City of Melbourne always hosts a crackerload of Christmas events, activities and markets (pun intended) so here’s a list of the best 25 free Christmas events and attractions in 2018, listed in date order.
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 | 5 November to 14 December| Outside the Australia Post GPO and The District, Docklands
The Myer Christmas windows 2018 return for their 63rd year! This year is an Alice in Wonderland theme. Also make sure you check out Make Believe: The Story of the Myer Christmas Windows, a temporary exhibition at Melbourne Museum.
Myer Christmas Windows | Friday 9 November – Sunday 6 January 2019 | 7:30am – late, Myer Melbourne Bourke Street
After seeing the Myer Christmas Windows head up to Level 6 for 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 | Until Monday 24 December 2018, Bourke Street Mall
The Old Treasury Building is once again showcasing homemade decorations of the 1920s!
Christmas at Old Treasury | Monday 12 November to Friday 4 January, Old Treasury Building
The family friendly event will see Federation Square be decked out in all things Christmas, with roving performers and acrobats. Guy Sebastian and Samantha Jade are singing classic Christmas carols and their own music, and there will be lots of free chocolate!
Cadbury Twilight Concert | Thursday 22 November 5-7:30pm, Federation Square
Christmas lights up at Crown with festive entertainment and free Santa photos from 12pm – 6pm daily in The Atrium, Crown Towers. Also, check out the ArtVo 3D Christmas Walls where you can take the ultimate Christmas selfie.
Christmas at Crown | Sunday 25 November – Thursday 3 January 2019| Show 10am-midnight 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 Sunday Market | Sunday 25 November, Sunday 2 December, Sunday 9 December, Sunday 16 December, 10am to 4pm, St Kilda Road
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
The German Christkindlmarkt features food and themed gifts from Germany.
German Christkindlmarkt | Thursday 29 November, 9am to 3pm 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 30 Nov – Sun 2 Dec | Fri: 10am – 9pm Sat: 10am – 7pm Sun: 10am – 5pm | Royal Exhibition Buildings Carlton
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. Watch roving performers and the lighting of the brand-new Christmas tree.
Christmas Festival launch and tree lighting | Friday 30 November from 7pm, Federation Square
City of Melbourne’s Christmas celebrations are centred around Federation Square this year. Celebrate under the giant tree with sound and light shows every night from 9pm throughout December. Also check out the giant Christmas bauble illuminating the court opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, sparkling during the day and twinkling at night.
Christmas at Federation Square | Friday 30 November – Tuesday 25 December | Daily | 9am – late
See City of Melbourne’s annual Christmas Projections with new feature sites at Federation Square and Docklands.
City of Melbourne Christmas Projections | Fri 30 Nov – Tue 25 Dec 9pm -10:20pm daily
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 | Sat 1 Dec – Mon 24 Dec 9am-8:15pm | Federation Square
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
Join in free activities, live music and workshops throughout the afternoon with a special appearance by Koorie Klaus at 3pm! You can also pick up the perfect Christmas gift from our Koorie Krismas Market, showcasing local art, craft, design, and bush foods from the Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
A Very Koorie Krismas | Saturday 1 December 11am-4pm, Federation Square, Melbourne
Support local artisans in West Melbourne and take the opportunity to talk to the makers at this Christmas market. Choose from jewellery, ceramics, artworks, textile items, cards, photos and a wide variety of handmade artisan products.
River Studios Christmas Market | Sunday 2 December, 10am-4pm | River Studios, 41-59 Sims Street, West Melbourn
The Christmas Tales of Collins Street is an interactive storytelling project featuring a series of original, personal and real stories of the past, special moments of the present, and hopes for the future told by Collins Street Precinct personalities.
Christmas Tales of Collins Street | Tuesday 4 December – Friday 28 December | Collins Street Precinct, Collins Street
Presented by the businesses of the Flinders Quarter. Be inspired by creative installations, Melbourne-made and designed wares, live entertainment and tasty treats. Discover, shop, eat and celebrate local.
Festival of Independents | Thursday 6 December 4-9pm, Flinders Lane and surrounding lanes, arcades and alleys
Whip up your favourite recipe for the Christmas bake off and share the joy with your community in a tasting after judging closes. There’s a smorgasbord of categories, and token prizes to be won.
The Dock Christmas Bake-off | Saturday 8 December 1-2.30pm | The Dock and Buluk Park
The Boho Luxe Market is showcasing exclusive Boho Luxe brands not readily available at other markets. This curated selection of makers and designers will cover everyone on your Christmas list.
Boho Luxe Christmas Market | Sunday 9 December 10-5pm, Federation Square Cnr Flinders and Swanston streets.
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 14 December 10am to 6pm | Collins Place Forecourt.
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 16 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 16 December, 9am to 2pm| Flemington Racecourse
Catch up with new friends enjoying Christmas Day in Melbourne at this free event. BYO food, drink, picnic blankets and outdoor games equipment for a leisurely festive picnic on the grass just opposite the National Gallery of Victoria.
Melbourne Social Christmas Day Lunch | Tuesday 25 December, noon-3pm, Queen Victoria Gardens, St Kilda Road