Things to do on Christmas Day in The City - Visit Brisbane


Things to do on Christmas Day in The City

Maybe you're visiting Brisbane City on Christmas Day as a tourist, or just don't want to entertain the family at home this year – either way, The City has things to do, see and eat despite the major holiday.

Explore our parks, catch a Cat and take the stress out of Christmas Day entertaining as we have rounded up places and restaurants in Brisbane City that offer things to do or places to eat Christmas breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

Picnic in the Botanic Gardens

Pack a picnic and head to the City Botanic Gardens, also known as Brisbane's oldest park. Here you can find huge and ancient shady trees to lay out a rug and snack on your goodies surrounded by greenery or by the Brisbane River. Afterwards explore different areas of the gardens, which was originally planted by convicts in 1825. Nowadays expect to spot rainforest glades and exotic species throughout the park that runs the length of Alice St and edges the Brisbane River. 

Kookaburra Showboat Cruises

Kookaburra River Queens

Jump aboard the Queens of the river for a Christmas Day buffet cruise to remember. Enjoy a festive feast on these classic paddle steamer boats with food and drinks included and bonus views as you power along the river. At the breakfast buffet tuck into all your favourites - eggs, bacon, pastries - along with a scenic cruise. Or keep it more traditional with Christmas buffet lunch or dinner cruises including all the essentials and seafood – yes, there will be prawns!

Price: Breakfast and Brunch cruises $79 for adults, Lunch cruise from $169 for adults, Dinner cruise $169 for adults. Discounted rates for Seniors, Students and Children. 

Catch a CityCat

Feel the wind in your hair and see the City in a whole new light from the water. Stand up front for your Titanic moment and to see all the sights as you make your way around The City. Depending which way you travel, you may see the New Farm Riverwalk, the Story Bridge or South Bank. The City has two stops - Riverside (at Eagle St Pier) or North Quay near the Treasury Casino. Christmas Day will have reduced hours, so be sure to check the Translink website for timetable info.

Check out our giant Christmas Tree

Lighting of the Christmas tree in Brisbane City

Head to King George Square to have a gander at Brisbane City's 22-metre high Christmas Tree. She's a big one! From here wander around The City and admire the Christmas lights and decorations scattered in The City by night.  

Walk on water

If exploring the river by foot is more your style, then we have just the elevated pedestrian platform for you. The Brisbane Riverwalk connects The City to New Farm, and makes for an epic view of our fair city and its eponymous waterway. 

Roam and barbecue in the parkland

If you prefer to barbecue rather than have a picnic, take your raw goods over to the massive green space above Roma Street station. Here you can use free electric barbecues to cook up a feast while the kids run around the playgrounds in Roma Street Parkland. You can even indulge in a drink or two before 8pm, so long as you’re eating.

Restaurants for Christmas Feasting


Let nonna put her feet up this year and instead enjoy in a four-course Italian feast at Persone. The set menu starts with antipasti followed by a fresh lobster entree, then roast porchetta with roast vegetables and salads, and last a Christmas-themed dessert. 

Walters Steakhouse

Take a step back in time and celebrate Christmas overlooking the lush green Brisbane City Botanical Gardens from Old Mineral House. Take a break from cooking and cleaning, instead enjoy Walter's old-fashion service. The share menu kicks off strong with oysters, king prawns, duck liver parfait and a Moreton Bay Bug salad. Following that is Walter's signature porterhouse steak and a turkey ballotine with the restaurants best sides. And lastly, key lime pie, warm pumpkin pie, lood orange trifle and NY cheesecake. Secure your spot.

Goldfinch, Pullman Brisbane

Christmas lunch is sold out (for good reason!) – but there's still space for dinner. Tuck into a three-course feast with beef tartare, roast turkey with pumpkin custard, barramundi, sirloin and, of course, dessert. 

But wait, there's more:

  • Libertine
  • Stamford Hotel's Brasserie on the River
  • Gambaro

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