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 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 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 and/or organise a great thing for them to do as opposed to a gift they may not want.

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.

Day Trips and Stops on the road to Brisbane 

Stay in Sydney

Santas on Sydney HarbourIf 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 ClimbYou 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 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. If you worry about sharks – don’t.

Santa Fest – Darling Harbour – Friday, 27th November to Christmas Eve

Santa Fest Darling Harbour SydneyIt 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. Never have Santas been in such demand. There will be a Santa shortage at this rate. 

Fireworks and Music

darling harbour fireworksStrings, 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.

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

Woolworths Carols in the Domain – Saturday, 19th December

Carols in the domain is said to be Australia’s largest free Christmas concert. The fun commences at 12pm and warms up with an afternoon pre-event at 3pm. Performances will come from a barrage of talented musicians and artists all in support of the very worthy Salvation Army.

Carols in the Domain

City of Sydney Celebrations

Xmas for Kids 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.

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

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.

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, also has a lot of non-reptilian creatures to see. They really should think about a name change.

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 breath-taking 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 and / or subscribing to Top 100’s Newsletter.

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

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