A festive guide to the best Christmas events happening in Geelong this year

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A festive guide to the best Christmas events happening in Geelong this year

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Words by Staff Writer

Geelong is boasting a huge variety of festive activities this year. Here are some ideas on where to jingle your bells this Christmas in Geelong.

Now that the halls have been decked, stockings have been hung, and trees are glistening, it’s time to embrace the festive wonderland that is Christmas in Geelong.

The city is teeming with festive activities, and here’s a curated list of the very best things to jingle your bells.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here

Floating Christmas Tree

The iconic 25-metre tall metallic beauty is back on the waterfront, shining brighter than ever. Catch the six-minute Sound and Light Shows being staged nightly from 8.30pm. There’s even a Family Friendly Sound and Light Shows on Saturdays in December.

It’s a mesmerising sight and just one of the many festive attractions throughout the city.

Giant Selfie Trail

Across 20 locations around Geelong is a gigantic selfie trail, where the Insta-worthy backdrops allow for a variety of festive photos; including kiss under the mistletoe, being trapped inside Christmassy snow globes, a selfie with Santa and becoming a Christmas tree decoration.

There are seven great locations within walking distance in central Geelong and others close by at Eastern Beach and Geelong West too!

Check out the full list, locations, and map here.

Christmas in the Gardens

Unwrap the magic of the season at Geelong’s brand-new festive family affair, Christmas in the Gardens. This joy-filled event promises holiday cheer for all ages, with a sleigh-load of activities to make your season extra special. From photos with Santa to creative crafts, movie magic, and more, here’s a sneak peek at what awaits:

  • Snap a Pic with Santa: Capture the joy with a festive photo moment alongside Santa himself.
  • Face Painting: Transform little faces into holiday wonders with our talented face painters.
  • Christmas Photo Booth: Strike a pose and create a cherished Christmas memory in our themed photo booth.
  • Crafts and Activities: Unleash your creativity with holiday-themed crafts, including sand art, stencils, and more.
  • Deck the Halls Movie Night: Settle on the lawn for a festive movie night featuring the Christmas classic “Deck the Halls.”
  • Pot a Plant: Green thumbs, get ready to pot a plant and add your own decorative touch.
  • Music and Performances: Immerse yourself in the festive spirit with Christmas tunes, storytelling, and interactive circus acts.
  • Giant Games: Test your skills with oversized chess, Connect Four, and more.
  • Scavenger Hunt: Embark on a festive scavenger hunt for a chance to win exciting prizes.
  • Sunken Glass House: Explore the living Christmas display in the heritage Sunken Glasshouse.
  • Plant Sales: Bring home a piece of the holiday spirit with plant purchases from the Friends Nursery.
  • Meli Activation for the Geelong Giving Tree: Support those in need with a purchase from the chocolate Christmas Tree or Star.
  • Barwon Water Activation: Stay hydrated with a station, games, giveaways, and activities.
  • Bite to Eat: Choose from delicious food options, including WYM at the Tea House and food trucks offering spiral potatoes, vegan delights, doughnuts, and slushies.

This enchanting event is free, and bookings are hassle-free – just turn up on the day with your little ones. Remember, each ticket covers one child and one parent or guardian, ensuring a magical time for everyone.

Geelong’s Botanic Gardens is transforming into a festive wonderland this December

Christmas Movies Screenings

Get ready for a magical cinematic experience as Geelong lights up with holiday cheer! Join the Christmas in Geelong program for a jolly good time featuring these festive favourites:

  1. Christmas at the Shed: Home Alone (PAID) – 15 December 2023
  2. Christmas in the Gardens: Deck the Halls (FREE) – 16 December 2023
  3. Christmas at the Pools: Santa Clause and Santa Clause 2 (FREE) – 17 December 2023

Find out more about these screenings here.

Christmas Festival of Lights

A must-see spectacle, the Christmas Festival of Lights at Adventure Park promises a dazzling display with over 3.3 million lights in its biggest event yet. Explore the 1000 dazzling light installations and displays, with theme park rides, performances, and a visit from Santa himself make it a festive treat.

Huge new light installations include a 100m lights maze, 4m tall Reindeer, 8m long Ice Castle, 25m Candy Cane tunnel, 15m Christmas Tree and more, totalling 300,000 new lights. Plus there’s a life-sized, animated musical singing show with Polar Bear characters, and a high-flying Elf Trapeze Show.

Operating from 6 pm to 10:30 pm, be sure to grab your tickets before they sell out.

Christmas Projections

As part of the Christmas in Geelong festivities, City Hall transforms into a mesmerising spectacle with stunning Christmas-themed projections. The enchanting display, brought to life by esteemed multimedia projection artist Matt Bonner, promises a magical journey through festive wonder.

Best experienced in-person, you can watch the projections from a marked viewing area at ground level or opt for a bird’s eye view from the Civic Car Park from 8:30pm to 11:30pm each night.

This year’s show unveils a compilation of animated Christmas scenes from previous years. Matt Bonner’s creative direction centres around the captivating Christmas Star, guiding viewers through a tapestry of festive themes. From intricately adorned Christmas decorations to the transformation of City Hall into Santa’s Workshop, the projection captures the true spirit and wonder of the holiday season.

Projections will run through until 7 January 2024.

Carols by Candlelight Geelong

Gear up for the 60th edition of the cherished Carols by Candlelight, returning to Johnstone Park on Sunday, 24th December at 7:30 pm. This free community event promises an enchanting evening filled with festive joy right through until 10pm Xmas eve!

Indulge in delectable offerings from our food truck vendors or bring a picnic to share with loved ones. Grab a picnic rug, immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit, and mark Christmas Eve in the heart of Geelong.

Find out more here.

Piccadilly Christmas Market

Consistently serving as our final nudge to get into gear for the past few years, the annual Piccadilly Christmas Market is returning to Geelong once again, going ahead on Saturday, December 16 2023 at the Barwon Valley Activity Centre in Belmont from 10am to 3pm.

Boasting more than 100 stalls this December, the Christmas edition of the market will be one of its biggest yet, featuring Geelong’s most talented jewellers, fashion designers, illustrators, artists, local alcohol producers, food producers, and makers, all there to provide you with artsy gift ideas for everyone on your Christmas list.

Alongside all the products up for grabs, this year’s market will also see the return of food trucks, outdoor seating, a fun farm for kids at just $5, free face painting, and roaming and live entertainment, making this quite the outing for all.

A massive indoor Christmas Market is coming to Geelong with 100+ local makers

School Christmas Trees

Each year the display of Christmas trees made by local students is always the most crafty way to inspire festivities, and this year, thirty trees are on display in the forecourt at Johnstone Park in one bold location.

Christmas Nights at The Carousel

Step into the enchanting world of Geelong’s beloved Carousel for a special after-hours Christmas experience. From riding the horses to engaging in festive crafts, immerse yourself in the magical Christmas atmosphere.

Here you’ll find planned activities and access to the family-friendly Sound and Light show, featuring the iconic floating Christmas tree.

No bookings required with entry to the Carousel pavilion, face painting, and craft activities are all FREE. Purchase onsite tickets for a magical Carousel ride.

Upcoming dates: include 16 December 2023 and 23 December 2023.

Christmas is ON in Geelong, so head into the city and soak up some pure, Christmas spirit before it’s too late. Explore the full Christmas program here