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10 Things to do during Christmas in and around Kitchener

It's the time to be jolly fa-la-la-la, la-la-la-la. 

Definitely this is the season to be jolly as the whole world is in festive mood celebrating Christmas and eagerly awaiting to ring in the new year. 

It is also the time, when winter kicks in and brings bountiful of snow at Canada. Wind chills, snow aren't just a reason to be at home, though there are umpteen activities that we could do while we stay cozy in the comfort of our homes. Check out this post that details about how to engage yourself during winter. But, for me, I wish to be out once in a while and below are great activities to do during Christmas in and around Kitchener in Ontario. Most of these are free events. Scroll down to know the deets!!

Enjoy the Christmas fervor at Malls - Price: Free

Malls are the best place to be at this time. They will be decked up with beautiful lights, christmas trees and decorations almost from end of November. Moreover we can roam inside the malls free of cost and the winter chillness. If you are a shopping person, you might have to control your urge to shop amidst the Christmas offers lined up in there😉Few malls have Santa center for kids, where we could click pictures with him. The kids will absolutely love that experience. Fairview Park mall at Kitchener, Cambridge Centre in Cambridge, Conestoga mall in Waterloo etc. have this facility. We might need an appointment to take photos. If you just want to see and greet, you may just walk-in. 

Christmas arrives early with Santa Claus Parade - Price: Free:

Santa Claus parade is one of the largest community parades in Ontario and is conducted annually since 1991, typically around mid November. The best way possible to kick start the holiday season. Don't you agree? The hour and half long parade starts from Frederick Street to Erb Street (along Weber Street) in Waterloo and has lots of floats, local music bands, attractive cartoon characters and most importantly Santa himself. Kids can also hand over a letter to Santa and they might even receive their gift in return (just before Christmas). Don't worry if you couldn't attend it in person. You can watch it online too. But remember nothing beats the excitement and grandeur experienced in person. You will, especially kids will absolutely love this event. Check out the Santa Claus Parade 2023 in the below video.

Take a stroll in the neighbourhood - Price: Free

If weather permits or if you are a winter person, just take a stroll in your neighbourhood and check out houses decked up with bright lights for Christmas. This is my personal favourite activity to do this season, except that I roam in a car, with the heat on😜It is an absolute joy to see those colourful decorations. They immediately lighten up the mood. Many communities conduct competitions and award those who put up the best decoration. 

Meet Mr. & Mr. Claus in person - Price: Free:

Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Weber Street East (Kitchener) are well known for their annual Christmas tradition, where they deck up their entire home from top to bottom with lights and decorations. Mr. Claus along with Mrs. Claus often appears in front of his house, greets, interacts and takes pictures with general public. The couple posts their schedule in advance on their facebook account. Take a look at it before making a visit to their home.

Christmas lights in parks - Price: Free

Many parks like Victoria Park (Christmas Fantasy) in Kitchener, Waterloo Park (Wonders of Winter) in Waterloo, Central Park (Winter Ice and Lights) in Cambridge are volunteer-run festival lights display. They will generally be open from last week of November until 1st of January of every year. You can take an evening walk amidst the beautiful lights and cheerful atmosphere.

Winter activities by public libraries - Price: Free 

Libraries in our community do organize activities for all ages (right from babies, toddlers, school goers, adults and senior citizens). There might also be family events where the entire family can participate. You have to check the library website to know more about the details and register. Few events doesn't need a registration. You can just walk in.

Christmas events at Museums - Price: Ticketed

Most of the local museums organize Christmas event. So don't forget to look at their websites. 

Doon Heritage Village, Kitchener:

Doon Heritage Village is a historical village set up that shows how life was in Kitchener-Waterloo Region in the year 1914. This year, they have Starry nights and Country Christmas. While Starry nights is ticketed (advance booking is must), Country Christmas is free and included in the admission fee to the museum. 

Starry nights takes you back to past as you wander through the village that is fully lit with lanterns. You can take a stroll in the village roads visiting the decorated homes and shops, while you could taste freshly made Christmas sweet treats. The music, lights, food and the ambience will surely lit up the holiday spirit in you and your family.  

Country Christmas is similar to Starry Nights, however it takes place in the noon and you get to meet Santa and sing some Christmas Carols. Again the village set up amidst the old traditional houses and shops, hot apple cider vinegar, short bread etc. will take you back into history. Check out the video of the vintage christmas we spent at Doon Heritage Village. 

Schneider Haus National Historic Site, Kitchener

Again Schneider Haus National Historic Site houses historic museum and galleries. They organize annual wintry candle lit stroll outdoors. You could explore their twinkling forest, enjoy carolers singing, play with Santa and elves. This event is ticketed and lasts for 60 minutes. 

Light shows in your locality:

Old Post Office Digital Light Show - Price: Free

City of Cambridge organizes Winter Holiday digital light show every year during Christmas, suited for all ages. They display light on the façade of the old post office building (12, Water Street South), between 8pm to 10pm. They are timed shows of 30 minutes duration each. The lights display is choreographed to the music playing on radio (92.5 FM). So do not forget to tune your radio.

Gift of Lights, Bingemans - Price: Ticketed

Gift of Lights is a very famous light show organized every year at Kitchener, where you get to witness both creative and traditional Christmas lights display. It is a drive-through event. So you can enjoy the display while you ride in your car, listening to the Gift of Lights radio at 103.3 FM. 

These are some of the activities you can explore this holiday season, along with your family. Hope you find this article useful and feel free to add/ suggest more events if you know. 

Wish you a great holiday season!!!

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