Six Other Things to Do on Christmas Day in Sydney

Contrary to popular belief, the city keeps on turning on Christmas Day — if you're not otherwise engaged, go see a movie, attend a community party or enjoy a coastal walk.
Concrete Playground
Published on December 14, 2023

If you're not attending a Christmas lunch to devour five different kinds of roast meats, Christmas Day can be a little up in the air. No, your regular coffee place won't be open, brunch will not be happening (sorry), and you can't even head into Woolies for some milk and some beers.

But don't panic: things are still on, public transport is running and 7-Eleven will remain open for emergency packets of chips and dips. And, as a gift from us to you, we've put together a few things that you can do if you're in town with nothing to do, don't celebrate Christmas or are otherwise uninterested in the big day.



Sure, most of Sydney shuts down for Christmas Day. However, a select few are keeping their doors open and their grills firing for anyone who wants to treat themselves to a Xmas lunch that isn't preceded by them spending their whole morning in the kitchen.

Bondi's Promenade — one of our favourite 15 new openings of the year — will be offering ten-dish seafood-heavy set menus in its beachfront dining room and keeping its Front Yard Bar open for walk-ins. Other Sydney favourites are also open on December 25. Botswana Butchery, Giuls, The Winery, Kingsleys, Little Pearl and Bottega Coco are all offering Christmas lunches, and Tuga Pastries is open in Alexandria and Clovelly for all of your pasteis de nata, pavlova and gingerbread needs. So, you've got plenty of options to keep in your back pocket.



Seeing a film is never a bad idea — just think of the price of the movie ticket, large popcorn and choc top as a Christmas gift from you to you. And with IMAX Sydney, Event Cinemas George Street and the Randwick Ritz among the places screening flicks in the afternoon, you can avoid the Boxing Day release mayhem.

Options include Frankenstein riff Poor Things, rom-com Anyone But You and superhero flick Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, plus family-friendly animation Migration. Fancy keeping the day sweet? There's also Wonka, which means spending part of the day watching Timothée Chalamet.



They can take away our ability to go to the supermarket or get pizza, but they'll never take our freedom to languish in public parks. Most of Sydney's parks are open all year round, so you can picnic to your heart's content on Christmas Day. Make sure to get organised beforehand since you'll find it tricky to buy edible supplies the day of.

Our tip: head to the Carriageworks Christmas Market on Saturday, December 23 to pick up a truly next-level spread. If you do get stuck shopping on the 25th, at least Newtown's Continental Deli has you sorted. The delicatessen will be open for all of your cheese, charcuterie and tinned cocktail needs. Now all you'll need to do is pack a picnic rug and enjoy a dreamy day in the gardens, or at one of these awesome picnic spots.



Depending on how you see it, animals either never get time off or get every day off. Either way, you can take advantage of their keepers' equally unwavering work ethic by joining them on Christmas Day. Whether you're eager for festive giraffe ogling, jaunts through the nocturnal enclosure or strolling around the penguin pen, most of Sydney's zoos remain open throughout the holidays.

This year both Taronga and Sydney Zoo are open, so you can have your pick. If you want to really live it up at the zoo this festive season, you can also book a stay at Taronga Zoo's lush Wildlife Retreat.


Bondi to Manly Walk by Destination NSW


Sydney's stunning coastline won't be going anywhere on Christmas Day, either. Head in most directions and you'll hit the water, where an expansive network of walking tracks is at the ready. Whether you're after sparkling harbourside views, wild bushland, historic sites or just the classic beachside trek from Bondi to Coogee, our city has it all.

Check out our lists for the top ten coastal walks in Sydney or our favourite coastal walks for some inspiration. Then grab your sneakers and your sunnies, and get walking. If national parks are more your speed, opt for a hike up some of Sydney's most dazzling peaks instead.



Kings Cross not-for-profit Wayside Chapel is hosting its annual Christmas Day Street Party. The event aims to help provide a hearty meal for those experiencing food insecurity, plus a sense of community for anyone needing some on the day — and host a local get-together with live music and entertainment.

The party is running from 9.30am–2.30pm on Hughes Street, is free to attend for everyone, and will feature DJs, a fake tattoo parlour, face painting and an appearance from Santa. If you can't attend and want to get involved, you can also Donate a Plate in order to help support the organisation.


Top image: Destination NSW.

Published on December 14, 2023 by Concrete Playground
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