Love Local Guide: Happy Holidays
Let’s shape this giving season on the Central Coast around gifting amazing local products and experiences to our loved ones.
The Central Coast’s resilient, creative small businesses give our community its colour, so we’ve created an essential holiday guide to help you support them by shopping, dining and celebrating local produce, wares, art and talent!
Our local shops keep our town centres vibrant, our community connected and create local jobs – all while providing their amazing services! Your valuable pressie purchases with local businesses this December will help them on their path to recovery as our region continues to rebuild from catastrophic bushfires, floods and COVID-19. What’s more, we’ve heard direct from Santa that he's quite happy to avoid the big trip Down Under this year, and is permanently WFH.
There are countless ways to support local small businesses this holiday season – one of the best is to choose to buy your fresh produce platters and poultry locally, by shopping for a festive frock or suit at local boutiques, or gifting a brunch or date night voucher at your favourite cafes and restaurants.
We hope you enjoy our latest Love Local Guide to the festive season on the Central Coast…
Festive Central Coast events
Opera, markets, fairs and giant trees...
Christmas Wreath Making Workshops
Long Jetty coffee house Belle & Co have teamed up with The Posy Garden to host everlasting organic wreath making workshops leading up to Christmas. Their second one (the first sold out in record time!) will include grazing platters and BYO wine on Saturday 4 December with tickets available for booking now. Private groups of up to 12 can also be arranged.
Christmas at The Entertainment Grounds - Friday 3 December
Have a laugh and a grand celebration to kick-off December at Gosford's racecourse. Tickets to this event need to be booked in advance, and the price includes a drink on arrival, delicious festive buffet lunch, live entertainment from comedian Mitch Garling, plus lucky door prizes and a DJ, who we suspect will play Mariah Carey on request following dessert. Book your family, team or friends' tickets now.
Terrigal Beach Markets 'Christmas Special' - Saturday 4 December
Catch Santa and one cheeky Elf on the beachfront Esplanade of Terrigal from 10am to 2pm, along with a raft of stalls showcasing local makers, craftsmen, artists, designers, musicians and items perfect for gifting to the DIYers this festive season. More info here.
A Night of Enticement Under the Stars - Saturday 4 December
Coast Opera Australia is hosting this enchanting outdoor event on the illustrious pitch of Central Coast Stadium as the sun sets. Guests will enjoy a VIP experience with canapés and a glass of bubbly on arrival, plus a fine dining experience to the sound of live performers floating between them and singing operatic numbers. Non-catered seats are also available in the stadium stand for those who wish to immerse themselves purely in the music. Find out more about A Night of Enticement Under the Stars here.
Central Coast Christmas Fair 2021 – Sunday 5 December
The largest outdoor festive markets of the region for the festive season are back for their 14th year at Mt Penang Gardens & Parklands, just off the M1. Featuring more than 160 stalls of local handmade gifts, arts, crafts, clothing and fresh produce, plus live music, these huge annual markets are perfect for getting into the festive mood. Santa will be on-site, elves will be free-roaming, and there’s plenty of free parking too. Find out more here.
Avoca Twilight Markets – Saturday 11 December
Fancy free photos with Santa by the beach? Returning for what promises to be a beautiful outdoor event, Avoca Twilight Markets will bring the community together from 5pm onwards with more than 80 hand-picked stalls representing local artists, musicians, makers, people and products. Live bands include Winterbourne, Fletcher Pilon, Brandon Dodd Neav and Jesse O’Neill. As always this event is 100% free, family friendly, accessible and inclusive. Find more information on Avoca Twilight Markets here.
Markets 2259 Christmas Special - Sunday 12 December
These new monthly markets hosted at Wyong Racecourse will be running their first Christmas Markets, starring Santa on a sleigh as the day's special guest. Proving to be one of the largest and most diverse markets on the Central Coast, don't miss this opportunity to grab delicious local food, wares, live music, Show & Shine and last-minute gifts for the whole family. Event details on Markets 2259 here.
Saddles Christmas Fair – Saturday 18 December
Head out to the hinterland café-restaurant and nursery of Saddles Mt White for their fancy Christmas Fair. The event will feature market stalls, live music and choirs, produce from local farms and there’s a confirmed rumour Santa is showing up between 10am and 12pm. Find our more info on Saddles Christmas Fair here.
Kooindah Waters Christmas Day Buffet
Mercure Kooindah Waters are hosting their highly sought after buffet lunch on Christmas Day 2021, with a beverage on arrival and delicious mix of hot and cold foods, with seafood and yummy desserts. Explore available seating times and book directly.
Christmas on the Coast - all December
Giant Christmas Trees and Wreath decorations will light up town centres across the Coast throughout the month. Venture to each of them with the family, or work them into your annual Christmas lights drive. Find festive installations at locations including The Entrance / Gosford / Terrigal / Toukley / Wyong / Woy Woy.
