How, Why & Where Australians Celebrate Christmas in July 2021

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Thinking about celebrating Christmas in July this year but not sure what to do? Wondering why Australians even celebrate Christmas in July? Well you’re in the right place. We’ve scoured the country to find the best Christmas in July ideas for 2021 and popped them here for you to explore.

This article will show you how, why and where Australians celebrate Christmas in July for your planning pleasure!

Why Australians celebrate Christmas in July

Australians don’t actually celebrate Christmas during the month of July – that still happens on December 25 when we have a summer Christmas. But it is still a popularnew-ish tradition where we enjoy a range of events that happen in July each year and have a wintery feel, so that we can feel a bit like our northern relatives.

What is Christmas in July?

‘Christmas in July’ is more of a concept – a fabulous excuse for a festive feast and an opportunity to enjoy the types of Christmassy things that don’t work in a blazing hot Australian summer (think snow, sweaters and roaring fireplaces).

While the phrase ‘Christmas in July’ can be traced back to the French opera Werther in 1892, and the first known ‘Christmas in July’ event occurred in 1933 at a girls’ summer camp in North Carolina, its appearance in Australia is less certain.

Legend says it’s thanks to some Irish tourists who were visiting the Blue Mountains in July 1980. It’s believed they convinced the proprietor of a local hotel to have a ‘Yulefest’ party to celebrate Xmas in July and it was such a success that the hotel ran it again the next year and the year after that, and the idea caught on. Whether fact or fiction, the reality is today ‘Christmas in July’ celebrations are a popular winter activity across our big, brown, beautiful country.

There is no specific Christmas in July date, as the events below show you, you can celebrate at any time in the month of July!

How Australians celebrate Christmas in July

In Australia, Christmas in July celebrations centre mostly around a sumptuous feast and plenty of festive decorations reminiscent of the white Christmases of the northern hemisphere. It’s a chance to don a crazy Christmas sweater or other Christmas outfit, (perhaps some Christmas earrings) indulge in eggnog or mulled wine, and cosy up in front of a roaring fire. In some Australian states it’s even cold enough for snow.

While some people throw their own Christmas in July party, there are plenty of restaurants, hotels, wineries and breweries that do all the hard work so all you have to do is turn up and enjoy the festivities. So if you’re looking for some Christmas in July ideas for 2021, read on to discover the range of events happening around Australia.

Australia Christmas in July – why wouldn’t you?

Christmas in July Adelaide

Beverley | Saturday 24 July 2021

Swing into Christmas in July celebrations with a dinner and dance extravaganza at the Halfway Hotel. You’ll enjoy a 3-course meal, a visit from Santa and then dance the night away with Adelaide’s hottest swing band “Lucky Seven”. The event starts at 7pm and you can do your bit for charity by taking part in raffles and an auction raising funds for Camp Quality.

Tickets – $49.90

To book your ticket visit the event website page.

Mawson Lakes | Saturday 24 July 2021

If you’re a fan of Cold Chisel you’ll love this Christmas in July celebration at the Mawson Lakes Hotel and Function Centre.  From 7-11.30pm you’ll enjoy a scrumptious buffet dinner with all the trimmings, a 5-hour beverage package, and live music from EAST, the Cold Chisel tribute band.

Tickets – $110

Book online at the event website page.

Modbury | Saturday 3 July 2021

This Christmas in July feast and show at Sfera’s Park Suites and Convention Centre will not disappoint. Adelaide’s hottest party band, Mr Buzzy, provide the entertainment for this 3-course meal with 5-hour beverage package.

Your dinner starts with a deluxe antipasto platter, and is followed by a combination plate of scotch fillet beef and chargrilled chicken fillet served with sweet potato mash and a red wine rosemary jus. Chocolate mud cake with raspberry coulis and fresh cream rounds out this decadent feast.

The event runs from 7pm to midnight, and for a little extra you can treat yourself to a VIP package with pre-dinner drinks, front row seats and a cocktail.

Early bird tickets – $90 (until 30 April) | Normal tickets – $100 | VIP package – additional $40 per person

To book your place visit the event website page.

Modbury North| Saturday 10 July 2021

Clovercrest Hotel gets in on the Christmas in July action with a 3-course dinner and show featuring the fabulous Final Touch. Dinner bookings can be made from 5.30pm onwards, with the band hitting the stage at 7.30pm.  The Clovey can also accommodate special dietary requirements if you let them know in advance.

Dinner and show – $50

For tickets or more information visit the event website page.

We also have Christmas events in Adelaide in December if you would rather be more traditional with your celebrations.

