Darwin Christmas and December January School holidays 2023-2024

Darwin Christmas 2023

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Are you ready for a Darwin Christmas 2023? and Darwin December and January School holidays 2023-24 break is almost here too! School holidays will start on Friday 15th December (for Darwin public schools, private and independent school holidays may be slightly different – please check with your school).  Students will return to school for Term 1 2024 on Tuesday 30th January (public schools).

Darwin Family Life has rounded up some of the fantastic options that are free (or affordable) activities to do with your kids this Darwin Christmas 2023 and the December January School holidays.

Darwin Christmas 2023

Christmas at Darwin Waterfront!

Christmas Cascades Liquid Light Show
FREE FAMILY SHOWS – Kicking off from 14th of December to 24th December is the next Liquid Light show in Christmas theme! Liquid Light will transform the Darwin Waterfront recreation lagoon into a showcase of water, light and sound! Three shows each night 7:30pm, 8pm and 8:30pm. The Waterfront Peninsula Lawns are the perfect spot for families wanting to roll out a picnic blanket & grab a takeaway from one of their restaurants. Alternatively, the boardwalk surrounding the Darwin Convention Centre offers close-up views of the show, and the Sea Wall provides a great undercover option if we’re getting a bit of rain! Check out the map on the website here to see the primary viewing areas and all the details!
Thursdays in December 
Enjoy dinner, carols and Christmas Spirit every Thursday, from 5:30pm – 7pm with live music from Darwin City Brass Band and snap a picture with Santa at his surf shack.
Every Thursday 7, 14 & 21 December | 5.30pm – 7pm | Waterfront |
Fridays in December 
Santa has traded his sleigh in for a Jet Ski, head to Stokes Hill Wharf at 5:30pm every Friday in December to watch Santa’s Jet Ski show.
Every Friday 1, 8 & 15 December | 5.30pm – 7pm | at Stokes Hill Wharf
Saturdays in December 
Santa will also be live at the Shack on Saturdays with Top End Critters! Meet some Territory animals with Top End Critters and get a truly unique Christmas photo with Santa in his Surf Shack.
Every Saturday 9 & 16 December | 5.30pm – 7pm | Waterfront
Sundays in December
Santa will be live at the Stokes hill wharf. Every Sunday at Stokes Hill Wharf 5:30pm – 7pm meet Santa and his friendly animals! Unfortunately you won’t be able to take the critters home, but you can get a balloon animal from the amazing Sonia!
Every Sunday 10 & 17 December | 5.30pm – 7pm | Stokes Hill Wharf
Taminimin Community Library – End of year Christmas party – 14th December
FREE for all Litchfield residents and library families, they have a sleigh-full of fun planned, so we can all celebrate a great year for the library. Christmas themed stories, songs and dancing – have you ever done the Reindeer Hokey Pokey? Maybe its time…Toys and play for children, toddlers and babies, thanks to @Smile-A-Mile Toy Library and Fun Bus. Glitter tattoos and elvish mischief to be had with @Tip Top Circus Entertainment. And Santa will again be arriving on a fire truck, thanks to our rural Fire Brigade volunteers. Plenty of parking is available out the back of the Village Green right next to the Hall. They will be undercover in the Village Hall, from 10:30am-12:30pm on Thursday 14th December.
Darwin Christmas 2023

Darwin Christmas 2023 Pool Party – Monday 18th December

Splash and dance at the Darwin Waterfront Wave Lagoon Monday, 18 December. Dance to groovy Christmas Beats, enjoy kids’ activities and keep your eyes peeled for the jolly-man himself!

A valid wave pool ticket is required to enter the Christmas Pool Party. CLICK HERE to book your ticket.

