Located on the majestic Swan River, Perth is a striking city that blends the best in world-class facilities with a relaxed and friendly small-town atmosphere. Perth is famously known as the world's most isolated capital city, and it certainly knows how to throw a fantastic party. It has a thriving arts scene and festivals that draw visitors from around the globe, so when it comes to the festive season in Perth, Christmas decorations are just the beginning!
Ready to start the Christmas shopping? Then head to the city centre where you'll discover over 900 retailers in the Murray Street and Hay Street Malls. Newer city shopping centres such as Wesley Quarter and One40Williams connect high end boutique shopping to the malls, so whatever gift you're looking for this year, you'll be well catered for. The chic King Street shopping precinct is home to designer styles and boutique (perfect for that Christmas outfit), and for some historic atmosphere, try London Court with its Tudor faï¿½ade and ornate clock faces. Subiaco is a lovely shopping location, or you might try Fremantle Markets, for an eclectic mix of gifts, homewares, jewellery, clothing, arts and crafts.
Both Myer and David Jones have stores in Perth. Christmas decorations, lights and vibrant visual displays are what they thrive on as the end of the year approaches. Don't miss Santaland, a Christmas wonderland in Myer where the children can explore and meet Santa, and the always fabulous Christmas window displays.
In 2010 Myer also initiated the Perth Christmas Trail. Every evening families and friends could explore the city's decorations including 100,000 Christmas lights. There were appearances by children's characters and other live entertainment. Much of the display was organised by the City of Perth, which presented a 13-metre Christmas tree and giant Christmas cards in Murray Street mall. It also invited roving carol singers to spread plenty of Christmas cheer by singing their way around the city throughout December. Let's hope the Christmas Nativity is also back this year. This retelling of the Nativity was held nightly in Forrest place in late December last year, and brought to life with hundreds of performers and special guest appearances by sheep, camels, chickens and a donkey.
One popular festive event is the Christmas Pageant, which winds its way around the city on a Sunday morning in early December. There are giant floats, lots of colour, and of course, a visit from Santa. The parade ends with a big family carnival at Langley Park, with rides and entertainment for the whole family.
Or you might like to make a visit to the East Perth Twilight Christmas Picnic in the Park, which in previous years has taken place in Victoria Gardens. This is a great way to catch up with friends and family in a relaxed and beautiful location. There are live performances and a visit from Santa and his helper.
In Perth, Christmas decorations, lights and even Santa Claus, aren't quite complete however without the Carols by Candlelight. The Apex Club of Perth has organised the carols every year since 1945. It's held under the stars in the Supreme Court Gardens, and is a firm family favourite. Many arrive early with rug in hand to settle in and make an afternoon of it. Keep an ear out for this year's date. And if you can't make this one, smaller carols by candlelight are also held in Fremantle, Scarborough and Rockingham.
All proceeds from Carols by Candlelight go to charity, and if you're looking to donate yourself there are plenty of excellent charities that are always in need. The Smith Family and St Vincent De Paul have been looking after Australian families for decades, and there's no better time to help out a family in need that at Christmas.
And for a bonding experience with your own family, it's always fun to jump in the car and head off in search of the best neighbourhood lights. Every year suburban households put up amazing shows all over Perth, erecting lights, trees, and even sleighs on their facades, roofs and in their yards. Last year Belmont, Canning Vale, Ellenbrook, Landsdale and Meadow Springs were just a few of the suburbs where you could find fantastic displays.
However you choose to spend your Christmas in Perth this year, make sure you do it with family, friends, and a large dose of that glorious Perth sunshine!