Ring in the new year
Where to celebrate on the Coast
Avoca Beach House Restaurant
Shed 2021 and bring on 2022 with a five course feast, stellar views over Avoca Beach and live entertainment courtesy of the talented Nick Read. Find out more, check out the menu and book.
Bells at Killcare
Be part of a very special Black Tie Dinner welcoming in the New Year of 2022 with your friends and family. Enjoy welcome canapés and an arrival bellini, followed by a delicious four course dinner with matched wines. Bottomless French Champagne will continue through the evening aand live music will kick off from 7pm on the lawn with The Baker Boys Band. Learn more and book.
Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific
Enjoy an elegant evening welcoming in the New Year at Seasalt Restaurant starting with a glass of sparkling on arrival followed by a four course dinner overlooking Terrigal Beach. Afterwards, dance the night away with their live entertainment. Book your tickets here.
Head back in time to the roaring 20's with Bootleg Balls and Free-Dancing Flappers at the newly revamped Hotel Gosford. Enjoy a 3-hour drinks package and canapés, a themed cocktail menu with live entertainment. Don't forget to dress in 20's Glitz & Glamour for a night to remember. Find out more and get tickets.
Reef Restaurant, Terrigal
Champagne & canapés on arrival are followed by a three course meal all while you enjoy live entertainment by The Mixed Tape Duo. View the menu and book your table.
Terrigal Beach House
Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a beach breeze. Featuring headline act Suite Az, you can dance into the night and know you’re in the best place on the Coast when the clock strikes midnight. More info here.
The Bon Pavilion, Gosford
Dance the night away to live music and a saxophone player at The Bon. Choose your own food and beverage package and make the night your own. Book now.
Special stocking fillers
Handmade gifts from Makers & Creators
Whether you’re searching for stocking fillers, one-of-a-kind items, or want to gift an experience to remember – the Central Coast is filled with exciting options! We're extremely lucky to be part of a diverse community of Makers & Creators who call the Coast home, and many of them are on hand this month to craft and curate specialty presents and experiences you can buy for loved ones.
Lift the spirts with gin distillery originals
There are some stunning options available this year from local Distillery Botanica, home of Moore's award-winning gin range and Mr Black Espresso Martini. Their Ultimate G&T Picnic Pack is fantastic for the gin lover in your life, browse their exceptional spirit shop online, or grab a gift voucher to go.
Central Coast beach luxury gifts
Introducing Alohra Australia, an outdoor beach luxury brand proudly made here on the Central Coast, offering some amazing summer Christmas gifts including umbrellas, sand-free beach towels, chairs and the latest addition - stylish cabanas! Shop their range here.
Wine & the spirit of Christmas packs
Based at Long Jetty, the Central Coast's boutique wine curators - Upstairs Wines - are once again helping us easily impress our loved ones with their thoughtful range of wine gift packs! Created for the holidays, there's a choice of Christmas packs, Essentials, Holidays Cheers and a special Local Produce Hamper pack - shop the full range online.
Sustainable soy-made decorations
Local creative brand Morgan Made are supporting the sustainable beauty scene on a local level with their handmade self care products, such as scented star-shaped soy decorations and aromatic shower steamers.
Beautiful custom sized belts, wallets and more are made to order with Crown & Anchor on the Central Coast, each skilfully created by a local leather craftsman so you can be assured the quality is top-notch.
Explore Mowgli Studio at Long Jetty for great botanical gifts including plant care books, painted pots and succulents - many coming artfully pre-wrapped. You’ll find the perfect pressie here for that indoor jungle-loving person.
Environmentally conscious Central Coast business, SŚAINT PARFUM, have launched the perfect gift pack for exploring their range of handmade scents. Their online shop features the petite Discovery Set with four signature scents plus a gift voucher for using on a future favourite.
Who deserves a lump of coal?
This has to be the most ingenious joke holiday gift we've seen - a handmade bath bomb that doubles as a lump of coal! A perfect stocking filler for naughty children or parents. Visit Central Coast Commons based in Gosford to browse their amazing range of soaps and many providore-themed gifts firsthand. The team at Central Coast Commons are also creating some handy gift guides - including a much-needed gift guide for self care this season.
Gourmet food & drink gifts
Marshmallows & gingerbread men
The Marshmallow Co dessert bar in Wyong is a sweet treat haven for pressie ideas, with a range of different marshy flavours to pick and mix in a gift box, or keep it simple and grab one of their Christmas Hot Chocolate Boxes or special edition Gingerbread Men Box. This year the Mallow Team have created a 'Christmas Eve Box' for you and the kids to have a little treat on the night before Santa visits!
