By Kasia Ozog
Published: Thursday, December 2, 2021
Updated: December 13, 2021 at 12:13 pm
The festive season truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Decorations adorn the streets and houses, and people are getting into the holiday spirit.
Forget the famous Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas – we have 12 events that will get even the biggest Christmas Grinch into the festive spirit.
1. 2021 Christmas Riverbank Lights Display
A South Australian tradition and family favourite, the Christmas Riverbank Lights Display is back after being cancelled last year due to COVID-19.
Formerly known as the West End Brewery Christmas Riverbank Display, the dazzling exhibit features a range of oversized Christmas decorations and lights.
This year, visitors will need to pre-book free tickets to one of four sessions each night until the event ends on 25 December. Free parking is available at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre
2.Lights of Lobethal Festival
It’s not the festive season without taking a scenic drive to Lobethal and being dazzled by the largest community lights display in the southern hemisphere.
An annual tradition for more than 60 years, the festival also features a living nativity scene, a pageant night and live entertainment. Proudly sponsored by RAA this year, the event runs from 12 to 31 December.
3. Santa’s Wonderland
Adelaide Showground, Wayville
Santa’s Wonderland transforms the Adelaide Showground into a world where the North Pole and Disneyland collide.
This Christmas spectacular includes three hours of unlimited rides, ice skating and tobogganing, jumping castles, an activity trail, show bags and live stage shows. It even includes a visit from Santa himself. There are three sessions available per day. RAA members save 10% on tickets at Santa’s Wonderland.
4. Christmas tree displays
Adelaide city centre
Rivalling the world-famous tree at New York’s Rockerfeller Center, Adelaide boasts some impressive Christmas trees of its own. Perhaps the most well-known is in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga. At 25 metres tall, this Christmas tree is a spectacular sight at night.
The tree is illuminated from 8.30pm to 2.30am each night until 4 January. Here’s a tip: bring a towel or spare clothes for the kids so they can splash around in the fountains in Victoria Square.
If you prefer a quieter setting, there’s a beautiful Christmas tree on display in the State Library’s Mortlock Chamber where you can get cozy and enjoy Christmas books in the reading nook. It’s on display Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm until 4 January. Entry is free. We think both trees are must-see.
Light it up
Victoria Square’s Christmas tree features this many LED lights.
5. Ninth Avenue, St Peters Christmas lights display
There’s something to be said about a community that comes together to bring joy to others and continue an Adelaide tradition.
The residents of Ninth Ave at St Peters have done exactly that with their incredible annual Christmas lights display.
Many beautiful homes along Ninth Ave are adorned with dazzling lights and interactive displays to delight visitors who come from near and far. The free event runs until 1 January.
6. Cherry Picking
It just isn’t Christmas without delicious, juicy cherries! And what better way to enjoy them than by eating ones you’ve picked yourself.
The Cherry Growers Association of South Australia has kindly created a Fresh Cherries app and a downloadable map with locations where you can pick cherries or buy directly from the grower. Cherry season runs until mid-January.
7. Christmas Tree Farm Chandlers Hill
If you’ve ever considered a real Christmas tree to decorate your living room, we have good news.
Located about 30 minutes from the city, Christmas Tree Farm Chandlers Hill is there to help you get into the Christmas spirit with 40 acres of Monetery Pines. There’s also an opportunity to get a photo with the farm’s reindeer mascot, enjoy a tractor ride or visit the petting zoo.
If you’re looking for any last-minute presents, visit the gift shop. Christmas trees are available until 23 December.
8. Magic Cave and Santaland
Delighting children for decades, the Magic Cave is synonymous with Christmas in Adelaide.
Calling David Jones, Rundle Mall home in more recent times, visitors can have a photo with Santa, enjoy festive displays, ride a mini carousel, sit atop rocking horse Nipper, and have a laugh looking at themselves in distorted mirrors.
In Myer’s city store, visitors can board the interactive Santaland Express Train to Santaland where they can meet with Santa. They can get a photo with him, share their Christmas wish list or drop off a letter. It’s also an opportunity to check who’s on the naughty or nice list. Bookings are essential.
9. Victor Harbor Christmas Pageant
More than 20 floats from local schools and businesses across the Fleurieu Peninsula will take part in this year’s Victor Harbor Christmas Pageant.
Organised by the Rotary Club of Victor Harbor, the pageant is held at the Victor Harbor Harness Racing Club on Saturday, 11 December.
Starting at 5.30pm, the event is immediately followed by Carols by the Sea at the same venue. Bookings are essential, and details can be found by visiting the Rotary Club of Victor Harbor’s Facebook page.
10. Santarilla Trail
Adelaide Hills and surrounding area
If a road trip through the Adelaide Hills is on the cards this festive season, be on the hunt for the Santa sculptures that will appear on properties from Chandlers Hill to Strathalbyn and beyond.
Santarilla is a treasure hunt organised by locals, which has been running for five years with support from the Kangarilla Progress Association.
Visit the Santarilla Facebook page for a detailed map of locations. Anyone who spots a Santa is encouraged to post a photo to the Facebook page. Santas can often be spotted until early January.
11. SeaLink Carols by Candlelight
Traditionally held in Elder Park, this year, the SeaLink Carols by Candlelight will be televised on 7Two and 7Plus on Sunday, 12 December at 7pm.
Guest stars – including singers Samantha Jade, Rhonda Burchmore and Matt Goss – will spread virtual Christmas cheer and perform much-loved carols and songs.
The event supports Novita with viewers encouraged to make donations to the charity via the carols’ website.
12. Loxton Lights Festival
Set in the beautiful Riverland, about three hours’ drive from Adelaide, the Loxton Lights Festival has been bringing festive cheer to locals and visitors alike for 30 years.
A huge Christmas tree illuminates the heart of the town and hundreds of homes dazzle with twinkling lights, Christmas scenes and paintings. The event runs until 31 December.