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From the Lights of Lobethal to the Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt, you'll find plenty of Christmas spirit in the Adelaide Hills - here are some highlights of the magical events and experiences this festive season.

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Image: Lobethal Living Nativity during the Lights of Lobethal Festival

Germans are known for magical Christmas experiences and with Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement (Hahndorf) and a number of German townships, the Adelaide Hills region is the perfect place for festive fun.

Markets and Family Fun

The Lights of Lobethal Festival has been attracting visitors and locals far and wide to the village of Lobethal to ignite that festive feeling for more than 60 years. Many enjoy this activity as a tradition that marks the start of the Christmas season. From 8 to 29 December, the largest community Christmas light display in the Southern Hemisphere will light up your hearts. Fill the car with family, friends and Christmas tunes and see this year’s lights in style. Visit the living nativity from 8 to 23 December (two performances nightly) and catch the Christmas pageant parade on 23 December. The Centennial Hall Market is on nightly 8 to 28 December. Gathered Design Market has a Christmas Design Market at Fabrik Arts & Heritage Hub in the Old Woollen Mill in Lobethal from 20 to 22 December (5-11pm). Fabrik's Christmas Pop Up Store will also be filled to the brim with artisan and hand-crafted gifts and goodness made by 20 of South Australia's finest artists and makers. The Fabrik store in Mill Square cottage will start trading on Friday 6 December and will then be open from noon until 9pm each Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the rest of December. Fabrik is also the place to be for Christmas decoration workshops whether it's crochet or paper-cut designs, or paper and wire decorations for the kids. Also check out the Fabrik Music Festival (13 to 15 December) for three evenings of great live music, from festival choral music through to Ukelele Death Squad and a showcase of music from local students. And don't miss artist Meg Wilson's 'Christmas Carding' light installation on Mill Square throughout December. You might need more than one night in Lobethal. 

 

Lobethal-Lights

Image: Lights of Lobethal

Lobethal Christmas Pageant 5

Image: Lobethal Christmas Pageant

 

Hahndorf will be the place to be on the weekend of 13-15 December with the Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt (Christmas Market), a European-style Christmas market complete with light displays, festive market stalls, live entertainment, food and drink stands and more! See the Facebook page and Facebook event listing for all the details. The township itself will be transformed for this special weekend - this is your chance to discover Hahndorf like you've never seen it before with traders open late for gift shopping, restaurants and cafes available for tasty meals, wineries pouring to quench your thirst, and a whole lot of entertainment guaranteed to delight all ages. Gathered Design Market is having a special Christmas Design Market in Hahndorf this weekend (13-15 December, 4-10pm) If you’re up for a whole weekend of Christmas cheer, why not stay a night or two in the Adelaide Hills to really soak up the atmosphere!

 
Christmas lights at Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt in the Adelaide Hills

Image: Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt (credit Steve Adcock, Airborne Photography)

 

Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt

Image: Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt

 

The Meadows Christmas Market will be on December 8, while the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market special Christmas Twilight Market will be on Friday 20 December from 5pm until 9pm. 

 

Christmas Pageants and Carols

There are many Christmas pageants and carol nights in the towns and villages of the Adelaide Hills and here are just some of the highlights:

The Stirling Community Christmas Pageant and Fair will be on Sunday 8 December (rescheduled from 1 December) from 4 to 8pm. After the pageant through the main street head to the Stirling oval for Christmas market stalls, food, music and entertainment, animal nursery and sideshow rides.

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Stirling Christmas Pageant (credit Stirling Business Association/Darren Clements)

The Mount Barker Christmas Pageant is on Saturday December 7 at 10:30am and later that day is the Mount Barker Carols in the Park - a great family event held at Keith Stephenson Park commencing at 5pm and featuring local artists.

For a Christmas pageant with a German twist, head to Hahndorf on Friday 6 December for a procession featuring St. Nicholas led by the Hahndorf Town Band departing St Paul's Church. Craft activities, games and body painting for the children will be held in the front garden area of St Paul’s Lutheran Church from 6pm, during which there will be a free sausage sizzle for families to enjoy. The parade will begin at 7pm, which progresses through the main street to the Alec Johnston Park (Main Street Hahndorf) where there will be carol singing, the 'St Nicholas Message', and free gingerbread biscuits for children, with tea, coffee and cake for the adults.

Saint Nicholas comes to the German village of Hahndorf for Christmas in the Adelaide Hills

Saint Nicholas comes to Hahndorf (credit Angelo Pippos)

Sinclair’s Gully winery will host its annual Carols Under the Candlebark at Norton Summit, another great event that will get you into the festive mood on Sunday 22 December. Wear your Christmas best or something red and enjoy a BYO picnic and nibbles at this sustainable winery and eco cellar door while you sing along to your favourite carols with the musical stylings of coloratura soprano Kathryn Snape as the sun sets in the towering candlebark forest. Book here for your night under the stars.

 

Christmas Favourites

The Hahndorf Candlemaker in Hahndorf's main street is the place to visit for an enchanting window display of Christmas decorations and traditional German Christmas pyramids. Their range of German folk art is imported all the way from Seiffen, Germany. Learn about the tradition of wood-carving and pick up an ornament or two for the tree!

Head to Melba's Chocolates and Confectionery, an Adelaide Hills institution located in Woodside for special twilight trading hours and activities in the lead-up to Christmas (14 to 23 December from 9am until 10pm). As well as the incredible range of traditional chocolate and confectionery treats there will be free fun activities for the whole family - from face painting, colouring competitions and special demonstrations through to garden games and appearances from Father Christmas. It's worth a trip on its own but why not combine with the Lights of Lobethal for a truly magical (and delicious) night out? 

 

Melba's Chocolates celebrates Christmas in Woodside, Adelaide Hills

Christmas Celebrations at Melba's in Woodside