As the song says ..."It's beginning to look alot like Christmas"... and regardless of whether you and your family celebrate the occasion, it's undeniable that this time of year brings with it a Festive Spirit that's all about family, friends, community, goodwill and fun!
December is the month when neighbourhoods are transformed with fabulous fairy light displays, street performances abound, markets flourish with family fare and Santa comes to your town!
In every city around Australia families gather for the annual tradition of Carols By Candelight... so why not get Out & About with the kids this December and join in the Festive Fun!
- Sydney city's whopper of a Christmas tree at Martin Place is a sight to behold and will thrill the kids with its thousands of fairy lights, baubles and ribbons and huge star that shimmers and shines.
- Other hot spots for Christmas trees this year are Customs House Square, St Mary’s Cathedral Forecourt, Taylor Square, Hyde Park North, Kings Cross, Pitt Street Mall and Sydney Square.
- See the Sydney Town Hall transform, each evening until Christmas Day, with magical Christmas projections onto its facade. Bring the family and your camera and soak up the Christmas atmosphere.
- The city's iconic Queen Victoria Building once again welcomes its most magical visitor - Santa is in the house! The beautiful Swarovski Crystal Garden makes a stunning setting for Mr Claus and will delight young and old with its nod to traditional Victorian-era Christmas magic. These will be Santa photos to treasure! The giant Swarovski Christmas Tree once again looms large in the centre of the QVB, stretching high towards the dome and dazzling with its brilliance!
- Join in the family fun on Saturday, December 22 at the 30th Woolworths Carols in the Domain. Australia's largest free Christmas concert, Carols in the Domain is a star-studded event and, for those who can't make it to the Domain, you can watch all of the entertainment on the Seven Network at 8.30pm.
- Hunter Valley Gardens is illuminated again this year with the Christmas Light Spectacular. Open every night (except Christmas Day) this is a magical event the whole family will enjoy! With exciting new displays of over a million lights plus festive food, beverages, Children’s entertainment and Santa and a fireworks spectacular on Saturday, December 8. You can purchase a family pass to the Christmas Light Spectacular or, if you've spent the day visiting the Gardens entry to the Christmas Light Spectacular is just $10.00 per adult and free for children with your receipt as proof of entry.
For Town Hall Light Projection information and times visit Sydney Christmas
Carols in the Domain
For more information visit Carols in The Domain
Hunter Valley Gardens
For more information visit Hunter Valley Gardens
- Melbourne hosts the most well-known Carols by Candelight event in Australia! This beloved family tradition has a long and proud history, with the event turning 75 this year and the evening of December 24 - Christmas Eve - promises to be as vibrant and captivating as ever. Adding to the magic of the evening is the spectacular sight of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl transformed into a visual masterpiece, as thousands of candles light up the night sky. All proceeds raised from the event go towards children who are blind or have low vision. The event is also televised every Christmas Eve on the Nine Network.
- Melbourne's famous MCG is hosting the Biggest Ever Christmas Party – Stars vs. Sydney Sixers Friday, December 21. Celebrate the festive season and bring the family, work colleagues or a group of friends and soak up some Christmas cheer. Santa and his energetic elves will be there to lead everyone in Christmas Carols and hopefully bring about an early Christmas present for all.
- The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) has a great Kids Flicks program kicking off on Sunday, December 2 with the delightful, animated all-ages Eleanor's Secret and A Muppet Christmas Carol on Sunday, December 9 and the
3-D animated A Monster in Paris screening December 22, 23 and 24. The program also runs into January 2013. With prices ranging from $5 to $8 you can enjoy some great family flicks without busting the budget!
- The historic city of Ballarat welcomes one and all to the City of Ballarat Christmas Street Party on Friday 7 December. The evening offers a range of free Christmas activities for the kids, live entertainment and carols, and even a visit by the big man in red, Santa Claus. Children will enjoy Santa’s letter writing workshop, Christmas craft activities, animated roving performers and Christmas food decoration!
