Christmas is getting inexorably closer and closer which means holiday fever is officially setting in and taking over the town in a big way. From holiday light spectaculars to exuberant dance shows and festive markets, there is no better time to be in Sydney than Christmas. Here are all our favourite ways to make the most of this festive season.
1. Grab one-of-a-kind presents at these festive markets
Sydney is blessed with a variety of exciting Christmas markets, each bringing something unique to the table. Get your fill of festive treats, baked goods, giftware, seasonal produce and a lot more at these exciting markets.
🛍️ Martin Place Christmas Market
🎀 Carriageworks Twilight Christmas Market
🛍️ The Makers and Shakers Market
🎀 The Rocks Christmas Market
🛍️ Sydney Fish Market 36-Hour Seafood Marathon
🎀 The Ultimate Christmas Market
🛍️ The Shire Christmas Market
🎀 Glebe Christmas Market
🛍️ Green Square Christmas Fair
🎀 Mosman Christmas Night Market
🛍️ Sydney Vegan Market
🎀 Artisan Christmas Market Glebe
2. Enjoy a sparkling Christmas at Darling Harbour
Expect a vibrant Christmas program at Darling Harbour complete with giant baubles, food trucks and rousing fireworks. Plus 150 surrounding venues are joining in and bringing some holly jolly cheer to the city. Some events to watch out for include:
🎄Christmas Festival — December 10 and 11, 3pm to 10pm
December 17 and 18, 3pm to 8pm
🎅 Floating Baubles — November 21 to December 26
🎄 Fireworks at Cockle Bay — Fridays, December 9, 16 and 23 and Saturdays, December 10, 17 and 24 at 9pm.
3. Road trip down to the Hunter Valley for this glittering light display
The Christmas Lights Spectacular at Hunter Valley Gardens is a holiday must and for good reason. In the 14 hectares of garden space, visitors will find a stunning light show filled with Christmas trees, slides, Santa’s Cave and so much more. The light show is on until January 26 from 5.30pm to 10.30pm.
4. Get immersed in this spectacular Christmas show
The State Theatre is ushering in the festive season the best way they know how — with an exuberant show. Get in the spirit of the season with Christmas carols, a bit of magic, lots of dance and music and performances by Prinnie Stevens and Michael Boyd. Book your tickets for December 22 and 23 at the State Theatre website.
5. Discover a miniature Christmas village in The Rocks
The Rocks is going small in size but big on impact with its adorable miniature Christmas village. Look a little closer and you’ll find replicas of some iconic institutions in The Rocks including The Argyle, The Tea Cosy, Squidinki and more. Aside from the Christmas village, a number of other festivities are taking place in the historic neighbourhood.
🎥 Free Christmas movies at Laneway Cinema — Every Wednesday until December 2022.
🐾 Santa Paws Pet Photos — Saturday, December 3, 10 and 17, 10am to 2pm.
🍖 Twelve Feasts of Christmas
🎀 The Rocks Christmas Market
6. Delight in the lights at the Royal Botanical Gardens’ Noël event
Noël is a brand new Christmas celebration coming to Sydney this December. The Gardens will remain open late and feature enchanting Christmas markets, light installations and nightly entertainment until Saturday, December 24.
7. Wander down a ridiculously festive lane at The Grounds
It’s not just another run-of-the-mill event if the team behind The Grounds is at work. For Christmas, they’re going the extra mile and decking their Insta-famous walkways with every festive decoration imaginable. There’s actual snowfall, giant candy canes, Christmas trees and of course, their renowned specialty coffee.
8. Visit the most famous Christmas tree in NSW
What is a Christmas in Sydney without a visit to the CBD to see the iconic lights in Martin Place? The largest Christmas tree in NSW will once again enchant visitors from Saturday, November 26 to Saturday, January, 1. To make it extra festive, from 7pm to midnight you can enjoy a special light show in the area.
9. Grab a drink at Tinseltown
Tinseltown is back with all the OTT Christmas decorations you can think of. Decked out with baubles, tinsel, bows, wreaths, fairy lights and them some, this is the place to be to celebrate the silly season in style. Menu offerings include candy canes, eggnog and a themed cocktail on arrival. You can book a table at the festive pop-up bar from December 1-30.
10. Sing your heart out at Woolworths’ Carols in the Domain
Nothing brings on happy, merry vibes quite like Christmas songs. Sydney holiday favourite Woolworths’ Carols in the Domain is returning this year with heaps of festive fun and cheerful carols on the cards. Join in on the fun and get dreaming of a white Christmas on Saturday, December 17. This is also their 40th anniversary so celebrations will be huge with a host of Aussie talent taking to the stage including The Wiggles.
