by Alex Kinsella | November 2023
The temperatures might be getting colder, but things are heating up in Waterloo Region. Check out this month’s lineup of awesome concerts, entertaining light shows, laugh-out-loud comedy, and more.
Here’s our list of great events to check out this November in Waterloo Region!
Kitchener Rangers vs. North Bay Battalion | November 3
OHL hockey action is in full effect as the Kitchener Rangers welcome the North Bay Battalion to the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. The puck drops at 7 p.m.
Insider tip: If you take ION light rail transit to the game, make sure to stop in at Short Finger Brewing Co. (20 Hurst Ave.) for a beer before the game. The brewery is a short walk from the Borden Station and has an amazing draft lineup of unique craft beers.
Sin City Illusions: A Magical Evening for Movember | November 4
Three of Toronto’s finest magicians are coming to the Apollo Cinemas in Kitchener for Sin City Illusions: A Magical Evening for Movember. Matt Disero, Ken Margoe, and Ken Pham will make you laugh and cheer as they keep you in awe wondering how it was all done! $10 of every ticket sold goes to the Movember campaign supporting research on men’s health issues, including prostate and testicular cancers.
A Grand Bourbon Tasting With Dan Reiss | November 8
The Grand Trunk Saloon welcomes back Dan Reiss for a memorable bourbon-tasting night on November 8. Give your taste buds a gift with bourbon samples, Grand Trunk’s famous dishes, and a nightcap cocktail. It’s educational too—Dan will share the history of each bourbon along and insights on their unique flavours.
Just for Laughs Comedy Tour | November 9
The Daily Show’s Roy Wood Jr. is your headliner and host for the Just for Laughs Comedy Tour presented by Boston Pizza at Centre in the Square. Wood Jr. recently performed at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and he’s bringing his comedy along with Lebanese-Canadian comedian Malik Elassal, Critics Choice Award nominee Joyelle Nicole Johnson, and Just For Laughs Festival favourite Arthur Simeon.
Insider tip: Before the show, get a table at Kitchener’s newest Thai restaurant, Soi Thaifoon (345 King St. W.). It opened this fall and is wowing diners with its dishes like Bangkok Katsu, Pad Graw Po, street style Pad Thai.
Elmira Theatre Co. presents Ed’s Garage | November 10–19
The Elmira Theatre Co. presents Ed’s Garage, written by Dan Needles and directed by Brian Otto. Originally premiered by Theatre Collingwood, Ed’s Garage tells the story of mechanic Ed and his right-hand man Nick as they fix cars, trucks, tractors, lawnmowers, outboard motors—and people. When a trained professional therapist opens an office in town, confusion leads to cooperation, friendship, and love.
Insider tip: grab dinner after the show at the Arthur Street Kitchen and Bar. We recommend the butter chicken and cauliflower bites.
The Etsy Waterloo Region Holiday Market | November 11 and 12
Shop from nearly 100 local Etsy makers at the 2023 Etsy Waterloo Region Holiday Market at RIM Park in Waterloo. Check your list twice for hand-made, one-of-a-kind gifts from clothing and home decor to pottery and artwork.
Insider tip: This is one of the busiest markets of the season! RIM Park has great parking, but we recommend carpooling or taking transit to make it a more enjoyable shopping experience.
Stand up en Español | November 12
Some people say love is the universal language, but we like to think laughter can be too! AOK Craft Beer + Arcade in Downtown Kitchener is hosting Se Habla Español – Stand up en Español, featuring Gus Viana, Vanessa Zavatti, Carlos Rivera, and other comedians from the Latín Comedy Fest in Toronto.
2023 Arts Awards of Waterloo Region | November 16
Arts Awards Waterloo Region has been honouring artists, musicians, writers, event organizers, volunteers, and supporters for almost 30 years. Join them on November 16 at THEMUSEUM as they recognize the creators who bring the arts to life across Waterloo Region.
