Tis the season to be jolly, so get along to these fantastic Christmas events happening around Sydney.
The lead up to Christmas is always such a busy time, so our Guide includes a mix of activities to keep kids of all ages (and the adults) entertained in November and December! If you know of an awesome activity we have missed, please let us know!
Remember to always check the website before you go, just in case the details have changed.
Sydney Santa Spectacular Sydney’s biggest most festive Christmas festival is back, but this year it will be held at Penrith Panthers! The festive extravaganza is home to one of Australia’s largest portable ice skating rink, imported directly from Italy for a snowy sampling of European Winter in Sydney’s scorching summer heat. There's also live stage entertainment and a glittering Santa’s Enchanted Forest with live snowfall, plus a stack of brand new features including putt-putt golf, polar bear ball bit of snowballs and feature rides.
When: Saturday 23 November to Thursday 26 December 2019
Where: Panthers Precinct, 123 Mulgoa Rd, Penrith
More Info: Books ticket online here
Image credit: Sydney Santa Spectacular
Shrek The Halls at Auburn Botanic Gardens Take a Trip to the Kingdom of Far Far Away, as Auburn Botanic Gardens transforms into a fairy tale Christmas adventure, Shrek Style! This family friendly event with a Christmas light display, Christmas carols and performances by local community groups, free carnival rides, face painting, disco party and Christmas activities is not to be missed this year.
The open air cinema will be screening Shrek the Halls and Shrek Forever After. You'll even meet the stars of the movie - Shrek, Princess Fiona and Puss in Boots.
When: Saturday 7 December 2019 from 6.00pm-10.00pm
Where: Auburn Botanic Gardens
More Info: Check out the Cumberland Council website
Image credit: Cumberland Council
Christmas Wonderland at Sydney Showground Experience the enchantment of a white Christmas with an ice skating rink, a snow play area where you can build a snowman or have a snowball fight, enjoy a magical stage show and ice show, and explore the Christmas village and marvel in Candy Cane Lane. We assure you, this is an extravaganza not to be missed!
When: Wednesday 18 to Tuesday 24 December 2019
Where: Sydney Showground, Crossroads Homemaker Centre, Casula
Cost: $49 for a 3-hour session
More Info: Check out the Christmas Wonderland website for the Super Session ticket inclusions
Image credit: Christmas Wonderland Sydney
Carols In The Domain Sing with the stars at Australia's largest FREE Christmas concert: Carols in the Domain! At this much-loved annual event on Saturday 21st December (at a family-friendly time of 7:45pm), you can expect performances from a variety of artists that will delight families of all ages. Will the Wiggles be there?? We'll let you know more when we hear!
When: Saturday 21 December 2019
Where: The Domain, Hospital Road Sydney
Image credit: Carols in the Domain Facebook Page
Sydney Fish Markets 36-Hour Seafood Marathon Seafood retailers will be staying open for 36 hours from 5am Wednesday 23rd December right through to 5pm on Christmas Eve. Families can enjoy the fun and frenzy of the marathon, stock up on Christmas supplies, enjoy some delicious fresh or cooked seafood, or just sit back and people-watch from the waterside boardwalk. There will be a special appearance from Santa on Monday 23 December from 11am – 1pm and on Christmas Eve from 10am - midday.
Car parking during the annual 36-Hour Seafood Marathon is charged at a flat rate of $5 for two hours.
When: From 5am Wednesday 23 December to 5pm Tuesday 24 December 2019
Where: Sydney Fish Markets
More Info: Visit the Sydney Fish Market website
Image credit: Sydney Fish Markets
Sydney Christmas Children’s Concert Treat your kids to a very special concert just for them, with special guests Justine Clarke, Jimmy Giggle, SplashDance, Sesame Street and Carpe Idiotus! There's also lots of kid’s activities, table tennis, giant Jenga, showbags and a visit from Santa. Fireworks will light up the sky as the concert comes to a close. Santa stockings jam-packed with goodies will be on sale for $5, with all proceeds going to their charity partner, Surf Life Saving NSW.
