Start your silly season by getting messy at the Mango Mess-tival or find “the one” at Elvis Speed Dating. Here’s your guide to all the Sydney events this week.
Start the silly season by getting truly messy at Bondi’s Mango Mess-tival — the nation’s largest celebration for the popular fruit. The festival doesn’t just let you eat mangoes — you can compete in tossing competitions, relay races, mango flower carving and see the world’s first light display powered entirely by mangoes. The king of the fruit carries just under one volt of electric charge and will be used to light up a sign at the festival. You can also get limited edition Australian Mango budgie smugglers as a memento of this typically Aussie event. Fruit enthusiasts can meet the best growers from across the nation and there will also a chance for some exercise, with a bicycle-powered smoothie maker for visitors to try out.
The festival is happening tomorrow at North Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club.
Mango Mess-tival, mangoes.net.au
Take the family out for the ultimate Christmas celebration at the Sydney Santa Spectacular. Rosehill Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland with Australia’s only double-decker carousel, rides, a North Pole walk-through, inflatable winter world and more fun activities to try. You can also teach the kids the importance of giving by bringing along a gift for the Sydney Children’s Hospital charity Christmas tree. From December 7 to 27, tickets from $35.
Sydney Santa Spectacular, sydneysantaspectacular.com
This free family-friendly concert is the perfect outing in the lead-up to Christmas. Kids can sing along to all their favourite Christmas tunes, enjoy craft activities, giant Jenga and table tennis. Parents can pack a picnic rug and enjoy food, coffee and gelato all available for purchase. It’s on today at Prince Alfred Park, Surry Hills.
Sydney Christmas Children’s Concert, cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au
The nine Lights Of Christmas free show at St Mary’s Cathedral will delight the whole family. A display of Christmas-inspired patterns projected on the Cathedral’s magnificent exteriors will be followed by a story written and narrated by Red Wiggle Simon Pryce from December 5 to 25.
Lights Of Christmas at St Mary’s Cathedral, lightsofchristmas.com.au
Award-winning singer and comedian Denise Hanlon will be joined by musical theatre star and drag artist Trevor Ashley for a hilarious evening of laughs and entertainment tomorrow night. The pair will delight audiences at The Imperial in Erskineville for Gayle Sessions — events aimed at promoting the talents of Australia’s LGBTQI community. Tickets
are $22.19 (including booking fee).
Gayle Sessions starring Denise Hanlon and Trevor Ashley, eventbrite.com
If you’re looking for a mature and intelligent understanding of relationships, you must watch this new adaptation of Tony award-winning musical Company. It tells the story of Robert — “Bobby” — on his 35th birthday as he contemplates his romantic needs and bachelorhood. Directed by Julie Baz and starring Heather Campbell, Brendan Paul, Bridget Patterson and more, today is the final show of the production at Limelight on Oxford in Darlinghurst, tickets $38-$45.
AN ITALIAN CHRISTMAS
Start the festive season with some Italian culture. Western Sydney Opera will entertain with beloved Italian and English compositions and popular Christmas songs such as Let It Snow and O Holy Night. The holiday spectacular features Lorenzo Rositano, Glenn Amer, Aimee O’Neill and tunes from US ’50s pop sensation Connie Francis. It’s on at The Riverside Theatres in Parramatta on December 7. Tickets range $30-$44 (excluding transaction fees).
Ciao, Compare — An Italian Christmas, riversideparramatta.com.au
Munich Brauhaus, The Bavarian and The Bavarian Beerhaüs welcome the festive season by serving festive brews and special offers throughout December. Groups of
10 to 40 people will get the choice of bonus gifts, including a round of schnapps or beer, pretzels, shared platters and other festive feast offerings.
Bavarian Christmas, thebavarians.com
Stock up on gourmet goodies and fresh local produce at Erskineville Farmers Markets. Pick up locally made and environmentally-friendly goodies from artisans and other producers. And with Christmas now less than a month away, it’s the perfect spot to bag a thoughtful present for your loved ones. The markets, at Swanson St, are open today and every Saturday until December 22.
Erskineville Farmers Market, themarketaterskineville.com
CHARGRILL CHARLIE’S START OF SUMMER
Chargrill Charlie’s is ready to start summer with 50 per cent off all food, all day today. To keep the good times rolling there will be DJs in each store, and exclusive merchandise to give away at each of Chargrill Charlie’s 11 stores in NSW.
