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The great news is Brisbane’s inner-city will be a magical destination once again this Christmas, hosting free festive celebrations all across the CBD and South Bank. A visit to the city to see the giant Christmas Tree, City Hall lights and other fantastical festive delights are must-do’s on every family’s holiday wish list.
Each year for 4 weeks Brisbane celebrates Christmas in tinsel-filled style. There are plenty of free Christmas events so pull out your calendar and pencil in some of these crackers!
Lighting the Brisbane City Christmas Tree 2021
It’s one of Brisbane’s most favourite traditions. Heading to King George Square to watch the lighting of the HUGE Christmas tree squeezed in with hundreds of other Brisbanites. This year, the Lighting of the Christmas Tree will be an held at King George Square and live-streamed via Brisbane City Facebook page, from 6.30pm – 7.30pm on Friday November 26.
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner will turn on the 22m-high Christmas tree’s twinkling lights accompanied by special Christmas musical performances to get you in the festive mood. The Brisbane Christmas Tree will be on display from 26 November to 6 January in King George Square.
Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols 2021
A special event not to be missed is the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols at the City Botanic Garden’s Riverstage on Saturday 11 December.
The Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols 2021 is presented by Subway and produced by The Little Red Company. Hosted by Queensland’s first lady of song Naomi Price, the new-look Carols features a superstar cast of local legends including Kate Miller-Heidke, Sheppard, Troy Cassar-Daley and Jem Cassar-Daley and Marcus Corowa, plus an extra-special appearance from true-blue Queensland icons Bluey and Bingo in a world-first performance backed by a live orchestra.
Tickets are limited, so be sure to reserve your free seats for this popular annual event.
Christmas in the Queen Street Mall 2021
Enjoy the magic of Christmas in the Queen Street Mall with daily pop-up performances and roaming entertainment that’s sure to delight all ages. The festive performances and entertainment will be throughout Queen Street Mall. Don’t miss the roving festive fun.
When: 3-24 December from 11am-3pm and 4.30pm-8.30pm during late night shopping.
The Enchanted Garden at Roma Street Parkland 2021
For the ultimate Christmas light experience, make your way to The Enchanted Garden at Roma Street Parkland.
The Enchanted Garden is a magnificent evening walk, set amid winding pathways bordered by towering trees and lush foliage, lit with the warm glow of mesmerising lights. The lighting trail combines over 8000 square metres of custom-made lighting, audio, special effects and sculptures to deliver a world-class digital art experience in the heart of Brisbane.
The installation is self-guided and the narrative will take guests around 30 minutes to complete, with entry available every 15 minutes from 6:30 pm to last entry at 9 pm.
Food trucks will also be pulling up nightly on Celebration Lawn and Lakeside Lawn, and The Garden Room cafe will offer two specially curated share-style menus for kids and adults.
The Enchanted Garden opening times
The Lott by Golden Casket City Hall Lights 2021
Another not to be missed event on Brisbane’s Christmas calendar is the The Lott by Golden Casket City Hall Lights Spectacular. A dazzling visual and sound display of fantasy and magic that will narrate the tale ‘The Night Before Christmas’. Each night the light show is projected onto the City Hall every 15 minutes.
Where: Brisbane City Hall
Dates: 11 December – 24 December
Times: Every 15 minutes from 7:30pm to midnight
Christmas at South Bank
The South Bank Christmas Show 2021
Prepare for a nostalgic celebration of Christmas magic with this diverse variety show perfect for the whole family!
Running nightly at 6:30pm and 8pm on 18-23 December, The South Bank Christmas Show will combine live music, singing, dancing, circus and Santa for an all-out mash-up of festive fun that will have everyone in the South Bank Piazza tapping their toes and singing along.
Keep an eye out for the tap-dancing teddy bear, rockin’ rocking horse and more joyful Christmas characters gifted to Brisbane by the creative minds of acclaimed local collective Oscar Production Company.
A range of ticketing options are available for each session of The South Bank Christmas Show:
Tickets can be purchased online via OzTix.
Kids Craft & Storytelling 2021
Entertain your littlies with festive arts and craft activities and storybook tales at Flowstate in South Bank Parklands. Santa’s elves will recount favourite festive tales and lead children in making their own wombat crowns for a very Aussie Christmas in The City. Tickets are free, but registration is required at least one hour before each session commences.
Santa’s Stop Over 2021
We all know the kids love to be there when Mr and Mrs Claus come to town! This year, your family can visit the Clauses on their annual visit Down Under amid a festive towering fig tree and light installation. You can even capture your own pics with our friends from the North Pole, social distanced style of course!
Entry to Santa’s Stopover is free, but to manage crowd numbers, free tickets must also be obtained to take part in activities. Ticketing booths will open one hour prior to scheduled activities at Flowstate.
Christmas Cinema 2021
Does your family love to cuddle up to watch your fave Christmas movies each year? If yes, we highly recommend heading to River Quay Green in South Bank Parklands for free festive outdoor screenings. Pack a Christmas picnic and rug to watch beloved Christmas cinema classics while the sun sets over the Brissie skyline and river. To ensure no obstruction of views, chairs will not be permitted on the lawn. Furry friends are welcome, permitted they are kept on a lead at all times.
6:15pm – Up
8pm – Crazy Rich Asians
6:15pm – Elf
8pm – Pitch Perfect
6:15pm – Babe
8pm – Ghostbusters
6:15pm – Polar Express (subtitled)
8pm – Men in Black (subtitled)
6:15pm – The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
8pm – Last Christmas
Thursday 23 December
6:15pm – The Grinch
8pm – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Christmas in Brisbane events NOT going ahead in 2021
-The Lights of Christmas at St Stephen’s Cathedral
-David Jones Christmas Parade
So start planning your Brisbane staycation with us in the heart of The Gabba, perfectly positioned close by to both South Bank and the Brisbane CBD where all the Christmas magic is taking place. Enjoy our roof top pool and BBQ area and treat the family to meals at the many surrounding restaurants and cafes.