City of Melbourne always hosts a crackerload of Christmas events, activities and markets (pun intended) so here’s a list of 33 free Christmas events and attractions in 2017.
Click here to get a pdf of Christmas in Melbourne 2017 guide.
Write a letter to Santa and drop it in his Mailbox and if you include a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with your letter, you’ll receive a personalised reply!
Also place a gift in the Australia Post Spirit of Giving box with a tag referencing the age appropriateness of the gift.
Santa’s Mailbox | 3 November to 15 December| Outside the Australia Post GPO and The District, Docklands
The 62nd Myer Christmas windows are based the original story of Elf and ‘The completely and utterly, absolutely perfect Christmas’ written and illustrated by H C Floren. There’s also an app to bring the story alive!
Myer Christmas Windows | Sunday 12 November – Sunday 7 Jan 2018 | 7:30am – late, Myer Melbourne Bourke Street
Your one-stop Christmas shop plus meet Santa. Note fees apply for photography and there is an online booking system (though you can try to walk in).
Myer Giftorium and Santaland | Sunday 12 November – Sunday 7 Jan 2018, Bourke Street Mall
The Old Treasury Building is once again showcasing homemade decorations of the 1920s!
Christmas at Old Treasury | Monday 13 November to Friday 5 January, Old Treasury Building
Free family-friendly events at QV Square including free Christmas Carousel, Christmas balloon selfie station, free pop up bar, dance battles, dog photography and more.
Wrap Party QV | 6-22 December | QV Square QV Melbourne
New art and design market located in the brand spanking new Art Collective hub of Docklands featuring some of Melbourne’s most creative and skilful artists and designers.
Blender Lane Night Market | 17 November to 22 December, The District
Christmas lights up at Crown with festive entertainment and free Santa photos from 12pm – 6pm daily in The Atrium, Crown Towers. You can also explore Crown’s exclusive Christmas ArtVo Exhibition, an interactive ‘trick-art’ gallery, on Level 1 near Village Cinemas
Christmas at Crown | Saturday 26 November – Sunday 24 December | From 10am every half hour
Wander through the Arts Centre Melbourne forecourt to discover original gift ideas and one-of-a-kind handmade goods. Everything at this market is made locally.
Arts Centre Melbourne Saturday Christmas Market | Saturday 18 November, 25 November and 2 December, 10am to 4pm, St Kilda Road
Before you head into the CBD Download Santa’s Lil Helper at the App Store or Google Play and discover Christmas wonderlands and animated characters in Melbourne’s laneways with augmented reality.
Christmas Festival App: Santa’s Lil Helper | Friday 24 November to Monday 25 December, Laneways across the city
Celebrate the beginning of City of Melbourne’s Christmas Festival by welcoming Santa to Melbourne, as he arrives at the brand-new Christmas Festival hub in Fed Square. Roving performers and the lighting of the brand-new Christmas tree.
Christmas Festival launch and tree lighting | Friday 24 November from 7pm, Federation Square
Visit Degraves Street, Manchester Lane, Alfred Place, Howey Place, Meyers Place and more to enjoy decorations and Christmas cheer in Melbourne’s iconic laneways.
Christmas Laneways | Friday 24 November – Monday 25 December, across the city
City of Melbourne’s Christmas celebrations are centred around Federation Square this year. You’ll find Santa underneath the new supersized 16 metre tall Christmas tree, take a selfie inside a 6m high white bauble, visit the ‘Be Present’ Snow Dome and be filmed singing along to your favourite Christmas Carol and every night from 9pm be amazed at the Christmas tree light show.
Christmas at Federation Square | 24 November – 25 December | Daily | 9am – late
The Christmas light show will run every half hour, from dusk until midnight, and is best viewed from Buluk Park, Docklands.
Christmas Lights at Light House | 24 November to 25 December, dusk until midnight Light House at 888 Collins Street
Take a free photo with Santa underneath the giant Christmas tree in Fed Square.
Santa’s House | 25 November to 24 December, 10am to 12pm & 1pm to 3pm, plus 4pm to 7pm Fridays, Fed Square
The German Christkindlmarkt is features food and themed gifts from Germany.
German Christkindlmarkt | Thursday 30 November, 9am to 3pm Melbourne Town Hall
A giant Christmas bauble will be illuminating the court opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, sparkling during the day and twinkling at night.
Giant Christmas Bauble | Thursday 30 November to 25 December | Fed Square
Karaoke your way through all your favourite holiday tunes inside a giant snow globe!
Karaoke Snow Globe | Monday 27 December to Sunday 24 December | Fed Square
See City of Melbourne’s annual Christmas Projections with new feature sites at the State Library Victoria, Federation Square and New Quay Promenade Docklands (Thu 30 Nov – Mon 25 December 9-10:30pm).
