And just like that, we’ve reached the end of the year. If you’re feeling anxious about 2022 coming to a close, why don’t you fill this month with as many memorable experiences as you can? There are so many things to do in Melbourne this December, from riding a zip-line to seeing the fireworks. With Christmas on the way, Melbourne is also shining with with festive magic, with markets, projections, carols and more. Here are some of the best things to do, eat and see this month.
1. Watch movies under the stars at Moonlight Cinema
Enjoy the summer nights by watching festive favourites and new releases at Moonlight Cinema. Find it on the lush Central Lawn at Royal Botanic Gardens.
2. Explore The Big Design Market
Head to the Royal Exhibition Building and get your Christmas shopping down at this massive market. There’s over 270 exhibitors selling homewares, ceramics, fashion, jewellery and more. The Big Design Market will run from December 2 to 4.
3. Enjoy some Not-So-Silent cinema at Fed Square
Check out the Main Stage at Fed Square for Not-So-Silent Cinema, a free program of silent films accompanied by live performances from local and international musicians. These scores are newly composed and restaged pieces. There will be free ice cream available at each screening, while stocks last. These screenings will run from December 2 to 4.More info here.
4. Rush over to the chaotic Red Bull Billy Cart Race
At this free event, you’ll watch teams race their handmade carts down Lansdowne Street. On the day, there will also be food and drink, fun games to play and live music to enjoy. This event will take place on Saturday December 3.More info here.
5. Check out the Japanese Film Festival
This festival showcases the latest and greatest in Japanese cinema. Find spectacular Japanese films at the Kino Cinemas or at ACMI from November 30 to December 4.
6. Check out MPavilion
MPavilion is back! Enjoy cultural events, talks, performances, installations and more. MPavilion opens on Thursday December 8, and will run until Thursday April 6, 2023. See the full program here.
7. Get into the holiday spirit by watching A Christmas Carol
Five time Tony Award winner and West End sensation, A Christmas Carol, is now showing at the Comedy Theatre. This heart-warming production stars David Wenham as Scrooge, and play from now until Christmas Eve.
8. Wander through this vivid reimagining of The Parthenon at NGV
See this gorgeous installation, complete with colourful artworks from local creators, in the Grollo Equiset Garden at NGV for free.
9. See the Alexander McQueen exhibition at NGV
Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos Muse will be the first major Australian exhibition to explore his thought-provoking work, sources of inspiration and creative process. This exhibition will showcase over 120 garments and accessories, alongside over 80 works of art. It opens on December 11.More info here.
10. See Shakespeare Under the Stars
Shakespeare Under The Stars is coming back to Royal Botanic Gardens with a production of the hilarious, Much Ado About Nothing. Sprawl out on Southern Cross Lawn and laugh till you cry from December 17 onwards.
11. Embrace the warmer nights at the Summer Night Market
The iconic Summer Night Market is back at Queen Vic Market. Sip on cocktails, go market browsing, and try food from over 125 stalls, shops and bars. It runs on Wednesday nights, except for December 21 and 28.
12. Take part in the Melbourne Christmas Festival
Melbourne has been transformed into a bright and colourful wonderland for the Christmas season. See cool projections and twinkling lights, then try some fun Christmas activities around the city.
13. Feel the festive season at Fed Square
There’s heaps of things to do at Fed Square this December. See Santa, be surprised by wizards, try some festive workshops, celebrate Chanukah and more.
14. Fly on the Yarra River Zipline
Discover this massive pop-up zipline experience over the Yarra River. Zoom across the river and reach speeds of up to 35km per hour. Then, try the new Quick Jump experience, which gives you the sensation of freefall. Tickets are extremely limited. This experience starts on December 16 and runs until January 28.
15. Get in the holiday mood with Love Actually in Concert
See your favourite Christmas romantic comedy like never before, with a live orchestra playing along to the movie. This will play at the Plenary Theatre on December 17.
16. Go roller skating at the Collingwood Artisan Market
Enjoy a fun day out at Collingwood Artisan Market, which will light up Hoddle Street with a full-size roller rink, plenty of cool stalls, gourmet food and live music. This month, it’ll become a Special Twilight Market, running on December 11 from 3pm to 9pm.
17. Have a merry time in the Atrium at Crown
The Atrium at Crown will bustle with Christmas cheer from December 1 to Christmas Eve. Meet Santa Claus, see a spectacular Christmas Show inspired by The Rockettes, enjoy roving entertainment, listen to carollers and more.
