Where is it: Queen Street Mall and parading through to King George Square
What's it all about: A wonderful Christmas-themed parade of dancing, music and even reindeers!
How can I join in: Get in to the mall and save your spot along the route early as this parade is very popular - then wait and enjoy the show!
Tell me more: A fun family tradition here in Brisbane, this parade will get you right into the Christmas spirit with lots of performers dancing and singing their way through the Queen Street Mall! It runs nightly from 7pm in the lead up to Christmas. Spectators line the path of the parade - if you plan ahead you may be able to book a prime seat at one of the many restaurants along the route and take in this amazing show! The highlight (of course) is Santa! Join on to the end of the march as it passes and weave on through the mall and through to King George Square, just in time for the amazing City Hall Light Spectacular! :
Where is it: King George Square, Brisbane City What's it all about: It's a short movie projected onto the outside City Hall!
How can I join in: Every 15 minutes they show the same little story - so just roll on up to King George Square any time after 7:30pm in the lead-up to Christmas to join in the fun of Christmas in the City!
Tell me more: The City Hall Lights Spectacular is a real spectacle! It’s such a nice way to end your night after watching the wonderful Christmas Parade through Queen Street Mall - you can join in behind the parade for a fun march down to King George Square, or just roll on up at your own leisure to see this fun little animated movie! The movie is told specifically for Brisbane - composed to be projected directly onto our own City Hall and is always really engaging and great for all ages! It's only a short film - only 7 or 8 minutes long and starts every 15 minutes so there's no need to worry if you turn up half way through! Definitely one of the must see Christmas events in the city!
Where is it: 168 Fernberg Road, Paddington
What's it all about: Queensland’s historic Government House and gardens opens its gates to the public to share in their Christmas lights display!
How can I join in: Roll on up between 7 and 8pm every night between 8 - 12 December to see the beautiful gardens and light display!
Tell me more: The heritage-listed Government House (or sometimes known as Fernberg) - the official residence of the Governor of Queensland - is a beautiful building with magnificent gardens with only opens its doors to the public on a few occasions each year. One of those occasions happens to be in the lead up to Christmas so that it can show off its very impressive Christmas lights display, covering the house itself and lots more lights throughout the gardens! There's plenty of room to wander (or for the kids to run) about in the gardens and take in this beautiful piece of Queensland heritage and wonderful light display!
Where is it: Spectacle Gardens, Roma Street Parklands What's it all about: Fun activities and a beautiful light display for Christmas!
How can I join in: Free to visit, so head along every night in the lead up to Christmas! The gardens open from 6:30pm and its bound to be popular!
Tell me more: Brisbane city is the perfect place to build up a little Christmas cheer! There are so many great events to get us all into the Christmas spirit, and this one is right up there with the best! Every night at 6:30pm leading up to Christmas, the switch is on for thousands of lights in the Spectacle Garden which transforms it into a magical and mystical forest. Wander through at your own pace and soak it all up - it really is beautiful and you feel like you are in another world! Due to its popularity, patrons are sent through in waves, which means that although you may have to wait to get in, you will have less crowding inside which makes even more enjoyable. There are also other activities on at Roma St Parklands for the kids - from making your own bamboo lanterns and movies in the parklands at select times - check the website for more details! This really is a very impressive lightshow and it's well worth the effort to get along to experience it for yourself!
Where is it: 3/855 Stanley Street, Woolloongabba
Why we love it: Authentic Italian meals in a cosy and family friendly setting!
Tell me more: Already a fantastic choice for a yummy Italian dinner, Ristorante La Famiglia has now opened its doors for weekday lunches! They offer a fantastic range of lighter meals, perfect for lunch and truly authentic flavours of yummy breads, fresh ingredients, perfect pastas and irresistible pastries! The restaurant has a wonderful and welcoming vibe – neatly presented and cosy, and the owners are always friendly! They even stock a few Italian staples for sale! We can’t wait to visit again!
Where is it: 8 Charles Chauvel Dr, Harrisville QLD 4307
What's it all about: It’s Queensland’s largest camel dairy and it’s open to the public for tours, rides, shopping or even just a relaxing cuppa in the country!
Tell me more: We absolutely loved our visit to Summer Land Camels – the camels are such gentle but impressive animals and the calves are so cute! This working camel farm and dairy is wonderfully presented and accessible for visitors and is a fantastic opportunity for us city-dwellers to experience rural life without venturing too far away from our creature comforts!
Australia has the world’s largest population of non-domesticated camels – mostly descended from the camel caravans that were so important to the exploration of our dry continent many years ago. These camels roam the outback in huge numbers and sometimes damage our native environment and until recently, their use as farm animals has been relatively overlooked. Summer Land Camels now farms many of these camels for their fantastic dairy products – both for consumption and for the production of a wonderful range of skincare and washing products!
Summer Land Camels focus on the ethical and sustainable farming of these wonderful animals – the camels roam quite freely in their surrounds and are friendly too, always keen to be hand-fed or patted! Camel specialists are always on hand to ensure that the camels are well taken care of and the dairy has been developed with the animals in mind so as not to put them under any undue stress. And it’s not just the animals that are looked after, the farming techniques applied at Summer Land look after the land as well, which we imagine keeps the camels happier as well!
