Adelaide is full of festive cheer this Christmas and there’s plenty to see and do. The lights are sparkling, the ornaments are on display, and the tree is up. And there are events as well to help spread the joy around so if you’ve got a minute to take it all in, spend some time in the street and catch some of that Christmas spirit that’s in the air.
1. Giant Christmas Tree
Each and every night of Adelaide’s Christmas festivities, the soaring 25-metre tall Christmas tree will be lit up with 13,616 individually programmable LED lights in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga.
The lighting loops last approximately ten minutes and the fountains will also be on so that the kids can cool off throughout our hot summer nights.
The Christmas tree will be lit up from 8pm to 2:30am every night from 17 November to 4 January.
2. Christmas Cracker Trail
The city is full of surprises and this Christmas there are 14 activations scattered about Adelaide and North Adelaide the free Adelaide Christmas Cracker Trail app.
From Christmas quizzes to jokes and badges, as well as selfie filters and augmented reality experiences, there’s something to spark a smile on everyone’s face. The trail, which is family-friendly, has been created by local creative animation studio Monkeystack.
All you have to do is download the app, and head to one of the 14 locations to scan the QR code.
3. Bauble Canopy
Christmas is baubles and these giant bauble-like bubbles by Sydney-based design studio have been the talk of the town (and not just in Adelaide) thanks to the magical and wondrous feeling they radiate.
There are 159 of these Dichroic Bubble-texture baubles handing in the air in Peel Street and Vaughan Place. During the day, the sun lights them up in different colours as it moves across the sky, but then at night, the lights transform them into an incredible and dynamic lighting display.
Well worth a visit more than once and at different times of the day and night. They’ll be on display until 2 January.
While not strictly Christmas, Moonlight Cinemas always delivers the Christmas film-goods leading up to the big day. This year, the run-up to Christmas will feature a bunch of our favourite seasonal films including The Grinch That Stole Christmas, Die Hard, Elf and Home Alone. See the program here for all the films screening this December.
5. Lord Mayor’s Christmas Concert
Can it be Christmas without a concert?
Perhaps, but a bit of song always cheers us up and the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Concert plans to do just that when Young Adelaide Voices and friends as well as members of Adelaide Chamber Singers come together for a night of carols and singalong fun. They’ll be kjoined by Peter Kelsall on the splendid Adelaide Town Hall organ for a whole heap of traditional and pop songs.
The Lord Mayor’s Christmas Concert takes place on 15 December. It’s free for Adelaide City residents but booking is essential.
Maybe more than music, Christmas is about food for you. If that’s the case, then you’re going to need to turn up to Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga on 12 December because Fork on the Road is putting together a very special festive food truck event—Forkmas.
The festive food wonderland will feature 12 gourmet food trucks, a bunch of pop-up bars and live music as well as performances and crafts and activities for the kids to enjoy.
Get your forks out from 12pm on 12 December. More info here.
7. North Adelaide Christmas Village
What do 200,000 Lego pieces look like? Find out at the old bookstore in the North Adelaide Village, which has been transformed into a Christmas wonderland with a giant ride-on Lego sleigh. Hop on and get your picture taken from 12-4pm.
Kids aged five to 10 will be able to attend free Christmas art classes by the Ruth Tuck Art School. These will take place from Monday 13th to Thursday 23rd December—except for Sunday.
More information here.
8. Christmas Nordic Gnome Trail
Melbourne Street in North Adelaide has been taken over by a whole heap of Nordic gnomes. The mischievous, bearded creatures are hiding out in shop windows, cafes and other businesses all along the street. They’re playing hide and seek and it’s up to you to find them all.
There are stickers on the pavement to help you find them and the best thing is that it’s not dependant on retail hours.
More information here.
9. Maker Markets
We love a good market and Maker Markets always bring the goods—literally. This December, they’re setting up stalls on 88 O’Connell Street and Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga where you’ll be able to browse the 60-plus stalls selling jewellery, skin care, art, craft and plenty more and pick up something special this Christmas.
Live music and DJs will be spinning tunes to keep you moving and there’ll be food and drinks stalls to power you through.
The Victoria Square Markets will be held on Friday 10 December while the 88 O’Connell Street Markets will be held on Sunday 19 December.
10. Ebenezer Night Markets
Ebenezer Place is back with its markets this summer and they’re beginning this weekend on Saturday 4 December. The charming laneway, which connects with the iconic east end of Rundle Street, will once again see 10 markets featuring some of Adelaide’s most creative artisans for an outdoor shopping experience that is quite like any other. As always, there’ll be delicious food and DJs helping you get into the groove.Ebenezer Night Markets
11. The Queens Theatre Xmas Festival
We’re hoping this will be the first of many because Australia’s oldest theatre is presenting a free festival program from 17–19 December, which kicks off with an end-of-year drinks street party. Playhouse Lane will be transformed into a festive, open-access space with artist market, live music and food trucks. Plus, there will be workshops from celebrated ceramic artists Sam Gold, Xanthe Murphy and Mirjana Dobson.
Get all the information you need here.
12. The Night Before Christmas by the Australian Classical Youth Ballet
Don’t miss out on this performance of the classic Christmas tale by the Australian Classical Youth Ballet, which is taking over Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga on Sunday 19 December from 6:30pm.
The event is free but ticketed, and will feature live narration by Brenton Whittle and Book Worm as well as an appearance by the big man himself.
More information here.
13. Xanadu Drive-in
It’s a Christmas Drive-in so roll up on 18 or 19 December to Torrens Parade Ground to catch Nightmare Before Christmas as well as “Oogie Boogie’s Bonanza Late Night Xmas Party” or It’s A Wonderful Life and “George Bailey’s Bellringer Bash Late Night Xmas Party”.Xanadu Drive-in