ultimate Christmas in Sydney: Guide to Events 2023

Sydney Christmas events for 2023 are not yet published however if you are spending Christmas in Sydney this year we have you covered with this guide to the very best Sydney events from concerts and tree lightings to Christmas carols and Chrissy drinks on the way.

It’s time to get into the Christmas mood, and to help you along we have collected all the options so you can find all the best things to do in Sydney at Christmas, from festivals and Christmas markets to carolling and the prettiest Christmas trees.

Many of these experiences have not been confirmed for 2023 yet, but we have left them in place, so you have an idea of what might be happening.

New events and updated content are added to these pages as it becomes available. If you would like to add your event to Sydney Expert, please complete this form.

Christmas Festivals and Special Experiences

Christmas in the City – Lighting of the Tree

Martin Place will be Christmas Central on 26 November when the Martin Place Tree will be light up. There will be markets, Christmas carols and Santa along with a cool fireworks display.

Where: Martin Place
Cost: Free
When: Saturday 26 November

Christmas Actually

Enjoy the music of Love Actually? Well, there is no need to sing along in your lounge room. This stage version is a must for fans of this classic Christmas film.

Christmas Actually Sydney
Libby O’Donovan OAM 

When: 14th – 17th December Sydney, 24-25 November Parramatta
Where: Sydney Opera House / Riverside Theatre
Cost: $89-109

A Celtic Christmas

Celebrate the season with a big dose of Irish charm! A Celtic Christmas sees the world’s best Irish dancers support a cast of Irish musicians who bring you the story involving star-crossed lovers twirl, mistletoe and all your favourite Christmas carols.

A Taste of Ireland stars in action

Where: Sydney Coliseum Theatre, West HQ, Rooty Hill
When: Wed 30 Nov 2022 7:30 PM
Cost: $59-79
Book via Ticketek

The Muppets Christmas Carol 

Disney’s The Muppet Christmas Carol will be presented live in concert this Christmas featuring its musical score performed live to the film.

Sydney Christmas Muppets

Where: Darling Harbour Theatre at ICC Sydney
When: Sat 10 Dec 2022
Cost: From $100.85
Book via Ticketek

Love Actually In Concert 

It’s impossible not to get into the Christmas spirit at this concert. The Sydney Symphony will perform live while the Christmas classic is played on the big screen.

Love Actually in Concert
Love Actually and a symphony orchestra

When: 4pm & 8pm Saturday 17 December
Where: Aware Super Theatre, ICC Sydney
Cost: $60-152
More details

12 Days of Christmas at Dendy Newtown

Take the Christmas spirit up a notch and head to the Dendy for their 12 Days of Christmas screenings. Time to fall in love with the classics again or drag along a friend who somehow missed your favourite.

Choose from:

  • 1947’s Miracle on 34th Street
  • 1946’s It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Love Actually
  • Elf
  • Home Alone
  • The Muppets Christmas Carol
  • The Santa Clause
Supplied by the Dendy

For those who like their Christmas with a little less sugar, there is:

  • Tim Burton’s macabre masterpiece The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • 1974’s cult horror classic Black Christmas
  • Everyone’s favourite non-Christmas Christmas movie, Die Hard.

2 sessions for most films but they will likely book out so grab your tickets early.

When: December 13 and run through to December 24.
Where: Dendy Newtown
Cost: all tickets $15

Christmas in Darling Square

There is plenty of Christmas fun to be had at Darling Square this month

  • Santa in the Square: Santa will be roaming the streets and smiling for photos, free of charge. Get a quick snap and share your Christmas wishes: 17 & 18 December from 5pm
  • Light Tunnel: Walk, skip and dance through Darling Square’s festive light display.
  • Fireworks: End the night with a bang at Cockle Bay’s iconic firework display. 9pm on the following Fridays and Saturdays: 16th & 17th and 23rd & 24th December.
Darling Harbour Light Tunnel

When: on now until
Where: Darling Square

Pixar Putt Putt

Discover brand-new holes from Pixar’s two latest releases, Turning Red and Light Year. Putt your way around 9 or 18 holes

When: Friday 16 December until Sunday 5 February.
Where: Pier Street Underpass
Cost: all tickets $15

Christmas Cake Decorating Class

After the tremendous success of Novotel Sydney Central’s Cake Decorating classes last school holidays, they are bringing them back with some extra Christmas joy. Let your kids explore their creative side with this hands-on activity where they can take home their masterpiece and share it with the family.

Novotel Christmas cake class
Novotel Christmas cake class

Get merry with the little ones or sit back and relax while the hotel Executive Chef leads the class. 

