We know that Melbourne is our beautiful cosmopolitan city and at Christmas, the town absolutely sparkles! The decorations are magical and will inspire you to join in the Christmas cheer. You will find tinsel, glass Christmas decorations and beautiful displays in the shop windows. And of course, the food and shopping options are endless. We have pulled together the best family friendly events for you to plan your festive activities.
And you will find a gorgeous Christmas Day dress to wear out to your meal on our website too.
Christmas Square at Federation Square
TBC for 2022: After a long year huddled indoors, Fed Square is coming out to play this December, in partnership with City of Melbourne. Looking for the best place to take the kids? Santa’s Workshop is there! New additions to the square include sparkling neon trees, giant bell swings, beautiful baubles and other glittering new decorations from 21 November.
Visitors are encouraged to check-in at Fed Square and follow COVID Safe practices at all times.
When: Friday 12 November – Saturday 25 December
Here is what you will find at Fed Square this year…
Santa’s Big Workshop
TBC for 2022: Santa and his elves are hard at work in his Melbourne workshop, making toys and presents for the big day. It’s a busy time of year and there’s lots of tools and machinery to help Santa get ready. You can get Santa pics, but make it COVID-safe. This year you can get a sneak peek into Santa’s secret workspace at Fed Square, where he and the elves are hard at work making toys and presents for the big day. Pose for a pic outside the workshop every day of the festival. Check Santa’s break times so you don’t miss the big man!
When: Saturday 13 November – Friday 24 December
TBC for 2022: A fun elf adventure awaits in this giant Christmas maze. Help Santa find his little helpers as you work your way through the present-themed path. Finish the trail and enter for your chance to win a huge prize pack of family passes to Imaginaria, O’Brien Ice House, ArtVo, Chipmunks Playland and more.
When: Friday 26 November – Friday 24th December
Decorations and Christmas Lights
TBC for 2022: From the 16-metre tall LED tree to the beloved golden reindeer, Melbourne’s decorations are on another level this year. Visit all the projection hubs, including a brand new wall-to-wall display in Chapter House Lane, plus heaps of hidden laneway installations and more. See the full list of decorations and start planning.
When: Friday 12 November – Friday 24 December
TBC for 2022: We can never get enough of Christmas light animations and Melbourne has some of the best we have seen. Follow Santa into a Christmas dreamland in the immersive 270-degree animated projection show across the beautiful facades of St Paul’s Cathedral, Chapter House and Torrens University. Make it a night to remember and visit the projections at Melbourne Town Hall and Hamer Hall too.
Where: Chapter House Lane, Hamer Hall and Melbourne Town Hall
When: Friday 12 November – Sunday 25 December
Melbourne Myer Christmas Windows
TBC for 2022: Enchanting Australian families for 66 years, the Myer Christmas Windows are a Melbourne tradition. This year’s windows will be revealed on Sunday 14 November, and accompanied by kids activities, yummy sweets and giveaways until 3pm. Plus, Santa is officially back in town! Take a ride on the Santaland express, send him a letter from Santa’s Workshop and get a photo of your little ones meeting him.
Where: Myer, Bourke Street. Melbourne
When: Sunday 14 November – Friday 24 December
Christmas Festival of Lights
TBC for 2022: See the magic of Christmas and fairy tales come to life in Adventure Park’s dazzling Christmas Festival of Lights. Now with an astonishing 2 million lights over a 1.5km trail! More than a dozen new immersive and three-dimensional installations have been added to an already spectacular display celebrating all things Christmas.
Follow the glow and immerse yourself in a wonderland of enchanting trails, glistening paths, magical glittering bridges and dazzling floating displays. Be amazed by dinosaurs, animals, aquatic displays, the enchanted fairy garden, Cinderella carriage, giant toys, race car and Santa’s opulent Christmas Cave, plus lots more! We love every square meter of this place!
Where: Adventure Park, 1249 Bellarine Hwy, Wallington
When: Saturday 27 November – Friday 24 December
We love playing Christmas Carols in the car, but that’s not nearly as fun as the traditional Carols by Candlelight and we have some really great options for Christmas Carols in Melbourne… and sometimes they even have fireworks and a visit from our favourite big guy, Santa. We have rounded up the best for you here.
Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight
TBC for 2022: Vision Australia is thrilled to announce AAMI as the official presenting partner for the 84th Carols by Candlelight, held at Art Centre Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl this Christmas Eve. In a year when so many friends and families have been kept apart, Vision Australia is also excited to confirm that up to a 10,000-strong audience will be invited back, in line with the Victorian Government’s post-lockdown framework.