11. Have a festive high tea at Loftus Lane
Sydney is no stranger to Loftus Lane and its kitschy and fun high tea experiences. For Christmas this year, they’re taking it up a notch and serving high tea on their popular Ferris wheel with festive snacks and cheery drinks to boot.
There’s no better way to get in a merry mood than belting some classic Christmas songs. Brighten your holiday with Soulfood, an award-winning vocal group who are bringing a festive treat to Zenith Theatre with a nine-part harmony and some beatboxing on Sunday, December 18.Get festive and get singing with soul.
13. Watch Love Actually in concert
With December around the corner, it’s time for the annual rewatch of Love Actually. Only this time, you can level up your movie night by watching Love Actually in Concert — complete with a live orchestra playing the movie’s songs on stage. Catch the show at the ICC, on December 17 at 4pm. Tickets are on sale now.
14. Enjoy a Christmas Day lunch at Centennial Park
Soak up all the Christmas vibes at Centennial Homestead with a festive long lunch by Chef Gary and his team. Expect traditional, family-style dining in the heart of Centennial Park with canapes and Christmas food stations. Book a slot between 1pm to 5pm for Sunday, December 25 here.
15. Experience all the French vibes in this European Christmas Village
The team that brought the hugely popular Bastille Festival to town is returning with another French-European experience this time with a Christmas theme at the center. There’s snow flurries and jazz music, cosy wooden huts and shopping, snow globes and gourmet goods aplenty. And cheese, so much cheese.
16. Visit Santa’s Fun Fair at Rouse Hill
Santa’s Fun Fair back for another year and bringing heaps of exciting Christmas activities to Rouse Hill for two whole weeks. Enjoy 3hours of unlimited rides on carousels, reindeer, mini chairs and more and photo opportunities with Santa. It takes over Rouse Hill Town Centre from December 14-24 with tickets from $25.
If curating your feed with the perfect Instagram image is always on your mind, Mimmynvovo’s pop-up selfie studio needs to be your go-to spot this Christmas. With multiple rooms available for hire and an excellent choice of backgrounds available, they’re on a quest to make it “A December To Remember.”Capture your Christmas cheer at Mimmynvovo.
18. Or say hi to Santa on top of the Harbour Bridge
Take an unforgettable photo with Santa on the Sydney Harbour Bridge every Sunday morning until 18 December 2022. Book your tickets for the ultimate Sydney Christmas photo, 134 metres above sea level and with the Sydney harbour in the background.
19. Spoil yourself in these Christmas-themed rooms
If you’re not quite getting into the Christmas spirit just yet, Sydney’s West Hotel might have the solution for you. The CBD hotel has transformed two of its rooms into a Christmas lover’s paradise, complete with neon lights, inflatables and floor-to-ceiling festive decor. The rooms are available to book now until December 26 so get in fast to avoid missing out.
20. Give back this Christmas with Wayside Chapel’s street party
It’s all about generosity and community at Wayside Chapel’s annual street party and this year you can get involved by donating a plate. The annual event aims to help those experiencing homelessness and social isolation with a free seated Christmas lunch, live music, face painting and a visit from Santa. Get involved or just join in the fun on Sunday, December 25 from 9am to 2:30pm.
21. Enjoy fireworks and festive eats at Darling Square’s Christmas activation
Darling Square’s famous light tunnel is back for Christmas along with weekly fireworks, Christmas-themed dance battles, Pixar Putt and visits from Santa himself. Plus a number of crowd favourite eateries are slinging their festive eats including Auvers, Messina Gelato, Toastie Smith and Wingboy.
22. Shop from the Sydney Vegan Market’s festive edition
The Sydney Vegan Market is returning for its final iteration for 2022 and they’re going out in style. Expect over 100 stalls filled with vegan food, homewares and jewelry along with free yoga, live music and face painting. The event returns to Sydney Olympic Park on Sunday, December 18 from 9am-4pm.
23. Get mesmerised by Christmas at the Cathedral
Christmas in Sydney is incomplete without a trip to St Mary’s. The light display at the Cathedral is back with scintillating light displays and projections telling the story of Christmas, food stalls, markets, Christmas trees and live entertainment. The event is on until December 25, 7pm onwards.
24. Soak up an open-air Candlelight Concert
Candlelight is back this time for a festive iteration. Enjoy your favourite Christmas classics surrounded by candlelight at The Calyx in the Royal Botanic Gardens on Saturday, December 24. From Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You to Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, get treated to beloved Christmas carols in this dreamy event.
25. See these stunning neighbourhood light displays
From Bondi to Castle Hill, Sydney is currently decked out with some incredible light displays. Find giant inflatables, snow and smoke shows, projections and more in some of Sydney’s brightest streets all of December.