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Why you should take your kids to South Bank this Christmas!

christmas-beach-cinema screen

Oh What Fun it is! – South Bank Christmas this year is set to be huge!

Whether Christmas time to you means backing up the 30-something-degree days with family barbeques and beach cricket, or the more traditional activities like carols by candlelight appeal to you, there is one thing for sure – yuletide events in the open summer air are essential to any Christmas in Brisbane.

Brisbane’s inner city reaches are magical destinations once again this Christmas, hosting festive celebrations all across the CBD and South Bank.

Christmas for families at South Bank

South Bank’s celebrations kick off on Friday 14 December and provide festive cheer for all visitors all the way to Sunday 23 December. The Parklands will twinkle with cheer from 3pm each day, decked with fairy lights and festive decorations including a beautifully illuminated Christmas Tree in Stanley Street Plaza. DJs will spin summer tunes at Streets Beach to set the holiday atmosphere and live musicians will entertain crowds on Rainforest Green.

Have yourself a uniquely Brisbane Christmas at South Bank this year, where festive fantasies are plentiful and the sun is always shining. The Parklands will transform into a magical summer playground over the festive season offering free outdoor activities for the whole family.

Experience Oh What Fun It Is at one of the many fireworks displays over the Brisbane River, sing-along to Christmas carol concerts, meander the traditional Christmas market, or kick back on a rug to enjoy movie screenings at Streets Beach. There is something for everyone and best of all it’s totally free!

South Bank’s Christmas Village Markets

South Bank's Christmas Village

  • Cultural Forecourt
  • 14-23 December 2018
  • 3pm-10pm Daily

The tradition of shopping for gifts in the South Bank Christmas Gift Market continues, with 80 stalls brimming with jewellery, toys, cards and wrapping paper, gourmet pantry items and other wonderful wares. The Markets will stretch the length of Little Stanley Street every afternoon between 3pm and 10pm. Take a break to enjoy a festive feast from one of the local cafes, restaurants or food outlets on Little Stanley Street while you’re browsing.

Let your festive season be merry and bright at South Bank’s Christmas Village! Held in the South Bank Parklands this year, the Village features free yuletide glee to suit all ages. There will be a Gift Market from 3pm-10pm so you can procure beautiful and unique wares offering toys, homewares, fashion, jewellery, stationary and foodstuffs. Find out more about South Bank’s Christmas Village Markets.

Are your kids bursting with excitement for Santa’s arrival? Santa will make a whistle stop to the Parklands (next to Flowstate) each evening between 4.30pm and 8.30pm to accept last-minute wish list changes and remind children how to stay on the ‘nice’ list. Don’t forget the camera for a free Santa snap! Keep your eyes peeled for some cheeky elves cavorting in the Parkland as well, spreading Christmas cheer.

If you’re all shopped-out; take advantage of some of the other free, family friendly activities happening across the Parklands.

South Bank Christmas Fireworks

Children watching christmas-fireworks-south-bank

  • Clem Jones Promenade, Streets Beach & River Quay
  • 20-23 December
  • 7:45pm nightly (8pm start) 15 minute long displays

Electric fireworks displays will light up the night sky over four nights this December. Bring the whole family along to the Clem Jones Promenade to enjoy a dazzling array of pyrotechnics that will take you on a magical Christmas journey. Find out more about South Bank Christmas Fireworks.

Christmas Beach Cinema

south bank christmas cinema

  • River Quay on the water front
  • 14-23 December
  • Bookings not required

South Bank’s Christmas Cinema Series by Twilight is now at a brand new location. Snuggle up on a picnic rug under the stars or dive-in to the cool waters and enjoy Christmas family favourites on the silver screen.

Once the sun has set and festive spirits are high, settle everyone down on the grassy green for a family-friendly Christmas movie on the big screen. Perennial favourites Elf, The Polar Express and The Santa Clause are on the Christmas Cinema schedule with screenings taking place at 8.15pm each evening at River Quay Green.

Find out more about South Bank’s Christmas Cinema Series at Streets Beach.

Carols by Twilight

south bank christmas carols

  • 14-23rd December
  • River Quay, South Bank
  • Performances from 6-8pm nightly

Sing along to your favourite carols at Carols by Twilight at River Quay Green. Performances will take place at 6pm and 7.15pm, hosted by a different choir or local band each evening. Family favourite Christmas carols will see this whole area engaged in a toe-tappin’ singalong topped off by cool summer breezes and wonderful views. You can bring a picnic. This area is licensed from 10am-8pm daily. Find out more about Carols By Twilight.

Holly Jolly Kids Program

The Holly Jolly Kids program is also the perfect way to keep little people entertained in the lead up to the big day. Afternoon daily activities include circus-style fun at the Elf Training Academy, The Nutcracker dance workshops with Queensland Ballet, and crafty Christmas decoration craft for creative kids. Check the Christmas in Brisbane website or program guide for a more detailed timetable of activities.  Find out more about Holly Jolly Kids here.

Check out this Christmas video

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular

New Year's Eve at South Bank

  • 31 December
  • 8.30pm & midnight shows

Enjoy an evening of free, family-friendly frivolity as Brisbane’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular returns to South Bank. Featuring movie screenings, food trucks serving up sweet and savoury fare, and two glittering fireworks shows (one at 8:30pm the other at midnight) there’s no better way to welcome in 2019.

Please note that the New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular is an alcohol-free event. Items such as glass, metal cutlery, bikes and scooters are also not permitted. Find more information about the South Bank New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular.

Have a very South Bank Christmas!

Make a trip to South Bank for Christmas festivities a proper adventure, and take a bus, train or ferry to the Parklands. Children under five travel free, and on weekends kids aged 5 to 14 are also free if using their orange gocards. Check the Translink website for more detailed fare information and timetables. If you do need to drive to South Bank, check parking availability and deals for the many parking stations around South Bank.

For the complete Christmas in Brisbane program, head here for more information! 

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