19 January 2024

22 Christmas carol events in the Illawarra this holiday season

| Dione David
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Santa at Shellharbour City Council's Carols By Candlelight

The Illawarra offers an abundance of carolling events this month, including a good old-fashioned Carols By Candlelight courtesy of Shellharbour City Council. Photo: Shellharbour City Council.

Christmas is in the air – trees and lights are cropping up, shopping centre car parks are becoming enormous dodgem circuits and, of course, there’s nothing like a community carolling event to herald the festive season.

All across the Illawarra, communities, businesses, churches and school groups are staging carolling events big and small, and chances are there’s one close to you.

Here are 22 events in the region guaranteed to help catapult you into the holiday spirit.

children in christmas hats singing into microphone

Waniora Public School’s little carolling event might be just the ticket for something simple but special. Photo: File.

Christmas Carols at Waniora

When: Thursday 7 December, 6 pm to 7:30 pm
Where: Back Oval, Waniora Public School, 17 Ursula Road, Bulli
Cost: Free entry.

Waniora Public School is hosting a short and sweet Christmas Carols event on Thursday 7 December. They will have Christmas carol performances on stage, Santa on a fire truck and a barbecue. Families are encouraged to bring their own picnic and rug (no alcohol).

Banner for Carols by Candlelight at Shellharbour

Shellharbour City Council is bringing Carols by Candlelight. Image: Shellharbour City Council Facebook.

Carols by Candlelight Shellharbour 2023

When: Friday 8 December, 6 pm to 9 pm
Where: Centenary Fields, Croome Road Sporting Complex, Albion Park
Cost: Free entry.

Shellharbour City Council’s elves are working around the clock to bring the Illawarra’s premiere Carols by Candlelight event to the community. There will be an incredible lineup of soloists, singing groups and backup vocalists ready to serenade the crowds with holiday classics emceed by ABC’s Nick Rheinberger. Be sure to download the song booklet, which includes a full list of performers, so you can join in. The council will once again be hosting two Auslan interpreters to help make the event an inclusive and accessible experience for all to enjoy, all culminating in a “surprise finale”.

There will also be a Circus Drop Zone, roving performers, Australia’s Got Talent grand final winners Acromazing from the Oak Flats Albion Park Kiama Gymnastics and Acrobatics Club, and Ronald McDonald will be making an appearance. Children can write to Santa at the House of Letters, and there will be lots of show bags for sale as well as a delicious range of food and sweet treats available from more than a dozen stallholders.

Flyer for Carols on the Green at Bellambi Bowling Club

Local schools take the spotlight at this carols event. Image: Bellambi Bowling Club Facebook.

Carols On The Green

When: Friday 8 December, 5 pm to 7 pm
Where: Bellambi Bowling Club, 182-188 Rothery Road, Bellambi
Cost: Free entry.

Bellambi Bowling Club’s inaugural Carols on the Green invites you to bring a picnic blanket or book a table and experience a night of fun, laughter and celebration of community. Local schools will perform musical acts and a sausage sizzle will be available for dinner. Please note that outside food and drinks are not permitted. Santa will be arriving by fire truck to inject even more Christmas spirit into the evening.

Banner for Christmas Gala Performance by WollCon

WollCon presents a Christmas Gala Performance that cannot fail to tap into the festive spirit. Image: WollCon.

WollCon presents: A Christmas Gala Performance

When: Saturday 9 December, 2 pm
Where: Main Auditorium, Wollongong Town Hall, corner Crown and Kembla streets, Wollongong
Cost: Adult $35, pensioner $35, student/child under 18 $10, children under five free, book online.

Though not strictly a carols event, we would be remiss not to mention this spectacular Christmas Gala performance presented by the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music. The lineup for this seasonal family-friendly includes a full choir, children’s choir, orchestra, jazz orchestra, organ and premiere Sydney vocalist Dan Barnett with vocalist Trish Delaney-Brown and soprano Kirsten Jones.

