The magical pop-up Christmas Village returns to Lara for three festive days

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The magical pop-up Christmas Village returns to Lara for three festive days

Words by staff Writer

The pop-up European-inspired Christmas Village is coming back to the Geelong region this year.

Prepare for enchantment as the Magical Christmas Village returns to Lara, transforming Mittagong Girl Guides Campsite into a festive winter wonderland from December 1st to 3rd.

The three day event promises a heartwarming experience for families, capturing the essence of an old-fashioned European-inspired Christmas village with 50+ charming houses, snowy landscapes, a Christmas tree forest, Santa’s sleigh, and much more.

The Christmas Village

  • The Christmas Village is an old fashioned experience
  • Mittagong Girl Guides Campsite – 2a Rennie Street, Lara
  • December 1 – 3 2023

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Across the three days, attendees can step into a child-sized village reminiscent of Europe’s colourful hamlets, adorned with lavishly decorated elf houses and festive cheer. Inspired by a long love of Christmas, the glitter, the sparkle, tinsel shining in the sun, the joy on kids’ faces and the time spent with loved ones, The Christmas Village offers an authentic Christmas experience free from commercial trappings.

Following a successful first year in 2022, this year the village expands with additional little houses, more trees, and endless fun. More than a visual feast; the Christmas Village is an immersive experience. Attendees can sit in the traditional, hand-crafted timber sleigh, stroll through the Christmas tree forest, witness snowfall, and visit Santa’s living room. A dedicated space allows children to write letters to Santa, with a pint-sized Christmas Village mail truck ensuring their messages reach the North Pole.

Of course, Santa will make appearances throughout the event, creating opportunities for children to meet him. There are no formal Santa photos or additional costs; parents can freely take pictures with Santa as he strolls around the village.

For refreshments, the Christmas cafe offers hot or iced drinks with gingerbread cookies and mince pies, while Santa’s snack bar serves hot meals. Attendees are encouraged to bring picnic rugs or deck chairs, providing comfort as they watch their children explore this magical Christmas world.

The event is tailored for families, fostering a stress-free, traditional Christmas atmosphere. Children under four can join for free, making it an affordable option for families looking to embrace the festive spirit.

The Christmas Village founders express their passion for the festive season, inspired by global Christmas markets. They began the initiative in 2012 after experiencing Christmas in New York and continued to draw inspiration from Manchester, Bruges, Grindelwald in Tasmania, and Iceland.

Following a successful inaugural event in 2022, the Christmas Village is back, promising an improved and heartwarming experience for the Geelong community. The organisers are committed to spreading Christmas joy, working with community groups to raise funds for local organisations.

“In 2022 we bit the bullet and started what we hope will one day be a permanent Christmas Village. We bought lots of preloved products to build our village with, because we really believe in the whole reduce, reuse, recycle idea. We renovated and created and spent nearly every waking hour on creating The Christmas Village,” organisers said of the debut last year.

“It was a big thing, to have had a vision and asked people to buy tickets to that vision before it was a real, physical thing, but people came and we had a brilliant three day weekend. As advised on all platforms in the lead up to the event, there were no rides, it wasn’t a big flashy commercial Christmas event, it was old school. Kids were encouraged to explore and use their imaginations.”

Bringing the magic back again, the event spans three days, starting on December 1st at 4 pm until 10 pm, continuing on December 2nd from 12 pm to 10 pm, and concluding with a standard session on December 3rd from 2 pm to 9:30 pm. The event also features a quiet session, tailored for those with sensory challenges, which runs from 12 pm to 2 pm on December 3rd.

Ticket prices are family-friendly, with options for adults, children (4-15 years), and family packages. Your ticket gets you entry into The Christmas Village at any time during the hours listed and you are welcome to stay as long as you like.

The Christmas Village is conveniently located at the Mittagong Girl Guides campsite, just a two-minute walk from the Lara train station. The venue is all-abilities accessible, although some areas of the ground may be uneven due to the campsite’s natural terrain

This Christmas, escape to the Magical Christmas Village for a traditional, inexpensive, and family-friendly celebration of the festive season. Tickets are on sale now—don’t miss out on this joyful experience! Purchase tickets here