Christmas in July Brisbane

CBD | Sunday 10 July

Roma Street Parkland comes alive with the sound of Christmas carols when Christmas in July celebrations get underway in the amphitheatre. Starting at 2pm, the concert will be full of traditional and favourite Christmas carols, with a couple of Australian Christmas songs in there for good measure.

Entry – FREE

Find more information on the Roma Street Parkland Facebook page.

New Farm | Sunday 25 July 2021

Spicers Balfour Hotel invites you in from the cold to enjoy Christmas in July in the dining room of its luxe boutique hotel. Once a stunning Queensland home, The Balfour Kitchen and Bar is the perfect place to experience a northern hemisphere-style traditional Christmas. Featuring an indulgent 3-course menu, flowing with festive flavours, the Christmas in July gathering takes place over lunch from 12.30-3pm.

Adults – $65 | Children (under 12 years) – $25

To book, visit the Spicers Balfour Hotel event page.

Ormiston | Sunday 11 July 2021

Historic Ormiston House is serving up a refined event with stunning bay views. Christmas in July on the verandah is a gourmet high tea with a glass of sparkling on arrival. The Christmas high tea gets underway at 11.30am

Tickets – $45

For more information visit the Ormiston House website.

Samford | 26 July

Gather your friends and family for an afternoon of indulgent feasting at Pause restaurant in the heart of Samford. The 5-dish, 3-course Italian-inspired menu will be filled with Mediterranean comfort food and Pause favourites like seafood soup with borlotti, mussels with toasted garlic bread, and dried fig custard tarts. You’ll also enjoy an Italian-style mulled wine on arrival.

Tickets – $69

Bookings are essential. Visit the Pause Facebook page for more information.

South Bank | Saturday 24 July 2021 

Turn your Christmas in July celebrations into a cultural affair as the Queensland Pops Orchestra brings you a fabulous Yuletide knees up. Featuring the Three Tenors and soprano Emma Kavanagh, the midwinter concert is full of traditional and popular Christmas songs from around the world. Choose from the matinee at 2.30pm or the evening performance at 7.30pm, in the glorious surrounds of the QPAC Concert Hall.

Adults – $82-88 | Concession – $75-88 | Students – $30

For all the details visit the Qld Pops Orchestra website

Want to know what is happening in Brisbane for Christmas? We have that information too!

Christmas in July Melbourne

Dandenong Ranges | Various dates 2021

With frost on the ground, and maybe even a little bit of snow, the Dandenong Ranges provide a perfect backdrop for a classic winter Christmas feel. There are plenty of options to suit everyone. Visit their websites or Facebook pages for more information.

Fitzroy | Monday 19 July 2021

The Fitzroy Rotary Club is organising a night of Christmas in July fun at the Fitzroy Victoria Bowls Club from 6-9pm. Expect great food, some mulled wine and Christmas carols.

For more information visit their website.

Oakleigh | Wednesday 7 and 21 July 2021

The Leighoak Club is giving its monthly Morning Melodies a festive twist with TWO Christmas in July concerts. Starting at 11am, the festive celebration includes morning tea, the show, lunch and a Christmas gift.

Adults – $20

Visit the Leighoak Club Facebook page for all the details.

Southbank | Saturday 24 July 2021

P.J. O’Brien’s is hosting a 3-course Christmas in July dinner fit for a winter setting. Starting at 7pm you’re treated to a glass of mulled wine on arrival, winter vegetable soup, and traditional roast turkey and ham with heaps of typical winter roast vegetables. There’s a vegetarian shepherd’s pie available too. Cap off the meal with plum pudding or apple crumble. Children under 12 can choose their meals from a smaller kids menu.

Adults – $50 | Children (12 and under) – $15

Visit P.J. O’Brien’s website for full details.

These Christmas events in Melbourne will happen in the lead to our December Christmas.

Christmas in July Perth

Clarkson | July

Enjoy a delicious 3-course long lunch with all the trimmings at the Whale and Ale Christmas in July celebration. You’ll start with soup and a warm bread roll, then take your choice from roast turkey served with stuffing, roast potatoes, vegetables, gravy and cranberry sauce, or traditional fish and chips. There’s Christmas pudding with warm custard or pavlova with berry compote for dessert. The event runs from 11:45am – 5pm.

Adults – $35 | Seniors – $25

For more details visit the Whale and Ale Facebook page.

