Thirty great days of Christmas in Sydney

The city will be alive with The Sound of Music, lights, concerts, carols and the biggest Christmas tree during 30 days of festivities celebrating Christmas in Sydney.

Starting on 26 November with the City’s annual Martin Place Christmas Concert & Tree Lighting, Sydney Christmas celebrations will take place throughout the city and across its villages.

Martin Place will be the home of Christmas with a 21-metre-tall, interactive Christmas tree, light projections on heritage buildings, carols by the tree, and street light disco banners that sparkle day and night. And a special graduation ceremony will give people a chance to meet new guide dogs and cuddle guide dog puppies before they begin their training.

Free family-friendly concerts will fill Sydney’s villages with festive cheer and roving choirs will bring the sounds of Christmas to Martin Place and Pitt Street Mall.

From city centre retailers to local boutiques, there’s plenty on offer for shoppers over the festive season. The George Street Christmas program will create a festival atmosphere with pop-up retail stores, free gift wrapping stations, wi-fi zones, live entertainment, fashion parades, face painting, digital photo booths, festive lighting and a nine-metre-high Christmas tree.

“We want all Sydneysiders to be proud of what makes our Christmas unique and that’s about celebrating and embracing the magic of Christmas in the southern hemisphere,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“Sydney sparkles with sunshine at Christmas time and, with dozens of events in the city and its villages, I encourage everyone to enjoy the festive season with friends, neighbours and family.”

Sydney Christmas ambassadors, Guy and Jules Sebastian, said they hoped to bring plenty of Christmas cheer to Sydney by encouraging people to embrace the spirit the season brings.

“Christmas holds many traditions and it’s good to see that the City has one too by putting up and lighting the spectacular tree in Martin Place now in its 46th year,” the Sebastians said.

“We love the retail shop window displays and how everything just feels like Christmas – there’s nothing like shopping at this time of the year.

“We would love for people to come to our city and villages and soak up the festive spirit.”

Sydney Christmas 2015 highlights:

City concerts
Sydney’s Christmas celebrations kick-off with simultaneous concerts at Martin Place and Hyde Park, both starting at 6pm on Thursday 26 November.

Channel 7 presenter James Tobin will MC the Martin Place concert featuring performances by Hoot & Hootabelle, Sam Moran, the cast from The Sound of Music, Sydney Philharmonic Choir, Justine Clarke and Anthony Callea. Santa and the Lord Mayor will arrive by sleigh to light the tree and the night will finish with a magical fireworks display.

The Christmas on the Green concert will feature Saturday Disney’s Teigan Nash, Candice Dixon and Nathan Morgan as MCs and performances by Blinky Bill, Nay Nay Let’s Play, Australian Girls’ Choir, Lah Lah’s Big Live Band, Sam Moran and a visit from Santa.

Martin Place Christmas Tree
The city’s most-loved Christmas tree will provide a visual spectacle that invites you to share the spirit of Christmas.
Taking pride of place in the centre of the city, passers-by can jump on the interactive dance pad at the tree base and text or tweet a message (#sydxmas) and it will appear on the tree’s branches for everyone to see.

Illuminations and projections
Sydney Town Hall will be illuminated with festive colours and the facades of historic buildings in Martin Place will be lit with dramatic digital projections including the Burberry building, Bank of NSW and MLC Centre. The GPO building will light up with state-of-the-art interactive projections that will reach out and connect with passers-by who can also change the lighting sequence.

From 10 December, the 75-metre façade of St Mary’s Cathedral will be illuminated with a free display of sound and light, storytelling the themes of Christmas using 3D projections.

Boulevarde of Light
Pitt Street Mall will be immersed in the joy of the season this Christmas. More than a hundred live Christmas trees will line the mall as 62,000 white lights twinkle above. The trees will be auctioned during the week of Christmas and all proceeds will go to the City’s Sydney Christmas charity partner, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.

Village Christmas Concerts
The village Christmas concerts at Rushcutters Bay (28 November), Rosebery (29 November), Alexandria (5 November) and Surry Hills (6 December), will kick start the festive season with carols, Santa, food and fireworks.

There will be live music and entertainment from children’s favourites including Sam Moran, Justine Clarke and more.

Carollers and choirs
The city will be filled with the sounds of music with choirs performing in Pitt Street Mall on Thursday evenings in December and at the Martin Place Christmas Tree each night in December until Christmas Eve.

The Christmas at Sydney Town Hall concert on 15 December guarantees a memorable night for the whole family with carol singing, festive music and readings complemented with the magnificent Grand Organ in the stunning Centennial Hall.

Guide dog puppies and graduation
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT will host a graduation ceremony in Martin Place on 8 December to celebrate the achievements of some of its amazing work dogs. Each graduate dog will have spent two years in intensive training to become a full-time guide dog.

Passers-by will also have the opportunity to watch a live guide dog demonstration and have a cuddle with some adorable puppies that are soon to become trainee guide dogs.

Christmas shopping
The City is working with Transport for NSW on the George Street Christmas program to bring visitors into the city over the festive season. The program includes a nine-metre-high Christmas tree on George Street, pop-up stores promoting local retailers, fashion parades and closing Market Street for the Boxing Day sales.

For unique gifts and bespoke fashion, shoppers can pop into their local village retailers and boutiques, each with its own style and local treasures. Shoppers can also take part in the Best Shop Window Instagram competition by tagging their favourite local shop window #sydxmas #bestwindow on Instagram for a chance to win a $2,000 shopping voucher.