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What’s On – Friday 14 December To Thursday 20 December 2018

What’s on – Friday 14 December to Thursday 20 December 2018

How are you going following the annual TOT: HOT OR NOT Melbourne Christmas Activity Advent Calendar?

This weekend we’re taking going to take a break from Christmas crazy and heading to the hills (Gordon to be precise) to stay in a caravan! Staying in a caravan has been on Lady AB’s wishlist for a while and I found the perfect rustic Airbnb where the kids and I get a separate caravan each! Depending on the weather forecast we’re going to hit the three (!) free water play parks in Ballarat and the new Sovereign Hill playground.

whats on melbourne december

WHAT’S ON IN MELBOURNE – CBD/DOCKLANDS

  • Storytime Ballet: Coppelia (Thu 11 Dec – Sun 16 Dec) – Australian Ballet mainstage production created especially for children aged three years old and up. Full review.
  • Colour Party QV (Fri 14 Dec – Fri 21 Dec) – Dance and Snap and free festive treats every Friday night.
  • Santa’s Christmas Spectacular (Fri 14 Dec – Sun 23 Dec) – Celebrate Christmas with the whole family as Santa’s magical workshop comes to life this Christmas season in a fun-filled circus adventure for the whole family.
  • Merry Lit-mas Melbourne Central (Fri 14 Dec – Mon 24 Dec) – free festive season installations including Merry Lit-mas Neon Room and The Snow Room.
  • Air Canada Ice Rink (Fri 14 Dec – Mon 24 Dec) – cool, festive fun for skaters of all ages, and delicious rink-side treats including maple syrup ice cream, fairy floss, popcorn, poutine and hot dogs.
  • The District Docklands Christmas Tree Exhibition (Fri 14 Dec – Tue 25 Dec) – local primary schools and groups in our community helped us decorate Christmas trees.
  • Christmas at Old Treasury (Fri 14 Dec – Fri 5 Jan) – The Old Treasury Building is once again showcasing homemade decorations of the 1920s!
  • Myer Christmas Windows (Fri 14 Dec  – Sun 6 Jan) – The 63rd annual Myer Melbourne Christmas Windows are based on Alice in Wonderland. Full review.
  • Julian Opie: Studio for Kids (Fri 14 Dec – 17 Feb 19) – new children’s gallery exhibition by British artist Julian Opie. Full review.
  • Christmas Square Federation Square (Fri 14 Dec – 25 Dec) – magical Christmas wonderland offering festive fun for the whole family.
  • Japanese Festive Market (Fri 14 Dec – Sat 22 Dec) – Head to Kimono House to be inspired by a range of Japanese gifts and decorations celebrating the joyful season.
  • Gingerbread Village by Epicure (Fri 14 Dec – Mon 24 Dec) – Admire iconic Melbourne landmarks and locations all made out of gingerbread. Entry is by nominal gold coin donation and all proceeds go to the Royal Children’s Hospital. FULL REVIEW. 
  • Paint the Walls of Federation Square (Fri 14 Dec – Mon 24 Dec) – check out the very fun and interactive fingerprinting kiosk. Create a digital masterpiece and see your creation projected on the iconic walls of Fed Square!
  • Myer Giftorium and Santaland (Fri 14 Dec – Mon 24 Dec ) – Your one-stop Christmas shop plus meet Santa and ride on his train.
  • Crown Christmas Spectacular & Artvo Exhibition (Fri 14 Dec – 2 Jan 2019) – free Christmas light and music show and 3D trick art walls for your Christmas card! Full review.
  • MPavilion (Fri 14 Dec – Sun 4 Feb 2018 ) – An event hub, a meeting place and an invitation to experiment, each MPavilion brings creative collaborators together to present a free, four-month program of talks, workshops, performances and installations from October to February.
  • Christmas Projection Show (Fri 14 Dec – Mon 25 Dec) – This Christmas will see City of Melbourne’s annual Christmas Projection Show at Melbourne Town Hall extend to Fed Square, decorating the Swanston Street facades with festive cheer.
  • The Magic Cave (Fri 14 Dec – Mon 24 Dec) – Create precious memories this Christmas in David Jones’ enchanted Magic Cave and see Santa and his Elves.\
  • A Christmas Tale (Fri 14 Dec – Mon 24 Dec) – Visit Federation Square this Christmas and experience artist, Beci Orpin beautifully animated Christmas film paired with the sounds of some of Melbourne’s favourite choirs.
  • Escher x nendo NGV (Fri 14 Dec – 7 Apr 2019) – groundbreaking exhibition that features the work of Dutch artist M. C. Escher in dialogue with the work of acclaimed Japanese design studio nendo.
  • Nepal Festival (Sat 15 Dec) – cultural village, performances, live music, food stalls, art and craft stalls, information stalls, roving performers and entertainment for children.
  • Queen Victoria Night Market (Wed 19 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.

