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What’s On – Friday 20 December To Thursday 27 December 2018

What’s on – Friday 20 December to Thursday 27 December 2018


Tomorrow I’m getting on a plane to the Gold Coast and having a blogging break for a week. I’m going to be tackling three theme parks (wish me luck!), delving into my pile of books and no doubt will be hassled at 5am by kids wanting to go to the beach.

For those of you who have been following the blog all year (and beyond) – a huge THANK YOU for your attention, suggestions and comments.

I know that you’re all busy people and I’m honoured that you would choose to spend your time checking out what I write and post.

So let’s get this show on the road – the last What’s On for 2018!


  • Santa’s Christmas Spectacular (Fri 21 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 21 Dec – Mon 24 Dec) – free festive season installations including Merry Lit-mas Neon Room and The Snow Room.
  • Air Canada Ice Rink (Fri 21 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 Carols (Fri 21 Dec) – evening of festive fun, with live music featuring Tanya & The Sevenths gospel choir, performance by Maya & Kate Carols, Red Roses DJ Band, and Holy House of Horns – plenty of fun the whole family can enjoy.
  • The District Docklands Christmas Tree Exhibition (Fri 21 Dec – Tue 25 Dec) – local primary schools and groups in our community helped us decorate Christmas trees.
  • Christmas at Old Treasury (Fri 21 Dec – Fri 5 Jan) – The Old Treasury Building is once again showcasing homemade decorations of the 1920s!
  • Myer Christmas Windows (Fri 21 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 21 Dec – 17 Feb 19) – new children’s gallery exhibition by British artist Julian Opie. Full review.
  • Wild Cards Immigration Museum (Fri 21 Dec – 28 Feb) – Get creative this summer and design a unique greeting card for your special someone with the help of local card aficionados Able and Game.
  • Christmas Square Federation Square (Fri 21 Dec – 25 Dec) – magical Christmas wonderland offering festive fun for the whole family.
  • Gingerbread Village by Epicure (Fri 21 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 21 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 21 Dec – Mon 24 Dec ) – Your one-stop Christmas shop plus meet Santa and ride on his train.
  • Crown Christmas Spectacular & Artvo Exhibition (Fri 21 Dec – 2 Jan 2019) – free Christmas light and music show and 3D trick art walls for your Christmas card! Full review.
  • MPavilion (Fri 21 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 21 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 21 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 21 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.
  • Smallfoot SEA Life Melbourne Aquarium (Fri 21 Dec – Wed 30 Jan) – local smallfoots (and accompanying bigfoots) will set off on an icy adventure, where they’ll be whisked into the snowy depths of a magical Yeti world.
  • Escher x nendo NGV (Fri 21 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.
  • Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight (Mon 24 Dec) – evening of magical performances to support kids who are blind or who have low vision.



  • Make Believe Melbourne Museum (Fri 21 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 21 Dec – 3 Jan) – 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.
  • The Wiggles Frog Disco Melbourne Zoo (Sat 22 Dec – 29 Jan) – To celebrate the opening of the new play space inspired by The Wiggles, Melbourne Zoo is going wild about Corroboree Frogs.
  • Sundays Fun Day Preston Market (Sun 23 Dec) – free drop in activities every Sunday.
  • Diamond Valley Railway  (Sun 23 Dec) – Miniature railway and two adventure playgrounds. Full review.


  • Santa’s Magical Kingdom (Fri 21 Dec – Sun 23 Dec) – Christmas event with rides, shows, activities. Full review.
  • Hank Marvin Market (Sat 22 Dec) – weekly Saturday market with awesome playground at Alma Park.
  • Mornington Railway (Sun 23 Dec) – Climb aboard the Mornington Railway steam train for a fun-filled outing.
  • Christmas Show Chadstone (Fri 21 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.
  • Prahran Market Santa Visit (Fri 21 Dec – Mon 24 Dec) – Santa Claus is visiting Prahran Market – roaming the Market and having photos with visitors in Harvest Hall.


  • Glow Christmas Forest Hill Chase (Fri 21 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 (Fri 21 Dec – Jan 2019) – Pick your own cherries and enjoy cherry treats. Full review. 
  • Santa’s Workshop Eastland (Fri 21 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.
  • Yarra Valley Railway (Sun 23 Dec) – take a trip on the historic Walker RM22 Railmotor from Healesville to Tunnel Hill. Full review. 
  • The Great Art Drop (Sun 23 Dec) – Over 250 “Liquified Art” Fluid art rocks will be hidden in a super secret location in the Yarra Ranges on the morning of December 23rd.
  • Glow Carnival Forest Hill Chase (Wed 26 Dec – Mon 31 Dec) – Local talent to perform Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday evenings. Friday Carnival events including Hula Hoops, stilts, balloon making, neon face painting and more.
  • Summer at the Sanctuary (Wed 26 Dec – 31 Jan) – keep cool under the new Hills Hoist sprinkler, connect with nature through the ever-popular creek play, explore our rustic cubbies and play awesome backyard games.

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  • Christmas Activities Moonee Ponds Parklet (Fri 21 Dec) – craft, colouring, gingerbread decorating.
  • The Art Factory Essendon (Fri 21 Dec – Fri 25 Jan) – various art activities and workshops.
  • National Geographic Kids: Weird and Wild at Werribee Zoo (Fri 21Dec – Thu 28 Feb) – brand new, limited-time interactive installation based on facts about animals by National Geographic Kids.
  • Museum of the Moon (Fri 21 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 21 Dec  – Sat 22 Dec) – after hours safari experience of Werribee Zoo with food, entertainment and sunset tour. Full review. 
  • Christmas in Central Geelong (Fri 21 Dec – 6 Jan) – free Christmas trail with augmented reality, Christmas windows, art installations, Wall Art and more. Full review. 
  • MAC Christmas Party (Sat 22 Dec) – pool inflatables, jumping castle, roving performers such as Santa and MACqua Man along with free giveaways.
  • Essendon Traffic School (Sat 23 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. 
  • Strawberry Forest (Sun 23 Dec) – vertical strawberry picking every Sunday. Full review.
  • Scienceworks School Holidays (Wed 26 Dec – Sun 29 Jan) – There’s plenty of lunar fun to be had at Scienceworks these school holidays! In addition to extra shows and experiences, why not travel to the moon and back in a free daily amphitheatre show, handle moon rocks and meteorites, settle down in the moonlight with a good book or get moon-ving and shaking with a groovy dance activity? Plus, be one of the first to try out a new and exciting VR experience, Earthlight: Lunar Hub.

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; develops and produces bike-related creative experiences for families via; 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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