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39 unmissable things to do in Singapore before 2017 ends

Besides the dizzying options of Christmas parties and New Year countdowns, here’s a rundown of everything else happening this month

By Adam Kerr | Nov 24, 2017

  • 39 unmissable things to do in Singapore before 2017 ends
    ZoukOut 2016

You know it’s going to be an epic month when the first day lands on a Friday. Besides the ongoing Singapore International Film Festival and Gin Jubilee (which will culminate in a manic street party on the last day), December comes through with a slew of parties, boozy events, thoughtful exhibitions and electrifying concerts. You won’t find many Christmas parties, eclectic markets and New Year countdowns here, only because there’s just so many to list. But stay tuned in the coming days as we suss out the best ones in town.


Salvage: Wild Malay. Photo credit: 28th Singapore International Film Festival

FILM
For the first time, Singapore International Film Festival presents Midnight Mayhem, a segment that will showcase four international horror films. Catch Salvage: Malay Wild, which follows a news crew delves deep into a forest in Mindanao, where they're tasked to investigate a string of deaths that were allegedly caused by creatures called "aswangs", only to find themselves caught up in the very thing they came to investigate. Dec 1 Other films here. Dec 1

DRINK
It's an Asian invasion at 3rd Culture Brewing Co., with Hong Kong breweries Young Master Ales and Heroes Beer Co. taking over eight of their taps for one night only. Dec 1

PARTY
Egyptian trance legends Aly & Fila are taking their hypnotic tracks that got them to the #1 spot in last year's Trance Podium Top 100 DJ Poll for the third consecutive in a row to the underground at Mao. Dec 1


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FOOD
Have a go at The Marmalade Pantry's new plates and cupcakes at their ION Orchard, Oasia Novena and Oasia Downtown outlets. New selections include dishes like their seasonal citrus fruits & tuna salad, truffle beef burger and char siew Kurobuta pork belly. Wash it down with one of their revamped classics like the Red Velvet, Sugee and Pecan Tart cupcakes. And if you try all seven dishes from now till Dec 17, you'll get a $50 voucher for your next visit. Dec 1-17

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DRINK
It's been over a year since Lobby Lounge launched "The Gin Experience", where you get to choose every single ingredient that goes into your G&T, from the gin and tonic to the bitters and garnishes. Celebrate the anniversary with their cocktail entry for this year's Gin Jubilee, Taste of The Med. Dec 1

FESTIVE
Singapore's hot new riverfront dining enclave The Quayside is getting a headstart to the festive season with their first ever Christmas bonanza. Enjoy food and tipples from Summerlong, Super Loco and Publico as musicians The Steve McQueens and others lay the soundtrack for the event. And in case you're still on the lookout for gifts, there'll be a market with an eclectic mix of stalls ranging from artisanal chocolates to homemade candles on-site. Dec 1-3

DRINK
Go vino-crazy at Singapore's largest wine fair, Uncorked, held in a 13,000sq ft custom-built air-conditioned venue. With more than 600 labels from all over the world to try, you might want to book a cab back home in advance. Dec 1-3

FESTIVE
Gardens by the Bay transforms into Singapore's biggest yuletide affair in its fourth edition, with a whole bunch activities and performances including a circus with acrobatics and gravity-defying stunts and more. Dec 1-26


"Guild Tug" by Chris Foss, for Kult Gallery's "Dune: A Sci-fi Art Show"

EXHIBITION
Kult Gallery brings fantasy cult favorite Dune by Frank Herbert to life through a variety of VR pieces, paintings, print and project mapping by local and regional artists in their new exhibition, Dune: A Sci-fi Art Show. Dec 1-30

TOUR
As part of Esplanade's 15th anniversary, Esplanade is holding a special "Backstage Pass with..." tour by artists who have performed there or by the center's staff, where up to 20 people at a time will be brought around the rarely accessible backstage areas and see how the arts center run backstage. Local singer-songwriter Inch Chua, who was among the first of Singaporean indie acts to take the stage at the Concert Hall back in 2015, takes the lead for this edition. Dec 2

