Discover Burlington Ontario

#BurlON til Jan2

by Pam Belgrade

Christmas will soon be here and there is no better place to celebrate the season than in #BurlON.  There are lots of fun holiday events and activities in #BurlON including theatre, music, holiday lights and more so make sure you invite friends and family to visit!  If you are still looking for that perfect gift for under the tree we have some great local gift ideas for you including experiences.  Our tourism elves have also been checking with local restaurants regarding Christmas and New Year’s hours and entertainment so contact us if you are looking for suggestions.

Holiday Traditions Model Train at RBGRoyal Botanical Garden Events

There are a number of fun family activities taking place at the Royal Botanical Gardens before Christmas and during the school break.  Check out their events calendar for what is happening each day. *NOTE: Date restrictions closed December 25, 26 and January 1. Closing at 3 p.m. December 24 and 31.  At the RBG Centre you can go on a journey through four seasons of Canadian landscapes while hearing the story of how railroads shaped our history at the Train Exhibit.You can ride the RBG Express daily from December 27 to January 6* from11 am. to 3 pm. at Hendrie Park. Take a stroll through the thousands of twinkling Christmas lights in the Rock Garden at the Royal Botanical Gardens for Winter Lights at the Rock. Tickets are required for this event, so check it out online to learn more.

Festival of Lights display of mooseHoliday Events

Nothing puts you in the holiday spirit more than seeing thousands of twinkling lights.  Head down to Spencer Smith Park for Burlington Festival of Lights. Enjoy over 60 festive displays until January 8, by either walking through the park or driving along Lakeshore Road. Take a look at Tourism Burlington’s tree at the Festival of Trees. From 12noon to 4pm until December 20 the lobby of the Burlington Performing Arts centre will be decorated with a festive display of Christmas trees! Every tree is sponsored by a local business or organization and visitors can buy raffle tickets for the chance to take one of these trees home. Winners will be drawn at the Andy Kim Christmas Show on December 20.

There is still time to visit with Santa at the Mapleview Centre til Dec. 23, Burlington Centre til Dec. 23.

Springridge Farm

Our friends at Springridge Farm are busy making freshly baked goodies. Call ahead to place an order for Christmas treats like cookies, fruit pies, and tarts so you aren’t disappointed.  Springridge Farm will be closing at noon on December 24 until the spring, so make sure you visit before the end of the season!

Holiday Gift GuideLast Minute Shopper??

We have some great holiday gift ideas for you with lots of unique ideas which also support local products and experiences.  Check out the holiday gift guide or the #BurlON experiences blog for some amazing ideas for everyone on your wish list.

Ring in the New Year

Looking to celebrate the New Year in #BurlON, check out our blog for lots of great ideas?  Here are some special packages available for New Year’s which include festivities and overnight accommodation.

Winter Break Activities

Art Gallery of Burlington

On Dec 27 & 28 and Jan 2-4 from 9 am – 4pm the Gallery is offering a Holiday Camp for kids ages 6-12 years.  Register your kids for single day camps which include exhibition tours, art and craft making connected to our guild traditions, and group games. These full-day programs are designed to keep kids entertained and inspired. Click here to register. 

Everyone is invited to the AGB’s Free drop-in art studio on Sunday Dec. 30 for some creative holiday fun! Artist instructors offer ideas as sources of inspiration and encourage visitors to engage in art and craft making. Children must be accompanied by parents or adult caregivers.  

Christmas at Ireland House

Snow Day Winter Fun Camp at Ireland House

From Jan 2-4 kids 6-12 years can COOK IT, BUILD IT or PLAY IT at the Snow Day Winter Camp at Ireland House Museum.  Registration required in advance as space is limited.  Register by clicking here.


Over the holiday break Tim Hortons is hosting FREE skating sessions here in Burlington. The times and locations vary, so check out the schedule to see when there is free skating near you. This is a great way for the whole family to have fun together – for FREE!

Central Arena is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary on December 27. Drop in to enjoy historical photos, photos on the Zamboni and free hot chocolate and cake beginning at 2:30 pm. Remarks begin at 3 pm.The Tim Hortons Free Holiday Skate runs from 2:30-5:30 pm.

Weather permitting you can also skate on outdoor rinks including the picturesque lakeside location at the Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond in Spencer Smith Park where they have skate lending services plus several neighbourhood rinks in local parks.  While in the park enjoy the beautiful Festival of Lights on until January 8.

