Christmas cheer lights up Newcastle's Civic precinct

29 Nov 2022

Newcastle's Wheeler Place will play host to festive fun as the Civic precinct comes to life with an 11-metre-high Christmas tree and family-friendly activities.

The tree’s lights were switched on by Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes last night with the help of Santa and his elves, signalling the start of festivities for families to enjoy in the lead-up to Christmas.

Novocastrians and their four-legged friends can make the most of the free entertainment on offer over two weekends, with DIY Santa photos and pet-friendly ‘pawtraits’ under the tree from 4.30pm to 6.30pm on December 10, 11, 17 and 18.

Entertainers from Newcastle Music Academy and a special Christmas performance by the Novotones will add to the festive atmosphere during the Santa selfie sessions, while the towering Christmas tree will light up the precinct each night.

Cr Nelmes said the City’s signature Christmas tree and free program of activities will help activate Wheeler Place and draw people into the city centre this Christmas.

"We hope that the sight of our Christmas tree and the free, fun activities will help spread joy amongst friends and families, while also encouraging visitors to support our city centre's local businesses,” Cr Nelmes said.

"There is no better time than the lead-up to Christmas to shop locally, enjoy a night out at one of our city’s local bars or restaurants and show your support for Newcastle businesses, both in the city centre and surrounds."

In the suburbs, Hamilton’s James Street Plaza will play host to a special Santa’s cave for photos, as well as live performances, children’s craft workshops, gift-wrapping station and toy donation drop-off point organised by Hello Hamilton.

You can join Santa on Friday 2 and 9 December from 3pm to 6pm and Saturday 3 and 10 December 9am to 1pm to snap your own special Christmas selfie, with professional photography packages also available.

Christmas Twilight Markets will also return to Hamilton’s Gregson Park on Tuesday 6 December from 3pm to 8pm, offering the perfect chance to pick up a unique Christmas gift from an array of local stall holders whilst enjoying live music, food and drinks.

Wallsend’s iconic rotunda on the corner of Nelson, Tyrrell and Harris Streets will also light up this Christmas with a spectacular light display and Christmas tree lit by Santa on 1 December, with Christmas carols, refreshments available and photos with Santa from 6.30pm thanks to WOW Wallsend.

The festive cheer will continue in Wallsend with performances by popular children’s entertainers Little Scallywagz each Saturday in the lead up to Christmas at 11am and 12.30pm, while the Conscious Christmas Markets return from 10am to 1pm on 10 December, and Christmas carols will be performed by quartet After Five on 21, 22 and 23 December from 6pm to 7pm.

Keep an eye on the What's On website for the growing list of Christmas events being held across Newcastle.

City of Newcastle’s Christmas tree will remain in place until 11 January 2022.