‘Tis almost the season to be jolly and Stonnington is embracing the Christmas spirit with a series of performances and other events. This year, there’ll be two al fresco concerts in the area – Christmas at Central Park in Malvern East and Carols at Como Park in South Yarra. Kay & Burton is sponsoring both events, something Gowan Stubbings, director of Kay & Burton Armadale, says is part of the business’s mission to support its community.

“It is important for Kay & Burton to support local community events, such as The City of Stonnington’s annual carols,” he says. “These fantastic events bring families and communities together for an enjoyable and entertaining night. It is our absolute pleasure to support them.”

Christmas at Central Park

One of the great things about having Christmas in summer is being able to picnic while listening to carols. Malvern East’s Central Park is a scenic spot to kick back with some family, friends and food, against a soundtrack of yuletide classics.

Ella Hooper, frontwoman of award-winning rock band Killing Heidi and the Australian representative at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, hosts this year’s Central Park concert. She’s joined by a stellar line up of performers, including X Factor finalist Jason Heerah, jazz vocalist Fem Belling and Book of Mormon star Blake Bowden. South of the River choir and Stonnington City Brass band provide backing, while musical director John Thorn leads the show.

There’ll be special guest appearances from Santa and performer Dolly Diamond, and if you stay all the way to the end, you’ll catch the special pyrotechnic display that closes out the event.

Programs and candles will be for sale, with proceeds going to support Minus18, a youth driven group that advocates for LGBTIQ young people throughout the country.  

Sunday December 8, 7.30-9.30pm, Central Park, 148 Burke Road, Malvern East, free.

Carols at Como Park

Como Park’s steep hills help form a natural amphitheatre for its annual Christmas concert – and they’re also great fun for kids to roll down before the show starts. This year, TV personality and musical theatre star Rob Mills will MC, while performers include X Factor 2016 winner Isaiah Firebrace, Opera Australia star Alexis van Maanen and singer, songwriter and comedian Jude Perl. Stonnington City Brass, South of the River choir and musical director John Thorn will again be providing their talents, and Santa and Dolly Diamond will stop by at this show as well.

The impressive fireworks display that concludes this event each year is a consistent crowd pleaser, but it might be a good idea to leave your pets safe inside at home if they’re skittish. Don’t forget to BYO rugs, blankets, cushions and chairs to make your night as comfy as possible! Parking is limited so public transport is recommended. Like the Malvern East event, Carols at Como Park will be fundraising for Minus18.

Sunday December 15, 7.30-9.30pm, Como Park, 305-325 Williams Road, South Yarra, free.

Prahran Market

All of the delicious food is one of the best things about Christmas. Whether you’re hosting or taking a plate to a party, Prahran Market has everything needed, from prepared treats to fresh, raw ingredients. Plus, it’s also hosting some Christmas-themed special events on Saturday December 7.

First up is a Christmas champagne brunch in Market Square that runs from 10am until 2pm. Mr Hoddle will be selling glasses of chilled sparkling wine, while Hagen’s Organics serves up bacon and egg burgers, featuring their nitrate-free, naturally cured bacon and free range eggs from Whisked in a brioche bun by Q Le Baker.

Celebrity chef Tobie Puttock will also hold two half-hour cooking demonstrations sure to spark some inspiration for Christmas Day. The first runs from 11.30am until noon, and the second is 12.30pm until 1pm. There’ll be free recipe cards available for those eager to try the recipes at home.

Saturday December 7, Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra.

City of Stonnington, Christmas Concerts

Ella Hooper

Rob Mills

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