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Accessible Events for the Festive Season

The festive season is fast approaching and with it plenty of accessible events and activities to get you into the holiday spirit. Although we know there are so many events to get excited about, we couldn't put them all in this list. So we've narrowed down our locations to the state or territory capital city and listed a few event options in each.

Young girl with down syndrome holding a present at Christmas
Young girl with down syndrome holding a present at Christmas

Brisbane, Queensland

The Enchanted Garden

This December, between the 1st to the 23rd, Roma Street Parkland is set to welcome back Brisbane's largest interactive lighting display, The Enchanted Garden, for a spectacular new sensory experience.

The self-guided route takes around 30 minutes to complete, with 11 unique activations to visit within the diverse landscapes of Roma Street Parkland. The 6:30pm dusk session is recommended for younger children and those with specific sensory needs. How to book: You can book this event on Ticketek here.

When: 6.30pm to 9pm (last entry), 1st – 23rd December Where: 1 Parkland Boulevard, Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane Accessibility features: Wheelchair accessible, accessible parking, accessible bathrooms

Lott by Golden Casket City Hall Lights

Each night from Friday 10th December to Friday 24th December, the light and sound display event, Lott by Golden Casket City Hall, tells the story of ‘The Night Before Christmas’, narrated by Robin Bailey. With animation synced to a custom soundtrack, this projection show is a wonderful way to celebrate the festive season. The show will be on City Hall every 15 minutes from 7:30 pm until midnight daily.

This event is open to everyone and free to attend.

When: 7:30pm to 12:00am, 10th December to 24th December Where: 100 Ann Street, Brisbane Accessible features: Accessible venue

Brisbane Finders Keepers Market (the Christmas edition)

The Finders Keepers Pop-Up Market will be condensing their festival-style markets into a free one-day event as part of their new format Summer Series.

The Pop-Up Market will be hosted in the open-air Alexandria Parklands, Brisbane Showgrounds on a Saturday, giving locals more opportunity to shop well this season with a super-local line-up of makers and designers.

The first Pop-Up Market will be Saturday 4 December 2021.

When: 9.00am to 4.00pm, Saturday 4th December Where: 600 Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills, Brisbane Accessible features: Accessible venue

Sydney, New South Wales

Martin Place Christmas Tree

Sydney’s largest Christmas tree will delight audiences and brighten up Martin Place from 25th November to 1st January. You can enjoy a kaleidoscope of colours and decorative lights every 15 minutes from 7pm to midnight. There is also the option to listen to an audio description of the Martin Place Christmas tree.

When: 7.00pm to midnight, 25th November – 1st January Where: Martin Place, Sydney Accessibility features: Accessible venue

Variety Xmas Evening at Sydney Zoo

Due to COVID-19 the usual Variety Xmas Party is not going ahead for 2021, but instead Variety is bringing back the Xmas Evening at the Sydney Zoo (which we think might be even better than the OG party!). Sydney Zoo was designed to be inclusive for all guests and is accessible by wheelchair, mobility scooter and pram and is relatively flat with wide pathways, making visiting easy.

For children with sensory issues this event is a low noise event, and there are also plenty of quiet places to be found within the zoo.

It’s important to note that there are a limited number of spots for this event and all guests who are over the age of 16 must be fully vaccinated.

When: 3.00pm to 7.00pm, Thursday 2nd December Where: Martin Place Sydney Accessibility features; Accessible venue

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Sunset Cinema

The Sunset Cinema can be a great way to enjoy summer and the festive season. There are lots of movies to choose from as well as food and drinks available for purchase. The event location is accessible with accessible parking on site and a path that leads from the parking location to the cinema (it is a bit of a distance and is recommended to contact the Sunset Cinema team on if you need assistance or a mobility shuttle). Unfortuneately the event is not fully accessible as they are unable to offer closed caption or audio description sessions due to technical requirements. Carers with a valid carer card are entitled to one complimentary ticket

When: 25th Nov 2021 – 26th Feb 2022 Where: National Botanic Gardens, Clunies Ross Street, Acton, CT Accessibility features: Accessible venue, contact operator for details.