They’ll perform familiar Christmas favourites and lush arrangements of seasonal music.

Banner for Figtree Community Carols

This free community event concludes with fireworks (weather permitting). Image: Figtree Anglican Church.

Figtree Community Carols

When: Saturday 9 December, 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Where: Figtree High School Oval, 2 Gibsons Road, Figtree
Cost: Free entry.

Figtree Anglican Church has pulled out all the stops for a fairly epic community carolling event. Special guest artists and local performers will lead the crowds in singing all the most popular Christmas carols in an evening concluding with a spectacular fireworks display (weather permitting). There will be free face painting and activities for the little ones, carnival rides and a range of food vendors.

The longstanding tradition of collecting donations on the night for the local RFS will continue this year, with options to donate on the night with cash or by scanning the QR code on the carols program booklet, or online.

Banner for Combined Churches Carols in the Burgh event

The churches of the Burgh are combining efforts to bring the local community this excellent carols event. Image: Facebook.

Combined Churches Carols in the Burgh

When: Saturday 9 December, 6 pm
Where: Rex Jackson Park, corner Park Avenue and Blackwell Street, Helensburgh (behind the Helensburgh Tradie’s Club)
Cost: Free entry.

Helensburgh’s churches are combining their efforts to stage this carolling event in the Burgh. Bring your picnic rug or chair and enjoy entertainment from 6 pm, with carols starting at 7:30 pm and then a fireworks display from 9 pm. Food stalls are available onsite.

Banner for Community Carols event by Fairy Meadow Anglican Church

From cookie decorating to an outdoor cinema, there will be plenty to do for all the family at this community carols event. Image: Fairy Meadow Anglican Church.

Christmas Carols in Fairy Meadow

When: Sunday 10 December, 4:30 pm to 8 pm
Where: Fairy Meadow Anglican Church, corner Jardine Street and Princes Highway, Fairy Meadow
Cost: Free entry.

This big community event kicks off at 4:30 pm with various activities, including cookie decorating, a petting zoo, face painting and a jumping castle. Carols start at 6 pm, and there will be burgers by His Boy Elroy (or bring a picnic and a rug). At 8 pm, carols conclude and an outdoor cinema screening of How the Grinch Stole Christmas will start. There will also be an option to donate a non-perishable food item or toy to the charity Toys ‘n’ Tucker on the night.

Austinmer Beach

Austinmer Beach plays host to an annual carols night. Photo: Guillaume David.

Carols by the Sea

When: Sunday 10 December, 7 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: Austinmer Beach, Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Austinmer
Cost: Free.

This is a free and casual event for those who fancy a no-frills carolling by the beach. Austinmer and Thirroul Anglican Churches invite you to bring your picnic dinner or drinks and a picnic rug or chair and enjoy some traditional and modern Christmas carols as you watch the surf roll in.

Banner for Carols in the Street event by Corrimal Community Church

This low-key event is perfect for Corrimal locals hunting a bit of festive spirit without the fuss. Image: Corrimal Community Church.

Carols in the Street

When: Sunday 10 December, 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Where: Corrimal Community Church, 9 Augusta Street, East Corrimal
Cost: Free entry.

Corrimal Community Church’s annual Carols in the Street event kicks off this weekend. Carolling starts at 5 pm, led by local artists including The Elastic Band, Magnificent Manda, Super Kenny and more. There will be an ice cream van, a coffee van and a special visit from Santa.

Banner for Carols on the Green at Kiama Golf Club

Bring the family down for a fun-filled night of Christmas Entertainment. Image: Kiama Golf Club.

Carols on the Green

When: Tuesday 12 December, 5:30 pm
Where: Kiama Golf Club, 79-81 Oxley Avenue, Kiama Downs
Cost: Free entry.

Carols led by live artists, face painting and Matilda’s Farmyard Nursery are all booked in for Christmas on the Green at Kiama Golf Club. There will be a barbecue and drinks tent and an ice cream truck as well as an appearance from Santa. This is the ideal way to inject a bit of Christmas cheer into your Tuesday evening without the fuss.

