Gayle is a retired accountant and a photography enthusiast living on Victoria's beautiful Bass Coast. Gayle is passionate about writing and keen to showcase Aussie culture to a global audience. Gayle loves her family, dogs, sunsets, and chocolate.
Published November 12th 2019
Fun free events for kids at Christmas time
It's nearly here. The year seems to have barely got underway and it's time to think about Christmas again. Letterboxes are choc-a-block with gift catalogues, trees are decorated and plans are being made. Soon children will be counting the sleeps to the big day. Mixed with all of the excitement, joy and festivity there is a cost; or is there? In keeping with the spirit of Christmas, Melbourne has turned on so much for free you will be spoilt for choice. So check your calendars and treat the kids for free.
Christmas is Coming - Image by Herbert Aust from Pixabay
1. Myer Christmas Window (10th Nov. 2019 to 5th Jan. 2020) This year's much anticipated Myer Christmas window has been unveiled, continuing a tradition that now spans 64 years. The Gum Nut Babies by Australian author and illustrator May Gibbs has been chosen for the 2019 display. While the wonderful Snugglepot and Cuddlepie will bring back happy childhood memories for many of us, it will also bring delight to our newest generations of children. The windows, at the Myer store in Bourke Street, are on display from 7:00am to 11pm daily from 10th November 2019 to the 5th January 2020. For more details and some interesting history about the Myer Christmas Window click here.
Myer 2013 Christmas Window Display - Gingerbread Friends (Image by Chris Phutully from Australia CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
2. Crown's Christmas Spectacular (24th Nov.) Crown is celebrating the beginning of the festive season with it Atrium Spectacular show. Each year Crown decorates its Atrium for Christmas on a grand scale. Actor, television host and singer-songwriter Rob Mills will be performing. Children will be able to have their photo taken with Santa and his Samoyed puppies. This event takes place in the Atrium of the Crown Entertainment Complex at 8 Whiteman Street, South Bank. It will run Sunday 24th November. For more details click here.
Crown Atrium 2016 - Photo from Crown Melbourne Facebook Page
3. Christmas Festival Launch Party (29th Nov.) Head on down to Christmas Square to witness the launch of Melbourne's annual Christmas Festival. Watch the Christmas magic come alive as the lights on the 16 metre high LED Christmas tree come on for the first time this season. Children will look on with wonder as the city's giant tree springs to life. Don't miss the arrival of Santa Claus; listen for his sleigh bells. The ceremony will be held at Christmas Square (City Square) at the corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets on Friday 29h November from 7.00pm to 9pm. For more details click here.
Christmas Tree in Melbourne 2013 (Image by Chris Phutully from Australia - Uploaded by russavia) -CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
4. Christmas Projections and Christmas Tree Light Shows (29th Nov. to 25th Dec.) It's a big Christmas projections show this year with the State Library of Victoria, the Melbourne Town Hall and Princes Bridge all transformed into Christmas wonders in a spectacular light show. This year the projections will start with a feature show, a Melbourne Night before Christmas, written by Marieke Hardy and narrated by Lee Lin Chin at the State Library of Victoria. The State Library of Victoria is at 328 Swanston Street, The Melbourne Town Hall is at 90-130 Swanston Street, and the Princes Bridge sits over the Yarra River where St Kilda Road meets Swanston Street. The light show will run 9pm to 10.45pm from Friday 29th November to Wednesday 25th December. For more details click here. When you've soaked in the projections head over to Christmas square on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Street for the Christmas Tree Light Show. Between 9pm and 11pm the tree will come to life with four light and sound shows each evening. For more details click here.
2013 Melbourne Town Hall Christmas Projection (Image by Chris Phutully from Australia CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons).
