Is Sydney the best place to be at Christmas time? Well, we think it comes pretty close! We have rounded up the best of the Christmas events in Sydney to help you and your family share in the wonder of Christmas.
And if you are looking for where to eat Christmas lunch, this Christmas Day dining article will help you out! And you will find a gorgeous Christmas Day dress to wear out to your meal on our website too.
Martin Place Christmas tree and fairy lights
Our favourite Christmas tree in Sydney will delight audiences from Saturday 28 November to Thursday 31 December. The tallest Christmas tree in NSW is decorated with more than 110,000 LED lights, a 3.4-metre colour-changing star and 330 specially created glossy baubles.
The tree’s 800 branches are dressed with 15,000 flowers representing 9 different kinds of Australian flowers: banksia, waratah, bottlebrush, wattle, eucalyptus gum flower, kangaroo paw, flannel flower, pink wax flower and white wax flower. 4,104 warm white icicle fairy lights will span across Martin Place, see the 6 strings of lights, each hosting a large star.
Wander through Martin Place and soak in the magic of Sydney Christmas.
Where: Marin Place
When: Saturday 28 November to Thursday 31 December
Share the Joy and soak up the good vibes and entertainment with a live DJ, free face painting, balloon bending and carolers at World Square. We know the kids will love this children’s paradise.
Live DJ: 12pm – 7:30pm in the Square
Christmas Carolers: 12 – 3pm on Upper Ground & Lower Ground
Face Painting: 1pm – 5pm on Lower Ground near BONIIK
Balloon Bending: 3pm – 6pm on Lower Ground near Priceline Pharmacy
Where: World Square, 644 George St, Sydney
When: Saturday 12 December 12 – 7:30pm
We love that you can pace this walk to the speed that suits you and your family. You can discover the magic of Christmas on your mobile. Take a self-guided tour past lights, decorations and shopping destinations. Download the Sydney Culture Walks app for free and get ready to see Sydney sparkle.
Where: Sydney City
When: Saturday 28 November to Thursday 31 December 2020
Christmas at Darling Harbour
The exciting waterfront entertainment hub is getting ready for the silly season with fun festive events to surprise and delight families and make all your selfie dreams come true. The spectacular Darling Square precinct will showcase three humongous Interactive Swinging Bells. Kids will love the inbuilt swings with bright lights and sound effects! Outside the ICC, see the Giant Christmas Bauble in all it’s 6-metre glory as it illuminates a kaleidoscopic of technicolour across the forecourt. Further down in the Harbourside Forecourt, dazzling 6-foot-tall Christmas presents are on display. There will also be roving entertainers around the bay throughout the month. If you have a teenager who loves a good selfie opportunity then we can recommend heading to Darling Harbour!
Where: Darling Harbour
When: Sunday 1 November – Friday 25 December
Luna Park Christmas
Christmas Season is here, and Luna Park Sydney wants to celebrate with you! Entry to Luna Park this festive season includes unlimited rides, fantastic entertainment and MUCH more! Not to mention Luna Park’s latest rides Power Surge and our favourite – Round Up! Join Lunabob & Lunabelle and get your socially distanced Santa photo, or watch the elves whirl up some merry-goodness at the X-mas Factor show.
With special seasonal treats, there is no better way to spend your silly season!
Where: Luna Park
When: Tuesday 24 November – Thursday 24 December
Sydney Christmas Fair
Spread the Christmas cheer and bring the kids down dressed to impress to the Sydney Christmas Fair during the first 2 weekends in December. Give a jolly grin when you get your Santa photo taken with the big guy himself, plus bring your furry friends for the photo too! Seek out the elf workshops to stuff your stocking with loads of goodies and be sure to write your letter to Santa so he knows just how good you’ve been.
Take your cossies and swoosh down the “Epic Racer” water slide.
Grab a blanket and catch your favourite Christmas classics at the open-air cinema or close out the night at the Gingerbread House Party where Jinglelena will bring Christmas Karaoke to a whole new festive level!
Where: Centennial Parklands, Centennial Park
When: Fri 4 & 11 Dec : 5pm – 9pm
Sat 5 & 12 Dec : 10am – 9pm
Sun 6 & 13 Dec: 10am – 4pm
There is so much more so find out more about Sydney Christmas Fair here.
Christmas Carols in Sydney
Christmas carol events have been getting bigger and better across Sydney. There are so many in the Sydney area from the city to the suburbs. We have listed a couple of the biggest and our favourites for you. Get into the spirit of Christmas and sing along to your favourite tunes with family and friends!
