Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Good tidings to all! However you like to say it, Melbourne is spreading the festive spirit all month long.
City of Melbourne’s Christmas Festival (30 November–25 December, 2018) includes Christmas Square located at Federation Square and incredible Christmas light projections. This year the light projections will be at three locations—Federation Square, with a feature animated show, and static shows at Melbourne Town Hall and New Quay Promenade in Docklands.
At Christmas Square, there will be a 16-metre tall Christmas tree featuring a beautiful new sparkling star as well as the iconic giant Christmas Bauble. Visitors will be able to make their mark on Federation Square’s Yarra Building by producing their own Christmas projection, using savvy interactive finger paint technology to control the light projections.
Families can visit Santa with his elves and take free photos on their smartphones at Santa’s House outside Melbourne Town Hall. Santa’s House will be open from 10 am–12 pm and 1 pm–3 pm daily. Santa will also be around Thursday and Friday evenings from 4 pm–7 pm.
The Gingerbread Village, created by the pastry chefs from Epicure, will be the biggest one yet as it returns for its eighth year at a new location in the Riverside Gallery at Federation Square. City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said, “The Gingerbread Village, made from 560kg of gingerbread, will feature famous Melbourne landmarks, with all profits supporting the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation”.
Melbourne’s Myer Christmas Window display celebrates 63 years in 2018. Get in early to avoid the queues (view the windows daily 7.30 am–1 am until 6 January) and enjoy this year’s spectacular “Alice in Wonderland” theme. The six windows are the culmination of 12,000 hours of work from start to finish, with 40 artisans working to bring the animation to life.
To coincide with the festive season, the new exhibition “Make Believe: The Story of the Myer Christmas Windows” is on now at Melbourne Museum. For generations, families have made the trip into town to gaze at the miniature make-believe worlds behind the glass, in what has for many become a beloved and unmissable tradition. The exhibition is a magical experience for children and adults alike, with more than 250 quirky and kitsch characters from windows past, sketches, prototypes, props and animatronics on display.
The Old Treasury Building also celebrates with their annual Christmas display from the 1920s. By the 1920s there were quite sophisticated Christmas decorations for sale in the shops, but most people could not afford them. Instead, newspapers of the time printed designs and patterns for cheerful decorations, which could be made at home using readily available materials. As a reminder of times past, the Old Treasury Building has used these patterns to recreate a homely Christmas in the caretakers’ basement flat. It’s Christmas from a time gone by!
For a fun-filled Christmas concert head to the Arts Centre Melbourne. “Christmas with the MSO” sees the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra joined by soprano and ARIA-Award nominee, Greta Bradman, for two shows on 8 December. Benjamin Northey will lead the Orchestra through a traditional and contemporary repertoire including carols such as “White Christmas” and “Silent Night”.
However you choose to celebrate, always remember–Santa is making his list and checking it twice, so remember to be nice!