City of Melbourne Christmas Festival

Fri 29th November, 2019 – Wed 25th December, 2019
Various locations
A month-long festival featuring projections lighting up Melbourne landmarks, a 16-metre-high digital Christmas tree and a mass “Gravy Day” sing-along.

Family fun is the objective of City of Melbourne’s Christmas Festival which runs across multiple venues in the CBD and inner suburbs until Christmas Day.

At the festival’s centrepiece is a 16-metre-tall LED Christmas tree brightening up “Christmas Square” (at Federation Square) with a sound and light show from 9pm to 11pm every night. While there on Friday and Saturday nights you can also join the silent disco that leaves Fed Square and the newly refurbished State Library on the hour from 7pm to 10pm each Friday and Saturday night, converging at Melbourne Town Hall. At the State Library you can also catch the feature projection show ‘A Very Melbourne Night Before Christmas’ written by Marieke Hardy and narrated by Lee Lin Chin. Down by Princes Bridge and the Town Hall façade there’s more nightly projections, or head to Docklands to take in a 6-metre-tall reindeer mosaic.

No Melbourne Christmas sojourn is complete without a trundle past the Myer Christmas Windows, which are in full display until the first week of January. This year the theme is drawn from Australian author and illustrator May Gibb’s classic Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

The musically inclined can head northside to catch Christmas Carols at the Carlton Baths on Sunday 15 December, or perhaps the Excelsis Christmas Concert at the State Library Victoria on Thursday 19 December. Rowdier types can do, “A Very Messy Xmas!” on Saturday 21 December at Globe Alley, a free gig showcasing three punk bands, including locals Private Function. And if you’re partial to Paul Kelly’s unofficial Christmas anthem “How to Make Gravy” head along to Fed Square on the same day for an impromptu choir sing-along with special guest Claire Bowditch.

The festivities extend to food. The Very Merry Kitchen is taking up residence in Queensbridge Square, which includes a Bistro Morgan pop-up serving fancy doughnuts from 12 to 15 December, before Gelato Messina, takes over between 19 and 22 December.

There will also be a miniature Melbourne gingerbread village installed at St. Collins Lane. Sadly, you can’t eat that one.

Those seeking a dose of Christmas movies can head to the Carlton Christmas Cinema at Argyle Square for screenings of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (December 7), The Holiday (December 14) and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (December 21).

And it wouldn’t be Christmas without Carols by Candlelight, which wraps up festivities on Christmas Eve from 8pm at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

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This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with City of Melbourne.