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Youth activities for the festive break

This year has been a big one and if there has ever been a time to unwind, relax and to embrace the holiday spirit, it is December 2020.

We have compiled our favourite crafts, cooking and activities from the team and other handy websites.

DIY Festive Wreaths


  • Scissors
  • Twine or kitchen string
  • Ribbon
  • Mixture of foliage, cuttings of branches/leaves from the garden or any you find on a walk. Not dry otherwise they will snap. Olive branches, bay leaves, magnolia branches and leaves, gum branches and leaves are great too. Using a variety looks more effective and the larger leaves hide some of the gaps. Cut to medium size approx. 20-30cm in length.
  • Florist wire - this can be purchased from craft store or a local florist. Must be bendable to make a round shape. If you don’t have this at home or it can’t be purchased then using the branches from the foliage you cut will be fine but they need to be more bendable/flexible and it will need to be secured more tightly with string or twine more tightly though. Cardboard cut-out in a circle with the middle cut out too would make solid base to tie the foliage onto.



  1. If using florist wire then bend into a circle. Otherwise if using the branches on their own and they are flexible you can bend them into a semi-circle and tie another piece of foliage to it. Bend the foliage around the wire and use twine or kitchen string to tie to one end of it. Then tie more string to the other side of the foliage to secure that end.
  2. Add another piece of foliage of the same type you started with and attach to the first piece you tied on, making sure it bends around like a semi-circle, tie on.
  3. Add a larger type leaf/foliage piece e.g. magnolia or bay leaves to cover some of the gaps and attach. Use your hands to move into place so the larger leaves are covering the twine or string you are using.
  4. Add some smaller foliage pieces, those that have flowers or in this example, with some different looking types of leaves/gumnuts smaller or larger for effect.
  5. Look and see if you require any other larger leaves or spread out some of the other ones you have attached or tuck them under to cover any gaps and it looks full.
  6. Add a ribbon to hang the wreath or you can leave it as a table centre piece!

Easy Chocolate Christmas Balls

Taken from 4 Ingredients' website


  • 200 grams Arrowroot biscuits crushed
  • 3 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 400g can condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut



  1. Put biscuits in a bag and use the rolling pin to crush all of them to finer pieces or if you have a blender use that (it’ll be faster).
  2. Mix crushed biscuit, cocoa and condensed milk together to make a sticky consistency.
  3. Using a generous teaspoon of mixture, roll into balls and cover in coconut.

Ta-da! You’re finished. Pop them in the fridge to cool (they can be frozen too). Hopefully you didn’t eat them all whilst making them. Enjoy!

Rediscover Bayside This Christmas

If you have a day to yourself and the sun is shining, there is plenty to do in Bayside and beyond to enjoy the free decorations.

Start off the morning with a stroll along one of our beaches and maybe bury a mate in the sand, before going to a local restaurant or café for lunch. Keep an eye out for the many Christmas displays in our local parks, shopping centres and beaches, and maybe remember to dig your friend out of the beach.

At night, take a stroll around the neighbourhood and appreciate the fairy lights and decorations in all their wonder as they sparkle into the night. The best part is, enjoying Christmas doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg.

If you need ideas on places to dine, shopping and exploring what we have to offer head over to our Rediscover Bayside page. Now that restrictions are easing it's important more then ever to support local.

Environmentally friendly present wrapping

Did you know: Australians use more than 150,000km of wrapping paper during Christmas – enough to wrap around Earth's equator nearly 4 times.

Wrapping presents

  • Use environmentally friendly wrapping paper
  • Avoid buying glossy foil or metallic wrapping paper
  • Use tape sparingly, or not at all
  • Reuse gift wrap where possible
  • Choose alternatives to commercial gift wrap

Gift boxes wrapped in craft paper with dried flowers.

Decorating presents

  1. Try using greenery or flowers from your garden
  2. Twine or any string that you may have at home to tie around the presents.
  3. You can use lots of different things from around the house (even scarves are great to wrap with) to wrap/decorate presents without creating unnecessary waste, for Christmas and any special occasion.

Gingerbread Recipe

Taken from Australia's Best Recipes website.


  • 3 cups flour
  • 140g chopped room temperature butter
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup
  • 1 egg



  1. Pre heat oven to 160C
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl
  3. Knead until smooth
  4. Roll dough out flat between two pieces of baking paper to be 0.5cm thick
  5. Refrigerate until chilled
  6. Place chilled dough on bench and cut out shapes
  7. Place on baking paper
  8. Bake for 10 mins or until lightly golden
  9. Decorate with icing when cool or enjoy as is!

Christmas Connections


Christmas doesn’t need to be about gifts, cooking the best gingerbread or outshining each other’s tree. At the heart of it, it is about spending time with people we care about and doing things that make us happy. Ok, maybe with an extra slice of cheesecake.

Calling someone you care about, writing your friends a Christmas card or organising a low-key picnic with someone you have missed this year are all great ways to connect to those we love and it doesn’t need to cost a cent.

Christmas Inspired Milkshake

Taken from 4 Son 'R' Us website.

Everyone loves a good milkshake and even better that this one has candy canes in it. Perhaps not the healthiest thing but a great Christmas treat to enjoy!


  • 3 cups of vanilla ice cream
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract you can use only one if you just want a "hint" of peppermint
  • 4 broken up candy canes or 6 peppermints
  • Pink food colouring
  • Whip cream


  1. Start by placing your ice cream, milk, and peppermint extract into a blender.
  2. Blend on high until smooth.
  3. Add about 3 drops of pink food colouring.
  4. Blend on high until mixed well.
  5. Pour into frozen mugs or mason jars.
  6. Put broken up candy canes or peppermints into a food processor. Process until broken up into fine pieces. If you don't have a food processor you can break them up with a rolling pin.
  7. Top shake the whip cream bottle. Sprinkle candy cane crumbs on top of the whip cream - serve and enjoy!

Buy presents from local op shops

‘One person’s trash is another person’s treasure’.

Girl browsing gifts and holding a necklace in an Op Shop.

They say one man’s trash is another person’s treasure, and we all know that presents from friends and family is something we treasure forever.

Local Bayside Op shops are full of potential bargains and unique finds. If your friend is looking to fill a book shelf or creative pots for their new garden, you can find some great items in a second hand store.

Not only is buying second hand good for your pocket, it is great for the environment as we are reducing the amount of items produced new.

Feeling adventurous? Challenge your friends to find items with different criteria’s and see who can be the most creative! Can you find an item that is fluffy and multicoloured? An item with eyes? The only limit is your creativity!

Find all our local OP shops in Bayside

The Famous Jelly Slice

Taken from Australia's Best Recipes website.


  • 1 packet sweet plain biscuits
  • 175 g unsalted butter melted
  • 400 g sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbs gelatine powder
  • 1 tsp gelatine powder
  • 1 packet raspberry jelly


  1. Butter a slice tray 16cm x 26cm x 3cm. Dissolve jelly in 1 and a 1/2 cups of boiling water, then place in fridge for about 45 minutes until cool (not set).
  2. Place biscuits in a food processor and pulse into a fine crumb. Transfer to a bowl and mix in melted butter. Press mixture firmly into lined slice tray. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Dissolve gelatine in 1/2 cup hot water. Place condensed milk in a bowl and combine with gelatine mixture. Pour this mixture over biscuit base and return to fridge to set for 30 minutes.
  4. Pour cold red jelly on top of slice. Return it to the fridge. Once set, use a warm knife to slice into squares.