UPDATED November 2022
It’s in the air – colder temperatures, the appearance of snowflakes, and a feeling that lets you know the holidays have arrived in Waterloo Region!
Ready to get your Jingle on? Here’s a list of things to do to get the festive fun started.
**Know of other holiday happenings going on in Waterloo Region? Share them with us on social using the hashtag #ExploreWR **
Holiday Fun in Waterloo Region
St. Jacobs Sparkles November 12-20 & 24-27
Come shop into the night amid thousands of twinkling lights in the village. Santa has even set up a satellite Workshop in the village where on special dates and times you can see him at work and drop off your letter to Santa.
Holiday Lights at Bingemans November 12 – January 7, 2023
This year Bingemans offers two ways to take in beautiful holiday light displays! Enjoy the lights from the comfort of your car at Gift of Lights – a a family-friendly drive-thru holiday light display with two tunnels and over 300 animated and static light displays! NEW THIS YEAR is Jingle Bell Rock – a walk-through light display that includes spectacular walking tunnels, sparkling lighting decorations, and a 40 foot dancing tree illumination. You can also relax at the open fire pits with some s’mores, decorate cookies in Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen or listen to live entertainment on featured nights. Advance Tickets are recommended.
Castle Kilbride ‘Christmas at the Castle’ November 16, 2022 – January 8, 2023
Step back and marvel at the sights and sounds of a merry Victorian Christmas. At Castle Kilbride, they take a whole lot of old and a little bit of new and mix it together for the perfect holiday setting. This is the best time of year to visit the 1877 home of the Livingston Family and marvel at the lavish décor adorned in festive attire.
Waterloo Central Railway Vintage Holiday Trains November 17 – December 18
Choose from a daytime or nighttime holiday train adventure with Waterloo Central Railway’s Vintage Christmas and Vintage Christmas – Christmas Lights Experience trains. Bring your family and friends and get ready to head to the North Pole! With stories, your favourite Christmas characters, and a visit from the Man in Red himself, this unique holiday adventure will put sparkles in the eyes of children of all ages.
Holiday Sip ‘n Shop Night Market November 18 and December 2
The St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market offers 2 Night Markets just in time for the holidays! Local breweries and distilleries will be serving up some amazing drinks that are a little more potent than the milk you leave out for Santa. Shop for unique gifts, cozy up to the fire, take in the live music and enjoy the company of good friends this holiday season.
Cambridge Celebrates Winterfest November 25 – December 31
Cambridge Celebrates ‘Winterfest’ features a number of seasonal events including Phil Klein’s Unsilent Night, a visit from the CP Holiday Train, Winter Ice and Lights, the Cambridge Christmas Market, Music and Lights in the Village, and winds up with a New Year’s Eve Party!
Dog Friendly KW Paw-liday Festival November 26 & 27
The DFKW Paw-liday Festival is a 2-day festival in downtown Kitchener for dog owners, dog lovers, families, and community members alike. Shop for the holidays at unique, hand-selected, local businesses, there will be a festive biergarten located beside the skating rink in Carl Zehr Square, delicious eats courtesy of food trucks and food vendors, and so much more!
Winter Campfires at Snyder’s Family Farm Weekends Only November 26 – December 18
Gather ’round the fire with your family or a group of friends at Snyder’s! Your fire will be lit and stoked before you arrive – just sit and enjoy great company in the beautiful winter countryside. Each campfire includes a S’mores kit, and you have the option to order hot dog roasting kits, gourmet pizzas, nachos and bakery desserts. The Sweets & Spirits Bar will also be open so you can raise a glass of holiday cheer and toast the holidays! Campfires Experiences must be booked in advance.
Christkindl Market December 1-4
Wilkommen to Christkindl Market in downtown Kitchener! For 4 days in December, the streets transform into a traditional German Christmas market. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and listen to Christmas carols while strolling around the twinkling lights of the market. With over 75 vendors selling traditional handcrafted items, live music, dance performances, and unique holiday-themed craft activities for children, Christkindl Market is sure to become your favourite family holiday tradition!
UpTown Waterloo Winter Wonderland Dec. 2-4
Uptown Waterloo hosts a variety of special holiday events for you to explore! Join in the Tree Lighting Ceremony December 2nd, shop at the Holiday Market on December 3rd, and shop special promotions all weekend long! Don’t forget to pop by Mistletoe Lane with your special someone – be sure to grab a holiday selfie!
Downtown Kitchener Holiday Window Walk December 1 – January 31, 2023
“Eight tiny reindeer, you know them by name, They’ve all gone missing down this sweet little lane…” Thus begins the story behind the DTK Holiday Window Walk! Participating businesses will have printed maps to show you where the decorated windows are located, or you can download the digital version. A QR code on each window will also offer a clue to help you find Santa’s reindeer and see what to do next!
Country Christmas December 4, 11 & 18
Enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas past. Visit the decorated historic homes at Doon Heritage Village for unique holiday traditions, let your little ones meet Father Christmas, and enjoy a sing-along to your favourite Christmas carols.
With your paid admission, you can also explore our current exhibit, Dibaajimowin: Stories from this Land.
Wintery Candlelit Strolls December 10 & 17
Enjoy a magical, candlelit evening outdoors at Schneider Haus in Kitchener. Explore the grounds by candlelight and discover the twinkling forest. Enjoy carolers singing on the front porch, peek into Santa’s workshop, and find some silly hidden elves! Don’t miss out on making your own reindeer food and taking homemade cookies to go!
Community Carol Sing in Ayr December 11
Save the date! This popular carol sing is back and takes place outdoors in Centennial Park in Ayr. Make sure to dress for the weather, and get ready to sing some of your favourite holiday tunes!
Doon Heritage Village Lantern-Lit Stroll Multiple Dates in December
Step back in time to experience Christmas in the early 20th century. Enjoy the sights and sounds of decorated historic homes and shops, crackling bonfires and Christmas carols. Indulge in freshly made Christmas goodies and warm apple cider as you stroll the night away in the unique ambiance of a lantern-lit historic village. Advance Tickets required.
KW Symphony Yuletide Spectacular December 16, 17 & 18
This favourite holiday tradition is back with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony performing live at the Centre In The Square. The concert features your holiday favourites performed by the Symphony, and features choirs, dancers and possibly a visit by Santa Claus himself.
Cut Your Own Christmas Tree
Get the family together and enjoy the great outdoors as you choose and cut your Christmas Tree at these local tree farms:
Winter Sleigh Rides with St. Jacobs Horse Drawn Tours
Looking for a fun and memorable activity to do with your family? A scenic Sleigh Ride through open fields and the tall sugar bush is just the thing! These are private bookings and require reservations in advance.
Holiday Lights in Waterloo Region
Looking to brighten up your holidays? Find our where to find holiday light displays here -> Making Spirits Bright: Where to See Lights in Waterloo Region