18. Listen to Christmas Melodies at Hamer Hall
Let the magic of Christmas wash over your senses at Christmas Melodies, a beloved performance at Hamer Hall. Listen to the best carols and sing along to your favourite songs at this feel-good concert. This show will celebrate the festive season on Monday December 12.
19. Head to the Cherry Picking Festival at CherryHill Orchards
CherryHill Orchards are throwing a fun Cherry Picking Festival. Wander through their rows of trees in either Wandin East or Coldstream, and pick some plump cherries to take home. During the festival, there will also be food trucks, box sales, drinks and cherry ice cream to try. The Cherry Picking Festival will run from now until early January.
20. Sing along to Carols by Candlelight
For over 80 years, Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight has enchanted Melbourne audiences with their festive cheer. Head to Sidney Myer Music Bowl on Christmas Eve, sing along to the familiar tunes, and support children who are blind or have low vision along the way.
21. See the Myer Christmas Windows
Take part in a Melbourne tradition this December and celebrate 100 years of Disney. There’s plenty of gorgeous windows that will take you right back to your childhood. From Peter Pan to The Lion King, watch some of The Walt Disney Company’s favourite characters come to life as part of the 67th year of the Myer Christmas Windows.
22. Explore the festive Christmas markets around town
Get in the spirit of gifting with these unique and festive markets, both in the city and in the suburbs.
23. Feel spellbound by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
The magical story of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has been reimagined as a one-part play. See a whole new generation of young wizards take the stage, with fascinating illusions, a heartfelt story and more. Return to Hogwarts at the Princess Theatre.
24. Explore Melbourne’s Christmas Wonderland at Burnley Oval
Follow the sound of sleigh bells to Melbourne’s Christmas Wonderland, a Christmas paradise filled with multiple themed zones, activities, skating, food and more. Have fun at this festive space from now until December 24.
25. Explore the Oz Comic-Con Xmas Edition
This fantastic pop culture event is back, and just in time for Christmas. Explore the stalls and find unique gifts. See special guests from Stranger Things, The Walking Dead and Battlestar Galactica. Then, take part in some festive activities, including gingerbread decorating competitions, an Elf on the Shelf Photo Scavenger Hunt, Yuletide-themed mini D&D sessions, ugly sweater competitions and more. It’s all happening on December 10 and 11 at the Melbourne Showgrounds.More info here.
26. Feel mesmerised by the work of Monet and more at The Lume
Go on a journey across France in this multisensory experience, with vibrant projections and sounds immersing you in the world of French Impressionism. Take a picture on Monet’s Bridge over a Pond, dance with Degas’ ballerinas, plunge yourself into a world of waterlilies, and much, much more.
27. See Home Alone in Concert by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Enjoy your annual viewing of the 1990 Christmas film, Home Alone, in a spectacular fashion at Hamer Hall. Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will perform the score live on December 14 and 15.More info here.
28. Have fun in the festive pop-up bar Tinseltown in Docklands
Head to The District Docklands for the over-the-top Christmas pop-up. Sip on a special Christmas cocktail, and admire the overflowing decorations, such as baubles, tinsel, wreaths and bows. At Tinseltown, you’ll also find Santa, elves, presents and plenty of joyful Christmas tunes. Tinseltown is open Wednesdays to Sundays, from now until December 30.
29. Journey to the North Pole on the Polar Express thanks to Puffing Billy
The Polar Express Train Ride is coming back to Puffing Billy. Inspired by the book and film of the same name, this magical train adventure will take you through the lush greenery of the Dandenong Ranges, and on towards the North Pole. Meet Santa and characters from the film, swing your legs on the carriage sills and more, from December 9 to 16.
30. Experience the magic of a Candlelight Concert
The candlelit performances have taken place at venues like The Athenaeum and The Astor Theatre as well as at The Timber Yard, the Meat Market, St James’ Old Cathedral and Fed Square. With more venues being added to the growing list, it feels like there’s a Candlelight concert around every corner. This December, embrace the holiday spirit with festive tunes from The Nutcracker and more.See upcoming shows here.
31. Fall in love with The Phantom of the Opera
This legendary musical has finally come to Melbourne. See it for yourself at Arts Centre Melbourne.
32. Skate your way around the Christmas Roller Rink
Roll around to classic tunes on the pop-up rink in Argyle Square, with free entry and $5 skate hire. The piazza will get a Christmas makeover to help you get into the festive spirit, with a giant purple Christmas tree and decorations. After you skate, stroll down Lygon Street for a scrumptious lunch or dinner. It’s all happening from December 10 to 24.