The Sidney Myer Music Bowl will again be the epicentre of Christmas celebrations and event organisers will take every reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of all patrons, artists and staff. The event will operate under the Art Centre Melbourne’s COVIDSafe and Wellbeing Plan and will be a fully vaccinated event for those 12 years and over.
Where: Art Centre Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl
When: Friday 24th December
Carols in Canterbury Gardens
TBC for 2022: Celebrate Christmas with your friends and family at the annual Christmas carols eastern suburbs Melbourne in Canterbury Gardens, this year’s event will feature a fantastic local band, face painting and an animal farm. There will also be a selection of food, sausage sizzle, strawberries and cream, pancakes and hot and cold drinks. All profits going to charity.
Where: Canterbury Gardens, Canterbury
Date: Sunday 12th December
Time: 6:15 – 9pm
There are more details about Carols in Canterbury Gardens here.
Take your Christmas shopping to the next level this year. We love local Christmas markets in Melbourne to find those one of a kind presents. Markets are also a great way to support local artists. We have listed a few of our favourites.
The District Makers Market – Christmas Edition
TBC for 2022: Enjoy live entertainment and creative, colourful market stalls showcasing a variety of art, craft, jewellery, homewares, gifts and artisanal produce. Being an undercover market, it runs rain, hail or shine.
Where: District Docklands
Date: Friday 17 December
Time: 4pm – 9pm
Find all the details of The District Makers Market – Christmas Edition here.
Christmas Market at Queen Victoria Market
TBC for 2022: Market stallholders have curated a roundup of the best gifts; from quirky Kris Kringle finds to locally made toys and jewellery, scented delights, books, vintage fashion, chocolate treats, authentic Australian-made wares and much more.
Get your menu for Christmas day in order with pre-orders for festive fare like hams, turkeys, seafood, and other fresh produce which are available. You can also grab a Melbourne Santa photo at the market.
Where: Queen Victoria Market
Date: Monday 6 ,13 and 20 December
Time: 5 – 10pm
Find the details for Christmas Market at Queen Victoria Market here.
Artisan Christmas Market on Bay Street
TBC for 2022: This Christmas embrace the festive spirit and celebrate restrictions easing with Port Melbourne’s Artisan Christmas Market. Consisting of around 100 different and unique selection of artisan’s offerings for you to browse through, the Port’s Artisan Christmas Market will feature a range of handmade, homemade, locally produced gifts, art pieces, designs, jewellery and more – there is even something for your four-legged friends!
Offering something for everyone, Port’s Artisan Christmas Market is the perfect one stop shop for a range of unique Christmas presents – for those guilty of last-minute Christmas shopping (we have all been there!) so you can shop knowing you are supporting local businesses.
Where: Bay Street Port Melbourne
Date: Saturday 4 December
Time: 11am – 6pm
Find more information on Artisan Christmas Market on Bay Street here.
Photos with Santa in Melbourne
Who doesn’t love a Santa photo!? It’s time to get in the spirit, throw on your best festive outfit and get ready to smile. There are plenty of options to capture the moment with Santa in Melbourne this year. You can find the man in the red suit at shopping centres, carol events, markets and you can even include your favourite furry friends in your photos at some pet stores. This year, the photos will look a bit different (hello social distancing) but it will capture the year that was!
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 tours
TBC for 2022: One of the best things about this special time of year is the Christmas lights. We are so spoiled for choice in Melbourne and each year the displays get bigger and brighter. Due to COVID restrictions, the Christmas Light Bus Tours are not operating, so your best bet is to set your own agenda and hit the road to find your favourite 2022 Christmas light display.
Christmas Eve box ideas
There is a growing tradition of giving kids a Christmas Eve Box on the 24th of December to get them right into the spirit of Xmas. They also have the benefit of getting the kids to bed on Christmas Eve without a fuss (especially if the box includes some new Christmas pjs!) 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 Melbourne
Becoming involved in Christmas charity work doesn’t just make you feel great – 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 donating to some of these great Christmas charity initiatives or volunteering your time on Christmas Day with one of these.
Christmas in Melbourne
Christmas is a time for families to come together and share in the joy of the festive season. Melbourne offers a raft of sights, sounds and celebrations to delight all. We encourage you to enjoy all it has to offer – with some forward planning, you will find something for all ages.
We also know what is open on Christmas Day in Melbourne.
If you would like to know where to buy a REAL Christmas tree in Melbourne this year, we know that too!
Join our Facebook group to jumpstart your Christmas planning all year long!