New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published November 18th 2016
Scroll through the list to see what is happening near you
Christmas is back in a big way in Canberra, with hundreds of events held all around the city to celebrate the festive season. Local churches will have nights of carolling, communities are getting together for nights of family entertainment and markets are planned across the region, so we can shop 'til we drop before Christmas. These 30 events are just a small taste of what's to come - so jot the dates in your diary, hang onto your Santa hat and get out there in the friendly Canberra community. You won't want to miss a thing!
* Details correct at time of writing, please check websites before you visit for outdoor events.
Sparrow - Folk: A Very Nestie Christmas. Source: The Street Theatre website
Thursday, 1st December Sparrow - Folk: A Very Nestie Christmas is a cheeky Christmas Show on at The Street Theatre in the CBD between the 1st - 3rd of December. See details here.
Friday, 2nd December Eco Elves Night Market will be held at the Canberra Environment Centre in Acton. Shop for local, handmade, eco-friendly, fair-trade and up-cycled gifts as the sun sets. There will also be food stalls, live music and family fun at this all ages event on Lake Burley Griffin. See details here.
Snowy Hydro SouthCare Christmas Gala will be on at the EPIC in the evening, as they transform the Capital Region Farmers Market into a unique black tie venue to raise money for the helicopter rescue service. See details here.
Saturday, 3rd December Christmas Fayre will be held at All Saints Anglican Church in Ainslie between 9am - 1:30pm. There will be music, kids activities, Devonshire teas, Asian noodles, spring rolls, sausage sizzle and more. See details here. Merry Christmas Mr Wolf is a dinner and show presented by the Teatro Vivaldi Restaurant in Acton. This humorous festive show includes some very naughty nursery rhyme characters. It will be on each night between 3rd - 23rd December. See details here.
Christmas Decorations at Calthorpes' House in Red Hill - join a guided tour of this historic home and see how the Calthorpe family dressed their home during Christmas. Christmas-themed tours will be run each weekend in December at Calthorpes' House and also at Mugga Mugga in Symonston. See details here.
Christmas Kids at Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston will have a free Christmas Elf Show along with pony rides, petting zoo, jumping castle and a cash give-away. Old Bus Depot Markets will be open both Saturdays and Sundays for the month of December. See details here.
Foodish Cooking Classes in Belconnen will be hosting Saturday Christmas classes to teach adults and kids some hints, tips and recipes to get ready for Christmas. Learn how to make Chocolate truffles, a Paleo Christmas lunch, DIY gingerbread houses and more. The adult classes are held on Saturday 3rd, 10th and 17th of December. Kids Cooking Classes on the 10th and 17th of December. See details here.
Belconnen Westfield Shopping Centre has Santa's Breakfast, Gingerbread House Making, roaming Christmas characters and Story Telling Time for kids. See details here.
Gold Creek Chrissy Fun Fest will be held at Gold Creek Village in Nicholls. There will be markets, kids activities, fashion parade, BBQ's and late night shopping. Cockington Green Gardens and the National Dinosaur Museum will also be open at night. See details here and below.
Monday, 5th December - Wednesday, 7th December Road to Bethlehem nativity display will be held over 3 nights, run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Held at the Canberra Christian School, there are tours of the nativity scenes running every 15 minutes from 7pm, as well as market stalls, live entertainment and animal rides. See details here.
Friday, 9th December Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol by Tom Mula will be showing at the Street Theatre in the CBD between 9th - 11th of December. This production tells the real story behind Dickens' A Christmas Carol - with one talented actor, over a dozen characters and a couple of suitcases. See details here.
Night Markets Canberra will be holding a night of Christmas shopping, live music and delicious food stalls in Barton. See details here.
Saturday, 10th December Christmas Carols and Picnic at Lanyon Homestead in Tuggeranong is a family friendly event with carols, crafts for kids, sausage sizzle and entertainment. Entry is $10 per car. See details here.