33. Check out the Christmas Carnival
Head to the banks of the Birrarung for the spectacular Christmas Carnival. Ride the Ferris wheel, drive the dodgems, play carnival games and munch on classic carnival food. Entry is free and tickets for rides can be purchased on-site. The carnival will run from December 14 to 23.
34. Listen to live music at QV
From Friday November 25 to Friday December 23, QV will also have a pop-up entertainment program in front of a 50ft tree. Enjoy live music sets, from the sounds of sax to thrilling beats, from some of Melbourne’s leading musicians and DJs. Check out the music program here.
35. Go back in Time with this Rone exhibition in Flinders Street Station
Step into the mysterious third floor and ballroom of Flinders Street Station, and discover a forgotten era of Melbourne. Explore 11 large-scale installations, meticulously placed around the heritage-listed space. This exhibition will run until Sunday April 23, 2023.
36. Head to ACMI for a blockbuster summer season of films
Cool down indoors and enjoy some excellent films at ACMI. See the best films of 2022, ranging from feature flicks to documentary, in Best 22 of 2022. This will run from December 1 to January 29. Then, check out Days of Summer, and enjoy summer films like Xanadu and Picnic at Hanging Rock, from December 17 to February 14.See more here.
37. Feel amazed by the Christmas Eve Circus Spectacular
Enjoy this special performance at Melbourne Town Hall. Fun for the whole family, this interactive performance will take you on a circus comedy adventure. On top of the incredible performance, everyone will go home with a treat. Tickets cost $5 and all proceeds will go towards Make Room, a project assisting people out of homelessness. As suggested by the name, the show will take place on Christmas Eve, from 11am to 12:30pm.
38. Wander through the Docklands Christmas Maze
Help Santa find his elves by venturing into a giant, present-themed maze in Docklands. There’s also fun interactive games to try, with a chance to win vouchers to use at The District Docklands. This maze is free to try, and is open from now until December 24.
39. Play in the Christmas pop-up playground
A Christmas pop-up playground is taking over Queensbridge Square from now until December 24. Swing on a giant illuminated bell, have fun on the dance floor, play with an interactive canopy of flower petals or conduct your own orchestra. The orchestra will take over the red stairs from December 15 to 24.
40. Meet Santa at Prahran Market
Take some happy snaps with Santa at Prahran Market. He will be available for pet photos on Saturday December 17, and available for pictures with the kids on Sunday December 18. After that, he’ll roam the aisles from December 20 to 24.
41. Find something wonderful at this craft fair in Queen Vic Market
At CRFT*WRK, you’ll discover locally-made goods from independent creators at Queen Vic Market. Find art, ceramics, jewellery, homewares and more. This festival will run on Saturday December 17 from 9am to 4pm.
42. Feel dazzled by Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
This feel-good musical is now playing at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne this December, direct from the West End.Learn more here.
43. Lose yourself in Imaginaria
Be immersed in a futuristic installation of light and sound. Located in Docklands, Imaginaria is a playful space where imagination and technology combines into an amazing experience.
44. Join the revolution and see Hamilton
Don’t throw away your shot! The ground-breaking musical, Hamilton, is here. Be swept away by the thrilling score and lyrics, which blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway. Rise up and see it at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Check out their website for booking information and more.
45. Spark your creativity at this LEGO exhibition in Melbourne Museum
Have fun in six interactive build zones, gaze in amazement at over 150 models, and see incredible life-sized animals and other fantastical creations at Bricktionary: The Interactive LEGO Brick Exhibition.
46. Wander through the natural world at Tyama
Go on a multi-sensory journey through Victoria’s natural world at this stunning exhibition. Informed by First Peoples knowledge, this exhibition features interactive worlds that respond to movement and sound. Journey from the night sky, through caves and into the sea at Melbourne Museum this December.
47. Explore the dome of the Royal Exhibition Building
For the first time in 100 years, the dome of the Royal Exhibition Building is open to the public. Head up there and see it for yourself, and take in gorgeous views of the Melbourne skyline.
48. Stay out late with Saturday Sessions at Melbourne Museum
Enjoy a night at the museum in this monthly series. Check out all of their cool exhibitions, then enjoy a line-up of performances, listen to DJs, check out the pop-up bar, listen to curator talks and more. Melbourne Museum will stay open until 9pm on Saturday December 17.
49. See the sparkling Pink Diamonds exhibition at Melbourne Museum
The largest collection of Australian pink diamonds shown in the world is now glittering away inside Melbourne Museum. Gaze at over 100 unique gemstones found in the Australian East Kimberley region. After you’ve admired the diamonds, stick around for a pink high tea.