Monday 18 December | 10am – 1pm | 5 – 17 years old | Wave Lagoon

For the full Waterfront Christmas program head here 

Kids Holiday Sewing Club – 18th and 20th December

Get your kids into the festive spirit with the Holiday Sewing Club at Darwin Adult Short Courses! This Christmas-themed sewing class is perfect for children ages 10 and up (but please contact them if you have a keen younger child as we may still be able to accept them!) and includes materials and tools for the class. Kids will have the opportunity to make two different projects, one larger and one smaller, with the guidance of our professional instructor, Christine. Don’t celebrate Christmas? No problem! Our projects can be adjusted to fit any holiday or non-holiday theme. Sign up now for this unforgettable and creative experience that will equip your child with the basic skills they need to pursue sewing as a life-long interest! Held at Darwin Adult Short Courses from 10am to 12pm. Book in here

Kids’ Laser-Cut Christmas Craft – 18th, 19th and 20th December

Get your kids into the festive spirit with our Kids’ Laser-Cut Christmas Craft class, taught by the talented Sergei at Darwin Adult Short Courses. This 3-hour session will teach your children the basics of laser-cut art with a festive theme*. They’ll leave class with several small items or gifts for themselves or others. Book into as many sessions as you’d like, and give your kids the opportunity to unleash their creativity this holiday season. *We understand that some families do not observe Christmas, so children will be provided with alternative options as needed. Book in here

School holidays Pilates with Anna – 18th, 19th and 20th December

Looking for a fun and engaging way to get your kids moving? Look no further than Darwin Adult Short Course’s Pilates for Kids with Anna! Children aged 6 and up can enjoy 45 minutes of Pilates with a friendly and experienced tutor. Anna will guide your kids through fun and functional movements that will help them build strength and flexibility. Book as many sessions as you want and come dressed in athletic clothes with a towel, water bottle and socks. Sessions will be held indoors, unless the weather is cool enough for an outdoor class. Sign up today and let’s get moving! Mats, blocks, bands and other necessary equipment will be provided in each class. From 4pm at Darwin Adult Short Courses in Ludmilla. Book in here

Santa live at the Shack – countdown to XMAS!

Only 5 days until Christmas! If you haven’t told Santa what’s on your wish list you can head to the Surf Shack at the Darwin Waterfront and make sure you’re on the nice list from 6.30pm – 8pm and say hello to the Jolly-man himself. Santa will be at the Shack 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23 December | 6.30m – 8pm | Waterfront

Santa’s Village in the Mall and Fun Bus
Step into Santa’s Village and experience the wonder of a Darwin Christmas. This is a great free and family friendly activity open to everyone to enjoy! And did you know, everyone is welcome to come and take their own personal photos, for FREE, with Santa. Bring the kids and experience the magic of Christmas. City of Darwin’s Fun Bus will also be there with interactive activities for the kids! Santa’s Village will be set up in the Galleria Smith Street Mall 9:30am to 1pm. Open daily Monday – Saturday until Thursday 21st December.
Just Stitchin School holiday workshops
Just stichin
City of Palmerston Library Christmas program
Head into the Palmerston library for some Christmas fun. All sessions start at 10:00am. Suitable for ages 6-11 years.
18th Dec – Movie Madness- Elf
19th Dec –  Auslan Storytime
20th Dec – DIY Christmas Decorations
21st Dec – Card Making

Darwin Christmas 2023 Scavenger Hunt

Attention all Darwin residents: Santa has lost his reindeer and needs the kids help to find them! To celebrate this year’s festive season, City of Darwin has partnered with Storytowns Audio Tours to bring you an immersive podcast-style Christmas Scavenger Hunt. Featuring audio clues from Santa himself, kids and families can take an adventure through Darwin suburbs as they follow Santa’s clues, looking for his lost reindeer at local sites and businesses. Listen to the clues and explore where you think the reindeer will be. Join in the fun to win some prizes! Find out how to join the Scavenger Hunt here

City of Darwin libraries events

Christmas Family Story time – 10am-10:30am at Casuarina library on 9th and 16th December (limited numbers for these events. Tickets available 30mins prior to event).

Story time with Santa

11th Dec – 10am – Casuarina Library
12th Dec – 10am – Nightcliff Library
13th Dec – 10 am – City Library
14th Dec – 10am – Karama Library
Christmas Lego – 15th December
Create your own Christmas LEGO masterpiece and display them in our library for everyone to see. From 3:30-4:30pm at Casuarina Library.

