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Christmas Fun to Start at Once!

With the start of December upon us, it is a great time to begin enjoying some more social activities, and the City of Sydney really turns it on, with some great (and often FREE) activities that you can enjoy throughout the month leading up to Christmas.

This time of the year is notoriously busy of course, but many of these activities are great group activities that will help you get into the spirit of Christmas whilst socialising as well.

DID YOU KNOW that according to the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) nearly 25% of Aussie homes, and occupied by a single person? I find that pretty astounding. Nearly one quarter of our population lives alone, so the beginning of the festive season could also spell the beginning of feelings of loneliness and disconnectedness for those flying solo.

It is easy at this time of year to be consumed by our own lives and all the business that comes with the silly season. Often those who are lonely withdraw further, not wanting to burden others with their problems. Dropping in small thoughtful gifts to neighbours, can help combat feelings of isolation in those who have no family or friends around them- Check out our Christmas gift range if you need some inspiration. Now is also a great time to extend the invitation to people you suspect may be lonely. Keep plans open and informal- after all, the more the merrier!

Some of the sights throughout the city provide a base for creating a fantastic treasure hunt activity, or could provide entertainment between a festive pub crawl. How fun would that be? With so many amazing venues throughout the city, what a fun way to spend an afternoon or weekend with a group of friends.

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Image; Swarovski Christmas Tree at the QVB via What’s On

There is plenty to do and see in the city, so starting somewhere central makes sense. The QVB building is always dressed to impress at Christmas time, and with the Swarovski crystal Christmas tree taking centre stage, it is certainly worth a look. With Town Hall station basically underneath as well as many bus routes passing by, it is easily accessible. Then head toward Hyde Park.

PUB CRAWL SUGGESTION; RAMBLIN RASCAL TAVERN

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Image; David Jones flagship store on Elizabeth Street, Sydney

At the flagship David Jones Stores on Elizabeth Street you will find the big retailer’s take on Christmas modeled in each window display. This is always a nice thing to do with the kids- and this year features very cute gingerbread characters. The David Jones windows are beautiful to look at during the day, but are also gorgeous at night, with the displays illuminated once the sun goes down.

PUB CRAWL SUGGESTION; RABBIT HOLE BAR AND DINING

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Image; Martin Place Christmas Tree via The Salvos

The Christmas tree in Martin Place is already in place, and the lights are on, shining the way throughout the city. Each night leading up to Christmas, choirs will be at Martin Place caroling. With a train station near by at Martin Place this makes another great meeting point. Light projections are also on site here every night to see.

If you fancy a little sweet treat to keep your energy levels up, The GPO pop up dessert bar is set up at No 1 Martin Place offering a range of gelato, housemade sweets, cakes, coffee, cold beverages and savoury options.

PUB CRAWL SUGGESTION; GPO BAR

Image; Boulevarde of Lights

Head down through Pitt Street Mall though the Boulevarde of Light; a Christmas forest installation with nearly 80,000 white lights shining down on you. On Thursday, Saturday and Sunday evenings caroling choirs will also be performing here from 6-8pm. Check out what Choirs are coming to perform right here.

PUB CRAWL SUGGESTION; PALMER AND CO

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Image; Child Mags

Swing by St Mary’s Cathedral which will be putting on a Light Show again this year, with the sweet singing voices of a choir to accompany the show from 7.30pm every evening. There will be food options on site for those with grumbling bellies.

PUB CRAWL SUGGESTION; OPERA BAR

Circular Quay is a great destination to finish your city tour. For locals and tourists alike, it is a picturesque place to sit down and rest your weary bones, and grab something to eat or drink. After all isn’t that all part of getting into the Christmas spirit- eat, drink and be merry!

Fwf x

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Closeup Macro Christmas Lights

Up in Lights- Christmas displays and activities

For those who managed to find time last week (at this crazy time of year) to read our blog, you would have seen that my family and I fill the whole month of December with a range of Christmas themed activities. It makes for a fun and interactive way to spend some quality time together. Obviously at this point in my life, much of my week is spent at home with wee ones, and my husband certainly doesn’t get a chance to enjoy many of these activities with us (I bet you he is counting his lucky stars!) BUT some of the outdoor activities and outings we make around the City of Sydney we accomplish as a family unit.

The Sydney City has a tonne of cool things to keep you and the family busy over the silly season by way of organised/sponsored events and also must-sees through the suburbs. There are heaps of fun things to do on a family day out, and lots of lights to swing by and see once the sun has gone down.

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Local to Carlingford there are a few recommended light displays. According to Christmas Light Search you should check out:

Juniper Place, Baulkham Hills

Juniper Place features 4 out of 6 houses decorated in the street, so is well worth the trip. The homes are full of magnificent light displays.

Brush Road and Victoria Road, West Ryde

Located near the Marsden Road end of Victoria Road, Brush Road features a baby Jesus, Mary and Three Wise Men. Also featured is a moving musical Santa, reindeer lights, a sleigh, a snowman, roof decorations and a very friendly owner who pops out to give candy canes to the children. Awwww.

5 Dorset Ave, Northmead

If Northmead is close by, this home is worth a look with an interactive playground full of lights, Christmas characters and tunnels that you are able to walk through.

For help finding other Christmas light displays in your local areas head here.

Many of these activities form part of our Christmas advent calendar which featured in last weeks blog, and provide little outings for the family to spend quality time together. It is a nice way to get out into the city in which you live and have an opportunity to absorb the infectious energy of this time of year.

The City of Sydney has many displays throughout the heart of the CBD which are well worth the look, particularly if you have a young family, but there are many things that couples or singles alike will enjoy also, or at least they can provide a starting point for a fun night out anyhow! Check out some of these:

Martin Place Christmas Tree

The 21 metre high tree in the City’s centre is on display from Nov 26- Dec 24, and will be lit each night with a range of choirs/singing groups performing each night beside the tree in the lead up to Christmas.

You can also send your own personalised message to 048 SYD XMAS and watch your message appear up in lights across the boards on site.

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David Jones Elizabeth Street Christmas Windows

Much like the David Jones Flower Show which marks the start of Spring in September, the window displays at the Elizabeth Street Flagship store are certainly worth a look.

This year’s display features Santa with a team of snow white Polar bears preparing the presents in the sleigh for delivery.

The display is on display NOW and is a free event.

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Lego Christmas Sleigh display

The kids will LOVE this one, whether they are the little ones, or the big kids! The Lego display captures the attention and imagination of everyone and this years life size sleigh provides the ultimate backdrop for your Christmas snaps! Use it in your selfie, or jump on in- the sleigh is open everyday in the late afternoon/evenings for your to take your pictures. You will find this display in Martin Place, just near the Christmas Tree so you can check them out at the same time :-)

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QVB Swarovski Christmas Tree

This year the QVB buildings Christmas display is quite the eye catcher. Sparkling with 82,000 Swarovski crystals and 65,000 twinkling lights, the tree towers 24 metres and fills the central void under the dome between the three floors. Adorning the top of the tree is a spectacular 2.2 metre wide gilded star.

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St Mary’s Cathedral Christmas Lights

Kicking off today December 8th and continuing through until December 25th, St Mary’s Cathedral will play host to an amazing light display featuring an animated depiction of The Nutcracker Suite, as well as images of Madonna and Child.

Each night will begin at 7.30pm with a choir performance, the lights will begin at 8.30pm and continue until midnight.

This years theme is ‘ Joy to the World’, and is presented by PAYCE.

For more information on any of these events and more head to City of Sydney’s Website here

For more information on the City of Sydney events head here.

Til next time,

Fwf x

Feature Image Source: Christmas Lights Etc

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