When: Saturday 30 November 2019 from 6.30pm
Where: Prince Alfred Park, Surry Hills
More Info: Visit the City of Sydney website
Image credit: City of Sydney
Christmas in the City at Martin Place It's one of the first events to kick off the festive season! Martin Place comes alive with roaming entertainers, magicians, roller-skating baubles, stage shows, choirs, lights, giveaways and decorations. At this FREE event for the whole family see Jimmy Giggle, Justine Clarke, Sam Moran, SplashDance and Nay Nay perform live on stage. Santa will arrive in a brand new sleigh and the Martin Place Christmas Tree will light up at 8.30pm as fireworks illuminate Sydney’s spectacular skyline.
When: Saturday 23 November 2019 from 6:30pm
Where: Martin Place, Sydney
More Info: Visit the City of Sydney website
Image credit: City of Sydney
The Beanies' Christmas Spectacular at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta 2019 ARIA-award nominated children’s entertainers, The Beanies, will celebrate the holidays with their all-singing, all-dancing Christmas Spectacular on 12th December at Riverside Theatres. Laura, Mim and Michael, will have Mini-Beanies singing along to Christmas classics including Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as well as their own Christmas carol, The Christmas Rumba. Suitable for ages 2 – 7 and their families (show duration is 45 minutes).
When: Thursday 12 December 2019
Where: Martin Place, Sydney
Cost: Tickets start at $20
More Info: Visit the Riverside Theatre website
Image credit: Riverside Parramatta
Lights of Christmas of St Mary's Cathedral Square Deck the halls at St Mary's Cathedral Square, in the heart of Sydney's CBD and enjoy the spectacular FREE sound and light show every night. It's like Vivid but with a festive spin and the projections just get better and better every year.
When: From Thursday 5 to Wednesday 25 December 2019
Food Trucks open 5.30pm, choirs 7.30pm, lights 8.30pm-11pm
Where: St Mary's Cathedral Square, College Street, Sydney
Image credit: Lights of Christmas
Register Kids for the Sydney Youth Orchestra Summer School Program The Sydney Youth Orchestra Summer School program is now open for applications (they will close Dec 6)! It is open to ALL school-aged students in NSW, but be quick to book as the deadline is fast approaching! The SYO Summer School program combines high level music making, creativity, exploration and personal development. Grouped according to their age and skill, the program caters for all ages between 6-17 years and all AMEB levels, right up to grade 8. Taking place from Monday, 6th January to Friday, 10th January 2020, the program is the ideal space for students to make new, like-minded friends and have fun during the holidays.
Step outside the box with your 2019 Santa Photo! It's time for the annual scramble to find the perfect Santa photo to send out to the family, but where should you go? Well, we've narrowed it down and compiled our top picks for you this year.
Once you decide where you want to go, be sure to book your session online to secure your spot and avoid the queues!
Grab your FREE Santa snap (with any Tower ticket purchased) at his first-ever Chrissy at Sydney Tower Eye. He'll be donning his boardies, thongs and sunnies, and chilling on a beach chair under the palm trees!
When: From 23 November to 23 December. Check out the website for appearance times
Where: Sydney Tower Eye, 100 Market St, Sydney
Forget the shopping centre this year and bring your family and pets to a seaside location for a Summer Christmas photo with Santa. Check out their Instagram and you'll want to book today!
When: From 23 November to 22 December
Visit the Santa by the Surf website for specific locations and times
Where: The Bucket List Bondi Beach, Watsons Bay, Manly Beach, Bronte Surf Club or the North Bondi Surf Club
Get a Santa photo with a twist - outdoors, and with pets! Photography studio Azuelo Designs are offering gorgeous enchanted forest Santa sessions with a touch of vintage styling and a professional, kid-friendly (patient!) photographer. Packages are $85 and include five high-resolution, professionally-edited digital images via email - perfect for Christmas card printing.
When: Weekends from Saturday 16 November to Sunday 1 December 2019
Where: Lennox Reserve, Canley Vale
Enter a whole new world for your Santa photo with the one-of-a-kind Enchanted Forest, and feel the magic of Christmas all around you. You can also create extra special moments this Christmas and have a Santa photo with your beloved feathered, fluffy or furry friend on 23rd and 24th November. There's also Sensory Santa experiences on 1 and 3 December.
