I'm a freelance writer and primary school teacher living in SE Melbourne. I love finding adventures for myself, my husband and our four kids to enjoy. Come along! Heart my articles, subscribe to the fun, follow along on www.facebook.com/WNMelbourne
Published November 3rd 2014
Get your merry on for less, Melbourne
A sleighful of cheap and free festivities await you and yours; jingle all the way down to the city and suburbs of Melbourne this silly season, and share the magic that is Christmas in Australia.
7 November - 15 December: Santa's Post Box: Send Santa a letter and get a reply from the North Pole. The City of Melbourne and Australia Post have joined forces in a fun and festive initiative at City Square (corner of Swanston and Collins Streets). Look for the big, bright red post box with your letter addressed to: Santa, NORTH POLE 9999
8 November - 4 January:Myer Christmas Windows: The Myer Christmas Animated Windows are available for viewing from the unveiling event at 10:30am on Saturday, 8 November, to Sunday 5 January 2015. Windows run daily from 7:30am – 1:00am (with sound stopping from 10:00pm daily, out of respect for city neighbours). After viewing the windows, Myer Melbourne has a range of free Christmas activities in store. Customers can go to level six to visit Santaland, where children can ride the Santaland Express (free), have their photo taken with Santa (charged per package, booking recommended), and post their Christmas wish-list letters to Santa at the North Pole.
15 November:David Jones presents Santa's Grand Arrival: See Barbie™ and the Octonauts Christmas Shows, and more surprise Christmas guests on stage for this free and entertaining prelude to Santa's arrival. Sponsored by the City of Melbourne. First concert: Gates open at 9am; second concert: Gates open at 11am.
15 November - 23 December:Honourable Mention: While not exactly cheap or free, it's great bang for your buck, with rides, a circus show, snowfalls, readings by Mrs Claus, and more, at Santa's Magical Kingdom.
28 November - 25 December:Melbourne Town Hall Christmas Projections: By night, the Melbourne Town Hall becomes a stunning facade for a spectacular, free festive light projection; screening from dusk until 11:00pm, from world-class projection designers, Electric Canvas. Electric Canvas has created a 3D model of the Melbourne Town Hall, and a team of artists and designers will celebrate Christmas in a playful way.
29 November: Frankston's Christmas Festival of Lights: The largest Christmas festival in the state, this year's event promises a night of magic for the young and young at heart. Santa, Mrs Claus and your host Brodie Harper invite you to an evening "guaranteed to inspire the hearts and imaginations of everyone who attends", as once again, Davey Street and the Frankston Arts Centre are transformed into an enchanted land where magic happens and dreams really do come true.
29 November ($) The Salvation Army, in partnership with the City of Melbourne and Salvos Stores, presents Our Christmas Gift at Hamer Hall, a family concert spectacular featuring carols, entertainment, and music, to bring the joy of Christmas to the community. Silvie Paladino will be joined on stage by Luke Kennedy, Justin Michael Gall from Compliments of Gus, Phillip Cobb and Peter Moore from the London Symphony Orchestra, Wacky Entertainment, and The Salvation Army Staff Band and Choir.
November 29 - 25 December: Christmas Square: Melbourne's central display of Christmas decorations will transform City Square into Christmas Square, a magical forest offering festive fun, especially for families and children. By day, discover nutcracker soldiers, interactive candy canes, enjoy Christmas buskers, and free (take your own) photos with Santa. By night, you can visit Santa on Friday nights, and experience daily sound and light shows from 9:30pm to 11:30pm, creating a very festive atmosphere in the city. City square is near the corner of Swanston Street and Collins Street at Flinders Lane.
1 - 25 December:Spirit of the Square at Federation Square: An installation of large, snow-white spheres will pop up throughout The Square, creating an immersive and interactive landscape called Whiteout, by Melbourne-based design outfit, SIBLING. "Whiteout is a playful take on the snowy imagery often seen in cinema and TV during the festive season, and it will become backdrop to a daily program of free events." The free program of events includes festive films, Big Screen Gaming, live music, and a resident illustrator who will capture your "comfort and joy" in sketches for you to take home.
1 - 24 December (gold coin donation)Gingerbread Village by Epicure: iconic Melbourne landmarks and gingerbread chefs, ginger-hawks playing footy under the stadium lights, and maybe even spot a gingerbride on the steps of the gingerhall. Bring a few extra dollars for a gingerbread cookie or some gingerbread ice cream on your way out.
Tuesday, 9 December:Bayside Christmas Carols in the Park: Bayside Christmas Carols in the Park is a free community event with a quality entertainment program. Traditional carols, local performers, guest artists and a memorable fireworks display draw the crowds from far and wide each year.
12 December ($): Twilight Christmas Festival: Families are invited to celebrate Christmas at Rippon Lea House and Gardens. Bring a picnic or purchase food onsite. An arts and crafts market filled with great handmade gift ideas will be available, and there is an open house viewing of the mansion. Local school choirs and bands will perform Christmas carols and other live entertainment.
12 December - 24 December 2014:Crown's Christmas Fantastic: Each year, Crown presents a spectacular display of decorations to celebrate the magical season of Christmas.
Continuing a true Melbourne tradition, Crown will again amaze guests and light up the grand Atrium this December. Christmas Fantastic is a light, sound and 3D projection show running on 15-minute rotations from 10:00am to Midnight, seven days a week.
24 December ($) Carols by Candlelight at Sidney Myer Music Bowl: Start or continue a family tradition with a long and proud history. The event turns 76 this year, and the night promises to be vibrant and captivating. An array of top entertainers performing a mix of the season's contemporary and traditional favourite carols will delight the whole family. The Sidney Myer Music Bowl is transformed into a seasonal sensation, as thousands of candles light up the night sky. Tickets sell out quickly.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all some good nights!