Things for older Australians to do this holiday season


Things for older Australians to do this holiday season

As an older Australian, there are plenty of activities you can participate in over the holiday season. Here, we’ll provide a few suggestions in your capital city to inspire you to look a little further. Talk to your support worker about coming up with a plan to do one new activity a week!

You can do some research together on the Internet, make some bookings and have some fun.

On Mable you can also connect with a new support worker you may not have worked with yet. It’s always a great idea to add someone new to your team because every person brings something fresh.



Southbank Parklands

Southbank Parklands have long been a favourite place to visit for all ages as it offers something for everyone. There are shady picnic areas, restaurants, stunning gardens, walking paths and of course, the lovely views of the Brisbane River and CBD. It can be fun to explore the different landscapes which include an Epicurious herb garden. Don’t miss The Collective Markets for some fascinating browsing and unique artisanal Christmas shopping.

When: Open 365 days, 10am to 5pm (Markets – Fridays 5pm to 9pm; Saturdays 10am to 9pm and Sundays 9am to 4pm)

Where: Little Stanley Street, South Brisbane

Accessibility features: Disabled access available including bathrooms and showers, wheelchair hire and disabled parking bays.

Museum of Brisbane

Learn more about the history of Brisbane than you might have thought you knew! The Museum of Brisbane (MoB) features a purpose-built gallery and offers views of two of the building’s iconic heritage features, the copper dome and the Clock Tower. See textiles, ceramics, drawings and photography. You can book your free tickets in advance.

When: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm

Where: Brisbane City Hall, King George Square

Accessibility features: Wheelchair access, except for Clock Tower.

QPAC, A Christmas Carol

The Charles Dickens classic comes alive on stage at the Lyric Theatre. The Christmas spirit is alive and well, even if the inimitable Ebenezer Scrooge sees it differently!

When: Wednesday 16th to Thursday 24th December, various times

Where: Lyric Theatre, Cnr Grey and Melbourne Streets, South Brisbane

Accessibility features: On Tuesday 22nd December, there is an Auslan interpreted performance at 1pm. Mention the need for accessibility seating when booking. Check out the accessibility details.


SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

Animal lovers will adore a visit to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium where you can come face to face with penguins, dugongs and even sharks! Spend a few hours in the cool of the aquarium and relax with a drink and a snack. You can purchase Christmas gifts the family will love and the centre accepts the National Companion Card so your support worker can attend for free.

When: Check SEA LIFE opening hours.

Where: SEA LIFE Aquarium Sydney, 1-5 Wheat Road, Sydney

Accessibility features: Wheelchair accessible, accessible toilets, assistance dogs welcome, Companion Card accepted.

Christmas wreath making at the Rocks Markets

Create your own wreath at a free two-hour class at The Rocks Markets. Everything you’ll need is supplied including fresh and dried materials, greenery and Christmas embellishments. Book ahead to avoid disappointment.

When: Sunday 19th December, 10am, 1pm and 4pm

Where: 47 George Street, The Rocks

Accessibility features: Accessible venue including lifts and accessible toilets. Some areas are not accessible.

The Art Gallery of NSW

Located next to the Royal Botanic Gardens, The Art Gallery of NSW offers free admission to the permanent galleries and most events and exhibitions. A structure program is offered for people living with dementia and their carers. It provides intellectual stimulation and encourages self-expression.

When: Thursdays and Fridays, one hour between 10.30am and 12pm. Book in advance.

Where: Art Gallery Road, The Domain

Accessibility features: Accessible venue including lifts, accessible toilets and disabled parking spots. A structured program is available for people living with dementia, and their carers.


Melbourne Planetarium

Check out the informative and educational shows at the Melbourne Planetarium at Scienceworks. Sit back in the reclining seats and gaze up at the 16m high domed ceiling where you will be entranced at the 30-45-minute show. You’ll enjoy your visit no matter how hot it is outside! And your support worker can accompany you for free with their Companion Card.

When: Thursdays and Fridays, one hour between 10.30am and 12pm. Book in advance.Where: 2 Booker St, Spotswood

Accessibility features: Accessible venue and Companion Card-friendly.

Melbourne Zoo

Take a one-hour adventure following the Adventure Map through Melbourne Zoo. Meet ring-tailed lemurs, pygmy hippopotamus and tree apes. Don’t miss the red pandas! Your support worker will be happy to guide you around and if you require a wheelchair, the zoo is accessible. Stop for a cool drink and reflect on the lively animals you’ve seen.

When: Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm; Friday to Sunday, 9am to 8pm.

Where: Elliott Avenue, Parkville

Accessibility features: Accessible venue, assistance animals welcome and Companion Card-friendly.

Cinema Nova

For something different, catch a movie at Cinema Nova where the billing features mainly arthouse and crossover films. Revel in the air conditioning and munch away on concession stand snacks. Companion Card is accepted here.

When: Various sessions, book in advance.

Where: 380 Lygon Street, Carlton

Accessibility features: All cinemas have wheelchair access and are fitted with the loop receiver device. Some Closed Caption and Audio Described sessions are available.



