Sydney Australia lights up at Christmas. The best outdoor Xmas decorations from art to kitsch: lighted houses, yard and lawn, inflatable santas, dancing reindeer. Other Sydney summer family vacation ideas.
Christmas in Sydney means
Details of all Sydney Christmas events here
Sydney Australia's buildings and parks are bathed in everchanging coloured lights and patterns throughout December.
Christmas outdoor lights wash the Sydney Town Hall with patterns
A stroll around any street will pretty much guarantee you a xmas display.
Hyde Park always looks magical at night, and all the buildings along Macquarie Street will be lit up.
It's also fun to wander around The Rocks.
And, of course, the Sydney Town Hall and, from there on, down to Darling Harbour.
After you've seen the outdoor Christmas lights, the city stores are choc-a-bloc with Christmas window decorations. Both the large Sydney department stores, David Jones and Myers, put enormous effort into their animated Christmas decorations and they're always worth a look.
Outdoor christmas tree lights are absolutely everywhere. Sydney Australia's 'big' xmas tree is in Martin Place. It is 21 metres high with over 58,000 LED lights, 315 star lights and a 1.5 metre seven-pointed star on the top.
Outdoor xmas decorations
Darling Harbour Sydney
Each year in Sydney Australia, in the second half of November, there's a children's christmas concert, culminating in the lighting of the xmas tree and fireworks.
In 2011 this will be on November 24, from 1800-2030 (6pm - 8.30pm).
Christmas on the Green takes place at the same time in Hyde Park. Go there to picnic and be entertained by stage shows, choirs and even swing dance lessons.
And don't forget Sydney's annual Carols in the Domain in December.
There are lots more decorated christmas trees in Sydney. There's a large tree outside Customs House in Circular Quay, close to the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, and Darling Harbour always has at least one big outdoor xmas tree.
And if you're in Sydney's suburbs you'll find plenty of lighted christmas trees there too.
For complete 'over the top' christmas decorations outdoor, join the hundreds of Sydneysiders who make an annual pilgrimage to see the outdoor xmas decorations in the suburbs.
Use discount Sydney travel tickets for getting around.
Dancing reindeer, dancing christmas lights, inflatable christmas decorations, homemade christmas decorations - the list goes on.
There are whole streets with house after house exhibiting an extravagent christmas lights display.
This is the Overton's house at 7 Mallee Street, Quakers Hill in Sydney's west.
These outdoor xmas decorations encompass a whole Christmas village
You'll find a whole Christmas village in their front yard.
Peter Overton spends months in his home workshop each year making the Christmas yard decorations.
These include motorised reindeer and a snow machine.
On any December evening the house may be visited by the Australian Salvation Army band, local church carollers or a neighbourhood Santa Claus.
As in many houses with Christmas light decorations, visitors are invited to make donations towards a charity, children's hospital or other good cause.
The animated Christmas decorations of Santa and his penguin helpers, at the top of the page, are another outdoor Xmas decoration in the same street.
Each year sees a new crop of Sydney houses with spectacular outdoor Christmas decorations. Radio stations run competitions to identify them (try 2GB on 873 AM) and newspapers print lists of the 'top' places to go (The Daily Telegraph is your best bet here).
Here are some perennial favourites:
Outdoor Xmas decorations
Northwest: Greystanes - Camellia Street
Southwest: Ashbury - First, Second, Third and Fourth Streets
South: Kogarah: Madrers Avenue
Further South: Bonnet Bay, Kirrawee - Tea Trees Avenue;
Southeast: Matraville - 24 Franklin St. This is the place to go if you have a yen to see replicas of the Sydney Opera House, harbour bridge, Luna Park, Centrepoint tower and many other well-known Sydney Australia landmarks in lights.
There's a professional Santa Claus there and, if you're lucky, you may even get Australian line dancing to Christmas songs. The lights go on at 8 pm nightly.
And if all that sounds just too active, find some concert tickets for sale for in peaceful air-conditioned comfort.