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Things to do at Christmas in Sydney and what to do in Sydney over Christmas
What to do at Christmas in Sydney
Below you will find Xmas Fireworks, Santa Fest and other many more festive celebrations. We will periodically update this page as new top things to do come to light. Please bookmark and/or subscribe to the Top 100 Newsletter for updates - you can unsubscribe at anytime.
Christmas presents are wonderful to give and receive but most of us find the acquiring side of the equation quite painful. In fact, it pains me just to write about it. One solution is to buy them a great thing to do as opposed to a gift they may not want.
I realise that's a very long list of things to do, you could just buy them the Top 100 Travel Guide E-Book, and offer to pay for anything they want to do from it.
Now enjoy yourself
Now that's got that out of the way, what are we going to do for Xmas? If you're anything like me you will be spending a lot of time eating and drinking, maybe a visit to the beach or pool (whilst eating and drinking) and spending time with friends and family (whilst eating and drinking of course).
Travel out of Sydney
Alternatively you might be heading off to partake in a traffic jam somewhere to be followed by eating and drinking…
Stay in Sydney
If you are staying at home for Christmas you should check your local council as there may be community events of interest. No doubt there will be numerous charities on the lookout for volunteers if you'd like to lend a hand. In these uncertain times what else is there to do in Sydney over Christmas?
Climb the Harbour Bridge!
You can climb the Harbour Bridge on Christmas Day! Now how amazing is that. What a Christmas present that would be. The Harbour Bridge Climb is one of the top 10 things to do. Some would go further and say it is a must thing to do. For quick overview of what to expect you should visit the top 10 things to do. The Bridge Climb is currently ranked at number 6. From there just follow the link directly to the Bridge Climb website if you want more information.
Go to the beach
Sydney's fabulous beaches are always open complete with the odd red and white beach goer full of Christmas cheer. Everyone is welcome to have fun in sun (in moderation of course, and with sunscreen ) on Christmas Day. After all, going to the beach on Christmas Day is an Aussie tradition. Many visitors and locals head for Bondi and Coogee Beaches to celebrate.
Christmas Windows - ends Christmas Eve
The Christmas window display at David Jones in the centre of town at Elizabeth Street is usually well worth seeing. Some people bring their kids into town just to see it. Don't feel you have to buy anything, shop online instead.
Santa Fest - Darling Harbour - Saturday, 30th November to Christmas Eve (Tuesday, 24th December)
It used to be that Santa came in one size, large, and generally down the chimney. Subsequently, Santa 'recruited' more and more assistants to frequent department stores and the like. This year, there will be even more Santas about taking over the waters of Darling Harbour and elevated above the ground on stilts. Never have Santas have been in such demand. There will be a Santa shortage at this rate.
Santa Fest Water Spectacular - Cockle Bay Wharf - Saturday, 30th November, from 6-30pm
The Santa Fest Water Spectacular will show off all the amazing things a Santa can do from water-skiing, ski-skiing and the taming of fiery dragon boats.
Illuminating Santa Claus
If you can stand the excitement there will 21 bright Santas (see below), fireworks and the lighting-up of the Darling Harbour Christmas Tree.
Want to see Santa Claus?
So would your child like to see Santa? They can, 21 one of them, 21 huge illuminated Santas in fact. Watch them bob up and down all day and watch them glow with delight at night.
Annual Variety Santa Fun Run, Sunday, 1st December
Not all the Santas have life that easy. It can hard work delivering all those presents. Watch the Santas raise their fitness levels in preparation during the Annual Variety Santa Fun Run.
Fireworks and Music
Strings, angelic voices and sing-a-longs. Get into the Christmas spirit and sing to your heart's content. As well as all this Xmas cheer there will be fireworks to elicit a few oohs and aahs.
Xmas Fireworks - Cockle Bay - Every Saturday, 9pm from Saturday 7th December to Saturday 21st December plus Christmas Eve
There will be a big finale of fireworks on Christmas Eve to end Santa Fest and welcome in Christmas Day. Preceding the loud bangs and flashes of light, will be carols near the massive Xmas Tree surrounded by smiling faces.
Carols by the Big Tree
Listen to some of the best cappella groups in Australia sing Christmas favourites for your listening pleasure.
Rain is allowed, Alcohol is not
Even if it rains, the Xmas spirit will not be extinguished, at least that's the plan. Alcohol may end proceedings for anyone who gets carried away, probably by being carried away. You can get a drink around Darling Harbour of course, just don't bring your own or overdo it.
City of Sydney Celebrations
Santa Moore - our Lord Mayor, is bringing us many nights of light projections, wandering carol singers, musical celebrations and village concerts. We are all invited to bring a picnic blanket and enjoy the festivities. You'll get to see some great Sydney bands and a few hearty renditions of Christmas carols.
Things to do for the kids
The kids will have some crafty things to do as well as games and other activities. The highlight for the kids will, of course, be that visit from the big man in red and white, Santa Claus (not the Lord Major I might add, but then again... )
Santa Claus has promised to take a break from his very busy schedule in order to light up Sydney's enormous Christmas tree. The only thing that could possibly top that is a fireworks display launched from the top of a few of Sydney's tall buildings.
The fireworks will mark the end of what promises to be a great night. For better or worse, Christmas will be in the air, and in your head, for almost a whole month.
Free, fabulous children's concerts will give everybody the chance to celebrate the festive season.
Town Hall Projections
The Town Hall adds to the cheer with its 'Christmas Projections'. These are expected to be bringing smiles to lots of people’s faces every night till Christmas Day.
For more on City of Sydney.
The Australian Reptile Park
It is easy to forget, unless you drive past it regularly, that we have a large family friendly zoo on our doorstep. The Australian Reptile Park, just an hour's drive north, has a lot of non-reptilian creatures to see and a mystery to solve. Why is Eric the Crocodile so cranky? The park used to claim he was Australia's most loved croc. So clearly something has happened to him, but what?
Go to the Zoo
It's great that Sydney has a world class zoo perched on a headland by the Harbour. A trip to Taronga Zoo brings with it some wonderful opportunities for amazing photography, and it is a great day out for the whole family. If you catch the ferry from Circular Quay with a zoo/ferry pass, you will not only save money but you will probably enjoy the day even more. If you don't mind heights, you should also hitch a ride on the Zoo's Sky Safari chair lift.
Taronga Zoo (Open Christmas Day!)
What's Open in Sydney on Christmas Day?
Sydney ferries run to a public holiday timetable and
Things to do over the Summer Holidays
The summer holidays are a wonderful time to spend some time with the kids ..until we run out of things to do:
Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
The yachts create a breathtaking spectacle as they depart from the Harbour on Boxing Day for this race with over half a century of tradition.
Top things to do, the Best Events and Festivals
There are always things happening and goings on in Sydney, even over the Holidays. We will keep an eye out for the best and most interesting events and festivals. We also update the list of top 100 (plus) things to do, many of which are free and can be done over Xmas. So to get the most out of Christmas by first travelling to the home page linked below and / or subscribing to Top 100's Newsletter.