Flyer for Carols in Kiama event

This no-frills community event is all about the carols. Image: Destination Kiama.

Carols in Kiama

When: Wednesday 13 December, 6 pm
Where: SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 92 Manning Street, Kiama
Cost: Free entry.

Grab your family and friends for this no-frills carolling event staged by Kiama’s combined churches. Sing along with Alchemy Chorus South Coast, Sing Australia Kiama, SingSpace Vical Ensemble, Food of Live, Katandra Womens A Cappella Choir, SS Peter and Paul School Choir and SS Peter and Paul Parish Choir. All donations will go to the Kiama-based charity The Homestead of Hope.

Banner for Carols at Corrimal

This event is all about the carols and community. Image: St Michael’s Cathedral Wollongong & Corrimal

Carols at Corrimal

When: Saturday 16 December, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: St Michael’s Anglican Cathedral Corrimal, 121 Princes Highway, Corrimal
Cost: Free entry.

Courtesy of St Michael’s Anglican Cathedral comes this simple night of carols, family and food. Come from 6:30 pm for a barbecue dinner and carols will commence inside from 7 pm. This event is perfect for anyone looking for a simple combination of festive spirit and local community.

Banner for Carols on the Green event by Gerringong Bowlo

Nothing says an Aussie Christmas like carols at the bowlo. Image: Gerringong Bowlo Facebook.

Carols on the Green

When: Saturday 16 December, 4 pm to 11:30 pm
Where: Gerringong Bowlo, Pacific Aveenue, Werri Beach, Gerringong
Cost: Free entry.

Gerringong Bowlo is hosting a Carols on the Green event with live music from Emma Jene, Rachel Tidbury, Vanlora Duo, Kiama Sing Australia Choir and The Brazen Lyres. Dinner is also sorted courtesy of some food stalls.

Banner for Carols+ event at Lindsay Public School

This event boasts family-friendly activities, carols and picnic vibes. Image: Lindsay Public School Facebook.


When: Sunday 17 December, 5 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: Lindsay Park Public School, 47 Thames Street, West Wollongong
Cost: Free entry.

Wollongong church City on a Hill brings the festivities to West Wollongong this festive season. Expect live music, face painting, sausage sizzle, a coffee van, ball games and other kids’ activities. Carols commence outside at 6 pm. Bring along a picnic and a rug and make a night of it.

Banner from Carols on the Lawn

A beautiful occasion for a picnic served with lashings of Christmas spirit. Image: St Michael’s Cathedral Wollongong & Corrimal.

Carols on the Lawn

When: Sunday 17 December, 6 pm to 9 pm
Where: St Michael’s Anglican Cathedral Wollongong, 74 Church Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free entry.

St Michael’s Wollongong branch is kicking the celebrations up a notch with kids’ activities from 6 pm. There will be food available for purchase from food trucks or bring a picnic and a rug and spread out on the lawn. Carols commence at 7 pm and there will be a complimentary supper afterwards.

Banner for Woolshed Carols event by Lighthouse

This is a buzzing family-friendly event until 6:30 pm when it transitions into a sensory-sensitive carols session. Image: Lighthouse Church.

When: Sunday 17 December, 4:30 pm to 8 pm
Where: Yallah Woolshed, 601 Princes Highway, Yallah
Cost: Free entry, book here.

This afternoon and evening of family fun is best considered in stages. From 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm expect a hive of activity including kids craft, face-painting, cookie decorating, a family photo booth and an interactive Christmas room. Family meals will be available to purchase from Fine Spun Catering. From 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm is all-ages carolling and from 7:15 pm to 8 pm is the “chill-vibes only’ relaxed carols – a quieter, relaxed carols session for young adults, older generations or people who would benefit from a sensory-friendly environment. A chill-out room with standard seating and cushions will also be available.

