As we race towards a whole new decade, it’s time to get on top of all the Christmas action in the city and plan for the best New Year’s Eve parties possible. Kids will be using all that sugar strength from advent calendars to gear up for the summer school holidays, but luckily there are plenty of sunny activities like outdoor movie screenings and massive open air Christmas markets that’ll keep the whole family entertained in Sydney this month. Don't miss classic festive events like Paul Kelly's recurring Chrissy concert and this live show dedicated to Love, Actually.
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December's best events
Cornelia Parker is considered one of England's biggest and most influential art stars from the last few decades and was made a member of the Order of the British Empire in 2010. At the centre of the MCA's exhibition is her breakthrough work which features a garden shed she had the British Army blow up with explosives.
From #eggboy to Greta Thunberg, 2019 is the year young people spoke up and refused to be overlooked. So why should they be overlooked in literature too? The greatest love story ever told gets a rethink this summer, with teenagers where they should be – at the heart of the story.
Explore Indigenous connection to cultural legacy and the physical, cultural and spiritual lines that link First Nations practices and narratives across Australia. Linear is curated by the award-winning head of design at Bangarra Dance Theatre, Murri man Jacob Nash, and features ten Indigeous practitioners from across the country working in diverse mediums.
For the last two years, the Art Gallery of NSW has focussed on Europe in its big summer exhibitions, but this summer is all about Japan with an epic exhibition of more than 200 artworks. It features work from the country's most influential artist, Katsushika Hokusai and contemporary star, Takashi Murakami.
Jump on the ferry to Cockatoo Island for a night of chilled acoustic performances with a banging city backdrop. Sunset Sessions – previously known as Campfire Sessions – will share intimate songs and stories from up-and-coming artists on the island lawn on Saturday evenings throughout December.
For two weeks every spring, hordes of Sydneysiders head to the beach for the annual Sculpture by the Sea. But for nine months, Casula Parklands is playing host to a new sculpture walk, featuring eight works from Sculpture by the Sea along the banks of the Georges River.
Each year, the MCA invites an artist or curator to take the reins of Primavera, an exhibition for emerging artists under 35. This year, it's curated by Archibald Prize-winning painter Mitch Cairns, who has brought together seven artists who all incorporate language forms and poetic expression in their practice.
Ben Quilty's work is known across the country for its vivid, luscious and tormented quality, all realised in oils. This exhibition is Quilty's first major survey in more than a decade and covers 15 years of his work, ranging from his portraits through to more abstract pieces and reflections on the Australian landscape.
This newest season of free movies from the archives of world cinema delivers supernatural stories from seven different nations. The Art Gallery of NSW presents these films as an adjunct to its magisterial Japan Supernatural exhibition, and it ranges from a legendary Italian horror film to neglected Australian classics of the uncanny.
We've already got movies in the park, movies by the beach, outdoor movies in bed, and movies by Sydney Harbour, but now Sydney's mania for alfresco screenings has taken that extra leap to deliver movies on a boat. This month the theme will be appropriately Christmassy, with screenings of Elf, Die Hard and Home Alone.
Pack your picnic baskets, because Sydney’s favourite outdoor cinema experience is returning to Centennial Park. Moonlight Cinema promises an eclectic program of current films and classic favourites for filmgoers to enjoy right through to March.
It's the biggest party of the year
Sydney's NYE celebrations are world famous, and for good reason. But no one likes crowds. Here's how to have a good time, including knowing where to pee and when to kick-on, on December 31.