Last week before Christmas and there’s festive events galore! If you haven’t visited the city’s Christmas events yet make sure you read my step-by-step guide for a FREE Christmas adventure in Melbourne
What’s On will be taking a short break and returning in 2016. Until then check out the list of all the free water play areas in Melbourne and surrounds, National Gallery of Victoria’s newest children’s exhibition Studio Cats: Andy Warhol and Ai Wei Wei for Kids and my Top 10 attractions at NGV International for a half-day arty adventure!
CBD / Docklands
- Royal Croquet Club (Fri 18 Dec – Sun 20 Dec) – food, entertainment and croquet at Birrarung Marr. READ THE REVIEW.
- City Lane Ice Cream Donut Pop Up (Fri 18 Dec – Sun 20 Dec) – 3 limited edition ice cream flavours in a donut!
- Arts Centre Melbourne Dance Floor (Fri 18 Dec – Wed 23 Dec) – As dancers leap, twirl and tiptoe across the space their steps ignite a light and sound spectacular.
- Santa’s Circus Spectacular at Wonderland Fun Park (Fri 18 Dec – Thu 24 Dec) – See the crazy acrobatic elves get themselves into all sorts of mischief in Santa’s Toy Workshop. he North Pole with snow falls daily and the one and only talking tree complete with Santa’s Mailbox to post those special letters.
- Gingerbread Village Melbourne Town Hall (Fri 18 Dec – Thu 24 Dec) – display of Melbourne’s iconic landmarks – all made out of gingerbread and fondant icing. READ THE REVIEW.
- Melbourne Town Hall Projections and Christmas Square (Fri 18 Dec – Fri 25 Dec) – City Square will be transformed into Christmas Square, a magical forest offering festive fun for families and children. By day, discover nutcracker soldiers, interactive candy canes, free photos with Santa and visit Intel’s interactive RealSense area and explore an exciting glimpse of the future. By night, enjoy the Christmas sound and light show wonderlands.
- Lego Christmas Tree Federation Square (Fri 18 Dec – Sun 27 Dec) – Marvel as Fed Square’s spectacular LEGO Christmas tree comes to life with a magical lightshow set to your favourite Christmas carols.
- Christmas Spectacular at Crown (Fri 18 Dec – Thu 3 Jan) – lighting and musical display every 30 minutes between 10am and midnight daily, visit Santa and take a free photo.
- Lost at Artplay (Fri 18 Dec – Sun 17 Jan) – The ArtPlay Performance and Art Clubbers have joined forces to produce this intriguing installation. Can you find the lost things?
- QV Outdoor Cinema (Fri 18 Dec – Sun 28 Feb) – December program will feature a host of Christmas classics including Home Alone, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Bad Santa, Miracle on 34th Street and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
- Southgate Christmas Performers (Sat 19 Dec) – Christmas show, face painting, Christmas balloon art and the chance to make their own decorations.
- A Very Koorie Christmas (Sat 19 Dec)- Traditional basket weaving demonstrations and workshops, choirs, live music and storytelling, Kid’s activities inspired by Koorie culture.
- Little Sparrow Market Federation Square (Sun 20 Dec) – design market that aims to showcase products which are of high quality and workmanship and are ethically made or produced and feature the work of emerging and established designers.
- Melbourne Made Gift Market (Sun 20 Dec) – Over 70 artists, makers and masters with independent design. Ethical production. Melbourne made.
- Merry-Go-Market Queen Victoria Market (Sun 20 Dec) – This family event focuses on fun activities for mini Marketeers. The Market will come to life with a Petting Zoo, Paint Pot People, live kids entertainment, face painting, balloon artists and much more.
- LEGO Christmas Decoration Build (Sun 20 Dec) – Build your own LEGO decorations to take home with you in this festive workshop for the whole family!
- Jimmy Giggle’s Christmas Party, Arts Centre Melbourne (Sun 20 Dec – Tue 23 Dec) – The magic of Christmas will come alive with Jimmy – joined by Hoot and Hootabelle, the super talented songstress Ali McGregor and a very special guest appearance from Santa and his elves.
- Queen Victoria Night Market (Wed 23 Dec) – Eat and drink your way around the world one dish at a time with more than 50 street food traders cooking up a global feast plus specialty shopping and entertainment.
- Outdoor Cinema (Wed 23 Dec) – Pull up a deckchair in front of the Big Screen and relax with family-friendly Christmas films every Wednesday.
- Fed Square Live: Christmas Eve Concert (Thu 24 Dec) – Enjoy a Christmas Eve outdoor concert as part of Fed Square’s free live music series.
- Storytime Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty (Fri 18 Dec – Sun 20 Dec) – Everyone’s favourite fairytale ballet comes to life in a brand-new production of The Sleeping Beauty for children aged 3 and up.
