Update: Due to the ever-changing impact of COVID-19, we understand that a weekend escape to Canberra might not be possible for you right now. Keep this article handy so that, when it's all over, you can get back out there and support Canberra and our region.
November 27, 2019
There is an undeniable feeling that fills the air as cherries and mangoes appear in supermarkets, festive movies start flooding your Netflix suggestions and kids start practising carols. It can only mean one thing, Christmas is coming, ready or not.
Whether you're feeling a bit Grinchy and need something to get you in the spirit, or you’re a Christmas fanatic and seek the ultimate Canberra hit list to make the upcoming weeks even jollier, bookmark this page and tick them off one by one.
Enjoy Canberra's summer evenings to the full and get in the festive spirit at an outdoor event. Sing your heart out at Carols by Candlelight (14 December, Stage 88, Commonwealth Park) or enjoy a classic film like Love Actually or Home Alone at the Sunset Cinema, nestled in the heart of the Australian National Botanic Gardens.
Parents everywhere are reporting that their Christmas present shopping list seems to mysteriously grow every year. Leaving the shopping as a last-minute task will only make you want to bury yourself amongst the Christmas tree foliage, so hit up these local spots for signature presents that will be treasured for years to come.
December is full to bursting with markets including the crowd favourite, the Handmade Christmas Market (6 – 8 December), which showcases over 270 Australian makers and designers. Christmas presents and decorations will also be featured at the Canberra Christmas Market (7-8 December), Christmas Markets at the Old Bus Depot (8 December) and the German Markets (8 December).
For local little goodies that would fit perfectly into a stocking drop by Pop Canberra. This year this pop-up store is operating in two locations (27 Lonsdale St, Braddon and 33 Allara St, Canberra City). The Canberra and Region Visitors Centre is also a treasure trove of locally crafted gifts.
Is it a celebration without delicious dishes? Impress your guests this year - buy fresh, buy local and try out a quintessential Canberra recipe to spice up old traditions.
Fresh fruit, veggies and seafood will make your festive feasts meals to remember. Head to a farmers market to buy directly from the grower themselves. There are plenty to choose from including Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets, Belconnen Fresh Food Markets, Capital Region Farmers Market and Southside Farmers Market.
If hams or speciality meats are on your Christmas Day menu, head to Poachers Pantry for award-winning smoked meats. Smoked goodies and paddock-to-plate cuisine are also being dished up at Pialligo Estate. The Butcher Shop in Dickson and Jordo's Chop Shop in Wanniassa stock every cut of meat you could possibly require.
Try your hand at cocktail making with spirits distilled in the capital. Fancy a G&T with Canberra Distillery's finest or a drop of Underground Spirits? Or opt for a local vino from Canberra Wine House or choose from over 1100 beers and hundreds of cider at Plonk.
Dessert is a must at Christmas time, whether it's a gingerbread house or other tasty treats. Make your own smorgasbord of delicacies with Bruno's Truffels, The Flute Bakery, Space Kitchen and Enigma Fine Chocolates.
Get your tinsel and decorations ready, because Canberra is full of quality Christmas trees. Pick up a tree from the RSPCA in Weston Creek and you will be giving a Christmas presents to abandoned animals across the ACT. This Christmas staple can also be found thanks to Santa's Shaped Christmas Trees (Gundaroo, Bunnings Belconnen, Capital Region Farmers Market & Southside Farmers Market), as well as Christmas Tree Keng (Bywong).
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