Carols in the Domain
This concert extravaganza is one of the most beloved and spectacular Christmas events in Sydney, when some of Australia’s most popular performers come together to share the festive spirit. This year, we are lucky that this event is going ahead, but it is a bit different this year. The special 2020 COVID-safe event will be pre-recorded from Sydney’s International Convention Centre and broadcast on Wednesday 23 December on Channel 7 from 7.30pm. Aussie families can tune in and sing – and dance – along to all their favourite Christmas carols at home – no tickets required.
Where: The comfort of your home – Channel 7
When: Wednesday 23 December 7:30pm
Carols From Parramatta
See your favourite stars perform festive tunes in the comfort of your home, with an online streamed concert for the whole family to enjoy. You’ll also be able to make a donation to The Sebastian Foundation during the concert to help them raise funds to deliver meaningful change in the lives of adolescents struggling with mental health issues. The event will be hosted by Guy and Jules Sebastian and they have a star-studded line up of performers.
Sydney Carols in the Park
Hunter’s Hill Council invites you to get together with family and friends on the oval at Boronia Park. Take your picnics and meet up safely in a large, physically distanced space whilst enjoying some seasonal music and a visit from Santa. The evening will conclude with the annual fireworks display. In keeping with NSW Heath regulations and guidelines, tickets are limited to 2000 people on a first-come first-served basis and open to Hunter’s Hill Council residents only.
Where: Boronia Park
When: Sunday 6 December 6 – 9pm
You can find a full list of Christmas carols in Sydney in our detailed article.
Escape crowded shopping malls and online click frenzies in favour of a more local experience – one where you get to meet the person who crafted your gifts. The benefits of supporting local are endless!
The Rocks Christmas Market
***Unfortunately, these markets are cancelled for 2020 due to COVID restrictions but will hopefully be back better than ever in 2021***
Escape reality and chill out in a magical Christmas wonderland in the heart of The Rocks. The Rocks’ cobbled streets and heritage spaces are coming alive with Christmas festivities! You can discover delicious treats and unique gifts at The Rocks Christmas markets.
Where: George Street, The Rocks
When: Christmas Eve – Thursday 24th December 11am – 6pm
The Carriageworks Christmas Market
*** Due to revised limitations on venue capacity, they ask that all visitors spend a maximum of 30 minutes at the market during their allocated session. Registration is required***
The market will feature a curated line-up of over 70 NSW growers, farmers and artisans, providing the freshest seasonal produce, meats, seafood, cheeses, preserves, confectionery, baked goodies and festive tipples.
When: Wed 23 Dec, 4-8pm
Fair Trade Christmas Market
You can find ethically-sourced, handcrafted gifts with inspirational stories at the Fair Trade Christmas Market. By buying Fair Trade you are supporting trade justice for the artisans, workers or farmers from developing countries who make the products.
Where: The Concourse, Victoria Avenue, Chatswood
When: 5 Dec 2020 10am – 4pm
Love Christmas markets? We have a full detailed list of Sydney Christmas markets here.
Photos with Santa options in Sydney
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without the annual photo with Santa. There are plenty of options to find at shopping centres, Christmas carol events and markets. Photos will be socially distanced this year of course. Your fur baby is a beloved member of the family, so why should they miss out on all the fun of Santa photos? They don’t have to. Some shopping centres and pet shops are doing fur baby photos with Santa!
Meeting Santa for most kids a highlight of Christmas 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.
We wrote a huge round up of where to get your Santa photos in Sydney here
Christmas lights bus tours
The Christmas Lights Spectacular at the Hunter Valley Gardens has become a family tradition and it’s on again with millions of lights on display including live entertainment, sound and light displays and a special appearance from Santa. These Christmas lights displays in Sydney are one of our favourites! You can take a bus tour which will drive you straight there and there are even options of having dinner before you enter the gardens to view the 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. 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.
Trust us, this is a memory they will hold dear and may even do with their own children one day. 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 Sydney
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.
Celebrating Christmas in Sydney
We are so lucky to have so many amazing options in our community to help us celebrate Christmas in Sydney. So make your plans, gather your friends and family and get out there and enjoy!
We also know what is open on Christmas Day in Sydney and where to book your Christmas meal in Sydney! If you are in charge of planning the work or family Christmas party and need a venue in Sydney, we can help! We also can help if you want to get a Christmas photo with Santa and your furry family member in Sydney!
And if you would like to give back to your community this Christmas, check out our “Where to Volunteer” article here.
Got a Question?
Want more ideas for celebrating Christmas in Australia?
Join our friendly community – ask questions and get answers from locals.