Don’t drive to Orchard Rd on the first Sat of the month – walk instead

If you had been stuck in the seriously massive traffic jam in town just this past Saturday evening (Dec 5), this is the reason why: Pedestrian Night on Orchard, which sees a small stretch of Orchard Road closed to cars from Bideford Road to Scotts Road so that people can party (sort of) on the streets.

Held on the first Saturday of every month, from 6pm to 11pm, Pedestrian Night on Orchard was stopped temporarily in the months of October and November on account of the haze. Well, with the malls and Orchard Road draped in all manner of gorgeous Christmas decorations, Pedestrian Night came back with a bang!

Gateway to Pedestrian Night on Orchard.
Gateway to Pedestrian Night on Orchard.
ION Orchard all decked out for the festivities.
ION Orchard all decked out for the festivities.

We made the fatal mistake of attempting to drive to Orchard, thinking that we could park at a mall outside the closed-off stretch. Ugh. Traffic never moved so slowly, and it wasn’t just cars – it was also buses whose routes were affected by the closure. So trust me, for the next Pedestrian Night in January, you will want to leave your car at home, or at least far far away from the city, and take the MRT instead.

Asher and I were relieved to be able to abandon our car with a valet at a carpark in The Atrium @ Orchard, and make our way to ION Orchard by MRT. While waiting for the street to be open to pedestrians (there was a delay due to the torrential rain earlier that afternoon), we busied ourselves with the festive display of Christmas lights outside ION.

Kids love this trapezoid which is stuck all over with mist-filled bubbles.
Kids love this trapezoid which is stuck all over with mist-filled bubbles.
A small pocket of mist is released with each pop.
A small pocket of mist is released with each pop.

 

A merry-go-round!
A merry-go-round!
And a swing!
And a swing!

There was lots to do that night: One could get free ice cream (just needed to download the OneOrchard mobile app for the voucher), free movie and popcorn combos, free pH balancer water, take a picture with Santa, be entertained by a street busker, listen to live music, or just take in all the sights and lights.

All of these people in the queue are downloading the OneOrchard mobile app to get their free ice cream.
All of these people in the queue are downloading the OneOrchard mobile app to get their free ice cream.
People getting ready to flash their e-voucher on the OneOrchard app for their free ice cream.
People getting ready to flash their e-voucher on the OneOrchard app for their free ice cream.
Taking a picture with a vintage Chevy.
Taking a picture with a vintage Chevy.
This street busker was really entertaining.
This young street busker was really entertaining.
Yes, Santa is Chinese.
Yes, Santa is Chinese.
Asher having fun posing in front of a retro VW van, which doubled as a Christmas prop.
Asher having fun posing in front of a retro VW van, which doubled as a Christmas prop.
The streets were still glistening with fresh rain and the air was nice and cool.
The streets were still glistening with fresh rain and the air was nice and cool.

Entry and exit points were quite clearly marked, crowd control was well-managed and the street was wheelchair/stroller-accessible as well. Don’t miss Pedestrian Night in January! Download the OneOrchard App, sign up for an account and get access to an array of freebies.

Details
Event: Pedestrian Night on Orchard
Website: http://www.orchardroad.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/orchardroad.sg
Where: The stretch of Orchard Road between Bideford Road and Scotts Road (i.e. from ION Orchard/Tangs to Paragon)
When: First Saturday of every month, from 6pm to 11pm
What to look out for: Roving activities, live music, giveaways and activity zones. Download the OneOrchard mobile app to get your hands on freebies.

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