A yuletide adventure in Ballarat
Get into the festive spirit and discover all there is to see and do in Ballarat this December.
Admire the Insta-worthy festival decorations along the city's main thoroughfare, follow the 12 Days of Christmas Windows, shop until you drop at Ballarat's ever-growing retail offerings, then indulge in the finest food and wine and explore the many festivals and events with your family and friends.
This year, the City of Ballarat has introduced a number of new festive-themed installations and activities, as well as welcoming back crowd-favourites including the floral reindeer, who celebrate their 10th birthday in 2019.
“Whether it’s wandering Christmas markets, listening to carols or snapping the perfect photo of your children with Santa’s reindeer, there is certainly an event for everyone, making Christmas in Ballarat this year one of our biggest,” City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Ben Taylor said.
Check out the online advent calendar
Plan your Christmas adventure using our new online advent calendar at christmasinballarat.com.au
With an event taking place every day throughout December, you’ll be sure to find something to do with your family and friends.
Visit the advent calendar every day to find the three unique code words for your chance to win the ultimate summer family fun pack, which includes a family pass to Nitro Circus, the Ballarat Wildlife Park, Kryal Castle, Sovereign Hill and Ballarat Bird World.
Each code word is worth one entry. Click here to enter the competition.
Leave a message for Santa
Who doesn't love the idea of calling Santa to tell him what they want for Christmas?
Hear your child's wishes when they call Santa from the red telephone box outside Myer and leave a message for him between 8am and 8pm (calls are free).
This experience is brought to you by the City of Ballarat, Hackerspace and Telstra.
Snap a photo with the floral reindeer
The reindeer are back and it's their 10th birthday! These festive sculptures have become an icon for Ballarat at Christmas time, so come and take a photo with Santa's reindeer and share it across the world as so many have over the past decade.
12 Days of Christmas Windows
This collection of temporary artworks is inspired by the traditional Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas and is a nod to local traditions, with an emphasis on our regional city, our heritage, our First Nations peoples and our shared future.
The City of Ballarat commissioned six local artists to create the window displays to fill the city’s shops and streetscape with Christmas joy and creativity.
Start with the Partridge in a Pear Tree at Central Square and continue through to 12 Drummers Drumming in the Bridge Mall.
Download a copy of the map from christmasinballarat.com.au
Come and see this delicious-looking gingerbread house layered with lollies and watch your children’s faces light up when they push the button and see the house come to life.
Created by Ballarat artists Zlatko Balazic and Margie Balazic, the gingerbread house can be found next to Parent Place near the corner of Sturt and Albert streets.
12 Cheeky Christmas Elves
Enjoy lunch with the 12 Cheeky Christmas Elves between 14-21 December.
The elves will roam Ballarat's CBD and get you into the festive mood with face painting, festive hair spray and Christmas cheer.
Find them in the CBD on Saturday 14 December between 12-1pm, Monday 16 to Friday 20 December between 12.30-1.30pm, and Saturday 21 December between 12-1pm.
Giant Christmas bauble
Located in the Bridge Mall, Ballarat's new giant Christmas bauble is a spectacular sight.
Covered in a mass of beautifully-lit fairy lights, this is one Insta-worthy moment not to be missed.
Take your photo with the giant bauble and share online using the hashtag #ChristmasinBallarat
Christmas Brass Band
The five-piece band Eureka Brass will be performing much-loved Christmas carols during lunchtime in the CBD.
They will be performing on 5, 9,18 and 21 December in the Queen Alexandra Bandstand in the Sturt Street Gardens at 12.30pm before making their way down Sturt Street.
Sweet Mona's Choir
The Sweet Mona's Choir will fill the streets with the sounds of Christmas on Wednesday 11 December between 12.30-1.30pm and Tuesday 24 December between 10am-12pm. Based in Ballarat, Sweet Mona’s Choir is one of Victoria’s leading and longest-running gospel and world music choirs.
Mount Clear College Band
The Mount Clear College Qweyeya Choir will perform at the Alexandra Bandstand and then weave their way down to the Albert Street pop-up space on Wednesday 11 December from 12.30-1.30pm.
The Mount Clear College band Fat Tuesday’s perform on Friday 14 December from 12.30-1.30pm, starting at the Alexandra Bandstand before making their way down to the Albert Street pop-up space.
Ballarat Central Uniting Church Choir
Meet with friends for lunch and soak up the city's Christmas spirit as the Ballarat Central Uniting Church Choir performs at the Queen Alexandra Bandstand on Saturday 14 December from 12-1pm.
Make a teeny-tiny Christmas window
Inspired by the 12 Days of Christmas Windows, children will have the opportunity to make their own teeny-tiny Christmas window.
Christmas window artist and MAKE founder Emily Van Der Molen is the creative behind the teeny-tiny windows and will be on hand to help you to create your own at Parent Place on Monday 9 December 2-3pm, Tuesday 10 December 10.30-11.30am, Thursday 12 December 10.30-11.30am, Tuesday 17 December 2-3pm and Thursday 19 December 10.30-11.30am.
Bookings are essential, so visit christmasinballarat.com.au to secure your spot.