WHAT’S ON IN MELBOURNE – NORTH  / NORTH-EAST

  • Christmas Shopping Night North Melbourne (Thu 13 Dec) – Support local and shop unique gifts with retailer specials, giveaways, Christmas carols and Santa Claus in North Melbourne. Christmas Carols will add to the festive atmosphere on Errol Street from 7:15pm and Santa Claus will make an appearance at approximately 7:20pm.
  • Corroborree Fridays Melbourne Zoo (Fri 14 Dec) – Every Friday 10.30am-11.30am learn all about the critically endangered Corroboree frog through stories, craft, games, and face painting (extra cost).
  • Coburg Night Market (Fri 14 Dec) – artisanal offerings, street food slingers and feel-good tunes for 4 weeks.
  • Make Believe Melbourne Museum (Fri 14 Dec – Sat 9 Feb) – Make Believe: The Story of the Myer Christmas Windows is a magical, glittering, experience for children and adults alike, inviting lovers of this cherished Melbourne tradition to reconnect with the nostalgia of their childhood, and offering younger visitors the chance to experience it all with fresh eyes. Full review.
  • Melbourne Museum Summer Programming (Fri 14 Dec – Mon 24 Dec) – Melbourne Museum is offering all visitors the chance to make their own Myer Christmas Window cards in the lead up to Christmas. Choose from two designs to decorate.
  • Sundays Fun Day Preston Market (Sun 16 Dec) – free drop in activities every Sunday.
  • Diamond Valley Railway  (Sun 16 Dec) – Miniature railway and two adventure playgrounds. Full review.

WHAT’S ON IN MELBOURNE – SOUTH / SOUTH-EAST / BAYSIDE

  • Inspire Indulge Imagine The Glen (Fri 14 Dec – Sun 23 Dec) –  From cinnamon fairy floss to frozen eggnog yoghurt and (adults only!) Frosé popsicles, kids programs and more.
  • Santa’s Magical Kingdom (Fri 14 Dec – Sun 23 Dec) – Christmas event with rides, shows, activities. Full review.
  • Tis the Season Old Cheese Factory (Fri 14 Dec – Sun 16 Dec) – Marvel as the gardens come alive with Christmas lights, wander through the North Pole and enjoy all the jolly entertainment and activities on offer.
  • Hank Marvin Market (Sat 15 Dec) – weekly Saturday market with awesome playground at Alma Park.
  • Canine Photo Session Prahran Market (Sat 15 Dec) – Prahran Market has a special canine session with Santa in Market Square.
  • Gumbuya World First Birthday (Sat 15 Dec – Sun 16 Dec) – Gumbuya World will unveil the theme park’s exciting new mascot, delicious themed birthday cake. 
  • Wilson + Frenchy Outlet Store (Sat 15 Dec – Sun 16 Dec) – children’s clothing reduced. Prices start from $10, with most stock up to 50% off RRP.
  • Mornington Railway (Sun 16 Dec) – Climb aboard the Mornington Railway steam train for a fun-filled outing.
  • Christmas Show Chadstone (Fri 14 Dec – Sun 23 Dec) – pantomime will bring the spirit of Christmas to life and tell the story of Santa’s Head Elf, Pickles, who has lost his toy making magic.
  • Fairy Petunia South Melbourne Market (Wed 19 Dec) – free storytelling, drawing, face painting, games, bubbles and more.
  • Prahran Market Santa Visit (Thu 20 Dec – Mon 24 Dec) – Santa Claus is visiting Prahran Market – roaming the Market and having photos with visitors in Harvest Hall.