Make your own kiln-formed Christmas ornaments

Imagine creating beautiful Christmas decorations with your own hands. At Canberra Glassworks, an experienced artist will teach you how to cut

coloured glass sheets and assemble together in your chosen design. Or you might prefer to simply attend the current exhibition featuring work by celebrated artists.

When: Various class times from Saturday 5th to Sunday 20th December, book in advance. Exhibition – 26th November to 20th December.

Where: 11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston

Accessibility features: Wheelchair accessible. Companion Card is welcome.

Lakeside Leisure Centre

Fancy a dip? At Lakeside Leisure, there is a 25m heated indoor leisure pool so you can paddle around without worrying about the sun. There’s also a café so you and your support worker can enjoy a cappuccino and a muffin while you’re out.

When: Monday to Friday, 5.30am to 9.30pm; Saturday and Sunday, 7am to 7.30pm.

Where: Corner Anketell Street and Athllon Drive, Greenway

Accessibility features: Disability access and parking, accessible pool ramps. Companion Card-friendly.


Eastern Shore Croquet Club

Like to play a spot of croquet? It’s fun and you’ll meet others who enjoy a bit of competitive play. Go along as a social visitor and consider joining the club. You can even take coaching.

When: Social play is available on Saturdays and Golf Croquet for Beginners (by arrangement) is on Tuesday afternoons. Start times for social play are 9.30am and 1pm in summer.

Where: 57-61 South Street, Bellerive

Accessibility features: Disability access and parking, accessible pool ramps. Companion Card-friendly.

Hobart Christmas decorations

Prepare to be jolly! Visit Mawson’s Place to view the beautiful Christmas tree and other decorations. Have a nibble on some tasty food nearby and take a stroll around the waterfront. See if you can spot any starfish in the water.

When: Any time before Christmas.

Where: Morrison Street, Hobart

Accessibility features: Disability access and parking.


Adelaide’s Christmas Festival

The City of Adelaide is doing great things in the CBD and North Adelaide, bringing Christmas cheer in the shape of a giant Christmas tree in Victoria Square. There’s also a life-size Lego sleigh at the Adelaide Central Market. More than 30 window art displays have been dressed across the two centres, with decorations designed by local artists. You certainly shouldn’t miss the gorgeous displays of Window Wonderland in Rundle Mall. Book a support session for the evening so everything is gloriously lit and sparkling!

When: Friday 13th November to Friday 25th December.

Where: Adelaide CBD and North Adelaide

Accessibility features: Disability access and parking.

Jetty Road, Glenelg

Enjoy an ice cream by the beach at Jetty Road, Glenelg. St. Louis House of Fine Ice Cream and Dessert offers a stunning array of decadently garnished ice creams. Or you could try Strawberry Banana Fondue and order a cup of coffee to go with it. Just one block from the beach, St. Louis is a delightful spot to while away an hour and then get some fresh air with views of the ocean.

When: Sunday to Monday, 8am to 10pm; Friday and Saturday, 8am to 11pm

Where: 3/1 Colley Terrace, Glenelg

Accessibility features: Wheelchair accessible.


North Beach Community Carols

Featuring live music, singers, drama and free songbooks, the North Beach Community Carols invite you to join in and sing to your heart’s content.

When: Sunday 20th December, 7.30pm to 9pm

Where: North Beach Primary School Oval, 75 North Beach Road, North Beach

Accessibility features: Wheelchair accessible with assistance.

The Bell Tower Experience

Enter the ringing chamber and chime the royal bells! You’ll discover the interesting history around the Bell Tower and take home a souvenir bell chiming certificate. This 45-minute tour is a unique experience that won’t soon be forgotten. It’s a good idea to time your visit on a Thursday or Saturday when the bells are rung by professionals between 12pm and 1pm.

When: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 11am and 1.30pm

Where: Barrack Square Riverside Drive, Perth

Accessibility features: Companion Card accepted.



Christmas at the Darwin Waterfront

There’s plenty of Christmas cheer at the Darwin Waterfront, with a Christmas tree, decorations, a giant star of lights comprising 1,000 globes, 5-metre pines draped with fairy lights and even a 4-metre tall gingerbread man’s house. It’s definitely worth an evening visit to absorb the festive atmosphere.

When: Open 24 hours a day

Where: 19B Kitchener Drive, Darwin City

Accessibility features: Wheelchair accessible.

George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens

At the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens, there’s so much to see and take in that you’ll need a few return visits! You can have a picnic on the lawns, sip coffee at Eva’s Café, view the tallest fountain in Darwin, count the butterflies in the sensory garden and relax in the shade garden, just for starters.

When: Open 24 hours a day

Where: Gilruth Avenue and Gardens Road, The Gardens

Accessibility features: Wheelchair accessible and caters for people who have hearing loss or who are deaf.

It’s summer and the holiday season! This is a great time of year to plan some support sessions out of the home. Talk to your support worker about going out to festive events or attending other special spots where you can keep cool and have fun.