What’s On for Christmas in Sydney 2023

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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

Martin Place Christmas tree and fairy lights

Our favourite Christmas tree in Sydney will delight audiences from Saturday 26 November to Sunday 1 January. 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 25 November to Sunday 27 December, 2023

Find all the details on Martin Place Christmas tree and fairy lights here.

Double Bay Christmas Fair

On the 9th of December, a team of locals (the Bay Street Initiative) will be hosting the very first Double Bay Christmas Fair! It will boast quality food markets, Christmas music throughout the day including a performance in the evening, family entertainment (eg, petting zoos, face painting) and maybe even a visit from Santa! The event has lots of corporate sponsorship as well as support from local council and will attract crowds from all throughout East Sydney.

All your favourite Christmas songs performed by local artists and well established musicians! From 6pm, gather with the community in Guilfoyle Plaza for a nostalgic Carols Concert under the stars and amidst the Christmas lights!

Where: Guifoyle Park

When: Saturday 9 December

You will find more details on Double Bay Christmas Fair here.

Christmas Lights and Decorations Walk

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: December

You can find out more about the self-guided Christmas lights and decorations walk here

Pyrmont Christmas Concert

It’s time to dust off your reindeer ears, put on your party shoes and kick off Christmas at our free concert in Prymont. Children are invited to join their favourite entertainers, to sing and dance in the spirit of Sydney Christmas. Santa will also make a special guest appearance.

There’ll be craft activities, table tennis and giant Jenga and other games for the kids (at kids at heart). Gather the family and have a photo with Santa for a $5 donation to our charity partner, The Kids Cancer Project. We’ll email you the image to share online or print at home.

Where: Pirrama Road, Pyrmont

When: Friday 1 December

You can find all the details of Pyrmont Christmas Concert here.

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: Thursday 16 November – Monday 25 December

See more about Christmas at Darling Harbour here.

Rosebery Christmas Concert

It’s time to dust off your reindeer ears, put on your party shoes and kick off Christmas at our free concert in Rosebery. 

Children are invited to join their favourite entertainers, to sing and dance in the spirit of Sydney Christmas. Santa will also make a special guest appearance. There’ll be craft activities, table tennis and giant Jenga and other games for the kids (at kids at heart). Gather the family and have a photo with Santa for a $5 donation to the charity partner, The Kids Cancer Project.

Where: Turruwul Park

When: Sunday 3 December

There are more details Rosebery Christmas Concert here.

Rushcutters Bay Christmas Concert

There’ll be craft activities, table tennis and giant Jenga and other games for the kids (at kids at heart).   Gather the family and have a photo with Santa for a $5 donation to the charity partner, The Kids Cancer Project. They’ll email you the image to share online or print at home. 

Pack your picnic rug and get in early for the best spots. There will be a community barbeque, food trucks and Gelato Messina available to purchase. You can also bring your own picnic.  

Where: Waratah St, Rushcutters Bay

When: Friday 8 December

You can find more details on Rushcutters Bay Christmas Concert here.

Christmas Carols in Sydney in 2023

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

his 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. Each year Woolworths Carols in the Domain sees Australia’s biggest stars come together to celebrate Christmas, while millions across Australia watch the show from the comfort of their home on Seven.

Where: The Domain

When: Saturday 16 December

You can find out about the stellar line up of performers for Carols in the Domain here.

Taronga Zoo Christmas Concert

Take the family and get into the festive spirit with live entertainment at the iconic Taronga Zoo. Sing along to your favourite carols set against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour, enjoy amazing performances, and keep your eyes peeled for an appearance from a very special guest, all the way from the North Pole. A variety of food and beverage options will be available to purchase on the night or you can pack a picnic to enjoy with the family! Why not find some new Christmas outfits for these carols by candlelight Sydney.

When: 16 December

Where: Taronga Zoo, Sydney

You can find more information on these carols by candlelight Sydney at Taronga Zoo Christmas Concert here.

Carols by Candlelight

The Rotary Club of Padstow will be holding the annual “Carols By Candlelight” this year.
The Carols by Candlelight will be held at Playford Park, Padstow. This is a free event featuring entertainment, food stalls and fireworks.

When: Sunday 10 December, 2023 5.30pm – 9.30pm

Where: Playford Park

You can find the details and link to the Carols by Candlelight here.

You can find a full list of Christmas carols in Sydney in our detailed article.

Christmas Markets in 2023

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!

Mosman Christmas Market

Mosman Christmas Night Market is on in 2023 located at Mosman Square and Village Green, Spit Junction. Shop for quality handmade goods from various skilled artisans. Find distinctive gifts and indulge in a selection of delicious food and beverage tastings. Entertainment includes live music, face painting and a visit from Santa.

Where: Mosman Square

When: Thursday 7 December – 4:30 – 9pm

You can find out more about Mosman Christmas Markets here.

Martin Place Christmas Markets

The centre of Sydney will come alive with festive cheer this year when the Martin Place Christmas Markets launch on November 25. The markets, supported by City of Sydney and operated by Cambridge Markets, will run until Christmas Eve in the pedestrian boulevard of Martin Place in Sydney’s central business district. It will be a mixed market offering all manner of goods from fashion, food, gifts, homewares, candles, festive products and plenty more.
The markets will run on the Saturday and Sunday of November 25-26, then every Thursday, Friday and Saturday in December until Christmas Eve, from 11am-8pm.

Where: Martin Place

When: 25 November – 24 December

Find out more about Martin Place Christmas markets here.

Artisans Market Glebe Christmas Market

Meet the makers. A community market for relaxed Christmas shopping, friendly stallholders in a beautiful outdoor setting. Handmade by local artisans, there is a huge range of gifts for your family and friends. As they are a nonprofit market and distribute funds to local charities and schools, you will not only be supporting local business but also the local community.

Where: Dr HJ Foley Rest Park, 140 Glebe Point Road, Glebe

Date: Saturday 2 December, 2023

Time: 8am – 1pm

The details for Artisans Market Glebe Christmas Market are here.

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

And don’t let your best boy or girl miss out either, we have found where you can get your Santa pet photos in Sydney here too.

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.

Date: Monday 11 December, 2023

Time: from 3pm

Price: $110

You can find times and booking information here.

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.

Get ideas for your Christmas Eve boxes in our detailed guide 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 we show you where to get a REAL live Christmas tree in Sydney here.

And if you would like to give back to your community this Christmas, check out our “Where to Volunteer” article here.

Join our Facebook group to jumpstart your Christmas planning all year long!

If you would like to be included in our article you can contact us for more information. Prices start at $295 + GST.

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Regina Gleeson

Regina is a fan of all things Christmas! As the Listings Editor of the popular Families Magazine she was instrumental in putting together the Christmas content in the print publication and on their website since its inception in 2013. She is extremely community-minded and makes it her personal mission to contribute content that is low cost (or free!) and suitable for families. This thirst for knowledge and desire to experience the things she writes about makes her an irreplaceable member of the team.

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