Magical family outings to make Christmas truly memorable

Want to level up your festive celebrations? Create new family traditions by taking the kids to some magical Christmas events in the lead up to the big day.

Christmas isn’t all about Santa and presents – it’s about creating memories our children will treasure forever.

Make the most of the build-up to the big day with a few festive outings the kids – and also the kidults – will remember for years to come.

See a dazzling light display

There’s nothing quite like watching little faces light up under the glow of an over-the-top Christmas lights display.

One of the best places to see a festive display is Hunter Valley Gardens’ Christmas Lights Spectacular in Pokolbin, New South Wales.

Here, more than four million lights are fashioned into a themed wonderland, including amusement rides and roving entertainment.

But around the country, there are plenty of other fantastic experiences on offer as well.

In Melbourne The Boulevard Lights in Ivanhoe has been a popular Christmas tradition for more than 60 years.

While in the wine region of the Adelaide Hills, the Lights of Lobethal Festival is the largest community-driven Christmas lights display in the southern hemisphere, while Western Australia’s Mandurah Christmas Lights Cruise, near Perth, takes in the twinkling lights of more than 200 decorated homes around the waterways.

Visit a Christmas market

The country’s oldest surviving German settlement, Hahndorf, near Adelaide, celebrates its heritage with the atmospheric Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt.

The market is a European-style Christmas market, but rather than frosty weather, be prepared for warm temperatures.

Carols, music, dance, food and drink are all part of the fun.

Have a picnic at a Christmas tree farm

There is something special about driving to a fragrant Christmas tree farm and selecting your own tree.

Santa Trees Christmas Tree Farm, in the Adelaide Hills, invites families to picnic among 20ha of fresh pines before making their selection and cutting it down.

At Tasmania’s wildlife-sprinkled (and dog-friendly) Killiecrankie Farm, you can also cut down your selected Christmas tree with provided equipment, and eat your packed lunch at one of its scenic picnic spots.

In Applethorpe, Queensland, Granite Belt Christmas Farm pulls out all the stops with its Christmas tree selection experience, which includes Santa visits on the weekend, a Christmas shop, Santa’s animals to feed and picnic hampers to enjoy.

Start a new Christmas tradition

Why not start a new tradition for your family by attending a Christmas-themed performance or high tea?

The Nutcracker ballet – a traditional Christmas favourite – can be enjoyed at various venues, including Brisbane’s QPAC, the Sydney Opera House and Arts Centre Melbourne, while festive high teas are offered in hotels across the country.

In Sydney, check out Shangri-La’s Festive High Tea on level 36 and QVB’s High Tea with Santa.

Or if you prefer your finger sandwiches and cakes laid out on a blanket, nab a spot at your local Carols by Candlelight.

Go fruit picking

Keen to enjoy a bounty of cherries, berries and juicy stone fruits at the Christmas table?

Give the supermarkets a miss and take the kids for a sunny afternoon of fruit picking.

At Tasmania’s Hillwood strawberry farm, have fun picking strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.

In South Australia, cherries can be picked at Harben Vale Cherries, and strawberries at The Beerenberg Family Farm, while Victoria’s Rayner’s Orchard has at least eight different fruit varieties in season on any given day.

More Christmas ideas and advice:

Written by Dilvin Yasa.