Mince pies are in the supermarket, Christmas decorations are adorning shop fronts and Saint Nick is in shopping centres across the Central Coast.

If you love the merriment of the silly season, Playing in Puddles has you covered with all the festivities. This year promises to deliver a ton of festive fun with Christmas events back on the table.

Sydney Christmas Fair

Sydney Christmas Fair is returning to the Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park, Sydney for three jam-packed weekends of festive fun this December. This annual family-friendly extravaganza is packed with excitement, including carnival rides and games, interactive Elf Workshops, a Gingerbread House Party, letters to Santa, and heaps more!

Families can look forward to a fab line-up of events and activities, including:

+ Carnival rides for all ages including dodgem cars, a giant slide, and a classic carousel – buy a single ride ticket or a wristband for two hours of unlimited fun.
+ Carnival games with prizes to be won.
+ Gingerbread House Party where children can dance to the beat or sing a Christmas Carol with Jinglelena at the kids’ disco.
+ Elf Workshops where little ones can tap into their creative side and write a letter to Santa in the North Pole or make a Christmas card!
+ Stuff your Stocking – for just $10, kids will have a ball stuffing their stocking from the Elf workshops located throughout the event.
+ Santa Photos for kids AND pets for just $20.
+ Live entertainment will be on throughout the day and is included in the entry fee.

Tickets to the Sydney Christmas Fair are on sale now and are limited, so head to the website for more info and to grab tickets, so you don’t miss out!

When: 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 & 19 December 2021, Saturdays 10am – 7pm and Sundays 10am – 4pm.
Where: Sydney Christmas Fair, Entertainment Quarter, 122 Lang Road, Moore Park.
Cost: Admission fee $5 | Stuff Your Stocking $10 | 2-hr unlimited rider wristband $25 | Single ride tickets $5 or buy 11 for $50 | Santa Photos $20 – tickets can be purchased at the Santa marquee.
Parking: The Entertainment Quarter has two hours of FREE parking and plenty of public transport including the light rail and metro buses.
Contact and tickets: Please pre-purchase your tickets online. Tickets will be available at the gate on the day, if not sold out.

NSW Dine & Discover vouchers are accepted at the Sydney Christmas Fair.

The Christmas Lights Spectacular, Hunter Valley Gardens

Image supplied by Hunter Valley Gardens

We know these lights aren’t on the Central Coast, but they’re close enough (and spectacular enough) to warrant inclusion in this list. The Hunter Valley Gardens’ Christmas Lights Spectacular is the BIGGEST Christmas lights display in the southern hemisphere – how lucky are we that it’s just a hop, skip from our doors!

There is a number of walk-through sculptural lights, such as Snowy the giant snowman, an enormous gold, and red Christmas bauble, and a magic castle! Their Candyland is scattered with liquorice allsorts, jellybeans, gingerbread men, and lollypops, while their Fairyland is home to Tinkerbell, My Little Ponies, and a giant rocking horse. There’s a nativity scene that tells the story of Christmas and a “12 Days of Christmas” area that encourages you to get your carol on. Plus Santa’s workshop is in full swing!

NEW to the Christmas Lights Spectacular event this year is a GIANT illuminated Fairy, Mega Trees with a light sequence set to music, a giant Bauble Tree, and Santa’s Cave, complete with Santa, his elves, and plenty of photo opportunities. Plus, there’s a 35m Super Slide to add to the already thrilling selection of rides and amusements!

A visit to The Christmas Lights Spectacular is an annual tradition for our Playing in Puddles family. We absolutely love the beauty and magic of this event. We visited on opening weekend last year; click here to read our review of their 2020-2021 lights.

When: 5 November 2021 until 26 January 2022 (closed 25 December 2021). Gardens open daily 9am-5pm; lights open 5.30pm-10.30pm.
Location: The Hunter Valley Gardens, 2090 Broke Road, Pokolbin.
Tickets and more info: Click here.
Price: Adult $30; Child (4-15 yrs) $25; Child Under 4 Free; Family Pass (2 Adults + 1 Child) $79; Family Pass (2 Adults + 2 Children) $99; Extra Child on Family Pass (4-15 yrs) $22. The unlimited rides wristband is $15/person or rides can be purchased singly for $6/person. Ride passes are available at the ticket booth at the rides area in the Hunter Valley Gardens.

Christmas Fair at Mt Pengang Gardens

Christmas Fair Mt Penang Gardens
Image supplied by Hart Events

The Coast’s BIGGEST Christmas event is back again this December and promises all the usual festivities, excitement, and merriment, symbolic of the countdown to Christmas!

Families heading to the popular event at Mount Penang can expect to enjoy a fun-filled day of Christmas shopping with the opportunity to peruse over 160 high-quality market stalls selling everything from candles and Christmas decorations to outdoor furniture and kids’ clothes.

There’s plenty for those simply looking for a day of outdoor fun too, with a FREE kids entertainment area, vintage cars on show, and a whole heap of eating options, from Gozleme and waffles to a fine selection of international cuisines! PLUS, Santa will be making an appearance in his old school firetruck. And if you’re really lucky, you may even spot his pals The Grinch, and Buddy the Elf too!

When: Sunday 5 December 2021, 9am-2pm.
Location: Mount Penang Parklands, Kangoo Rd, Kariong.
More info: Click here or stay up to date by visiting the Facebook page. Pets are welcome!
Price: Gold coin entry.

Central Coast Carols – Ho Ho Home Delivered!

Image supplied by Star 104.5

This year marks the eighth anniversary of Star 104.5’s Central Coast Carols – the much-loved, festive community event, usually held at the Central Coast Stadium.

