In The City Canberra

  • About
  • Schedule
  • Christmas Food Markets
  • Christmas in the City Concert
  • The Canberra Christmas Tree and Christmas Lights
  • Entertainment
  • Transport and Parking
  • FAQ’s

After breaking the Guinness World Record™ for the most number of lights on an artificial Christmas tree last year, Christmas in the City is back in 2016. Christmas in the City 2016 will run from December 16-24 and will have something for everyone, from kids to adults!

From the 17th of November, make sure you come past to see the Canberra Christmas tree as it lights up the city at night. The 20m high Christmas tree will be a light/sound show, as the tree’s lights change along with programmed music. The tree will shine until after New Years Eve, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy it!

Canberra’s favourite Christmas in the City Concert will return on December 16, featuring a headline performance from Aussie Rock legend Shannon Noll, Lah-Lah and her Big Live Band and The Brindabella Chorus – not to mention an appearance from Santa himself!

This year, In The City Canberra is introducing a brand new series of food, drinks, music, handcrafted and arts markets and entertainment. The markets will be under a canopy of fairy lights that will replace the tunnel of lights than ran along City Walk in 2015, and will raise vital funds for Red Nose and their important contribution to our community.

The Christmas Food Markets in Civic Square will be a foodies’ dream, featuring a number of delicious culinary themed nights over the course of the week such as Burgers and Beers, Sweet Treats, Cocktails and Canapés and Street Food.

The food markets will also feature an awesome entertainment line-up of live music and competitions for the most daring. Visitors can come day and night, as Canberrans and their guests are encouraged to chill out in the week leading up to Christmas Day.

Next to the food markets, along Ainslie Place, will be the inaugural Christmas Handcrafted Gifts and Arts Markets, offering a variety of unique local stallholders under a canopy of fairy lights.

There’s something for everyone at this year’s Christmas in the City, whether it be live entertainment, dachshund races, a petting zoo and Santa photos! Bring the family, your friends or just yourself and chill out in the week leading up to Christmas.

16-24 Dec

Schedule

Location: City Walk

16th December – 2 January 

The Canberra Christmas Tree will shine until the Monday 2 January. Featuring its very own integrated sound and light show, the tree will be on from 4pm to 10.30pm each night

16th December

6-10pm Christmas Concert
12-10pm Burgers, BBQ and Beer Markets
12-10pm Handcrafted & Gift Markets
6-10pm Music by Adrian

17th December

12-10pm Burgers, BBQ and beer Markets
12-10pm Handcrafted & Gift Markets
4-9pm Santa Photos
12-3pm Music by Nick Rigby
6-10pm Music by Nico Lupo

18th December

12-10pm Street Food markets
12-10pm Handcrafted & Gift Markets
4-9pm Santa Photos
7pm Dachshund Races
12-3pm Music by Hamish Lardi and Sinuhe Pachenco
6-10pm Music by Tasha Singh

19th December

12-10pm Street Food markets
12-10pm Handcrafted & Gift Markets
4-9pm Santa Photos
7pm Pug Races
12-3pm Music by Timothy Cole
6-10pm Music by Ashley Feraude and Dan Bray

20th December

12-10pm Sweet Tooth Dessert Markets
12-10pm Handcrafted & Gift Markets
4-9pm Santa Photos
7pm Ice Cream Eating Competition
5-9pm Noah’s Ark Petting Farm
12-3pm Music by Timothy Cole
5-7pm Music by Simon Anau
7-10pm Music by Hamish Lardi

21st December

12-10pm Sweet Tooth Dessert Markets
12-10pm Handcrafted & Gift Markets
4-9pm Santa Photos
5-9pm Noah’s Ark Petting Farm
7pm Cake eating competition
12-3pm Live Music
6-10pm Music by Josh Beck

22nd December

12-10pm Sweet Tooth Dessert Markets
12-10pm Handcrafted & Gift Markets
4-9pm Santa Photos
12-3pm Music by William Brown
6-10pm Music by Ashley Feraude

23rd December

12-10pm Cocktails and Canapes markets
12-10pm Handcrafted & Gift Markets
4-9pm Santa Photos
12-3pm Music by William Brown
6-10pm Music by Eldred Adofo-Kissi

24th December

12-10pm Cocktails and Canapes markets
12-10pm Handcrafted & Gift Markets
4-9pm Santa photos
12-3pm Music by Hamish Lardi and Damon
6-10pm Music by Nico Lupo

The Christmas Food Markets in Civic Square will be a foodies’ dream, featuring a number of delicious culinary themed nights over the course of the week such as Burgers and Beers, Sweet Treats, Cocktails and Canapés and Street Food.

The food markets will also feature an awesome entertainment line-up of live music and competitions for the most daring. Visitors can come day and night, as Canberrans and their guests are encouraged to chill out in the week leading up to Christmas Day.

