Melbourne holds a grand Christmas Festival in late November, which marks the beginning of preparations for the holiday. The city turns into a winter fairy tale, although in fact, it's summer in Victoria. Magic awaits residents on many venues, including the City Square Plaza, Melbourne Town Hall, and Federation Square. The Christmas festival in Melbourne lasts until the end of all the Christmas holidays.
The Federation Square is the central place of the holiday where a Christmas tree is put up every year and where theatrical musical performances take place. You can also meet Santa Claus here. With the onset of evening, the area lights up with Christmas lights and a laser show designed for the buildings. It is an incredibly beautiful show!
Some of the most impressive Christmas lights are displayed in Ivanhoe. The Boulevard is covered with lights from the ground to treetops. Everything starts shimmering and glowing attracting thousands of spectators after dark. Tennyson Avenue in Preston and Gordon Grove is another spot to enjoy Christmas lights. The computerized system manages over 40,000 lights creating the most beautiful combinations of shows, videos, and carols. Finally, Lebanon Crescent shows off more than 100,000 lights, and also features the Polar Express to take you around.
From November until late December, Melbourne and surrounding towns feature cozy German Christmas markets. One of the most well-established markets is the TTHA German Christmas Market (Weihnachtsmarkt) in Bayswater, a one-day event with lots of Christmas gift ideas and delicious German foods such as cakes, pretzels and tortes. The locals' favourite German Christmas Market in Melbourne features 40 chalets selling original German chocolate, fresh bread, exquisite coffee, handmade Christmas decorations, soaps, jams and syrups.
On December 24th, at 5 pm, all the stores are closed, and people go to celebrate Christmas with their families, friends, and relatives. Christmas is celebrated with a picnic, a homemade dinner or a barbecue; because of the hot weather, few people sit at home on this day. One of the favourite vacation spots on this day is the Royal Botanic Garden where you can play cricket or just sit back and enjoy a peaceful day in the sun. Concerts of chamber music are held here as well. It is worth mentioning that many famous Melbourne attractions remain open on Christmas Day. Therefore, you have a chance to visit the Melbourne Zoo and Aquarium, or go up to the Eureka Skydeck observation deck or ride the Melbourne Star Wheel to enjoy the charming panorama of the Christmas city. Many shops remain open for Christmas.
On the evening of December 24th, at 8 pm in Melbourne, the famous Christmas concert Carols by Candlelight (carols with candles) is held in Sidney Myer Music Bowl in the Royal Botanic Gardens. Starting in the evening, people light millions of candles and sing their favourite Christmas songs, carols, and listen to performances by popular Australian artists, famous television characters, and local choirs.