A mum who uses adventures and outings around town as an excuse to avoid the housework.
Published December 14th 2015
Top activities for families at the shops this Christmas
School holidays have begun and Christmas preparations are in full swing. A perfect combination for producing some of Brisbane's best free or low-cost entertainment for families in a place where you might least expect it – shopping centres. Check out our list of the top 10 Christmas Shopping Centre activities and events happening around Brisbane this year.
When: Daily until Thursday 24th December, during store trading hours Where: Myer Brisbane City Level 4 Cost: Free
Visit the magical North Pole wonderland known as Santaland. Grab your free golden ticket to ride the Santaland Express Train (height restrictions apply), write your own letter to Santa Claus, or visit the jolly old man himself. You may even be lucky enough to pat his reindeer – but be sure not to wake them!
Good to know: During peak periods you could experience long wait times to see Santa. Visitor numbers drop off during the evening Myer Christmas Parade. Bookings to see Santa can be made – see here.
Ride the Train at Santaland
Myer Brisbane City Christmas Windows
When: Daily until Wednesday 6th January 2016, 7:30am – 1am Where: Myer Brisbane City Cost: Free
The Myer City Christmas window display tradition continues this year with Little Dog and the Christmas Wish. Based on the book by the same name, this year's display depicts Christmas Eve 1956 where a little lost dog is trying to make his way home amongst the hustle and bustle of the festive season. Click here for a sneak peek.
Good to know: Window viewing experiences peak periods during the early to mid-evening.
Christmas Bauble Decorating
When: Monday 14th – Friday 18th December, 10am – 1pm Where: Stafford City Shopping Centre Cost: Free
Kids can make their own beautiful Christmas bauble decorations to hang on the tree. Drop in during activity hours – bookings not required.
Good to know: Spend $30 at any specialty store in the centre and receive a Santa photo free.
Christmas Pet Photos
When: Sunday 20th December, 7 – 8:30am Where: Westfield North Lakes Cost: From $28.95
Include your pet in the traditional Santa photo this year. Special Santa visit/photo session times have been dedicated to Santa paws. Bookings are essential. All pets must be on a leash.
Good to know: Book early to avoid disappointment.
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
David Hamilton Puppet Show
When: Thursday 17th December – Wednesday 23rd December, 11am & 1pm daily Where: Toombul Shopping Centre Cost: Free
Everyone's favourite puppeteer, David Hamilton, will be returning to Toombul this Christmas. Together with his group of gorgeous marionettes, this Christmas-themed show will feature family favourites that will have everyone bopping along to festive tunes.
Good to know: Post-show merchandise may be available for purchase.
Celebrate a colourful Christmas at this all-ages free event. It's a Christmas concert with a difference - music, singing and dancing, with colour blasts. Santa will even be making a special appearance. Bookings are required. Participants will be able to collect their own coloured holi-powder upon registration on the day of the event.
Good to know: Wear white or light coloured clothes to take full advantage of the colour blasts and make your colours shine. Wear sunglasses or goggles to avoid potential eye irritation. Public transport is advised.
Thinking of shopping till midnight? Then begin the evening with a party-like celebration in the Piazza of Loganholme's Hyperdome shopping centre. Keep the whole family entertained with the Hoot & Hootabelle Christmas show, dancers, light-up LED hula hoopers, beat boxing, choirs, and a special performance from X-factor winner Dami Im. The grand finale will feature an illuminating fireworks spectacular. Santa will be stopping by to check out the show too.
Good to know: There is a wide variety of restaurants and cafes in the Piazza which will be open for dinner and desert.
Source: Hyperdome Facebook Page
Little Elves Lounge
When: Daily until Thursday 24th December, 10am – 4pm Where: Grand Plaza Browns Plains Cost: Free
Kids can chill out (without the North Pole freeze) in the Little Elves Lounge while the serious shoppers can put their feet up too. Little ones will enjoy the gaming zone, drawing easels, and block building, set amongst an Australiana-winter scene.
Good to know: The lounge is contained within a fence area.
Grand Plaza Little Elves Lounge
Awkward Family Photos
When: Thursday – Saturday until 24th December, times vary Where: Westfield Carindale Cost: Free
We all have them. Those awkward Christmas family photos that are tucked away somewhere never to again see the light of day. Well now you can re-create those moments with a bit of fun using Westfield Carindale's props and photo booth. Who knows – it could just become your next profile pic.
Good to know: You could win a $500 Westfield gift voucher by sharing your awkward pic on social media (terms and conditions apply).
'Twas the Night Before Christmas Storytime
When: Thursday 24th December, times vary Where: Carindale, Indooroopilly, Mt Ommaney & Sunnybank Hills Brisbane City Council Libraries Cost: Free
Build up the excitement of Christmas Eve and the anticipation of Christmas morning with a reading of this classic Christmas poem. There will be carol singing, craft and snacks at selected locations. Children are welcome to dress up in their festive fare and bring a pillow or blanket.
Good to know: Brisbane City Council Libraries located both within and external from shopping centres offer a wide range of free Christmas activities - check the website for details.
In an effort to win the hearts and dollars of consumer's shopping centres are going way past standard Santa Photos. They are getting even more creative with their festive entertainment options. Share your local Christmas shopping centre adventures in the comments section with other Weekend Notes readers.