What’s on in the city

Enjoy the festive season with city accommodation and an array of activities, decorations and gift ideas to explore.

Melbourne shows its true colours at this time of year: green and red! The festive season is all about celebrating the best things life has to offer.

A stay at RACV City Club gives you a base to explore the CBD and enjoy shopping, sightseeing and dining without the need to negotiate traffic or hurry home.

Many of Melbourne’s big attractions have reopened and are welcoming back visitors.

There have been enough setbacks this year, so avoid disappointment by booking all your dining experiences, spa treatments and external activities, when you book your accommodation.

Christmas light projections on Melbourne Town Hall
Burger and drink from Bourke Street Green
OneSpa candles and towels

Cocktail hour

Bourke Street Green bartender Ben Crafter is back doing what he loves, mixing cocktails and talking to Club Members about their day and plans for rest of the year.

“Everyone seems keen to get back and experience restaurant life again,” he says.

Ben says Bourke Street Green’s cocktails and share plates are as popular as ever.

“The Bloody Sour is probably the most popular cocktail,” Ben says. “It’s Four Pillars Shiraz Gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg white. It has a nice purple colour and it’s very fluffy.”

For Club Members who like to drink sparkling wines or rosé in summer, Ben recommends the Penny Lane Rosé from Margaret River and the Dal Zotto Prosecco from King Valley.

For share plates, be sure to try the flat bread with artichoke dip; it’s a winner.

Christmas is Uncancelled

It wouldn’t be Christmas in Melbourne without the Myer Christmas windows. This year's display is based on an original story called Christmas is Uncancelled, written by award-winning author Corinne Fenton and narrated by Eddie Perfect.

The Bourke St display is a short walk from City Club and open to view until Christmas Eve (7.30am-10.30pm). It’s a 65-year-old tradition for Myer and the only difference you’ll notice this year is the need to keep a 1.5m safe distance between yourself and others. 

Colourful projections

The State Library, Town Hall and Princes Bridge will be lit up with colourful Christmas projections every night until December 24. The State Library’s facade will feature a special tribute to our frontline workers to thank them for their incredible efforts during the height of the COVID-19 crisis. See the projections between 9-11pm.

Festive hub

Federation Square has been renamed Christmas Square, as the centre of City of Melbourne’s celebrations until December 24. A 16m giant Christmas tree marks the entrance to the hub, just across the road from Flinders Street Station. Children will love Santa’s Big Workshop, where they can see the man in red busy making toys (10am-noon and 1-3pm every day, plus 4-7pm on Thursday and Fridays). He’ll give the family a friendly wave and jolly elves can organise a photograph, while ensuring everyone maintains a safe distance.

Big chimpanzee

On the south side of the Yarra River, there’s an awesome sight that’s sure to enthral adults and children alike. Australian visual artist Lisa Roet’s large-scale sculpture of iconic chimpanzee David Greybeard has been installed outside Hamer Hall, where it will sit until December 21. A collaborative project with the Jane Goodall Institute Global, the 9m x 12m sculpture commemorates the 60th anniversary of Jane Goodall’s pioneering research at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. The intent is to raise awareness about environmental conservation, art, women and communities.

Shop ’til you drop

It can be a little overwhelming to organise your shopping itinerary in Melbourne, with so many arcades, emporiums and shopping centres close to the RACV City Club.

If you’re looking for extra special gifts, here a few places to try. For children, visit Kidstuff at Melbourne Emporium or catch a tram to North Melbourne to peruse the diverse range of high-quality toys, games and gifts at Stranger Than Paradise Gifts at 101 Errol St.

For friends and family who appreciate art and hand-made objects, visit the NGV store at Fed Square or Craft Victoria in Watson Place, just off Flinders Lane. You can see their latest exhibitions at the same time.

If you’re running out of ideas for a friend or relative, try Wilkins and Kent at 372 Little Bourke St for novelty homewares and gifts or The Melbourne Shop in the Centreway Arcade on Collins St for unique Melbourne-made gifts and apparel.

A place to relax

After a big day of shopping, there’s one place where you can truly relax. Members and guests staying in The Retreat on Level 8 at RACV City Club can enjoy the private lounge with canapés and drinks served every evening. The Joseph Pang-designed executive rooms and suites are elegant and offer a peaceful place to unwind at the end of the day.

The City Club also has a Staycation Offer available. Enjoy two nights' accommodation in a Standard King or Twin Room for two people, breakfast daily, a $25 dinner credit per day, car parking, unlimited in-house movies and a lazy 5pm late check out, from $399*. Indulge in a longer stay of three nights or more to receive an additional $25 dinner credit per day. Remember to book for dining at Bistro or the Members’ Dining Room before you arrive at the property. Book by 31 January 2021, for stays from 9 November 2020 until 31 March 2021. *Terms and conditions apply. Book online and view and latest offers here.

One Spa indulgence

Treat yourself or a loved one to a One Spa treatment at City Club. Counter the effects of stress with a facial or enjoy a revitalising spa ritual. The Urban Getaway experience, with a detox back scrub, back massage, foot massage and hot towel compress, will make you feel a million miles away from the Christmas rush.

Bookings are essential. You’ll find the latest information here.

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