From craft markets to carol singing, the Mornington Peninsula has all sorts of seasonal activities in the lead up to Christmas. Here are our top recommendations for locals wanting to embrace the festive spirit.

Christmas tree shopping

When it comes to Christmas trees, nothing beats the real deal. Not only do real trees smell wonderful, they’re better for the environment than artificial ones. Plus, by buying direct from a farm each year, you’re supporting local businesses – and the Mornington Peninsula is spoilt for choice when it comes to Christmas tree farms.

The Somerville and Peninsula Christmas Tree Farm is a family-run business operated by three generations. On weekends, shoppers can take a sleigh or carriage ride out through the trees, which adds a special, Christmassy feel to the experience.

As well as offering a year-round Christmas shop and cafe, Santa’s Place in Moorooduc has a tree plantation that sprawls over 10 acres. After you’ve chosen your tree, you can browse for gifts and ornaments, then pause for a coffee once you’re done.

The Christmas Tree Farm also has a decoration shop, plus special events such as barbecues, visits from Santa, tractor rides and face painting. Moorooduc Christmas Tree Farm is another family-owned business set across 25 acres.

Christmas concerts

There are a range of Christmas concerts taking place all over the region, so whether you prefer an indoor performance or having a picnic while carols play, you’ll find one to suit your tastes.

On Thursday December 5 and Sunday December 8, the Mornington Peninsula Chorale will perform their Joy to the World show at the Peninsula Community Theatre. Led by choir directors Tom Pugh and Katrina Waters, the event will feature Christmas favourites such as O Holy Night, The First Noel and the Hallelujah Chorus. Tickets range from $5 to $30.

The 21st annual Sorrento Christmas Concert and Fireworks will take place on the Sorrento Foreshore on Sunday December 8, featuring local primary school choirs, face painting and a sausage sizzle, as well as a visit from Santa. This event is free, with attendees encouraged to pack their own picnics. It starts at 6pm and will finish at 9.30pm with a pyrotechnics display.

Carols on the Green is scheduled for Thursday December 12, and will also showcase the singing talents of local kids and community members. Running from 6.30pm until 8.30pm, this free concert will be held at Mt Eliza’s Village Green.

Every year, churches throughout Mount Martha come together to organise the Mount Martha Carols by Candlelight. Taking place two days before Christmas on Monday December 23, it’s sure to get kids (and grown ups) even more excited for the big day, and features the Nativity story and a visit from Santa in addition to classic carols.

Christmas markets

Handmade and crafted wares make the loveliest gifts, and strolling through a market is much more enjoyable than travelling to a busy department store. Peninsula markets have you covered this Christmas season, whether you’re shopping for presents or produce.

On Saturday December 21 from 9am until 2pm, Emu Plains Market hosts its Christmas edition. The Balnarring market is a favourite of locals and out-of-towners alike, thanks to its carefully curated stalls and bushland setting against the tall gum trees. There’ll be more than 245 stalls to browse, as well as food trucks, local beer, wine and cider, fresh produce, live music, jumping castles and more. Parking costs $5 cash.

The gorgeous gardens at historic homestead The Briars also house monthly markets, where shoppers can purchase unique homewares, gifts and fresh food. After visiting their December installment between 9am and 2pm on Sunday December 22, visitors can meander through The Briars’ walking trails.

Mt Eliza’s final farmers market for 2019 is also scheduled for Sunday December 22, 11am-3pm, so pencil it in if you need to buy ingredients for Christmas Day. There’ll be fresh fruit, vegetables and meats, plus flowers and wine to complete your Christmas table.

Santa's Place trees. Photo courtesy off Santa's Place

Santa's Place. Photo courtesy of Santa's Place

Somerville and Peninsula Christmas Tree Farm. Image courtesy of Somerville and Peninsula Christmas Tree Farm

Somerville and Peninsula Christmas Tree Farm. Image courtesy of Somerville and Peninsula Christmas Tree Farm

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