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Christmas in Brisbane City 2023: A Guide for Families this Year

Your guide to the best free events to celebrate Christmas in Brisbane – the most magical time of year. This year, make plans to celebrate ALL of the fabulous FREE festivities our city has to offer!  This is the best list of things to do with kids in Brisbane this Christmas!

The great news is Brisbane’s inner-city will be a magical destination once again this Christmas, hosting free festive celebrations all across the CBD and South Bank. Visiting the city to see the giant Christmas Tree, City Hall lights and other fantastical festive delights are must-do’s on every family’s holiday wish list.

Each year for 4 weeks Brisbane celebrates Christmas in tinsel-filled style.  There are plenty of free Christmas events so pull out your calendar and pencil in some of these (Christmas) crackers!

If you would like to update your entry or add to our article, please email Janine – Editor@FamiliesMagazine.com.au

Lighting the Brisbane City Christmas Tree | Friday 1 December @ 6:20pm

Lord Mayor's Lighting of the Christmas 2020
Image credit: Visit Brisbane

It’s one of our most favourite traditions. Head to King George Square to watch the lighting of the HUGE Christmas tree squeezed in with hundreds of other Brisbanites. This year, the Lighting of the Christmas Tree will be an held at King George Square from 6.20pm – 7.30pm on Friday December 1, 2023.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner will turn on the 22m-high Christmas tree’s twinkling lights accompanied by special Christmas musical performances to get you in the festive mood. The Brisbane Christmas Tree will be on display from 1 December to early January in King George Square. 

  • Where: King George Square or Online via the Brisbane City Council Facebook Page
  • When: Friday 1 December at 6:20pm, 2023
  • Find out more here.

Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols | Saturday 2 December @ 6pm

christmas in brisbane carols

A special event not to be missed is the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols at the City Botanic Garden’s Riverstage on Saturday 2 December. 

Hosted by Queensland’s first lady of song, Naomi Price, the new-look Carols welcomes a cavalcade of stars from stage and screen, including Dami Im, Johnny Manuel, Caroline O’Connor, Swing on This,  Loren Hunter, Rebecca Cassidy, Jack Chambers, Irena Lysiuk, Alisha Todd and Brooke Schubert. Audience favourites The Jingle Belles return in 2023 underthe direction of superstar chorographer Kate Wormald and of course – it wouldn’t be Christmas without a VIP visit from Santa himself! 

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a few seasonal surprises in store, guaranteeing a tree-mendous night for the whole family.

Tickets are limited, so be sure to reserve your free seats for this popular annual event.

  • Date: Saturday 2 December, 2023
  • Time: Gates open 4pm, pre-show entertainment starts 6pm, show runs 7pm – 9pm
  • Cost: Entry is $5 (under 18’s get in free!) and bookings are essential to attend.
  • Tickets will be available from 10am Tuesday 14 November, 2023
  • Find out more here

Christmas in the Queen Street Mall | 1 – 24 December, 11am and 4:30pm

Christmas in the Queen Street Mall

Enjoy the magic of Christmas in the Queen Street Mall with daily pop-up performances and roaming entertainment that’s sure to delight all ages. The festive performances and entertainment will be throughout Queen Street Mall. Don’t miss the roving festive fun. From Friday 9 – Saturday 24 December, enjoy Christmas-inspired pop-up performances and roaming entertainment in Queen Street Mall from 11am–3pm daily and 4.30–8.30pm during late night trade – so there are plenty of chances to catch the festive fun.

  • When:  1-24 December, 2023
  • Time: 11am-2:30pm and 4.30pm-8.00pm during late night shopping.
  • Find out more here.

The Lott by Golden Casket City Hall Lights | 8-24 December

christmas in brisbane city hall

Be amazed by the magic of Christmas at The Lott by Golden Casket City Hall Lights as Brisbane’s iconic City Hall is immersed in a vibrant visual lighting and audio display that can’t be missed.

The free show occurs every 15 minutes from 7.30pm to midnight daily from 8–24 December.

