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Where to Go in Adelaide during Christmas

Where to Go in Adelaide during Christmas

Christmas is the perfect time to go around Adelaide for shopping, dining, and entertainment. The light-filled streets and the cheery ambiance is sure to complete your experience of the joyous day. 

Here, we’ll guide you through Adelaide’s events, restaurants, hotels, and bars to visit for the Christmas season. See which one is best for you during the holiday season!

Family-friendly Restaurants Open during Christmas in Adelaide

Christmas Eve is a time of feasting and family fun. Try some of these restaurants if you want to lay back and avoid the rush of preparing food for the festive season. 

1. La Boca Bar and Grill Adelaide

La Boca Bar and Grill Adelaide

Location: 150 North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000

Website: https://adelaide.laboca.com.au/

Bestsellers: Empanadas, choripán, Wagyu meat

La Boca is a great restaurant if you want flavor-filled Argentinian meals for Christmas. It’s for everyone, as there are meals for kids, those who’re on a gluten-free diet, and those who want premium meat. 

Speaking of premium meat, our favorite is the Omakase menu which gives you six courses of chef-chosen meals. This tasting experience is sure to entertain anyone who wants delectable dishes featuring Wagyu, seafood, desserts, and more.

The experience is made richer because of the asador or fire pit in the restaurant. It’s a delight to watch the meat sizzle in front of your eyes, and it’s a big hit, especially for children.

The smell of cooking meat as you dine your heart out during Christmas is a treat on its own. This, partnered with the spacious seats they have, makes it a very great choice for families. 

It’s led by Chef Nicolas Arriola, who has professionally cooked all around the world in restaurants in Singapore, Budapest, China, and Spain. 

He brings authenticity and a special flavor to meals, resulting in aromatic and sumptuous dishes. 

The place is vibrant and lively, with colorful murals all over the wall. The vibe here is infectious and perfect for the festive season!

Pro tip: Be sure to sit next to the fire pit, as the cooking itself is a performance. 

2. Mount Lofty House

Mount Lofty House

Location: 1 Mawson Dr, Crafers SA 5152

Website: https://www.mtloftyhouse.com.au/

Bestsellers: Wines, cheese

Mount Lofty is in the Adelaide Hills with a spectacular view of the Piccadilly

Valley. It’s no wonder that it’s a famous getaway spot in Adelaide. 

There are plenty of activities to do here, but one of the best ones is to dine. You can sit back and enjoy the delectable wines of the hills as you take in the view from the verandah. 

It’s led by head chef Jin Choi who has worked in many restaurants ranked in the Top 15 Restaurants List made by Gourmet Traveller. He works with head sommelier Abhas Saxena, who has decades of experience in serving wine in hotels across South Asia.

We found the atmosphere here to be elegant and relaxed. If you want your Christmas to be a spiritual healing time, the restaurant is perfect for you. 

Children will especially enjoy the slow-cooked lamb available from Martha Hardy’s kitchen because of its great balance of sweet and meaty flavors. Mixed with caramelized pumpkin and confit turnip, just the scent of it is mouthwatering.

The ambiance here is especially great at night because of the Christmas lights and the great service of their staff. 

Pro tip: It’s best to enjoy Mount Lofty by staying the whole Christmas day here. There’s plenty of space for families!

3. Garçon Bleu

Garçon Bleu

Location: 108 Currie St, Adelaide SA 5000

Website: https://garconbleu.com.au/

Bestsellers: Steak du jour, Bordelaise beef cheek, fish du jour

Garçon Bleu is perfect for those looking for a dreamy and sophisticated place to have their Christmas dinner in. Specializing in French cuisine, their menu is filled with delicious choices of meats and salads that we highly recommend.

Conveniently located on Currie Street in the Adelaide CBD, the restaurant has many things to offer. Their team regularly collaborates with local winemakers, farmers, and fishermen to showcase the best of Adelaide in their meals. 

It’s led by Gianni Delogu who has in-depth knowledge of French cuisine. He balances traditional cooking methods with experimental touches. 

Their Christmas design is exquisite and vibrant. Our bellies weren’t the only ones that feasted, as our eyes also feasted on the chic interior design. 

During this season, they also have a special buffet of season-appropriate desserts, such as pudding and macarons. They also have a special menu for children.

After eating, get cozy by staying in the Sofitel Hotel which the restaurant is part of. This five-star accommodation has many rooms for families, couples, solo travelers, and more.