Banner for Christmas Carols event by Shellharbour City Anglican Church

All are welcome to this annual Carols on the Lawn. Image: Shellharbour City Anglican Church.

Carols on the Lawn

When: Sunday 17 December, from 5 pm
Where: Shellharbour City Anglican, 25 Wallaroo Drive, Shellharbour City Centre
Cost: Free entry.

A carolling event full of good vibes, the fete kicks off at 5 pm with a petting zoo, jumping castle, face painting, music, a craft stall and lots more. There will also be a sausage sizzle, popcorn, fairy floss, ice cream and coffee, or families are welcome to bring a picnic rug and a picnic and grab a spot on the lawn. Carolling commences from 7 pm.

Banner for Carols on the Court event by Village Church

This community carols event at the PCYC is all about the hope of Christmas. Image: Village Church Facebook.

Carols on the Court

When: Sunday 17 December, 4 pm to 7 pm
Where: PCYC Bulli, 253 Princes Highway, Wollongong
Cost: Free entry.

Bulli’s Village Church brings this event to the PCYC to lead the community in a celebration of the hope of Christmas. You and yours are invited to sing traditional carols, and there will be a jumping castle, sausage sizzle and kid’s activities to get the whole family involved.

Banner for Carols in the Park at Kiama Leagues Club

Carols in the Park is hosted by Kiama Leagues Club and supported by Destination Kiama. Image: Kiama Leagues Club.

Carols in The Park

When: Wednesday 20 December, 6 pm
Where: Hindmarsh Park, 107 Terralong Street, Kiama
Cost: Free.

Kiama Leagues Club and Kiama Municipal Council (Destination Kiama) have combined efforts to bring this carolling event to the community. Led by local musicians, you’re invited to sing all your favourite carols. There will be food trucks, games and stalls, as well as an appearance by the big man in red.

Banner for Live Christmas Carols at Fairy Meadow Fraternity Club

Enjoy live Christmas carols at the frat for three consecutive nights. Image: Fairy Meadow Fraternity Club.

Live Christmas Carols at the Fairy Meadow Frat

When: Thursday 22, Friday 23 and Saturday 24 December, from 6 pm to 9 pm
Where: Fairy Meadow Fraternity Club, 11 Bourke Street, Fairy Meadow
Cost: Free entry.

Though not strictly a carols event, for three consecutive nights the Fairy Meadow Fraternity Club will have live Christmas carols. The community is invited to book a table for dinner and enjoy some Christmas carols over a meal.

An evening of food, community and carols new and old will be held on Christmas Eve. Photo: Jamberoo Anglican Facebook.

Jamberoo Christmas Carols

When: Sunday 24 December, 5 pm
Where: Jamberoo Anglican Church, 45 Churchill Street, Jamberoo
Cost: Free entry.

The last of the Christmas carolling events takes place on Christmas Eve. From 5 pm, there will be a free dinner of sausages, soft drinks and Zooper Doopers, accompanied by all-age games for those who are keen. At 6 pm, the one-hour carols service commences on the lawn. Bring along your chair and rug and a hearty voice, then stay around for free gingerbread, hot chocolate and espresso.

Banner for Carols in the Cathedral by st Michael's Anglican Church Wollongong

This Christmas Eve carols event includes three sessions. Image: St Michael’s Cathedral Wollongong & Corrimal.

Carols in the Cathedral

When: Sunday 24 December, 10:30 am, 5 pm and 7 pm
Where: St Michael’s Anglican Cathedral Wollongong, 74 Church Street, Wollongong
Cost: Free entry.

St Michael’s Anglican Cathedral Wollongong’s annual Christmas Eve carols comprise three sessions staggered at 10:30 am, 5 pm and 7 pm. Listen and enjoy classic carols sung by the church choir accompanied by an ensemble of instruments interspersed with Christmas lessons from the Bible, all inside the 160-year-old cathedral. The 5 pm session will be live-streamed for those who can’t make it in person.

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