It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and if you are like me, you will want to enjoy as many Christmas festivities you can squeeze into your calendar.
Ipswich has got a big month of fun planned for families, including everything from meeting Santa to browsing through the city’s numerous markets, live music acts, visits from comedians and much more.
Be sure to add these great events to your diary and book early to avoid disappointment.
Share your Christmas wishlist with Santa
All of Ipswich’s good boys and girls will have the opportunity to meet the jolly man in the red suit when Santa makes a number of special appearances across the city’s shopping centres.
With Christmas only a few short weeks away, Santa will be posing for photographs with children across the city and hearing what is on their Christmas wishlists so he can tell his helper elves at the North Pole what to stock his sleigh with before he leaves on his world-wide journey on December 24.
Be dazzled at Ipswich’s Christmas Wonderland
Hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights will light up Nerima Gardens this month to create a stunning Christmas Wonderland for families to walk through. The gorgeously illuminated trees, glittering lights and more is sure to delight families of all ages, and create a beautiful backdrop for photos. This annual event, which last year drew in massive crowds, is again the centrepiece of an exciting Christmas in Ipswich 2020 program.
Tickets to the Christmas Wonderland extravaganza are booking fast. Tickets are $5 per person, $15 for a family of four, and $20 for a family of five, with all proceeds being donated to a number of charities that benefit the city. If by chance you miss out on securing tickets, a virtual tour of Christmas Wonderland will also be made available on the Ipswich Festivals website and Facebook.
Experience the joy of Christmas with Christmas lights, carols and more
Christmas is a time to be with family and friends, and what better way to do that than to enjoy the festive spirit right here in Ipswich by attending one of the many events featured in this year’s Christmas in Ipswich 2020 program.
Families will be able to jump in the car and partake in the much-loved tradition of Christmas lights and seeing the best displays around the city, with a full list of entrants and addresses to be posted on the Ipswich Festivals site. The giant Christmas tree in d’Arcy Doyle Place is also a must see, and visitors can share their images by using the hashtag #christmasinipswich. There will also be various Christmas carols events, including the Springfield City Group Together Christmas online event and an evening with the Ipswich City Orchestras at St Paul’s Anglican Church.
Find the perfect gift at an array of Christmas markets across the city
We all love finding a good bargain, so to help you find a truly unique and one-of-a-kind something for someone near and dear to you, a number of stall holders will be popping up at various Christmas markets throughout the city this month.
The Springfield Markets, which are held on the first Sunday of each month, will be returning to Robelle Domain on Sunday, December 6 from 8am-2pm, as well as the Orion Markets appearing down Main St at Orion Springfield Central on Sunday, December 20. Shoppers can also visit the Ripley Markets on Saturday, December 12, the Walloon Markets on Sunday, December 6, the Ipswich Showplace Markets, which will be hosting a special Australiana Christmas Extravaganza on Sunday, December 13 at the Ipswich Showgrounds, as well as the Scenic Soul Christmas Market, which will welcome visitors to Marburg on Saturday, December 12 from 9am-3pm.
Take in a show at the Ipswich Civic Centre
The Ipswich Civic Centre boasts a big itinerary of theatre shows, concerts, comedians and more each month, and December is no exception.
If you are looking for a fun evening out, you can cheer on students from local dance studios at their end of year concerts, laugh along to funnyman Ross Noble, or sing along to musician Tim Freedman during his new solo show, where he will launch The Whitlams’ new single Ballad of Bertie Kidd, a six minute crime caper that describes a little known escapade in the long career of one of Australia’s most notorious criminals. To book tickets to these shows, log onto the Ipswich Civic Centre website.
Enjoy some tunes from local, up-and-coming and distinguished artists at Studio 188
Music lovers are spoilt for choice when it comes to enjoying a night of toe-tapping entertainment this month, with a number of big names set to perform at Studio 188, an intimate live music venue located in the heart of Ipswich. Singer songwriter Josh Lovegrove will be bringing his soulful lyrics to the studio on December 4, while Ipswich local Kim Wright will be taking to the stage with a number of artists for the Live! at the Baptist Country Music Special on December 11.
