‘Tis the season to be merry and between all the sizzling summer menus, festive shopping and Christmas/NY parties, there is plenty to be joyful about.
Here’s a roundup of December highlights on the Coast including everything you need to know to finish that Christmas shopping sans stress and enjoy a few festive indulgences with friends and family…
People wonder how Santa gets around to every house in one night, we’re wondering how we’re going to get to all of the 170-plus stalls at this year’s Christmas Fair.
The fair has everything you need for the festive season from gingerbread houses, wreaths and cherries to Christmas trees, puddings and lots of gift ideas.
The huge annual event is a great way to get into the holiday spirit while ticking off some Chrissy shopping in the sun (so much more enjoyable than tussling for car parks and getting stuck in queues at shopping centres).
Now in its 12th year, the Christmas Fair really is an integral part of Christmas on the Coast.
Set amongst the lush Mt Penang Gardens at Kariong, the fair isn’t just about Santa and shopping, there’s a bar, food, live music and loads of kids entertainment including a magician, face painting, juggling, paper plane making, lawn games, football and Christmas characters.
The Christmas Fair
Sunday December 1: 9am-2pm
Mt Penang Gardens, Kariong
Gold coin entry – parking via Kangoo Road
Our fave Terrigal lass is growing up. Rhonda is turning five and to celebrate there will be $5 beers, wines, cocktails and pizzas from 5pm on the 5th of December.
Even if you can’t make the party, make sure you pop in soon to check out her new summer menu.
New dishes at the Italian-style restaurant include potato & rosemary or Nduja and prawn pizza (gluten free bases available), a crispy gnocchi with cherry tomato, broccolini, chilli and goats cheese; and for a summery sweet, home-grown passionfruit semifreddo.
Because summer is the season of entertaining, Rhonda’s is also whipping up metre-long pizzas and mezze boards (pre order only).
The chic seaside venue will be open on Christmas Eve and NYE if you fancy a spritz on the rooftop bar – keep an eye on the Facebook page for more details: https://www.facebook.com/rhondasbar/
Summer at Rhonda’s
‘Tis the season for shopping and there is a very special event taking place at Terrigal this month so you can treat yourself, or someone you love.
A bunch of the Coast’s best fashion, beauty and lifestyle retailers are banding together for their first ever Christmas pop up.
Local luxury clothing brand Kloth Emporium, which focuses on ethical, sustainable and natural materials, will be there selling luxe linen clothing, handmade jewellery and leather bags.
There will also be hamptons chic goods from Erina’s Trouve Home & Lifestyle, vintage treasures from Ettalong’s Swoon, designer jewellery from Trove Designs and beauty vouchers from The Beaute Spot, a new beauty bar at Erina, which specialises in facials, massages, brows and lash extensions.
For the cherry on top, Poppy and Myrtle will be on site with organic coffee and cakes.
And if you’re still pottering around at 3pm, enjoy some champagne and nibbles.
Shopping Pop Up
Saturday December 7: 9am-4pm
Terrigal Scout Hall
The annual Twilight Market at Avoca offers the chance to buy local this Christmas and enjoy a night of shopping under the stars.
The event is by Fixx Events, the folks behind Avoca Markets, so you know the 40-plus stalls will be a great mix of bespoke, unique, handmade goods including organic soap, one-of-a-kind jewellery, festive baby clothes, original artworks and coastal chic homewares.
Local talents Niamh Watson, Ella Powell, Tiali Eliza and Emerald Priestman will perform on a live stage throughout the evening.
There will be plenty of food and drink to ensure everyone is merry and bright.
Saturday December 7: 5pm-9pm
Avoca Beach (next to tennis courts)
The Lucky Bee is set to sizzle this summer with a tantalising new menu.
Their famed Bao buns, the very same that Barbra Streisand was obsessed with in NYC, are getting a makeover with chicken katsu; new dim sum include scallop and shiitake, miso and eggplant spring rolls, and edamame wontons; and there will also be Bang Bang chicken, crispy eggplant and mushroom larb on the menu this summer at the Hardys Bay hive.
If it’s anything like Chef Matty Bennett’s other offerings, you can be sure it will be spicy, fresh and full of flavour.
Add in a ‘Lucky Mary’ or a couple of glasses of rose and there’s no doubt this waterfront restaurant will be the place to ‘bee’ this summer.
Lucky Bee Summer Menu
The Lucky Bee, Hardys Bay
Book online at www.theluckybee.com.au
From scrumptious sweets to gorgeous greenery and amazing art, Handmade on The Coast is sure to have that Xmas gift you’ve been looking for.
Held on the second Sunday of each month at Woy Woy Wharf Park, these markets are dedicated to products that have been handmade, designed, cooked or created by a Central Coast local.
