Lights and carols are a free and enchanting way to entertain the kids, create precious memories and offer a chance to help out those in need. There are numerous carol events throughout the Blue Mountains; some are raising money for charity, others accept gifts for less privileged people and all are about generating a festive community for all. Here's a list of the big events, along with some starting points for Christmas lights.
Christmas Carols - Lawson, Saturday 9th December from 6:30pm. 5-17 Queens Road Lawson, phone:0429 125 425
Organised by the Kihilla Conference Centre in Queens Road Lawson, there's a barbecue at 6:30pm and the carols start at 7:30pm. Bring a rug or a chair and enjoy carols under the stars.
Carols in the Park - Blackheath, Sunday 10th December from 6pm to 7:30pm. Gardiner Cresent, Blackheath (opposite Blackheath train station, cross over the railway tracks from the highway), phone:02 4787 7770 Held in the Blackheath Community Hall Garden, bring a blanket and a picnic and enjoy the festivities. There are kids activities from 3pm including a jumping castle and hamper donations can be dropped off to help local families in need. If it rains, carols will be moved into the hall.
Christmas lights in the Blue Mountains. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
Celebrate Christmas Concert - Glenbrook, Saturday 16th December from 6pm to 8pm. Glenbrook Park, Corner of Ross and Park St, Glenbrook. Organiser phone:0291884325 The Big Yard Big Band will lead the Christmas tunes, along with other local musicians. There'll be a sausage sizzle, snack and drink stall, however, this event is alcohol-free. Bring a blanket and a picnic.
Carols on the Lawn - Blaxland, Sunday 17th December from 6:30pm. 72 Old Bathurst Road, Blaxland East, phone: 02 4739 1690. Hosted on the Blaxland Uniting Church Lawn (or inside if it rains), there's a free sausage sizzle at 6:30pm, carols and Christmas songs start at 7:30pm followed by a yummy supper at 8:30pm.
Christmas Eve Carols - Hazelbrook, Sunday 24th December from 5pm. Great Western Highway, Hazelbrook (turn at clear view parade), phone: 4758 6120. Held in the Hazelbrook Public School hall, includes a free supper and will run regardless of the weather.
Christmas Lights Despite the lack of snow, there's something magical and Christmassy about seeing a suburban street all lit up, with brightly coloured Christmas lights. Part of the excitement is roaming the streets, turning the corner and stumbling upon a brilliantly lit up house, but to make it easier, here's a starting list of places known for great lights.
Christmas lights in Lithgow. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
Glenbrook ~ Head east on Park St, away from the shops, onto Lucasville Road and then just zig-zag north and south following the streets around. Some houses offer simple and minimalist lighting, whilst others are grand.
Springwood ~ The Avenue (off the highway) is known for having great lights, but you'll need to park elsewhere and walk down.
Lawson ~ Queens Road has a few houses with lights
Leura ~ In Railway Parade, opposite Westgate Park, there is a house that has an intricate and animated Christmas display. It's best to park nearby and walk to see it, as the road is a main thoroughfare. The Village shops have decorations and the shops also have lights.
Christmas Lights in Leura. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
Lithgow ~ Forty minutes drive beyond Katoomba, Hartley Valley Road through Vale Of Clywwyd features many homes adorned in Christmas lights. In Finlay Avenue, there is a house that synchronises their lights in time to a local radio station. On the other side of the tracks, past the Lithgow Workies Club there are some fantastic lights on Ivatts St, Sandford Road, Wilton Close and Busby St.
There's something beautiful about communities coming together to sing carols and decorate their houses; it helps re-create the spirit of Christmas.
Does your street get together to put up Christmas lights? If so comment below.
Christmas lights. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.