Celebrate 12 big days of Christmas festivities at Ipswich Libraries
Featuring an array of stories, crafts, games and more, Ipswich Libraries will host an array of Christmas themed activities your little ones will love. This exciting program will be held from December 7-19, with all the information on the Ipswich Libraries website.
Thomas the Tank Engine returns to The Workshops Rail Museum
The world’s most loved blue steam engine Thomas the Tank Engine is steaming into The Workshops Rail Museum this summer for the hugely popular Day out with Thomas event, being held from Sunday, December 27 to Tuesday, January 26, 2021.
Fans of the show, both young and old, will have the opportunity to meet Thomas, The Fat Controller, and some of Thomas’ closest friends. There will also be lots of activities to enjoy in the Thomas Play Pit, the opportunity to take lots of photos with Thomas and his friends around the museum, and you can even partake in some Thomas the Tank Engine craft activities.
Plug into the world of gaming at The Workshops Rail Museum’s latest exhibition
While on the topic of the Workshops Railway Museum, you won’t want to miss its brand-new exhibition – Code Breakers: Women in Games.
The exhibition, on loan from the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, explores women’s emerging role in video game development, and includes games written and designed by Australian and New Zealand women. Visitors will also have the opportunity to play the games these women have worked on, including role playing games (RPGs), digital board games, graphical adventures and puzzlers.
There is something for every skill level and interest.
Take part in some Christmas craft sessions at the Retro Diner
Kids can impress their family by taking home Christmas cake pops and chocolate Santa sleighs after taking part in a number of workshops being held at the Retro Diner this month. The classes are fully supervised and each child will receive a drink and a treat.
For the adults, a Christmas wreath making workshop will also be held, so you can make something beautiful to hang on your front door for all your guests and neighbours to see. To reserve your place, or for more information, see their Facebook page. While you’re there, be sure to try one of their famous milkshakes and burgers!
Christmas Day Lunch
The Cottage Restaurant are once again celebrating Christmas with a creative and traditional 5-course degustation menu with wine.
See the Polar Express on the big screen
Limelight Cinemas will be hosting a special sensory screening of the hugely popular Christmas movie the Polar Express on Saturday, December 5, to recognise International Day of People with Disability 2020.
Dive in Movies
The beloved Dive-In Movies at Orion Lagoon have returned for another year. Cool off and catch a movie at Orion Lagoon’s free dive-in movie on December 19 and January 16, thanks to Orion Springfield Central. A family flick is scheduled to play on the big screen from 7pm, but time may vary depending on the sunset. The usual lagoon rules will apply so no inflatables, however, pool noodles are welcome.
Feel the need for speed at Queensland Raceway
Whether you love the thrill of being behind the wheel of a fast car, or watching from the grandstand, there are plenty of ways to feel the need for speed in Ipswich. Queensland Raceway at Willowbank welcomes racers of all levels and ages to its venue monthly for drift nights on Friday nights and roll racing, ensuring the cars are raced on the circuit and not the streets.
Unleash your inner artist with Sip ‘n’ Dip Australia
Whether you are a beginner or experienced artist, there are plenty of activities and craft workshops for you to choose from within the Ipswich region. Sip ‘n’ Dip Australia host classes right across the city, meaning there are always events happening near you. This month, why not try your hand at learning how to pour paint, make your own resin cheeseboard, paint your own beach on canvas, create your own Christmas ink candles, or take part in a soap making class – the choice is yours! For a full list of workshops, visit Sip ‘n’ Dip’s Facebook page.
5 course Christmas feast
Essence of Indya are holding a special five-course set menu for Christmas on December 18, 19 and 20 for $35 per person. The feast includes soup, starter, mains and a dessert.
Book in now!
Win $10,000 at Riverlink
What would you buy with $10,000? This Christmas, Riverlink Shopping Centre is giving away a $10,000 Riverlink Shopping Spree and $25,000 worth of instant prizes.
Simply spend $30 at participating stores and take your receipt to the friendly Elf at the Customer Service Booth near Donut King for the chance to win an instant prize on the Elves Crane and to go into the draw to win a $10,000 Riverlink Shopping Spree.
Enter from December 1 to 24 from 10am – 2pm.
Christmas Eve and New Year’s races
Celebrate Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day with live racing at the Ipswich Turf Club. The free racing events will see gates open at 10am with live racing action on the track.