PARTY
The Super 0 x The Council event will feature Cats on Crack, Julien Brochard, and rising international star Nastia (who made Mixmag’s Top 100 DJs in 2016), who’ll be providing disco, soul, house and techno hits to see you through the night. Dec 2


Gin Lane Party

DRINK
You don't want to miss the incredibly raucous closing party for East Imperial's Gin Jubilee. G&Ts from participating bars and bartenders are going at $10 all night long at the debaucherous Gin Lane Party. And if you still have it in you, the afterparty’s at Skinny’s! Dec 2

FESTIVAL
You’d think farming was almost a lost art here in Singapore; but thankfully initiatives like the Singapore Farm Festival keep the agricultural spirit alive and kicking. 2017 marks the 11th edition of the annual festival, and to celebrate, the Kranji Countryside Association is holding their quarterly Farmers’ Market in tandem. Dec 2-3

DRINK
Sunday on the Hill at Kult Kafe returns for its last run for the year, this time with two art jammin' sessions. Dec 3

HEALTH
The Standard Chartered Marathon will feature a 42km Full Marathon, 21km Half Marathon, 10km run, Ekiden (long-distance relay) and Kids Dash, so there’s something for everyone. Best to start training now so you can end the year on a high with Singapore’s most respected race—complete with a bumper race pack of goodies worth over $180. Dec 3

PERFORMANCE
For the first time ever, Ophlin Russell—or more lovingly known as Sister Nancy—will be performing in Singapore as part of Singapura Dub Club at Hard Rock Cafe. She's the first female vocalist in Dancehall music, and has been a force to be reckoned with in the scene for more than 20 years; most recognized for classic reggae anthem, "Bam Bam". Dec 3


The Sound of Music

MUSICAL
Singapore's hills will be alive once again with The Sound of Music this month, as one of the most highly-acclaimed productions out of West End returns to MasterCard Theatres. Tickets range from $65-185 via Sistic. Through Dec 3

DRINK
Asia's premier gin festival, Gin Jubilee is back for its fifth edition. There'll be 43 bars participating this year, including the usuals 28 HongKong Street and Manhattan, and newcomers Butcher Boy and Crackerjack. Full list here. Through Dec 3

FOOD
A trio of French chefs are taking over Open Farm Community's kitchen where they'll be using ingredients from local farms and putting their French touch on all 12 small and sharing plates. There's even an omakase "feed me" menu available. Through Dec 3

FILM
Now in its 28th edition, Singapore International Film Festival continues to be a shining platform for independent cinema in Asia for 11 days, screening 112 films across a multitude of genres and presentations that will showcase very different storytelling and outstanding cinematography. Check out our picks here. Through Dec 3

DANCE
Complete your Christmas experience this year with Singapore Dance Theatre's staging of Janek Schergen's classic, The Nutcracker. The enchanting production will whisk you away into a world where a Nutcracker doll turns into a handsome prince, and is joined by a young girl to battle the fierce Mouse King and his army of mice. Dec 6-10

FILM
The fifth edition of the Keppel Latin American Film Festival will be screening 10 films of various genres that will showcase different sides of Latin American culture at National Gallery Singapore, starting off with Nise: The Heart of Madness Dec 7-10

PARTY
Prefer getting jiggy with Britpop, indie and everything in between to dancing in the sand at ZoukOut? Head over to The Great Escape as Misshapes takes over everyone's favorite gritty rooftop carpark for an unabashed night of screaming, jumping, dancing and boozing. Dec 8


ZoukOut 2016

FESTIVAL
Asia's largest beachfront music festival ZoukOut is finally here. On the line-up are artists from 88rising, Flume, Axwell Λ Ingrosso and more. Dec 8-9

MARKET
The people who brought you Artbox Singapore are back with an even bigger market. While it ended up being a bit of a literal hot mess, one thing's for sure—Singaporeans love their giant, overhyped markets. Enter Flashbang; Singapore's first and largest creative retail "playground" that will take over the carpark space opposite Cineleisure. It's been touted as a combination of Artbox and iLight Marina Bay. Dec 9-30