2016 Annual Toy Run is held by the Motorcycle Riders Association of ACT. Over 1,000 bikes and riders are expected to gather at Old Parliament House for the ride-out procession, which commences at 10:00am. Donate new toys, nonperishable food or cash to support the Salvation Army and St John's Caregift in helping others through the festive season. See details here.
Christmas Fair - St Peter's Weston is a free evening of family fun with jumping castle, markets, Christmas Carols and more. See details here. Belconnen Christmas in the Park is organised by the Mosaic Baptist Church and will have singing, entertainment, kids activities, a petting zoo, jumping castles, a Harley - riding Santa and ACT Australian of the Year, Alan Tongue. See details here.
Handmade Market at the EPIC (Exhibition Park in Canberra) will be having a Christmas themed market on both the 10th and 11th of December, with handmade presents to buy, delicious food to enjoy on the day and homemade delights to take home and enjoy throughout December. Get all your Christmas shopping done here. See details here.
Canberra Christmas Markets at the EPIC will be on again for another year, over both days of the weekend, in the same location as the markets above. If you haven't bought any Christmas decorations or presents yet, then this is a one-stop-shop for all your Christmas needs. See details here.
Sunday, 11th December Harrison Christmas Carols will be held at Mullion Park, organised by Northside Life Church. This is an event for Harrison locals to get together, however all are welcome. See details here.
Special Christmas Concert at the High Court is an annual choral performance, held in their high ceiling acoustic foyer. Helen Moore and Canberra soloist Louise Page join together with the Luminescence Chamber Singers for this Christmas Concert for all ages. Tickets need to be bought online and are not available at the door. See details here. Carols For Our Community will be held at the Life Unlimited Church in Charnwood, for an afternoon and evening of Christmas cheer. See details here.
Wednesday, 14th December A Christmas Concert at the National Library of Australia will be held across lunchtime, with favourite carols and music for the season from across the centuries. See details here. Carols By Candlelight will be held at Stage 88 at Commonwealth Park. The Woden Valley Youth Choir will be once again performing, accompanied by the Canberra City Band. Take a picnic dinner, buy a candle for charity and enjoy the night with family and friends. See details here.
Friday, 16th December Christmas in the City will be having a free concert under the Christmas tree on the evening of December 16th, with headlining act Shannon Noll. They will also be hosting night markets between the 16th - 24th December at City Walk in the CBD. There will be nightly food markets showcasing a range of international food and entertainment, as well as the Handcrafted and Gifts Markets in Ainslie Place nearby. Both have a canopy of fairy lights and entry is by donation to the Red Nose appeal. On the nights of 16th and 17th of December, the food markets will have the theme Burgers, Beer and BBQ. See details here. For an article on Christmas in the City 2016, see here.
St Mary in the Valley Calwell Christmas Carols is an annual event at Calwell Shopping Centre, starting at 6pm. See details here.
Saturday 17th December Earthly Delights Christmas Ball is a period Ball held at the Canberra Baptist Church in Kingston. If you buy a ticket to the ball it also includes entry to the Regency Picnic next day to celebrate Jane Austen's birthday. See details here.
Yarralumla Does Christmas will be held at Weston Park between 5pm - 7:30pm. There will be a family friendly concert and picnic to celebrate the end of the year and the Christmas season. See details here. The Llewellyn Choir's Christmas Concert will be held at Wesley Uniting Church in Forrest starting at 6pm. See details here.
Source: The Llewellyn Choir's Christmas Concert Try Booking website
Sunday 18th December Carols in Town Park at Tuggeranong Park is a night of carols and picnics, featuring Amber Nichols (from "The Voice"), jumping castles, pony rides and more. See details here.
The week before Christmas - if you are looking for something to do in the last days before Christmas, check out the Handcrafted and Gift Markets that are on each night until Christmas Eve, as well as the Street Food Markets (18th/19th), the Sweet Tooth Dessert Markets (20th/21st/22nd) and the Cocktails and Canapés Markets (23rd/24th) - all found in the middle of the CBD. Why not get out to some of these Christmas events and track down some carols and events happening near you.
Where else can you sing your heart out in public and no one will bat an eyelid?
Merry Christmas! Source: Carols in the Park Facebook