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What’s On – Friday 30 November To Thursday 6 December 2018

What’s on – Friday 30 November to Thursday 6 December 2018

It’s less than 4 weeks until Christmas and the first week for the annual TOT: HOT OR NOT Melbourne Christmas Activity Advent Calendar!

This weekend I’m hopefully going to be GIVING Christmas joy to cycling families and gift-givers with CycleStyle! Join me for three huge shopping days for The Big Design Market in Melbourne from Friday 30 November to Sunday 2 December at the CycleStyle stand. I’m at B43, just behind Miss Chu on the right as you enter from Nicholson Street.

whats on december 2018 melbourne


  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show (Thu 29 Nov – Sun 2 Dec) – brought to the stage are four of Carle’s books – The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mr Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly, and, of course, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Full Review. 
  • Santa’s Post Box (Fri 30 Nov – Fri 14 Dec) – write a letter to Santa and receive a personalised response. Post outside the Australia Post GPO and The District, Docklands
  • Santa’s Christmas Spectacular (Fri 30 Nov – 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.
  • The District Docklands Christmas Tree Exhibition (Fri 30 Nov – Tue 25 Dec) – local primary schools and groups in our community helped us decorate Christmas trees.
  • Christmas at Old Treasury (Fri 30 Nov – Fri 5 Jan) – The Old Treasury Building is once again showcasing homemade decorations of the 1920s!
  • Myer Christmas Windows (Fri 30 Nov  – Sun 6 Jan) – The 63rd annual Myer Melbourne Christmas Windows are based on Alice in Wonderland. Full review.
  • Julian Opie: Studio for Kids (Fri 30 Nov – 17 Feb 19) – new children’s gallery exhibition by British artist Julian Opie. Full review.
  • Launch of Christmas Square and Official Tree Lighting Ceremony (Fri 30 Nov) – Roving performers will entertain children and big kids alike, as the crowd eagerly awaits Melbourne’s 16m-tall Christmas tree springing to life to launch the festival’s celebrations.
  • Christmas Square Federation Square (Sat 1 Dec – 25 Dec) – magical Christmas wonderland offering festive fun for the whole family.
  • A Very Koorie Christmas (Sat 1 Dec) – Join in free activities and workshops throughout the afternoon with a special appearance by Koorie Klaus at 3pm!
  • Play It Forward presents Joyful! Joyful! (Sat 1 Dec) –  A spectacular Christmas fundraising concert in support of Choir of Hard Knocks, under the direction of multi award-winning conductor Dr Jonathon Welch  and the star studded cast includes: Dr Jonathon Welch AM, Choir of Hard Knocks and Liane Keegan.
  • Gingerbread Village by Epicure (Sat 1 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 (Sat 1 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 30 Nov – Mon 24 Dec ) – Your one-stop Christmas shop plus meet Santa and ride on his train.
  • Christma Shopping Weekend The District Docklands (Sat 1 Dec – Sun 2 Dec) – launch Christmas with a weekend of free fun, shopping and a visit from Santa Claus.
  • MPavilion (Fri 30 Nov – 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 1 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 30 Nov – Mon 24 Dec) – Create precious memories this Christmas in David Jones’ enchanted Magic Cave and see Santa and his Elves.
  • Polly Woodside Pirate Day (Sun 2 Dec) -Dress as a pirate and come help us search for hidden treasure, join in on the pirate games and even scrub the decks! Full review. 
  • Escher x nendo NGV opening (Sun 2 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.
  • Queen Victoria Night Market (Wed 5 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.
  • A Christmas Tale (Thu 6 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.


  • Corroborree Fridays Melbourne Zoo (Fri 30 Nov) – Every Friday 10.30am-11.30am learn all about the critically endangered Corroboree frog through stories, craft, games, and face painting (extra cost).
  • The Big Design Market (Fri 30 Nov – Sun 2 Dec) – Australia’s biggest design market with 200+ stalls, food, entertainment, kids activities.
  • Coburg Night Market (Fri 30 Nov – Fri 14 Dec) – artisanal offerings, street food slingers and feel-good tunes for 4 weeks.
  • Make Believe Melbourne Museum (Fri 30 Nov – 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.
  • Diamond Valley Railway  (Sun 2 Dec) – Miniature railway and two adventure playgrounds. Full review.
  • Family Day at Collingwood Children’s Farm (Sun 2 Dec) – enjoy Pony Rides, Tractor rides, Guinea Pig cuddles and an affordable BBQ.
  • Sundays Fun Day Preston Market (Sun 2 Dec) – free drop in activities every Sunday.
  • Historic Playdates Melbourne Museum (Tue 4 Dec) – Each Playdate is facilitated by a learning expert, and is themed around exciting ideas to connect children to their world through museum objects.




  • Sunset Safari Werribee Zoo (Fri 30 Nov – Sat 1 Dec) – after hours safari experience of Werribee Zoo with food, entertainment and sunset tour. Full review. 
  • Santa’s Beach Club Highpoint (Fri 30 Nov – Sun 2 Dec) – free ball pit, drinks and snacks. Full review. 
  • Red Arcade Werribee (Fri 30 Nov – Sun 9 Dec) – For eleven days the suburban arcade of Watton Plaza will be transformed into a dream-like world filled with curious characters and unexpected spaces, where the familiar becomes strange and a trip to the shops a full-blown adventure.
  • Christmas in Central Geelong (Fri 30 Nov – 6 Jan) – free Christmas trail with augmented reality, Christmas windows, art installations, Wall Art and more. Full review. 
  • Family Festive Fair Footscray (Sat 1 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.
  • Christmas on Union Road (Sat 1 Dec) – street festival including Santa, Face-painting, Jumping castle, balloon elf, vintage fire truck rides, pop-up bar, sausage sizzle, twilight carols and much more.
  • Essendon Traffic School (Sat 2 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 3 Dec) – vertical strawberry picking every Sunday. Full review. 
  • Scienceworks Weekend Workshops (Sun 3 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 6 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 6 Dec) – Toddler Thursdays brings the African Village to life with activities like face painting, crafts, hair braiding, music, and more.
  • Piccadilly Market Geelong (Sun 2 Dec) – local and Victorian Artisans wares. Including exquisite and original jewellery, clothing, home wares and more.
  • Altona Homestead Devonshire Tea (Sun 2 Dec) – historical homestead is open every 1st Sunday for Devonshire Tea.

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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