Wooden snowmen sit in snow in front of a tree St Jacobs Sparkles. Photo courtesy of St. Jacobs Village.

Stay Dreamy This Holiday

November 25, 2021

Things to Do This Holiday Season

As the seasons change, there’s no better time to reconnect with loved ones. Here’s a list of inspiring and heartwarming festivities for the holiday season! For the creative taking this time to refocus on their craft, we’ve included choice arts programming for your enjoyment as well.

Reindeer decorations covered in snow outside of a building
St Jacobs Sparkles. Photo courtesy of St. Jacobs Village.

Enjoy the Sights and Sounds of the Holiday

St. Jacobs Sparkles
Nov 13 – 28 | In-person | Free
St Jacobs Village, Waterloo Region

Enjoy thousands of sparkling lights, enjoy hot apple cider by the firefighter burn barrel, check out live music and carollers, and get into the holiday spirit with free horse-drawn trolley rides. With a plethora of family-friendly activities, there’s something for everyone.

Lantern Walk in the Doon Heritage Village
Now to December 11 | In-person | $10 for adults, free for those under 2
Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum, Waterloo Region

Sip warm apple cider and enjoy the evening with a stroll in Doon Heritage Village, lit in beautiful lantern light. Peek through the windows of the village buildings and experience the unique ambiance of a historic 1914-village setting with loved ones. Advance ticket purchase is required.

Christmas at the Castle
Now to December 30 | In-person | Prices vary
Casa Loma, Central Toronto

This December, visitors will be surrounded by magic throughout Casa Loma’s interior, resplendent with festive décor including a 40ft tall tree in the Great Hall, and a collection of holiday trees decorated by renowned Canadian designers. Younger guests can visit Santa in his castle workshop and meet live holiday mascots.

A castle with lit up reindeer decorations and arches outside
Casa Loma Holiday Lights Tour. Photo courtesy of Casa Loma.

Holiday Light Tour
Now to December 30 | In-person | Prices vary
Casa Loma, Central Toronto

Experience a brand new sort of self-guided walk with Casa Loma’s dazzling light display. Stroll through gardens and tunnels all decorated for the festive season while enjoying live performances in a safe environment.

Holiday Skating at Union Station
Now to January 2, 2022 | In-person | Free
Union Station, Central Toronto

Get out on the ice this holiday at Union Station! Whether you’re an avid skater or someone lacing up a pair for the first time, you can skate your heart out. Registration for timed entry is required. As a bonus for newbies, free 30min lessons will be offered on December 12th and 19th, during the 2pm and 4pm skating slots!

Brockville River of Lights
Now to January 2, 2022 | In-person | Free
Blockhouse Island Parkway, Brockville

This holiday light display on Blockhouse Island includes thousands of twinkle lights and flood lights set to music. Set your car radio to 88.1 and enjoy the 50-minute show from 6:00pm to 10:00pm, and watch the trees dance with lights as a mix of contemporary music and classic holiday tunes entertain you!

Uxbridge Lights. Photo credit: Steven Wright Photography.

Uxbridge Optimist Fantasy of Lights
December 4, 2021 to January 2, 2022 | In-person | Free
Optimist Club of Uxbridge, Durham Region

Enjoy one of the biggest exhibits of Christmas lights in Ontario, now as a drive-through experience featuring 75 light displays from community groups, businesses, schools, churches, and families from all around the Uxbridge area!

Hymers Fair Winter Market
December 11-12, 10am-4pm | In-person | Free
Da Vinci Centre, Thunder Bay

Whether you’re looking to get inspired or get your holiday shopping on, you’ll enjoy this winter market with 40 different artisans and vendors showcasing their work. Each day will feature different artisans and vendors, making for an exciting variety of talent!

Santa Express Train Ride
Now to December 19 | In-person | Free
York-Durham Heritage Railway, Durham Region

All aboard with Santa! On this decorated and heated heritage train, families can enjoy on-board entertainment while kids prepare their wish lists and await Santa’s arrival. The Heritage Train is wheelchair-accessible in Uxbridge.

A woman standing in front of a lake
Still of End of the Line: The Women Of Standing Rock. Courtesy of Human Rights Film Festival.

Don’t Miss These Staff Picks

Take a break from the holidays and immerse yourself in these not-to-be-missed arts programming!

Human Rights Film Festival
December 1-10, various timings | Online and in-person | Give-what-you-can tickets
JAYU, Central Toronto

Over the past year, we’ve become more aware of our relationship to the world at large. This is a good time as any to check out offerings of screenings, workshops, discussions, and more from the Human Rights Film Festival, presented by JAYU.

Survival Architecture and the Art of Resilience
Until December 11, Wednesdays to Fridays from 12-7pm; Saturdays from 12-5pm | In-person | Free
Onsite Gallery, OCAD University, Central Toronto

Join Onsite Gallery for a free guided tour of their current exhibition and in-depth information on select works.

Fragments of Epic Memory 
Until 21 February, 2022, 10am-9pm | In-person | $25
Art Gallery of Ontario, Central Toronto

The first exhibition organized by the AGO’s new Department of Arts of Global Africa and the Diaspora, Fragments of Epic Memory will invite visitors to experience the multiple ways of encountering the Caribbean and its diaspora, from the period following emancipation through today.