by Rebecca Lee
Bing Crosby’s Silver Bells has long been one of my favourite Christmas carols. For me the words conjure up memories from our special trips into Sydney’s CBD to experience Christmas in the city. Here is what you can expect to find in Sydney this Christmas.
Myer’s Giftorium Wonderland is jam packed with free interactive experiences. Take the rocket elevator to level 6 where you step into Wonderland. Kids can take a free train ride and write a letter to Santa, there are giant Superhero and Barbie boxes that you can step inside- plenty of photo opportunities.
It’s also the place to pick up personalised gifts such as your own Nutella jar, Mitch Dowd underwear, M&Ms and leather goods. There are also interactive experiences such as picking out clothing for your own Barbie, Build-A-Bear (incl Trolls).
While we were there, a flautist was playing carols which added a lovely touch.
You will find Santa’s Cave on level 6 along with kidswear and toys. You can visit the cave even if you aren’t having a photo taken. Every child receives a balloon and a reindeer crown which Miss 4 proudly wore all the way home.
Once you have walked through the twinkling cave, a lovely puppet display depicts elves in the post office, workshop and kitchen. There are a few Santa’s hidden in their own rooms. When its your turn, a staff member will escort you to where Santa is, and with a knock at the door and a Ho Ho Ho, your kids can chat with Santa in their own time. We liked this because you never felt rushed, and there weren’t scores of people watching on.
Be sure also to visit the famous Christmas window display of the Elizabeth Street store – this year, Santa has asked a team of Polar Bears to prepare the presents and load the sleigh for take-off, and the Food Hall in the Market Street store to check out all the fancy Christmas goodies!
Santa’s Enchanted Garden is exceptionally popular for Santa photos and there is good reason why. Santa sits in a beautiful dome adorned with roses and crystals. Two lovely fairies help the families. Santa was lovely and peaceful (almost serene.. perhaps he was delirious in the heat?!) he also had a real flowing beard and was softly spoken. The whole experience felt very magical and we received a Haighs chocolate on departure. The wait for Santa in the QVB can be exceptionally long, so book ahead if you can at this link.
Whilst you’re there, take in the incredible Swarovski Christmas tree (hard to miss!!), the sweet toy shop just near Santa, and little train enthusiasts will love the Hobbyco train set behind the glass at the George Street end of the building. There is also a daily schedule of carollers. As an aside, visit the Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery as they display the Art of Dr Seuss. Our 4-year-old loved it!
From Saturday 26 November from 6pm, the whole family can enjoy a range of choirs and the spectacle of the dynamic Christmas tree light show. SMS your own message to be displayed on the tree, and stay for the light show nightly from 8:30pm- 9:15pm. Carols will also be sung nightly from 6pm-8pm.
Darling Harbour comes alive at night with fireworks in the 12 days leading up to Christmas Eve, the Pools of Light display and Luminous, the world’s largest interactive light installation. All the details here.