Chargrill Charlie’s Start of Summer, chargrillcharlies.com
It’s a staple eaten in homes across the nation and now it’s time to highlight the versatility of rice with The World Rice Festival in Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter. About 20 vendors will bring you delicious meals such as Japanese taco bowls and Filipino rice burgers. There will also be a rice dessert demonstration by celebrity chef Hoda Kobeissi. And if you’ve had your fill of rice, grab a deep-fried ice cream from quirky Duo Duo Ice Cream. The festival is on today and tomorrow.
World Rice Festival, ricefestival.com.au
The biannual festival of arts and culture is back to take you through the city’s hip hop history with DJs, live performances, live graffiti, dance and arts workshops and more. For the little ones there will also be a jumping castle, basketball and table tennis. There will be performances by L-FRESH The Lion, 101 Doll Squadron, Bomb Battalion, and more. It’s happening on December 3 on the Corner of Pring and Dowling streets, Woolloomooloo.
Possible Dream Theory 2, an exhibition curated by George Adams, features the works of artists Polly Borland, Matthew Harris, Drew Connor Holland, Laura Moore
Nova Milne, Emily Parsons-Lord, Philjames and Kenny Pittock. It’s open Wednesdays to Saturdays from now until December 9 at the Galerie pompom in Chippendale.
Possible Dream Theory 2, galeriepompom.com
For a movie night with comfort, the world’s biggest outdoor bed cinema has 150 queen size beds, pillows and a blanket. It’s had sold-out seasons since launching in 2016 and is bound to be a hit this time, with pop-up restaurants also delivering straight to your bed. On now until February 17 at The Entertainment Quarter, movies include Mamma Mia, The Greatest Showman and more. Tickets from $10-$93.90.
Mov’In Bed, movinbed.com
For a movie night that’s both unique and relaxing, Govindas restaurant and cinema combines movies with sophisticated Indian food and refreshing meditation and music for an evening like no other. You can try the delicious traditional buffet before kicking off your shoes and stretching out on the comfy couches to watch films, including the spiritual documentary Mantra Sounds Into Silence, musical hit Bohemian Rhapsody, the critically acclaimed Boy Erased, Aussie gem Ladies In Black and more. Tickets are $16.90-$18.90 for a movie only, or your can get a movie and dinner package for $36.80 per person. Govindas restaurant and cinema is located in Darlinghurst.
25 YEARS OF BATMAN
Batman — Mask Of The Phantasm was released 25 years ago and Cremorne’s Hayden Orpheum is hosting a one-night only screening of the much-loved animated film. Written by Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, Martin Pasko and Michael Reaves and starring Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill and Efrem Zimbalist Jr, it’s showing tomorrow.
25 years of Batman — Mask Of The Phantasm, orpheum.com.au
DATE LIKE ELVIS
Elvis fans Can’t Help Falling In Love as Parkes Elvis Festival pairs up with dating service CitySwoon for a unique Elvis Presley-themed speed dating night. Romantic hopefuls can seek out a hunka-hunka Burning Love amid an evening of rocking tunes, dazzling retro outfits and great conversation over Elvis-inspired cocktails. Look for someone to Love Me Tender as Australia’s best Elvis tribute artists play his greatest hits. Be sure to put on your favourite Blue Suede Shoes or a gorgeous Priscilla ‘do as there will be prizes for best dressed. You can register by creating a profile on CitySwoon’s website. The event is open to people aged 27 to 42, today at The Bear Bar. Tickets $59 including two drinks (beer, wine or bubbly) and approximately six dates to begin the evening before you party on Elvis-style. It’s Now Or Never so don’t be Lonesome Tonight.
Elvis Speed Dating Night, cityswoon.com.au
Celebrate the end of 2018 with a delicious meal and incredible views of the fireworks at Squires Landing restaurant in The Rocks. A seat at the restaurant’s long tables will get you direct views to the Sydney Opera House and access to the harbour deck to view the fireworks at 9pm and midnight. For something more intimate, you can book the tower room which has floor-to-ceiling windows for a great vantage point. Or you could go to The Rocks’ Corner for a canape-style celebration or head to the Forecourt for a more casual evening with beers, wines and cocktails. Tickets from $450-$1000.
