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South Bank Is Celebrating Christmas with Live Riverside Tunes, Markets and a Free Festive Outdoor Cinema

Embrace the season with glowing trees, lit-up shopping, beats over bites and free movies.
By Sarah Ward
November 17, 2023
By Sarah Ward
November 17, 2023

Once the site of Expo 88, and now a sprawling riverside precinct with everything from pools to eateries, South Bank is about to become a Christmas wonderland. When Friday, December 1 hits, festive cheer will take over the waterside parkland with activities for Brisbane's merriest residents. Chief among them: the return of the annual free outdoor Christmas cinema.

Getting jolly by the river has meant settling in for themed films without paying a cent for years now, and 2023 is no different. With two screenings per night from Monday, December 18–Saturday, December 23 — at 6pm and 8pm — at River Quay, Christmas movie lovers can settle in for a selection of yuletide favourites, including Elf and The Holiday.

Those dates will see the bulk of South Bank's Christmas festivities start raining down on the precinct, including a seasonal song-and-dance show, photo opportunities with Santa, carols by the river and live tunes performed on the lawn nightly, soundtracking bites and drinks from nearby eateries.

When December kicks in, however, South Bank's Christmas tree will light up from that very day, with decorations set to dazzle the parkland until Wednesday, January 3, 2024.

Another huge drawcard, especially if you're a last-minute shopper, is the return of The Collective Markets Christmas Edition from Friday, December 15–Saturday, December 23. Under twinkling lights, rows of stalls will sell everything from clothes to homewares — with a big focus on handmade goods — to help you find gifts for your nearest and dearest.

While South Bank's Christmas antics light up the south side of the river in the inner city, the Brisbane CBD's already-announced festive lineup has plenty on offer across the water — including the return of The Enchanted Garden at Roma Street Parklands.

Grinches, consider yourselves warned.

Christmas at South Bank runs from Friday, December 1 — head to the South Bank website for further details.

Published on November 17, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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