Given this, it’s no wonder why they’ve received many awards and nominations from the Star Wine List, National Awards for Excellence, and Australian Good Food Guide.

Pro tip: The experience is a luxurious one, so be sure to prepare your budget to experience it to the fullest. After all, Christmas is the season for splurging on food.

Child-friendly Spots to Visit in Adelaide during Christmas

Christmas is especially fun for children. To make their holiday season fun, try taking them to some of these spots. 

4. Giant Christmas Tree of Mortlock

Giant Christmas Tree of Mortlock

Address: North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000

How to get there: 2 minutes walk from Art Gallery of South Australia

The Mortlock Library of the State Library of South Australia becomes more festive around Christmas time. Sometime near Pageant Day (which we’ll discuss later), they unveil their giant Christmas tree. 

Located on the ground floor, the tree is at an astonishing height of 7 meters. It’s decorated from top to bottom, and you’ll see its grandiosity even on the upper floors.

The library also organizes child-friendly educational activities during this time. This includes Christmas-themed storytelling, coloring sessions, and Christmas crafts making

There’s also a school choir performance your children can take part in. Celebrating the Christmas season in the middle of a place as solemn as a library may just be the perfect treat for children who love books. 

Mortlock Library in itself is pretty, and the addition of Christmas decorations makes it a perfect spot for picture-taking. There are a lot of armchairs placed near twinkling lights so you can lounge while taking in the scene. 

Pro tip: We advise visiting during the weekdays so that the space wouldn’t be too crowded. Don’t forget to browse through some of their books too!

5. Lights of Lobethal

Lights of Lobethal

Address: Town of Lobethal

How to get there: Stop at Bus Stop 71 Lobethal Woodside Road

Lights of Lobethal is a seasonal tradition of the town where each house participates in lighting up for the festive season. Held for more than 70 years, it’s one of the best parts of Adelaide’s culture. 

Traditionally, the owners hand-painted light bulbs to celebrate the season. Now, there are Christmas ornaments of all sizes lining up the streets which make for a dreamy sight during this season. 

In fact, it’s one of the largest community light displays held in Australia. With over 700 houses taking part in the celebration, every corner is sure to have a decoration or two.

The town is visited by people from all over Australia because the joy there is infectious. The homeowners are very hospitable which is why we felt at home as soon as we got there. 

To make the town even livelier, they hold annual Christmas events such as a living nativity, public music performances, and Christmas pageants

One of the best houses to visit is Bill and Peg’s House located at Christmas Lane because they have one of the brightest displays in the town. You can take many photos by their veranda, as they’re very welcoming of guests. 

Children will have lots of fun seeing the Christmas ornaments designed as koalas, snowmen, dragons, elves, penguins, and more. 

If you get hungry, the streets are lined up with food trucks run by the locals. Their rates are just right, and their servings are generous.

Pro tip: The Christmas market here is only open for a couple of days (around December 18 to 19), so be sure to visit early if you want to buy here.

6. Adelaide Zoo

Adelaide Zoo

Address: Frome Rd, Adelaide SA 5000

How to get there: Get off at Bus Stop Number 271 or 273

Adelaide Zoo is a great place to visit with kids all year long, but it’s especially magical during Christmas. They annually hold a Christmas Day Lunch, which gives guests access to many activities all over the zoo. 

Children will have fun with their coloring activities, animal shows, and nature playground. With over 2,500 animals in the enclosure, you’ll be sure to find something to tickle your child’s curiosity. 

One of the best parts of spending Christmas in the zoo is seeing the animals receive presents for the day. 

The excitement is infectious when a panda or a lion tears a Christmas box to get a new toy to sink their teeth in.

The contents of the boxes are always a surprise. Sometimes it’s popcorn and mealworms, and sometimes it’s panda cake and carrots!

Some of their notable animals are dingoes, binturongs, pandas, penguins, and red pandas. Memorizing all their names is a fun way to keep your children entertained.

They also abide by the standards of the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) which employ a scientific basis for their treatment of animals. This ethical treatment can be seen in the low stress levels and the relaxed feel of the zoo.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to bring extra clothes for your children! Christmases here can get pretty hot, and you’ll be doing a lot of walking all day.

7. Rundle Mall

Rundle Mall

Address: Center of North Terrace, King William Street, Grenfell Street, and East Terrace

How to get there: Get off at Bus Stop 202 or 222

Rundle Mall not only has great deals during Christmas, but it also has many events to entertain the whole family. With more than 5,000 parking spaces, the mall is very accessible. 

