If you’re one of the thousands that don’t participate in the December 25 holiday, then you might be looking for something to do. While it may seem that the jolly red man has an iron grip on Australia, with most shopping centres, cinemas and attractions closed for the big day – it's actually not the case. If you’re ambivalent towards the holiday (or you’re just looking for some entertainment post-turkey) then there’s still lots you can do on Christmas Day.
While everyone else is at home eating animals, you can visit them alive and kicking at Melbourne Zoo. Normal opening hours apply giving non-Christmas goers a chance to skip the generous crowds the zoo attracts during the warmer months.
Open Christmas Day 9am-5pm (animal areas close 4.30pm).
One of the great certainties in life is that the Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens will be open every day of the year. It’s the perfect location for a non-christmas picnic, a stroll, jog or a closer look at the 8,500 species of plants that call the Botanic Gardens home.
Open Christmas Day 7.30am-sunset.
Get a sky-high perspective of Melbourne at Christmas time with a trip to Skydeck 88. Stand nearly 300 metres above the ground or terrify yourself with the Edge experience: a glass observation box the extends out from the viewing platform.
Open Christmas Day 10am-5.30pm (last entry 5pm).
Catch a flick
Escape Christmas on the silver screen. A surprising number of cinemas will be open on Christmas Day including the Lido, Classic and Cameo Cinemas. They’ll have their usual film programs running plus a few extra holiday specials. If December 25 proves to be a hot one then catching a film also means an air-conditioned respite.
The Lido and Classic Cinemas are open noon-9pm Christmas Day.
Cameo Cinemas is open 4-9pm Christmas Day.
It’s pretty difficult to light a brandy pudding under the sea so fish tend to not celebrate Christmas a lot. While the rest of the city is busy turning up the festive factor, take a stroll through the tranquil exhibits of the aquarium.
Open Christmas Day 9.30am-6pm (last entry 5pm).
The Christmas star might have guided three wise men, but the Melbourne Star could have given them a 30 minute rotating flight. The Melbourne Star at Docklands will be running at a reduced schedule on Christmas but it’s still open to anyone wanting a go in the only giant observation wheel south of the equator.
Open Christmas Day 1-10pm (last ticket sales 9.15pm and last entry 9.25pm).