If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, you might initially be disappointed by what Malta has to offer this holiday season. Snow alone doesn’t make a good Christmas, though! In fact, we can say with confidence that Malta’s Christmas is one of the most exciting around. We even have the CNN backing our claims up, as in 2015 the world famous news company rated us one of the 15 most Christmassy places in the world.
In other words, we might be low in snow, but we’re high in Christmas spirit!
Which means that in the spirit of giving, we can’t help but let you in on some of the best places to get your Christmas fix this year. Our list isn’t exhaustive though, because the holiday really is everywhere, from pretty much every Maltese household to the decorated streets outside. Cribs, for example, are basically set up in every nook and cranny.
If you’re a Grinch, you really won’t be able to escape the season in Malta. We bet you’re not, though, so without further ado, here are some places to get your Christmas spirit roaring:
Għajnsielem is a little rural town in Gozo, which makes it the perfect place to host the annual Bethlehem f’Għajnsielem, which is a life-sized, animated nativity experience. We’re not joking when we say life-sized, either, as the whole event takes place over 20,000sqm of land. Visitors are given a map to find their way around the makeshift Betlehem, and is a look into the birth of Jesus Christ as much as it is a look into the lifestyle of the time.
This year’s edition is running between the 11th of December to the 8th of January.
You knew this answer was coming, but of course we had to mention it anyway! Our capital city becomes nothing short of a Christmas Village during the holiday season, with decorations covering every imaginable space. You can even check out an impressive, 35-foot-tall Christmas tree at the Valletta Waterfront.
On that note, the Waterfront is a great place to take your kids during this time of the year as during weekends and public holidays you’ll find a wide array of free children’s entertainment to make their day more joyous.
Of course, there are plenty of activities worth checking out in Valletta – far too many to list in one article. Perhaps the epitome of Christmas spirit is captured no better than in the annual International Christmas Carol Concert, that takes place in St. John’s Co-Cathedral. It’s a stunning display of song and music, and is actually a fund-raiser, so it’s well worth the €15 ticket. Make sure to book this one, as no tickets will be sold at the door!
It might be an unconventional choice, but Mosta seems to be determined to be put on the Christmas map this year with the Jollywood Winter Fair taking place on the 10th of December at the QSI International School. The event is free entrance, runs from 12pm to 5pm, and will feature countless stalls with food and trinkets to buy, as well as an ample amount of entertainment options (including pony rides!)
Imdina is cosy and quaint, so it’s easy to see why the place lends itself to Christmas warmth and cheer. Luckily, you’ll find quite a few activities that makes it even more of Christmassy spot. You’ll find carolling everywhere, and that includes a concert entitled A Prelude to Christmas, happening on the 17th of December at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The event is in aid of Dar il-Providenza, and features the Amadeus Christmas Choir. Also guesting will be a selection of the Marsa Scouts Pipes and Drums.
Popeye Village, Mellieħa
If you don’t yet know what Popeye Village is, it’s a unique theme park that started life as the film set for the musical production ‘Popeye’ in 1980. Every Christmas, it changes its tune by setting up a wonderful Santa’s Toytown, which is a great way for the kids to see elves making gifts and play games. This year, Santa’s Toytown is open from the 6th of December to the 4th of January.
In addition to simply visiting Santa’s Toytown, this year you can book a special Christmas package that comes with a ton of other goodies, including a gift for every child, access to a family treasure hunt, animation shows, and even the chance to visit Santa himself at a new house attraction.