Christmas is just around the corner, and there are plenty of free ways to celebrate the festive season with the City of Melbourne's many free Christmas events.
This year the City of Melbourne is transformed into a Christmas wonderland, featuring a very merry line-up of entertainment and events for all ages.
Here’s a list of the best FREE Christmas events, activities and attractions in Melbourne CBD and surrounds that the kids – and your wallet – will love.
Go on, #makememories!
When is Christmas in 2022?
Christmas is on Sunday 25 December 2022.
Free Christmas Events Melbourne
Enchanting Australian families for 67 years, the Myer Christmas Windows are a Melbourne tradition.
This year's windows theme is based on 100 years of Disney classics, from Mary Poppins to Lion King to Peter Pan.
Plus, Santa is back in town! Take a ride on the Santaland express and get a photo of your little ones meeting him.
Sun 6 Nov– Sat 24 Dec, 7:30am – 10:30pm
Head to Santaland at Myer Melbourne to meet Santa and his elves. Ride the Santaland express, enjoy some quiet reading time with Mrs Claus and capture the magic moment when your little ones meet Santa with a Christmas photo.
Bookings are essential. Note that while the Santaland experience is free, if you want to take home your Santa photo you will need to purchase a photo package.
Myer Santaland, Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne
Sun 6 Nov– Sat 24 Dec, 7:30am – 10:30pm
The home of Melbourne’s Christmas celebrations is at Federation Square. With lights and decorations galore, this square in the heart of the city is the best place to celebrate the season.
The centrepiece of Christmas Square is a stunning 16-metre light-up Christmas tree. Plus pop in to visit the big man himself at Santa’s Workshop from 26 November
Fri 25 Nov – Sun 25 Dec, all day
Stop by Federation Square's Santa's Workshop for a free photo this Christmas!
Santa is a very busy man at this time of the year, surrounded by workshop tools and machinery, so he can’t invite children to sit down and have a chat. But don’t fret! Santa will happily give a friendly wave and pose for a photo from a distance.
There may be a small wait time during busy periods.
Santa's Workshop, Christmas Square, Fed Square
Sat 26 Nov – Sat 24 Dec
Saturday – Wednesday 10am – 5:30 pm
Thursdays – Fridays 10 am – 7:30pm
Don't miss the Melbourne Town Hall‘s iconic Christmas projections! Four gorgeous colourful treatments light up the building's facade – spot the native floral wreaths, a koala climbing a candy cane and singing reindeer and penguins!
Other light shows are on display, including Flinders Street Christmas Projections, which is an immersive dazzling projection display that will feature six colourful themes across five buildings on Flinders Street, opposite Fed Square.
Town Hall Christmas Projections, Melbourne Town Hall, 90-130 Swanston St
Fri 25 Nov – Sun 25 Dec, 9pm -11pm daily
Discover how the streets of Melbourne come alive with beautiful decorations.
Some of our favourites include the Giant Reindeer in Docklands, the Christmas Star on Evan Walker Bridge and the Nutcracker soldiers dotted across the city, plus enjoy the twinkling lights in the city laneways and along Bourke Street Mall. There are 40 locations in total!
Christmas Decorations, Various Locations
Fri 25 Nov – Sun 25 Dec, All day
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in The District Docklands with Santa’s elves on the loose in Docklands Christmas Maze!
Make your way through the giant maze with fun interactive games for a chance to win one of four $500 vouchers from The District Docklands.
Docklands Christmas Maze, NewQuay Central Park, 429-437 Docklands Dr
Sat 26 Nov – Sat 24 Dec, 11am – 6pm
In celebration of Chanukah, Pillars of Light is providing Melbournians with an opportunity to focus on what unites us as a city and come together over a multicultural celebration.
Each bespoke program will highlight core precepts of connection and collaboration through artistic performers, cultural groups, and much more to bring our varied communities together through hope, positivity, love and light.
Chanukah – Pillars of Lig, Swanston St & Flinders St, Fed Square, Main Square
Sun 18 Dec – Fri 23 Dec 2022
9. Elfie Selfie
Show the world what they're been missing out on! Take a selfie with an elfie to unlock a magical Christmas world and create an animated augmented-reality Christmas card that’s perfect for sharing with family and friends.
Elves ‘Merry' can be found in Fed Square, ‘Jingles' in Bourke Street Mall, and ‘Jolly' at Queensbridge Square.
Elfie Selfie, Various Locations
Fri 25 Nov – Sun 25 Dec, All day
During December visitors to Melbourne will be able to marvel at the sight of a 27-metre waterborne sleigh on the river.
The horses and reindeer may be gone, but Santa and some of his dolphin helpers will be on board cruising the Yarra River!
