Last Minute Christmas in Melbourne

There are only three sleeps left until Christmas and two days left to cram in all of the craziness of shopping, wrapping and decorating before the big day officially arrives. Christmas is normally my absolute favourite day of the year. But this December I have been super stressed out, so I haven’t really felt as festive as normal. We made a deal with our families not to do Christmas presents, since we are all saving so hard for the wedding (in less than two months, eek!) so I haven’t even gone Christmas present shopping or wrapped one present. You know what, I miss it, a lot.

The craziness of late night shopping, finding the perfect gift with the best deal and perfectly wrapping a present for every family member is one of my favourite parts of the festive season. I love to be in the hectic rush, amongst the decorations, leaving with heavy bags weighing down on my arms and leaving those painful red marks. That is my December joy! But since shopping has been taken out of the equation this year I have needed to find new ways to experience the joy without killing my wallet. So with only two days to go, I have collected some the best ways to experience the Christmas joy in Melbourne without shopping (well maybe one with shopping) and make the most of the last few days of the festive season. It will literally be over before we know it and I know I don’t want to feel like I didn’t get to experience it at all!

Visit Christmas Square

For the month of December, City Square on Swanston Square has been transformed into the magical forest of Christmas Square. Overflowing with nutcracker soldiers, interactive candy canes and even the chance to get a free photo with Santa. You can even find a giant interactive present where you can deck yourself out in festive decorations for free and print out a personalized photo and Christmas card.

City Square, 44-86 Swanston Street Melbourne

See the city light up with the Christmas Projections

As the sun sets on the city of Melbourne, the Town Hall and Federation Square come alive with glittering Christmas light projections. Check it out every evening from 9pm – 10:20pm. These iconic buildings of Melbourne are transformed into bright swirling magical Christmas light show. Image found here.

Melbourne Town Hall, 90-130 Swantston Street & Federation Square on Swantston and Flinders Street

Pick up the perfect Christmas treat from Doughnut Time

I can personally vouch for these as some of the most delicious (and sugar coma inducing) doughnuts I have ever tried! Make sure you head over to Doughnut Time’s CBD location in Degraves Street to eat some of the most festive treats around! Their mouthwatering Christmas box, Santa’s Got a Brand New Bag (featured above), includes the O Holey Night with marshmallows, white chocolate curls, gold pears and sprinkles, the It’d Be Rudolph Not To with a chocolate glaze, reindeer face, salted pretzel antlers and FULL of nutella (literally the best thing ever) and the Yass Girl, You Sleigh with a red velvet doughnut, butter cream frosting and candy canes! Get them before Christmas is over!!! Image from Doughnut Time

5 Degraves Street, Melbourne

Watch the story at the Myer Christmas Windows 

A traditional day out in my family when I was a kid, make sure you check out the Christmas Windows on Bourke Street. The windows are based on a different Christmas story every year, with the 2016 windows featuring the new children’s book ‘One Christmas Eve’ by Corinne Fenton. The story is even more special this year because it is based in Melbourne, so make sure you keep an eye out for some iconic Melbourne landmarks such as Luna Park, the Palais Theatre and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. They are on from 7:30am until 1am until after New Years. Image found on Myer’s blog.

Myer Melbourne, 336 Bourke Street

See the Gingerbread Village by Epicure

For the 6th year, the Gingerbread Village by Epicure can be found in Melbourne Town Hall bringing a complete village to life in gingerbread and candy. You can see all sorts of iconic Melbourne landmarks made out of the Christmas treat, with all gold coin donations going to the Royal Children’s Hospital. Open from 9am – 8:45pm. Image found here.

Melbourne Town Hall, 90-130 Swanston Street

Experience the Magic Cave at David Jones on Bourke Street

Meet Santa and his elves at the Magic Cave at David Jones. You can even use the green screen they have set up to transport yourself into a Christmas scene and capture your Santa experience on DVD. The DJ’s staff choir will serenade you with Christmas carols while you do some last minute gift shopping and if you’re visiting on the weekend there are all sorts of face painters, fairies and balloon benders to keep you entertained as the shopping exhaustion sets in.

David Jones Toy Department, 310 Bourke Street 

Go last minute shopping 

And of course, for all those last minute shoppers who thrive on the craziness finding the perfect present at the very last minute Melbourne Central, Emporium and most of the shops in Melbourne CBD offer late night trade for the next few days until Christmas. And for those really keen on soaking up the craziness (and my favourite, absolutely mental way to shop), head over to Highpoint Shopping Centre in Maribyrnong, just a quick tram ride out of the city, who offer 36 hours of straight Christmas Crazy, as they are open from 9am tomorrow, all the way through the night until 5pm Christmas Eve!! Image found here.

  • Melbourne Central Shopping Centre – 211 La Trobe Street, Melbourne 
  • Emporium Melbourne – 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
  • Highpoint Shopping Centre, 120-200 Rosamond Road, Maribyrnong 

First image found here.

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Emma Shaw

Emma is a travel photographer and blogger, living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Thom in between adventures. She started A Make Believe World to share her experiences, travel tips and destination advice, and to inspire others to travel the world and their own backyard whenever they can.

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