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It’s time to deck the halls, dust off the fairy lights and enjoy all that our local area and further afield has to offer when it comes to the festive season…

1.Carols

We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to a community sing-a-long:

Willoughby Carols, Willoughby Park, Saturday December 2, 4pm-9pm.
An ever-popular family event, this year the gates open at 4pm with the carols starting at 7pm. There will be live entertainment, kids’ activities and a surprise visit from a special Christmas guest! Bring a picnic and blanket and be prepared to be entertained by the Willoughby Band and Willoughby Symphony Choir.
https://www.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/EventDetails.aspx?PageID=1892&eventid=5040

Northbridge Carols, Northbridge Oval, Saturday December 2, 6pm-8.30pm.
This free community event has been going strong at Northbridge Oval since 2009. Local schools and preschools will be performing, there’ll be a special children’s presentation and concert-goers can buy GLOWSTIX to wave as darkness falls and Borruso’s pizza will be available. http://www.carolsatnorthbridge.com.au/

Others:
Carols at Clanville, Roseville, Saturday December 9, 5,30pm-9.30pm. http://www.standrews.net.au/whatson/

Carols Under the Bridge, Kirribilli, Saturday December 9, 5pm. https://www.carolsunderthebridge.info/

Carols in the Park, Lane Cove, Dec 10, 6pm.
http://lcmchurches.org.au/news

Carols in the Plaza, Lane Cove, Dec 10, 7pm.
http://www.lanecove.nsw.gov.au/Community/LoveWhereYouLive/Pages/Christmas.aspx

Carols at Crows Nest, Ernest Place, Sunday December 10, 4pm–7pm. http://www.northsidebaptist.org.au/;

Green Park Carols, Green Park Cammeray, Sunday December 10. http://www.ncachurch.com/ncachurch/events/;

Carols at Balmoral, The Rotunda, Saturday December 16, 7pm–9.30pm. http://events.mosman.nsw.gov.au/events/1774/balmoral-rotunda-carols-by-candlelight)

 

2. Santa Photos

There are plenty of options for having a beautiful family pic with jolly old St Nick:

Chatswood Westfield, daily until December 24.
There’s a beautiful new setting this year – a miniature village with picture windows to entertain children as they make their way to meet Santa. There’s also special pet photography sessions and sensitive Santa times for children with special needs. Online bookings advised. https://www.westfield.com.au/chatswood/events/santa-photography/45791

HomeHQ Artarmon, December 9, 10, 16 and 17, 10am-3pm.
As a thank you to their customers HomeHQ is doing Santa photos for free! You receive a 6 x 8 inch print and a digital copy emailed to you. You can even bring pets. No bookings required. http://homehq.com.au/events/free-santa-photos-are-back/

Chatswood Chase, daily until December 24.
Each child who takes a photo with Santa will receive a treat from Haigh’s Chocolates – you can also prebook a Santa Fastpass to beat the queues.  https://www.chatswoodchasesydney.com.au/whats-on/santa/

QVB, City.
If you’re after truly pretty pictures, Santa’s Enchanted Garden at QVB is worth a trip over the Bridge. “The whimsical garden, covered in blooms and adorned with twinkling lights, is a magical place where wishes really do come true. Be sure to keep a lookout for Santa’s festive friends at the edge of the garden too! This year bookings to visit Santa are online only, with limited spaces available until Sunday 24th December”. https://www.qvb.com.au/christmas/1440-visit-santa-17

Others:

David Jones (City and Chatswood Chase), until Sunday 24 December. http://shop.davidjones.com.au/djs/en/davidjones/christmas-events#new-south-wales

Myer (City and Chatswood). https://www.myer.com.au/shop/mystore/giftorium-christmas-at-myer

Willoughby Park, Wednesday 13 December, 2.30pm-4.30pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/1788255204806518/

Santa on the Harbour, Luna Park, 1 – 24 December, 11am-12.30pm, 1pm-2pm. http://www.lunaparksydney.com/santa

3. Christmas Lights

You may have just visited the residents of the Avenues in Willoughby for Halloween, and their efforts are replicated in their Christmas decorations – it always makes for a lovely family stroll at dusk. Lane Cove Council now offers an online map of decorated homes, as well as prizes for best home, best street and people’s choice. You can register prior to, or view the map from Dec 8. http://www.lanecove.nsw.gov.au/Community/LoveWhereYouLive/Pages/Christmas.aspx Chauvel St in North Ryde, Cambage Court in Davidson and Prince Albert Street in Mosman are also well worth visiting each year.