Row Ho Ho Christmas Installation, Northbank between Evan Walker Bridge and Sandridge Bridge, Melbourne
Fri 25 Nov – Sun 25 Dec, All Day
Come on down to Blender Studios' Christmas Lights and Art Festival, where you can stroll down a fairy-lit lane and take in some amazing festive decorations!
See what this creative collective which is famous for their street art, has done for this year’s holiday season as they put their own spin on a winter wonderland.
Blender Studios Christmas Lights and Art Festival, 33-35 Dudley St, West Melbourne
Fri 25 Nov – Sun 25 Dec, 6pm – 10pm
Looking for some fun and festive ideas for handmade Christmas gifts and decorations?
Join Laneway Learning for a fun-filled afternoon of crafting where they’ll show you how to make beautiful things out of everyday materials, with minimal waste. It'll be a great way to get into the holiday spirit – and you might even pick up a few new skills along the way!
Laneway Learning Crafty Christmas, Laneway Learning, 15/37 Swanston St, Melbourne, email@example.com
Sun 4 Dec, 11am – 3pm and 11:00am – 3:00pm
Carlton's Argyle Square / Piazza Italia is hosting a pop-up roller skating rink, a giant purple Christmas tree and festive decorations.
It's the perfect place for a festive picnic stocked from Lygon Street's famous eateries. Plus enjoy free Italian treats and gift voucher giveaways thanks to the Carlton traders association, Carlton Inc.
Christmas Roller Rink, Argyle Square, 153-159 Lygon Street, Carlton 3053
Sat 10 Dec – Sat 24 Dec, 11 am – 9 pm
14. Koorie Krismas
Have a very Koorie Krismas filled with fun festivities for the whole family!
Join in with free workshops for kids and families and learn how to make jewellery, badges and bush tukka. Enjoy performances from local First Nations musicians, dancers and poets and a visit from Koorie Klaus himself.
Koorie Krismas, Federation Square, Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne
Sat 10 Dec 10am – 3pm
Come on down to one of Melbourne's favorite laneways and enjoy a special night market series full of festive food and great shopping at Queen Victoria Market!
Join your loved ones and catch up with pals as you stroll the breezy open-air lane, picking up charming presents and one-of-a-kind Christmas baubles, before savouring delicious street eats and refreshing summer drinks from some of the city’s top food trucks and carts.
With Christmas carollers, fake snow, a giant gingerbread man to snap a picture with, and even a special visit from Santa, everyone is bound to have a blast at this festive event!
String Bean Alley Christmas Night Market, String Bean Alley, Queen Victoria Market, 513 Queen St, Melbourne
Mon 5 Dec, Mon 12 Dec & Mon 19 Dec, 5 pm – 10 pm
Grab your wands and dress up in your favourite Wizard-inspired costumes and celebrate Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
The special events include Wizarding World trivia and costume competitions hosted by Aussie creator, writer and commentator Dave Lee Down Under; a virtual wand workshop with Paul Harris, the wand combat choreographer who worked on the Harry Potter films; and a free film screening of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets up on the Big Screen.
Christmas in the Wizarding World, Swanston St & Flinders St, Fed Square, Melbourne
Fri 16 Dec, 4 pm – 9 pm
Explore Japanese traditions through creative workshops, market stalls and live music.
Free activities include how to make traditional Japanese sweets (wagashi), decorations with origami paper, Christmas calligraphy and paper art, delicious matcha and more. There will also be a mini market for unique Japanese gifts.
Japan Christmas Festival, Japaneasy Language & Culture School, L1/152 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Sun 11 Dec, 11am – 5pm
18. Visit Ambiance at Queen Victoria Market
Did you know that Melbourne has a year-round Christmas shop at Queen Victoria Market?
Ambiance is a family-owned business that has been in the same location on Elizabeth Street for decades. It is renowned for its eye-catching window displays and you can browse through their amazing collection of Christmas decorative items spanning over five rooms (note it's quite a squishy space so not suitable for prams).
Ambiance now has one of the largest ranges of Christmas ornaments and decorations from all over the world and collectors come from all over for their Mark Roberts and Katherine's Collection dolls.
Ambiance, 509-511 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
19. Visit the iconic 333 Collins Street tree
Check out the iconic and chicest foyers in the city at 333 Collins Street where you’ll find a Christmas tree beautifully decorated to look like it came out of your favourite Christmas movie!
Southbank has something special in store for families this Christmas – an enchanting playground that will have kids swinging on giant illuminated bells, playing with interactive flower petals and conducting their own Lightphonic orchestra.
Christmas Pop-Up Playground, Queensbridge Square, 3 Queens Bridge St, Southbank
Fri 25 Nov – Sat 24 Dec, All Day
21. Christmas Market
Shop Directly from the artists during this year’s Christmas market. Featuring a small selection of handpicked vendors, find prints, clothing, accessories, crafts and more!
