Oh, what a wonderful time of year the festive season in Melbourne is! Whether or not you celebrate Christmas or Chunukah, the slide towards summer brings us warmer weather, a decent smattering of public holidays, schools and universities break-up – and many offices wind up operations for the year.
In short – it’s a great time to find opportunities to spend quality time with those we love.
In Naarm (Melbourne), the city lights up with gorgeous decorations and projections – and of course the city’s famous Christmas Tree is back, once again, at Fed Square.
As the heart of the city, Fed Square is the perfect jumping-off point for your festive adventures – a gathering place to meet, sit on the steps at Swanston Street Forecourt, in the Christmas garden that pops up each year, as the sun goes down and the tree lights up.
This year, each evening from 9pm until 11pm, the giant 16metre-high Christmas Tree will also dazzle with a sound and light display – so be sure to plan your evening visit to Fed Square to coincide with this on-the-hour spectacle.
And once you’ve been wowed by the tree and soaked up some festive spirit at Christmas Square, we recommend meandering through the Atrium, towards Flinders Street, where you’ll encounter the Flinders Street Projections. Put on by the City of Melbourne as part of their Christmas Festival, the projections will light up five buildings, including the striking façade of the Forum, with a Christmas-themed story.
Looking for Melbourne Christmas activities with the kids? During the day, Santa’s Workshop will be open, where you can stop by for a pic with dear old St Nick. Open daily 10am until 5.30pm, with extended hours on Thursdays and Fridays until 7.30pm, we highly recommend coming early to avoid queues. Santa is a popular guy this time of year!
On top of the free Christmas activities on daily at Fed Square – this year, there are some extra-special events planned that you’ll definitely want to mark in your calendar.
The inimitable sparkle-tastic duo, The Huxleys, will be presenting an evening celebrating all that is decorative and OTT about Christmas – As Camp as Christmas. Featuring live performances from a host of drag, diva, glam, cabaret and comedic artists – As Camp as Christmas will be fun, frivolous and fantastic, and finish up with a free screening of camp-classic film, The Wizard of Oz. Be sure to wear your ruby slippers for this one!
Harry Potter fans are in for a treat too, as Christmas in the Wizarding World is back again for a second year – bigger and better than ever. Hosted by Aussie digital creator Dave Lee Down Under, kids and families can expect heaps of photo opps (Head to Platform 9 ¾, jump on board the Hogwarts Express or join in a game of Quidditch) awesome official Harry Potter and Wizarding World merch and treat giveaways, a wand combat workshop, Harry Potter trivia and of course incredible prizes to be won for best-dressed, thanks to event partner Warner Bros. Discovery. The magical day will conclude with a free (of course!) screening of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Other special events include: Koorie Kristmas; a curated program of festive-themed small-group workshops where you can make your own Christmas wreath, jewellery or Christmas decorations; a free screening of classic Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life; and – for those celebrating Chanukah rather than Christmas – the annual Pillars of Light Festival, with six evenings of bespoke live entertainment and the nightly lighting of the Menorah.
With so many free activities, Festive HQ at Fed Square is a great place for you and your family and friends to enjoy all the joy, wonder and magic of this time of year – without putting pressure on your purse-strings. Whether you’re looking for daytime playtime or evening adventures – we’ve got you covered.See you at Festive HQ to experience the best in fun, free Melbourne Christmas activities!