(photo: Paul Melham)

4. Christmas Markets

Eryldene Christmas Fair, November 25 and 26, 10am-4pm.
As the Jacarandas flower, experience the personal attention of over 50 stallholders showcasing their Christmas gift products, amongst the beauty of Eryldene and its late spring garden. Entrance: $5 Adult / Conc. Children free. http://www.eryldene.org.au/pages/display/calendar

Wahroonga Christmas Fair, December 3, 9am–4pm.
Take the opportunity to do your Christmas shopping and pick up some unique and interesting items. Have a great family day browsing through the many stalls for that special Christmas gift or sought after collectable. http://www.kmc.nsw.gov.au/Things_to_do/Events_activities/Whats_on/Wahroonga_Village_Fair

Mosman Twilight Christmas Market, Thursday December 7, 4.30pm-9.30pm.
The Mosman markets are a special twilight Christmas event. There promises to be a festive atmosphere with around 150 art and crafts stalls, gourmet food and musical entertainment. http://www.mosman.nsw.gov.au/recreation/markets/mosman-markets

Chatswood Mall and Fair Trade Christmas Markets, December 9-22, from 9am.  
The Chatswood Mall Christmas Market will be in full swing daily throughout December. Browse the arts, crafts, fashion and fresh produce and pick up a unique gift for friends or family. The Christmas Market will also feature exciting musical entertainment each day to bring in the festive season.  Watch out for the one-off Fair Trade Market on Saturday December 2, 10am-4pm, for gifts with a story behind them. https://www.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/EventDetails.aspx?PageID=1892&eventid=4796

Others:

The Etsy Made Local Market, Broadway, November 25. https://www.facebook.com/events/483773405305769/

The Hard to Find Markets, Moore Park, November 26 and December 17.
http://www.eqmoorepark.com.au/new-hard-find-monthly-market-eq/

The Finders Keepers Market Barangaroo, December 8 – 10 http://www.thefinderskeepers.com/sydney-markets/

The Grounds at Alexandria, December 16-24. https://thegrounds.com.au/christmas/#markets

Carriageworks, Redfern, December 23, 8am – 1pm
http://carriageworks.com.au/events/carriageworks-christmas-market/

 

5. Trees

Lighting Ceremonies:

Martin Place Tree Lighting and Concert, November 25
See the interactive Christmas tree lit by Santa at this free event at Martin Place. Even better, the Lord Mayor will arrive on a cycle-drawn sleigh! https://whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/martin-place-concert-tree-lighting

Lane Cove, December 8, 3.30pm – 8.30pm
Launch into the festive season with this free Christmas extravaganza for the whole family! Including free kids activities, live music, Despicable Me 3™ Meet and Greet, and a special Christmas show with Santa.
http://www.lanecove.nsw.gov.au/Community/LoveWhereYouLive/Pages/Christmas.aspx

Where to buy:

Support your local scouting group who will be selling trees: https://willoughbyliving.com.au/directory/directory_category/scouts/

Dural Christmas Tree Farm.
http://www.duralchristmastreefarm.com.au

Harris Farm – in store from  December 1 https://www.facebook.com/harrisfarmmarkets/

6. Giving Back

Embrace the true meaning of Christmas by giving to one of these great charities:

The Kmart Wishing Tree at Chatswood Chase. https://www.chatswoodchasesydney.com.au/whats-on/kmart-wishing-tree-appeal/

The Smith Family Christmas Toy and Book Appeal, North Sydney. https://www.facebook.com/events/1964217407127695/

Christmas Tree of Joy, Lane Cove. https://www.facebook.com/events/1964217407127695/

 

7. Christmas Storytimes

Christmas Storytime with Patsy, HomeHQ Artarmon, Tuesday November 28, 10.30am. 

Home

Elf Storytime, Christmas Activity Zone Chatswood Westfield, every Wednesday until December 6.
Join Tinsel the Elf who will be reading a different Christmas-themed book each week. Preschoolers will love this Christmas event with sessions at 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm. Grab a seat and a candy cane, and enjoy the story. https://www.westfield.com.au/chatswood/events/elf-storytelling-with-dymocks/45989

Christmas Storytime, Artarmon Library, December 4, 10.30am.  http://www.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/library/children/

Northbridge Library, December 5, 10.30am. http://www.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/library/children/

Christmas Storytime, Chatswood Library, Wednesday December 6, 11.15am and Thursday December 7, 11am.  http://www.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/library/children/

West Chatswood Library, December 7, 10.30am. http://www.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/library/children/

Castle Cove Library, December 8, 10.30am. http://www.willoughby.nsw.gov.au/library/children/

Lane Cove Library, December 19, 6pm. http://www.lanecove.nsw.gov.au/Community/LoveWhereYouLive/Pages/Christmas.aspx

8. Concerts and Pantomimes

A Classic Christmas with Playschool’s Jay Laga’aia, Sydney Opera House, November 28 – December 17.
A very merry introduction to live classical music and carols for ages 2-5. https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/events/whats-on/Kids-and-Families/2017/jay-laga-aias-classic-christmas.html?icid=155346:WT:p01:20171114

