Check these off your Christmas List: Upcoming holiday events in Waterloo Region
It’s starting to feel like Christmas in Waterloo Region.
While it may not be a winter wonderland just yet, there are plenty of upcoming events to get you in the holiday spirit.
Here are a few of those activities that are sure to make you feel merry and bright!
GIFT OF LIGHTS
This holiday drive-thru at Bingemans will feature two light tunnels and more than 300 animated and static light displays.
It opens Nov. 13 and will run on Saturdays and Sundays until the end of the month, and then daily starting on Nov. 26. The following days will be open for walk-through visitors only: Nov. 28, Dec. 13, and Jan. 2. Gift of Lights closes Jan. 9.
More information here: Gift of Lights
ST. JACOBS SPARKLES AND MORE
St. Jacobs has expanded this event, which is now running from Nov. 12 to Nov. 28.
The historic village will be lit up with sparkling lights, and there’s even a workshop so Santa can read his letters and catch up on work. Old Saint Nick is set to stop in on Nov. 13, Nov. 20 and Nov. 27 from 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Other events include the Firefighter Burn Barrel on Nov. 12 and Nov. 19 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., live music on Nov. 13, Nov. 20 and Nov. 27, and the Waterloo County Carollers will sing Christmas classics on the following dates: Nov. 12, 19 and 26 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Nov. 14, 21 and 28 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
If you want to cozy up with your loved ones, there will be free horse-drawn trolley rides from St. Jacobs Horse Drawn Tours. They’ll be available on Nov. 13, Nov. 20 and Nov. 27 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
More information here: St. Jacobs Sparkles
SANTA’S MAGICAL CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE
Santa’s schedule is set for his upcoming trips on the Waterloo Central Railway.
The Christmas trains will take kids of all ages from the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market Station on Farmers Market Drive to the North Pole. In addition to music, contests and plays, the Big Man in Red will be on board for the one-hour trip.
Travelers are encouraged to wear their Christmas best or pajamas, and don’t forget to bring along your letters!
The trains depart Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Santa will also be there for nighttime trips called the “Christmas Lights Experience,” with 15,000 twinkling lights decorating the train. Those rides depart on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
More information here: Waterloo Central Railway
This year marks the 25th anniversary of this beloved German-themed tradition, but this year they’re doing something a little different.
The Christkindl Market will be set up in downtown Kitchener from Dec. 2 to Dec. 5.
In addition to the in-person event, there will also be an online marketplace with gifts and a digital advent calendar.
For more information go to: Christkindl Market
CAMBRIDGE CELEBRATES WINTERFEST
Winterfest is returning to Cambridge from Nov. 22 to Jan. 2, with three main events: Cambridge Christmas Market, Winter Illumination and the New Year’s Eve Skate.
More information can be found here: Cambridge Celebrates Winterfest
OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS AT SNYDER’S FARM
Snyder’s Family Farm, just outside of Kitchener, will be hosting weekend events for the family starting on Nov. 20. There will be a Farm Christmas Bakery, gift barn and visits from Santa, as well as campfire pods where you can roast s’mores and other menu items.
They will also be selling trees from their farm.
More information here: Snyder's Family Farm
CHRISTMAS AT THE CASTLE
Take a trip back in time, celebrating a Victorian Christmas at Castle Kilbride in Baden.
The holiday event will continue from Nov. 17 to Jan. 2.
More information here: Castle Kilbride
CHRISTMAS ON STAGE
Drayton Entertainment has a special show at the Hamilton Family Theatre in Cambridge.
“Back Home for the Holidays”, running from Dec. 1 to Dec. 26, will inspire holiday cheer.
More information here: Back Home for the Holidays
LOCAL SANTA CLAUS PARADES
Some communities have previously announced their decision to cancel this year's Santa Claus Parade, while others are working on alternative plans. This is the latest information available:
Cambridge - The city is planning a traditional parade down Hespeler Road on Nov. 20.
Kitchener - A reverse parade at the Aud will take place on Nov. 20 starting at 10 a.m.
Waterloo - A reverse parade at RIM Park is set for Nov. 27 at 10 a.m.
Guelph - Instead of a parade, Santa Claus will be attending the Sparkle in the Park event in Riverside Park.
North Dumfries - The Santa Claus parade has been cancelled.