Christmas 2023 In Sydney And The Inner West

December 1st, 2023 - by Brad Gillespie

With the countdown to Christmas now on, we explore the many ways you can get involved in the festive spirit this year within Sydney’s inner city and inner west.

First: Don’t forget the tree

Merlino’s specialises in real cut-or-live Christmas trees, and is a generous supporter of The Children’s Hospital Foundation (over the past 10 years, Merlino’s has raised $20,000).

Head to Tramsheds in Forest Lodge or the Flour Factory in Summer Hill, to get your tree from Pick A Tree, with all profits going to Glebe Youth Services or Addi Road Food Pantry.

Take the family for a drive to the Dural Christmas Tree Farm or visit them at Carriageworks Markets on Saturdays from 2 December to 16 December (from 8 am to 1 pm or until sold out).

Support the Scouts by buying your tree through them, or get some more feel-good vibes by ordering online through SchoolTrees to support your local school (Newtown Public School is among them).

Sing along at the Carols

It wouldn’t be Christmas without some carols.

Woolworths Carols in the Domain takes place this year on Saturday, 16 December and remains the biggest Christmas event in the city.

On 17 December Carols on Norton will be held at Pioneers Memorial Park in Burwood by the “Leichhardt Espresso Chorus” and Inner West Council.

Beyond carols, Sydney City Council is putting on a range of free events at local parks across the area with music, games, food trucks and more, including:

On 10 December, Newtown Erskineville Anglican Church will host outdoor carols in the graveyard, with a traditional lesson and carols service on 24 December, sung by candlelight at St Stephen's.

Book your Santa photos

Santa always pays a visit to Broadway Sydney, Tramsheds, and Marrickville Metro (where he even stops for pet “pawtraits”).

But if a shopping centre snap won’t do, check out The Grounds at Alexandria. This year’s theme is “French provincial parlour” (and Gingerbread Lane). Or visit the city for high tea and Santa at the QVB.

You could also catch a ride on Santa’s Vintage Electric Train on 9 December & 10 December from Central Station.

Visit a Christmas market

There are so many markets to choose from in our area for Christmas 2023:

  • Tramsheds is running a Christmas Market on 7 & 9 December.
  • 15 December is the Sydney Vegan Market “Christmas Edition” at Moore Park.
  • 17 December is the Make-it Market at Marrickville Town Hall, showcasing community talent and handmade goods.
  • 23 December is the Carriageworks Christmas Farmer’s Markets and the start of the Sydney Fish Market’s 36-Hour Christmas Seafood Marathon (now in its 28th year).

Don’t forget to check out Brickfields’ amazing Christmas Cakes and mince tarts, available direct or by order from Brickfields in Chippendale or at their market stalls.

Check out the festive lights

Beautiful Pleasant Avenue in Erskineville usually puts on great lights and festive decorations.

But if you’re looking for something much bigger, Second Street in nearby Ashbury is famous for its Christmas light displays.

Head into the city to see the tallest Christmas tree in NSW at Martin Place. The Strand Arcade and QVB both have extravagant Christmas displays as does David Jones - famous for its windows.

And there are family events galore right up til 25 December at Deck the Harbour, Darling Harbour.

Go out for a change

It’s becoming more common to go out and treat yourself to Christmas lunch.

The Winery in Surry Hills, Noi in Petersham, and Continental Deli and Bar in Newtown are all open for Christmas lunch, as are many city hotels, destination restaurants and harbour cruises.

Or take a walk for your favourite caffeine hit with these cafes open on Christmas Day at the time of writing:

  • Meet Mica in Surry Hills
  • Coffee, Tea and Me in Redfern
  • Macchina in Marrickville
  • Matinee Coffee in Marrickville
  • Campos in Newtown
  • Shenkin in Erskineville, Newtown, Enmore and Surry Hills.
  • Wolf and Stone in Dulwich Hill

Run it off

Need to run off some energy? Get the kids (or the dogs) out of the house?

All the inner city and inner west parks are free to enjoy on Christmas Day. And if you can wait until Boxing Day for a swim, the pools (shut on Christmas Day) will be open, too.

Give back a little or a lot

The Tree of Friendship focuses on helping kids aged 6 to 12 build friendships through play and connection. Donate a gift to the Tree of Friendship at Market City, Haymarket, to support children at Bear Cottage, RPA Paediatric Clinic and PCYC South Sydney.

The City of Sydney has a comprehensive list of shelters, organisations and charities that may need your help.

The Reverend Bill Crews Foundation in Ashfield has some great ways to get involved this Christmas.

Consider helping charities such as the Salvos, our local hospital, or the Smith Family.

January events

Keep an eye on the fantastic Sydney Festival events running through January, including at our local venue, The Seymour Centre.

Wishing you and your family all the best for the festive season. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

Photo credits: The Grounds of Alexandria