Between Christmas drinks and shopping for gifts, party food and something nice to wear, Christmas can be an expensive time of year. Never fear, there’s plenty of free festive fun in Melbourne, from a rendezvous with Santa to Myer’s famous Christmas windows.
The heart of Christmas in the city, Christmas Square offers an amazing array of free sights, sounds and experiences. Kick-off the festivities with the Festival Launch Party on Friday 29 November, where you’ll see the spectacular 16-metre high LED Christmas Tree light-up for the first time. Then, watch little faces shine as the sleigh bells ring, heralding the arrival of a very special guest. Over four festive weeks, the magic will continue with nightly light and sound shows, Santa’s House offering daily activities, and the photogenic Giant Christmas Bauble.
Gravy Day Singalong
Share in the merriment at the Gravy Day Singalong as special guest Clair Bowditch leads a public singalong of Paul Kelly’s iconic Christmas anthem, How to Make Gravy. Not confident in your singing abilities? Fear not – this hour-long celebration promises to be a whole lot of fun for everyone. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy watching a specially curated Christmas Tree light show.
Gingerbread Village at St. Collins lane
See if you can spot iconic Melbourne landmarks built entirely from gingerbread, and catch the Epicure gingerbread chefs getting up to mischief! With activities and plenty of treats for the kids, as well as delicious baked goods that make fantastic gifts, the Gingerbread Village is sure to add smiles to your festive season. Open 9am to 8.15pm daily.
Myer Christmas Windows
Now in its 64th year, the unveiling of the Myer Christmas Window is one of Melbourne’s most eagerly anticipated Christmas traditions. Following the great reveal on Sunday 10 November, the windows will remain a popular attraction throughout the festive season. Join the queue to make your way past each beautiful scene, which this year celebrates, May Gibbs, a much-loved Australian female author and illustrator.
A city favourite, these annual projections bring the magic of light to iconic locations. This year’s Christmas Projections start with a feature show at State Library Victoria, a very Melbourne Night Before Christmas, written by Marieke Hardy and narrated by Lee Lin Chin. You’ll also see Melbourne Town Hall bathed in a beautiful display, along with a brand new site: Princes Bridge.
Get / Festive
QV Melbourne’s central plaza is transformed into a Christmas hub with everything from merry pet photos to personalised ribbons on boxes of Lindt chocolate. Get / Festive’s big, free magnet for all this Yuletide fun is Australia’s first walk-through Christmas tree. It’s 15-metres high, with amazing animated lights and Christmas characters inside and out. Wow! Season runs until Sunday 22 December.
Silent Disco Night Tour
Get out and explore the city at night – complete with your own disco soundtrack. Put on the wireless headphones at the Silent Night Disco Tour and lose yourself to the roving audio adventure as you groove along with all your favourite Christmas hits.
Carlton Christmas Cinema
Every Saturday night during the Christmas Festival, Argyle Square will transform into the outdoor Carlton Christmas Cinema. Take a leisurely stroll on Lygon Street and grab dinner before the sun sets, then settle in to enjoy one of four epic Christmas classics under the stars.
From twinkling lights and glittering stars to everyone’s favourite nutcrackers, the city becomes a merry fantasy land of Christmas decorations for Christmas 2019. Don’t miss the new giant reindeer at Docklands, the present box at Southbank and more nutcrackers than ever at a number of new locations.
A very messy Christmas at Globe Alley
For one night only, you’re invited to let your hair down and enjoy the festive spirit at Globe Alley’s A very messy Christmas. Chow down on their infamous burgers, enjoy Christmas specials all night long, and rock out till late with some of Melbourne’s best bands. Saturday 21 December.
8 Days of Christmas at Section 8
Melbourne’s original container bar, Section 8, is holding its own epic Christmas celebration. Over eight days, more than 40 artists, musicians and DJs will come together to share inclusive, creative fun. Don’t miss opening night on Wednesday 18 December, which will raise funds for Black Rainbow – a not-for-profit supporting LGBTI Indigenous youth. The 8 days of Christmas festival will conclude on Christmas Day with a free BBQ, where all Christmas orphans are welcomed to enjoy a shared meal. 18 to 25 December.