2 December 2022

Things to do in Canberra in December

| Evelyn Karatzas
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Marketing photo advertising a production of A Christmas Carol

The award-winning stage production of A Christmas Carol is set to premiere at Canberra Theatre Centre. Photo: Dylan Evans.

Tis the season to get out and about as Canberra turns up the festivities. We’ve selected some of the best Christmas-themed events the nation’s capital has to offer.

That said, you don’t need to be a Grinch to opt into one of the many non-Christmas related events coming to the capital in December.

Sports, comedy, opera, literature and live music including a concert from a certain cherished Aussie boy band – there are many ways to get into the celebration spirit this month.

People watch an outdoor movie at Sunset Cinema in Canberra

Relax, unwind, and enjoy a movie under the stars in December. Photo: Sunset Cinema.

Sunset Cinema

When: Various dates until Sunday 25 February, 6:30 pm
Where: Australian National Botanic Gardens, Clunies Ross St, Acton
Cost: Adult $22, concession / student / groups (five or more) $16, child (10-12 years) $10, book here

One of Canberra’s favourite summer activities is back, and everyone is invited to celebrate 11 years of film in the great outdoors. Sunset Cinema brings a mixture of new-release blockbusters, all-time classics and family favourites screened at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Bring your family, friends and partners and get in the mood for the festive season with Christmas classics such as Love Actually, Elf, Home Alone 2, It’s a Wonderful Life and The Nightmare Before Christmas playing from 15 to 23 December. There will also be a three-night Lindsay Lohan-fest on 14, 18 and 20 January.

Moon Gallery at Questacon

Check out the moon gallery at Questacon. Photo: Questacon.

Under the Moon at Questacon

When: Daily, 9 am to 5 pm
Where: Gallery 8, Questacon, King Edward Terrace, Parkes
How much: Adult $24.50, concession and child (four to 16 years) $18.90, family (two adults, up to three children) $73.40, under 4s free, book here (special ticketed events sold separately)

Questacon’s Under the Moon gallery is now open daily for all visitors. A large suspended moon sculpture is the centrepiece of a room where you can discover how First Nations peoples have used the Moon for keeping time and forecasting weather, see the earliest Moon maps and delve into Moon stories from around the world.

A Very Canberra Comedy Festival Christmas poster

A Very Canberra Comedy Festival Christmas takes place on 3 December at Canberra Theatre Centre. Image: Canberra Comedy Festival / Facebook.

A Very Canberra Comedy Festival Christmas

When: Saturday 3 December, 7:30 pm
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square, London Cct, Canberra
Cost: Reserve A $54.90, Reserve B $49.90, transaction fee $5.95, book here

Nothing says festive like a belly full of laughter. Join the Festival’s top comedians as they get you into the Christmas spirit in this two-hour comedy gala. It features some of the best acts from the upcoming Festival line-up in one massive show.

Vocal group Rhythm Syndicate gathers on stage

Rhythm Syndicate presents To the moon and back again in time for Christmas. Photo: National Portrait Gallery of Australia.

To the moon and back again in time for Christmas

When: Sunday 4 December, 1 pm
Where: National Portrait Gallery of Australia, King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Cost: Free entry

As part of International Day of People with Disability comes this special music performance featuring local jazz vocal group, the Rhythm Syndicate. They’ve been entertaining thousands of people in Canberra for 32 years with their four-part harmony and will bring their pop, jazz and great Christmas hits to the gallery.

photo of Alex Miller

Alex Miller will be talking about his latest book A Brief Affair. Photo: NLA.

A Brief Affair: Alex Miller in conversation with Tom Griffiths

When: Monday 5 December, 6 pm to 7:30 pm
Where: National Library of Australia, Parkes Pl W, Canberra and on the Library’s Facebook page
Cost: Entry is free, book here

Emeritus Professor of History at the Australian National University Tom Griffiths leads a discussion with author Alex Miller on his latest book. From the bustling streets of China to the ominous Cell 16 in an old asylum building to the familiar sounds and sight of galahs flying over a Victorian farm, A Brief Affair is a tender love story. Copies of the book can be purchased on the night from the National Library Bookshop and following the discussion in the Theatre, Alex Miller will be available for book signings in the foyer. For those who wish to meet for refreshments before the event, Bookplate Café will remain open until the event starts at 6 pm.

Opera singer Katrina Wiseman

Katrina Wiseman will be debuting her opera career in Handel’s Opera Alcina. Photo: Katrina Wiseman.

