12 ideas for family fun this festive season

Planning a special family pilgrimage into the city this Christmas? Or simply looking for some quality time together, away from all those copious commitments? Here are twelve things you and your brood can enjoy together this festive season.

  1. For the ultimate Christmas experience, no child (or adult for that matter) can go past a visit to City Square, aka Christmas Square. Transformed into a vibrant, magical forest for the month of December, you’ll find a giant Christmas tree, Santa and his helpers, and even his postbox (with a reply from the man himself guaranteed) You can also catch a storytime session on selected weekdays.
  2. The Gingerbread Village in Melbourne Town Hall will delight all ages. Spot iconic Melbourne locations, purchase festive buttery biscuits, and make a donation to support the Royal Children’s Hospital.


    Head to the Gingerbread Village this Christmas.

  3. If the kids can stay up past 9pm (eeek!), Melbourne Town Hall lights up once again this year with magical Christmas projections. Discover the story of the Nutcracker’s Melbourne Christmas, or see the new light show at Federation Square.
  4. Ever wondered how an 18th century home was decorated for the festive season? Visit Cooks’ Cottage in the Fitzroy Gardens to find out. When the kids have had enough, there’s oodles of green space to run around and explore, including the Fairies’ Tree and model Tudor Village.
  5. Who doesn’t have childhood memories of visiting the Myer windows at Christmas time? On display annually, this iconic Melbourne tradition transforms the enormous Myer windows into a different festive fable each year.

    Myer’s Christmas decorations aren’t to be missed. [Photo: Grace Petrou]

  6. Escape the Christmas rush and let the calm of the NGV wash over you – and the kids. Here, you’ll find Atelier: Viktor&Rolf for Kids, an interactive fashion installation especially for families, where little ones are encouraged to express their creativity through multimedia and hands-on activities.
  7. Santa’s head elf and his cheeky friends bring Santa’s workshop to Melbourne in a fun-filled circus spectacular. These naughty ’n nice elves perform incredible acrobatic feats and circus stunts at Santa’s Christmas Spectacular at the Wonderland Spiegeltent, Docklands on Saturdays and Sundays until 18 December.
  8. Never mind a white Christmas, say hello to a very merry summer with QV’s outdoor cinema. Screening favourites including Elf, Bad Santa and The Nightmare Before Christmas are showing this year, so bag a deckchair and bring the whole family.
  9. When Santa isn’t travelling in a sleigh, how do you think he navigates all that ice and snow? Join the merry man on ice this December at O’Brien Group Arena. Free 15 minute lessons are also available.
  10. Skip the complaints and tired feet – let the kids entertain themselves at The Smurfs Village and Smurfs exhibition. While you tick off their Christmas wish lists, children can enjoy blue-filled fun and activities in Harbour Town.
  11. For a real holiday treat (and only if you’re ready for the sugar high to follow), discover the delights of the world’s first permanent Kit Kat ‘Chocolatory’. Choose from handcrafted limited edition flavours, or design your own delectable treat from a range of irresistible combinations.
  12. What festive season would be complete without a Christmas market? Join Melbourne’s finest makers, bakers and artists at the Flemington Racecourse Christmas Market for a jolly holly family day on 18 December from 9am to 2pm.

After more ideas? You’ll find plenty of Christmas-y things to do (or just plain normal things to do) on our website.