With current restrictions in place around large crowd gatherings. the team at STAR 104.5 didn’t want Central Coast residents to miss out on what is usually a joyous and hopeful event, and so the popular community fundraiser will be hitting the road once again in a COVID Safe version of Central Coast Carols – Ho Ho Home Delivered!

To receive your very own personal carol singer, all you need to do is make a booking and donation to Cancer Council NSW and a local artist will come to the end of your driveway to sing Christmas carols to your family!

PLUS, keep an eye out for Santa who’ll be making a special appearance too!

When: Wednesday 8 December and Thursday 23 December, 2021.
Location: Your house!
Price: Donation: $50 + GST. Proceeds will be donated to Cancer Council NSW – Central Coast.

Christmas Under the Stars, Mingara

Image supplied by Mingara Recreation Club

The Coast’s most popular carols event – Mingara’s Christmas Under the Stars – will feature a fab line-up of entertainment for the whole family this year! Paw Patrol will be hitting the stage from 6pm, plus there’ll be appearances from country music queen Gina Jeffreys, 2019 The Voice singer Nathan Foley, TV presenter Erica Davis, and many other talented local performers! And finally, it wouldn’t be Christmas Under the Stars without a visit from Santa to keep the kids well amused!

You’re welcome to BYO picnic or grab dinner from one of the many food trucks that will be on-site throughout the evening.

When: Sunday 19 December 2021, 5.30pm-9.30pm (gates open 4.30pm; fireworks 9.15pm).
Location: Mingara Regional Athletics Centre, 12-14 Mingara Drive, Tumbi Umbi.
Price: Adults $5, children 5 years and under are free but will still need a ticket. Funds raised will go to Surf Life Saving Central Coast.
Tickets and More Info: Pre-sale tickets are available from 10am on Saturday 27 November. Tickets go on sale from Wednesday 1 December and will need to be pre-purchased. No tickets will be available on the night (unless online tickets are still available).

Central Coast Town Centre Activations

The Central Coast’s town centres are getting their jingle on with roving entertainers and Christmas lights aplenty. AND it’s all completely FREE so pack a picnic and go check them out! Here’s what to expect:

Monday 20 December – Wyong Town Park (10.00am – 2.00pm)
Bouncing Stilt Christmas Elves and Christmas Photobooth

Tuesday 21 December – Toukley Village Green (10.00am – 2.00pm)
Roving Stilt Duo: Circus Christmas Elves and Christmas Photobooth

Wednesday 22 December – Kibble Park Gosford
Roving Duo Christmas Candy Canes (10.00am – 12.00pm) and Christmas Photobooth (10.00am – 2.00pm)

Wednesday 22 December – Woy Woy Oval Forecourt (1.00pm – 3.00pm)
Roving Duo Christmas Candy Canes

Thursday 23 December – Memorial Park, The Entrance (10.00am – 2.00pm)
Top Shelf Elf and Mrs Claus and Christmas Photobooth

Friday 24 December – Terrigal Beach Memorial (10.00am – 2.00pm)
Bouncing Stilt Christmas Elves and Christmas Photobooth

Learn More: Click here for more details.

Choose Your Own Christmas Tree

There’s something very special and ceremonious about bringing home a real Christmas tree. The smell of the fresh pine needles, the excitement of decorating it, and the anticipation of what Santa might leave beneath it are guaranteed to spark joy among all members of the family. Yet decorating the tree with tinsel and baubles is only half the fun; the first and most thrilling task for little kids – and big ones too – is choosing the tree!

For locations across the Central Coast of where to buy a real Christmas tree, check out our feature.

Central Coast Christmas Lights

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, spending an evening slowly driving around the neighbourhood to spot the most colourful and quirky Christmas lights display is a ritual for many Central Coast families. To make it that much easier for you to plan your route, we’ve written a feature that includes a map of all the best-decorated homes up and down the Central Coast!

Want to know where the MUST-VISIT homes are? Click the link below to check out our map.

More Christmas Lights and Events in Sydney

Martin Place Christmas Tree and Fairy Lights

Visit the tallest Christmas tree in NSW during a festive trip to Sydney!

When: Saturday 27 November 2021 to Saturday 1 January 2022.
Martin Place, Sydney.

Sydney Christmas Fair

Enjoy a great family day out filled with Christmas activities including a Gingerbread House Party disco, carnival rides, games, and more.

When: Saturdays and Sundays throughout December 2021 (up until Christmas).
The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park.

Canopy of Light

Discover a Christmas wonderland as you stroll along Pitt Street Mall underneath a canopy of 85,000 suspended lights.

When: Saturday 27 November to Friday 31 December 2021.
Pitt Street Mall, between Market and King Streets.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…at MYER

Hop aboard the Santaland express from Central Station to the North Pole where you can meet Santa for a photo, enjoy storytime with Mrs Claus or write Santa a letter in his workshop!

When: Friday 19 November to Friday 24 December.
MYER, 436 George Street.

Choirs in the City

Hear Christmas carols sung by a live choir every night between 6 – 8.30pm.

When: Wednesday 1 December to Friday 24 December.
Martin Place, Sydney.

Barangaroo Bells

Walkthrough, take some festive snaps, and listen to the harmony of the Barangaroo Bells as they light up the Waterfront and Watermans Cove at Barangaroo this Christmas.

When: Friday 26 November 2021 to Tuesday 4 January 2022.
Wulugul Walk, Barangaroo.

Events that won’t go ahead this year due to COVID

+ The Road to Bethlehem at Erina.

♥ Share this feature with your friends and invite them to join you in celebrating Christmas together. ↓