Things to do at Christmas in Sydney

Things to do at Christmas in Sydney and what to do in Sydney over Christmas

What to do at Christmas in Sydney

Things to do at Christmas in Sydney includes 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.

Gift Idea

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

Santas on Sydney Harbour

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!

Harbour Bridge Climb

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, 29th November to Christmas Eve

Santa Fest Darling Harbour Sydney

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.

Fireworks and Music

darling harbour fireworks

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.

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.

Santa Fest

City of Sydney Celebrations

Xmas for Kids

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… )

Father Christmas

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.

Village Concerts

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


A Christmas tree made of bricks sounds like a bad idea until we mention the word LEGO and then, brick by brick, it magically sounds far more constructive.

A LEGO Santa in his sleigh will more be there in tow at the Pitt Street Mall. As if the power of the L-Brick is insufficient a light show adds to the ‘legocy’ making it a ‘bricktory’ of formation over substance but hey – it’s Christmas! Smily Wink


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?

Australian Reptile Park

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

What’s Open on Christmas Day in Sydney?

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:

Things to do during the Summer School Holidays

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

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.

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

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.

Top 100 (plus) things to do

Free things to do

How to Best Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Sydney?

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