- Play Pod new season State Library of Victoria (Fri 18 Dec – Mon 29 Feb) – play space inspired by Where the Wild Things Are. READ THE REVIEW.
- Our Land is Alive: Hermannsburg Potters for Kids at NGV Australia (Fri 18 Dec– Apr 16) – The exhibition presents a major NGV commission of twenty AFL-themed Hermannsburg pots which depict iconic moments for Aboriginal players in the AFL. READ THE REVIEW.
- Studio Cats: Andy Warhol and Ai Wei Wei for Kids (Fri 11 Dec – Sat 24 Apr) – large-scale installation especially for children and families that draws upon creative connections between the two artists and their mutual love of cats. READ THE REVIEW.
NORTH / NORTH-EAST
- Coburg Night Market (Fri 18 Dec) – food trucks, artisan crafts, live music and dance sessions every Friday.
- Walk Through Bethlehem (Fri 18 Dec – Sun 20 Dec) – recreate the atmosphere of Bethlehem at the time of Christ.
SOUTH / SOUTH-EAST / BAYSIDE
- Moon Flower Night Market (Fri 18 Dec) – inspiring artists and artisans, cool tunes and awesome street food every Friday night Dec – Jan.
- Greater Dandenong Carols by Candlelight (Fri 18 Dec) – live music and entertainment, appearance by Santa and community food stalls.
- Santa’s Mailbox, South Melbourne Market (from Fri 18 Dec) – Santa has given South Melbourne Market a special mailbox for kids to post their letters while visiting the Market.
- Christmas Craft South Melbourne Market (Tue 22 Dec – Wed 23 Dec) – craft workshops for kids to build terrariums, Christmas decorations, Mexican craft.
- Miss Maker Pop Up Market (Fri 18 Dec – Sat 26 Dec) – showcasing Victorias finest Handmade, Local, Sustainable, Ethical products for you and your family.
- Santa’s Magical Kingdom at Caulfield Racecourse (Fri 18 Dec- Wed 23 Dec) – magical Christmas walk-through wonderland, Snow Castle and Activity Land, Christmas craft area, Ferris Wheel, Santa’s Sleigh Ride and Australia’s largest super slide. READ THE REVIEW.
- KFC Big Bash League at MCG (Sun 20 Dec) – BBL matches are fast-paced, with non-stop entertainment on and off the field, all taking place in a safe, fun and friendly atmosphere.
- Santa’s Grotto Eastland (Fri 18 Dec – Thu 24 Dec) – meet Santas and have photos. SEE OUR INSTAGRAM.
- Circus Latino Point Cook (Fri 18 Dec – Sat 24 Dec) – South American Circus includes amazing Trapeze, Argentinean Gaucho act, Jugglers, Latin dancers.
- Christmas windows at Post Industrial Design (Fri 18 Dec – Jan 2016) – Jos Van Hulsen’s annual Christmas window celebrating Melbourne’s west. Open Studios Artist Talk Sun 29 Nov. READ THE REVIEW.
- Highpoint Pop Up Park (Fri 18 Dec – late Jan) – green oasis and play space with free fun program of events.
- Book Swap Bike Highpoint (Sat 19 Dec – Sun 20 Dec) – bring a preloved book and swap it for another book at Highpoint’s Pop Up Park.
- Yarraville Carols (Sat 19 Dec) – MC William McInnes, a guest appearance by Santa and a show stopping fireworks display.
- Newport Carols By Candlelight (Sat 19 Dec) – Join in the spirit of Christmas with song.
- Altona Meadows Carols By Candlelight (Sat 19 Dec) – Join in the spirit of Christmas with song
- Altona Miniature Railway public day (Sun 20 Dec) – Every third Sunday of the month the Altona Miniature Railway is opened to members of the public and members take kids and adults on rides on the mini steam and diesel engines. READ THE REVIEW.
- Williamstown Carols By Candlelight (Sun 20 Dec) – Join in the spirit of Christmas with song.
- Carols at Overnewton Castle (Sun 20 Dec) – fantastic evening for the whole family, the glorious grounds of the Castle will come alive with the sights and sounds of Christmas cheer, including a special visit from Santa and his friends from the North Pole.
- Werribee Open Range Zoo Christmas Concert (Sat 20 Dec) – Christmas carols will be performed by the Werribee Concert Band and With One Voice choir and the animals will share in the festive cheer, with some special enrichment treats hidden in brightly wrapped boxes, bon bons and sacks.
- The Colour Club Highpoint (Mon 21 Dec) – free weekly events for children and their carers.
- Santa’s arrival at WOW Challenge Williamstown (Sat 19 Dec) – Santa will arrive on lifesaving boat and hand out treats.