Adelaide, the heart of South Australia, has so much happening through the festive season. From lights, to decorations, markets and more, there’s something for everyone. The season of magic and joy in celebrating Christmas in Adelaide has always been synonymous with community celebrations. There’s plenty of opportunity to get together and celebrate.
We have put together a list of some of the best family friendly Christmas events in Adelaide.
Rundle Mall’s Christmas Window Display
Rundle Mall has a magical display of 10 individually themed. Each year we look forward to seeing the latest display. The displays bring to life the traditions of Christmas and reflect the gratitude of a community united by a common cause. Each window includes collaborations with internationally acclaimed and homegrown couturier Paolo Sebastian, the Adelaide Festival Centre, and local artists, toymakers and creatives.
And in a nod to the economic challenge created by COVID, much of the displays have been sourced from Rundle Mall traders, with several windows providing visitors with gift-giving, home styling and festive menu inspiration that can be ‘shopped’ in the Mall. The windows are free for all to see and enjoy.
Where: Rundle Mall
When: 13th November – 29th December
National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant
Since 1933, the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant has been the traditional start to the Christmas season in South Australia. Thousands of people, young and old, line the city streets to welcome Father Christmas to Adelaide. Traditionally, the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant is held on the morning of the second Saturday in November where floats, colourful clowns, bands, dancers and other magical characters make their way around the City of Adelaide. In 2020, the event will be a twilight event and will be broadcast on Channel 9 to thousands of homes and to communities around South Australia.
Where: Adelaide Oval & Channel 9
When: Saturday 14th November 7 – 9pm
Giant Christmas Tree
The much loved Christmas tree (in our featured image above) in Victoria Square / Tarntanyangga will be lit up in 2020 from November 14th. The tree will be accompanied by a program of pre-recorded Christmas music, recorded in Adelaide as part of Voices of Christmas, which will air Sunday through Thursday nights when the tree is lit up. There will also be live music at the Christmas tree in the seven weeks leading up to Christmas between 7.30 and 9 pm on select Friday and Saturday nights and on Christmas Eve, and the nativity scene will return under the tree.
Where: Victoria Square
When: 14th November – 25th December
Santa’s Wonderland comes alive at the Adelaide Showground with an extravagant range of amazing Amusement rides, spectacular Christmas stage shows, magnificent Ice-skating rink and Tobogganing slides and the Christmas Activity trail. Get those pointy Christmas shoes tapping with merry excitement! Laugh, sing, dance and selfie your way through this truly magical walk through wonderland with your family and friends by securing your spot now!
Where: Adelaide Showground
When: 10th – 24th December
The Lights of Lobethal Festival
This Christmas festival has been lighting up the Lobethal Valley in the Adelaide Hills (South Australia) for over sixty years… created by the community of Lobethal. In the true spirit of Christmas, a tradition that has continued for over 60 years began and has now evolved into the largest Community Christmas Light Display in the Southern Hemisphere. We know you will love this one.
When: This event in unfortunately cancelled due to COVID restrictions.
Adelaide loves a good Christmas carols event. Our suburbs are filled with these local Adelaide Christmas carol events that showcase the best of the local carolers. These events support the local community groups and are well worth a visit. The city centre also has many annual carols events. Our favourite Christmas carol events across Adelaide include:
Christmas at Carrick Hill
Enjoy a summer’s evening on the terrace hosted by “Mr Bill”, a fictional character based on Sir Edward Hayward by Heaps Good Productions. Sing along to Christmas Carols performed by Cantamus Choir, be captivated by Gravity Dance and keep an eye out for a special visitor. Picnic boxes are provided by Tabel Catering and are available to pre-order with your tickets. Gelato, hot and cold beverages will be available for purchase on the evening.
Where: Carrick Hill
When: Saturday 28th November 7pm
Carols by Candleight
Join the Christmas cheer for the annual event, Carols by Candlelight, with a host of home-grown talent singing the songs of the season. This year a pop-up screening of the Sealink Travel Group Carols by Candlelight will be hosted in the iconic Adelaide Town Hall.
Carols by Candlelight is South Australia’s largest Christmas concert and a long-standing tradition, celebrating its 75th year of spreading Christmas cheers in 2020.The event is FREE to attend but you must register your place, as spots are strictly limited. We suggest that you get in as early as possible.