New Years at Darwin Waterfront – 31st December

New Year’s Eve at Darwin Waterfront is set to be a night of family festivities with a packed line-up of local talent, two firework displays, a neon disco and a brand-new show from Liquid Light show.
Kicking off from 5pm, the free family-friendly event will feature local musicians The Corbs, Liv Heyer, Melanie Gray Duo, Bob Fleet Orchestra, Stereobate, Viny Candy and Max Fredericks, before the night rounds out with DJ Patty Holiday from 9pm until midnight.
Two spectacular firework displays will light up the sky at 9pm and midnight, accompanied by three showcases of a New Year’s themed Liquid Light, and neon fairies will excite and entertain the kids throughout the evening. For the full New Years program head here
Made Basketball Academy – December and January
Get active and healthy with the MADE basketball academy with experienced and professional coaches. For beginners to intermediate basketball lovers that want some consistent access to great coaching and playing opportunities. Every Wednesday in December and January from 4:45pm to 5:45pm. Entry $5, held at Chrisp Street Oval Basketball Court Rapid Creek.

January School Holidays 2024


Top End Multi Sports – January School holidays program

TEMS have their popular sports holiday program back for one week in January holidays break. For the best holiday fun, book your kids into their holiday program where they have a variety of sports and activities to keep your kids entertained! Whether your kid is a beginner or expert player, their school holiday program provides for all levels of ability. They can expect lots of fun, learn a skill and much more.

Program consists of: Soccer, tennis, volleyball, swimming, movie time and more. Daily activities have flexibility to suit children. For ages 5+ 8am to 4pm (half days and earlier starts available on request)

Monday 22nd to Thursday 25th January (week 1), Cost is $240 for 4 days or $75 per day

Enrolments are now open and filling up fast! For more information and to enrol, click here.

Alphonsus music studio

Music School Holiday Program – January

Alphonsus Music Studio are excited to be able to offer various musical programs for children from 0 to 12 years old these upcoming January holidays.

Start your very young children with a 4-week Kindermusik Class from Foundations to Level 4 (0 to 6 years). Sing, bond, move and grow with your young children with this internationally respected music and movement curriculum
For Older children – pick a new drumming skill by joining our introductory Djembe and African Drumming class (for 4 weeks)
If Drumming is not for your children, why not learn and make music with our tuned and untuned percussion? Explore the elements of music with other children with meaningful fun musical activities with our Musicking Children (Holiday Edition)
For more information and registration, visit the website here Register your interest today! Class will only be open based on demand and availability!

Bees Creek Horse riding

Bees Creek Horse Riding

‘Own a Pony’ School Holiday program at Bees Creek Horse Riding! Including everything horsey! Horsemanship – grooming feeding horse care, quizes, craft and riding lessons. No experience necessary, suitable for ages 7 to 13yrs.

Dates: Tuesday 16th, Wednesday 17th and Friday 19th January – 8am to 3pm each day.

Cost is $220 per day

Places are limited – to book contact Kate: beescreekhorseriding@outlook.com or 0478 115 814

FREEZE Skate – 10th January 

This FREE skating session is exclusively for teenagers. Bring your friends! Bookings essential as places are limited. Ages 12-20 only from 5:30-7pm at Darwin Ice Skating Centre. Snack will be provided. Don’t forget your socks!! Registrations will open early January – no advanced registrations available. More info here

clubhouse territory

Clubhouse Territory – All abilities fun day – 18th January

Clubhouse Territory is proud to present their popular Be-Inclusive Games – Community Day. A FREE Community Fun Day for all ages! Come and be part of an activity-loaded day on Thursday 18th January from 9am to 1pm at the Palmerston Recreation Center. There will be over 10 different sports and activities, come-n-try sessions, games & clinics, & plenty of children’s entertainment.
So, come and join us at the Palmerston Recreation Centre for our first Be-Inclusive Games of 2024!

Lego Club in January

Create your own Christmas LEGO masterpiece and display them in our library for everyone to see. 12th January 3:30-4:30pm at Casuarina Library and 17th January 10:30-11:30am at Nightcliff Library.

For all ages. Children 10 years and under are to be accompanied by an adult. No need to book, just come along. LEGO supplied.

Geektacular 2024 – 20th January

MEET | CONNECT | PLAY Geektacular is returning in 2024 with all the usual FREE geeky fun, created by fans for fans!