Package includes: 

  • 1 hour Christmas themed cake decorating class
  • Refreshments available upon request (juice, soft drinks, coffee and tea)
  • Letters to Santa Claus via Express Post to the North Pole
  • Your decorated cake

When: Tickets still available 22, 23 and 24 December
Where: Novotel Sydney Central
Cost: From $62 per child per session 
More information

Rhys & Joel’s Family Christmas

Presented by Comedy Republic, last year’s debut of Rhys & Joel’s Family Christmas had audiences in stitches with its series of uproarious shows. In 2023, the dynamic duo is once again set to sashay across Australia, joining forces in Sydney to host an evening of pure unadulterated hilarity, storytelling and conversation alongside a soon-to-be-announced lineup of the nation’s fiercest comedians, drag artists and musicians.

When:  Friday, 1 December 2023
Where: Enmore Theatre
Cost: Adult 18 & Over $40.00
More information

Christmas Markets in Sydney 2023

There are several special Christmas Markets running across the city beginning in October, and all your favourite regular markets will probably have some Christmas stalls. Check out our Christmas Market Guide here.

Christmas Trees In Sydney you should visit

We expect Christmas trees to be going up across the city over the next few weeks and will update this page as soon as we have details.

The Rocks Christmas Tree

The Rocks Christmas Tree will be set up in the heart of the Rocks and feature plenty of Instagrammable spots for sharing your images with family and friends.

The Rocks Christmas Market Credit: Anna Kucera
Christmas Festivities at the Rocks Credit: Anna Kucera

Where: Playfair Street and Argyle Street
When: November to Dec

Martin Place Christmas Tree

Martin Place is home to a 3.4m high tree decorated with 10,000 LED lights and 330 colourful baubles. This year the tree will feature 15000 Aussie flowers and will be unveiled on 28 November. The area will also boast over 4 thousand fairy lights strung across Martin Place.

The Martin Place Christmas Tree 2019

This year the tree features 15,000 Australian flowers including banksia, waratah, bottlebrush, wattle, eucalyptus gum flower, kangaroo paw, flannel flower, pink waxflower and white waxflower. See more here

Where: Between George St and Pitt St at Martin Place
When: Saturday 27 November to Wednesday 1 January.

QVB Christmas Tree

At 24m tall, the sparking Swarovski Tree Christmas tree in the QVB is the tallest Xmas tree in Australia and the largest indoor tree in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Swarovski tree is a Sydney Christmas favourite

With over 100,000 crystal ornaments and more than 60,000 lights, the tree reaches from the ground floor to the top of the dome.

Where: Queen Victoria Building George Street Sydney
When: 7 November – December 30 (approx)

Christmas Drinks


If you have an ugly Christmas sweater sitting at home waiting for an outing, this one is for you! Wonderland will host Tinseltown with Christmas tunes and in house Santa and plenty of sugary treats.

Get in the festive spirit at Tinseltown.

Where: Wonderland Bar – 24 Bayswater Rd, Potts Point
Cost: $17 per person for a 90-minute visit, which gets you a mulled wine or festive cocktail (with or without alcohol)
When: 3pm to 11pm

High Tea with Santa

Why not join Santa for high tea? The Tea Room in QVB, along with delicious eats, there will be opportunities for photos with Santa – either professional or with your camera.

High Tea with Santa with DIY or Professional selfies

Sensory Santa Experiences are also available for a calm and comfortable environment. Bookings are available from Saturday 13 November until Friday 24 December. Your experience includes at least two digital photos. You can also take photos with Santa on your own device.

Where: Level 3, QVB George St
When: Book a one-hour session between 8:30am-10am or 13:30am to noon.
Cost: Adults $70, Kids $49 includes a digital photo or Cocktails with Santa – Tickets cost $75 per person.

Elf on the Shelf High Tea

This is an Elf for the adults! The Star Sydney is offering a Elf on the G&T shelf for the month of December. Perfect for a catch up with friends before Xmas or for you next date night.

The sweet treats from the Elf on the Shelf High Tea

Enjoy mini festive flavoured treats including:

  • double-smoked maple-glazed ham finger sandwiches with Camembert & cranberry relish
  • mini field mushroom & chestnut wellingtons
  • confit duck croquettes with smoked apricot chutney
  • fresh crunchy king prawn and avocado cucumber rolls
  • fruit mince pies
  • traditional bûche de Noël, cherry and dark
  • chocolate tortes, pear and yuzu bavarois with spiced honey biscuit
  • mini traditional plum puddings bathed in brandy anglaise,
  • blackcurrant and white chocolate fruit trifles.

You can customise your experience with a festive cocktail of your choice and even order gingerbread house or German Stollen Cake to take home.

Where: Level 6, The Star Sydney
When: 12pm and 4pm from Thursday to Sunday each week from Thursday 1 December until Christmas Day.
Cost: $75pp

Christmas Carols

Carols in the Domain

Carols in the Domain is back in 2022. Sydney’s biggest carolling event is going ahead. There is a free area – known as the festive lawn but you will need to get here early to nab a spot. You can also book tickets.