During Christmas, you can take your little ones to see Santa and take a picture with him. They’ll surely have fun telling Santa their wishes for the season. 

The mall has many child-friendly displays, such as Merry the Mall Mouse who appears in various Christmas Windows all over the mall. 

Finding each display is a fun treat, as the displays offer different activities such as claw machines, art displays, and storytelling. All of them offer a piece of a large puzzle which you’ll have to solve by the last window.

Once you’ve cracked the code, you can then submit your answer via QR code to get a chance to win a prize. This is especially fun for families who want a good challenge.

Around the mall, you can also do last-minute shopping at midnight pop-up shops. The shops have a great variety of products and food items. 

The Rundle Mall is always jam-packed with lots of people during the Christmas season. You may even bump into someone you know in the crowd!

Pro tip: It’s best to avoid large crowds during peak season. The best way to do so is to visit from around 9 am to 11 am. 

Pubs and Bars Open in Adelaide during Christmas

Pubs and Bars Open in Adelaide during Christmas

Looking to have a chill and relaxed way to spend your Christmas? Try checking out the different pubs and bars open in Adelaide during the festive season. 

8. The Jetty Bar

The Jetty Bar

Address: 28 Jetty Road, Glenelg, SA, Australia, South Australia

Website: https://thejettybar.com.au/

The Jetty Bar is just minutes away from the beach, which makes it fantastic if you want a Christmas by the sea. They hold an annual Christmas event in their Loungebar where there’s music and drinks all night. 

It’s very convenient to book the day because of their handy website tool. There’ll be no more waiting lines for you!

The bar is one of the most beloved spots of Adelaide, as it’s been around since 1869. It has survived wars and economic downturns and has been the locals’ favorite spot for drinking their hearts out. 

We enjoyed the wide variety of wines and beers they offer. Most of these come from local wineries, such as the Bird in Hand Sparkling, Black Chook Sparkling Shiraz, and Mr. Riggs’ The Gaffer Shiraz.

The bar especially serves great quick-bites in their menu. Crowd favorites include their fish burger, beef snitty meal, and fish and chips. 

Our favorite time of the day here is during sunsets. Taking in the stunning colors of the sky as you sip wine is a Christmas treat on its own.

Aside from the Christmas season, the Jetty Bar is always crowded during game days, especially for UFC. Their special screening sessions are fun because of the locals’ energy. 

Pro tip: Their steaks are to die for! They’re a must-try when visiting the bar, especially the rump steak. 

9. Merrymaker Rooftop Bar

Merrymaker Rooftop Ba

Address: 23-29 Market St, Adelaide SA 5000

Website: https://adelaide.hotelindigo.com/merrymaker-rooftop/

Merrymaker Rooftop Bar is one of the most stunning bars we’ve seen in Adelaide. It has a retro-minimalist design that provides plenty of space for talks and drinks. 

Your eyes will feast on the zany mix of colors and shapes in the bar. Created to give you a multi-sensory experience, the bar is entertaining. 

Because the bar is on the 16th floor of the building, you’ll have a great view of the city from atop. 

During the festive season, they offer classic Aussie BBQ served with local produce. Most of their drinks come straight from Barossa Valley which adds to the freshness of each bottle. 

Aside from these, we especially recommend their seafood meals. These include their shucked oysters and their lobster mini-baguette.

The atmosphere here during the festive season is relaxed, cozy, and mellow. If you just want to sip wine and lounge, the bar is a great choice. 

If you’ve had too much to drink, then you can stay the rest of the night at the Hotel Indigo where the bar is located. The hotel is a visual treat of contemporary art, which is reflected in its rooms and lobbies. 

Pro tip: Our favorite is the Hibachi grill platter, as it has great variety. Don’t forget to order it when visiting!

10. Watermark Glenelg

Watermark Glenelg

Address: 631 Anzac Hwy, Glenelg North SA 5045

Website: https://www.watermarkglenelg.com.au/

Watermark Glenelg is directly beside the beach, making the calming breeze of the sea your companion as you feast with your friends. 

It offers a relaxed atmosphere, and you can choose whether to dine inside or outside. They’re especially known for their international buffet that serves Asian and European-inspired meals

These include mouthwatering roasts, salads, and more. They also have a separate menu for children, which is great for picky youngsters. 

Speaking of wines, they offer one of the largest lists of local wines straight from wineries all around South Australia. Their suppliers include those from Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, and Clare Valley.