Melbourne, Victoria

Gingerbread Village

Experience iconic Melbourne landmarks built entirely out of gingerbread in this magical event for the whole family. You’ll see Gingerbread Villagers strolling around familiar favourites such as Luna Park, Federation Square, the Shrine of Remembrance and Royal Botanical Gardens. With activities and plenty of treats for the kids, as well as delicious baking perfect for gifts, the Gingerbread Village is sure to add smiles to your festive season.

Entry to the Gingerbread Village is by nominal gold coin donation (tap’n’go facility provided), with all proceeds going to The Royal Children’s Hospital. When: 1st December – 24th December (check website for specific times here.) Where: 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne Accessibility features: Wheelchair accessible

Christmas Square at Federation City

Get into the festive spirit with a visit to Christmas Square, located at Federation Square. Christmas comes to life with festive decorations aplenty and the city’s iconic 16-metre light-up tree. As the sun sets, the dazzling structure lights up with a gorgeous festive glow. You can visit Santa’s House and take part in fun daily activities. When: 8.00am – 11.00pm, 12th November – 25th December Where: Federation Square, Cnr Flinders and Swanston streets Accessible features: Wheelchair accessible, alternative access, lift, Accessible bathroom, Ramp access

Hobart, Tasmania

Community Christmas Carols

Each year the Hobart city runs the Community Christmas Carol Grant providing funding to community groups and organisations to run carol events during the festive season.

The 2021 Community Christmas Carol events are on the website here and include Sunshine carols, Latino Vibes Festival, Carols on the Hill, We Ho Ho Carols. Each has its own unique program of carols and activities.

Check the website for specific details on the dates, location, and accessibility for each event.

Adelaide, South Australia

Ebebenzer Night Markets

The Ebenezer Night Markets are conducted in Ebenezer Place, Adelaide on selected dates during the summer. The market has a wide selection of food, jewellery, fashion, artwork, and crafts.

The event is accessible for people with sufficient mobility to climb a few steps but who would benefit from fixtures to aid balance (this includes people using walking frames and mobility aids), for people who use a wheelchair, with high support needs who travel with a support person, people who are deaf or have hearing loss, people who are blind or have vision loss, and welcomes and assists people who have challenges with learning, communication, understanding and behaviour.

Where: 31 Ebenezer Place Adelaide When: 5:30-10:30pm, 4th December 2021 – 19th March 2022 Accessibility features: Accessible venue

Perth, Western Australia

Christmas Lights Trail

The Christmas Lights Trail in Perth is a massive light spectacle spanning 45 nights from November 19th to January 2nd, 2022. Light installations will include stunning animated lights, festive street decorations, lively projections and festivities that brighten malls, streets, and parks across the city. To ensure all families can enjoy this Christmas spectacle, the City of Perth have an accessible Light Trail map for people using walking aids, wheelchairs, and people with prams. Check out the website for details. When: 6pm-11pm, 19th November 2021 – 2nd January 2022 Where: Perth CBD Accessibility features: accessible parking, wheelchair accessible, accessible bathrooms

Lotterywest Christmas Symphony

Presented by West Australian Symphony Orchestra with the support of Lotterywest and City of Perth, this free end of year concert features a magnificent combination of sing-along Christmas hits and dazzling special effects.

When: Shows at 2.00pm & 7.00pm, Saturday 11th December 2021

Where: 700 Wellington St, Perth Accessibility features: Accessible parking, wheelchair access

Darwin, Northern Territory

City of Darwin Carols by Candlelight

The Woolworths Candlelight Choir will sing all your favourites, and the concert ends with a spectacular fireworks display. This is a free event, but the event organisers do ask for a donation at the door. Due to COVID-19 pre-booking is essential. When: Sunday 5th December 2021 Where: 200 Gardens Road, Darwin Accessibility features: Accessible venue, contact venue for details

Story Time with Santa (at the library)

Santa is visiting several libraries in the Darwin area to read some stories – this is one trip to the library you won’t want to miss out on! Due to COVID-19 Attendance is limited and advance registration is required. Register by calling the Circulation Desk at (716)672-8051 for one of three sessions at 10:30am, 11am, and 11:30am.Masks are also required by all attendees regardless of vaccination status, except for children under the age of 2.

When: Various times Where: Various locations around Darwin, click here for more information Accessible features: Accessible venues

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