We rate Christmas decorations by 12 Orchard Rd malls & some are really A for effort

So romantic.

Russell Ang | Hayley Foong | December 12, 2022, 12:18 PM

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If you're looking to take pretty pictures this festive season, the Christmas on a Great Street light-up at Orchard Road will be back from now till Jan. 2, 2023.

At the same time, malls along the stretch have also brought out the big guns with towering Christmas trees, dazzling fairy lights, and plenty of festive props.

Well, some of them at least.

Walking the stretch

We walked the stretch from Tanglin Mall to Plaza Singapura to see the lights for ourselves and give them our very unofficial ratings.

According to Google Maps, it will take you approximately 35 minutes to walk the entire stretch.

But for us, it took more than two hours. Probably cause we took an ice cream break in between.

We excluded some malls, such as Shaw Towers, which was undergoing renovation works and did not put up their Christmas display.

Here are the 12 malls, not in order of their ratings.

1. Tanglin Mall

Photo by Russell Ang

Looking to celebrate Christmas with the whole family?

Head down to Tanglin Mall for some winter wonderland fun.

Photo by Russell Ang

Be sure to look forward to the mall's free snow and avalanche shows, which happen daily.

Avalanche timings:

  • 7:30 pm – 7:45 pm (weekdays)
  • 7:30 pm – 7:45 pm and 8:30 pm – 8:45 pm (weekends & PH)

Snow timings:

  • 7:45 pm – 8 pm (weekdays)
  • 7:45 pm – 8 pm and 8:45 pm – 9 pm (weekends & PH)

Verdict: 4.5/5. Standing under the artificial snowfall made us feel like kids again.

2. Tanglin Shopping Mall

To be very honest, we didn't realise that this mall was decorated until upon closer inspection.

Photo by Russell Ang

Verdict: 0.5/5. They tried. Not very hard, but they tried.

3. Far East Shopping Centre

Photo by Russell Ang

Nestled between Forum and Wheelock Palace, Far East Shopping Centre sadly looks like its suffering from middle child syndrome, with its lacklustre decorations.

Verdict: 1/5. The minimalist approach doesn't quite work here.

4. Forum The Shopping Mall

Photo by Russell Ang

Decked out in dazzling pink neon lights, Forum The Shopping Mall is definitely a sight to behold at night, with an extravagant sheet of pink lights draped over the exterior of the mall.

The mall also has a brightly-lit festive tunnel installation between mini Christmas trees, where you can snap plenty of pictures.

Verdict: 2.5/5. We deducted some points because a random power trip made us fear for our lives. Or was it part of the design?

5. Wheelock Place

Photo by Russell Ang

While strolling past Wheelock Place, we were drawn to the star-shaped illuminations suspended within its structure.

Although it's as flashy as some of the lights out there, it worked well with the mall's conical design.

Nice touch of installations outside too.

Verdict: 3.5/5. If you stare hard enough, it kind of resembles a giant Christmas Tree.

6. ION Orchard

Photo by Russell Ang

ION Orchard takes the cake for having one of the most grandiose displays in the shopping district.

The mall comes with an enormous star-shaped tree topper from Dior, creating the perfect backdrop for photo-taking.

It's also the closest we'll get to a Dior.

Photo by Russell Ang

Verdict: 4/5. We are guilty of taking way too many photos.

7. Wisma Atria

Photo by Russell Ang

Right outside Wisma Atria is a stunning holographic Christmas tree.

Photo by Russell Ang

Like a shiny coiled ribbon, this one's refreshingly futuristic.

The tree is paired with a LED Christmas Odyssey tunnel, similar to the one at Forum The Shopping Mall.

Photo by Russell Ang

Verdict: 4.5/5. Highly recommended if you enjoy a more futuristic approach to Christmas trees.

8. Ngee Ann City (Takashimaya)

Photo by Russell Ang

Fond of fuzzy animals?

Then you might want to check out Ngee Ann City's Christmas tree, which is surrounded by Ralph Lauren bears.

Photo by Russell Ang

Verdict: 3.5/5. Would be higher if they started playing Michael Bublé.

9. Paragon Shopping Centre

Photo by Russell Ang

Paragon Shopping Centre surpassed our expectations with its stately Christmas tree.

Sticking to a more traditional design, the tree is decked out in gold fairy lights and floral-themed ornaments (you can't really tell in the photo so you'll have to take our word for it).

Verdict: 4.5/5. Out of the Christmas trees we saw, we felt this one captured the festive spirit best.

10. 313 Somerset

Photo by Russell Ang

As someone who enjoys Christmas goodies, 313 Somerset's gingerbread-themed decorations were definitely a treat.

Embrace your inner child by posing for a photo near the towering gingerbread house.

Verdict: 3.5/5. Do note: The house is not made of real gingerbread. Duhhh.

11. Orchard Central

Photo by Hayley Foong

Inspired by the “12 Days of Christmas” jingle, Orchard Central features a Christmas village depicting the festivities of Christmas.

Seeing the displays made us hum to the tune of "Little Drummer Boy" thanks to, well, the little drummer boys.

Verdict: 4.5/5. Good to visit if you cannot travel overseas.

12. Plaza Singapura

Photo by Russell Ang

After a long and tiring walk, we arrived at Plaza Singapura but alas.

While its Christmas tree isn't entirely bad, it looks like something we could slap together in a day.

Thankfully, it was saved by a cool Marvel display at the mall's entrance. Phew.

Photo via CapitaLand Malls

Photo via CapitaLand Malls

Verdict: 3.5/5.

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Top image by Russell Ang