Karnup | Tuesday 8, Monday 18 & Tuesday 20 July 2021

Escape to the picturesque landscaped gardens of Peel Manor House for a wonderfully indulgent Christmas in July lunch. You can choose from 2 or 3 courses with soup for entrée, turkey and ham with all the trimmings, and traditional Christmas pudding and brandy custard to finish. The dining room will be decked out with plenty of Christmas decorations and bon bons and there’ll be plenty of Christmas tunes to have you singing along.

2-course – $35 | 3-course – $45

Full details including how to book are on the Peel Manor House Facebook page.

Mandurah | July

Enjoy all the fun of the fair when the Mandurah Caravan and Tourist Park hosts its popular Christmas in July fair. There’ll be market stall, food trucks, a festive bar, live music and a chance to meet Santa. The fair is on between 11am and 2pm.

Entry – FREE

Find more information on the Mandurah Caravan and Tourist Park Facebook page.

Northbridge | July

Get ready to put on your ugly Christmas jumper and rock around the Christmas tree at Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub Christmas in July celebrations. There are family friendly sessions at 12pm and 2pm with visits from Santa, and live music well into the evening so you can enjoy a day of celebration. If you’re keen for the full Christmas lunch experience, the chefs will have roast turkey and ham with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding. You can wash it all down with mulled wine, hot toddies, Irish coffee or maybe a pint of Guinness.

Turkey and ham special – $22 | Christmas pudding – $10

Bookings are essential. Find all the details on Durty Nelly’s Facebook page.

Scarborough | July

Christmas in July in Perth can still be a ‘by the beach’ affair when you join in the festivities at Galway Hooker. Instead of a set menu you can choose what you want. The chefs will add to the regular menu with roast turkey and ham with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding, and there’ll be mulled wine, hot toddies and Irish coffee to enjoy. Live music will fill the venue throughout the afternoon and into the evening, and for the little ones Santa will pop by at 12 and 2pm.

Turkey and ham special – $26 | Christmas pudding – $10

Bookings are essential. Visit the Galway Hooker Facebook page for all the details.

Fancy celebrating Christmas events in Perth in November & December? We show you where!

Christmas in July Sydney

Macmasters Beach | Tuesday 20 July 2021

Get crafty at this special Christmas in July event at Pieces to Treasure. You’ll enjoy a delicious Christmas lunch, including Christmas pudding and mulled wine, and have a chance to get your creative juices flowing sewing a special Christmas-themed project that will be revealed on the day.

Tickets – $45

For more details and to book visit the Pieces to Treasure website page.

CBD | Monday-Thursday July 2021

Turn your weekday into a celebration of Christmas with the special Christmas-themed lunch on offer at Strangers’ Restaurant in Sydney’s Parliament House. Executive chef Vanessa Harcourt and her team have devised a 3-course menu that showcases the wonderful delicacies and unique regions of New South Wales with a Christmas twist. Your lunch includes a glass of sparkling wine, or for a little extra you can add in wines specially selected to match each course. Christmas in July lunch is available from 12-3pm, with the last seating at 2pm.

3-course lunch – $72 | 3-course lunch with matching wines – $98

Bookings are essential. Visit the event website page for more information.

The Rocks The Rocks | 14-18 July

The Rocks Christmas in July village is back. Rug up and wander amongst the chalets of the French-style Christmas Village as you enjoy mulled wine and delicious French winter food. A part of the Bastille Festival, it will truly feel like a European Christmas with snowfalls machines, Christmas pines, fairy lighting and decorations, a fresh-made gingerbread house and Christmas carollers.

To see what else is happening this year, visit the Bastille Festival website.

Penrith | Tuesday 13 and 29 July 2021

Head along to the Pioneer Tavern and enjoy a 2-hour Christmas in July feast. The Pioneer serves up a 3-course meal with soup for entrée, a trio of roasts and traditional Christmas dessert. There’ll also be live entertainment to keep you in the festive spirit. Lunch is served from 12-2pm.

Tickets – $30

For more details or to make a booking visit the Pioneer Tavern website.

Sydney Harbour | Saturdays and Sundays July 2021 

Jump on board this Vagabond cruise and enjoy a delicious 3-hour seafood and carvery lunch followed by warm Christmas pudding with custard, fruit, coffee and tea. You’ll be entertained with live jazz music and, of course, Christmas carols. You can even bust out your ugliest sweater for a shot at a prize.

Adults – $75 | Concession – $65 | Children (5-14 years) – $59.11 | Children (0-4 years) – Free

Book your tickets on the event website page.

Sydney Harbour | Saturday 24 July 2021

Dust off the Santa outfits, elf ears and Christmas colours for this Christmas in July party from Yeah Buoy and Constellation Cruises. It’s a Christmas fancy-dress affair and you can choose an afternoon cruise from 2-6pm or an evening cruise from 7-11pm. You’ll have DJS playing house, disco and techno on 3 stages across 3 levels.

