Discover what's on this December in Brisbane

Brisbane and surrounds are serving up a blockbuster month of entertaining events involving fantastic festivals, spectacular sport, extraordinary exhibitions, sensational stage productions and a whole lot of fabulous food.

Christmas in Brisbane | 1 - 24 December 

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.

Mao's Last Dancer The Exhibition: A Portrait of Li Cunxin | 1 December - 29 April 2018

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.

Gladiators After Dark | 1 December 

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Enjoy a vino and explore the Museum at Gladiators After Dark to discover worlds from ancient Rome to Wild State – a pasta making demonstration may be on the cards. 

Rugby League World Cup Final | 2 December

Suncorp Stadium is set to host the Rugby League World Cup Final and it is set to be one of the biggest sporting events of the summer. The atmosphere will be electric and the fan experience will be unrivalled as two of the world’s best teams battle it out to hold the winning trophy. 

Finals Fest | 1-2 December

Head down to King George Square where there's a mammoth FREE party going on with live music from Sneaky Sound System, live game day screenings, a QRL Maroon Zone, food trucks and much more.

Medibank Feel Good Program | Until 2 December

Medibank Feel Good Program

Get fit and ready for summer with the Medibank Feel Good Program, a series of free outdoor fitness classes set amid the beautiful surrounds of the South Bank Parklands. Classes include yoga, cardio, bootcamp, active kids and more. Check out the full program here

Wonderland 2017 | Until 3 December

Showcasing burlesque, circus, cabaret, music, comedy, poetry, theatre and variety shows from both international and Australian artists, Wonderland is set to take over Brisbane Powerhouse once again.

The Wizard of Oz | Until 3 December 

Rediscover everyone’s favourite childhood story as Dorothy and Toto bring their journey through Oz to life. The Wizard of Oz will include all your favourite characters, iconic moments, traditional score and new songs to get everyone dancing in the aisles – don’t forget your ruby red slippers.

The Shins | 5 December

Acclaimed indie rock band The Shins return to Australia this December, in celebration of the release of their fifth studio album, Heartworms.

The Weeknd | 6 December 

After quickly climbing hot hits charts around the world, The Weeknd is bringing his Starboy: Legend of the Fall tour down under after Australian audiences showed the love for his most recent album. Tickets are still available but get in quick to avoid missing out.

Indigenous Culture Day Cruise | 6 December 

Learn about the vast Aboriginal culture around Brisbane as you cruise from Meeanjin (Brisbane City), down Maiwar (Brisbane River) across Quandamooka waters to Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island). Be welcomed by the Quandamooka people and enjoy a variety of traditional activities and fresh local seafood lunch. 

Matt Okine | 7 December 

After his devstating step down as host of Triple J breakfast in 2016, Matt Okine has continued to make a name for himself in the Australian comedic scene. Hot off the heels of releasing his own Stan series, The Other Guy, Okine is touring the world with his stand-up show and is ready to bring side-splitting laughs to Brisbane.

Gold Lotto City Hall Lights | 8- 25 December

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.

The Enchanted Garden | 8-17 December

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.

Queensland Ballet’s The Nutcracker | 8 – 16 December


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.

Christmas Movies in the Park | 8-17 December

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.

Paul McCartney One on One Tour | 9 December 

Global music icon Paul McCartney is showing no signs of slowing down as he brings his One on One tour to Brisbane. Boasting a renowned set of tracks spanning from his earliest work with The Quarrymen to his most recent collab with Kanye West and Rihanna, we won't know whether to laugh or cry with joy, especially when The Beatles hits come into play. 

Lord Mayor's Christmas Carols | 9 December 


Ring in some Christmas joy at the 2017 Lord Mayor's Christmas Carols. This is a much-loved free family event held each year at the Riverstage venue in support of Mater Little Miracles.

Queensland Symphony Orchestra - Handel: Messiah | 9 December

QSO continues its annual tradition. This is an oratorio you must witness, if not every year, then this once. Telling the story of Jesus’s birth, life, death and resurrection through music and solo arias, interspersed with parts for compelling chorus, Messiah includes one of the most famous pieces of Baroque choral music ever created: the rousing Hallelujah chorus.

Panda Music Festival | 9 December

Named after China’s national treasure, this Chinese music festival will feature top indie musicians (such as legendary rock Chinese drummer Muyang Zhao), and a top DJ from China who will face off with renowned Australian DJs - Joel Fletcher and DJ Brooklyn.

Scarborough Christmas Carols | 10 December

Get ready to celebrate the festive season at Scarborough Beach Park. Sing-along to your favourite Christmas songs from 3-8pm. Kids will love the Sesame Lane Santa’s Village, life-sized snow globe, jumping castle and nativity scene. Expect Christmas performers, twilight markets, and free Christmas activities and workshops. The night will come to an end with a spectacular fireworks finale from 8pm.

Battle of Brisbane II | 13 December 

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'.

Christmas Parade presented by David Jones | 15-24 December

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.

South Bank's Christmas Village | 15-23 December

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.

A Very Kransky Christmas | 19-23 December

Returning with their sell-out show, the multi award-winning Kransky Sisters and QPAC bring you A Very Kransky Christmas.

Christmas Fireworks | 20-23 December

From 20-23 December, head to the Clem Jones Promenade at South Bank and make your Christmas wish as the 7:45pm fireworks light up the summer night sky.

Mammia Mia Musical | 26 December - 5 February

Relive the story-telling magic of ABBA’s greatest hits when QPAC brings Mamma Mia to Brisbane. Following the traditional story-line, can Mia sort through her mother’s past three lovers to discover her father before the big day?

Woodford Folk Festival | 27 December  - 1 January 

In its 32nd year, Woodford Folk Festival will bring more than 2000 local, national and international performers to the stage over six days and nights. With over 35 performance venues within the village, festival-goers will be inundated with things to do, with the program featuring concerts, dances, street theatre, circus performances and cabarets.

Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Thunder | 27 December

Catch the Brisbane Heat at their Gabba fortress five times this summer, including their crucial clash with Sydney Thunder on 27 December, 2017.

New Year's Eve | 31 December 

Enjoy an evening of free, family-friendly fun as Brisbane’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks Spectacular returns to South Bank. Is there any better way to bring in the new year? If you're looking for a dining package or place to party, we've compiled a list of NYE events in Brisbane here.

Brisbane International | 31 December - 7 January

Brisbane International

Be court side when Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov, Karolina Pliskova and more world tennis professionals return for the Brisbane International 2018. Join us to see all the action this January.

Recurring events and exhibitions

Yayoi Kasuma: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow | Until 11 February 2018

Gracing the world with her artworks since the 1950s, Yayoi Kusama has emerged in the 21st century as a distinguishable figure of contemporary art. The exhibition includes a range of works from early painterly experiments to large-scale installations of her later career. 

Gerhard Richter: The Life of Images | Until 4 February 2018

QAGOMA is opening the first substantial Australian exhibition of works by the German artist Gerhard Richter, who is widely recognised as one of the world's most influential living painters. 

Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum | Until 7 January 2018

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.

Knockoff | Every Friday

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.

100% Brisbane | Until 2019

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.

City Sounds | Various gigs weekly

City Sounds is Australia's largest free live music program, presenting local and touring bands and artists throughout Brisbane.

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