Carols By Candlelight
For ticket details and further information visit Only Melbourne
MCG Biggest Ever Christmas Party
For more information visit melbournestars.com.au
ACMI Kids Flicks
For screening times and tickets visit ACMI
City Of Ballarat Christmas Street Party
- Brisbane's premier Christmas Event, Carols in the City features a stellar line-up of Australia’s world class talent including Troy Cassar-Daley, Paulini, Debra Byrne, Colin Buchanan and New Empire. Don’t miss this night of inspiration and entertainment for the whole family at Riverstage, Gardens Point Road. Gates open at 5.00pm for a 7.15pm start.
- Christmas in Surfers Paradise is the beachfront precinct’s annual Christmas festival with family celebrations bringing Santa’s mailbox, a stunning light show, six white boomers and the big man himself to Surfers Paradise, along with Carols by Candlelight, Christmas pantomime and good cheer. Leading up to Christmas Eve, the event centres on Cavill Mall, where Santa Claus has set up shop alongside his sleigh and mailbox amid a spectacular ‘Christmas Storyland’ pantomime. Pantomime and Christmas storytelling will take place each night under the colourful snow gum Christmas tree next to Santa’s sleigh, with festive sing-alongs and interactive appearances from Dr. Seuss’s Christmas pest, The Grinch. Roving performers and Gold Coast choirs will also perform carols each night, with gala Cavill Mall Carols by Candlelight performances.
- Head to the Workshops Rail Museum on December 8 & 9 to meet Santa and join in the Aussie version of Jingle Bells and other downunder tunes, performed by the Bush Galah as part of his sing-alongs, getting visitors young and old into the magic of an Australian Christmas. Families can capture special fun family moments at the DIY photo booth as dress–ups provide instant mock elves, perfect for sharing with friends on social media. The last steam train trip for the year will be puffing from the Museum Platform on Saturday 8 December, taking eager guests of the jolly man for a scenic return trip through the beautiful south east Queensland countryside to Grandchester. Bookings for the Santa Celebration Steam Train are essential and do not include entry to the Museum or the Santa Celebration event.
- Take the family to Carols at the Cove at Sanctuary Cove on Sunday, December 2, for an evening of Christmas carols, song and celebration. Hosted by Channel 9 personalities, Paul Burt and Libby Stone, and featuring festive performances by the Les Wilson Swing Force Big Band, Australian Girls' Choir, local young talent and guest artists, the evening will conclude with a dazzling fireworks display. Access is from 4.30 p.m. Space is limited so entry will be offered on a "first come, first served" basis.
Carols in the City
Christmas in Surfers Paradise
Visit Surfers Paradise What's On for full details
Australian Christmas at The Workshops Rail Museum
Carols at the Cove
For further information go to Visit Gold Coast
- Adelaide Festival Centre’s Visual Arts and Performing Arts Collection exhibit Creating Christmas Pageant Magic: 80 Years On, in both the Artspace Gallery and Festival Theatre Foyer from 8 December 2012. Children and ‘children at heart’ can relive the magic behind Adelaide’s internationally renowned Credit Union Christmas Pageant through a collection of magical items sourced from Adelaide Festival Centre’s Performing Arts Collection and the Pageant workshop, giving people the opportunity to see the characters up close and the details not always obvious in the passing parade.
- The city hosts Carols by Candlelight on 16th December in Elder Park. Concert entertainment for whole family with visit from Santa and spectacular fireworks.
- Head to the Adelaide Hills from 9-31 December as the town of Lobethal lights up the night sky with its Christmas spirit. Don't miss the largest community lights display in the southern hemisphere.
Christmas Pageant Magic
Visit Creating Christmas Pageant Magic
Carols by Candlelight
Visit City of Adelaide
Lights of Lobethal
- Enjoy a lunch break with a difference as music groups from around Perth bring some festive cheer to the city's Forrest Place with renditions of all the much loved Christmas classics. Lunchtime Christmas Concerts run from
Monday December 3 to Friday December 7 and Monday December 10 to Friday December 14 from 12pm to 2pm.