Christmas Market, Section 8, 27-29 Tattersalls Ln, Melbourne
Sat 10 Dec, 12pm – 5pm
Looking to explore Melbourne during the holidays? Why not take a 35mm film photowalk around some of the city's most iconic Christmas-decorated laneways!
You'll be introduced to some of the small businesses and artisans around the city and might even catch them at work in their top-floor studios, basements and arcades – including hidden eateries, indie fashion houses and bespoke jewelers.
So join in and explore Melbourne during this festive time of year!
Christmas Film Photowalks, Cnr, Swanston St & Degraves St, Melbourne
Sun 4 Dec, 7pm – 9pm
Mon 5 Dec, 6pm – 8pm
Tue 6 Dec, 4pm – 6pm
Thu 8 Dec, 7pm – 9pm
The District Christmas Makers Market provides visitors with unique gifts and wares from a range of local store holders. Reconnect with friends and family and explore the open-air laneways, restaurants and cafes.
District Docklands Christmas Night Market, The District Docklands, 440 Docklands Dr
Sat 10 Dec, 3pm – 8pm
24. 8 Days of Xmas
On Monday 19 December, Section 8 will be hosting a Christmas-themed festival with live music, DJs, live projection mapping, a Playaz Club laneway basketball shootout, an Orphan's Xmas BBQ and a massive Boxing Day party!
8 Days of Xmas, Section 8, 27-29 Tattersalls Ln, Melbourne
Mon 19 Dec – Sun 25 Dec
Sunday – Wednesday 6 pm – 11 pm
Thursday – Saturday 6 pm – 1 am
Come join the fun on the banks of the Birrarung during the Christmas Carnival! Take a spin on the ferris wheel, go for a joyride in the dodgems, or get a bird's eye view of the city lights from 35-metres up in the air on the Sky Flyer.
Christmas Carniva, Birrarung Marr, Melbourne, Victoria
Wed 14 Dec – Tue 20 Dec, 11 am – 10 pm
Experience a spectacular 10-day Christmas-themed showcase of local floral talent at Fleurs de Villes Noël at Emporium Melbourne. With 15 glamorous couture mannequins and beautifully adorned entryways bursting with holiday blooms created by some of Melbourne’s favourite florists, it’s a truly wonderful way to get into the festive spirit!
Fleurs de Villes Noël, 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Thu 10 Nov – Sun 20 Nov
Saturday – Wednesday 10 am – 7 pm
Thursdays – Fridays 10 am – 9 pm
Feel as though you’re strolling along the streets of Seoul at Christmas time during the Little Korea Christmas Festival that will surround you with the hustle and bustle of the city, beautiful festive decorations, street entertainers and the irresistible smells of all the food stalls!
Little Korea Christmas Festival, Healeys Ln, Melbourne 3004
Sun 18 Dec, 11 am – 5 pm
Get your friends and family together to celebrate the holidays at this kid and pet-friendly outdoor Christmas party that's filled with fun all ages can enjoy. The event will include live music, lawn games, face painting and a special visit from Santa for the kids!
On top of this, munch on delicious fairy floss and popcorn as you sit back and watch the festive dog parade!
A Very Merry Friend-Mas, Boyd Community Hub, 207 City Rd, Southbank
Sat 10 Dec, 11 am – 3 pm
Looking for some unique Christmas gifts? Come to the Boho Luxe Market and browse the selection of one-of-a-kind jewellery, fashion, art and more from some of Melbourne's most talented creators.
Boho Luxe Market: Christmas Edition, The Atrium, Federation Square, Swanston St, Melbourne
Sun 11 Dec, 10 am – 4 pm
Enjoy a lovely Christmas afternoon and evening by the river at South Wharf
Come and enjoy a 60-minute outdoor carol concert by the Australian Girls Choir on the Dukes Walk stage, followed by a family Christmas movie on the big screen on the Common Lawn by the riverfront.
Plenty of family-friendly Christmas food and drinks will also be available for purchase from South Wharf’s many eateries
Family Christmas Evening on South Wharf, South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf
Sun 18 Dec, 5 pm – 8 pm
The legendary Australian Girls Choir will be performing on Collins Street over two weekends in December! Spot them delighting city visitors with their angelic renditions of beloved Christmas carols.
Australian Girls Christmas Choir, 45 Collins St, Melbourne
Sat 10 – Sun 11 Dec & Sat 17 – Sun 18 Dec, 11 am – 1 pm
Celebrate Christmas with The Huxleys during Camp as Christmas! This festive spectacular will feature performances from Ayesha Buffett, Benjamin Hancock, Jandruze, Jared Dewey, Nefertiti LaNegra, Scotty So, Dandrogyny, Gabi Barton and more!
