bells performances and carolling.

Visitor response has been encouraging, and the snow playtime has been popular with families and young children, a mall spokesman tells Life!

Teacher Jocelyn Goh, who was at City Square mall on Tuesday with her daughters, Kylie, four, and Kelly, two, says: "I try to look out for Christmas activities such as snowfall and carolling because my girls enjoy them a lot. We've already been to Tanglin Mall, Changi Airport and our next stop is going to be Gardens by the Bay."

Resorts World Sentosa's Universal Studios Singapore theme park has also scaled up its snowfall plans, as visitor numbers usually spike at this time of year, a spokesman says.

It has included snowfall as part of its Christmas offerings for the past three years.

"Our tropical snowfall has always been a crowd-pleaser. This year, we have extended opening hours, new shows and hourly snowfall across more themed zones," says the integrated resort's senior vice-president of attractions, Mr John Hallenbeck.

This year, about 20,000 litres of snow foam will drift down on almost the entire length of Hollywood Boulevard, New York Street and the sheltered area of Sci-Fi City.

Last year, it "snowed" only on New York Street.

Visitors can also expect to see TV and movie characters from Sesame Street and Despicable Me minions roaming the theme park in Christmas-themed outfits.

Night owls can also head to the Rink at JCube shopping mall in Jurong East to count down on both Christmas and New Year's eve. Organisers are planning foam parties on ice between 9.45 pm and 12.45am.

Other places with snow include the indoor snow centre Snow City, and Tanglin Mall, well known for the yearly artificial snowfall events since 1996.

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