The “Christmas Spirit” is something that lies in all of us. Is it the gifts, the trees and lights that makes it stir? No – it’s the celebratory feeling that fills the Gold Coast air.
The Gold Coast has always been known as a place that knows how to party. Famous for its beaches, surf and beautiful hinterland, it’s also well-loved for its nightlife, music scene, family-fun days and exciting theme parks. Fun is the number one priority on the Gold Coast, therefore there’s no better place to spend Christmas.
Wondering how to make the most of the Gold Coast Christmas celebrations in 2017? Here, we give you our tips.
Step 1: Gather the troops
The first point to ensuring you celebrate Christmas the right way is to gather your favourite people in one location and start making plans. The Coolangatta Hotel is the perfect place for this, offering a large outdoor beach bar, great live music, and excellent food from The Eatery. Discuss who’s going away and who’s staying put, who’s doing what for Christmas lunch, and what kind of celebrations you’re looking for. Do some research before you meet and list a range of ideas for your December calendar. You’re about to get busy so the sooner you lock in time with your loved ones the better.
Step 2: Fill the calendar
To stay on track with the different activities going on, mark things on your calendar. Before you do though, block out two days a week that you must keep clear. Christmas celebrations are only fun if you don’t burn yourself out doing them, so allow yourself some guaranteed downtime and say yes to everything else.
Activities you might enjoy include:
While the lineup for this year’s Mayor’s Christmas Carols on Saturday 2 December is yet to be announced, it’s sure to be a great one. Last year’s Carols were headed by two-time Aria award winner Kate Ceberano and were supported by the Craig Martin Band, The Koi Boys and Simone Nicole. A night for all ages, it’s the perfect way to kick off the Christmas celebrations. Located in Broadwater Parklands, Southport.
If you can’t make the Mayor’s Christmas Carols, be sure to make it to Coolangatta’s Queen Elizabeth Park on Sunday 10 December. Presented by The Strand Coolangatta, you can sing along to your favourite Christmas Carols and be entertained as skydiving Santa arrives in style. The Coolangatta Christmas Markets will be running from 5pm, as will a range of food trucks for a delicious bite to eat.
Nothing beats the feeling of snow falling from a midsummer night sky, and that’s exactly what you get at Movieworld’s White Christmas. Guests can witness the wonder and excitement of the most enchanting Christmas parade nightly from 8pm and see all their favourite characters come to life in a spectacular display of colour and light. From 6pm, the Main Street is ablaze with more than 1 million fairy lights while angel ice sculptures fill Bat Alley. There’ll be Christmas storytime, a magical fairy garden, Mrs Claus’s Kitchen and a chance to take some awkward family photos. Of course, all the rides are going too!
From 13th to 24th December, experience the sun-drenched magic of a quintessentially Australian Christmas in Surfers Paradise. Santa dons boardies and arrives in a surfboat sleigh drawn by kangaroos to spread festive cheer every day. There’s free, family entertainment including Santa’s grotto for the ever important Christmas family photo, and on Saturday 23rd it culminates with the beloved Carols on the Beach.
The Sanctuary Cove Christmas Carnival features nine whimsical days of entertainment and free festivities, including pony rides, train rides, face painting, jumping castles, animal farms, roving entertainers, and open air movie nights. Running from 13th to 20th December, families can bring their picnic baskets and enjoy a night’s entertainment under the stars.
Step 3: Balance the festivities
Christmas is a time for indulging, but it doesn’t have to be a time for stacking on the kilos. Use the extra festivities to spur you into action and add ten minutes to your walk each morning, get up early and do a quick workout in Base Gym Active, or join one of the many fitness classes dotted all over the Gold Coast as part of the Gold Coast City Council’s Active and Healthy Program.
Step 4: Make plans for lunch
Let’s face it, lunch is the most important aspect of Christmas Day, whether you’re a lobster and prawns kind of person or a turkey and cranberry sauce kind of person. The sooner you plan for your Christmas lunch, the better it’s going to be.
If you’re headed out for Christmas lunch, an adults only option is available at Room81 at Sofitel, Oyster Bar at Sheraton and Vanitas at Palazzo Versace. For something more family friendly in which Santa comes to visit, try Santa’s Workshop at Sofitel, QT Ballroom or The Pavilion at The Star. More locally you can enjoy lunch at The Eatery or Delizioso at The Strand, home to a four course menu with generous portions.
If you prefer to keep things simple, pop into Aldi at The Strand and grab everything you need for a picnic at Coolangatta or Greenmount Beach or Rainbow Bay. Nothing says Aussie Christmas quite like a picnic lunch at the beach.
Step 5: Be rich in Aussie tradition
The Japanese will get stuck into KFC on Christmas Day, Colombians will place candles and paper lanterns in their windows, balconies, streets and squares, and Norwegians will hide their brooms on Christmas Eve. Most nations around the world have their own traditions, so as you’re in Australia, why not do something quintessentially Aussie? Play a game of beach cricket, throw some prawns on the BBQ, surf in a Santa hat, and drink VB instead of eggnog. And when it’s all done, regather the friends at The Cooly Hotel and tell them all about your festive adventures. No doubt you’ll have some stories to tell.