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Celebrate 2016 in Burlington

by Pam Belgrade

Where did 2015 go?  It seems like the past year has flown by maybe because there were so many exciting events such as the Pan Am Games, fabulous summer weather and a beautiful extended fall.

When I sat down to write this blog I began reflecting on how my participation in New Year’s has evolved over the years.  I don’t remember New Year’s being much of an event as a kid, although I do remember babysitting for family and getting a great bonus for that late night.  As I got older it became much more of a party where we dressed up and enjoyed dinner and dancing with friends.  As a young married couple we spent this holiday with family at the cottage where we enjoyed the snow and had fabulous fondues.  Once we had our son we had more kid friendly events with skating parties in the backyard with friends or we were off at a hockey tournament celebrating with the team.  When I began working for the City of Burlington we hosted a New Year’s Eve event at Central Park so several years were spent watching fireworks at Central Park and skating at the Arena.  Recently we have enjoyed a quieter night at home entertaining friends and flipping channels between the World Juniors hockey and the televised bashes.  This year for the first time we won’t be in Canada for New Year’s we will be in Europe with a youth hockey team which should be another memorable night!

You can make NYE memories this year in Burlington with many options for celebrating whether you like to party the night away, enjoy outdoor activities with the family or spend time over a leisurely meal with friends.

Family Friendly

wagon+ride+at+conservation+haltonMountsberg Conservation Area is the place to be for New Year’s Hoopla.  Take a wagon ride and go on a guided night hike. Visit with one of Mountsberg’s owls and make a special New Year’s craft. See a puppet show and enjoy roasted hotdogs and marshmallows around a winter campfire. Join in an old-fashioned country dance with live music, and finally, ring in the New Year with some treasured Mountsberg traditions by 9:30pm! Tickets must be purchased in advance.  Register for New Year’s Eve Hoopla or call 905-854-2276.

Pack your jammies and make it a sleepover for the entire family at the Holiday Inn Burlington.  Their NYE package includes one night accommodation, buffet dinner, dancing, movies, party favours and countdown. Call 905 639-4443 and ask for reservations to book

At Bronte Creek Provincial Park the Park Naturalists will be leading evening hikes where visitors will learn to howl like coyotes and then gather round the bonfire for the Countdown for Kids!  If the weather cooperates and the outdoor rink is open you can also skate under the stars.  Skate rentals are available on site.  Event is from 7:30 until 9:30pm and regular gate admission fees apply.

Winter ParksBundle up and head down to the waterfront where you can walk along the lake and take in the fabulous Festival of Lights (on until January 7) and then skate (weather permitting) at Discovery Landing.  This year for the first time skates can be rented.  These activities are free!

Another great family outing is bowling and two Burlington locations have fun activities planned for NYE.  Splitsville New Year’s packages include 2 hours of bowling, shoe rental, lg. pizza, party favors for up to 6 people with 3 different start times to choose from.  Plus they have $5 laser tag all night.  Packages must be booked in advance. Burlington Bowl has a NYE day and evening celebration with numerous family friendly options.  They also have a NYE midnight bash from 10 pm – 3 am with special rates, a countdown at midnight and much more.  Book online or call to make reservations.

Ring in the new year with Joe!  A kids NYE party is planned for 5pm on the 31st at Joe Dogs Gasbar Grill.  Includes party favours and countdown.  Call (905) 632-5110 as only a few tables remain.

Sotoris has planned a NYE dinner with DJ dancing, party favours and has both adult and children’s tickets available so you can make it a family affair.  Book in advance to avoid disappointment by calling 905 639-8813.

Get out and enjoy the first day of 2016 on Friday January 1 from 11a.m. to 4p.m. at Tansley Woods Community Centre. This free, family event will feature a Frozen theme, entertainment, video games, gym activities, crafts, and a free swim.

As is the tradition at New Year’s there are many adult oriented activities in the city.  Check the details on the organizers websites and note that many have age restrictions.

