Things to do in Melbourne

Experience A Magical Christmas in Melbourne in 2023 | Carnival, Concerts, Light Installations, and More!

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Australia’s cultural capital takes on a colourful and festive mood during Christmas. Soak in the heady display of decorations and light installations, bustling markets, and festival-themed carnivals. The delicious baked goods and buzzing restaurant scenes only add to the magic of the season in Melbourne.

Top Things to Do around Melbourne during Christmas

#1 Larger-Than-Life Christmas Projections and Installations

Christmas is serious business in Melbourne! Many of the city’s landmarks take on festive colours during the season and showcase delightful projections and installations. The State Library Victoria and Melbourne Town Hall make for colourful displays. There are also reindeers, stars, and Nutcracker soldiers that occupy the cityscape.

Christmas in Melbourne

#2 Have a Rollicking Time at Melbourne’s Christmas Carnival

Melbourne hosts a Christmas Carnival on the banks of Birrarung every year starting on the 14th of December. Walk in for free and spend an entire evening playing carnival games, chomping down fair food, and driving the dodgems. The star of the carnival night is the Sky Flyer that treats you to panoramic views of the city. The Carnival starts at 2 PM every day and goes on till 10 PM. The last day is 24th December.

Christmas in Melbourne

#3 Enjoy the Sound and Light Show at Federation Square

Join the crowds of Christmas revellers as they gather to watch the city’s 16.5 LED Christmas Tree light up every evening. The evenings also feature a spectacular sound and light show, carol-singing choirs, food stalls and twinkling decorations. Sing along with Christmas choirs and grab a bite at one of the Square’s many food stalls.

Christmas in Melbourne

#4 Have a Musical Christmas with Carols and Concerts

Melbourne casts a musical spell on you during the festive season with a carol-filled Christmas Eve at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl - a celebrated annual tradition. There is also the “Noel! Noel!” Concert Series performed by the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and the Brandenburg Choir on 16th December. The kids too can spend the holidays on a musical note with “Classic Kids: A Symphonic Christmas” at the Arts Centre Melbourne.

Christmas in Melbourne

#5 Witness Christmas at the Cinema in Melbourne

Catch classics at various venues across the city during Christmas as well! At Capitol Theatre, from 2nd December onwards, you can enjoy “The Elf”, “The Polar Express”, “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” and other gems. All the proceeds will go to Make Room, an initiative that supports the homeless. To make the most of a summer Christmas, pack a picnic and head to Federation Square. From the 20th of December, the venue will screen a Christmas-themed film a day till the 24th of December. The line-up includes “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”, “Miracle on 34th Street”, and “It’s A Wonderful Life”. For the complete theatre experience, buy your tickets at the box offices at Nova Cinemas and Palace Cinemas.

Christmas in Melbourne

#6 Check out the Christmas Experiences for Children in Melbourne

Whether you are looking to entertain your little one or the child in you, Christmas in Melbourne does not disappoint! The Docklands Christmas Maze is where the kids are enlisted to help Santa find his elves. The maze is filled with giant Christmas presents that are thrown in as obstacles and the winners walk away with prizes too! At Argyle Square, you can roller skate in a decked-up rink. And at Puffing Billy, bundle for The Polar Express ride as the attraction makes a comeback this year!

Christmas in Melbourne

#7 Set Your Sights on the Christmas River Show

Starting off on November 24th and on till Christmas Day, the River Show is a local favourite. You can sign up for 15-minute shows every night and watch water fountains, lasers, light projections and music in a spectacular showdown on the South Bank.

Christmas in New York

#8 A Fun Family Outing at Christmas Under The Big Top

The Burnley Oval transforms into a cheery wonderland when Christmas Under The Big Top comes to town. A particular favourite with families, you can spend a day watching performances by the Circus Royale. Meet up with Santa Claus’ elves and Mrs. Claus for storytelling sessions and write last-minute letters to Santa, trying to convince him to put you on his ‘Nice’ list. Elmo and the Cookie Monster also sprinkle a bit of Sesame Street fun. On your way out, pick up specially-baked treats and crafts that will stay with you for the rest of the season.

Christmas in Melbourne

#9 Head Over to AdventurePark for the Christmas Festival of Lights

A short drive from Melbourne, AdventurePark hosts Victoria’s largest Christmas Festival of Lights each year. More than 3.3 million lights and over 1000 installations enthral you at the Park. The fairytale-like experience continues with themed-park rides, performances and other razzle-dazzles. Don’t miss the Elf Trapeze Show and an animated musical featuring polar bears and other festival characters. And when you need an adrenaline high, head over to the park’s rides, including the Crazy Coaster, Wave Swinger, Ferris Wheel, Speedway Cars and more.

Christmas in New York

#10 Go on a Shopping Spree at Melbourne’s Christmas Markets

Impress your loved ones with thoughtful gifts from Christmas markets and pop-ups in Melbourne. Browse through hundreds of stalls to pick up vintage clothing, handmade jewellery, ceramics, homewares, toys, books and more. The markets are also a perfect place to stock up on baked goodies from local bakeries. Your shopping experience is further enhanced by choir singers, refreshing drinks and delicious food from market stalls and food trucks.

#11 Eat Out and Drink Up at Melbourne’s Best Restaurants and Bars

The city’s thriving restaurant and bar scene go all out to spread the joy of eating and merrymaking during the season. Special menus and offers mean you’ll have your pick of fashionable cocktails, specially crafted burgers, high teas with caviar and champagne, and festive desserts that satisfy every sugar craving.

#12 Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with Baked Goodies

When it comes to desserts, Melbourne embraces traditional recipes. Bakers around town serve up buttery panettones, flaky mince tarts, boozy cakes, and more!

Christmas in New York
Christmas in New York
Christmas in New York


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Christmas in New York Guide