The Mayor of Geelong, Darren Lyons says: "This Christmas will be a big party! The famous Myer Christmas windows are back in Geelong - what a huge attraction for families across the region. The Iconic Floating Christmas Tree is being decked out and will get more spectacular than last year! Our Christmas Trail will make this the best Christmas ever for residents and visitors. Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas!"
The Central Geelong Christmas Trail is a guide to what is happening around Geelong city during the festive Christmas season. From a giant floating Christmas Tree to a giant snow globe, from letters to Santa to the Myer Windows. And lots more besides.
You can download the Central Geelong Christmas Trail here. Below I have written a brief summary of the Christmas Trail. I hope you can come to Geelong and experience some of these events for yourself.
The trail flyer is available on the COGG website. There are also big red stars (on the ground, on the footpaths) which pinpoint an event or place or activity in Geelong, as part of the Central Geelong Christmas Trail. I found a few of them last night (Wednesday 26th November 2015) while I was out walking in Geelong, checking out the Christmas sensations myself.
Number One is the Floating Christmas Tree and Light Show. The Light show started on November 13th and runs until 7th January. For some photos of the Floating Christmas Tree you can jump on to the City of Greater Geelong website to see photos that people have uploaded. The Floating Christmas Tree is located on the Geelong Waterfront between Cunningham Pier and The Carousel.
Number Two - Receive a personalised letter from Santa. You can pick up a letter form to write a letter to Santa at the City of Greater Geelong (COGG) offices or at the COGG kiosks. You can post your child's letter to Santa in the North Pole letter box, which is located in The Carousel. There is also a post box at the Geelong Library from late November. All letters received by Thursday 17th December will receive a personalised letter from Santa.
Number Three - Come and have morning tea with Santa. Bring your children along to The Carousel to enjoy a morning tea with Santa. Your children will be able to meet Santa and the Magic Meter Elves, while they enjoy a free morning tea and a ride on The Carousel. This activity is free, however places are limited. At time of writing this event was full and COGG is unable to take any more bookings.
Number Four - Christmas at The Carousel. From November 13th The Carousel operates with extended evening hours. Enjoy festive lighting, a roaming Santa, and excellent floating Christmas tree photograph points. You can also purchase glow merchandise from The Carousel. The extended hours run from November 13th 2015 until 25th December 2015.
Number Five - Just Brass - evening entertainment. From December 3rd, Wednesday to Saturday "Just Brass" will be performing in front of The Carousel from 7.00pm to 8.00pm. Just Brass is the Salvation Army's community brass band. It features primary and secondary school students.
Number Seven - Family Christmas Movies - evenings. During the Christmas celebration period in Geelong, you can come to the outdoor movies. COGG is putting on 3 movies on the Big Screen at Steampacket Lawn, Geelong Waterfront (beside The Carousel). Bring your own chairs, blankets, drinks and food, and don't forget insect repellent. On Friday December 4th, at 7.00pm, Home Alone will be shown. Rise of the Guardians will be aired on Friday December 11th at 7.00pm. On Friday December 18th at 5.30pm you can attend the market stalls, spend some time with The Mik Maks, and there will be face painting. Then watch Miracle on 34th Street (1994 version) at 7.00pm.
Number Eight - Waterfront Activities. The Geelong Waterfront precinct has lots to offer at Christmas and at any time of the year. You can have a ride on The Carousel - day or night during Christmas, you can ride the train daily, or you can go on a boat ride or a helicopter flight. These activities are not free. You can find out more about pricing by approaching the individual businesses down on Geelong Waterfront.
Number Nine - Geelong Makers & Growers Market at Geelong Waterfront. The Market is Sunday December 6th from 10.00am to 3.00pm. There will be local produce, gourmet food, art and hand crafts from regional makers and growers.
Number Ten - The Ferris Wheel. The Ferris Wheel is at Eastern Beach, a short stroll from the Geelong Waterfront. The largest traveling ferris wheel in the Southern Hemisphere provides a great view of the Floating Christmas Tree. The ferris wheel lights up when it's dark, with over 24 different light patterns illuminating the sky.
Number Eleven - Cargo Box Light Display. In between The Edge (cafe / bar / restaurant) and The Sailors Rest (restaurant) you can find the Cargo Boxes. The bronze and glass boxes represent the 200 year history of the cargo shipped through Corio Bay via The Port of Geelong. Geelong has a predominant history involving Corio Bay, Shipping, Transportation, Wool Trade. A lot of the history of Geelong is represented in the art and sculptures on display around the Geelong Waterfront.
Number Twelve - Blizzard Lights. Close to Customs House (restaurant) the trees up Moorabool Street are covered in magical fairy lights.
Number Thirteen - The Catenary LIghting. So that's what they're called - Catenary Lights. I drove up Moorabool Street past them recently. They were lit up and the tubes change colour as you watch them.
