My Dunedin Itinerary

Festive Dunedin

With Christmas looming fast and summer holidays on the horizon, we’ve put together a list of all that’s festive in the city this season.

The Octagon Christmas Tree

Get into the holiday spirit by heading to the Octagon for a look at the giant Christmas tree. Grab a table at one of the eateries or bars nearby and treat yourself to dinner al fresco.

Pixie Town & Santa

Toitu Early Settlers Museum

An iconic vintage Dunedin attraction from the days when the Drapery and General Importing Company aka DIC was a thriving Octagon department store, complete with Santa grotto. These days the pixies are in residence at Toitu Early Settlers Museum where their cheeky antics and magical mischief are still a highlight for visiting children. Keeping with the festive theme, there are Christmas craft stations and pixie dress ups. Santa also makes an appearance and can be found presiding over the museum foyer to listen to Christmas wishes and get the all-important family pic.

See the Toitu website for Pixie Town and Santa dates and hours.

Christmas Mysteries

Perpetual Guardian Planetarium – Otago Museum

Join narrator Suzy Cato in the Perpetual Guardian Planetarium to explore some of the most intriguing Christmas mysteries. What could the science of astronomy tell us about the Star of Bethlehem? Where did the Mars lander disappear to on Christmas Day? And just how can Santa manage to reach all those good children in one night? An out-of-this-world look at our favourite holiday.

Elves Workshop and Makerspace

Otago Museum

To keep the kids occupied in the week before Christmas when excitement levels are reaching fever pitch, the Otago Museum has plenty of hands-on festive craft activities run by the ‘elves’ in the Atrium space on the first floor.

Christmas at the Stadium

Forsyth Barr Stadium – December 8th

Head to the stadium for a day of festive fun including live entertainment, toy swap, gift making, bouncy castles, face painting, games and more.

Wal’s Plant Land


Much more than a mere garden centre, with a mini golf course, miniature railway, real fruit ice-creams and Santa grotto, Wal’s in Mosgiel is a one-stop-shop for family entertainment these holidays. Whilst the kids are visiting Mr. Claus, pick up fresh summer fruits, giftware and gardening goodies from the store. For miniature railway running dates and times, check the Facebook page.

MacArthurs Berry Farm


Nothing says Kiwi Christmas like summer fruits, and luckily Dunedin has a source of freshly grown raspberries and other delicious berries in MacArthurs Berry Farm. A great destination for a weekend drive, paired with a real fruit ice-cream and a dip in the river at Outram Glen. Bliss.

Christmas Carol Services

Get that yuletide feeling by attending one of the many traditional carol services popping up around the city during December. St Paul’s Cathedral in the Octagon has a special Christmas Eve service with carols and hymns as does First Church. Cantores Choir and the Dunedin City Choir will also be singing carols at the Otago Museum during December.

The Naughty Christmas Horror Ball

It’s a fast-paced, wild ride, presented in three separate acts and punctuated with live music, razor edge comedy, burlesque and a love for bizarre and risque interaction.Featuring a multi-talented cast it’s sexy, it’s hairy and it’s set to expand your mind, groove your soul and release the true misfit within! 15th& 15th December.

Boxing Day & New Year’s Day Races

A national festive tradition, boxing day and New Year’s Day at the races offer at chance to kick back in the sunshine over a picnic and watch the horses run. Three-quarters social occasion with a dash of competition thrown in, the Wingatui course puts on a festival of sorts for Boxing Day and Waikouaiti takes the lead on January 1st, welcoming the New Year in country racing style.

New Year’s Eve Concert

Party like it’s almost 2019 at the family friendly New Year’s Eve concert in the Octagon. Fun, food stalls and live entertainment from Dee May and the Saints & Kelvin Cummings and the Oxo Cubans keep the vibe going, capped off with a grand firework finale at midnight.