Essential Christmas events

Christmas shouldn’t just be about presents and food. Embrace the feel-good spirit of Christmas with these events that are fun for young and old.

Christmas laneways

Melbourne’s most popular laneways across the city will be decked out in boughs of holly this year, with lights, baubles and reindeer, too. Head to Manchester Lane, Alfred Place, Howie Place, Meyers Place and more across the CBD to soak up some Christmas cheer. You can’t get a more #melbmoment than that. It’s all part of the Christmas Festival, is an amazing array of free sights, sounds and experiences for young and old. Other highlights include Christmas Projections at Federation Square, State Library of Victoria and Docklands and the Christmas Festival Hub at the Federation Square. Find out more at our Christmas Festival guide. And don’t forget download the Christmas Festival app, Santa’s Lil Helper, to add another dimension to your laneway experience.

A city laneway lit up at night

Christmas laneways

Old-timey Christmas

The Gingerbread Village by Epicure is free, but gold-coin donations are welcomed for the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. Spot your favourite Melbourne buildings and landmarks in miniature — all made out of pretty gingerbread. Can you see the cheeky little gingerbread chefs getting up to mischief? There’s much fun to be had, and you can buy tasty treats to go.

A modle of Flemington Racecourse made of gingerbread

Gingerbread village

Christmas concerts at Melbourne Recital Centre

See animated film The Snowman projected on the big screen while a live orchestra plays at the Melbourne Recital Centre on December 9. Or don your best red-and-white stripes for Lah-Lah’s Stripy Christmas on December 16. The award-winning band will transform Elisabeth Murdoch Hall into a family dancefest, with brand new Christmas tunes plus some old favourites.

A book illustration of a snowman and small boy.

The Snowman at Melbourne Recital

Carols by Candlelight

An all-singing, all-dancing spectacular, the iconic Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight celebrates its 80th birthday this year. Pack a picnic and a rug and head to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl to see your favourite entertainers in action. Sunday 24 December.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Christmas

Join the MSO and the MSO Chorus for some delightfully fun Christmas-inspired tunes at Hamer Hall. From crowd favourites like Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker to ‍J.S. Bach’s distinguished Christmas Oratorio, this festive concert is sure to please. Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Christmas is on December 16 at 7.30pm.

Two people holding musical instruments looking up at a sprig of mistletoe being held by a third person

Join the MSO for Christmas favourites at Hamer Hall

Christmas Cruises

Celebrate the year’s end with colleagues, friends or family on a Christmas Cruise aboard the Lady Cutler. The three-and-a-half hour cruise includes a live band, DJ, unlimited canapes and standard drinks and, of course, fine river and city views. Friday and Saturday nights, December 1-16.

The Temptations at Sofitel

Remember ‘Papa was a Rolling Stone’, ‘My Girl’ and ‘Since I Lost my Baby’? One of the world’s most successful soul groups, The Temptations, takes centre-stage at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins’ Grand Ballroom this December. The Temptations – In Cabaret dinner and show season runs from December 13 to 16.

A group of five men dressed in matching suits.

Sofitel Presents The Temptations

11th Annual Hello Music Carols by Daylight

Carols by Daylight is a fun-filled, singalong family event featuring the combined Australian Schools Orchestra, Santa Claus and more!‍ December 10‍, from 3pm at Deakin Edge, Federation Square.

Santa Claus singing with a guitar at an outdoor concert.

Carols By Daylight