The camels are really impressive to look at and they can be ridden too – and although they can make some funny noises they are really calm! We took a leisurely guided ride around the dairy which is a fantastic way to get to know these wonderful animals, as well as have a little look around the facilities here at Summer Land! For a more detailed look around, guided tours operate every day (except Saturday) to give you an insight into the world's largest wild camel training centre, dairy operation, cheese, gelato and skincare production facilities.
The Homestead Café and Store provides lovely light meals, snacks and drinks as well as stocking the full range of camel dairy and skincare products, as well as a few camel souvenirs! And be sure to try out the camel milk gelato – it comes in a range of flavours and it’s so yummy!
A visit to Summer Land Camels is a fantastic way not only to experience this unique farming practice, but also to experience rural life in general – a great way to maintain the connection between the city and country!
Amenities: Even though this is a working farm, it is a fantastic facility and the amenities at the Homestead Café and Store are great!Parking: Plenty of room for parking!
Access: Good access throughout, although this is a working facility!
Best for: Kids and adults would love a visit to see the camels! Their Little Humpty’s days are targeted for the little guys, although parents might find the camel calves too cute to resist!
Summary: We loved our visit to Summer Land Camels and although it may not be the typical farm experience it is definitely a must visit for camel lovers or for those wanting a taste of rural life!
Where is it: 146 Maundrell Terrace, Chermside West
What's it all about: Really impressive Christmas lights and entertainment to bring out the Christmas spirit in you!
How can I join in: Just roll on up to enjoy some great hospitality, music and amazing lights! You can grab a coffee or a snack too!
Tell me more: Every night in December leading up to Christmas, you are welcome to head along to St Gerard Majella's church to enjoy their really impressive Christmas lights and Christmas Festival! A huge Christmas tree of lights is the centrepiece of the light display and it really needs to be seen to be appreciated! It's not just the lights, every night there will be a different band or choir performing, you will be able to grab a coffee or snack or take a happy snap with Santa! Some beautiful ornaments can be purchased at the on-site Christmas store as well. Definitely worth a visit on anyone's Christmas light tour!
Where is it: The Greek Club, 29 Edmondstone Street, West End
What's it all about: A fantastic and brand new restaurant serving only the best in contemporary Greek cuisine! Opens from 21 June 2018!
Tell me more: Acclaimed chef David Tsirekas is well known not only here in Australia but also around the world as the one of the premier Greek chefs! Now we here in Brisbane can experience the fantastic Hellenic flavours that only David Tsirekas can provide at Nostimo, part of the Greek Club and their fabulous $3M makeover!
We've been along to a special pre-opening sample of some of the offerings from Nostimo as well as a masterclass experience with the head chef and well, what can we say? The food (and atmosphere) here is definitely not as you would expect of Brisbane, tasting and feeling like you that wonderful part of southern Europe that is Greece! The meals are meticulously prepared and presented and each dish tells its own little story of its local origins and what it means to Greek culture. And the restaurant will be more than happy to suggest the perfect Greek wine to accompany your meal!
You really do need to get in and try for yourselves as I am sure that our words would not do this amazing restaurant justice! (Plus the desserts are spectacular)!!
Where is it: 180 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington
Why we love it: Beautiful breakfasts in a lovely family-friendly setting and fantastic views!
Tell me more: If you like to enjoy your breakfast (and all day, if you like!) with a view, then Chapter IV Café might be the place for you! Situated in the leafy and hilly suburb of Paddington, this lovely café, housed in a traditional Queenslander-style store, is a fantastic place to dine! The street-level entry quickly disappears as you work your way to the back deck balcony which boasts fantastic views of the city inner city suburbs!
But don’t be fooled into thinking that Chapter IV is all about the view – the real reason that people love it here is the fantastic food and service. Choose from a range of all-day breakfasts – from a light starter to the very satisfying big breakfast – there’s something here for all tastes! A typical range and of coffee, teas and chai and more complements the breakfast and are superbly presented and taste great! The lunch and dessert menus again look fantastic and Chapter IV is licensed, too!
Chapter IV is a wonderful and welcoming café in a lovely part of Brisbane and it’s a great place for families – there’s even a children’s play area! Open every day from 7:00am to 2:30 pm.
Where is it: Creative Industries Precinct, Gona Parade, Kelvin Grove
What's it all about: A fantastic collection of performances and exhibitions put together by the creative minds of Queensland University of Technology!
Tell me more: There are so many amazing performances here at Createx to experience that it’s hard to know where to start! Over 5 days QUT’s Creative Industries present a huge number of different experiences that will both open your mind and entertain. From panel discussions to fashion, live music and theatre – CreateX will have something for everyone!
We went along to a superbly imaginative and interactive dance exhibition called ‘Inferno’, which was simply amazing! Attendees could choose between a participant or spectator entry – with the participants being strapped into a robotic exoskeleton! What follows is an incredible display of music, lighting and atmosphere as the participants surrender to the movement of the exoskeleton – such an amazing experience!
CreateX is extremely well presented, professional and most of all entertaining, and is a wonderful part of Brisbane’s thriving cultural scene!
Brisbane Family Explorers