Created by young people for young people, Geektacular is a space to experience and celebrate YOU! This 100% free event includes: A minimarket of local young creatives, Cosplay competition, The GG Social Club Board Games Arena, Dungeons & Dragons, Stepping Stones art exhibition, Next Tier Gaming & Esports, Art workshops, Manga + graphic novel reading zone, Karaoke
– Cooking workshops and so much MORE! Geektacular is recommended for young people 15-25 years of age and will be held on Saturday 20th January, 2-6pm at Casuarina Library (17 Bradshaw Terrace, Casuarina) STAY TUNED to the LAUNCH Darwin Instagram & Facebook for updates.

leanyer recreation park

Leanyer Recreation Park

Another great option to keep the kids busy and cool these Darwin December and January School holidays is to visit Leanyer Recreation park. It is a FREE water recreation park located at 215 Vanderlin Drive Leanyer. The Park consists of dry and wet recreational areas. The wet area includes a swimming lagoon (shallow in many areas – great for toddlers and young children), three massive water slides for the older kids.  There are large, grassed areas for play, BBQ’s, a dry playground, skate park and basketball courts. The Park has lots of shaded areas including over the pool, the wet play area, the skate park and the grassed areas. There are toilets and change room facilities. 
Opening hours during the school holidays are:
Park from 9am
Wet Play & Lagoon from 10am
Slides from 11am
Park closes at 6pm
There are also FREE events and activities happening at Leanyer Recreation Park over the school holidays. Check dates and event details here

City of Darwin – January program

From DIY playdough, movies, sports, Fun in the Park activities and so much more. Check out their full program and dates here

Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory – Lego Minifigures hunt

LEGO® minifigures are taking over MAGNT so be on the lookout as you explore the galleries and peer into exhibition cases. Can you find some? Can you find them all? Challenge yourself and your friends to a LEGO® count and see who can spot the most! Don’t forget to capture your discoveries with photos and share your findings using the hashtag #MAGNTlegohunt.

This is a free activity for families and children of all ages across the December and January school holidays.  Suitable for all ages | Free | Children under 15 years must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Musuem is located at 19 Conacher St. Entry to the MAGNT is free and they are open Tuesday to Saturday 10am till 4pm and Sundays open 10am till 5pm. Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.

Office of Youth Affairs

The Office of Youth affairs compile calendars including programs and activities during school holidays for young people (most aged 12-25yrs). Check out their calendars:
the playshack

Playshack Palmerston

Why not head into the Playshack located in the Hub complex Palmerston (Shop 7, 3 Maluka Drive). Let the kids run and burn their energy on the massive indoor playground and you can enjoy a coffee or drink and a snacks available for purchase. Their hours during school holidays will be 8.30 am till 2 pm Monday – Friday, plus the usual weekend times of Saturday 9 am till 2pm and Sunday 10 am till 4 pm. Entry is only $9.90 per child and bubs under 1 are free with an older sibling (or $3). Please remember your socks!

Palmerston Water Park

Palmerston Water Park is the second water park in Darwin. It also FREE and open seven days a week. Located at Cnr University Ave and Roystonea Ave (access via Roystonea Ave). The water park includes a 14 metre high – 100 metre long – six-line racer water slide, a wet play area for families and toddlers featuring sprays, water curtains and a shallow wading pool. Another wet play area for teenagers featuring more active water cannons, buckets and high intensity interactive play, a café, toilets and change room facilities, open grassed play area with BBQs, shaded areas and a skate park. Closed Christmas Day.
Opening hours during the school holidays are:
Park from 9am
Wet Play from 10am
Slides from 11am
Park closes at 6pm

The SHAK Youth Hub – at Sanderson Middle School

A drop in youth space for all young people with no registration required, a variety of activities, food and transportation home provided. Food and transport home provided. From 12pm most days of the school holidays till late. For 10-17yr olds. Sanderson Middle School is located at 60 Matthews Road Malak. View more details here

Palmerston Recreation Centre/Palmerston Youth Centre/Yspace

Drop in space for youth. Variety of activities include basketball and fun. Food will be provided. Transportation will be provided by Larrakia Nation. More details on activities here

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog and have a great Darwin Christmas 2023 and a safe and fun December and January School holidays.

Please leave a comment if you found this blog helpful and hit share with your friends on Facebook!

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