When: Saturday 9th November until Christmas Eve 2019
Where: Level 6, Toy Department, David Jones on Seven Elizabeth Street, Sydney
Get lost in an illuminated fairy tale wonderland created with over two million Christmas lights. Have your photos taken by a professional photographer at Santa’s Cave or the kids can sit on Santa’s knee to make their Christmas wish list. With a fantastically festive atmosphere, there is no spot more spectacular to take Santa photos than the magical Hunter Valley Gardens this Christmas.
When: Friday 8 November 2019 to Sunday 26 January 2020 (closed 25th December 2019). Gardens open daily 9 am-4 pm, lights open 5.30-10 pm.
Where: Hunter Valley Gardens, 2090 Broke Rd, Pokolbin
Santa will be calling The Grounds home again this year until Christmas Eve, and his workshop will be open every day for photos with the whole family (including pets). Santa will be making special evening visits on select nights in December too! The elves have been hard at work creating a new Winter Wonderland photo installation with a surprise twist, plus there is lots planned to keep everyone entertained with a touch of Grounds magic.
When: Tuesday 19 November tp Tuesday 24 December from 9:00am - 4:00pm
Where: Level 2 Queen Victoria Building, George St Sydney CBD
Sydney’s home of Christmas, the Queen Victoria Building will open it’s doors to Santa's Enchanted Garden and the glittering sight of the city's iconic QVB Christmas tree. Amongst the blooming wildflowers, woodland creatures and spellbinding lights, festive fairies will greet families arriving for precious photographs with loved ones.
When: Saturday 2 November to Monday 24 December 2019
Where: Level 2 Queen Victoria Building, George St Sydney CBD
Image credit: Queen Victoria Building
Best Sydney Shopping Centres to meet Santa in 2019 With Santa coming to town early this year, we've compiled a complete list of where ol' Mr Kringle will be appearing at shopping centres areound Sydney. If we've missed any, please let us know!
Santa Photos at Westfield Eastgardens. Children who meet Santa and have a photo taken with him will receive a Christmas elf hat to take home, from now until Saturday 22 December. Sensory Santa will be there on Tuesday 3 December 2019.
Santa Photos at Rhodes Waterside. Here you can get your regular Santa photo or your Santa photo with a pet. Sensory Santa Bookings are open for families with special needs children or adults too. Visit until Sunday 22 December 2019. See website for specific times.
Santa Photos at Marrickville Metro. Have your photo taken with Santa and receive a free special gift from Santa. Plus, $1 from every Santa photo package sold will be donated to the CREATE Foundation until Tuesday 24 December 2019.
Santa Pictures and Giant Snow Globe at Roselands. Santa is bringing his workshop to Roselands this year along with a Giant Snow Globe. Santa will be taking some happy snaps inside his Workshop from Sunday 1 December to Tuesday 24 December. A Quiet Santa session will be hosted on Sunday 8 December and Pet Photography on Tuesday 10 December 2019.
Merry Moments with Santa at Castle Towers. Every child who gets their photo taken will also receive a special gift. Santa will also be hosting free Christmas kids workshops at his castle on Level 2 including Reindeer food making, Santa letter writing and Mrs Claus storytelling from now until Tuesday 24 December 2019.
Santa Photos at Top Ryde City. Enjoy taking photos and updating him on this year's wish list. Sensitive Santa photos will also be offered this year. Available from now until Tuesday 24 December 2019.
Santa Pics at Macquarie Centre. Have your photo taken with Santa on his throne outside of Target. There are also sessions every Monday with Sensory Santa in a comfortable environment. Available from Saturday 30 November - Tuesday 24 December 2019.
Santa Pics at Stockland Baulkham Hills. Welcome Santa, Frosty, Rudolph and more for a special parade to kick off Christmas at Stockland Baulkham Hills from 9:30am on Saturday 30 November 2019. Santa photos from Saturday 30 November - Tuesday 24 December 2019.
