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A guide to the Christmas Festival

Over four festive weeks, Melbourne lights up for the Christmas Festival. City residents, workers and visitors alike are invited to explore and discover the magic around every corner. With decorations, installations, special events and activities for all, there’s nothing quite like Christmas in the city. 

Christmas Square 

The heart of Christmas in the city, Christmas Square offers an amazing array of free sights, sounds and experiences. The centrepiece is the glorious 16-metre tall LED Christmas Tree, featuring 192 individually-programmed LED branches topped by a twinkling star. Get to Fed Square after dark to watch it come to life in a spectacular sound and light show. Don’t miss the Festival Launch Party on Friday 29 November where you’ll see the 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. 

A group of people looking at twinkling Christmas tree and giant bauble made from Christmas lights

Christmas Festival

Giant Christmas Bauble

Melbourne’s favourite selfie spot returns! Glittering by day at Christmas Square and twinkling by night, this six-metre-high white wonder is the perfect spot for Christmas kisses and festive photos.

Santa’s House

Visit Santa’s House at Christmas Square to see the man himself, along with his merry helpers. There are free daily activities for the little ones, plus a chance to tell Santa what’s top of your Christmas list. Open daily 30 November to 24 December, including until 7pm on Thursdays and Fridays. 

Santa’s House

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. At Federation Square from 8pm to 9pm, Saturday 21 December.

Christmas Projections

The city’s beloved Christmas Projections are back, bringing the magic of light to landmark locations. This year’s luminescent journey starts 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. The projections can be viewed every night from 29 November to 25 December.

Colourful projections on Melbourne's Town Hall Building. The pillars appear empasised in yellow and other parts of building have blue projections - there's also a big red bow.

Melbourne Town Hall

Christmas decorations

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 giant reindeer at Docklands, the new giant present box at Southbank, and more nutcrackers than ever at a number of new locations.

Gingerbread Village at St. Collins Lane

The Gingerbread Village is a  fun-filled activity for the whole family. Follow the heavenly scent to a delicious Christmas tradition: Melbourne’s iconic landmarks, recreated in gingerbread. What new creations will the Epicure master bakers create this year?  Kids will enjoy a range of activities and plenty of treats, while delicious baked goods make the perfect addition to your Christmas table. Open daily from Saturday 30 November to Tuesday 24 December at St Collins Lane. 

Gingerbread Village showing Luna Park complete with roller coaster, merry go round and people all made from gingerbread

Gingerbread Village

Christmas Compass VR

Discover all of the magic of Melbourne at Christmas in a tiny VR world! Put on your virtual reality headset and navigate through the city’s biggest Christmas events and festivities. Open daily from 10am to 6pm, 30 November to 24 December.

Carlton outdoor 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. Screenings are on Saturday 30 November and Saturday 7, 14 and 21 December.

Santa’s Post Box

What are you hoping to find under your tree this year? Drop your letter into Santa’s Mailbox at the Australia Post GPO on Elizabeth Street, or the letterbox outside The District Docklands, and wait for your personalised reply. Just make sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Or, share the joy and choose a present for someone who might otherwise miss out –  you can drop your gift donations at the Giving Box at Australia Post GPO. From 4 November to 11 December.