- Spend the evening being entertained with Friday Night Christmas Entertainment at Perth's Twilight Hawkers Market in Murray Street. From 5pm every Friday night up to and including December 14, families can enjoy a stroll through the markets, grab a bite to eat and grab some festive cheer with the carolling groups and bands on the new stage.
- Hop aboard the Santa Train on December 19, 20 and 21 for a wonderful Christmas experience the kids will love! Enjoy a magical train ride with Santa and his helper on various train lines - a memorable train ride into the City with Santa and merry carollers.
- Perth's Carols By Candlelight will be held on Sunday 23 December, 2012 at Supreme Court Gardens. Carols begin at 7.30pm with the Special Children's Show kicking off at 6.30pm. Admission is $10 for Adults and $5 for Children under 12 with a family pass just $25 for 2 adults and 2 children. All proceeds donated to charity.
Twilight Hawkers Market
For more information visit Enjoy Perth
For train lines, timetables and more information visit Santa Trains
Carols By Candlelight
Visit Show Me Perth
- Enjoy Christmas Ice Skating in Hobart with the city's own ice skating rink opening just in time for Christmas celebrations! The synthetic ice skating rink, Mawson's Skate, will be located on Hobart's waterfront and open three days before Christmas on December 22. The rink will operate seven days a week at Mawson Place, all year round – so you can enjoy ice skating even after the festive season is done!
- Gather at Hobart's Derwent Entertainment Centre on Saturday, December 1 for the start of the MRA Tasmanian Toy Run. Hundreds of motorcycle riders from across Tasmania and interstate rev their engines for the annual ride into Hobart from the Brooker Highway to donate toys and other items to the Salvos. Riders will start arriving at 12pm for the 2.30pm Toy Run ride-off
- Let the kids get Christmas Creative with this fun cupcake decorating class at Kids Pantry on Sunday December 2. Canberra's only cooking school and kitchen garden designed just for kids! There are 3 classes for different age groups: 2:30pm till 4:30pm for ages groups 5 – 8 years
2:30pm till 4:30pm for ages groups 9 – 12 years
2:30pm till 4:30pm for ages 13 – 18 years. Bookings are essential as spaces are limited. Kids Pantry is located at 59 Wisdom Street, Garran.
- Visit Handmade Canberra's Upmarket that brings together talented artists, designers, stylists, craftspeople and gourmets all at one destination - The National Convention Centre. Buy something handmade for the ones you love this Christmas.
Connect with the makers of beautiful things; people who appreciate quality, handcrafted and locally designed items. December 8 and 9 10am-4pm.
- Canberra's Carols by Candlelight will be held on December 19 at the city's Commonwealth Park. This annual event is popular with families who like to take a picnic and relax with friends while singing along with local choirs and bands. As darkness falls and the candles are lit, the atmosphere takes on a truly festive feel. Candles are sold at the venue, with the money being donated to charities.
For information and bookings visit Kids Pantry
Visit the website for more information
Carols by Candlelight
Visit the website for further information
- The top end's George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens is the setting for the 2012 Darwin Carols by Candlelight on December 4. Bring a rug and a picnic hamper and treat the whole family to a wonderful evening under the stars for some festive cheer and a spectacular fireworks display. Gates open at 5pm with the concert kicking off at 6.30pm. Entry is a gold coin donation.
- Visit Mindil Beach Sunset Markets for fun, food, arts and crafts and Christmas trinkets.
- Be at the Todd Mall in Alice Springs on December 9 for the Town Council Christmas Carnival, with market stalls, free entertainment and kids activities and a huge dose of Festive family fun!
Carols by Candlelight
For more information visit www.darwin.nt.gov.au
Mindil Sunset Markets
For further information visit Mindil Markets