WHAT’S ON IN MELBOURNE – EAST

  • Glow Christmas Forest Hill Chase (Thu 13 Dec – Tue 25 Dec) – Two piece band every Thursday, Friday, Saturday evening, Neon gingerbread decorating, Ugly Jumper Photobooth, prizes and giveaways.
  • Cherry Picking Cherryhill Orchards (Thu 13 Dec – Jan 2019) – Pick your own cherries and enjoy cherry treats. Full review. 
  • Santa’s Workshop Eastland (Fri 14 Dec – Sun 23 Dec) – kids will be entertained with all kinds of fun and educational Christmas crafts, creating their own mini Christmas wreath, Christmas card and Christmas decorations to hang on your tree at home.
  • Carols at Heide (Sat 15 Dec) – Join us for a joyous night with the Australian Girls’ Choir performing a cappella carols in the beautiful grounds of Heide.
  • Camberwell Christmas Day (Sat 15 Dec) – variety of entertainment, a visit from Santa, and, of course, the chance to be involved in the community’s favourite Where’s Rudolph? competition.
  • Yarra Valley Railway (Sun 16 Dec) – take a trip on the historic Walker RM22 Railmotor from Healesville to Tunnel Hill. Full review. 
  • Whitehorse Carols (Sun 16 Dec) – Santa Claus is coming to town and so are a host of wonderful performers including popular entertainer Rob Mills, and Verity Hunt-Ballard.
  • Moonlit Markets Eastland (Thu 20 Dec) – up to 60 stalls from local designers, artisans and artists. Find an assortment of fashion, jewellery, art, homewares and delights for the kids.

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WHAT’S ON IN MELBOURNE – WEST

  • Museum of the Moon (Fri 14 Dec – onwards) – Museum of the Moon is an astounding seven metre diameter spherical sculpture featuring large-scale NASA imagery of the lunar surface.
  • Sunset Safari Werribee Zoo (Fri 14 Dec  – Sat 15 Dec) – after hours safari experience of Werribee Zoo with food, entertainment and sunset tour. Full review. 
  • Christmas in Central Geelong (Fri 14 Dec – 6 Jan) – free Christmas trail with augmented reality, Christmas windows, art installations, Wall Art and more. Full review. 
  • Family Festive Fair Yarraville (Sat 15 Dec) – Saturday morning events will run between 9am -12noon and include a live ‘elf choir’, face-painting and craft activities plus photo opportunities with Santa on his throne.
  • Western Bulldogs Family Fun Day (Sat 15 Dec) – heaps of activities and giveaways in the kids zone, along with open training session and a joint AFL and AFLW signing session.
  • Essendon Traffic School (Sat 15 Dec) – Essendon Traffic School is a mini road set up for kids aged two to ten years, complete with road signs, railway bells and traffic lights. Full review. 
  • Carols in Yarraville Gardens (Sat 15 Dec) – Bring along a picnic, your family and friends to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Yarraville Carols in the beautiful Yarraville Gardens.
  • Carols by Candlelight Altona Meadows (Sat 15 Dec) – free family night out with live music, children’s activities, special guest artists and community singing of carols.
  • Made in Braybrook Christmas Market (Sat 15 Dec) – Great handmade arts and crafts for sale which include jewellery, crocheted toys and decorations, cards, wooden toys, chopping boards, clocks, soaps, paintings and more.
  • Christmas in Flemington (Sat 15 Dec) – Have your photo taken with Santa and enjoy other Christmas activities including; face painting, children’s entertainment, candy canes, BBQ sausage sizzle and more!
  • Christmas Activities Moonee Ponds Parklet (Sat 15 Dec, Wed 19 Dec, Fri 21 Dec) – craft, colouring, gingerbread decorating.
  • Santa Trains Bellarine Railway (Sat 15 Dec – Sun 16 Dec) – steam train, Christmas story, carol sing-a-long and more.
  • Strawberry Forest (Sun 16 Dec) – vertical strawberry picking every Sunday. Full review. 
  • Carols by Candlelight Williamstown (Sun 16 Dec) – free family night out with live music, children’s activities, special guest artists and community singing of carols.
  • Altona Carols in the Park (Sun 16 Dec) – night of music and singing for the whole family, presented by the Altona Laverton Council of Churches.
  • Scienceworks Weekend Workshops (Sun 16 Dec) – In pairs of one adult and one child, participants will work together to build skills in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).
  • Mini Zoo Keepers Werribee Zoo (Thu 20 Dec) – Children aged 2-5 years and their adults can go on an intimate guided tour with a Zookeeper to help look after some of the special animals in the zoo.
  • Toddler Thursdays Werribee Zoo (Thu 20 Dec) – Toddler Thursdays brings the African Village to life with activities like face painting, crafts, hair braiding, music, and more.

Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned entrepreneur. She combines her love for kids, food, travel and bikes into several passion projects.

She owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au; develops and produces bike-related creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com; and writes another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne with (non-kid related) reviews about things to do and places to go in Melbourne.

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

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