It’s a great way to support budding small businesses while also picking up something special and truly one-of-a-kind.
We’re talking everything from cruelty-free creams to abstract art, handcrafted jewellery, gluten-free treats and eco homewares.
Once you’ve finished your shopping, grab a cup of organic coffee, sit in the shade and enjoy some tunes from local buskers, all within a stone’s throw of Woy Woy’s sparkling waterfront.
Handmade on the Coast
Sunday December 8: 9am-2pm
Woy Woy Wharf
Summer on the Coast is about more than just the coast and if you head inland you’ll be treated to some warm country hospitality at Grace Springs Farm.
The small family run farm at Kulnura produces grass fed and grass finished beef, pastured eggs, pastured chicken, pastured muscovy duck, vegetables, garlic, as well as honey.
When they’re not farming, the family likes to invite guests to tour the farm or take part in beekeeping workshops.
They will be offering their ‘morning tea’ and ‘morning chore’ tours during the school holidays, which include everything from cuddling chooks to milking cows, or book a private tour to have the animals all to yourself.
If this sounds like something a loved one might enjoy, gift certificates are available and would make a great stocking filler this Christmas.
Festive Farm Time
Morning Chores tour – December 8, 2019 (more in January)
Morning Tea tour – December 29, 2019 (more in January)
Grace Springs Farm, Kulnura
Keep an eye on the website for upcoming farm and bee workshops: https://www.gracespringsfarm.net/workshops
Honey for your honey, sweets for your sweet, jewels for your jewel – you’ll find something lovely for a loved one at Wyong’s newest market – Markets on Chapman.
As the name suggests, the markets are held at Wyong’s iconic Chapman Building and offer all manner of treats and treasures from handpicked quartz to handmade baby accessories and tie dye pillows to tea blends.
Food stalls include something for every taste such as sourdough scrolls, halloumi snacks and Vietnamese street food.
Markets on Chapman
Saturday December 14: 9am-2pm
The Chapman Building, Wyong
Held just 10 days out from Christmas, the December Umina Beach Markets is perfectly timed for last minute Christmas shopping.
Pop down to the Peninsula Recreation Precinct at Umina Beach on December 15 for some stress-free shopping by the sea.
There will be loads of fabulous, festive treats on offer including gourmet nuts in every imaginable flavour – Cinnamon, Salted Caramel, Maple, Sweet Chilli and Wasabi – packaged up in sweet hampers for a tasty Chrissy present.
With many of the event’s 90 stalls offering plant-based options, it’s also a great chance to pick up something for the vegan in your life whether it’s art with a message about animal conservation, homegrown herbs, organic tea or small-batch soap.
Refuel with a coffee in a keep cup, sip some local OJ, take away a vegan donut (or three), try a reishi latte and cool down with some refreshing homemade lemonade.
Avoid any parking craziness with a free shuttle bus from Woy Woy or Ettalong Wharfs or Ettalong Diggers.
Umina Beach Markets
Sunday December 15: 9am-2pm
Peninsula Recreation Precinct, Umina Beach
The Entertainment Grounds has you sorted for a Christmas Party with a difference or a fun, family-friendly NYE.
First up is the Christmas Party Race Day with an afternoon of racing, hospitality packages, free kids entertainment, live music on the lawn and a visit from Santa.
Kick start NYE celebrations trackside with the family as part of the Grounds’ annual NYE Race Day. With music, plenty to keep the kids entertained, and the chance to frock up, it has all the ingredients of a fun day out.
Terrigal’s hot new bar The Joker & Thief is hosting the Podium Party this year with tickets buying access to a VIP Marquee with live entertainment and an exclusive Joker & Thief cocktail bar as well as a couple of drinks to get the party started.
Christmas Party – Saturday December 14: 12pm-6pm, $10 for adults/$5 concession (kids u17 free when accompanied by adult)
NYE – Tuesday December 31: 12-6pm, free general admission for Coasties, $39 for Podium Party
The Entertainment Grounds, Gosford
It’s the chic Gosford venue’s first NYE party and to make sure it’s a night to remember there will be bubbles on arrival to get the party started and a tres bon three-course sharing menu including prawns, oysters, Spanish ham, slow-cooked lamb, rib eye, duck fat potatoes, mac’n’cheese and a selection of the chef’s fave desserts (don’t forget the chef is none other than Sean Connolly).
After dinner, the disco balls will light up as DJ Tes Love and vocalist Justine Eltakchi heat up the dance floor with their funky Sunset Disco Social and bring in the new year with boogie jams and disco soul.
Just try not to dance the night (and 2019) away.
Tuesday December 31
The Bon Pavilion, Gosford
$95pp includes three-course meal and bubbles on arrival – contact The Bon on 4302 1593 to book