CONCERT
Just like history, fashion and music tend to repeat themselves. The ‘80s was definitely a simpler time filled with big bold hairstyles, bright, flashy and tight outfits, and not to mention, it was an era that saw the rise of electronica being used in mainstream music. English band Culture Club, fronted by androgynous club kid Boy George, had it all. Catch the original line-up perform past hits from the New Wave explosion (and probably new ones too) like “Karma Chamelon” and “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me”. Dec 11

FILM
Haul yourself down to Palawan Green at Sentosa for another free Tuesday night film screening by local movie app Popcorn. This week’s silver screen pick is Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Plus, there’s free popcorn, food, music and drinks for all who attend. Dec 12

CONCERT
IDM producer and performer Machinedrum has been on the scene and producing music under numerous monikers since 1999. Besides releasing solo material and remixes, he's also put his magic to use for the likes of Azealia Banks, Obenewa and Jamie Liddell. This month, he'll bleep and bloop into our hearts as he takes the stage in Kilo Lounge. Dec 13

PARTY
If it's one thing we love, it's block parties. And party people Urban Ventures are coming through with the year's last one by shutting down Keong Saik and Jiak Chuan road. There's a whole host of musicians performing, from Vanessa Fernandez and Inch to Nuckin' Futs and Astronauts; along with a Christmas market to get your gifts and food vendors from nearby outlets like Bao Makers and Lime House providing the grub. Dec 16

FOOD
It's the last pop-up of the year for the Park Bench Deli crew. This time, they're teaming up with chef Rishi Naleendra of Michelin-starred Cheek by Jowl to raise funds in support of the Happy People Helping People Foundation for The Elderly Cardboard Collectors. Dec 16

PARTY
Do you remember the first time? That's what the guys behind Poptart duo Adrian and Robin want to know. Take it how you might, but they're celebrating 12 years of drunken nights and silly dancing at their indie-flavored parties with a huge bang by paying homage to the local community, featuring live performances by Supersect and Sobs and DJ sets by Thievves from Disco Hue, Tom Shellsuit and Zhan. Singapore's favorite sharp-witted Preetipls will be hosting. Dec 16


Mama White Snake

MUSICAL
Local theater company W!ld Rice has been staging annual holiday musicals for the past 15 years. This season, they're bringing veterans Ivan Heng and Glen Goei (who returns to the stage after 30 years) together for the first time in Mama White Snake, a playful retelling of the ancient Chinese folk tale Madam White Snake. Through Dec 16

CONCERT
The Metropolitan Festival Orchestra will be performing "Jurassic Park in Concert" in its Southeast Asian debut, bringing the magic of the park off the screens and into real life. Dec 22-23

PARTY
For 1-Altitude, Christmas begins on Dec 22 all the way through to Christmas Day. Celebrate the festivites at their Snow Ball (Stranger Things reference, perhaps?) as resident DJ duo Leonard Tan C and Jack T helm the decks for a weekend of merry-making. Dec 22-25

DRINK/WELLNESS
If you haven't tried beer yoga, this holiday season is the time to do so. Get into various yoga positions while holding (and eventually, drinking) your beer and work all that Christmas goodies off while you're at it. Dec 29

PARTY
Avoid the massive crowds at the clubs and countdown venues and party into the new year at the Haji Lane Street Party to the tunes of the best in hip hop, R&B and reggaeton. Dec 31


Orchard Road's Christmas Lights

FESTIVE
As with every year, bask in the Christmas spirit on Orchard Road with the annual light-up along the shopping stretch. They're changing things up a little as this year, the lights will go into full force at 3pm every day. How, you ask? Click here. Through Jan 1, 2018

EXHIBITION
If you fancy yourself a cinema enthusiast, the Singapore Art Museum’s latest exhibition Cinerama: Art and the Moving Image in Southeast Asia is a must-go. In a series of immersive, multi-medium installations, the exhibition brings together the works of 10 artists and art collectives from across the region. Here are five you should check out. Through Mar 18, 2018

EXHIBITION
On the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore, the National Museum of Singapore remembers 1942, with their first large-scale, blockbuster war exhibition featuring more than 130 artefacts from 10 overseas museums and institutions. It’s the biggest collection of war stories to date. Check out the exhibition to explore events and portrayals of World War II beyond just your textbook syllabus. Through Mar 21 (2018)

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