posted on 12 Nov 21 | by Explore Bendigo

It’s Time To Celebrate!

It’s been another big year of ups and downs, and there’s no better way to finish the year than with some Christmas cheer! Once again, Bendigo will come to life over the festive season with plenty happening including a visit from the big man himself, Santa Claus. Plus, there’s an awesome range of events, markets, end of year celebrations, experiences and more.

Check out our favourite things to see and do in the Bendigo region this festive season. 

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Christmas Shopping

If you haven’t already started, the time is now to get out their and start or perhaps finish your Christmas shopping. Some of our top picks including…

- Bath Lane precinct – this is an awesome place to start with a variety of boutique stores specialising gifts, homewares, clothing and all things magical for your little ones.

Bendigo Marketplace – your base for all the big brands buys all in one location and undercover. 

Uniquely Bendigo – available online or at the Bendigo Visitor Centre, you’ll find all your local produce, gifts and hampers with a touch of Bendigo.

- View Street – if you’re looking for something unique, a quirky treasure or a piece of art this is the perfect spot amongst the arts precinct.

Need more ideas? Check out Bendigo’s Dining & Shopping Guide for more inspiration or head to our Instagram page @BendigoEatDrinkShop. Remember when you buy local, you support local and keep dollars local.
 

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Lighting Up The Christmas Tree

Bendigo’s biggest Christmas Tree will be lit up from Friday evening at 8.45pm, December 3rd.

Taking pride of place at Charring Cross, it’s in the perfect spot for a family pic or selfie moment. Be sure to share the love by tagging us at #ExploreBendigo @ExploreBendigo on socials.

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Elf Academy

It’s official, Santa Claus has confirmed that the Elf Academy is returning to Central Deborah Gold Mine, December 16 – 23. This prestigious training facility is designed especially for Santa’s little helpers, providing them with all the skills they will need to join Santa’s renowned team. 

The surface of Central Deborah Gold Mine will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland where carols, baubles, reindeers and candy canes are all part of the festivities. Kids can join in a series of different craft activities, games, skills and challenges required to become a fully qualified Elf.

Recruits will learn how to care for a reindeer and other animals in Santa’s Stables, paint a tree ornament, create their own wrapping paper, prepare reindeer food, practice stacking presents and most importantly, prepare Santa for his trip around the world.
Best of all, your little ones will be the big guy, Santa Claus himself!
 

To find out more and secure your tickets, click here.
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Christmas Pop Up Shops

What better way to get your festive cheer on than decorating your home with all the must haves. If you’re looking for a Christmas tree, decorations, ornaments, candles, wreaths and more. 

The passionate team at Oliver Birch have their incredible pop up shop dedicated to all things Christmas related. 

Visit beautiful homeware and gift store Organise My… to check out their gorgeous Christmas décor taking pride of place in their shopfront.

Not to forget the beautiful in store displays at The PepperPot Bendigo and Mon Coeur with an amazing range of Christmas decorations and more available in store and waiting for you to browse.
 

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Let's Go On A Christmas Hunt

Join in the fun and spark your Christmas spirits by exploring all of Bendigo’s beautiful Christmas decorations, while collecting Augmented Reality reindeers, presents and Santa’s!

There will be 18 Augmented Reality Christmas elements hidden at 18 different spots around Bendigo. Collect 10 items to go into the draw to win an amazing Bendigo Experience voucher, redeemable at any of our awesome attractions such as Central Deborah Gold Mine or Bendigo Tramways - perfect to use over the festive season! 

Bendigo's unique Christmas Hunt will be running from December 3rd to January 6th 2022.

For more info, click here.
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Your Christmas Feast

Who doesn’t love all the festive food and drinks at Christmas and New Year’s?! It’s one of the best parts, sitting around the table, barbeque or pool enjoying a Christmas feast with loved one. You’ll find some of the best specialty stores, local produce and drinks right here on your doorstep. Plus, fresh is always best and you’re supporting local businesses and families. Our favourites include…

- For award-winning Christmas hams and meats, see the team at Flora Hill Quality Meats.

- For a great range of local Christmas meats, small good, salads, fresh fruit and vegetables, lollies and more, make your way to Festive Foods on Lyttle Eat Street, Saturday 4th December 10am - 2pm.

- For the freshest local and regional produce visit the Bendigo Community Farmers Market for their Twilight Market on Thursday 23rd December, from 3pm – 7pm at The Good Loaf, Bendigo Wholefoods and Edwards Providore.

- For all your drinking needs choose from local wines, craft beers and spirits at The Hop Supply Co.

- For sweet chocolaty treats of the Christmas variety and hampers, visit Indulge Fine Belgian Chocolates.

- For gorgeous boutique hampers, see the team at Percy & Percy.
 

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Check Out A Christmas Movie

They're an all-time favourite and no Christmas is complete without watching a Christmas movie or two, whether it's for your little ones and something a little more grown up.  Check out Star Cinema's programme showing:

A Boy Called Christmas - 25th November

Or if you know a movie lover, why not buy them the perfect gift of a gift voucher or membership to Star Cinema!

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Get Your Photo Taken With Santa

Santa is returning to the Bendigo Marketplace! From Saturday 27th November to Friday 24th December you can create your cherished family Christmas keepsake with a family photo with Santa. Online bookings are essential for all Santa photo sessions, so be sure to book your spot now.

From December 3rd, Santa and his sleigh will be on show at Hargreaves Mall. Check out the dates, times and more info here, bring your own camera and capture your very own family snap.

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Christmas Carols

Love 'em or hate 'em, the Rotary of Bendigo Community Christmas Carols are back on this year, Friday 19th December, from 6.30pm - 10.30pm. Join us at Rosalind Park for one of our favourite festive events of the year.

For more info, click here.