Christmas spirit sweeps over Melbourne

Melbourne comes alive for some serious Christmas spirit every year as shopping hotspots dress up for the occasion. The Visit Victoria team shared the news with Melbourne car rental specialists DriveNow on just where to go to find the Spirit of Christmas, along with what’s open and when.

From markets to the Myer windows, selfies with Santa and a merry activation in Federation Square, there’s something for locals and visitors alike as Victoria celebrates. Try these:

Federation Square (until 25 December)

Federation Square will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland offering festive fun for the whole family. The jolly man in red is in residence, found beneath a 16-metre-tall tree and waiting to make his list of naughty and nice children. A light show takes over at 9:00pm every night, with a six-metre bauble glittering in the Square.

State Library of Victoria Christmas Projections (until 25 December)

The iconic State Library of Victoria will light up across December, with its stunning architecture featuring a bright and swirling projection show that tells the story of the North Pole’s preparation for the big day. The show begins at 9pm every night.

Myer Christmas Windows (until early 2018)

As iconic as Santa Claus himself, the Myer Christmas Windows in the Bourke Street Mall are a Melbourne institution. Celebrating ‘The Completely and Utterly Perfect Christmas’ by HC Floren, it’s best to get there early and avoid the queues. The Giftorium on the sixth floor provides plenty of inspiration for those on the hunt for presents that surprise a loved one.

Christmas Laneways (until early 2018)

Degraves Street, Alfred Place, Howie Place, Meyers Place and Manchester Lane are some of Melbourne’s most iconic laneways and in 2017 they’ll be decked out with boughs of holly, fairy lights, baubles and in some cases, a reindeer too. Did someone say Instagram?

The Gingerbread Village (until 24 December)

The Gingerbread Village by EPICURE returns to the Melbourne Town Hall in 2017, brought to life by award-winning pastry chef Deniz Karaca and his talented team in an effort to raise money for the Royal Children’s Hospital. This year they will craft the F1 Grand Prix circuit, adding to the existing village comprising 500 kilograms of gingerbread, 360 kilograms of royal icing, 150 kilograms of marzipan and around 800 miniature Christmas trees for the festive backdrop.

Christmas with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (16 Deccember)

Feet will be tapping as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra perform favourite festive orchestral works, such as ‘The Nutcracker’ by Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Christmas Eve’ at the Arts Centre’s Hamer Hall, where a recent renovation and the very latest sound technology has cemented the venue as one of the world’s great music halls.

Carols by Candlelight Sidney Myer Music Bowl (Christmas Eve)

Those attending will join in the chorus at Carols by Candelight, a now 80-year long celebration of music that donates 100% of profits to the efforts of Vision Australia. For locals and visitors alike, this is an unforgettable evening of music, laughter and memories. Spectators can enjoy a BYO picnic on the grass, watching and listening to your favourite carols by artists like Marina Prior, Denis Walter and Silvie Paladino.

Skate with Santa (every weekend in December)

Budding Winter Olympians can take to the ice alongside Santa at O’Brien Group Arena, with skating for the whole family a fantastic way to begin the build-up to Christmas Day. It’s on every Saturday and Sunday across December, from 11am – 3pm.

Queen Victoria Market (until 25 December)

The North Pole comes to Melbourne’s most iconic market this December, as thousands of Melburnians stock up on the trimmings required for a feast to remember. More than 250,000 people are expected to pass through in the days leading up to Christmas, with entertainment from carollers to feature alongside Santa Claus and cooking demonstrations by celebrity chef Lynton Tapp.

South Melbourne Market (until 25 December)

An Australian Christmas abounds for Melburnians on the hunt for seafood, and the South Melbourne Market, Coventry and Cecil streets, is the place to be for prawns, crayfish, crabs and oysters this festive season. There will be extended trading from 20 December and Santa and his elves will be on site to support with any final gift ideas.

CHRISTMAS TRADING HOURS

As Christmas Day fast approaches, it’s time to plan ahead. Below is an update on Christmas trading hours for the major centres across the city.

Chadstone, the Fashion Capital
11 December – 17 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
18 December – 22 December, 9:00am – 12:00am (midnight)
36 hours of trading: 8:00am, Saturday 23 December – 6:00pm, Sunday 24 December

Melbourne Central
11 December – 23 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
24 December, 9:00am – 6:00pm

Highpoint
11 December – 13 December, 9:00am – 7:00pm
14 December – 17 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
18 December – 22 December, 9:00am – 11:59pm
34 hours of trading: 9:00am, Saturday 23 December – 5:00pm, Sunday 24 December

Emporium
11 December – 23 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
24 December, 9:00am – 6:00pm

Westfield Doncaster
11 December – 13 December, 9:00am – 7:00pm
14 December – 15 December, 9:00am – 10:00pm
16 December – 17 December, 9:00am – 7:00pm
18 December – 20 December, 9:00am – 10:00pm
21 December – 22 December, 9:00am – 11:59pm
23 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
24 December, 8:00am – 5:00pm

The District, Docklands
16 December – 20 December, 9:00am – 6:00pm
21 December, 9:00am – 8:00pm
22 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
23 December, 9:00am – 7:00pm
24 December, 10:00am – 6:00pm

Award-winning writer, editor, photographer, videographer and owner of October Grey Media. Specialising in travel, music and lifestyle content. Content strategist and bestselling author of books including Icons of Australian Music: Jimmy Barnes, 101 Great Websites To Save You $$$, and global smash Conversations With Mediums. Follow on Twitter & instragram #scottpodmore

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