Want to splurge? Consider the Sheraton Grand Gallery High Tea Diamond Package in the premium seating area, which includes High Tea supplied by the Gallery Restaurant at the Sheraton Grand, table and bottle of Sparkling wine.

Where: The Domain Sydney
Cost: Ticketed area from $69
When: 17 December 2022


Join The Song Company for a night of Christmas Carolling as they perform songs from the Renaissance along with audience favourites. Everyone is welcome, especially keen voices!

Hark Sydney Christmas Carols

Where: The Garrison Church (Monday) and St James Church (Tue/Wed)
When: Mon 20th Dec 2022 6pm, Tues 21th Dec 2022 3pm/6pm, Wed 22 Dec 2022 3pm/6pm
Cost: Tickets $65 Adults, $55 Concession and $10 kids. Family $110 (2 adults and 3 kids) – Any 5 tickets $225

The Best Christmas Lights and Decorations in Sydney

Sydney city council has developed a self-guided walking app that will guide you around the city’s best decorations and light displays. The walk covers 4km and is estimated to take 1-2 hours, depending on how many stops you make.

Sydney City’s Culture Walks App – Christmas Walk

Lights of Christmas – St Mary’s Cathedral

The best Christmas light show in the city takes place in front of St Mary’s Cathedral. This year’s show is a three-part narrative on the importance of ‘home” in our lives.

Christmas LIghts at St Marys Cathedral
Christmas Lights Display at St Marys finishes on Christmas Night

Where: St Mary’s Cathedral College St Sydney – entry via William Street
When: 9 Dec – 25 December
Time: 8.30pm-11pm with Choices from 7:30pm

David Jones Christmas Windows

Sadly, the grand David Jones Christmas windows are a thing of the past. This year, while colourful, they are just not the same.

Where: David Jones, 86-108 Castlereagh St, Sydney
When: 24 hours a day from 12 Nov – 3 Jan (avoid peak shopping hours for the best experience)
Cost: free

Darling Harbour

Giant Christmas gifts – These enormous 1.8m Christmas presents create a perfect Instagram shot – sparkling silver and pink packages can be found in the Harbourside Forecourt.

DHC_061 - Darling Harbour Christmas 2019 - Bronnie Barnett - Precinct
Credit: Darling Harbour / Bronnie Barnett

You will also find three large interactive bells at Darling Quarter – with swings that light up when you reach the top.

Where: Darling Harbour Foreshore and Darling Quarter
When: 1 Nov – 25 Dec.

Strand Arcade

Christmas decorations inspired by native flowers, the Strand Arcade is always stunning, but it looks especially lovely with some extra sparkle.

Sydney’s Strand Arcade

Where: 412-414 George St, Sydney
When: 2 Nov to 10 Jan 2021

Barangaroo Bells

Three gigantic interactive Christmas bells with inbuilt swings will light up Sydney harbour this festive season. Listen while you swing and you’ll notice the bells sound and light up every time you reach the top!

Where: Wulugul Walk, Barangaroo South
When: 24 Nov 2022 – 3 Jan 2023

Westfield Sydney Central

Westfield has 150 trees featuring half a million twinkling LED lights inspired by Eucalyptus Trees, the ‘Christmas Gum’. Plenty of backgrounds perfect for your Christmas Instagram shot. “Check out the 3D Matrix lighting installation between Zara and Innisfree, the Christmas forest down the Grand Staircase into the Food Court or the twinkling green wall pillars on the Level 3 Market St entry.”

I love that the Christmas trees in Westfield are gum trees

Where: Westfield Central (Pitt Street Mall)
When: Now until Dec 28 approx.

Flour Drum Newton

Giving David Jones window a run perhaps is the Christmas Display Window at Flour Drum This will be the 5th year this Newtown cafe will be decorating and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. The window is just the start with the dining room and garden also decorated.

We can personally vouch for how delicious everything tastes at Flour Drum.

Pop in and try their delicious Xmas treats including Christmas Pudding / Cake / Mince Pies (all marinaded for over 12 months with a more than healthy tipple of Brandy), Gingerbreads People, Gingerbread Animals, White Christmas, Christmas Jams and Relishes. As well as handmade cookies and biscuits range, Christmas Pudding and an array of handcrafted gourmet treats.

Where: 531 King Street Newtown.
When: Mon, Thur & Fri : 7:30am – 2pm, Sat & Sun 7:30am – 2:30pm

Christmas Light Spectacular at Hunter Valley Gardens

The annual Christmas Lights Show at Hunter Valley Gardens is back. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Where: Broke Road, Pokolbin
Cost: $34 adults $27 for kids (Family tickets also available)
When: 4 Nov – 26 Jan, 2023 (Closed 25th Dec) 6:30pm – 9:30pm. Event closes at 10:30pm.

Related: Find out more about traditions of Christmas in Australia

Need more ideas? Join our Sydney Expert Facebook Group where you can ask questions, stay updated with what’s happening and meet a bunch of friendly locals just waiting to share their advice!

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