What’s not to love about Christmas? Santa, carols, lights and joy! Questions such as “Where can my family go for great carols?, “Where are the best Christmas lights in the Hills?” are always asked at this time of year, so we’ve pulled together the HDM Ultimate Guide to Christmas in the Hills!

We’ve done our best to capture everything and make sure it’s correct, but if you’d like to add to it or you think it needs editing, let us know. We’ll be rolling this baby out for the whole of the Christmas period!

Sydney Zoo’s Christmas Animal Kingdom. From Friday 24 November to 24 December, Sydney Zoo in Eastern Creek will transform into a magical Christmas wonderland blending wildlife, wonder, and the spirit of the season. The event will feature millions of festive lights, breathtaking Christmas displays, 4,000 animals, entertainment and FREE activities for all.

Blacktown Christmas Light Up Concert. Friday 24 November. 5pm to 9pm. Includes christmas carols, live stage performances by community groups, face painting and a visit from Santa Claus.

Riverstone Christmas Concert. Saturday 25 November. 5pm to 9pm. Riverstone will welcome the 2023 festive season with it’s annual Christmas tree light up and concert in the Sam Lane Complex, Park Street from 5pm to 9pm. Local residents can enjoy live performances by local community groups, Christmas carols, a visit from Santa, and free face painting. At 8.50 pm the Christmas tree will be lit up, showcasing it’s fairy lights and vibrant decorations.The night will also include the launch of the Mayoress Christmas Gift Appeal.

Illuminate The HillsThurs 30 November to Tuesday 2 January, From 7pm each night.  Roxborough Park Rose Garden will be lit up with thousands of fairy lights. Wander through rose-lined pathways and twinkling fairy lights, magnificent Christmas installations and a nativity scene that’s sure to get you and your family in the festive spirit.

Gingerbread Workshop at Castle Hill RSL. Thursday 30 November & 14 December from 7pm.

Twilight Christmas Markets at the Australiana Pioneer Village. Friday 1 December.  Get a photo with Santa and Mrs Claus, shop at the stalls, sing-a-long to the Carols, indulge in yummy eats, take a twilight train ride or a hay ride around the lagoon. 5pm to 9pm. $3 entry per person.

Santa’s arrival parade. Seven Hills Plaza. Saturday 2 December, 10am.

Light Up Windsor Street Fair. Saturday 2 December. From 5pm to 9pm, Windsor Mall, George Street and Thompson Square will with burst to life with Christmas cheer, including more than 70 market stalls – our biggest market yet! There will also be snow flurries, Christmas lights, free face painting, roaming and on-stage entertainment and fun family activities.

Christmas Wreath Workshop at Bella Vista Hotel.Sunday 3 December at 2pm

Christmas Movies on the Green. Molly’s Pavilion, Cheltenham. Wednesday 6 December. From 6pm. Home Alone 2.

Launch of Christmas at Hillsong. Sunday 3 December from 6pm. Every night after dark in December, see the Hillsong Hills property light up. Hillsong Sydney Hills Campus, 1-5 Solent Circuit Baulkham Hills.

Bella’s Annual Christmas Twilight Markets at Bella Vista Hotel. Wednesday 6 December. Tickets are free but you need to book. 5pm to 9pm.

Christmas Drag Bingo at Bella Vista Hotel. Thursday 7 December. 7pm.

Let it Snow – free HomeCo. Castle Hill Kids Club Christmas. Fri 8 to Sun 10 December, 10am to 1pm daily. Kids are invited to HomeCo. Castle Hill to join in the festive fun! There’s Mrs Claus Storytime and Santa Meet n Greet PLUS a snow ball pit, snowtime sensory zone, surprise solo hip hop acro performer, DJ Frosty, snowman ornament workshop for kids, balloon artist and snowflake on skates! And enjoy the snow falling inside HomeCo. Castle Hill (north side) 10am, 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 12noon, 12.30pm.

Christmas Musical Brunch at Bella Vista Hotel. Saturday 9 December. From 11am.

Parklea Christmas Markets. Sunday 10 December. 9am – 4pm.

Gingerbread House Decorating at Bella Vista Hotel. Sunday 10 December at 11am.

Christmas Trivia Night at Bella Vista Hotel. Tuesday 12 December from 7pm.

Christmas Movies on the Green. Molly’s Pavilion, Cheltenham. Wednesday 13 December. From 6pm. The Santa Clause.

Magic Men Christmas Show at Bella Vista Hotel. Thursday 14 December. Doors open 6.30pm.

Christmas Spectacular at Lynwood Country Club. Saturday 16 December. From 4pm to late. Join Lynwood CC for an evening under the starry sky, featuring delectable food trucks, a charming crafts market for unique gifts, and an outdoor movie that will warm your heart. To end the night on a high they will have a breathtaking fireworks display that will light up the night.

