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Christmas carols in Sydney

Hark the herald angels sing, all around Sydney

By Time Out editors |
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Sydney Christmas Children’s Concert
Photograph; Katherine Griffiths

Whether you want to hear classic Christmas carols performed by professionals or the best festive pop songs sung boy band style, these Christmas carol concerts, gigs and family-friendly events have it all. And who knows, Michale Bublé may have defrosted in time to scramble out of his cryogenic chamber and belt out a 'It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.'

But before you settle in, take a tour of the best Christmas lights in Sydney, or visit one of these sparkling Christmas markets to fill stocking and your stores of Christmas lunch condiments.

Listen to carol singers around Sydney

Sydney Christmas Children’s Concert
Photograph; Katherine Griffiths
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Sydney Christmas Children’s Concert

icon-location-pin Prince Alfred Park, Surry Hills
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This free family Christmas concert on Saturday November 30 has all the festive trimmings you could ask for: carols, elves, music, food, fireworks and an appearance from Santa himself. There’ll also be a chorus of the kids’ favourite entertainers performing, including Jimmy Giggle, Justine Clarke, the Listies, SplashDance and characters from Sesame Street. Beyond the bright lights of the stage, there’ll be arts and craft activities, games of giant Jenga and table tennis tournaments with Santa’s elves. 

Sydney Philharmonia Choirs
Photograph: Keith Saunders
Music, Classical and opera

Sydney Philharmonia Choirs: Messiah

icon-location-pin Sydney Opera House, Sydney
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The Sydney Philharmonia Choir brings this biennial fixture back to their concert calendar with three performances from December 13 to 15. Handel's Messiah is a Baroque-era oratorio that still rouses audiences more than 250 years since its first triumphant performances in Dublin in 1742. A reflection on Jesus as the Messiah, the work is a Christmas season fixture that is said to inspire listeners with the power and unity of its music. Join the over 400-strong Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and Orchestra for one last hallelujah before the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall closes for renovations.

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People dressed in Christmas outfits.
Photograph: Supplied
Kids, Music events

Christmas in the Hills

icon-location-pin Bella Vista Farm, Bella Vista
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Whether you’re in it for the carols, the petting zoo, food trucks or fireworks, this Christmas event at Bella Vista Farm has something to keep every family member smiling. The fun kicks off from 4pm, Wednesday December 11 for a huge evening of family-friendly activities, with the concert starting at 6.30pm. There’ll be local dance troupes performing on stage, carnival rides and petting zoos, carols performed by a 49-piece orchestra and choir, and a spectacular fireworks display to top it all off. 

Guy Sebastian and his wife on stage with microphones.
Photograph: Bronwyn Keller
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Carols in the Crescent

icon-location-pin Parramatta Park, Parramatta
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Guy Sebastian fronts this event in Parramatta Park, the newest location for Christmas cheer in the west. This free, all-ages event is back for its second year on Saturday December 14, and will include all the family favourites – food stalls, carol sing-alongs, rides for the kids, and the all important Santa appearance. Sebastian will be on the mic and he’ll bring a few of his friends to join him. Enjoying a Christmas carol or two on a picnic blanket by the river isn’t a bad way to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. 

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Noel Noel City Recital Hall Angel Place
Photograph: Australian Brandenburg Orchestra
Music, Classical and opera

Noel! Noel! A Brandenburg Christmas

icon-location-pin City Recital Hall, Sydney
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The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra is dedicated to the music of the 16th century, fusing modern with the ancient. Their annual festive concert series promises a divine and uplifting celebration encapsulating over 700 years of music. Expect choral folk melodies, much-loved carols, rousing hymns, and other rare musical delights from around the world. There'll be four shows at the City Recital Hall over Saturday December 14 and Wednesday December 18, as well as additional concerts held in Newtown, Mosman, Parramatta, Wahroonga and Woollahra.   

Carols in the Domain image of the stage
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Woolworths Carols in the Domain

icon-location-pin The Domain, Sydney
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Santa will be joined by an all-star line-up of Australian performers at this popular televised family event, which going into its 37th year on Saturday December 21 and holds the title of Australia's largest Christmas concert. Vanessa Amorosi will have 'Absolutely Everybody' feeling the cheer alongside Carols mainstay Todd McKenney, Australian country music royalty Adam Brand, musical theatre superstar Lucy Durak, and that crazy horse Shannon Noll together with local choirs to sing all your favourite carols and seasonal pop hits.

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Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir
Photograph: Damian Shaw
Music

Christmas Choirs in the City

icon-location-pin Martin Place, Sydney
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Sydney’s most renowned choirs are performing free concerts in Martin Place from November 28 in the lead up to Christmas. Held most nights and some days in the lead-up to Christmas, the concerts will bring the CBD an extra festive atmosphere.  The choirs include the Australian Girls’ Choir, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir, the Sydney Philharmonia Choir, the Salvation Army Band, Endeavour Harmony Chorus and more. The choirs will gather under the branches of the Martin Place Christmas tree, which will light up in a dazzling display of kaleidoscopic colours every 15-minutes from 7pm–midnight. 

Audience members gather around the stage
Photograph: Supplied
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

Coogee Carols

icon-location-pin Coogee Beach, Coogee
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This star-studded evening of relaxed carols by the beach is back for its 18th year, and amazingly it’s still free. Amanda Keller hosts a line-up of celebrities volunteering their time to belt out contemporary and traditional carols with the support of a live band. Head to Goldstein Reserve on the foreshore by Coogee Beach for two hours of festive entertainment from 6.30pm on Sunday December 22. Expect a visit from the big man in red and a fireworks display to top it off. Oh what joy!

Twinkle twinkle little Sydney

Sydney Hills Christmas Sky Show
Photograph: Morris McLennan
Things to do, Fairs and festivals

The best Christmas lights in Sydney

There are some pockets of Sydney that go all out for Christmas and you'll always see a family or two on an adventure around local neighbourhoods to see the extravagant light displays outside people’s houses. 

Go see these 13 unmissable Christmas movies
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