Entry is by donation to Red Nose who tirelessly work to save little lives.

Burgers, BBQ & Beer Markets – Friday 16 to Saturday 17 December

The stallholders at the BBQ, Burgers & Beer Markets will be:

Bentspoke, King O Malley’s, Shorty’s Bar, Tikka Stand, Capital Brewing Co, Mooseheads, Grease Monkey, Tree House, Via Dolce Patisserie, Pialligo Estate, Digress Bar, The One (Teneho pty ltd), Kusina, Regulators Barbeque, Ace High Eatery, Movenpick, Milk Crate Café, The Brathaaus, Miss Vans, Soul Cartel, The Food Forum, Asian Tiger, Clay Ridge Donut, Grumpy’s Ginger Beer, Berlin Bangers, Ehel and Ah loy Cold Pressed Sugar Cane Juice, Smokey G’s BBQ Joint, Burra Burkshire, St Mark’s Church, Delikase Filipino Cuisine, Barbell Biltong

Street Food Markets – Sunday 18 to Monday 19 December

The stallholders at the Street Food Markets will be:

Bentspoke, Ploy Thai, Shorty’s Bar, Tikka Stand, Juniper Bar and Cocktails, Asian Tiger, Yiannos Catering, Tree House, Via Dolce Patisserie, Glass House Café, Digress, The One (Teneho pty ltd), Kusina, Krave Juice, Chit Chat, Ace High Eatery, Movenpick, Milk Crate, The Brathaaus, Miss Vans, Soul Cartel, The Food Forum, Clay Ridge Donut, Global Ethopian Café, Grumpy’s Ginger Beer, Berlin Bangers, Ehel and Ah loy Cold Pressed Sugar Cane Juice, Quinoa Catering, Yogi’s Kitchen, St Mark’s Church, Decident Foods

Sweet Tooth Dessert Markets – Tuesday 20 to Thursday 22 December

The stallholders at the Sweet Tooth Dessert Markets will be:
Choco Bab Canberra, Shorty’s Bar, La Ombre Creations, Ricardo’s Café and Patisserie, San Churro, C3 Waffle On A Stick, Via Dolce Patisserie, Glass House Café, Digress, The One, Tree House, Dessert Quartets by Mini or Tart, Loose Gourmet Churros, The Chisholm Takeaway, Movenpick, Krofne Donuts, Mr Scroll, Pure Gelato, Krave Juice, Clay Ridge Donut, Grumpy’s Ginger Beer, Euphoria Dessert Studio, Creperie, Lulu and Sis, Burra Berkshires, The Fudge People, Decadent Foods, Autolyse Braddon

Cocktails & Canapes Markets – Friday 23 to Saturday 24 December

The stallholders at the Cocktails & Canapes Markets will be:

Shorty’s Bar, Black Rabbit, Natural 9, Digress Bar and Lounge, Tree House, Krave Juice Bar, Ploy Thai, Via Dolce, The One, Banana leaf, Miss Vans, Movenpick, Capital Wood Fired Pizza’s, Decedent Food

Stallholders have been given the option to open at lunchtime. There may be some market operators who choose not to operate.

The Christmas in the City concert is in front of the Canberra Christmas Tree on Friday 16 December from 6pm to 10pm.

The concert will feature great sounds, big screens and a custom-built stage fit for the occasion. The concert features a headline performance from Aussie Rock legend Shannon Noll, Lah-Lah and her Big Live Band and The Brindabella Chorus – not to mention an appearance from Santa himself!

The schedule of performances will be:

6pm Battlebird
6.15pm Lah Lah and her Big Live Band
7.10pm Sophie Edwards
7.35pm Ned Philpot
8pm Santa arrives
8.15pm Chief Minister Andrew Barr lights Christmas Tree star
8.25pm Brindabella Chorus
8.50pm Shannon Noll

The Canberra Christmas Tree will shine until the Monday 2 January. Featuring its very own integrated sound and light show, the tree will be on from 4pm to 10.30pm each night.

Four 5-meter-high giant illuminated candy canes are at the entry points to the Christmas in the City Markets. The markets are also draped with special fairy lights.

18 trees in Ainslie place and most in City Walk have recently been embellished with permanent decorative fairy lights.

Santa Photos beneath the Canberra Christmas tree are available from 4pm to 9pm, Saturday 17 December through to Christmas Eve.

The photos will be taken by acclaimed Canberra portrait photographer Pete Dawn, from Fifth Lane Photography. Thanks to realestate.com.au – Red Nose Santa photo partner – all money raised goes to supporting Canberra families.

Your festive photograph will be printed on-site and available to take with you in a protective display folder.