50. Have a snuggly Christmas-themed staycation at DoubleTree by Hilton Melbourne
Feel transported to the Northern Hemisphere and treat yourself to a magical staycation at this hotel near Flinders Street Station. There’s two dreamy rooms to choose from. Will you stay in the White Christmas room, decked out in snowflake lights and fluffy sheepskin rugs from Ugg Express? Or will you channel your inner elf and stay in Santa’s Workshop? Bookings are available from now until January 10.
51. Solve the murder mystery at Labassa Mansion
Labassa Mansion is home to an interactive and immersive Murder Mystery experience where players get to roam its rooms and search for clues. Do you have what it takes to put two and two together or will the true assassin/s of Labassa Mansion’s wealthy widow escape justice?Get your tickets here.
52. Pivot your way to Friends! The Musical Parody
Could this BE more exciting? The hilarious Friends! The Musical Parody is playing at the Athenaeum Theatre from November 23 to December 17.
53. Admire some spectacular neighbourhood Christmas lights
It’s a truly magical time of year. Soak in the festive season by going for a drive and admiring some gorgeous twinkling lights in your neighbourhood, and beyond.
54. Go on an Ugly Christmas Sweater Beer Run
Put on your best ugly Christmas sweater and run around to five different breweries. The run will last around two to three hours, and everyone can meet at the last brewery for an after party. This event will take place on December 11.
55. Show off your swing at Pixar Putt
The beloved mini-golf sensation, Pixar Putt, is coming back to Melbourne for the summer holidays. This open-air experience is made up of interactive putt-putt holes, inspired by the stories and characters from some of Pixar’s most iconic films. Pixar Putt will take over Frankston Waterfront from December 16 to January 29.
56. Dazzle your senses with the stunning Christmas Festival of Lights at Adventure Park
Journey to Geelong, and bask in the glow of 3 million lights at this gorgeous festival. Wander down enchanting trails and glittering bridges in this 50-acre wonderland. On top of the glistening lights, there’s plenty of Christmas activities and entertainment for the family, as well as new rides and live performances.
57. Go cherry picking
Travel along the Victorian cherry trail this December. Wander the cherry orchards, chat to the growers and pick your own cherries in four regions around Victoria.
58. Explore Blue Lotus Water Garden
Spanning over 14 acres, Blue Lotus Water Garden contains over 40 different ponds, lakes and water features. Here, you’ll find the biggest display of lotus and waterlily flowers in the Southern Hemisphere. This dreamy garden will reopen to the public for the summer season on December 26.
59. Lose yourself in the beauty of Warratina Lavender Farm
At just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, on the foothills of Mount Dandenong, you’ll find a magical lavender farm. With 10 acres of land and over 10, 000 rows of lavender, there’s fields of purple as far as the eye can see.
60. Feel enchanted by snow this summer at Slava’s Snowshow
This celebration of winter and snow has been seen by over 7 million people around the world. This theatrical spectacle from Slava Polunin is a timeless fusion of traditional and contemporary theatrical clowning arts. It has received over 20 international awards, including an Olivier award for Best Entertainment. See it for yourself at Arts Centre Melbourne from December 29 to January 8.
61. End the year with a good time at Falls Festival
Head to Sidney Myer Music Bowl and the surrounding areas, and listen to sets from incredible artists like Arctic Monkeys, Lil Nas X and Peggy Gou. Check it out from December 29 to 31.More info here.
62. Ring in the New Year at Beyond the Valley
End the year in style at Beyond the Valley. This year, head to Barunah Plains, and listen to an incredible mixture of local and international acts. Check out the Podcast Stage, and enjoy other experiences like camping, a beach club and more. Beyond the Valley will take place from December 28 to January 1. Learn more here.
63. Discover an unseen level of HER at this New Year’s Eve Party
Multi-level hospitality venue HER is going all out and throwing a night to remember for New Year’s Eve. The LUNE ROUGE NYE PARTY will blur the lines between performance, art and theatre, with access to all five levels, and plenty to eat, drink and see. On top of that, HER will open an unseen level to the public for the very first time.
64. Party at the Rooftop at QT for New Year’s Eve
End the year with glitz and glamour at The Rooftop at QT. Enjoy roaming canapes, oysters, a barbecue, a vodka and caviar station, champagne, free-flowing sparkling and more. Listen to DJs spin the best tunes until 2023, and watch the fireworks on the skyline.More info here.
Say goodbye to 2022 with a bang. Get hyped up for the biggest celebration yet, with fireworks and laser displays from 30 rooftops around the CBD. That’s eight more rooftops than previous years. Alongside the fireworks, there will be music, food, light installations and more.