Celebrate Christmas in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & the Hunter {2018}

Enjoy the magic of Christmas 2018. Here’s the Newy with Kids list of festive things to do in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & the Hunter including Christmas markets, carols, shows, fireworks and family events.

Check out our other guides for Christmas 2018 including Christmas markets, Christmas storytimes and photos with Santa.

Waratah Village Lights Switch On

Friday 2 November 2018
Watch the Christmas rooftop lights come on during Waratah Village’s Famous Christmas Lights Switch On. Bring your family and welcome Santa and Mrs Claus & their team of Merry Elves. The entertainment includes the Waratah Girls Choir, The Jitterbug, Magically Yours – the fabulous Joel Howlett as well as kids craft activities, face painters, sausage sizzle and more. The lights switch on at 8pm.

Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular 

2 November 2018 – 26 January 2019
Blindingly dazzling is the best way to describe the more than 2 million lights of the Christmas Lights Spectacular at Hunter Valley Gardens. This light and music extravaganza is truly stunning and is a surefire way to get the whole family into the Christmas spirit. Enjoy the live entertainment, Santa’s workshop display, and incredible rides including Ferris Wheel, Swing Chair, Carousel, Super Slide and Inflatable zones.

Here’s a review of last year’s Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular with helpful tips for a great night out for your family.

Westfield Kotara Santa’s Arrival Parade

Saturday 10 November
Santa arrives at Westfield Kotara on Saturday 12 November. Join the celebrations from 8.30am on The Rooftop  for free entertainment, face painting, giveaways and more. The Marching Koalas will lead the parade through the centre with Santa and Mrs Claus.

Santa’s Big Arrival at MarketPlace Raymond Terrace

Saturday 10 November
Santa offically arrives in a RAAF Bushmaster at 10am with a parade of friends on Sunday 11 November. There will be loads of free fun including roving characters, free face painting, balloon twisting and giveaways.

Santa’s Arrival at Stockland Glendale

Saturday 17 November

Join in for Santa’s arrival at Stockland Glendale! Meet Santa and his friends who will be spreading Christmas cheer from 10am as they walk around the centre and meet all their fans. Santa will then be seated at 11am in his Workshop located near Coles for Santa Photos. There will be free festive activities for the little ones to enjoy from 11am – 2pm on the day near Coles. PLUS the first 100 customers who get their photo with Santa and purchase the Santa’s Gift Pack photo package can receive a BONUS $10 Kmart Gift Card! Every child who gets a photo will receive a gift from Santa.

Stockland Glendale Santa Breakfast & Movie Event

Saturday 1 December

Join Stockland Glendale for a magical morning of fun, food and a festive film at their Santa Breakfast & Movie event! Sit down with Santa and enjoy a delicious breakfast of hash browns, muffins, pastries, yoghurt, fruit, tea, hot chocolate, coffee and juices. Have a merry old time with our elf entertainment and then put your feet up and relax as you enjoy The Grinch movie. Tickets are $8 per child and include breakfast, The Grinch movie and a midi popcorn. Tickets go on sale Saturday 10 November. Bookings are essential and places are limited.  To book – simply visit Customer Care located near Coles and purchase your ticket.

Variety Santa Fun Run 

Sunday 2 December 2018
The Variety Santa Fun Run will be back in Newcastle in 2018. With a 5km and 10km route, the event is ideal for families and fun runners alike to get active and have some Christmas fun. The course will touch some of the city’s most iconic locations including Dixon Park and Bar Beaches, the Anzac Walk, King Edward Park, Newcastle Beach and Newcastle Foreshore. The route is fully inclusive and each participant will get a Santa suit to wear, to paint the city in red and support Variety – the Children’s Charity.

Bikers for Kids Newcastle Toy Run

2 December 2018
The Bikers for Kids Newcastle Toy Run is an annual community fundraising event. It raises funds for disadvantaged families and provide toys for kids that would otherwise go without this Christmas.  The Newcastle Toy Run begins with participating riders assembling at Ballast Park in Stockton and finishing at Wickham Park.


Miss Porter’s House Open Day – Christmas Edition

9 December 2018

Christmas with the Porter Family will be the theme of a display at Miss Porter’s House’s Open Day: Christmas decorations, Christmas recipes, Christmas foods and Christmas table settings owned and used by the Porters will be shown. Browse the stall which offers home-made cooking items, craft items and cards. Admission: $8 adults, $20 family, $6 pensioners and children five years and over. Free to National Trust Members and children under five.

Lake Mac Carols by Candlelight 

Sunday 9 December 2018

Lake Mac Carols by Candlelight is back for 2018 on Sunday 9 December event with Damien Leith and Thirsty Merc headlining the event. The event, Lake Macquarie’s biggest Christmas event features an afternoon screening of family festive movie Christmas All Over Again, live entertainment, fireworks, and an appearance by Santa. The event kicks off at noon with a Christmas movie screening as well as live local entertainment throughout the day, before the carols kick off at 6.30pm. Look out for a special guest appearance by Santa and enjoy the fireworks display from 9pm.

Carols on Dobell

Sunday 9 December 2018

Wangi Lions have organised carols by candlelight for the community at Dobell Park in Wangi Wangi on Sunday 9 December, 2018

Carols by Candlelight in King Edward Park

Friday 14 December 2018

The City of Newcastle Carols By Candlelight presented by Newcastle Heraldand Newcastle Permanent will be held on December 14 in King Edward Park. The fun starts at 5:30pm with free amusement rides and food vans.

Christmas Carols in Lambton Park 

Sunday 16 December 2018

This Christmas, come and have a great night out at Lambton Park. There’ll be a big fair atmosphere from 5pm onwards, and all your favourite carols (and even some great new ones) will kick off at 7pm. From 5pm there’ll be stalls and activities… everything from jumping castles to balloon animals and all types of food. Some of these are free, and others carry a ride-fee. The carols will kick off at about 7pm from the front. There’ll be a range of old favourites that you can sing along to, or just sit back and enjoy the performance with friends. They’ll end the night with fireworks at about 9pm.

Northlakes Salvos Community Carols at Macquarie College

Sunday 16 December 2018

The Northlakes Salvos Community Carols are back for 2018. Join them on Sunday 16th December for free rides, amusements & family fun. Bring your family, picnic rugs & your best singing voices. For 16 years now Northlakes Salvos Community Carols has grown to become a significant event, with 2017 seeing an attendance of over 3000 people.

Wests New Lambton Christmas Pantomime 

Sunday 16 December 2018
Celebrate the Christmas season with a pantomime: Aladdin & His Magic Lamp This pantomime brings to life the story of Aladdin & the Magic Lamp with a few quirky characters promising lots of fun, laughs and entertainment for the whole family. Each child 12 years & under receives a kid’s fun bag.

Carols by the Beach 

Sunday 23 December 2018
Enjoy Christmas carols by the beach. The music-filled, family-friendly holiday event of the year is here again! Join the local community beachside at Empire Park for Carols by the Beach, an evening of vibrant summer festivities. There’ll be live carols to sing along to, fun activities for kids, a dazzling fireworks display and maybe even a visit from Santa Claus himself.

If you know of other Christmas  events that aren’t listed on the website then submit it via the Add an Event link

Make sure that you don’t miss any of the other fun and family-friendly Christmas events in Newcastle and the Hunter, visit the Newy with Kids Guide to Christmas.