Santa Photos at Rouse Hill Town Centre. There is a brand new Santa House in Market Square where this year's Santa Photos will take place. You'll need to pre-book your session to make sure Santa knows you're coming. There will also be Sensitive Santa and Santa Pet Photography. Available from now until Tuesday 24 December 2019.
Christmas Photos with Santa at Westpoint Blacktown. Get your photo taken and write your own letter to Santa. Letters can be posted straight to Santa via the North Pole Post mailboxes located on Level 2, near Myer. All letters posted before 17 December will receive a reply from Santa. Available from now until Tuesday 24 December 2019.
Santa Photography at Macarthur Square. Kicking off on Saturday 9 November 2019 with Santa’s spectacular arrival complete with live reindeers from 11am. Watch with joy as Santa, Mrs Claus, elves and over 300 of their friends perform on stage in Kellicar Lane. Santa photos available from now until Tuesday 24 December 2019.
Santa Photos at Stockland Merrylands. This year the Fast Pass is back so you can skip the queue by pre-booking your time slot online. Sensitive Santa is available for photos on Sunday 1 December 2019. Santa photos available from now until Tuesday 24 December 2019.
Santa Photos at Westfield Liverpool. All children who visit Santa will also receive a free gift to take home. Pet photography and Sensitive Santa photography will be available at specific times in the Christmas wonderland. There will also be Christmas Craft workshops. Santa photos available from now until Sunday 22 December 2019.
Santa Photos at Seven Hills Plaza. See Santa arrive in style at Centre Court, Seven Hills Plaza on Saturday 30 November with an Arrival Parade. Santa photos available from Saturday 30 November to Tuesday 24 December 2019.
Santa Photos at Westfield Parramatta. Children that meet Santa and have a photo taken with him will receive adorable reindeer ears to wear. There’s festive pet photography and Sensitive Santa photography available too. Santa photos from Sunday 24 November to Tuesday 24 December 2019.
Santa Photos at Southgate. Southgate is offering a diverse range of Santa photo packages (including Santa’s Pet and Quiet Santa photography and) that are perfect for your Christmas cards or for just a fun simple picture. Santa photos available from Saturday 2 November - Tuesday 24 December 2019.
Santa Photography at Westfield Warringah Mall. Santa will be here right up until his big trip on Christmas Eve and every child that has their photo taken with him will receive a wearable gift, either a cute reindeer or elf headband. There’s festive pet photography and Sensitive Santa photography available too. Santa photos available on Wednesday 20 & Friday 22 November and Monday 9 December 2019.
Santa Photos at Stockland Balgowlah. See Santa and Mrs Claus plus all your favourite Christmas Characters at Santa's Arrival Parade on Saturday 30th November will commence from Level 1. Santa photos from Saturday 30 November - Tuesday 24 December 2019.
Santa Photos at Westfield Hornsby. All children who visit Santa will also receive a free Elf hat to take home. Santa's helpers can also enjoy free kids’ workshops from 15th November - 23rd December. Mrs Claus is taking a vacation from the North Pole too so you can have your photo with Mr and Mrs Claus for a limited time only on 16th & 17th November! Festive pet photography and Sensitive Santa sessions are also available. Photos available from Friday 15 November - Tuesday 24 December 2019.
Photos with Santa at Chatswood Chase. All the way from the North Pole, Santa has arrived in Chatswood! Flying in daily until Christmas Eve, you’ll find the jolly man himself ready to take happy snaps with your little ones from Saturday 16 November to Tuesday 24 December 2019.
South Sydney/St George:
Santa Photos at Westfield Miranda. Festive pet photography and Sensory Santa are available too. Christmas gift wrapping is back supporting charities from Saturday 14th December for a gold coin donation. Santa photos from Friday 15 November - Tuesday 24 December 2019.
Santa Photos at Westfield Hurstville. All children who visit Santa will also receive free elf ears to take home. Festive pet photography and Sensory Santa are available too. Santa photos available from Friday 15 November - Monday 23 December 2019.