Tickets – $63.29 – $94.61

Bookings can be made via the event website page.

These Christmas events in Sydney will happen in at the end of this year.

Other places Australians celebrate Christmas in July

Christmas in July – Blue Mountains | New South Wales

The place where it’s all said to have begun. ‘Yulefest’ remains a major feature on the Blue Mountains communities’ calendar. Cold winds and occasional snowfalls provide a perfect setting to celebrate Christmas in July Blue Mountains style. If you are a photographer, get your camera ready, because the view is spectacular!

You’ll enjoy warm ‘Mountains’ hospitality alongside log fires, sing-alongs and wonderful Christmas fare. There’ll be Christmas trees and decorations at every turn, and an occasional sighting of Santa. From hotels to cottages, tearooms to underground caves there are seemingly endless opportunities for celebrating Christmas in July.

To find out all the details about Yulefest visit the Blue Mountains website.

Cradle Mountain | Tasmania

Cradle Mountain Hotel’s Christmas in July feast is back with gusto, taking place across 4 weekends in 2021. The traditional Christmas buffet feast will be held on Saturday 10, 17, 24 and 31 July with live music and a visit from the man in red who’ll bring treats for the kids. The team will be serving mulled wine and hot chocolate (some with a sneaky Baileys shot), and with a little luck there might even be some snow to make it a white Christmas celebration.

Adults – $95 | Children (12 and over) – $45 | Children (under 12) – Free

For more details or to make a booking, visit the Cradle Mountain Hotel website.

Southern Downs and Granite Belt | Queensland

The coldest place in Queensland during winter is the perfect location to enjoy Christmas in July celebrations.  The cool temperatures mean roaring fires and the chance of snow, so you have good reason to wear your best Christmas sweater.

The region has plenty on offer throughout the month of July with a range of festive feasts in wineries and restaurants; a 1920s inspired cocktail party; and a Christmas-themed dinner and movie night.

For a full list of events and dates, visit the Southern Downs and Granite Belt website.

Other Christmas-like events across Australia

Looking for some other Christmas in July ideas that don’t involve big feasts? There are lots of winter wonderland style events that give the feel of a northern Christmas

Snow Time in the Garden | Hunter Valley, New South Wales

The annual winter celebration in Pokolbin is back in 2021 with a range of activities for kids of all ages. There’s a 9D immersive virtual-reality snow experience, a 40-metre ice slide to toboggan down and ice skating. You can watch ice-sculpting demonstrations and can even build a snowman. Snow Time in the Garden also has a dedicated play zone and rides like the ferris wheel and carousel, and 14 hectares of beautiful gardens to explore.

Dates: 19 June to 18 July 2021

Website: Hunter Valley Gardens

Winterland | Campbelltown, New South Wales

The magic of winter comes alive with the ever-popular Winterland festival at Koshigaya Park in Campbelltown. Featuring an open-air ice rink, a genuine ice slide and an alpine food village the festival has a wide array of activities, entertainment and amusement rides to suit all tastes.

Dates: June-July 2021 (Dates to be confirmed)

Website: Campbelltown City Council

The Winter Village | Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth

The Winter Village is a delightful and magical winter wonderland that has something for the whole family. Enjoy ice-skating and the wonder of snow showers (albeit the pretend kind of snow) and keep an eye out for other events and activities that will pop up throughout the winter months. There’s also a pop-up bar and kitchen, and you can cosy up in one of the private igloos that are decked out with comfy armchairs, soft cushions and twinkling fairy lights.

Entry is Free. Igloo packages for 2-8 people are available from $49 per person.

Dates:

  • Adelaide – 14 May-5 September
  • Brisbane – 3 June-29 August
  • Melbourne – 13 May-29 August
  • Perth – 28 May-5 September

Website: The Winter Village

Sovereign Hill Christmas in July – Winter Wonderlights | Ballarat 2021

The Christmas in July event at Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill is a month-long celebration. The gold rush heritage village turns into a winter wonderland with a European-style street market, falling snow (the pretend kind) at set times during the day, and lights and 3D cinema projected onto the facades of buildings in Main Street during the evening. There’s also Christmas story-telling, a range of shows in the theatre and a brass band, and of course you can pan for gold as usual and maybe find your own Christmas gift.

Dates: 26 June to 18 July 2021

Website: Sovereign Hill

We hope the above article has given you some more information about the meaning of Christmas in July for Australians.

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