We especially recommend the desserts they have for Christmas, as it’s extra scrumptious given the cheery vibe in the place. If you have dietary requirements, you’ll also be glad to hear that they offer gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly menus. 

To end your Christmas comfortably, you can always stay at the affordable Nightcap Hotels nearby. It’s flexible in meeting the needs of solo travelers, couples, families, and more. 

When it’s not the holidays, the bar is a great space to watch sports games such as football, basketball, and tennis.

Pro tip: There’s plenty, and we do mean plenty, of food to choose from here. It’s best to create a mental list of your favorite food categories (pasta, meat, salads, etc.) before digging in so that your belly won’t get full quickly.  

Christmas Events in Adelaide to Attend

11. National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant

National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant

Where it’s held: SA Water Headquarters, Level 9/250 Victoria Square, Adelaide SA 5000

What to expect: Parade, floats, costumes

The National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant is one of the most beloved Christmas traditions of Adelaide. Held since 1933, it has been a staple for families to join the public parade filled with different variations of Santas that march in Adelaide’s streets. 

There are lots of fun things to watch in the parade—such as clowns, elves, horses, choirs, and bands. The whole family will have a blast in welcoming Christmas. 

If you also want your child to have something to show off in the crowd, we suggest giving them a balloon. It’s easy to carry around, colorful, and a big hit among kids.

A parade of this scale is hard to miss; it’s the biggest public parade in the Southern Hemisphere. They annually greet over 300,000 participants who want to have a great time in Victoria Square.

You’ll feel the community spirit with large, lively floats that feature elves, puppies, rap performances, jazz music, and more. 

The route for 2022 started at South Terrace and finished at Franklin Street. Passing by the popular spots of Adelaide at Christmas time can definitely make you appreciate the great urban design of the beloved city. 

There are also plenty of food stops in case you feel hungry. From Christmas sweets to savory roasted meats, you’ll find foods that’ll fuel you for the rest of the parade. 

Pro tip: Dress to impress! Even if you’re not a costume person, you’ll find yourself enjoying every second of being dressed along with thousands of people wearing their best Christmas costumes. 

12. Adelaide Christmas Cracker Trail

Adelaide Christmas Cracker Trail

Where it’s held: Various places in Adelaide

What to expect: Augmented reality trip 

Adelaide Christmas Cracker Trail is an annual festival held by the local government centered around family-friendly fun. With the use of augmented reality and fun selfie filters, the scavenger hunt is made more immersive.

The best part is that your family gets a chance to win many prizes upon finishing. For 2022’s activity, the winning family got a $1,500 staycation at the Intercontinental Hotel, along with tickets to the Adelaide Zoo. 

You’ll still have fun even if you don’t win, as there are plenty of surprises in the trail. From the first stop in Victoria Square to the last stop in the Adelaide Aquatic Centre, the whole family will experience the joys of Christmas!

What makes the experience so immersive is the colorful animation you can see through the event’s app. It’s available in both Google Play and Apple App Store. 

Of course, be sure to have your phone’s screen repaired to participate in the event. There’s no fun in viewing augmented reality through a broken screen.

The way the app showcases your progression is highly engaging, especially for children. It’s fun to explore the different highlights of Adelaide through the zany lenses that the app has. 

It’s just one of Adelaide’s many offerings for Christmas. 

The city stays true to its title of UNESCO City of Music through the live music performances held here. 

Pro tip: You may be tempted to rush your progress through the trail, but do know that it’s not a race! Take your time with every station so that you’ll enjoy the different puzzles and games they’ve prepared.

12. Dining in the Dark

Dining in the Dark

Where it’s held: Koshō at 26 O’Connell St, North Adelaide SA 5006

What to expect: Three-course meal while blindfolded

Dining in the Dark is a unique experience where you can have a three-course meal while blindfolded. It’s a perfect chance to have a unique and intimate experience with your loved one during the festive season. 

In the dark, you can appreciate the taste of the food, the gentle Christmas music, and the aroma of the room while you eat. Your conversation will be the gentle tether to your partner for the evening. 


The food they serve for their Christmas menu is centered around favorites, but the interesting part is that it’s kept totally secret! 

They make sure to accommodate vegan and vegetarian preferences though. 

The culinary experience is made by mixing various types of meat and locally-sourced wine. For the latter, the option is totally up to you. 