Snow Much Fun!

So we may not have a lot of the white stuff around yet but if Mother Nature cooperates over the holidays there are lots of things to do in #BurlON to enjoy the snow.  The City has designated six locations that are safe for tobogganing.  Check out the locations and some tips to play safely while tobogganing. Learn more:  At Conservation Halton and Bronte Creek you can enjoy tobogganing, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.  Glen Eden is the place to go for downhill skiing and snowboarding and wiith ski rentals, lessons and special events it is a perfect getaway.  Before heading out check websites for weather conditions and if these areas are open. 

Victorian Christmas @ Bronte Creek

Starting on December 27 – January 6 get transported back in time to the year 1900 and visit a Victorian homestead at Bronte Creek Provincial Park. Use historic tools and techniques for some hands-on crafts, play traditional games and activities. Take a tour of the elegantly decorated Spruce Lane farmhouse, listen to seasonal stories and songs in the parlor, and learn about Victorian era holiday traditions.

Winter sleigh rides, horsesConservation Halton Parks

Don’t let winter keep you inside! At Mountsberg Conservation Area take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through a winter wonderland. Make a day of it by picking up a hot chocolate in the gift shop and then visiting with the park’s resident birds of prey, bison, and farm animals, followed by a visit to the play barn. Available daily December 26, 2018 – January 4, 2019 and weekends and holidays January 5 until February 18, 2019. Pre-registration is recommended.

Visit the reconstructed 15th century Iroquoian village, and explore local history at Crawford Lake Conservation Area. From 1973 to 1987, excavations uncovered 11 longhouses on the site and over 10 000 artefacts from day-to-day lives of the Iroquoian people who once lived in the village. Three of the longhouses have been reconstructed based on the archaeological findings..

Golden Horseshoe Hockey Tournament

Welcome and good luck to the teams from near and far participating in the 51st Golden Horseshoe Hockey Tournament Dec. 27-30 at Appleby Ice Centre. This year we will be welcoming teams from Russia, USA and Canada.

Ongoing Events
Daily to Dec 23: Santa’s Signature Experience, RBG Hendrie *SOLD OUT
Suns to Dec 30: Back to Nature Hike, Rotating Start Points
To Dec 30: Winter Lights at the Rock, RBG Rock Gardens
Daily to Jan 6: Botanical Train Display, RBG Centre
Wknds to Dec 23 & Daily Dec 27-31 & Jan 2-6: Escarpment Train Exhibit, RBG Rock Gardens
Dec 22-Jan 5: Tim Horton’s Free Skate, Various Arenas
Daily Dec 27-Jan 6: RBG Express, RBG Hendrie
Dec 27-30 & Jan 3-6: Victorian Christmas Festival, Bronte Creek
Daily to Jan 8: Festival of Lights, Spencer Smith Park
Daily to Jan 13: Mini Exhibit: Seeds in Disguise, RBG Centre
Daily to Jan 27: Dancing on the Grave, Art Gallery
Daily to Jan 27: Beautiful Scars: Mohawk Warriors, Hunters, and Chiefs, Art Gallery
Dec 26-Feb 18: Winter Sleigh Rides, Mountsberg C. Area


Fri 21: Family Solstice Celebration, RBG Nature Interpretive Centre
Sun 23: Family Holiday Open Studio, Art Gallery
Thurs 27: Central Arena’s 50th Birthday, Central Arena
Thurs 27-Sun 30: Golden Horseshoe Tournament, Various Arenas
Sat 29: Noon Year’s Eve Party, Tansley Woods Library
Sat 29: Family Clay Session, Art Gallery
Sun 30: Book Signing, A Different Drummer Books
Sun 30: Family Holiday Open Studio, Art Gallery
Mon 31: Noon Year’s Eve Party, Alton Library
Mon 31: Noon Year’s Eve Party, Central Library
Mon 31: Howl’n New Year’s Eve, Bronte Creek
Mon 31: New Year’s Eve Hoopla, Mountsberg C. Area
Mon 31: Resolution Run, Burlington YMCA
Mon 31: Launch the NU, NUVO Network


Tues 1: First Day Hike, Bronte Creek
Tues 1: New Years Day Free Family Party, Tansley Woods Community Centre

Wed 2-Fri 4:  Holiday Camp, Art Gallery of Burlington

Wed 2-Fri 4:  Winter Snow Day Camp, Ireland House




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