  • Where: Brisbane City Hall
  • Dates: 8 December – 24 December, 2023
  • Times: Every 15 minutes from 7:30pm to midnight
  • Find out more here

A Whimsical, Wonderful Christmas Show | 8, 15 & 22 December 2023

A Whimsical, Wonderful Christmas Show

Queen Street Mall unwraps the joy of the holiday season with an enchanting FREE Christmas feature show, ‘A Whimsical, Wonderful Christmas.’ Mark your calendars for Friday, December 8, 15 and 22 when the Main Stage (outside Uptown) will come alive with festive delight. 

  • Where: Queen Street Mall
  • Dates: 8, 15 & 22 December, 2023
  • Times: 5pm – 7:30pm
  • Cost: FREE
  • Find out more here.

The Enchanted Garden at Roma Street Parkland | 23 November – 20 December

Enchanted Garden Roma At Parkland

For the ultimate Christmas light experience, make your way to The Enchanted Garden at Roma Street Parkland.

The Enchanted Garden is a magnificent evening walk, set amid winding pathways bordered by towering trees and lush foliage, lit with the warm glow of mesmerising lights. The lighting trail combines over 8000 square metres of custom-made lighting, audio, special effects and sculptures to deliver a world-class digital art experience in the heart of Brisbane.

The installation is self-guided and the narrative will take guests around 30 minutes to complete, with entry available every 15 minutes from 6:30 pm to last entry at 9:00 pm.

Food trucks will also be pulling up nightly on Celebration Lawn and Lakeside Lawn, and The Garden Room cafe will offer two specially curated share-style menus for kids and adults.

  • Dates: Friday 23 November – Wednesday 20 December
  • Times: 6:30pm – 9:15pm nightly
  • Cost: Entry is $7 per child aged 3-12 (free for under 2 years), $9 aged 13 and older

You can find out all the details about The Enchanted Garden at Roma Street Parkland here.

Christmas at South Bank

The Christmas Show at South Bank
The Christmas Show at South Bank

You should definitely add South Bank to your Christmas activities bucket list. There are a huge amount of events on again this year.

  • South Bank Christmas Tree – Stanley Street Plaza
  • The Collective Markets – Christmas Edition – Little Stanley Street
  • Carols by the River – Riverside Green
  • Festive Beats presented by eatSouthBank – Little Stanley Street Lawn
  • The South Bank Christmas Show – South Bank Piazza
  • Holly Jolly Kids – Little Stanley Street Lawn
  • Santa’s Stop Over – Flowstate Precinct
  • South Bank Christmas Cinema – River Quay Green

Make sure you experience the magic of Christmas at South Bank with your family as Brisbane’s most iconic precinct bursts to life with festive entertainment and activities that will surprise and delight all ages.

We dedicated a whole article to why you should take your kids to South Bank this Christmas here.

Christmas in Brisbane event guide

See the official Christmas in Brisbane Booklet here thanks to Visit Brisbane.

RELATED: If you are looking for ideas in other cities check out the Christmas in Australia website!

It’s Christmas time in the city!

Ring a ling! To plan your family outing to the CBD this Christmas, check out the FULL Christmas program in Brisbane when it is released. 

What else is on this Christmas in Brisbane 2023?

We’ve got your comprehensive list of where to see the BEST Christmas lights in Brisbane here.

Wanting to head out to some festive Christmas Markets? We’ll tell you where you can buy the ultimate gifts for your loved ones this Christmas from your local community markets!

If you’re ready to belt out a few carols at one of Brisbane’s many Christmas Carol events read this article.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

6 thoughts on “Christmas in Brisbane City 2023: A Guide for Families this Year”

  1. I can’t find if or when the southbank Christmas fireworks is on? Our family loves going every year but this year i can’t find any information on it. 😥

  2. Disappointed that we have to book for the Christmas Twilight markets at King George’s square. I’ve been looking for this markets for the last 6 weeks and finally about 2 weeks ago they showed that the markets were on but they initially did not have to book. Now I looked again today and I found out that they are all booked out. Are all events by booking only or just some. Can someone please explain the difference between, some were you need to book and other activities you don’t. We usually book ourselves a motel room to enjoy these activities as we are country people and live out of town. So we need to know if everything has to be booked before the activities or not so I can book a motel. No use booking a motel if all activities have all ready sold out or booked out.


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