What's on this week | 11-17 December

It's December and Christmas is in full swing – this week there'll be an urban picnic on Albert Street, Christmas movies in the park and Queensland Ballet's The Nutcracker is on the stage. Then of course there are still gigs, festivals and markets to attend – no wonder December is so busy. 

If you can’t find something in this list to attend, explore the rest of our events calendar?

Click straight through to what's on this weekend.

All month | Christmas in Brisbane 

Christmas in Brisbane

Australia’s most extensive free Christmas program takes over Brisbane’s centre each December. Join the city for free festive fun at the annual parade, light projection shows, markets, fireworks and cinema series.

Starts Monday, 11-22 December | Australian Spartan 

Be part of the action and watch elite teams push their physical and mental limits across the specifically designed Spartan course. Register for free tickets and cheer on family, friends, co-workers or even complete strangers in this televised live event determining strength, endurance and will. 

Tuesday 12 December | Paddle Kids – Kayak Games

What better way to get the kids outdoors and exploring these holidays than in a kayak on Brisbane’s waterways. Perfect for beginners and experienced paddlers, all equipment is provided so just bring yourself for two hours of fun with games and water activities. 

Tuesday 12 December | Albert Street Christmas Picnic

It may seem like a casual work day in the concrete jungle, but lunch on Albert Street will brighten your Tuesday as the street transforms into an urban picnic pop-up with live entertainment and Christmas surprises. 

Starts Wednesday, 13-23 December | The 78-Storey Treehouse 

Andy’s and Terry’s Treehouse continues to grow with the addition of another 13 levels! Now housing a Scribbletorium, high security potato chip storage facility and open-air movie theatre, it’s caught the attention of one Mr Big Shot whos arrived to make a Hollywood Blockbuster – what could possibly go wrong this time?

Wednesday 13 December | Battle of Brisbane II 

The historical showdown returns to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre as Jeff Horn, world champion, clashes with British boxer Gary Corcoran. Don't miss the fiery atmosphere of one of Australia's biggest ever sporting events as 'the Hornet' defends his title against 'the Hellraiser'.

Wednesday 13 December | Sweet Country Preview Screening

After winning Best Feature Film at the 2017 11th Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Sweet Country is looking to be one of the biggest Australian films of 2018. Following the intense true story of a 1920s Aboriginal man on the run across the outback after murdering a white station owner in self-defense, the film promises to have you on the edge of your seat. 

Thursday 14 December | Riverside at the Gardens Christmas Market

Join the celebrations as the City Botanic Gardens become aglow with Christmas lights and festivities ready for you to eat, drink, play and shop through over 100 stalls. Kids will love meeting Santa while you have a jolly good time with two live bands, singers, fire performers, stilt walkers and many more. 

What's on this weekend

Starts Friday, 15-23 December | South Bank's Christmas Village

Let your festive season be merry and bright at South Bank’s Christmas Village! Held in the South Bank Parklands from 15-23 December, the Village features free yuletide glee to suit all ages.

Starts Friday, 15-24 December | Christmas Parade presented by David Jones 

Brimming with music and merriment, this year's Christmas Parade comes complete with a nativity scene, Santa and dozens of performers to entertain and delight all ages.

Friday 15 December | Museum Twilight Markets

Choo choo choose to head to the Workshops Rail Museum Twilight Markets to indulge in delicious food, live music, handmade markets and free craft workshops. 

Friday 15 December | Christmas Dinner at Plum Tucker

You don’t need to wait till Christmas day as Plum Tucker is letting you enjoy all your favourite Christmas foods in a festive Friday feast. Everyone’s welcome, so grab the whole family and prepare your stomach for a stuffing. Bookings are essential. 

Friday 15 December | MyValley Christmas Twilight Markets

An Australian summer Christmas is well and truly upon us, so why not enjoy the December festivities and head to Fortitude Valley to find Christmas gift market stalls, live music and lighting projections great for the whole family. 

Saturday 16 December | John Williams Spectacular 

The academy-award winning composer behind some of cinemas most famous soundtracks is brought to life to celebrate the release of Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi. Packed full of action, special effects and truckloads of popcorn, you’ll hear John Williams’ favourites from Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jaws, Indiana Jones and more. 

Saturday 16 December| Christmas by Starlight

Redland’s annual Christmas community event has rolled around again and is promising a huge lineup of national and international entertainers. Pop on down for food, activities, a special children’s Christmas show and a fireworks display at 8pm. 

Ends Saturday, 16 December | Queensland Ballet’s The Nutcracker

Nutcracker

Christmas isn’t officially here until you go to see Queensland Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker. With the magnificent music of Tchaikovsky and lavish sets and costumes, Ben Stevenson’s production is a must-see Christmas treat for the whole family.