Christmas in the Park. Barry Road Reserve North Kellyville. Saturday 16 December. 11am to 2pm.

Christmas Movies on the Green. Molly’s Pavilion, Cheltenham. Wednesday 20 December. From 6pm. The Grinch.

Christmas Pinot & Picasso. Wednesday 20 December. 7pm. Bella Vista Hotel.

Christmas Day Lunch and Dinner at Castle Hill RSL. Monday 25 December.

Shopping centres – Santa arrival dates and photos

  • Castle Towers – Santa has already arrived at his enchanted forest set. Bookings can be made here.
  • Rouse Hill Town Centre – Santa is once again doing photos in his gorgeous house. There are also pet Santa sessions too. Book here.
  • Winston Hills Mall – Santa has arrived and will be at Winston Hills Mall until 24 December.  Find out more here.
  • Stanhope Village – Santa Photo bookings available from 25 November.
  • North Rocks Shopping Centre – Santa Photo bookings available from 25 November.
  • Seven Hills Plaza – Santa arrives on Saturday 2 December. Book photos here.

Christmas at the libraries

In the week of 11 December, the Hills Shire libraries (Vinegar Hill Memorial, Castle Hill Library, Dural and Baulkham Hills) will be holding special Christmas Storytime sessions suitable for ages 2-5 years. They have a pop up at Wheelie Park in Box Hill too.

Christmas carols

Carols by Candlelight at Baulkham Hills North Public School. Saturday 2 December. 6pm to 8.30pm.

Carols on the Lawn at Parramatta Christian Church. Saturday 2 December from 5.30pm to 9pm. Barney Street, North Parramatta.

Christmas Carols at North Epping. Friday 8 December. Epping Oval. From 6.30pm

Carols in the Park at Kenthurst. Saturday 9 December from 3pm to 9pm at John Benyon Rotary Park Kenthurst.

Carols at The Ponds School. Saturday 9 December. From 4.30pm. Carols start at 6pm to 9pm.

Carols by Candlelight at Fagan Park Galston. Saturday 9 December. From 4pm.

Sydney Adventist Hospital Carols. Sunday 10 December. From 4pm: Family activities, food stalls, Santa photos and meet and greet with The Beanies. 7pm: Kids concert – and the Beanies. 7.30pm: Main carols program.

Epping & Carlingford Carols in the Park. Sunday 10 December at Boronia Park Epping.  Food stalls from 5pm. Entertainment from 6pm. Carols at 7.15pm. Fireworks at 9pm.

Glenhaven Carols by Candlelight. Sunday 10 December from 4pm to 9pm. Glenhaven Oval.

Carols by Twilight by Rotary Club of Carlingford. Sunday 10 December. John Wearne Reserve, Carlingford. 5.30pm to 8.30pm.

Thornleigh Community Christmas Carols. Sunday 17 December at Headon Park from 5pm to 9pm.

Carols on the Lawn. Kellyville Anglican Church. Sunday 17 December. From 5.30pm. Carols start at 7pm.

Christmas Spectacular at Hillsong.  Saturday 16 December and Sunday 17 December. Shows at 4pm and 7pm (plus additional show at 1pm on Sunday).  Tickets are only $5. Buy your tickets here.


Christmas lights

We produce a list of lights in the Hills each year. Click here to view. If we’re missing any great lights or you can provide an exact address, please email us. If any listed are not going ahead, please let us know. Also, if you have a photo of any we’d love to see it. You can email us at hello@hillsdistrictmums.com.au

Launch of Christmas at Hillsong. Sunday 3 December from 6pm. Every night after dark in December, see the Hillsong Hills property light up. Hillsong Sydney Hills Campus, 1-5 Solent Circuit Baulkham Hills.

Hunter Valley Christmas Lights Spectacular. A bit further afield but runs from now to 28 January 2024.

Santa runs

Details yet to be announced for some stations. We will publish all maps and timetables once they’re available. The following Santa Runs usually happen each year:

Rouse Hill Santa Lolly Run. Run by Rouse Hill Rural Fire Brigade. Saturday 16 December.

Box Hill Nelson Fire Brigade. Saturday 16 December.

Westleigh Rural Fire Brigade Santa Run. Sunday 17 December from 8.30am.

Dural Rural Fire Brigade Santa Run. Sunday 17 December from 4pm.

Galston Village Santa Run. Sunday 17 December from 4pm.

The Hills SES Santa Run, suburbs include Baulkham Hills, Castle Hill, Kellyville and Bella Vista.  Held Christmas Eve.

Cherrybrook Rural Fire Brigade Santa Run. Held Christmas Eve.

Glenorie RFS Santa Run. Held Christmas Eve.

Santa’s Sleigh Run in North Rocks and Carlingford is brought to us by the Carlingford Rotary Club. Usually kick off the run at 4.30pm on Christmas Eve.