Number Fourteen - Have your children's photos taken with Santa at Westfield. Pop into Westfield of phone them for photo dates, times and prices. Here is a link to the Westfield Geelong page, giving information on hours and pricing. From November 16th to December 24th. More contact details are here: 95 Malop Street Geelong VIC 3220 (03) 5215 4000
Number Fifteen - Myer Christmas Windows. The Myer Geelong Christmas Windows feature the popular children's Christmas story by Rob Scotton, "Russell's Christmas Magic". The story of Russell the sheep who saves Christmas, is portrayed in the Myer Geelong Christmas Windows. There are animations and the story runs down a screen in one of the windows. The story and the windows are presented by Myer, Westfield Geelong, Central Geelong Marketing and the City of Greater Geelong.
Number Sixteen - Elf Activity at Bank of Melbourne. There will be Magic Meter Elf themed activities including craft and photo fun. The Central Geelong Magic Meter Elves Activities will be at the Bank of Melbourne, Yarra Street, Geelong all day from November 30th to December 24th. (Not sure if this includes weekends.)
Number Seventeen - Santa Photos at Market Square. Head in to Market Square for photographs of your children with Santa. Check out the Market Square website for photo dates, times and prices. There are also 3D gift photo points. See Mrs Clause December 4th.
Number Eighteen - School Christmas Trees. Little Malop Street looks lovely, as it is adorned by 30 decorated Christmas Trees. The trees were decorated by 30 local schools, and their creations line Little Malop Street. A lot of work has gone in to the decorating. Just beautiful work.
Number Nineteen - Food Truck Friday, Christmas Edition. Food Truck Friday is in Little Malop Street. On December 4th come into Little Malop Street for Food Truck Friday amongst the Christmas Trees. Join in the music and activities from 11.30am to 2.30pm.
Number Twenty - Santa's Reindeer Training Academy. The Reindeer Training Academy runs from November 30th to December 24th. The sessions run from Monday to Saturday 10.00am to 2.00pm, and Sunday 4.00pm to 8.00pm. Come along and help get Santa's reindeer ready for Christmas Eve. Take a ride on one of Santa's reindeer in our winter wonderland. There are snowfalls every half hour during opening hours. Santa's Reindeer Training Academy is in Little Malop Street, near Market Square. This is a free activity.
Number Twenty One - Giant Snow Globe and Magic Meter Elf Base. The enormous snow globe features a Geelong backdrop. It is a great way to remember Christmas 2015 as your family and friends can be photographed together inside the giant snow globe. The Magic Meter Elves, who spread Christmas cheer every December, also use the snow globe as their base. The Giant Snow Globe is on the corner of Moorabool Street and Little Malop Street. From November 30th to December 24th you can come in to the Giant Snow Globe from 10.00am to 2.00pm Monday to Saturday, and Friday / Saturday afternoon 4.00pm to 8.00pm.
Number Twenty Two - Christmas Projections. City Hall is a large white facade. During the day it is a lovely sight to view, with statues of two large lions sitting on columns at the top of the stairs. Of an evening, during the Christmas celebrations in Geelong, the City Hall will be changed into a wonderful creative world of colour. From 8.30pm until midnight the City Hall is transformed into a scene that has to be seen to be believed. Accompanied by music, there is a projection of images beamed onto the City Hall facade. Well worth the trip into town to have a look.
Number Twenty Three - Angel Craft. Help decorate giant angels and enjoy take home angel craft. The giant angels will be lit up at night as part of "Light Up Central Geelong". This is a free activity. It is a Combined Geelong Ministers Initiative supported by Central Geelong Marketing.
From December 3rd, Thursday 10.00am to 2.00pm, Friday 3.00pm to 7.00pm, Saturday 10.00am to 2.00pm. December 21st to 23rd - Monday to Wednesday 10.00am to 2.00pm.
Number Twenty Four - Russell the Sheep - Storytelling and Activities. From November 30th to December 24th, Monday to Saturday, 10.30am. Look out for guest storytellers, and enjoy Russell the Sheep activities. The Storytelling will be held at Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, Little Malop Street.
Number Twenty Five - Free personalised Santa Letters. Post your letter to Santa in the North Pole letter box. There is one located at the Geelong Library and also one at The Carousel. Post your letter by Thursday December 17th to receive a reply from Santa.
Number Twenty Six - Christmas Tree in Malop Street. While I was out walking last night, my phone camera finally ran out of battery, just before I was able to take a photo of the Christmas Tree in Malop Street. On the corner of Malop and Gheringhap Street, this six metre tree is lit up at night and adds to the Christmas Cheer in Geelong.
Number Twenty Seven - Giant Christmas Stickers. At various locations around Geelong, you can take a fun photo with the large scale interactive Christmas stickers. I found two of them on Malop Street, near the corner of Gheringhap Street.
Number Twenty Eight - Nativity Scene. At the Customer Service Centre at 100 Brougham Street, Geelong you can view a nativity scene.
At time of publishing this review, details were correct as stated on the Central Geelong Christmas Trail website. If any details have changed, or if you cannot find a destination, please refer to the Central Geelong Christmas Trail website or refer to a flyer. The flyers should be available at the COGG kiosks and from the Tourist Information kiosks.