‘Tis the season for twinkling holiday lights, snowy strolls, outdoor ice skating and Christmas markets galore. Something is just magical about this month. We know some neighbouring cities that go all out with their love for Christmas and the holidays, so if you’re looking for a great day trip with lots to offer, might we suggest these Christmas Towns in southern Ontario get added to your calendar?
In order from East to West-ish…
Events That Make Toronto A Christmas Town
The big city is just that because it does everything on a massive scale, and Christmas is no different. Make a day or weekend trip to Toronto this December because there is so much to see and do.
Christmas at The Castle – Casa Loma – Throughout the interior, resplendent with festive décor including a 40ft tall tree in the Great Hall, and a stunning collection of other signature holiday trees decorated by renowned Canadian designers. Younger guests are thrilled to visit Santa in his castle workshop. Visit with live holiday mascots and more.
The Distillery Winter Village is the new name for the Toronto Christmas Market. Enjoy The Distillery Historic District’s 65+ local shops, restaurants and cafés. You’ll find outdoor Distillery Winter Village vendor cabins offering specially curated seasonal items and gifts. And let’s not forget the delicious, can’t-miss food cabins. Stroll the cobblestone streets under the canopy lights while you select the perfect gift for that special someone. Tickets are required on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays after 4:00 pm, and December 27-31 after 4:00 pm. Tickets are $11 + HST each. Kids 9 and under are FREE of charge.
Holiday Hills will transform STACKT into a show-stopping winter wonderland! Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit with a whole roster of cozy, fun + festive activities + experiences. Holiday Hills is a FREE festival that will take over a whole city block of Toronto with immersive photo installations and experiences, eye-catching holiday ambience, unique hospitality concepts, small business holiday shopping, community-led events, workshops + family programs.
Mississauga Christmas Events
Light Up The Square This winter, Mississauga’s Celebration Square is filled with dazzling lights, artful experiences, delicious food, skating, and tons of fun! In addition to the interactive art displays. Enjoy the dazzling 40’ lighted Christmas tree – the perfect backdrop for some holiday photos.
Mississauga Festival of Trees showcases twinkling displays of lights, and contemporary tree and woodpile art installations created by local artists. Make sure to visit the artisan and culinary markets for your gift-giving needs. Check out the live entertainment, and tasty eats, too. Mississauga’s Small Arms Inspection Building will once again be transformed into a winter wonderland of art, food, and fun this holiday season. December 2nd to the 11th, 2022.
Oakville Christmas Activities
Shop Downtown Oakville – Historical buildings and shops form a magical backdrop for trendy boutique shops and international cuisine. Take in charming store windows and a winter wonderland of lights, including a signature 30ft tall ribbon tree.
Kerr Village Tree Lighting Ceremony – Kerr Village BIA has been hosting their Christmas Tree Lighting for 28 years! Drop by this wee Christmas Town to enjoy the Holiday Pop-Up Market and the live musical entertainment that will take place. Featuring a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus, the elves, various characters, Christmas music and the tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 PM.
Burlington Christmas Town Events
Festival of Lights– Folks come from all over to see the massive light display at Spencer Smith Park. This event is a staple that puts Burlington on the map as a Christmas Town. Lit from November 27 through early January, walk and enjoy the glow. Don’t forget your camera!
The Candlelit Stroll is Back for 2022! One of the most festive events that truly make Burlington a Christmas Town is the Candlelit Stroll. This free event is open to the community at no charge and includes music, food and festive activities.
BPAC’s Festival of Trees – most days from noon till 4 pm, and before evening performances you can see the beautifully decorated trees in the lobby of Burlington’s Performing Arts Centre. This wonderful fundraising opportunity for the BPAC brings together local businesses and the community for some holiday glory.
Ice Skate Outdoors – Rotary Centennial Pond at Spencer Smith Park is a free ice-skating rink all winter long and makes for a great afternoon of fun for the whole family.
Frosty’s Village – Pack a hot chocolate and take a drive through the Lockhart Village community and see over 100 inflatable Frosty The Snowmen adorning front lawns. Bring donations for the food bank and our Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt.
Rudolph in Aldershot – See how many inflatable Rudolph’s you can find in Aldershot using their map.
Hamilton Christmas Events
Ice Skate The Loop at Waterdown Memorial Park. Glide along the outdoor ice skating loop in Waterdown. You don’t need reservations anymore!
Ice Skate at The Waterfront – Pier 8 turns from the roller rink to the ice rink each year and the community loves it! Free to skate on, with rentals available.
Niagara Falls Is definitely a Christmas town!
No one does tourism on the scale that Niagara Falls does! They put on amazing shows all year long, consequently, I knew they would deliver as a Christmas Town.
Winter Festival of Lights – 101 days of beautiful lights for you to enjoy! Illuminations include more than 50 larger-than-life displays with Canadian wildlife displays, trees wrapped in lights along the Niagara Parkway and the light show on the Toronto Power Generating Station. In addition, check out the two-storey tall Zimmerman Fountain, followed by a Gingerbread house, a light tunnel, and more!
The Poinsettia Show – commemorates the 76th anniversary of the Floral Showhouse with a design inspired by the all-new Niagara Parks Power Station. Celebrate the holiday season with Niagara’s iconic holiday show inside the Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse.
See the Falls Light Up – Niagara Falls is transformed into an incredible, multi-coloured masterpiece every evening at dusk. Visit for the day or stay for a winter weekend!
Niagara Falls Christmas Market – The outdoor Christmas Market will feature up to 50 different vendors from November until the 18th of December. Vendors will operate out of Christmas cabins that will be lit up and decorated on the street. The Christmas Market will include over 30 light structures, interactive art displays, nightly live music, string lights, glow swings, 4 light-up seesaws, human-scale interactive piano, fire pits with Muskoka chairs, Christmas movies, street entertainment, and more!
Have a Holly, Jolly Time With These Helpful Articles
- Map of Christmas Lights in Burlington, Hamilton and Beyond
- Adult and Kid-Friendly New Year’s Eve Party Ideas
- Christmas Light Festivals & Drive-Thru Light Displays
- Burlington Festival of Lights – 2022 Dates and Photos
More Ideas For Family Fun
We have visited hundreds of places and written about them to help you find the very best destination for your next day trip or outing. We love sharing indoor play places, playgrounds that go above and beyond, and more! Here are a few of our latest blogs to help you have a great weekend.