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Embrace The Festive Season With The Best Events Hitting Town This December

By Brooke Darling
27th Nov 2019

things to do on the gold coast this december

We made it! It’s the last month of 2019 and we can hardly believe it. While Christmas and New Year’s Eve festivities are sure to be filling your calendar to the brim, make sure you save room for all of these other epic December events popping up this month. 

Here is our pick of the best things to do on the Gold Coast this December.

Pet Stars Insta Pet Museum 

Shaping up to be one of the furriest Gold Coast events this December, Pet Stars Insta Pet Museum is making its first Australian appearance, just in time for Christmas. With over 20 photo scenes filled with pet-friendly fun and immersive installations, expect a Doggy Style grooming room complete with retro hair dryers, Central Paws Park, Game of Bones, a Tea for Two Doggy high tea, the ultimate Kong dog ball pit to play in, Pet Stars Animal Hall of Fame, a Flea Circus, Jimmy Chewed stylish shoe room, Paw Stars glamour room and a Christmas Santa Paws room for Christmas pet photos. One dollar from every ticket will go to the Animal Welfare League of Queensland, and while it’s primarily focused on dogs, there’s a dedicated Cat Night Out every Thursday (6pm to 8pm) so your feline friends won’t be left out. 

When: Friday 29 November to Thursday 19 December (Thursday to Sunday, various times)
Where: Cararra Markets, Corner Gooding Drive and Manchester Road, Cararra
Cost: $29 adults, $19 children, $78 family
For more information, click here.


At the beating heart of the Coast’s blossoming cultural scene is HOTA. This summer, HOTA is turning up the heat with a 15-day long festival jam-packed with 20 must-see events. Celebrating the season that sees us come together with family and friends with a feeling of place and belonging, expect an eclectic gathering of local and national artists, across both the indoor and outdoor performance spaces. From the Coast’s first Roots Music Festival to stage shows including Dance Beneath the Stars, Deadly Hearts (a celebration of Australian indigenous music) and Calling Home (a warming alternative to carols), you’re sure to find something that will light the fire inside.

When: Sunday 1 to Sunday 15 December
Where: HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
Cost: Both free and ticketed events
For more information, click here.

Hot Honey Brown At HOTA

As the nights get longer and balmier, outdoor concerts are back on our radar. If you haven’t checked it out already, HOTA’s sprawling amphitheatre is an absolute must-do. As part of their epic HOME summer festival, Hot Brown Honey is taking over for a night of electric performances. Promised to make you laugh until you cry and shake every part of what your mama gave you, this is certain to be one of the best things to do on the Gold Coast this December. 

When: Friday 6 December; from 7:30pm 
Where: Outdoor stage, HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
Cost: $39 per person
For more information, click here.

Mayor’s Christmas Carols

Throw on a Christmas-inspired tee and head to the merriest carols on the Gold Coast. David Campbell with special guest Emma Pask will be the stars of this year’s Mayor’s Christmas Carols at the Broadwater Parklands. There will also be sets from Brothers 3 and local trio Sirens who will croon your favourite carols into the night. Grab your friends and a picnic and celebrate the festive season.

When: Saturday 7 December; 2pm to 9pm
Where: Broadwater Parklands, Broadwater, Southport
Cost: Free
For more information, click here.

Dogs On The Green

Dog lovers unite! Dogs on the Green—a whole market dedicated to your fave four-legged friends—is returning to the Gold Coast this December to melt your heart and give you all of the warm and fuzzies. Following two successful events, Benowa State Primary School will again transform into a puppy paradise with dozens of stalls showcasing must-have dog and pet products, raffles in support of local rescue groups, mobile dog groomer, food trucks and loads of happy furbabies so you can cuddle and stay all morning. 

When: Sunday 8 December; 8am to 1pm
Where: Benowa State Primary School, Benowa Road, Benowa
Cost: Free
For more information, click here.

The Village Markets’ Christmas Market

Join the local legends from The Village Markets for their special Christmas market at Burleigh Heads State School. With live tunes to groove to while you wander through the stalls, epic food trucks and seriously trendy threads and homewares; it’s also the perfect place to treat yourself, because, self-love and all that jazz was the theme of 2019. Supporting the community feels good, doesn’t it? 

When: Sunday 8 December; 8:30am to 1pm
Where: Burleigh Heads High School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Cost: Shopping fund
For more information, click here.

Sample Elk Espresso’s New Bottomless Mimosa Brunch

Just when you thought this beloved Broadbeach breakfast spot couldn’t get any better, Elk Espresso go and combine two of our favourite things: free-flowing mimosas and their mind-blowingly fabulous seasonal menu. For just $39 per person, take your pick from fresh summer instalments like the Fried Chicken Waffle with miso maple syrup and cherry lime butter or the Chorizo Bahn Mi with cherry heirloom tomatoes, avo, fried egg and coriander. Then, add bubbles with one hour of free-flowing mimosas served in a variety of flavours from the classic to strawberry lime. 

