Christmas in Brisbane is back and better than ever, with a program of free and festive events rolling out across December. On Friday night, head to Queen Street Mall to witness the magic of A Whimsical, Wonderful Christmas – an enchanting all-ages Christmas show taking over the Main Stage, outside Uptown (be sure to check out the dazzling Christmas windows at Uptown, too!). There will be performances at 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm this Friday, and again on Friday December 15 and 17.Make some time this weekend to venture into King George Square after the sun dips to be amazed by the captivating visuals and sounds at The Lott by Golden Casket City Hall Lights and Brisbane’s famous 22-metre illuminated Christmas Tree, which will light up King George Square throughout the festive season. Free light-and-sound shows run nightly from 7:30 pm to midnight until December 24.
David Jones at QueensPlaza will be bursting with Christmas spirit from this weekend, with plenty of festive fun for the whole family – including your furry friends! Santa Claus is back in town, so gather the brood and/or fur-baby to get a photo with the man in red this weekend, and receive your photo beautifully framed in a custom design. Plus, kids will receive a special gift from Santa himself. ‘Tis the season, so head to the Waterford Bar afterwards (level three of David Jones) to enjoy little pick-me-up in the form of a glass of bubbles or Waterford signature cocktail.
A Christmas edition of the Brisbane Arcade Markets will take over Queen Street Mall this Friday (10:00 am to 4:00 pm) and Saturday (10:00 am to 6:00 pm) showcasing a range of perfect gifts from Brisbane Arcade brands. Expect plenty of festive cheer while you’re there, as Christmas on Queen continues to bring the mall to life with spectacular pop-up performances and roaming live entertainment from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm daily, and from 4:30–8:00 pm during late-night shopping this Friday. The Wintergarden Christmas Pop-up is a must for snapping fun and quirky Christmas portraits this year – ones that’ll be worthy of a post to your feed. Just don your most colourful festive outfits, BYO phone and strike a pose in front of Santa’s candy-cane-striped Delivery Depot backdrop, or gather your work mates for a snap in the Christmas-themed retro office scene. The pop-up backdrops are open daily from 10:00 am – and it’s all free!
US singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alex G is bringing his intimate lo-fi pop sounds to The Triffid this Sunday, as part of his long-awaited return to Australia. While over at The Tivoli, Welsh multi-instrumentalist Novo Amor takes his indie-folk goodness to the stage on Thursday, followed by all-female hard-rock four piece L7 on Saturday. Lovers of big dance beats can get their fix on Saturday night when dance-music mastermind Flowdan sends his hits across The Princess Theatre.
More of an opera fan? You’re in for a treat this weekend! Opera Australia and Opera Queensland are bringing Verdi’s monumental opera Aida to Queensland for the first time this week, with a series of seven performances held at QPAC’s Lyric Theatre from December 6–20. The jaw-dropping performance, dubbed ‘the future of opera’, is integrated with cutting-edge digital technologies to bring traditional opera into the 21st century. Can’t make it? Opera Australia is hosting a live-stream of Aida on Monday December 11 via its website.
On Friday night, the Farm Gate to City Door Twilight Markets are taking over the Breakfast Creek Lifestyle Precinct, bringing 11 stallholders from the country to the city for a one-night showcase of everything from seasonal vegetables, artisan honey and dairy products to craft beer, boutique wine and locally-distilled sips. The twilight market will transform the precinct into a gourmet foodie mecca, showcasing the very best regional flavours from the likes of Tommerup’s Dairy Farm and Cauldron Distillery. There will also be a range of Christmas hampers and boutique gifts available, as well as delicious bites from an Embers Woodfire Dining pop-up. It kicks off at 5:00 pm, and be sure to head down early – the
Live shows, theatre and dance
Award-winning stage spectacle, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, returns to QPAC this Friday, with a limited run of performances at Concert Hall until December 14. A Christmas Carol is a magical, grand-in-scale production of song, humour and love, with lashings of festive joy – it’s ideal for the entire family. Queensland Ballet’s season of The Nutcracker is also underway at QPAC, and will dazzle audiences with Christmas magic until December 20. Adults-only Christmas comedy A Very Naughty Christmas has kicked off its limited season at La Boite (running until December 13), inviting audiences to indulge in some ‘elf care’ with laughs, a splash of nudity and reimagined Christmas carols that will get you into festive spirit like never before.
