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Christmas Things To Do In Melbourne On Christmas Day 2023

Are you sick of spending Christmas Day at home with the family, stuffed with stuffing? Luckily for you, there are plenty of Christmas things to do in Melbourne taking place on the big day itself.

Christmas in Melbourne is a time of enchantment, joy, and community spirit. It’s the perfect backdrop to create unforgettable holiday memories. From glittering lights to tranquil gardens and lively beach parties, there’s something for everyone to take part in on Christmas Day.

Whether you’re tired of spending the day at home or simply looking for a break from the traditional present-opening and eggnog-chugging routine, here are our top picks for the best things to do this Christmas Day in Melbourne.

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Christmas Events Melbourne: What’s Open On The 25th of December

1. Spend Christmas Day at The Zoo

Ditch the typical summer hustle, and dive into a Christmas adventure at the zoo!

Melbourne Zoo crafts a one-of-a-kind Christmas experience, blending wildlife wonders with festive flair. Perfect for families and animal enthusiasts, it’s a holiday outing like no other.

Not only is Melbourne Zoo open on Christmas day from 9am to 5pm, but so is Werribee Open Range Zoo, giving you plenty of festive wildlife options to choose from. 

Discover what Melbourne Zoo and Melbourne Werribee Open Range Zoo have on offer here.

2. Visit The Melbourne Aquarium

Plan a Christmas Day filled with fantastic creatures without sweating it out in the summer heat. Melbourne Aquarium has your Christmas Day itinerary sorted. 

Gather the whole family for an underwater adventure in the comfortably air-conditioned haven of Melbourne Aquarium. With a sea of wonders, from playful penguins to a stealthy crocodile and a kaleidoscope of fish, it’s the ultimate spot to unwind on Christmas Day.

Book your tickets to the Melbourne Aquarium this Christmas.

Sealife Melbourne Amy Gardner

3. Check Out Melbourne’s Christmas Lights and Projections

As usual, Melbourne’s Town Hall, State Library, and other iconic structures will be decked out with projections and twinkling decorations, shining bright on Christmas Day.

It’s not just the official sites that will sparkle this year. As evening falls, take a stroll or drive through Melbourne’s streets and laneways, adorned with spectacular Christmas. 

Each neighbourhood is a visual treat that captures the essence of the holiday season.

Check out our complete list of Melbourne’s best Christmas Light Projections and Displays.

Create your own Christmas light tour by mapping the best Christmas lights in Melbourne.

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4. Stroll Through The Gardens

For a truly peaceful Christmas Day, visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, open from 7:30am to sunset. Pack a picnic, stroll through the lush greenery, and perhaps enjoy a serene boat ride on the Ornamental Lake.

The Botanic Gardens aren’t the only tranquil place open this Christmas Day. Melbourne Carlton Gardens, Melbourne Fitzroy Gardens, and Queen Victoria Gardens will all also open their gates for families who want to experience nature this Christmas.

Check out our list of the best gardens in Melbourne for a picturesque stroll.

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

5. Indulge In A Festive Feast

Daunted by the prospect of preparing a family Christmas feast? Skip the countless hours of shopping, cooking, and cleaning this year by outsourcing dinner and getting the family out of the house.

Many of Melbourne’s finest restaurants offer special Christmas Day menus. Book a table and indulge in a festive feast, from traditional roasts to modern Australian cuisine.

Here’s our guide to the best restaurants serving up holiday buffets this Christmas Day.

Ellora St Kilda

6. Catch A Movie

Did you know that there are plenty of movie theatres open on Christmas Day? No matter your genre, you’ll find most Hoyts and Village cinemas with open doors this Christmas, plus local gems like Cameo, Kino, the Lido, Classic Cinema, and Cinema Nova. 

Alongside the usual latest flicks, they often screen Christmas classics and specials so that you can watch your favourite holiday film on the big screen while escaping the heat. 

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7. Unwind In A Hot Spring

Christmas Day can be a joyful chaos, but those hungry gatherings and heat-induced stress? Not so festive.

Enter the game-changer: Peninsula Hot Springs. Picture this Christmas – wave goodbye to tension as you dive into geothermal mineral pools. Let the wet and dry saunas work their magic, turning Christmas Day into your ultimate stress-melting spa retreat.

Book your Christmas Melbourne spa day here.


8. Browse The Myer Christmas Windows

Experience the joy, the artistry, and the unique spirit of Christmas Day right in the heart of Melbourne! 

This year, the Myer Christmas Windows display theme is none other than Australia’s beloved pooch, Bluey. While the shop itself will be closed on Christmas Day, this gives you a unique opportunity to check out this year’s display without the usual hustle and bustle of shoppers around you.

Learn more about the Myer Bluey display this Christmas.

Myer Christmas Windows px

9. Enjoy a Beach Day

Trade the snow for sand – St Kilda Beach is calling! Forget the waves; embrace the laid-back Aussie Christmas vibes with serene ocean views.

Create your own beach party, enjoy a swim, or simply relax on the sand under the blaring sun. Just don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreen and a packed esky to keep you and the family hydrated.

Discover the best Melbourne beaches for families here.

Paper Fish St Kilda Beach x

10. Bask in the Festive Spirit at Federation Square

Hold onto your Santa hats – the quintessential Melbourne Christmas Day experience awaits at Federation Square. 

Every year, Federation Square transforms into a Christmas wonderland, buzzing with live music, entertainment, workshops, and interactive marvels. It’s the epicentre of joy and community spirit.

The best part is that, unlike many Christmas-themed events, it’s actually open on Christmas Day itself. Enjoy all of the light displays with the family while wandering amidst the interactive elements. 

Discover everything Federation Square has on offer this Christmas.

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Where to See Melbourne Christmas Lights & Decorations
Free Christmas Events In Melbourne For A Festive Day with Family
Where To Shop For Christmas Outfits & Tips For Your Santa Photos

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Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

In the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community.

We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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