Russian National Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker, The Concourse, November 28 and December 6.  
Christmas would not be Christmas without The Nutcracker! Come and celebrate the holidays with us, joining the magical adventure of Clara, Fritz and the Nutcracker as they battle the evil Rat King. http://theconcourse.com.au/russian-national-ballet-theatre-presents-nutcracker/

The Magic of Christmas, The Concourse, December 10.
The Willoughby Symphony present an enchanting concert for the whole family this festive season http://theconcourse.com.au/the-magic-of-christmas-3/

Castle Cove Puppeteria:SANTA’S XMAS SHOW”, a fun-filled program for 2-9yrs, Wed 13, Thurs 14, Fri 15, Mon 18, Tues 19, Wed 20, Thurs 21, Fri 22, Sat 23, Sun 24 Dec at 10.30am. “MR SCROOGE’S XMAS CAROL” plus “SANTAS XMAS PUDDINGS”, a program for 4 to 9 year olds on Tues 19, Wed 20, Thurs 21, Fri 22, December at 1.30pm. https://www.puppeteria.com/performances.php

Lah-Lah’s Christmas Show, Norths Cammeray, December 14.
Get ready for a Christmas concert like no other as TV’s stripy-socked singing sensation Lah-Lah gets set to spread some magical festive cheer to families across the land this festive season
http://www.norths.com.au/events/lah-lah-santas-got-brand-new-groove/.

The Wiggles’ Wiggly Christmas Show, Qudos Bank Arena, December 23.
The Wiggly Christmas Big Show will feature all your favourite Wiggles songs such as Do the Propeller and Rock A Bye Your Bear, as well as Christmas songs like Go Santa Go! You’ll see The Wiggles, their Wiggly friends and dancers, Santa Claus, dancing reindeers and for the first time ever, it will snow on stage!  (http://www.thewiggles.com.au/tours/32/wiggly-christmas-big-show)

9. Christmas Craft and Cooking

It’s not Christmas without the glitter, the glue and the gingerbread…

Maker’s Loft, Cammeray. Craft, cooking and more. http://www.makersloft.com.au/classes/?platform=hootsuite

Christmas Activity Zone, Chatswood Westfield until December 24.
A Christmas crafting bonanza this November and December. Events include DIY advent calendar making, kids bauble making and best of all these workshops are free. https://www.westfield.com.au/chatswood/events

Gingerbread House Building, Naremburn Church, November 25 http://www.ncachurch.com/church_events/gingerbread-extravaganza/,

Willoughby Uniting Church, December 9.
(https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/gingerbread-house-afternoon-tickets-39630457766

10. Special Christmas Events

Santa at Naremburn Shops, Friday December 1, 5.30pm-7pm.
Local legends Forsyth’s Coffee and Maree’s Hair and Beauty have pulled in a few favours to get Santa to visit the kids at Naremburn Shops again this year. Grab a chair in one of the local eateries and get ready for Santa to fly past on his motorcycle around 6pm. There will be lollies and treats for all children.

Santa Spectacular, Rosehill, December 7-27.
Sydney Santa Spectacular will be a complete Fun Filled Extravaganza with lots of Rides and North Pole Experience, for the amusement and entertainment of every Child and for the inner child of every mum and dad as well. All this happiness for an affordable flat entry ticket, which will include ALL RIDES AND ACTIVITIES http://www.sydneysantaspectacular.com/index.php

Bridgemas, Bridgeview Hotel Willoughby, December 10, 12pm.
Join us on December 10th for Bridgemas! With face-painting, cookie decorating, Christmas feasting and cocktails and even a visit from Santa.
www.bridgeviewhotel.com.au/

Santa’s Vintage Electric Train, North Sydney, Sunday December 10, 10am-3pm.
Direct from the North Pole, don’t miss Santa’s Vintage Electric Train for one day only! This 40-minute ride on a vintage electric train begins at North Sydney Station and travels along the Lavender Bay line, taking in spectacular views of Sydney Harbour. https://www.nswrailmuseum.com.au/santas-vintage-electric-train

Christmas Wonderland, Sydney Olympic Park, December 16-24.
Sydney Olympic Park will be turned into a yuletide paradise for the week before Christmas. In this fun-filled day out, families can skate on the ice rink, throw a snowball or build a snowman in the snow play area, enjoy magical stage and ice shows, explore the Christmas village and marvel at Santa’s Candy Cane Lane.https://www.sydneyshowground.com.au/events/christmas-wonderland-at-sydney-showground/

Winterland at Ice Zoo, Alexandria, December 16 -17.
Enjoy a range of group and solo performances from talented skaters, fun Christmas activities, and have a skate in the festive atmosphere. Santa and Mrs Claus will be stopping by to meet little fans (and big kids!). https://www.facebook.com/events/1148825545250651/

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