5. Frankston Christmas Festival of Lights (30th Nov.) This festival is now in its 22nd year and there is no doubt the City of Frankston knows how to throw a good party. Don't miss out on live music and Christmas carols on the legendary main stage, Santa visits in Cube 37, Kid's activities, Rides and amusements, Foods from around the world, and Santa's Grand Arrival Parade. You'll want to keep the kids awake for the highlight of the evening, the lighting of the century-old Norfolk Pine Christmas tree and the grand finale, the fireworks display. The festival will run on Saturday November 30th, 2019 from 5pm to 9pm at the Frankston Arts Centre precinct, the Frankston Library, Davey Street and surrounds. Entry to the festival is free as are a children's show, Santa visits and craft activities at the Frankston Arts Centre. Rides, food, market stalls and amusements must be paid for. For more details click here.
Stick around for the fireworks - Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge
6. Carlton Christmas Cinema (30th Nov. to 21st Dec.) As part of Melbourne's Christmas Festival there will be free screenings of family Christmas movies at Arglye Square. This outdoor cinema will be screening The Muppet's Christmas Carol on Saturday 30th November, The Nightmare Before Christmas on Saturday 7th December, The Holiday on Saturday 14th December, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Saturday 21st December. The movies will screen at 8.30pm and will be finished by 11.00pm. Argyle Square is at 153 Lygon Street, Carlton. For more details click here.
7. Santa's House at Christmas Square (30th Nov. to 24th Dec.) No Christmas Festival would be complete without Santa. What child does not delight in sitting on Santa's knee and whispering their Christmas wish list in Santa's ear. There is no charge to visit Santa. He will be in attendance at Christmas (City) Square at on the corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets, daily (10am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm and 4pm to 7pm on Thursdays and Fridays) between Saturday 30th November and Tuesday 24th December. For more details click here.
Visit Santa - Image by Jonathan Meath [CC BY-SA 2.5 (creativecommons.org licenses by-sa 2.5) via Wikimedia Commons
8. Gingerbread Village (30th Nov. To 24th Dec.) The Gingerbread Village is back for another year. Your children's eyes will pop at the wonderful gingerbread renditions of Melbourne's iconic landmarks created by the chefs from Epicure. There will be activities and treats for the children. This event is free but a gold coin donation is requested to raise funds for the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation. The Gingerbread Village will be on display and 9am to 8.15pm daily from Saturday 30th November to Tuesday 24th December at Collins Lane, 260 Collins Street, Melbourne. For more details click here.
Christmas Gingerbread - Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay
9. Santa's Mail Box and Giving Box (4th Dec. to 11th Dec.) We've all posted letters to Santa for our excited little ones but how happy will they be if they receive a reply from Santa himself. Address your child's letter to Santa Claus, include a self-addressed and stamped envelope and drop it in Santa's Mail Box at Australia Post GPO, 260 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne or at The District Docklands, where you'll find another Santa' Mailbox. Letters dropped in the box between the 4th November and 11th December will receive replies from Santa. If you would like to celebrate the season by dropping off a present for those less fortunate there is a giving box at the 260 Elizabeth Street site. For more details click here.
Jells Park Christmas Carols - Photo from City of Monash Facebook Page
10. Carols by Candlelight at Jells Park (8th Dec.) Jells Park is a premier family space all year round but at Christmas it becomes extra special as the City of Monash puts on its annual Carols by Candlelight. Monash community members are invited to attend this fantastic free event with regular host Pete Smith. At 4pm the event kicks off with Tinsel Town celebrations. Returning this year are the popular free rides and children's activities and an opportunity for photos with Santa Claus. This is followed at 7.15pm with pre-show entertainment from Bethany Fisher and her dancers. The Carols by Candlelight main concert includes Monash University Chorale and the Monash Carols by Candlelight Band along with an impressive line-up of soloists. It commences at 8pm and runs until 10pm but don't head home after that. If the weather is good the night will end with a spectacular fireworks display. Who could ask for anything more. The event runs from 4pm to 10pm on Sunday 8th December at Jells Park, Waverley Road, Wheelers Hill. For more details including transport options and parking click here.