There are so many things to do in Niagara at this time of year. Holiday events, festivals and markets are happening all over the region but which ones should you go to? We’ve compiled our top 8 picks to put on your radar and best of all, some of these events are FREE!
1. The Winter Festival of Lights Opening Ceremonies – Nov 18
This FREE, family-friendly event will take place in Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls. Celebrating the 35th year of this cherished holiday tradition, the opening ceremonies will be EPIC! Featuring spectacular pyrotechnics and amazing choreographed fire acts along with a variety of circus performers. Of course the finale is when the switch is flipped and TWO MILLION lights are illuminated along an 8 km route.
New to this year’s festival will be 15 Canadian Wildlife displays, the world’s largest Canadian-American flag in honour of our city’s border culture. Let’s not forget over 50 illuminated trees at Dufferin Islands. This illumination festival runs until January 31, 2018.
2. Christmas in Jordan Village – Nov 24
This annual event kicks off the gift-giving season in Jordan Village. Join in on the not so traditional wine barrel tree lighting and carolling on Main Street. The festivities run from 5:00 – 9:00 pm and don’t forget your Santa hat. This is another FREE event for the whole family.
3. Hamilton Christmas Market – Nov 26
Whether you’re searching for a last-minute add on or desperately seeking inspiration for the perfect gift, the Hamilton Christmas Market has got you covered!
Admission is $5.00; 12 & under are no charge
4. Brickyard Brewing Co. Holiday Market – Nov 30
Kicking off the Lewiston Christmas walk, with wine samples and the release of the BBC winter ale. Start your Christmas season with traditional tree lighting and shopping with over 30 vendors on site.
5. Candlelight Stroll in Niagara-on-the-Lake – Dec 1
This has to be one of the most popular events in the region. There is a certain magic that is experienced in NOTL when the night sets in and you stroll around historical old town by candlelight. Listening or joining in the carolling with local choirs and other seasonal entertainment will make this a truly memorable experience. This is a FREE event however there is a cost to purchase candles.
(Trisha Romance Image)
6. Deck the Falls Holiday Walking Tour – Dec 1-2, 8-9 & 15-16
Deck the Falls is returning to the Winter Festival Lights. You can start your tour at any of the 16 participating venues and your ticket includes a WEGO bus pass & Incline Railway day pass.
Highlights of the tour include culinary samplings from some of Niagara’s top restaurants and a horse and carriage ride through Niagara Parks. Ticket cost including tax and service charges is $49.95 & one ticket is valid for all 3 weekends!
7. Santa Clause Parade in Niagara-on-the-Lake – Dec 9
You won’t want to miss one of Ontario’s BEST Santa Claus Parades!
8. Port Dalhousie Christmas Market – Dec 15-17
This will be the 2nd annual Christmas Market in Port Dalhousie. Another FREE event for the whole family but you are kindly asked to bring a non-perishable food donation. Unique and local handcrafted products sold from European styled wood cabins. You won’t want to miss Santa’s photo booth, live entertainment, choirs, Christmas carolling, festive food and beverages, a warming lounge, and more. Don’t miss this annual tradition!
So there you have it! I hope you are able to get out to one or more of these great experiences to celebrate the holiday season.
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From my family to yours, we wish you a wonderful Holiday Season & Merry Christmas!~Lianna Carlyle