‘Tis the season to find festive fun all over the city. Let loose at these iconic events, brand new pop-ups, interactive decorations and hidden street parties.
Go on a glittering Christmas lights tour
Nightly from 12 November
From the 16-metre tall LED tree to Santa and his dolphins floating on the Yarra, Melbourne’s decorations are on another level this year. Visit all the projection hubs, including a brand new wall-to-wall display in Chapter House Lane, along with hidden laneway installations. See the full list of decorations and start planning.
Take a yuletide thrill ride at a Christmas carnival
From 16 to 24 December
Enjoy festive thrills on the banks of the Yarra at the Christmas Carnival. Ride the ferris wheel, drive the dodgems or get the best view of the city lights as you spin 35 meters in the air on top of the Sky Flyer. Try your luck at much-loved carnival games and complete the experience with classic carnival food. Entry is free, rides ticketed.
Wander the Degraves Street laneway pop-up
Weekly from 20 November to 18 December
Shop ‘til you drop in this iconic laneway. Regular traders and special guests are taking their wares outside for the best last-minute buys, gift-wrapping stations and vibey buskers to boot. Hang around after dark to see the laneway lit up in a sea of glowing lights.
Snap an augmented reality Elfie Selfie
All day, 1 to 25 December
Unlock a magical land of elfish mystery when you snap an AR photo with these cheeky characters. Find Merry at Fed Square, Jingles in Bourke Street Mall and Jolly at Southbank. Then share an animated Christmas card with all your friends.
Dance under snow machines at a street art party
On 17 and 18 December
Get ready for a Christmas laneway party like no other. The Blender Studios crew are kicking off on Friday night with food trucks, cocktails, live street art and a dreamy snow machine! Then visit on Saturday for card typography and stencil art workshops. Don't miss the glorious gallery display from their resident artists.
Have a festive catch-up on the water
Weekends, 4 to 17 December
Spend a weekend soaking up the glittering waterfront at New Quay Promenade, where live music will be going off at Cargo and Berth. Order a Pimms, smash some fried fish tacos and lap up the sunset. Find more of the best beer gardens in Melbourne.
Watch Christmas classics at the pop-up outdoor cinema
Saturdays from 4 December
Catch feel-good festive favourites under the stars at Carlton’s Christmas Cinema. Head to Argyle Square for screenings of Elf, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and The Polar Express. The square is getting a festive makeover too, with nutcracker soldiers, pretty festive lights and even an icicle throne.
Visit the Myer Christmas Windows
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to the Bourke Street Mall to see the iconic Myer windows. Now in its 66th year, the 2021 display is a glorious return to form. Visit for a heartfelt adventure through the world of Peter Rabbit, with whimsical narration by Magda Szubanski and all-new dazzling designs.
Shop at the String Bean Alley night market
Weekly from 6 to 20 December
Venture out under the starry lights of one of Melbourne’s favourite laneways for a special night market series. Bring the family or meet up with friends as you meander the open-air laneway, picking up locally-made gifts and unique Christmas trinkets. Don’t skip the street food stalls and summer bevs from the Brick Lane Bar.
Score free dumpling gifts in Chinatown Square
Sunday 19 December
Wander up Little Bourke for lantern making, singing and dancing, giveaways and complimentary dumplings. Get a photo with the Chinatown Christmas Tree and rediscover one of the city’s most colourful precincts.
Kick on for eight days of Christmas
From 19 to 27 December
Melbourne’s original container bar is holding its own epic Christmas celebration. Over eight days Section 8 will be hosting music, art and pop-up stalls for an epic post-lockdown party. And yes, the Christmas Day orphan’s barbecue is back too. Feel good about the sesh – the event raises money for Black Rainbow and Sisterworks.
More must-see Christmas events
Christmas comes to life around the city with sparkly decorations spreading festive cheer.
The ultimate Christmas adventure awaits, with help from Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye.
Last updated on Wed 17 Nov 2021
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