Belgian chocolate boxes
Build your own gift box of handmade chocolates at Wyong Milk Factory, simply by popping into Luka Chocolates. Their store just off the M1 at Wyong is a dream for shopping for that chocolate lover in your life. The team have recently launched the new Luka Chocolates at Home Collection featuring DIY moulds and everything you need to become a chocolatier!
Kincumber's award-winning gingerbread (and new release candle!)
Adri's Gingerbread is local to the Central Coast and is stocked in major stores across the country, including David Jones. This season seek out some of Adri's festive collection of European style gingerbread treats - they are the real deal. They have just released a brand new product in partnership with Cocolux Australia - a European Christmas Candle made with coconut oil and featuring their gingerbread spices with a hint of Christmas tones!
Chocolate & wine pairing experience
Book in for an extra special wine and chocolate tour with someone who loves their fine fruit wine and has a sweet tooth to match, hosted courtesy of Firescreek Winery at Holgate.
Fine dining gift vouchers
Last-minute panic? After months of not dining out once, a festive gift voucher from any of the following fine dining restaurants would make a truly unique experience this year:
- Yellowtail Dining Experience at Terrigal, one of the Coast’s fine dining venues and hatted restaurants.
- Reef Restaurant at Terrigal, with exceptional ocean views.
- The Box on the Water offers superb waterfront views at Ettalong and a modern Australian dining menu.
- Bells Killcare gift vouchers let the recipient decide how they'd like to experience Bells. Whether it be in the spa, hotel, restaurant or bakery.
Luxury local gift hampers
Home Ground Central Coast hampers
Offering 10% off the first order for new customers, Home Ground ONLY source their artisan boxes from the local Central Coast region. This is an easy and high quality way to support local small businesses and gift your loved ones a complete package representing the best flavours of the Coast. To make life easier, Home Ground are even offering a 'Hold Till Holidays' option where they hold your choice of gift box to avoid missing out, and dispatch later with guaranteed delivery by Christmas. Check out their Christmas Hamper collection here.
There's a range of local businesses creating some amazing hampers for the holidays. Try Bamvino's collection with great options for him & her, starring Prosecco or beer, deluxe bath salts, fudge, chocolate dotties, fancy fairy floss, spicy cheese biccies from Ourimbah biscuiteers Crooked Creek - and it's all presented in a beautiful wooden crate ready to gift.
Central Coast hampers
The experts in hamper creation, Central Coast Hamper Gifts, will sort you out with a Maggie Beer non-alcoholic sparkling & Grandmas Christmas Pudding set, or a Hawkesbury Brewing Co beer pack complete with nuts and gingerbread. That's just a taste of their huge range, worth exploring to find something to suit your partner, colleague, baby or best friend.
Love Shak hampers
For decadent and delicious hamper ideas starring more local Central Coast goodies, try Love Shak Australia, who are offering wine soaked chocolate trio packs in their online shop. They also have free local delivery across the Central Coast - visit their socials to find out more.
Claya's festive luxury boxes
Head over to Claya's pre-packed gift boxes for some pamper-themed ideas designed around the personality and lifestyle of who you're gifting, including the Merry Xmas, Xmas Eve, Secret Santa, Let it Glow, and Night before Christmas concepts.
Corporate & event gifting
Do you have staff who deserve an extra thank you after the year that's been? New to the gifting game is Love Local Creations (which obviously deserves a place in this Love Local Guide), who specialise in deluxe corporate and event gifts that can be customised to suit the occasion. Ideas include cheeseboards, gin distillery packs starring Moore's Dry Gin, and Men Who Scrub skincare with Hawkesbury Brewing Co. beers.
Christmas shops on the Central Coast
A Dash of Christmas - Long Jetty
Have you taken the 'Dash Walk' before? If you're one of those festive folk who absolutely LOVES all things Christmas, make a date to drop by Long Jetty’s red, white, green and glitter-filled seasonal store, A Dash of Christmas, to unearth all kinds of kitschy festive memorabilia and holiday decorations. The shop is a passion project of its owner, so it's an absolute festive wonderland maze in there. The browsing experience can lead to you leaving with a 5-foot real-life sculpture of Mrs Claus, or simply a cute glass bauble to add to your collection.
Uniquely Christmas - West Gosford
Much more than another shop selling tinsel and lights, the owners offer unique decorations made of reclaimed materials and run workshops to help others create decorations from recycled materials too. Of course there's still plenty of new, shiny festive items available at Uniquely Christmas, but their aim is to provide a vast range of ideas to help people of any budget or style bring their home to life for the holidays.
Christmas World – West Gosford
Established in 1999 and bringing festive cheer via decorations to families across Australia, Christmas World has opened this season on the Central Coast! Find it just before entering Gosford CBD, opposite Adcock Park (a great place to park up with the family and stroll over). Expect everything from solar lights to LED reindeers, trees, wreaths, garlands and more.
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