12 things you can't miss at South Bank's Christmas celebrations

Brisbane’s annual Christmas celebrations are back! At South Bank, the fun is on from 14-23 December and as always, the festivities, almost all are completely free to attend. Don’t miss these delightful experiences during your visit.

Carols by Twilight South Bank

1. Sing and sway to your favourite carols at River Quay. It’s not the festive season until you’ve enjoyed carols under the stars at least once! River Quay’s version, Carols by Twilight, is on at 6pm and 7.15pm every night, complete with cool river breezes and stunning city views. Make sure you bring a picnic along with you – River Quay is licensed from 10am-8pm daily. 

Christmas Cinema South Bank

2. Stick around after the carols for a festive flick on the outdoor movie screen at River Quay Green. Showing festive favourites like, Elf, The Santa Claus, Home Alone and The Polar Express, movies start at 8.15pm each night. No tickets are required, but arriving early is recommended to secure a good spot.

Christmas Fireworks South Bank

3. Gaze at the glittering fireworks that will light up the river in front of South Bank in the final days before Christmas. South Bank’s Christmas Fireworks Spectacular will take place from 20-23 December at 8pm. Head to Clem Jones Promenade, Streets Beach or River Quay for the best view.

Christmas Rainforest Green

4. Get your Christmas groove on and enjoy a mini music festival at Rainforest Green with live musicians performing nightly. All music is family friendly and the performers love it when the crowd gets into the festive spirit.

Holly Jolly Kids

5. Join instructors from Queensland Ballet as they show eager ballerinas (and ballerinos) a routine from the classic ballet, The Nutcracker. Running half-hour workshops at 3pm, 4pm, 5pm and 6pm daily, children will love learning the steps that the company’s professional dancers perform on stage each night. Bookings are not required.

Christmas Elves South Bank

6. Run away to the Elf Academy on the Little Stanley Street Lawns near the Piazza. Designed especially for kids, join South Bank’s cheeky elves for some activities designed to limber up for Christmas. Learn to juggle – perfect for balancing that mountain of Christmas gifts; tightrope walk to prepare for rooftop balancing acts; and practice some giant leaps from sleigh to chimney. The Elf Academy will be operating from 3pm to 7pm daily.

Christmas Arbour Lights South Bank

7. Immerse yourself in the twinkling fairy lights that are draped through the Arbour on the Little Stanley Street Lawns. A beautiful sensory experience, the lights are visible from sunset everyday, and a very popular photo moment! 

Christmas Gift Market South Bank

8. Do your Christmas shopping. Treat family and friends to something unique this year from South Bank’s Christmas Gift Market. Open from 3-10pm nightly, the stalls offer food, clothes, jewellery, toys and more. Market stalls will be spread along the Little Stanley Street side of the Parklands and in the Arbour.


9. Chill out at Snow 4 Kids Christmas Edition. When the summer sun zaps you of Christmas spirit, check out the snowy igloos of Snow4Kids, in the South Bank Piazza. Make your way through a series of fun activity igloos, and zip down the mini toboggan slide. Snow4Kids will operate from 9am to 9pm each day of the Christmas celebrations, in ticketed sessions. Tickets can be purchased in advance from snow4kids.com.au 

A Christmas Carol QPAC

10. Combine a trip to South Bank with a theatrical experience! This year, QPAC will host the world premiere of a new stage production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, produced by shake n stir theatre co. Starring some of Brisbane’s best character actors, this show is the perfect way to entertain tweens over the festive season. Tickets are available from qpac.com.au with discounts available if you’re taking the whole family. Check out the other music, ballet and comedy performances running at QPAC over December as well.

Christmas Santa South Bank

11. Meet Santa – for free! Save your pennies this December and take the kids to meet Santa for free at Arbour View Lawns. He’ll be there from 4.30-5.30pm, 6 – 7pm and 7.30-8pm daily.

Xpress Fun Train

12. Ride the Xpress Fun Train. A trackless train will be making its way through the Parklands this summer! Kids and parents can climb aboard and see South Bank from a new angle. Please note that there is a $5 per person fee to ride the train.

South Bank’s Christmas celebrations are on from 14-23 December 2018. You can also enjoy The Enchanted Garden at Roma Street Parkland from 7-19 December and in the City from 30 November until 24 December. For full details, head to the Christmas in Brisbane homepage.