Costs are as follows:

One 5” x 7” festive photo in a protective display folder – $20

Optional extras:

Two 3.5” x 5” festive photos – fits neatly into a Christmas card for nan and pop – $20

Four 3.5” x 5” festive photos – fits neatly into a Christmas card for family and friends – $30

“Photos with Santa” is a Red Nose fundraising activation and therefore taking personal photos with Santa is limited to people purchasing professional photographs.

Pets are most welcome.

Petting Zoo

A petting zoo will be appearing at Christmas in the City on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21st at 5pm to 9pm. Entry will be a gold coin or more donation to help care for the animals. The petting zoo will be open for children and adults of all ages.

Dog races

Dachshund (Sunday 18th) and Pug (Monday 19th) races will be happening in City Walk. The races will kick off at 7pm and will run across a space of 15 metres. To enter, contact [email protected]

The safety and wellbeing of all pets involved is paramount. Depending on weather conditions the event may be cancelled. Please note pets are not allowed to enter the Market space in Ainslie Place and Civic Square. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]

Competitions

Ice cream/cake eating competitions will be happening at Christmas in the City at the Sweet Tooth Dessert Markets on Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st at 7pm. To win, entrants will compete head on to see who can eat the most ice cream/cake in the shortest period of time. Prizes will be announced on the day. To enter, follow the In The City Canberra Facebook page.

Interactive Graffiti Wall

Noon –10 pm every night

Live music in Civic Square

6–10 pm every night

With the Christmas in the City festivities bringing people into the CBD there’s a lot more traffic and lot less car parking!

Take an ACTION bus into the City this Christmas season to enjoy the range of festive activities, meet up with friends, or tackle your Christmas shopping.

ACTION has a range of services suited to every activity, at every time of the day.

Where can you park?

There are a number of carparks in the CBD that are close to the Christmas in the City action. Check out our tips for parking in the city blog for more information.

Can’t find a park during the day?

Use one of the many Park & Ride facilities located on our rapid routes.

Visiting the Christmas Markets on your lunch break?

Avoid the lunch time rush or giving up your parking spot and take the easy route into the city with ACTION. Did you know it’s just a 12-minute trip from the parliamentary triangle?

Going to check out the Red Nose Canberra Christmas Tree?

This December ACTION’s Nightrider bus service will be back providing Canberran’s with safe, reliable and low cost transport across the festive weekends and New Year’s Eve, running from 12.00am-4.40am.

For a detailed timetable and further information visit the Transport Canberra website.

How much will it cost?

Entry is by either cash or tap and go donation. Our charity partner is Red Nose who tirelessly work to save little lives. A small component of your donation goes to the event. There will be extra charges for:

The petting zoo
Entry will be a gold coin or cash donation to help care for the animals.

Professional photos with Santa including family and pets
Prices start at just $20, with all funds raised to Red Nose.
What time does the event run?

The Christmas in the City Markets will run from 12pm to 10pm from December 16-24. The Canberra Christmas Tree will shine from 6:00pm to 10:00pm every night.

Where do I park?

Head to our Transport and Parking section to find out all the information you need about getting to and from Christmas in the City 2016.

Where are the toilets?

There are multiple bathrooms inside the Canberra Centre that will be open for use.

How will I find out if the event is cancelled?

In the event of any cancellations, we will post notifications on our website event page, our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the Facebook event pages.

Can I bring my kids along?

Kids and adults of all ages are welcome at Christmas in the City 2016.

Is the event wheelchair accessible?

Yes, there are wheelchair accessible ramps for use.

What happens if it rains?

Depending on severity of weather the event Management team will make decisions accordingly and share through social media platforms and over festival PA system.

Is the event stroller/pram friendly?

Yes, there are ramps and prams will be allowed into the markets.

Can I bring my pets?

Pets will only be allowed for Santa Photo’s and at the Pugs and Dachshund Races. Pets are not allowed to enter the Market space in Ainslie Place and Civic Square.

Can I bring my own alcohol in?

No. The event is strictly no BYO.

Will there be vegetarian/vegan food options available? 

Yes, and Gluten Free Options.

Where can I see Santa?

Santa can be found beneath the Canberra Christmas tree. Children wishing to see Santa without purchasing a professional photo are welcome. However, please respect that “Photos with Santa” is a Red Nose fundraising activation and therefore taking personal photos with Santa is limited to people purchasing professional photographs.

Where is lost property and lost children?

Civic Square Event Control Office. Otherwise find the closest security guard who will radio it through to event control who will make an announcement over the PA.

Are there any road closures?

Yes. Ainslie place will be closed on 16 December for the Christmas concert. Local traffic is permitted.

Can I see Christmas lights from the car?

Yes. Drive around Ainslie Place and you can see the Christmas tree and beautifully lit marketplace. Note: the road is closed for the Christmas concert on 16 December.