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10 Of The Best Festive Events Popping Up In Sydney This December

By Florence Tan
8th Dec 2015

best events in sydney

Sometimes all we need in life is a bit of a heads up.

Don't forget to buy your mum a Christmas present!

Are you sure you need that jumper? It’s going to be a scorcher!

Unfortunately real life doesn’t come with these alerts, but at least we can give you a heads up on some of the best things to do in Sydney this month. So even if you’ve forgotten to buy mum a present or have sweated through you shirt, you can still have a good time regardless.

We’ve partnered with Bankwest (the guys who’ve added handy Bankwest Easy Alerts to their mobile banking app) to find the best festive events happening around town this month. What are you waiting for? Head to these awesome events while you can (and get started on that Christmas shopping list!). 

Lights of Christmas 

If you didn’t get your fill of city illumination at this year’s Vivid, well count yourself one lucky duck because PAYCE is setting its lights on Sydney’s iconic St Mary’s Cathedral. Creating a whole new Christmas tradition, the Lights of Christmas will be a technicolour feast for the eyes. Beginning with a choral performance each evening, get ready to feel all the Christmas feels. 

Where: St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney
When: From 10th to 25th December 2015 from 7:30pm each evening
Tickets: Not required

The life-size gingerbread house at Shangri-La

Turning the Shangri-La into a real-life Hansel and Gretel fairytale, if you have a more than healthy relationship with your dentist, sink your cavity-filled chompers into this sweetness overload (but don’t really, this house is display-only). Lead by pastry queen Anna Polyviou, she’ll be creating one mega 1,5000kg gingerbread house with plenty of take-home goodies for you to buy.

Where: Shangri-La Sydney
When: From Wednesday 2nd December till Thursday 24th December
Tickets: Not required

Sydney Living Museums’ Christmas Fare

Stock on up all your Christmas goodies at this foodie market. Head to the Hyde Park Barracks and wander through over 40 stalls jam-packed with artisanal produce and handcrafted goods. There’ll be pickled, smoked, and baked treats as well as a whole host of potential gifts to help you win at Christmas this year. You’d be a Grinch to miss it!

Where: Hyde Park Barracks
When: Thursday 17th December, 4pm – 9pm
Tickets: Gold coin admission

Carols in the Domain

One of the biggest events of the season, Carols in the Domain is returning for its 33rd year and it’s going to be a cracker. With Aussie favourites including Dami Im, Georgie Parker and wait for it… The Wiggles (!!!) getting the carols going, it’s time to don your festive finest and warm-up your lungs for an all-night belter. We’re feeling all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it.  

Where: The Domain Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
When: Saturday 19th December
Tickets: Not required

Christmas Whisky Dinner at Tokyo Bird

If your idea of Christmas is a little less traditional and a little more merry malt, well add this Whisky Dinner at Tokyo Bird to the calendar. Spread over two sittings, diners will be treated to a five-course izakaya-style degustation. The image of a smoked turkey yakitori with cranberry stuffing should get the mouth-watering started for you and of course each course is paired with some of the most sought-after Japanese whiskies around. 

Where: Tokyo Bird, Surry Hills
When: Tuesday 22nd December
Tickets: $135 per person; bookings essential

New Years Eve at The Royal, Leichhardt

The thing about December is that there’s such a massive lead-up to Christmas that we’re only just recovering from the resulting massive food coma come New Years Eve… Meaning we haven’t even thought of where our countdown will be ‘cause ain’t nobody got time for that. Thankfully, The Royal will be providing the food (two-courses), cocktails and bubbly on the night so we can properly ring in 2016 with minimal fuss. 

Where: The Royal, Leichardt
When: Thursday 31st December
Tickets: $59 per person

Finders Keepers Sydney Market

Avoid being the victim of the re-gift this silly season by doing all your Christmas shopping at the Finders Keepers Markets. Featuring over 200 carefully curated independent design stalls, you’ll be that stylish friend that got that hanging cacti before all the cool kiddies on Instagram had it. Oh, and seeing as optimal browsing requires a satisfied appetite, there’ll be plenty of food trucks and coffee carts on site to keep you satiated while you browse.

Where: Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh
When: Friday 11th December till Sunday 13th December
Tickets: $2 entry and free for under 12’s

The MCA Gin Garden

It’s no secret that us Sydneysiders love gin. Throw in some awesome art for us to ooh and aah at and you know it’s a hit. The masterminds behind this whimsical dream come true? Oh just artisanal gin distillers Archie Rose, craft brewery legends Young Henrys and the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Grayson Perry exhibition, you know no big deal. Open Thursdays to Sundays from 4pm, the MCA Gin Garden is the place to get your art on and while away those balmy summer nights. 

Where, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, The Rocks
When: From Friday 4th December till early February
Tickets: Not required

36 Hour Christmas marathon at Sydney Fish Market

It’s not an Aussie Xmas if there’s not a plate of fresh prawns sitting alongside a glazed ham on the dining table. Get all your Christmas feasting essentials at the Sydney Fish Market’s 36 Hour Christmas Seafood Marathon. Perfect for those guilty of the last minute dash to the shops, there’ll be plenty of fresh produce and booze available no matter what hour of the night you arrive.  

Where: Sydney Fish Market
When: Wednesday 23rd December 5am till Thursday 24th December 5pm
Tickets: Not required

Good Lord! It’s Christmas! A Nativity Pantomime

Leave the little tykes at home for this one and have a jolly good laugh at this adult reimagining of the nativity story. Featuring some of Sydney’s brightest comedy minds, you’ll get to poke at some glaring pot holes and find out why the Wise Men aren’t really that wise. And in the spirit of Christmas, all proceeds from Good Lord! It’s Christmas! will go to charity so you can giggle with a little gratitude. 

Where: Giant Dwarf Theatre, Redfern
When: 8th – 10th December
Tickets: $20 Adult, $15 Concession

Editor's Note: This article is proudly sponsored by Bankwest and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy. 

Image credit: Nikki To at Shangri-La

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