Where: Adelaide Town Hall
When: Sunday 13th December
The Sounds Of Christmas – Organ & Chorus Concert
The Adelaide Town Hall is delighted to present ‘The Sounds of Christmas’ a delightful program of Christmas organ & choral music featuring performances by talented local organist Andrew Georg and special guests the Festival Statesmen Chorus. Adelaide Town Hall is renowned for its world class acoustics. Don’t miss this free program of music to get your heart singing ready for Christmas. The event is FREE to attend, but you must register your place, as spots are strictly limited.
Where: Adelaide Town Hall
When: Sunday 20th December 2pm
The 90-minute shows will be filled with live music and accompanied by a variety of family entertainment including outdoor fun, face painting and guest appearance by Santa. Food trucks will also be available in case you feel peckish. With plenty of free onsite parking, Paradise Carols is an event not to be missed, so be sure to secure your spot as soon as possible. Tickets are limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Where: Influences Church
When: Sunday 20th December 7:30pm
Christmas markets in Adelaide
Take the stress out of Christmas with friends and family and enjoy a relaxing stroll through a menagerie of unique gifts, taste the delectable Yuletide treats. You will find the most unique gifts for even the fussiest of relatives and friends. This year more than ever, it is so important to support local! We have put together a list of the best Christmas markets in Adelaide.
The Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt is an annual European-style Christmas market based in the German town of Hahndorf, that captures the essence of community, celebration, fun, laughter & family enjoying time together, such as is found in many cities in Europe over the Christmas period, but in a warm Aussie setting. The market is organised and run by C3 Church Adelaide Hills, on their property, for the benefit of the Adelaide Hills Community and beyond.
Where: C3 Church, Adelaide Hills
When: This event is unfortunately cancelled for 2020
The Makers and Shakers Christmas Gift Market
Shake up your Christmas gifting game where the stalls are plenty (60+ if you must know), the gifts are handmade and the food is utterly scrumptious. The lineup of stalls is curated to feature only South Australia’s finest makers and shakers. And if you’re bringing the kids along for the ride, rest assured there’s plenty of entertainment and child-friendly activities waiting for them.
Where: 88 O’Connell St, North Adelaide
When: 18th & 19th December 4pm-9pm, 20th December 10am-4pm
Bowerbird Design Market
Fittingly named after the Aussie bird that is attracted to all things pretty and shiny, this market is full of darling handmade products for those in your life who love beautifully crafted products. Meet the makers and select unique gifts to put under those trees.
Where: Adelaide Showground
When: 11th – 13th December
Photos with Santa
The tradition of getting a photo with Santa is a great way to capture how much the kids have grown each year! It is also a reminder of the year that was. This year the photos will be socially distanced from Santa but it won’t stop you from getting the perfect image with the man in the red suit.
Meeting Santa for most kids is exciting but if your child has a sensory process disorder like autism, it can be a challenging experience. Some shopping centres are now offering ‘Sensory Santa’. They create a calm and sensory-friendly photo session with dim lights and no music or loud noises.
Christmas lights bus tour
The long tradition of lighting up homes and businesses of Lobethal, has evolved to become the largest Community Christmas Light display in the Southern Hemisphere. You can download your own map and dive around to the view the lights, or you can sit back and relax and let someone else do the hard work while you enjoy the festive sights.
Christmas Eve box ideas
We love the fairly new tradition of giving kids a Christmas Eve Box on the 24th of December to get them right into the spirit of Xmas. Some families I know use this additional gift as a way to get the kids to go to bed without a fuss on Christmas Eve. Whatever your reason for creating a Christmas Eve box, we’ve put together a few ideas for your kids (and one for the mummas too!) You can find all the details including pricing and where to buy their contents here.
Christmas charity options in Adelaide
Becoming involved in Christmas charity work isn’t just the moral thing to do – it’s a way to teach our own children the values of empathy, respect and kindness. For a Christmas family activity with a difference think about getting involved with some of these great Christmas charity initiatives.
Christmas in Adelaide
Celebrate the festive season in Adelaide and enjoy Christmas carols, meet Santa, shop at pop up markets and enjoy a Christmas lunch at the city’s great restaurants. You’ll feel the Christmas spirit around Adelaide for the whole month of December with lights, decorations and Christmas trees decorating the city. Get out there and enjoy!
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