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2015 Holiday Events in Burlington

by Linda Cvetanovic

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….with holiday decorations adoring stores and homes the holiday season is once again upon us.  No matter what the holiday season means to you there are lots of opportunities for get togethers’ with family and friends, shopping for gifts and of course holiday events in Burlington for both kids and adults.

I happen to have two young children so I’m always on the lookout for fun, affordable family events and activities.  What would the holidays be without a visit to see Santa or some other festive activities? These events are sure to get you and your kids in the spirit without breaking the bank.

From November 14th- January 3rd plan a visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens for Holiday Traditions.  This annual event is great fun for the kids and features an extensive botanical model train installation throughout RBG Centre. New this year take a ride on the RBG Express ($) through beautiful Hendrie Park strewn with Christmas lights.  Enjoy festive holiday music as you make your way through Candy Cane Garden to visit Santa at his cozy cabin. Weekends are filled with seasonal activities, musical entertainment, visits with Santa and his reindeer.  For a schedule of events visit the RBG Holiday Traditions page.

RBG Train Show

On Friday November 20 head west to Aldershot village where the Christmas Tree of Hope is a great family outing held at Pluckers plaza on Plains Rd.  Activities are held from 5-8 pm and include horsedrawn wagon rides, holiday carolling, entertainment from 3 choirs, refreshments and Santa arrives via an antique fire engine.   On November 21th Santa arrives by helicopter at 10 am at Burlington Mall for his holiday stay. The festivities include entertainment from the Tartan Terrors and free candy canes and hot chocolate to help keep you warm.  Be sure to come early, the first 1,200 fans will get a free gift.

Burlington mall santa

Santa is a very busy guy!  You will also find him taking up residence at Mapleview Centre from November 27th through to December 23rd.  You can experience the magic of Santa and receive a free 5×7 photo.  While you are there support the McMaster Children’s Hospital by visiting their gift wrapping service from December 1-24. Have your gifts wrapped for only $5.00/package with proceeds to the hospital. Also new this year, Mapleview Conceirge – text comments and questions to their guest services at 905.963.1759 and they will get right back to you. So where can I find the perfect pair of holiday shoes?

On November  15th, Ireland House at Oakridge Farm gets festive with An Ireland Family Christmas.  In keeping with their historical roots, they celebrate the season with memories of Christmas long ago. It’s a day away from the hustle and bustle.  Enjoy the smells, sounds and tastes of Christmas on a historic farm. See baking demonstrations, tour the Ireland House decked out for the holidays, make craftsand so much more.  Be sure to leave time to visit Santa’s Cabin. Children have the opportunity to write a letter to Santa and hand deliver it during a special visit with Santa himself. Kids will also have the chance to make their own toy ($) in Santa’s Workshop. New this year are the horse and wagon rides sponsored by Heritage Burlington – bundle up and enjoy the ride.  A great day of family fun awaits.

ireland house holiday

The Singleton family has run the Stonehouse of Campbellville for over 30 years, but they’re passionate about more than antique stained glass windows. The Singletons love Christmas and every year they put on a huge Christmas display, with lights, music, animated boxes and much more.  The Singleton Family Christmas Festival of Lights is open to the public free of charge from mid-November-December 31.  Everyone is welcome. Donations are gratefully accepted and any money raised goes to Halton Women’s Place for its Children’s programs.

Up a bit further north at Springridge Farm you can join Old Saint Nick for a Christmas Open House with Santa, weekends November 28- 29 & December 5-6 and 12-13.  Santa will be on hand to visit with the children so be sure to bring your Christmas list and a camera!  There are also fun hands-on Christmas activities ($) for the kids, you can pick up a fresh Fraser Fir Christmas tree and then head to the gift loft for some decorations.   Of course no stop to Springridge would be complete without a visit to the bakery where the team will be working on some awesome holiday goodies.

springridge pies

 

On November 27th head to Burlington Downtown for the Candlelit Stroll, plus the launch of the Festival of Lights and the holiday season in Downtown Burlington. Start you evening at Civic Square where you will be able to enjoy free hot chocolate, a visit with Santa and the Official lighting of the CHML Tree of Hope. From there, pick up your complimentary candle & route map and make your way through the streets of downtown for a family friendly evening of traditional caroling.

candlelit stroll - photo credit Mike Lyons

Photo Credit: Mike Lyons

From November 27th to January 7th the Burlington Festival of Lights celebrates it’s 20th year of setting the season a glow over the holiday season. Over 60 festive displays light up Burlington’s Spencer Smith Park through the holiday season. Wander through the park with family and friends, or get a full view of the themed displays while driving along Lakeshore Road at the City’s waterfront.  It’s a magical sight for the whole family, especially the young at heart.  While you’re in the downtown grab a bite or a warm drink at one of the many fabulous eateries in the core.

Festival+of+Lights

No need to drive to Toronto for the big guy’s arrival – Santa will be coming to Burlington on December 6th for the Burlington Santa Claus Parade. This annual parade features bands, colourful floats, clowns, mascots and the big man in red himself.  Check out the parade route online, pick your spot, grab your blanket, chairs and some warm drinks and head out to catch this holiday tradition.

Christmas Parade Santa

Weekends during the month of December head to Bronte Creek Provincial Park for a Victorian Christmas.  Your visit to this event is included in the daily vehicle rate* ($17.00 per vehicle) which means you can explore the park and take in the festivities all for one low price. Experience the traditions of a Victorian Christmas on a farm in 1900. Decorations, stories, caroling, sweets and toy shop. Visit the reindeer barn and then enjoy a personal visit with Father Christmas ($) which includes heritage costumes for family photos and a memento USB stick. No reservations required just pack up the family and go!   Plus if the weather cooperates the outdoor skating rink is scheduled to open mid-December.

Homestead Christmas Bronte Creek

December 5th and 12th ride into the holiday season at the Halton County Radial Railway with Christmas on the Rails.  The Streetcar Museums opens it’s doors one last time until the spring for a unique seasonal experience. There’s nothing like riding the rails through the woods with snow on the trees and Christmas carols in the air.

Santa and Streetcar

Can you imagine watching over 3,000 Santas run through the streets of Downtown Burlington?  On December 12th you can be a spectator at the annual Santa 5k run, cheering on the runners in their holiday suits or be a participant and run/walk the race yourself.  You can register to run online, details available on the website.  This is Canada’s largest all Santa race and is a sight not to be missed.

Santa 5k

If you need assistance planning your visit to Burlington we are happy to help.  Our visitor centre is open daily 9am -4pm (we will be closed Dec. 24-Jan 1).

Visitor Centre Exterior by justaclick Photography

Photo Credit: justaclick Photography

Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season on behalf of Tourism Burlington.

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