16 December 2022

Nine things to do in the Riverina this week (16 - 23 December)

| Chris Roe
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Santa is getting busy in the final countdown to Christmas. Photo: Chris Roe.

Crikey! How did that happen?

We are now into the final countdown towards Christmas Day with just over one more shopping week to stock up on stocking fillers and Christmas cheer!

For the first time in living memory all the snowmen, frosted windows and icicles are actually feeling appropriate as the Riverina shivers through December!

READ ALSO New visitor guide offers over 140 reasons to visit Wagga

It’s called the silly season for a reason and there is plenty happening from carols to late-night shopping, and of course, any night is good for doing a Christmas lights tour.

So break out the jingle bells and get set for this weekend’s list of nine things to do.

All Week

Christmas lights

Wagga lights on Bradman Avenue Boorooma. Photo: Chris Roe.

Christmas Lights

When: Sundown
Where: A street near you!
Cost: Free – Wagga’s best streets are listed here while in Griffith, the council has a map here.

There’s just something about Christmas lights twinkling in the night that both dazzles the eye and stirs the heart.

From tasteful, colour-themed sparkles and nativity scenes through to dancing inflatable Santas, snowmen and whirling lights that are visible from space – it’s all out there for you to enjoy.

So check out your local list, throw the kids in the car and share the Christmas community spirit!


Shop local this Christmas! Photo: Chris Roe.

Christmas Shopping

When: Every Day
Where: Various
Cost: Too much.

Extended shopping hours have begun and jolly, white-bearded gentlemen are standing by for a photo-op in a centre near you.

Keep an eye out for local products and keep your money in the Riverina!

Check local websites for Christmas hours and in-store events – and remember – be kind and patient!


Puss in Boots, blue people and a very bad Santa are all at the movies. Photo: Forum 6 Wagga.


When: Various
Where: Forum 6 Wagga Wagga
Cost: Tickets range from $10 to $19.50 and can be purchased here.

Avatar is back with a new water-based 3D adventure featuring Aussie Sam Worthington as a blue Navi warrior along with Zoe Saldana, Kate Winslet and the alien queen herself, Sigourney Weaver.

For the kids, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish offers plenty of swash and buckle with Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek and Florence Pugh in the Shrek spin-off.

And if you favour something a little darker this Christmas, Stranger Things star David Harbour gets bloody as Santa in Violent Night.


Best Street Studio is a great place to find amazing new artworks. Photo: Kath Powderly.

Best Street Art Sale

When: Every day, 9 to 5
Where: Best Street Art Studios, 26 Best Street Wagga
Cost: Free.

Over the past three decades, artist and curator Kathryn Powderly has opened her garden and studio to the public offering a unique variety of art and pottery.

A stroll through her beautiful backyard gallery is guaranteed to be one of the best shopping experiences you’ll have this year.


Objects of desire in Griffith. Photo: GRAG.

Objects of Desire

When: Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 2 pm
Where: Griffith Regional Art Gallery, Banna Avenue
Cost: Free.

Sunday is your last chance to enjoy Objects of Desire at the Griffith Gallery.

The exhibition focuses on the beauty of small, beautifully crafted objects made by locals and is a chance to pick up a very special gift that will last a lifetime.


Get out to the lake for some great Christmas shopping ideas. Photo: Markets by the Lake.

Markets by the Lake

When: Saturday 17 December, 4 pm to 8 pm
Where: Apex Park, Lake Albert
Cost: A gold coin donation to CanAssist.

The markets are always a great chance to find a few surprise gifts and buy directly from local producers.

Set on the leafy shores of Lake Albert, it’s a great day out as well!


Christmas with the Con in Wagga. Photo: Riverina Conservatorium of Music.

Christmas with the Con

When: Saturday 17 December, 7 pm
Where: Victory Memorial Gardens, Wagga
Cost: Free.

The Riverina Conservatorium of Music is hosting a free community Christmas event for the family featuring a talented lineup of advanced student and professional musicians at Wagga’s Victory Memorial Gardens.

Saturday 17 December 2022, 4 pm to 8 pm


Willans Hill Miniature Railway Rides

Willans Hill Miniature Railway rides. Photo: Wagga City Council.

Willans Hill Miniature Railway

When: Sunday 18 December, 10 am to 2:30 pm
Where: Wagga Botanic Gardens, Macleay Street
Cost: Tickets are $4 and can be purchased at the ticket window.

If you have friends or family in town this weekend, there is no better outing in Wagga than the Botanic Gardens!

READ ALSO Three little Riverina artists to feature on the federal member’s Christmas card

Picnic on the grass, grab a coffee at the cafe, walk through the zoo and take a ride on one of Australia’s best miniature railways.

The whole experience from the station to the trains, the ride and the enthusiastic engine owners and volunteers is fabulous fun for young and old alike.


Ganmain is gearing up for carols. Photo: Coolamon Shire Council.

Ganmain Christmas Carols in the Park

When: Sunday 18 December, 6:30 pm to 9 pm
Where: Victory Gardens, Ganmain
Cost: Free.

If you fancy a singalong in Coolamon Shire, pack a picnic and head to the Victory Gardens in Ganmain for a night of live music featuring Junee Band, local schools and guest performers.

And for those who behave, there might even be a special appearance from Santa.

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