Handel’s Opera Alcina

When: Thursday 8 and Saturday 10 December, 7:30 pm
Where: Llewellyn Hall, Building 100 ANU School of Music, William Herbert Place, Acton
Cost: Tickets are from $75 and can be purchased here

Alcina is set on an enchanted island with not one but two sorceresses, discarded lovers who have been transformed into wild beasts and a young woman disguising herself as a man to find her missing lover. Full of gorgeous music performed by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Handel specialist Graham Abbott, this production of a time-honoured opera classic features an all-star Australian cast including Emma Matthews and Rachelle Durkin.

Flyer for Round 5 of the WNBL

Tickets for Round 5 of the WNBL are now on sale. Photo: UC Capitals.

UC Capitals v Sydney Uni Flames

When: Saturday 10 December, 3 pm
Where: National Convention Centre, 31 Constitution Ave, Canberra
Cost: From $15, book here

Back at home after three games on the road and Kristen Veal’s UC Capitals are ready to impress their loyal fans at the National Convention Centre. The Flames finished last on the ladder last season but have retained key players and brought in a few big guns. Boasting the likes of Shyla Heal and Keely Froling, the UC Capitals will be looking to the three-point prowess of Brit Smart, the speed and physicality of Dekeiya Cohen and former Flames Bec Pizzey and Sherrie Calleia. Off the back of last season’s abrupt ending, players and fans alike are ready for a season of stability and success. Be part of a bigger and better season with the UC Capitals.

Mahalia Barnes

Mahalia Barnes is performing at Tallagandra Hill Winery this December. Photo: Pierre Baroni.

Mahalia Barnes & the Soul Mates – with special guest Karen Lee Andrews

When: Sunday 11 December, 6:30 pm
Where: Tallagandra Hill Winery, 1692 Murrumbateman Road, Gundaroo
Cost: $59.11, book here

Early exposure to the likes of Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Ike and Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder helped shape Mahalia Barnes into the powerhouse soul and blues vocalist she is today. Now she and the Soul Mates are bringing the full range of the soul music spectrum to this dynamic, organic, raw and exciting show. Featuring special guest Karen Lee Andrews, this is a chance to enjoy one of Australia’s best singer-songwriters performing in one of the region’s best music venues – Tallagandra Hill.

Human Nature - A Christmas Celebration poster

Human Nature – A Christmas Celebration on Wednesday 14 December at Canberra Theatre Centre. Image: Supplied.

Human Nature – A Christmas Celebration

When: Wednesday, 14 December, at 7:30 pm
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square, London Cct, Canberra
Cost: From $99, and can be purchased here

Australia’s superstar vocal group Human Nature are back with an exclusive Christmas Celebration. Embrace your inner festive spirit as you sing along to all the Christmas and holiday classics from their chart-topping Christmas album including Let It Snow, White Christmas, O Holy Night and Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. They’ll be intertwined with some of the group’s most loved and requested songs from their stellar 30-year career.

Still from A Christmas Carol stage production

This highly-anticipated production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol runs from 20 to 24 December at The Canberra Theatre Centre. Image: Canberra Theatre Centre.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

When: 20 to 24 December, 2 pm and 7 pm
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square London Circuit, Canberra
Cost: From $76, book here

The award-winning stage spectacle is set to premiere at Canberra Theatre Centre. Full to the brim with song, humour, love and lashings of festive joy, A Christmas Carol is a magical, grand-in-scale production perfect for the entire family. It’s Christmas Eve and deeply entrenched in his own misery, Ebenezer Scrooge receives a visit from four ghosts. They’ll whisk him away on a journey through Christmases past, present and future on a search for redemption before it’s too late.

Family enjoying Christmas lunch

Do you want a hassle-free Christmas this year? Take your family and friends to some of Canberra’s best venues for a lovely Christmas lunch. Photo: File.

Christmas lunch in Canberra

When: Various dates and times throughout December
Where: Eastlake FC, Canberra Southern Cross Club, QT Canberra and Rydges Canberra
Cost: Various prices, see here

‘Tis the season of festive feasting! And, quite possibly, several days of leftovers following Christmas day. If you want to celebrate Christmas without stress this year, why not bring your family and friends to Eastlake Football Club, the Canberra Southern Cross Club, QT Canberra or Rydges Canberra to enjoy a lovely Christmas lunch? Check out all the packages on offer here.


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