The City – November 29 to December 24
The moment that the Christmas tree standing pride of place in King George Square is illuminated, you know Christmas in Brisbane has well and truly arrived. From rousing sing-alongs at the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols through to late-night gifting sprees, the CBD is positively packed with festive cheer this year. Always a favourite, the annual Brisbane City Christmas Parade is returning with a host of new characters that are set to charm everyone they come across – and we’re also heard whispers that Santa will be hanging out in the Myer Centre to see who’s been naughty or nice! Be sure to look up while you’re walking around – some of our city’s most stunning heritage spaces will be illuminated with festive light shows throughout the season. You can catch the beloved Gold Lotto City Hall Lights, featuring a brand-new storyline and characters by Brisbane’s own celebrated children’s author Samantha Wheeler. Following last year’s debut, this year also sees the return of The Lights of Christmas at St Stephen’s Cathedral – a novel show that celebrates the season through adorable animation and breathtaking light displays.
South Bank – December 20–23
Whether it’s the bustling late-night markets or the sea of glittering lights weaving through the iconic arbour trail and majestic River Quay Fig Tree, there are a few tell-tale signs that Christmas has arrived at South Bank. This year’s festive offering includes an abundance of premium family-friendly activities to ensure every guest leaves Christmas at South Bank filled with warm, fuzzy merriment. Kids will go nuts over Santa’s Stop Over, where they can meet the Man in Red at his glimmering South Bank post, as well as take part in storytelling and Australiana-themed craft. This year also sees Festive Beats bring local talent to the stages around South Bank to sing stunning originals and cheerful Christmas covers, as well as the jaw-dropping Carols Extravaganza at South Bank Piazza – an all-out performance incorporating song, dance and film. You can also usher in the silly season with a real bang, as the nightly Fireworks Spectacular makes its return to light up the night – a perfect welcoming signal for Santa, we’d say.
Roma Street Parkland – November 29 to December 13
When it comes to real Christmas magic, Roma Street Parkland is once again coming to the party this year. The lush precinct is bringing back its famous Enchanted Garden, the ultimate after-dark festive experience. Patrons can weave through a series of intricate displays that are like something out of a highly Instagrammable dream – from the shimmering gardens to the weeping figs and past the twinkling treetops of a rainforest. The Celebration Lawns and Lakeside Precincts will be brimming with Brisbane’s best food trucks to satiate all cravings – think Happy Soul Bowl and Juice Power as well as Flavours Of Eataly, Bill’s Burgers, and Koma Sliders joining the Parkland’s newbie The Garden Room Cafe. This year’s edition sees additional entry and exit points added to the garden wonderland, meaning guests can enter and exit at their own pace – so if you held off going last year due to queues and crowds, now is your chance!
If you’re feeling the festive spirit, head to the Christmas in Brisbane website to start planning your seasonal celebrations in more detail.