When: Daily; 10am to 12pm 
Where: Elk Espresso, Oasis Shopping Centre, 2 Charles Avenue, Broadbeach
Cost: $39 per person (your choice of breakfast dish and one hour of unlimited mimosa)
For more information, click here

Burleigh Christmas Carols

Summer is the season for picnics, ensuring the Burleigh Christmas Carols are one of the top things to do on the Gold Coast this December. Pack the blanket, stock your picnic basket and watch the Coast’s sparkling skyline light up while crooning to your favourite festive tunes. With a tonne of local food trucks to gorge on, roving performers and the big red man himself, this is one evening that will deliver all the warm and fuzzies. 

When: Thursday 12 December; 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Where: Burleigh Hill, Burleigh Heads
Cost: Free
For more information, click here.

Dance Beneath The Stars At HOTA

Another stand-out event among the loaded line up at HOTA’s summer festival HOME is Dance Beneath The Stars. Dance like nobody is watching when you groove barefoot in the grass to energising tunes from Sydney’s 10-piece brass group Hot Potato Band and award-winning rock cabaret performer Geraldine Guinn. 

When: Friday 13 December; 7pm to 9:30pm (gates open at 5:30pm)
Where: Outdoor stage, HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
Cost: Free
For more information, click here

Desert Digs And XMAS Spread At Mo’s Desert Clubhouse

Who doesn’t love a good vintage find? The gang at Thryft GC are a local charity thrift shop that sells everything for a fiver and then donates all proceeds to Pay A Sack Forward, who create shelter packs for local homeless. That’s serious good vibes. Combining an extra-large edition of their Desert Digs rummage market with Mo’s Desert Clubhouse’s annual XMAS Spread—join the festivities as this gutsy crew reflects on a massive year. Celebrating the best way they know how, expect a swag of awesome music, positive energy and drinks slinging from the bar.

When: Sunday 15 December; markets from 2pm and festive bash from 5pm
Where: Mo’s Desert Clubhouse, Burleigh Heads
Cost: Free entry until 5pm ($15/$20 per person after 5pm)
For more information, click here.

Coolangatta Christmas Carols

If all you want for Christmas is tasty food trucks, markets and carols in the one place, get yourself along to Coolangatta’s beachfront carols for one of the best things to do on the Gold Coast this December. 

When: Sunday 15 December; 4pm to 8pm (show starts 5:30pm)
Where: Queen Elizabeth Park, Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Cost: Free
For more information, click here.

Christmas Markets GC

Don’t you just hate it when you see a gift, ‘yeah-nah’ it and then regret not biting the bullet and buying it? Luckily for you, this year’s Christmas Markets GC is held over three big days. After strolling over 100 market stalls, make a visit to the supersized snow dome or settle in for a free Christmas movie on the big screen. ‘Tis the season to kick back under the stars and watch Santa arrive by helicopter. Yes, really. Swing by between 4pm and 10pm for three days of Christmas markets and one of the best things to do on the Gold Coast this December.

When: Friday 20 to Sunday 22 December; 4pm to 10pm
Where: Broadwater Parklands, Southport
For more information, click here

New Year’s Carnival 

Why limit your end of year celebrations to just one night? Surfers Paradise is throwing a six-day New Year’s Carnival. Activities, rides and interesting attractions will take over the coastline and then, on New Year’s Eve at both 8pm and midnight, the skies light up with a firework display that will dazzle and delight.  

When: Friday 27 December to Wednesday 1 January; various times
Where: Surfers Paradise 
Cost: Free
For more information, click here.

Best Night Ever At Miami Marketta

Need a break from all the festive engagements? Join Miami Marketta for the third instalment (and first time at Marketta) of the knock-out Best Night Ever soiree. With an exciting headliner yet to be announced, you can already plan to groove the night away to Ruby Fields, The Chats, Bad/Dreems and many more. Your ticket also puts you in the running to win beer for year from Young Henry’s, ensuring this will be one of the hottest things to do on the Gold Coast this December. 

When: Sunday 29 December; 2pm to 9pm
Where: Miami Marketta; 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami
Cost: $89 to $99 per person 
For more information, click here.

New Year’s Eve Events

It’s one of the biggest nights of the year, and there are loads of events on, so there’s no excuse to park yourself on the couch and bring in the New Year all on your lonesome.
Though when it comes to ringing in 2020, you don’t want to be stuck just anywhere. Which is why we’re helping you get prepped for the last night of 2019, by rounding up the best New Year’s Eve parties on the Gold Coast. From fancy dinners to parties in da clubs, however you see yourself saying ‘sayonara’ to the year that was, we’ve most likely got you covered. 

When: Tuesday 31 December 
Where: Various locations
For more information, click here

Looking for more things to do? Check out these magical snorkel spots or these awesome hikes on and around the Gold Coast. 

Image credit: Hayley Williamson for Urban List 

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