City of Melbourne Christmas Projections | Fri 1 Dec – Mon 25 Dec 9pm -10:20pm daily
19. Tacky Christmas
Lonsdale Street’s Greek Precinct is going cheesy with ‘tacky’ decorations in shop fronts, Christmas inflatables and even a ‘tacky’ Santa Claus singing unconventional Christmas carols.
Tacky Christmas | Friday 1 December – Monday 25 December, Lonsdale and Russell streets
Admire the hours of handiwork behind the Gingerbread Village by Epicure, a display of iconic Melbourne landmarks and locations all made out of gingerbread.
Gingerbread Village by Epicure | Fri 1 Dec – Sun 24 Dec 9-8:15pm | Melbourne Town Hall
The one-stop shop for all your Christmas shopping is at The Big Design Market, the biggest design market in Australia. Entry is free for children and there’s a kids creative play area.
The Big Design Market | Fri 1 Dec – Sun 3 Dec | Fri: 10am – 9pm Sat: 10am – 7pm Sun: 10am – 5pm | Royal Exhibition Buildings Carlton
Head to Kimono House to be inspired by a range of Japanese gifts and decorations celebrating the joyful season.
Japanese Festive Market | Tuesday to Saturday, 1 to 22 December, 10am to 5pm (launch 7pm 1 December), Kimono House, Nicholas Building
Fair@Square is a socially conscious market bringing the best in fair trad. Check out cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, workshops and hands-on activities.
Fair@Square| Saturday 2 December, 11am to 9pm | Fed Square, River Terrace and Swanston Street
There will be games and activities for kids big and small, including face painting, a Christmas-themed story time, craft activities, music and singing.
Christmas Party at Kathleen Syme | Wednesday 6 December, Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre Carlton
Nine storeys of artists, boutique retail, milliners, jewellers, illustrators open for one night to herald the festive season.
A night at the Nicholas summer edition, Thursday 7 December, 6pm – 9ppm | Nicholas Building, 27 Swanston St, Melbourne
The Northside Community Christmas Picnic will entertain this year with kids’ activities, Christmas carols, an open-air cinema and a special visit from Santa Claus.
Northside Community Christmas Picnic | Friday 8 December 5-1opm | North end of Erroland Queensberry streets, North Melbourne
Bring the family down to the hub next to Buluk Park for a range of festive activities and fun workshops.
The Dock Community Christmas | Saturday 9 December 10-3pm | Library at The Dock and Buluk Park
Come and celebrate Christmas with the Southbank community. There’s lots on offer for children and adults alike.
Boyd Christmas Party | Tue 12 Dec 3:30-6:30pm | Boyd Community Hub 207 City Rd, Southbank
Pop into the Collins Place Forecourt for a glass of bubbles at this chic design market’s pop-up bar, grab a bite to eat and peruse the boutique market offerings.
Collins Place Design Market | Friday 15 December 10am to 6pm | Collins Place Forecourt
With 89 creative stalls and baked-goods stalls downstairs in the Deakin Edge Theatre stage area.
Markit + Bake Sale | Sunday 17 December, 10am to 5pm | The Atrium and Deakin Edge Theatre Fed Square
31. Kensington Market
Over 70 speciality stalls providing an eclectic mix of treasures from fresh produce, homemade foods and great coffee to designer fashion, children’s wear, jewellery and an array of visual art creations.
Kensington Market | Sunday 17 December, Kensington Town Hall, Kensington
Combining the best of an open-air market, a family-friendly event and a fun picnic lunch, the Christmas Market at Flemington Racecourse features a huge range of food to sample, as well as goodies for your house and garden, and classic market fare on offer.
Flemington Racecourse Christmas Market | Sunday 17 December, 9am to 2pm| Flemington Racecourse
Thread Den acts as an incubator for independent designers and makes an ideal place for last-minute gifts and distinctive items.
The Thread Den Christmas Market | Friday 22 December, 5pm to 10pm | Federation Square
- All of Melbourne CBD is within the free tram zone so hop on and hop off as you need. For extra festive fun catch the Christmas Tram travelling around the City Circle.
- If you need a break from the hustle and bustle head to Play Pod at State Library, City Library or a little further, Fitzroy Gardens.
- At National Gallery of Victoria visit The Pool and the 2017 NGV Architecture Commission.
- Melbourne CBD has two playgrounds – the excellent Artplay playground at the southern end and Flagstaff Gardens at the northern end;
- Here’s a list of my favourite family-friendly cafes and restaurants in the CBD.