Ends Saturday, 16 December | The Society Summer Series

Take advantage of the sunny Queensland weather with flowing bubbles and sparkling cocktails at Eagle Farm Racecourse’s popup rooftop bar. Here for a good time, not a long time, don’t miss out on a trip to The Society Summer Series.

Ends Saturday, 16 December | Beautiful one day, fruit salad the next at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts

Curated by John Armstrong, Beautiful One Day, Fruit Salad the Next! is an exhibition by Queensland artists who, by happenstance, discovered some relationships between their works. Entry’s free.

Ends Sunday, 17 December | The Enchanted Garden 

Roma Street Parkland's Enchanted Garden

As the sun goes down and the evening settles in, Roma Street Parkland’s Enchanted Garden springs to life. From 8-17 December, the Garden will be adorned with twinkling lights, beguiling decorations and mellow music.

Ends Sunday, 17 December | Christmas Movies in the Park 

Celebrate Christmas in 2017 by packing a picnic and heading to Roma Street Parklands for a heart-warming Christmas film. Christmas Movies in the Park is free to attend and is on from 8-17 December.

Ends Sunday, 17 December | Arj Barker

"As always, I start with the finest free-range topics, nurture them until they’re brimming with wholesome hilarity, and ready for the tellin’," Catch Arj at the Brisbane Powerhouse this month.

Ends Sunday, 17 December | Carols in the Reservoir

You haven’t heard Christmas Carols until you’ve heard them six metres underground in a 150-year old water reservoir in Brisbane’s CBD. Join world-class performers as they sing all your Christmas favourites in a space where voices carry – you won’t miss a word. 

Ongoing

Until 29 April 2018 | Mao's Last Dancer The Exhibition: A Portrait of Li Cunxin

Li Cunxin's story has been told many times but it's never been told like this. The exhibition at Museum of Brisbane will feature never-before-seen interviews of Li's colleagues and family, original objects and documents from Li's personal archives and footage of Li at the height of his career.

Until 25 December | Gold Lotto City Hall Lights

The shining jewel in the crown of the Christmas program, the Gold Lotto City Hall Lights returns in 2017 with an all-new magical light projection show.

Until January 21 | Do You Bee-lieve? at Old Petrie Town

Somewhere over the rainbow and deep in the heart of a mysterious enchanted forest, an astonishing event is to take place, being the dream-like wedding of two love-struck dragons, Mr Trufflewafflepuff and Ms Lulu Lovebug, the likes of which you have never seen before. Kids $5, adults $10.

Until February 3 | Gerhard Richter: The Life of Images at QAGOMA

QAGOMA

Gerhard Richter: The Life of Images will be the first substantial Australian exhibition of works by the German artist, widely recognised as one of the world's most influential living painters. Over 90 works spanning five decades of Richter's practice include some of the most compelling and enigmatic pictures of the 20th and 21st centuries, and reveal the unparalleled influence of the artist on contemporary art.

Adults $18, concession $16, members $14, children $8.

Until February 11, 2018 | Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow at QAGOMA

Yayoi Kusama

Co-curated with the National Gallery Singapore, this vibrant exhibition surveys the work of leading contemporary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. A wild and wonderful journey through significant moments in Kusama's career, the exhibition explores over seven decades of the artist's practice through more than 70 works.

Every week | City Sounds

City Sounds

Support local artists and attend the City Sound acts around Brisbane with artists including Georgia Fields with the Andromeda String Quarter, The Firedrakes, the Michael Knopf Trio, Elska, Killed by Drone, Sweet Boheme and O’ Little Sister.

Until 7 January 2018| Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum

Discover who the gladiators really were, where they lived and how they trained through artefacts, interactive games and displays. Archeological treasures including pieces of the Colosseum and original armour preserved in the ashes of Pompeii give an insight into their lives and tell the unknown stories of these arena heroes.

Kids enter free at Gladiators until 24 December!

Every Friday | Knockoff

Fridays just got funny at Brisbane Powerhouse. If you’ve been a fan of our comedy on Sundays, we encourage you to knock off early for a chance to start your weekend with a good laugh and a cold beer. A variety of local and Australian comedians will be bringing you the best one-liners, hilarious stories and side-splitting observations on these Friday evenings.

Until 2019 | 100% Brisbane

This landmark exhibition also invites you to have your say and contribute to this incredible self-portrait of the city. 100% Brisbane will not only change the way you think about museums, it will change the way you think about Brisbane.

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