Writer and director Leah Purcell’s latest work Is That You, Ruthie? has premiered at QPAC’s Cremorne Theatre, with a limited run of performances until Saturday December 16. The deeply moving play explores the enduring connection of a mother and daughter (Ruthie) and delves into the aftermath of a government removal policy that separated them.
It’s the final weekend to take a nostalgic trip back in time to experience The Workshops Rail Museum’s latest exhibition, Reception This Way, which rediscovers the quintessential Australian experience of staying at a motel. From family holidays and long road trips in the sweltering summer heat, to continental breakfasts and mid-century mod cons, this exhibition has it all! The must-see exhibition was developed by National Archives of Australia in collaboration with comedian Tim Ross, and is being proudly hosted by The Workshops Rail Museum until this Tuesday December 12.
LEGO fans won’t want to miss Jurassic World by Brickman at Queensland Museum, which officially opens this Friday. This larger-than-life exhibition features mind-boggling dinosaurs, props, scenes and activities made from over six million LEGO bricks across a mammoth 10,00 build hours. Jurassic World by Brickman runs until July 14, 2024.
Brisbane-based abstract artist Erin Graham is showcasing her latest collection of eye-catching oil paintings at Indicolite, a pop-up exhibition at Tattersall’s Arcade. Open from Tuesday to Friday until December 21, the exhibition features a number of translucent blue and green oil works on raw linen, with inspiration drawn from the hues of the tourmaline gemstone, indicolite. The pieces, which are pre-framed in solid oak, will be available to purchase – perfect if you’re seaching for one-of-a-kind Christmas gift.
See the stories at shaped your childhood come to life at QAGOMA’s latest exhibition Fairy Tales. Exclusive to Brisbane, the unmissable exhibition brings together artists, film makers and designers to explore centuries-old folk stories and fairy tales through immersive installations, stunning costumes, contemporary artworks and captivating cinema. This enchanting world of opulent carriages, breathtaking gowns, twisted woodlands and magical mirrors is on display until April 2024.
Museum of Brisbane’s latest exhibition Rearranged: Art of the Flower is is full bloom, with visitors invited to stroll through the lush collection of paintings, textiles, sculptures, ceramics and new media, all displayed in a space reminiscent of a quintessential Queenslander house. Guess what? Tickets are free! Head to the Museum of Brisbane website to learn more.
Venture to QAGOMA to get your eyes on sis, an incredible display that showcases three decades of art-making from a sisterhood of Pacific artists, featuring everything from large sculptural installations and compelling video to the most intricate weaving creations. While you’re there, check out Queensland Art Gallery’s newest exhibition, Living Patterns, which focuses on the way audiences perceive and react to artistic elements such as colour, shape and form. Spotlighting contemporary Australian artists like Scott Redford, Jemima Wyman, Kamilaroi artist Reko Rennie and many more, this one is a must-see.
The State Library of Queensland is uncovering the role Aboriginal people played in establishing our pastoral industry in its latest collection, Working Country. Peruse the halls of First Nations community space – kuril dhagun – and you will be transported to a time of colonial invasion where, amid upheaval and devastation, working Country became a means of survival. You can wander through this free exhibition until January 2024.
If you’re eager to stroll through some stalls and stock up on some fresh fruit and veg over the weekend, be sure to check out these markets happening – along with the brand-new Northshore Produce Markets, there’s the Saturday Fresh Market, Riverside Markets, Kelvin Grove Village Market, Jan Powers Farmers Markets, Davies Park Market, Carseldine Markets, Nundah Farmers Markets and the Redcliffe Markets. For delicious dinner time eats, Eat Street Northshore is open for your snacking pleasure on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
Events may be subject to be postponed or cancelled at the last minute. We do our best to remove cancelled events but be sure to check the organiser’s own event page for the most current updates.
Want more? Head to our comprehensive Event Guide for all of the fun around town where you can search by category, date, location and more!