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