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By Sarah Ward
December 21, 2015

The Ten Best Christmas Events in Brisbane

Celebrate with a feasts, gigs and parties — or ignoring the holiday altogether. 
By Sarah Ward
December 21, 2015


Celebrate with a feasts, gigs and parties — or ignoring the holiday altogether. 

Yes, it's Christmas. Already. But before you start to freak out about the Christmas presents you're yet to buy or start shutting down from the anxiety of another year passing by, take a second to enjoy it. This fine city loves an excuse for a party — and whether you celebrate the holiday or not, there's plenty o' Christmas festivity to get involved in. From markets to film screenings to gigs and Costanza-style Festivus celebrations, there's something for everyone to get at least a little excited about.

  • 10
    The Santa Clause at Cemetery Cinema

    Sometimes, watching a Christmas flick is all about revisiting a great film. Sometimes, it’s about indulging in some seasonal cheesiness. This year’s screening of The Santa Clause offers the latter rather than the former — and the chance to do so in an unlikely location.

    Toowong Cemetery might not be the first place you’d think of for an outdoor viewing of Tim Allen in a red suit — however, it’s probably the coolest. But don’t worry, only the first movie is on the agenda; you might be settling down for a night of film amongst the tombstones, but no one is going to do something frightening like making you sit through the sequels.

  • 9
    Bacchus Brewing Co.'s Bo Jingles the 5th at The Scratch

    Every year, the folks at Bacchus Brewing Co. brew up something special for Christmas. That’d be their choc cherry stout Bo Jangles, aka the ideal beverage for feeling festive. ‘Tis the season for drinking and feeling merry, and all that.

    And each year, the folks at The Scratch serve up this Yuletide blend — this year is no different. In fact, they’ll have 100 litres flowing through their taps, with the concoction in question featuring quite the mix of six- and 18-month barrel-aged elements, as well as raspberry and spiced rum flavours. The word you’re looking for is yum.

  • 8
    Christmas Card Lettering Workshop

    When was the last time you sent a Christmas card? (And no, e-cards don’t count.) When was the last time you wrote something down — let alone in something other than scribble? Showroom’s latest class wants to help you do both. Soon, you’ll be wowing your friends and family with your thoughtful, handwritten, seasonal cards and notes.

    At the Christmas Card Lettering Workshop, you’ll learn how to create custom lettering pieces using fine black markers and brush pens, explore cursive compositions and expressive brush lettering, and make unique, hand-lettered cards. And if you’re feeling extra festive, why not stick around for the afternoon session on making your own garlands?

  • 7
    Christmas Eve Dinner at The Stamford Plaza

    If you’ve ever watched a U.S.-made Christmas movie (or several), you’ve probably come to a surprising realisation. While Christmas Day is the main festive event in Australia, our American friends are much more focused on the evening prior.

    That’s when families come together and share a meal, and that’s exactly  when The Stamford Plaza encourages you to do the same. Of course, their night-before food fun features not only roasts and dessert selections aplenty, but a seafood buffet as well — because some Aussie traditions just can’t be beaten. They’re also serving up another feast on December 25, in case you just can’t bring yourself to break with convention.

  • 6
    South Bank Christmas Markets

    Get your shopping done under twinkling lights while surrounded by real (not plastic) Christmas trees. No, this isn’t a festive dream — it’s the reality of the South Bank Christmas Markets.

    Carol singers and other performers also help add to the mood, though they can’t steal the show from the most important part of the proceedings: the wares on offer at the rows of stalls. From 11am daily, you’ll find handmade toys, jewellery and other trinkets just begging to be given as gifts, as well as tasty treats to add to your Christmas feast. Yep, everyone’s a winner here.

  • 5
    The Pineapple Lounge Xmas Party

    In 2010, The Pineapple Lounge was born. If you’ve been to the Woodford Folk Festival since then, you’re probably familiar with the hangout space. A typical festival bar, it isn’t.

    Indeed, since first offering punters something other than a tent with plastic chairs, the Lounge has gone from strength to strength, with a weekly live performance in Brisbane and an accompanying live-streamed online broadcast added to the mix. No wonder the folks behind the fun are ending the year with a bang, and with a party at The Triffid. With 2DOGS, Golden Sound, Sye McRitchie, Jackie Marshall, Sian Evans and Jeunae Rogers on the bill, you’ll be celebrating more than Christmas

  • 4
    The Foundry Festivus

    If you think Christmas has become a bit too much about shopping and spending, then you’re probably a fan of Festivus. Yes, we mean the alternative to the over-commercialised holiday proposed in an episode of Seinfeld, as conjured up by none other than George Costanza’s dad.

    The Foundry certainly like the idea of an all-inclusive December gathering, which is exactly what they’re throwing to mark the end of their first year. Moses Gunn Collective, Baskervillain and If I Had Antlers will be cranking out some tunes, and if you’re lucky, there might also be an unadorned aluminium pole in place of a tree. Now that’d be a Festivus miracle.

  • 3

    Trust Black Bear Lodge to come up with a Christmas event that recognises what the majority of Australians would rather be doing on December 25. Most of us can’t head to the beach for a spot of surfing and splashing about — no matter how much we’d like to — but we can do our best to pretend otherwise at Surfmas.

    Yes, the Brunswick Street venue is throwing everyone’s favourite end-of-year party again, much to the delight of anyone of anyone who wants to get tropical. Los Huevos, Teen Sensations, The Plastic Fangs and The Wet Fish will help set the mood, and cocktails with pineapple in them will as well. We’re sure they’ll all do the job.

  • 2
    Joyeux Noel at C’est Bon

    Sure, few of us are able to spend our Christmas day in France — however, we can do the next best thing. Just bring your appetite for tasty cuisine to C’est Bon. Well, that, and a fondness for French tipples. 

    You’ll find both at the Woolloongabba restaurant, with the former all included in the $130, six-course lunch menu, and the latter as an additional pay-as-you-go affair. It might sound expensive, but grilled spring lamb tenderloin, twice-cooked free-range turkey galantine with chestnut mousse, and mango and vanilla parfait is certainly worth it. Plus, it’ll work out much cheaper than a trip to Paris.

  • 1
    The Nutcracker – Queensland Ballet

    Christmas means many things: chaos in the shops, carols invading your brain, and a focus on all things red and green. In Brisbane, it also means Queensland Ballet’s final production for the season, with The Nutcracker brightening up the QPAC stage every year.

    Whether you’ve experienced the Tchaikovsky-scored two-act performance about sentient toys, dancing snowflakes and the Sugar Plum Fairy before, or you’re joining little Clara on her Christmas Eve journey for the first time, you’re certain to get swept up in the show’s magic. And if you don’t already have a ticket, don’t delay — selling out is also an annual tradition.

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