Freelance writer Ashleigh Howarth knows Ipswich. Here, she shares her tips on how to celebrate the festive season this year.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and if you are like me, you will want to enjoy as many Christmas festivities you can squeeze into your calendar.
Ipswich has got a big month of fun planned for families, including everything from meeting Santa to browsing through the city’s numerous markets, live music acts, visits from comedians and much more.
Be sure to add these great events to your diary and book early to avoid disappointment.
Share your Christmas wish list with Santa
All of Ipswich’s good boys and girls will have the opportunity to meet the jolly man in the red suit when Santa makes special appearances at the city’s shopping centres.
With Christmas only a few weeks away, Santa will be posing for photographs with children across the city and hearing what is on their Christmas wish lists so he can tell his helper elves at the North Pole what to stock his sleigh with before he leaves on his world-wide journey on December 24.
Be dazzled at Ipswich’s Christmas Wonderland
The gorgeously illuminated trees, glittering lights and more is sure to delight families of all ages, and create a beautiful backdrop for photos.
This annual event, which last year drew in massive crowds, is again the centrepiece of an exciting Christmas in Ipswich 2020 program.
Tickets to the Christmas Wonderland extravaganza are booking fast. Tickets are $5 per person, $15 for a family of four, and $20 for a family of five, with all proceeds being donated to a number of charities that benefit the city.
Experience the joy of Christmas with lights, carols and more
Christmas is a time to be with family and friends, and what better way to do that than to enjoy the festive spirit right here in Ipswich by attending one of the many events featured in this year’s Christmas in Ipswich 2020 program.
Families will be able to jump in the car and partake in the much-loved tradition of Christmas lights and seeing the best displays around the city, with a full list of entrants and addresses to be posted on the Ipswich Festivals site.
The giant Christmas tree in d’Arcy Doyle Place is also a must see, and visitors can share their images by using the hashtag #christmasinipswich.
There are various Christmas carols events.
Find the perfect gift at these Christmas markets
We all love finding a good bargain, so to help you find a truly unique and one-of-a-kind something for someone near and dear to you, a number of stall holders will be popping up at various Christmas markets throughout the city this month.
The Springfield Markets, which are held on the first Sunday of each month, will be returning to Robelle Domain on Sunday, 6 December from 8am to 2pm, as well as appearing down Main St at Orion Springfield Central on Sunday, 20 December.
Shoppers can also visit the Ripley Markets on Saturday, 12 December, the Walloon Markets on Sunday, 6 December, the Ipswich Showplace Markets on Sunday, 13 December at the Ipswich Showgrounds, as well as the Scenic Soul Christmas Market at Marburg on Saturday, 12 December from 9am to 3pm.
Take in a show at the Ipswich Civic Centre
The Ipswich Civic Centre has a big itinerary of theatre shows, concerts, comedians and more each month, and December is no exception.
If you are looking for a fun evening out, you can cheer on students from local dance studios at their end of year concerts, laugh along to funnyman Ross Noble, or sing along to musician Tim Freedman during his new solo show, where he will launch The Whitlams’ new single Ballad of Bertie Kidd, a six minute crime caper that describes a little known escapade in the long career of one of Australia’s most notorious criminals.
To book tickets to these shows, log onto the Ipswich Civic Centre website.
Enjoy some tunes at Studio 188
Music lovers are spoilt for choice when it comes to enjoying a night of toe-tapping entertainment this month, with a number of big names set to perform at Studio 188, an intimate live music venue located in the heart of Ipswich.
Ipswich local Kim Wright will be taking to the stage with a number of artists for the Live! at the Baptist Country Music Special on 11 December.
Festive fun at Ipswich Libraries
Featuring stories, crafts, games and more, Ipswich Libraries will host an array of Christmas themed activities your little ones will love.
This exciting program will be held from 7 to 19 December, with all the information on the Ipswich Libraries website.
Thomas is back
The world’s most loved blue steam engine, Thomas the Tank Engine, is steaming into The Workshops Rail Museum this summer for the hugely popular Day out with Thomas event, being held from Sunday, 27 December to Tuesday, 26 January, 2021.
Fans of the show, both young and old, will have the opportunity to meet Thomas, The Fat Controller, and some of Thomas’ closest friends.
There will also be lots of activities to enjoy in the Thomas Play Pit, the opportunity to take lots of photos with Thomas and his friends around the museum, and you can even partake in some Thomas the Tank Engine craft activities.
Enjoy Christmas craft
Kids can impress their family by taking home Christmas cake pops and chocolate Santa sleighs after taking part in a number of workshops being held at the Retro Diner this month.
The classes are fully supervised and each child will receive a drink and a treat.
For the adults, a Christmas wreath making workshop will also be held, so you can make something beautiful to hang on your front door for all your guests and neighbours to see.
To reserve your place, or for more information, see their Facebook page.