Worldwide icon-chevron-right South Pacific icon-chevron-right Australia icon-chevron-right Melbourne icon-chevron-right What to do on December 25 if you don’t celebrate Christmas
Peninsula Hot Springs
Photograph: Supplied

What to do on December 25 if you don’t celebrate Christmas

Not celebrating Christmas? Don't despair, we've rounded a bunch of alternative things to do on December 25

By Nicola Dowse

If you’re one of the many who doesn't hang your holly and participate in the December holiday – or you're just looking for something to do after you open your presents – there are still plenty of activities to enjoy in Melbourne on December 25.

The fun doesn't end on December 25: find out what to do on New Year's Eve and what to do with yourself the week between Christmas and New Year's.

RECOMMENDED: Restaurants and cafés open on Christmas Day.

Melbourne Zoo
Photograph: Paul Philipson

1. Visit the zoo

Museums Parkville

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).

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne
Photograph: Carmen Zammit

2. Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens

Things to do Melbourne

Now that it has reopened, the Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens intends to resume its normal schedule of being open every day of the year – including on December 25. It’s the perfect location for a non-Christmas picnic, or walk off the turkey while gazing at the 8,500 species of plants that call the Botanic Gardens home.

Open Christmas Day 7.30am-sunset.


3. Soak away the holiday stress

Travel Fingal

The end of the year can be a stressful time, so visiting the Peninsula Hot Springs sounds like a wonderful way to relax and rejuvenate. The Bath House will be open from 5am until 10pm, so escape your family or bring them with you for a guaranteed tranquil Christmas. 

Open 5am-10pm

Lido Cinemas

4. 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.


5. Unwind at the aquarium

Museums Melbourne

It’s pretty difficult to light a brandy pudding under the sea, so fish tend to not celebrate Christmas. 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).

6. Grab a Chinese feed

Things to do Melbourne

Many shops and restaurants in Chinatown will be celebrating Christmas by staying open and offering sustenance to anyone caught out by the city shutdown. 

Sunset at St Kilda Pier
Photograph: Roberto Seba

7. Go to St Kilda Beach

Things to do St Kilda

Yes, we know, Melbourne beaches don't have waves. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the summer weather and go for a dip. Wear a Santa hat and a bikini, bring some friends and chill out, or just read a book and relax – enjoy the day however you would like.

South Wharf Webb Bridge
Photograph: Christian Pearson/Parks Victoria

8. Go for a walk

Things to do Walks and tours

National and state parks don't close for Christmas, and it's a great time to stretch your legs when lots of other people are staying close to home. Plus, a nice gentle walk is a great way to settle your lunch – and make room for seconds when you get back. 

Thinking about a barbecue?


    More on Christmas

      You may also like

        Best selling Time Out Offers