If December feels too far away, there’s always these Christmas in July and Yuletide events to look forward to in Sydney.
Christmas in July. It’s a thing.
It also means Sydney-siders can experience Christmas in winter, just like in the Northern Hemisphere. Yes, this includes snowfall, ice rinks, Christmas feats, glühwein (a.k.a. mulled wine) and more.
So if you feel like singing a few Christmas carols and walking in a winter wonderland while wearing that signature Christmas jumper of yours, these are the Sydney events bringing Christmas in July to life.
Top Christmas in July events
1. Christmas in July cruise | Sydney Harbour
Go against the grain this year and book a spot in this extra special Christmas in July cruise to celebrate the mid-year.
The sailing has been hailed by 2GB's Ray Hadley and includes a 3.5-hour cruise through Sydney Harbour, a delicious lunch with a Christmas twist, music and singalong as well as plenty of games including trivia.
Better brush up on your Christmas knowledge now.
Where: Leaves from Pyrmont Casino Wharf opposite Star Casino
When: 25 July 2017. Ship departs at 10:45am
For more info: Christmas in July cruise
2. Yulefest | Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains is perhaps the closest you can get to real snow on a day trip, and every winter the region hosts Yulefest the winter months. It’s less of an event festival and more of a “Christmas atmosphere” deal here, with many venues offering Christmas-style meals and hospitality.
Expect log fires to be lit, Christmas carols to be sung and that mouthwatering Christmas turkey to be featured at the centre of the table.
Where: Blue Mountains
For more info: Blue Mountains Yulefest
3. Skating at Cathedral Square | CBD
Australia’s travelling Skating At festivals (formally, Winter Festival) finds its home in the forecourt of St Mary’s Cathedral in the first two weeks of July. Reminiscent of European winter markets, the festival revolves around an outdoor ice skating rink (which you can book tickets for online) and food stalls/huts brimming with winter and international delights such as German sausages and Turkish gozleme.
When you’re off the ice you can continue all the wintery activities by ice racing on the iconic ice slide.
Where: St Mary’s Cathedral forecourt, Sydney CBD
When: 23 June-16 July 2016
For more info: Winter Festival
4. Winterfest | Luna Park
Take the kids on the ultimate day at at Luna Park. This winter, its grounds will be converted into a Despicable Me wonderland complete with an ice skating ring. The good news is that you won't have to pre-book or (possibly) even pay for your spot on the ice, as this comes free with an Unlimited Rides or Annual Pass ticket. Don't have one? That's OK. Skating contributes as one of your rides on your Sampler Pass.
To celebrate the return of Gru on the big screen, throughout winter Despicable Me 3 characters will roam Luna Park's grounds with a specially themed treasure hunt in play as well.
To continue with the brisk winter theme, German-inspired food such as bratwurst and pretzels will be available to nom on.
Where: Luna Park, Sydney
When: 30 June-17 July 2017
For more info: Winter Festival
5. Winterlight | Parramatta
Set in Parramatta Park, Winterlight has grown to be a favourite amongst locals and families throughout Sydney. It could be the fact that it boasts Sydney’s biggest outdoor ice skating rink. It could be the fact that it offers Sydney’s only ice slide and an illuminated ferris wheel.
This year, Winterlight features a brand spankin' new snow play area as well as a dedicated kids' rink.
For those reminiscing 2016, you'll be glad to hear that old favourites have returned, including theme nights (FYI, 12 July is date night), kids’ workshops (hands up if you want to learn how to do circus tricks!) and roving carnival entertainment that wins everyone over.
Where: Prince Alfred Square, Parramatta
When: 30 June-16 July 2017
For more info: Winterlight
6. Christmas in July | Thredbo
Naturally the place to get your true snow fix in July is the snows. While not in Sydney, it's one of the most accessible snow regions for Sydney-siders and hosts many a Santa-filled party for the season.
You know the drill: snap up a Thredbo deal and hightail it to the slopes.
On the agenda this weekend is powder white snow, live entertainment, yuletide feasts and a visit by the cool skiing Santa.
When: 25 July 2017
For more info: Christmas in July at Thredbo
7. Bondi Winter Magic | Bondi Beach
Bondi Winter Magic has got to be one of the coolest concepts on the Australian coast. It features Australia’s only beachside ice-skating rink and is possibly the only place you can dip in the ocean before hitting the ice.
For those looking to get their skating badges, ice skating lessons are available while over weekends, punters can be inspired by elaborate ice skating demonstrations and professional performances.
Where: Bondi Beach, Sydney
When (ice skating): 30 June - 16 July 2017, daily 10am-9pm
For more info: Bondi Winter Magic
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