A Merry Backpacker Christmas

Are you at a loss as to how you’ll be spending Christmas in Melbourne? Maybe you’re a traveller or maybe you’ve been here all your life, regardless here are some essential Christmas experience we think you’d be silly to miss this festive season.

1. Line Up To See The Myer Christmas Windows
When: Now until January 6.

2015 marks the 60th anniversary of Melbourne’s iconic Myer Christmas Windows. This year’s theme is based upon the popular children’s book Little Dog and the Christmas Wish, and depicts a series of great vignettes of Melbourne landmarks much as they were on Christmas Eve in 1956, including Flinders Street Station, Collins Street and The Block Arcade. This is a great treat for children young and not-so-young, and it costs nothing! Be mindful that Bourke Street Mall can get very, very crowded, particularly in the final weeks before Christmas so plan a visit around peak times.

2. Play A Giant Musical Instrument
When: Until 31 December

Renowned Melbourne artist Robin Fox’s Giant Theremin, a City of Melbourne initiative, was originally exhibited here in 2011, and has returned for Christmas 2015, to Les Erdi Plaza, near Flinders Street Station. A Theremin is an antenna-like electronic musical instrument which is controlled by movement rather than touch, and is often used to create spooky or otherworldly sounds for film scores. They’re usually small; this one is seven metres tall and can be played by as many as eight people at once.

3. Take An Awkward Christmas Photo
When: Until 20 December 2015

Frumpy jumpers, awkward leans and gawky smiles abound at Melbourne Central’s tongue in cheek photo booth. Bring a group of your friends to don some hilarious props and create some unique Christmas memories that will come back to haunt your grandchildren. The portrait pop-up runs each Thursday to Sunday.

4. Enjoy The Melbourne Women’s Choir
When: December 12 from 8pm

Perhaps the most widely-seen Christmas event in Melbourne is the Carols By Candlelight service held at the Myer Music Bowl every Christmas Eve, generally featuring fireworks and celebrity guests en masse. Watch that by all means, but if you want something closer to the original Christmas spirit, away from the commercialisation of the holiday season, head to the beautiful historic Abbotsford Convent on December 12 for a two-hour carol service. Featuring a harp-accompanied set by the choir, as well many classic carols, including some Australian ones that may be new to those of you from overseas.

5. Share A Christmas Lunch With Some New Friends
When: December 25 from Midday

For a decade now, the Melbourne Social Club has been running a Christmas Picnic Lunch in the Victoria Gardens, which is located opposite the Victorian National Gallery. This is a great one for travellers or others who may not have family to spend their Christmas Day with. There is no sign up or anything like that; simply bring some food for your lunch and maybe some more to share with the people you meet. Picnic gear is a bonus.

6. Go To The Beach
When: Whenever the sun’s out

What’s more Aussie than a day at the beach? You’re spoilt for choice, simply pick a beach, any beach. That’s one of the greatest things about living in the Southern Hemisphere; come December, ‘tis the season to be jolly, by the sea, in the warm sun. We recommend visiting the popular St Kilda beaches or popping down to Brighton. Classic local holiday destinations also include Torquay or Rye. Remember to be sun-smart and follow the local mantra: slip, slop, slap. That is, SLIP on a shirt, SLOP on sunscreen and SLAP on a hat. The hole in the O-zone layer above much of Australia means you’ll burn much more easily than in many other parts of the world.

7. Visit The Kris Kringle Night Market
When: Until 17 December

Northcote Town Hall’s annual Kris Kringle Night Markets are on again and will feature over 60 stalls of locally hand-made accessories, giftware, jewellery, ceramics, woodcrafts, textiles, designer fashion, plants, and more. This year’s Kris Kringle Night Market season will operate across Northcote Town Hall’s Main Hall, Studio space and Civic Square. Food, a bar and free music will be on site each week.

The Market will be open for the last time Thursday 17 December from 5:30pm – 10pm. Entry is free.

8. Get Hungry At Epicure’s Gingerbread Village
When: Until December 24. From 10:00am to 8:30pm.

Epicure has again assembled a small battalion of chefs and volunteers for a tastebud-tempting mission to recreate every Melbourne landmark in gingerbread form. After over 2,000 hours in the kitchen the result is a ginger-scented wonderland replete with replicas of the MCG and Luna Park. Sadly you can’t eat the Eureka tower but you can purchase your own ginger treats to take-away.

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