On top of this, there will also be a special screening of The Wizard of Oz.
Camp as Christmas, Fed Square, Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne
Fri 9 Dec, 6 pm – 10 pm
Join this flash-mob style choir of Paul Kelly's iconic ‘How to Make Gravy' at Fed Square, where the lovely team from Melbourne Indie Voices will guide the crowd through this bittersweet festive favourite, making sure everyone hits all the right notes (or at least remembers the words!).
At the very end, sing along with Australian rock legend Ella Hooper who will be leading the choir in the final rendition – it's sure to be a magical moment!
Gravy Day Christmas Choir, Fed Square, Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne
Wed 21 Dec, 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Follow the clues to discover hidden places and iconic landmarks around the city! You might even get the chance to win prizes.
Melbourne Christmas Treasure Hunts, The Royal Society of Victoria, 8 La Trobe St, Melbourne
Sun 11 Dec, 9:30 am – 3 pm
Come explore a living forest and find hidden treasures this holiday season as WØRKS brings a touch of Nordic tradition to Melbourne!
You’ll even get to receive a free gift valued at up to $29.
Nordic Christmas in Melbourne, WØRKS, 897 Collins St, Docklands
Tue 13 Dec – Mon 19 Dec
For unique handmade gifts, look no further than River Studios' Christmas market, where their resident artists have created one-of-a-kind pieces perfect for holiday gift-giving. Plus, they’ve got a gift-wrapping station where Femke Textiles will custom-wrap your purchases!
River Studios Christmas Market, River Studios, 41- 59 Sims St, West Melbourne
Sun 18 Dec, 10 am – 4 pm
Come and join this free interactive workshop where you’ll get creative and make your own decorations whilst also learning about and celebrating cultural traditions from all around the world.
The Creative Co-Operative is an award-winning social enterprise, so you can be sure you're in good hands!
Festive Creations Around the World, Micro-Labs Melbourne, 227-229 Bourke St, Melbourne
Sat 10 Dec, 11 am – 12 pm, 1 pm – 2 pm, & 4 pm – 5 pm
Find one-of-a-kind gifts at this unique take on a Christmas market.
Shop sustainably and trade your unwanted items for someone else's treasure with stalls from local artists, makers, collectors, bargain hunters, cloth makers and more.
Testing Grounds Christmas Market, Testing Grounds, 391 Queen St, Melbourne 3000
Sat 17 Dec, 10 am – 4 pm
Come and explore Melbourne through the mindful art of urban sketching during this unique walking tour that will help you to focus and see the city in a whole new light.
Whether you're an experienced artist or a complete beginner, this is the perfect activity for anyone who wants to enjoy the creativity and joy of drawing.
Look Draw Love Melbourne: Christmas Edition, Melbourne Athenaeum Library, 188 Collins St, Melbourne
Sat 10 Dec, 1 pm – 3 pm
Santa's Lab is the perfect place for curious kids to learn about science this holiday season! With Christmas-themed experiments and workshops run by STEM Sisters, your little ones will have a blast while learning all about the world around them.
Santa's Lab: Christmas Science Experiments for Kids, Library at The Dock, 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands
Mon 12 Dec, 3 pm – 4 pm
Wed 14 Dec, 11 am – 12 pm
Fri 16 Dec, 2 pm – 3 pm
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled, as Santa in Drag will be appearing in various laneways around Degraves Street!
He'll be joined by a photographer, so you can get an instant photo as a keepsake. To spread the cheer, you those who take a photo with Santa are encouraged to upload their photo to Instagram.
Roving Drag Santa, Flinders Lane & Degraves St, Melbourne 3004
Sat 3 Dec, 11 am – 2 pm
Sun 4 Dec, 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Get into the Christmas spirit at The Crown Melbourne, where awesome Christmas activities are waiting for you and your family to enjoy.
Bring your family to experience Crown’s Live Christmas Show on the Atrium staircase with Crown’s festive dance troupe or a warm sing-along by their talented carollers. Take a picture with Santa when you book a Santa photo session, or catch him roving around with his friends throughout the area.
Christmas at Crown Melbourne, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank Melbourne, +61 3 9292 8888
Thu 1 Dec – Sat 24 Dec
43. QV Melbourne
This Christmas, come and explore QV Melbourne – a unique festive hub of laneways filled with exciting goodies! From stylish clothes to delicious foodie finds, you'll be sure to find it here.
Listen to the live music line-up curated for celebrating the festive season, Win a gift at the QV ATM, Immerse yourself in the lights of QV’s towering 50ft Christmas tree, and more!
QV Melbourne, Cnr Swanston St & Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Buy a Christmas Hamper for someone special
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