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The lights in the city in 2014

Christmas in the City-Canberra Celebrates!

Our biggest celebration of the festive season is back in the heart of the nation’s capital, with Christmas in the City – Canberra Celebrates!

Experience the true wonder of Christmas as Canberra comes alive from 27 November to 31 December with a premier Christmas program.

This month of celebrations is kicking off with a jam packed opening weekend across Friday 27 November to Sunday 29 November.

Canberra Celebrates Christmas Concert- Friday 27th November

A Family Christmas Concert will be held on opening night from 7.00pm onwards just near the Canberra Times Fountain outside Canberra Centre. The star-studded line-up includes The Voice 2015 contestant Amber Nichols, New-Zealand-Australian actor and Play School presenter Jay Laga’aia, the Grinch Live Show and of course Santa.

The concert will coincide with the lighting of the Canberra Christmas Tree where we will find out whether SIDS & Kids ACT’s attempt to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the most number of lights on an artificial Christmas tree is successful! At 8:50pm the Chief Minister, Andrew Barr MLA, will officially turn on the Canberra Christmas tree. The Christmas tree will be complemented by a spectacular 70 metre Christmas tunnel.

Canberra Celebrates Christmas Concert- Saturday 28th November

A community-based concert will be held on Saturday 28 November in the same location as the opening night concert featuring talent from an array of local schools, including Mawson Primary, Woden School, Gold Creek, Melrose High, Campbell High, Lyneham High, Merici College, Canberra Girls Grammar School and St Clare’s. This inaugural community concert will be opened by Minister for Education, Joy Burch MLA at 4.00pm and run till to 9.30pm.

Pavilion X

Pavilion X is a site specific temporary installation in Garema Place designed and built by University of Canberra students.

It is an interactive light and sound-scape that can be explored at night or in daylight. Conceived as a catalyst for conversations about urban renewal, public space and aspirations for the city, communal furniture has been situated under the trees in response to observing that the existing benches are individual and often unused.

Pavilion X is hosting a series of forums during the Design Canberra festival, and then the public are invited to occupy it through December. Garema Place, Petrie Plaza and City Walk, along with Civic Square, being the public spaces of Civic, are its heart. Share how you would like to use public space and your hopes for the future of Civic using the hashtag #GaremaOurPlace.

Asthma Foundation ACT Kids Hub

Staff and volunteers will help children complete a range of holiday-themed crafts and activities including creating sand art pictures, children’s story time, bubble blown wrapping paper and Christmas themed scratch art. AFACT will be selling asthma and allergy related children’s books at the event as well as take home SandArt packs.

Santa Claus Lane Markets

Take a stroll down Santa Claus Lane, and delight in a plaza topped by giant Santa hats and filled with festive music. Write your letter to Santa at Kids Land and post it in Santa’s special mail box!

There will be an abundance of Christmas crafts and activities at Kids Land. Stock up on Christmas goodies from amazing stalls offering unique gifts and stocking fillers, enjoy tastes from around the globe and buy your delicious breakfast, brunch or lunch from one of the tantalizing food stalls.

Christmas Night Markets

Finish off your Christmas shopping with an ever-changing mix of handmade goods, delicious treats and unique gift ideas for everyone.

The Christmas Night Markets are comprised of approximately 20 stalls each evening, ranging from on-the-spot Christmas card photographs through to handcrafted jewellery, vintage accessories and elegant homewares.

There is a stable group of permanent stallholders, as well as a rotating range of nightly participants. This ensures a vibrant and ever-changing atmosphere.

Taste Canberra

Taste Canberra has around 6-10 stands each evening, entirely filling the available space in Petrie Plaza. Taste Canberra reflects the multicultural Canberran population, featuring a range of local traders who are bringing flavours from across the globe to the heart of Canberra. Visitors can delight in Egyptian, Greek, Turkish, Vietnamese, Thai, modern Australian and German cuisines. Indulge your sweet tooth with Canberra’s first waffle on a stick, a s’mores station, caramel apples and churros as well as traditional lemonade and freshly squeezed juices. For the grownups there is also a boutique brewery, a popup winery and a margarita bar! Again, several of these stands are permanent, while others will interchange throughout the event, offering patrons a unique experience each night. Adequate and aesthetically appealing seating areas are provided.

For more information on the other ongoing events, visit the event page.


Friday 27 Nov

  • 5.00pm till late: Christmas Night Markets open in City Walk
  • 5.00pm till late: Taste Canberra Markets open in Petrie Plaza
  • 7.00pm to 10.00pm: The Christmas concert near the Canberra Times Fountain
  • 9.00pm to 11.00pm: SIDS and Kids Christmas Lights Tunnel along City Walk

Saturday 28 Nov

  • 10.00am to 4.00pm: Santa Claus Lane Markets
  • 3.00pm to 8.00pm: Asthma Foundation ACT Kids Hub opens in Petrie Plaza
  • 4.00pm to 10.00pm: Community Concert
  • 5.00pm till late: Christmas Night Markets in City Walk
  • 5.00pm till late: Taste Canberra Markets in Petrie Plaza
  • 6.00pm to 11.00pm: SIDS and Kids Christmas Lights Display along City Walk & outside the Canberra Centre

Sunday 29 Nov

  • 3.00pm to 8.00pm: Asthma Foundation ACT Kids Hub opens in Petrie Plaza
  • 5.00pm till late: Christmas Night Markets in City Walk
  • 5.00pm till late: Taste Canberra Markets in Petrie Plaza
  • 6.00pm to 11.00pm: SIDS and Kids Christmas Lights Display along City Walk & outside the Canberra Centre

Note: 12noon-1.00pm the Awards Ceremony for the the Young Designers* Take On Garema Place Ideas Competition is at Pavilion X in Garema Place. This is a part of the Design Canberra Festival.

After the opening weekend, join us for a month of celebrations including night markets, family concerts, camels and furry and feathered friends, competitions, art and music, ice castle, Santa Claus and a whole lot of kids activities surrounded by fabulous shopping, restaurants and bars.

Canberra celebrates Christmas with more lights and activities than ever before. Don’t miss this month-long festive extravaganza with something special for the young and young at heart.

Join in the festivities as Canberra celebrates!

From the Board and staff at Canberra CBD Limited, we wish you safe, happy and thoughtful Christmas celebrations. For more information visit the website.


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