New Year’s Eve at Squires Landing, jamessquire.com.au
NYE AT BIRCH
If you want to celebrate New Year’s away from the city bustle, head to Birch in Moss Vale, which is among the Southern Highlands newest culinary hot spots. You can get an eight-course degustation dinner, starting with canapes and cocktails in the courtyard, for $160 per person or upgrade to dinner with matched wines for an additional $85 per person.
NYE at Birch, birchrestaurant.com.au
If your preference is for garden attire rather than dazzling cocktail wear, then The Botanist in Kirribilli is for you. Enjoy drinks, canapes and a dance before heading outside to watch the midnight fireworks. Dinner is $120 per person and includes a Four Pillars gin and tonic on arrival, two hours of flowing drinks and canapes.
The Botanist, thebotanist.com.au
Potts Point’s swanky venue The Butler is all set to party into 2019, offering an eight-course meal from an Ibero-American menu. You’ll get a glass of champagne on arrival, followed by the dinner for $195 per person. Adding a two-hour beverage package will cost an additions $75-$85 per person. Larger parties can book Juanita’s Bar which fits groups of up to 25.
The Butler, Butlersydney.com.au
ALL HANDS BREWING HOUSE
Kick-start 2019 in the heart of Darling Harbour with a night of celebration at All Hands Brewing House, which has created a special two-course set menu featuring southern-style dishes including roasted snapper and 12-hour smoked lamb shoulder. Dinner costs $75 per person and includes an in-house brew, house sparkling or wine on arrival. For something a little more casual, you can go to the bar for its usual food menu available from 6pm — with no bookings required.
All Hands Brewing House, Allhandsbrewinghouse.com.au
This highly Instagram-able city restaurant is bound to be a big hit on New Year’s Eve, thanks to it’s spectacular Harbour views — just perfect for the fireworks. Partygoers can drink their way well into the new year with Cuban-inspired cocktails, drinks and ’90s music throughout the night. Tickets are $469 and include a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne on arrival and a five-hour drinks package and canapes.
ENDEAVOUR TAP ROOMS
The Rocks venue is offering a four-course sit-down dinner available at 6pm or 9pm. It includes tap beer or wine or arrival for $80 per person. You can also get an additional beverage upgrade for $65 per person.
Endeavour Tap Rooms, Taprooms.com.au
FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE
English indie rock sensation Florence And The Machine is in Sydney next year, playing at The Domain on January 26. Tickets are already running out fast. She will be supported by rising star Billie Eilish. Tickets range from $179-$535.
Florence and The Machine, viagogo.com
Byron Bay is gearing up for hit tunes from leading artists at the 26th Falls Music and Arts Festival. The exciting line-up includes US musician Anderson Paak & The Free Nationals, Aussie sensation Vance Joy, hip hop group Hilltop Hoods, British rock band Catfish And The Bottlemen, rapper and producer Dizzee Rascal and more. It’s on from December 31, 2018 to January 2, 2019. Tickets now on sale, $109-$309.
Falls Music and Arts Festival, fallsfestival.com
TOYOTA COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL
Country music lovers will head to Tamworth for Australia’s largest music festival at the start of 2019. Rated among the world’s top 10 music festivals, it has attracted more than 300,000 visitors per year. The 2019 instalment of the 10-day festival will feature Kasey Chambers, Lee Kernaghan, Adam Harvey and more, with more than 2800 free and ticketed events across 120 venues from January 18 to 27. Information on tickets and the full line-up is on the website.
Toyota Country Music Festival, tcmf.com.au
Tickets are selling fast to see legendary US rock band Bon Jovi live at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium. Get ready to sing along to their latest hits as well as music by special guest, Australian alternative rock band Birds Of Tokyo. It’s all happening on December 8 so get in quick or you’ll be Livin’ On A Prayer for a ticket.
Bon Jovi, premier.ticketek.com.au
Fans of US rapper Nicki Minaj can catch her live in Parramatta Park for the FOMO festival on January 12. This is Minaj’s Australian festival debut, and is bound to feature her latest hits. The line-up includes Rae Sremmurd, Lil Pump, Mura Masa, Kali Uchis, San Holo, Anna Lunoe, Cosha and more. This is an 18 years or older event. Tickets now on sale $150.08-$170.74 (including booking fee).
FOMO Festival, fomofestival.com.au