Discover Burlington Ontario

#BurlON for the Holidays – Dec 20-Jan 8

by Kelly Harris

We are down to the final shopping days until Christmas but there is no shortage of activities going on in #BurlON now or through the holidays.

Burlington Performing Arts Centre has performances of the beloved classic, Charles Dicken’s a Christmas Carol on Friday and Saturday. For ticket and information, contact the Box Office. There are shows at 7:30 on both days and also a 2:30 show on Saturday, so a great one to bring the kids to. Make sure you check out the Burlington Festival of Lights while visiting beautiful downtown Burlington.  The display is in Spencer Smith Park until January 7 it is lovely to take a stroll through the park and admire the beautiful lights.

Royal Botanical Gardens still is alive with activity and will be throughout the holidays. Their Holiday Traditions program is in full swing and runs until January 7. Thursday-Saturday you can see a magical winter wonderland at the Rock Garden’s Winter Lights at the Rock.  It also runs Dec 27-Dec 30 and makes for a nice night over the holidays. Just bundle up as it’s outdoors! Why not make it an afternoon outing and enjoy the botanical train exhibit at the RBG Centre. It’s on until Dec 24  and from Dec 27-Jan 7. New this year is the Escarpment Train exhibit on at the Rock Garden this weekend and then over the holidays, Dec 27-31 and Jan 2-7.

Looking for a fun outing with the kids over the holidays? Head on over to Bronte Creek Provincial Park for their Victorian Christmas, daily 10 am-4pm at Spruce Lane Farm.  It starts Dec 27 and runs until Jan 7.  Take a step back in time to the year 1900 and visit a Victorian homestead during the Christmas season. Participate in traditional games and activities for all ages, crafts and enjoy a tour of the elegantly decorated Spruce Lane Farmhouse. Take part in songs and stories in the parlour and learn about holiday traditions from the Victorian era.  No reservations are required.

The Art Gallery of Burlington also has some holiday programming going on.There are various classes for families and children of all ages. Class info and registration info is available on their site. They are offering a free drop-in class on Dec 23 and Dec 30 from 1-4 pm.

watercolours - artist trading card

Enjoy skating over the holidays – the Rotary Centennial Pond at the waterfront is open for skating daily from 10 am-10 pm (weather permitting). Dress warm and enjoy a night outdoors – afterwards, enjoy the lights in Spencer Smith Park or take a walk and visit one of the many restaurants/pubs/cafes downtown for dinner or a drink.  There is also the Tim Hortons Free Skating at various rinks over the holidays. Check the City of Burlington skating calendar for times and locations.

Want to get outdoors and walk off all those holiday treats? Visit one of the beautiful Conservation Halton locations like Mount Nemo or Hilton Falls. They are open over the holidays, but closed on Christmas Day.

The holidays are always one of my favourite times for shopping, plenty of good deals to be had! Visit one of the two malls Burlington is proud to have – Mapleview Centre or Burlington Mall. Or shop in beautiful Burlington Downtown and see some of the unique shops and restaurants that are offered.

If you are a Mom like me, the more ideas for the holidays the better! Burlington has so many great activities and places to keep the kids busy: Spend an afternoon bowling and playing laser tag at Splitsville Entertainment or Burlington Bowl; let the kids bounce their sillies out at Rockin’ Jump; or enjoy a show (lots of good ones out over the holidays) at Cineplex Silver City or Cinestarz Burlington.  If you have older kids, trying out an escape room is fun – visit Mission Possible or Confundrum Escape Rooms.

The Museums of Burlington are offering a Winter Celebrations Camp from Jan 2-5 at Ireland House Museum. The camp runs 9am-4pm daily and each day celebrates a different winter occasion. The cos is $35/child and you can register your child on-line.

You can also visit one of the many Burlington Public Library branches in Burlington. Grab some books to take home and read with the kids, or hang out at the library and read together- always a great way to spend time together! You can also check the library website for programming information and storytimes.

How can I forget New Year’s Eve? Make sure you read our New Year’s Eve blog for different ideas around #BurlON. You also don’t want to miss out on the Star Wars themed New Year Day celebration the city has planned.


That’s enough to keep you busy – until the New Year! We’ll be back with a new blog January 10th (but back in the office Jan 2nd) – until then, best wishes for a happy and safe holiday season and Happy New Year from all of us at Tourism Burlington!


 Dec 20-Jan 8


To Sun Jan 7: Flora & Fauna – Anne Cummings & Jim Hong Louie Exhibit, Art Gallery of Burlington

To Sun Jan 7: Botanical Train Display, Royal Botanical Gardens

Tues Jan 2-Sun 7: Escarpment Train Show, Royal Botanical Gardens

Tues Jan 2-Sun 7: RBG Express, Royal Botanical Gardens

To Sun 7: Victorian Christmas Festival, Bronte Creek

To Mon Jan 8: Festival of Lights, Spencer Smith Park

To Sun Jan 14:  On the Trail of the Monarch Butterfly, Royal Botanical Gardens Mezzanine

To Sun Jan 28: Holding by a Thread Exhibit, Art Gallery of Burlington


Wed 20: Visit with Santa, Royal Botanical Gardens

Wed 20: Skyfall Quartet, Royal Botanical Gardens

Thurs 21: Miracle on 34th Street, Central Library

Thurs 21-Sat 23: Winter Lights at the Rock, Royal Botanical Gardens

Fri 22–Sat 23: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Burl Performing Arts Centre

Sat Dec 23- Sat Jan 6:  Tim Horton’s Holiday Skating, City of Burlington

Wed Dec 27- Sun Jan 7: Victorian  Christmas, Bronte Creek

Wed Dec 27 – 30: 50th Golden Horseshoe Hockey Tournament, various arenas

Sun 31: 33rd Annual Resolution Run, YMCA

Sun 31: Coyote Howl Hike, Bronte Creek Provincial Park

Sun Dec 31:  Family New Year’s Eve Hoopla, Mountsberg


Tues 2-Sun 7: Winter Walks, Royal Botanical Gardens

Tues 2: Family Holiday Art Break, Art Gallery of Burlington

Tues 2: Tim Horton’s Free Skate, Central Arena

Wed 3-Fri 5: Creative Hands Holiday Program, Art Gallery of Burlington

Thurs 4: Tim Horton’s Free Skate, Skyway Arena

Sat 6: Tim Hortons Free Skate, Mainway Ice Centre

Sat 6: Moonlight Snowshoe Hike, Crawford Lake

Sat 6-Sun 7: Storytime, Royal Botanical Gardens

Sun 7: New Year’s Levee, Art Gallery of Burlington

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