Historically, Cottage by the Sea hosted children over Christmas and throughout the summer holidays.  It was an invaluable service for hundreds of families, especially those who needed to work through this period.

Thanks to generosity of private donations, the Cottage was able to offer a beachside holiday for free. Children played on the local beaches and enjoyed a relaxing summer in the fresh air. A privilege so many of us take for granted was a once in a lifetime treat for many of these children.

Over the years, countless members of Queenscliff, Point Lonsdale and communities beyond, pulled together to make Christmas at the Cottage a magical experience.  Food, money and toys are donated as well as time spent with the children playing games and entertaining with Christmas carols and magic shows.

No group has helped out more than the local Fire Brigade. Since the 1920s they have made sure Santa arrives safely at the Cottage each year to deliver gifts.  Back in the day, Santa and his friends from the Queensclifff Fire Brigade would take children on a ride around the town in the fire cart, and later the truck.  Santa would set up his ladder and climb to the second storey dormitory windows.  These days Santa and the kids stay safely seated on the Cottage lawns.

Children no longer stay at the Cottage on Christmas Day.  Developments in social services and other charitable works means most families supported by the Cottage are able to spend Christmas together with good food and a few presents.  The lucky children who stay at Cottage throughout December however, are still spoilt with gifts from many generous supporters.