A full dinner lasts for up to 90 minutes, so there’s plenty of room for hearty conversation and laughter. It’s also a great time to give your partner a gift basket to make the date more special.

And don’t worry about getting jittery and nervous in the dark! You’ll always have the choice to continue your meal in a better-lit room if the experience is not for you.

Pro tip: Be sure to book in advance because of its high demand. 

Where to Stay in Adelaide during Christmas

Christmas is a great time to get cozied and cooped up alone, with your partner, or with your family. Here are some great places to stay for the holidays. 

13. The Playford Hotel

The Playford Hotel

Address: 120 North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000

Website: https://theplayford.com.au/

The Playford Hotel has a stunning view of Adelaide because of its great location on North Terrace. The scenery here is dynamic, as the architecture and interior design is made to complement the natural lighting.

Speaking of architecture, the hotel is a testament to the wonders of Art Nouveau architecture. You’ll see the dedication of its builders through the fine details in every hall and room of the hotel. 

It’s perfect for Christmas, as it gives you access to many nearby spots, such as the Adelaide Casino and the Adelaide Convention Center. 

In addition, it’s just a few minutes away from Rundle Mall, which is busy and lively, especially during the festive season.

If you’re visiting Adelaide, you’ll also find it a great choice, as they’re just 9 kilometers away from Adelaide International Airport. This makes it fantastic for those who will be coming home for the holidays. 

Every room is designed with high ceilings and elegant marble, making it perfect for your next Instagram post. Sip on locally-produced champagne as you take a warm spa bath and the gentle tunes of Christmas accompany you. 

For those who want a grandiose celebration of Christmas, why not have your event in one of their functions? It’s designed with gold-leafed walls that will provide timeless elegance to your event. 

Pro tip: Feeling lazy? You can have your food delivered from the Playford Restaurant and Lounge bar to your room.

14. Majestic Minima Hotel

Majestic Minima Hotel

Address: 146 Melbourne St, North Adelaide SA 5006

Website: https://majesticminimahotel.com.au/

Majestic Minimal Hotel is the beating heart of urban art located in North Adelaide. Each room features different trendy and contemporary art and is a great showcase of how creative and stylish the residents of the city area are.

Grab friends and family to spend the holidays in one of their 46 art rooms designed with stunning artwork. The mood for each room varies—moody, bright, idiosyncratic, and more. 

The art inspirations also differ for each unit, with some injecting Industrial, modern, and street art influences. Picking a room that matches your personality and preferences definitely makes the experience more fun. 

Each room has a comfy king-sized bed and is comfortable to stay in. It’s especially perfect for a sleepover with friends because of the casual vibe of the place. 

To have a blast with the gang, why not have a mini-party? Bring some party supplies to get the fun started!

The holiday doesn’t have to put a dent in your pocket. If you’re looking for affordable yet high-quality accommodations, the hotel has got you covered.

In addition, you can roam the streets of Adelaide in full Christmas mode through one of their bicycles for hire. It’s a great way to feel the holiday spirit and, not to mention, burn some of the holiday calories you’re gaining!

From the hotel, you’ll find many restaurants and shops within just minutes. It’s always a great idea to grab a bite and then lounge again in your room.

Pro tip: Explore their Instagram page to know your options beforehand. You can even contact the artist that designed your chosen room if you love their art!

15. Thorngrove Manor Hotel

Thorngrove Manor Hotel

Address: 2 Glenside Ln, Stirling SA 5152

Website: https://thorngrove.com.au/

Thorngrove Manor Hotel is one of the most romantic spots in Adelaide, and it becomes even more so when it’s illuminated by dreamy Christmas lights!

Just 20 minutes away from the city, its architecture is inspired by fairytale castles mixed with a contemporary influence.

We had fun taking pictures at every spot of the castle, including its fantasy turrets, antiques, winding staircases, spacious rooms, and blooming garden. 

The space is great for a romantic Christmas. If you’re planning to have your date here, check out our list of the best flower delivery shops.

We especially love how varied the suites are. You can pick between the Tower Loft, Observatory Suite, and Castle Chamber. 

As you’re already in Adelaide Hills, drinking the wines of the region is a great addition to your itinerary. Indulge in the different variations of wine made by the city’s finest winemakers here. 

In addition, you’ll have a chance to be toured by the owners, Ken and Nydia, around the area so that you’ll know the inspiration behind the building. 

Pro tip: Just don’t forget to book months in advance! Demand for the area is very high given how well-maintained and designed the place is. 

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