Fancy Affairs for Adults

If you are looking for an event where you don your fancy duds and enjoy fine dining there are some great options to choose from in Burlington.

At the Waterfront Hotel, Marquis Gardens is hosting a Hollywood themed Gala including cocktail reception, dinner, late night table, Dj, party favours and more.  Call 905 681-5400 for details.  You can also book a special hotel room rate.  Event is for age 25 years and up.

Attend the largest party in the city at the Burlington Convention Centre.  It includes buffet dinner, midnight champagne, sweet table and dancing the night away to Mainstream Entertainment. Call 905 391-0319 to book tickets. Event is for age 19 years or older.

For the fourth year the Ivy Bar + Kitchen is presenting their popular Golden Era of Hollywood Dinner & Gala Dance which includes a 4 course dinner, champagne, canapes, party favours and dancing.  Other options available for VIP Group spaces or attending just the dance.  Reservations required by emailing Formal Dress Attire and ages 27+

Casual Celebrations for Adults

Looking for something different to do this year?  Come party with Faraway Greens Golf and ring in the New Year with a few holes (or just to watch), a relaxing drink and a great atmosphere! They have music all night, delicious Craft Beers and Wines, a lucky door prize and a midnight Champagne toast.  Entry is free but space is limited. Call 289.635.2858 or email now to RSVP your spot!

Looking for a full night of food and fun…look no further than Gator Ted’s.  Your New Year’s Eve ticket includes champagne at midnight party favours and midnight snacks.  You can watch the games and then enjoy live entertainment afterwards featuring Kimberley Wetmore Band.

At Joe Dogs Gasbar Grill you can party like its 1999 at their New Year’s Eve event.  For one price you get 2 floors of fun with 2 DJ’s, buffet, champagne toast and party favours.  Book your spot online.

Honey West Restaurant & Bar is offering a 3 course fixed price menu for 5 pm seating and a 4 course pre fix menu at 8pm plus have live music, party favors and champagne toast.  Reserve now as seating limited.

Looking for something to do earlier in the evening?  The historic Queens Head is planning a British New Year celebration from 5 – 9 pm with champagne, party favors and h’or d’oeuves.  Reservations are required so call 905 632-1300 or email.

For the first time Spencers at the Waterfront is hosting a New Years Eve celebration.  If you make dinner reservations at the restaurant you automatically receive tickets to the dance in the Observatory.  Enjoy dinner looking out over the skating rink and lake and select either the price fixed or from their regular menu.  Then dance til you drop to the funky beats of 9 piece band Soul Motivators.   Space is Limited. Call 905-633-7494 to reserve.

The Purple Heather is planning two parties in one night.  Reserve a table for the 5 pm seating as they celebrate the annual British Bells, where you can enjoy snacks, party favours and a glass of champagne at 7 pm (guests are welcome to stay until 8pm).  The next seating  at 9 pm is for the traditional New Year’s Eve party featuring live music with Time Bomb.  Ticket price includes appetizers, party favours and a glass of champagne at midnight.  For information and to reserve call 905 315-8782.

The Carriage House_ FoodThis is just a sampling of all the great places to ring in 2016!  Below are some other links to locations with New Year’s Eve dining options that sound so delicious it will be hard to choice between them! *

Barra Fion Tapas & BarrelTapas Style New Years

Beaver & Bulldog – Dinner and Dance Party

Emmas Back Porch – Special Dinner menu and activities

Downtown Bistro – Special Dinner menu

Jacksons Landing – Special Dinner menu and activities

Martini House – Special Dinner menu

Rib Eye Jacks Ale House – Special Dinner menu

Stone House Restaurant – Special Dinner menu

Test Kitchen – Special Dinner menu

*list is not inclusive

No matter how you celebrate be sure to do it responsibly – please don’t drink and drive.  Ask your server if you need help finding a safe way home.  Free overnight parking is available in downtown municipal lots and the parking garage at 414 Locust St.

On behalf of the Board, staff and volunteers at Tourism Burlington – Happy New Year!


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