St. Jacobs Village Sparkles | November 16–19 and 23–26
Discover the unique shops and eateries of the Village of St. Jacobs during Village Sparkles. Each weekend features holiday festivities and entertainment for the whole family. We hear Santa might make a couple of early stops on Sunday mornings.
Insider tip: Our favourite part of St. Jacobs Village Sparkles is the Waterloo County Carollers. You can hear them on Thursdays from 6-8 p.m., Fridays from 5-8 p.m., Saturdays from 4-7 p.m., and Sundays from 2-4 p.m. Coffee lovers should check out the Ecocafe (1441 King St. N.) for gifts for friends, family, and themselves!
Murder Mystery at Woodside National Historic Site | November 17 & 18
There are murder mysteries, and then there are historic murder mysteries. Bring your keen insights and intellect to Woodside National Historic Site to catch the killer before they strike again! It’s a classic “who done it?” with a historical twist! Explore the historic Victorian-era house to uncover clues and find the culprit before they find you.
Gift of Lights & Jingle Bell Rock | November 17 – January 6
Experience the magic and wonder of the Waterloo Region’s most spectacular and dazzling light displays this holiday season at Bingeman’s Gift of Lights & Jingle Bell Rock. Gift of Lights is a unique drive-thru experience featuring more than 300 animated and static light displays and light tunnels. Afterward, check out the giant light sculptures on a Jingle Bell Rock walking tour.
Insider tip: Bingemans is located across the street from the Waterloo Brewing Taphouse. The brewery is Ontario’s first craft brewery, and the Taphouse continues its long tradition of serving up some of the best craft beer and delicious dishes in town.
Waterloo Potter’s Fall Pottery Sale | November 17–19
Just in time for holiday shopping, the Waterloo Potter’s Workshop is hosting its annual two-day sale at RIM Park in Waterloo. Discover amazing hand-made mugs, jewellery, serving dishes, and other unique art items for everyone on your list.
KW Santa Claus Parade | November 18
The Lions Club of Kitchener presents the KW Santa Claus Parade on Saturday, November 18 at 10 a.m. Bring your family to get an early start to the spirit of the season—and don’t forget your letters to Santa for Canada Post to deliver to the North Pole. Donations to the Food Bank of Waterloo and help the Knights of Columbus’ Toy Drive are appreciated.
Insider tip: Rudolph might normally take the lead for Santa’s sleigh, but you can jump in front by running in the 9th annual Run Waterloo Santa Pur-suit timed 5k race before the parade.
Spice Brunch: 90’s Drag Show & Party | November 19
House of Adam and Steve are bringing you back to the 90s with Spice Brunch at The Walper Hotel. It’s a 90s-themed drag show and day party starring Canada’s Drag Race star BOA and Spice Girls impersonation group Generation Next.
Insider tip: The Walper Hotel is celebrating its 130th birthday in 2023. Be sure to check out its updated Lokal lounge and bar for a drink before or after the show!
Classic Albums Live: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band | November 23
The Centre In The Square has a great lineup of entertainment scheduled for November, including Classic Albums Live performance of the Beetle’s eighth studio album—Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Classic Albums Live is known for recreating incredible music note for note, cut for cut. That means you’ll be taken on a musical journey to experience the rich, complex, and psychedelic vibes of this classic album.
Cambridge Winterfest | November 23 – December 31
Celebrate the snowy season with Cambridge Winterfest. The month-long festival begins on November 23 with the CPKC Holiday Train making a stop at the Malcolm Street Train Station with a BBQ and popcorn sale to raise money for the Cambridge Food Bank. On November 24, bring your family to Cambridge City Hall for Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night. It’s a modern twist on carolling with 30 light installations illuminating the route.
Kitchener Rangers vs. Owen Sound Attack | November 24
It may be Black Friday south of the border, but in Kitchener, it’s all red and blue as the Kitchener Rangers take on the Owen Sound Attack.
The Sounds of Christmas | November 24, 25, and 30 | December 1 and 2
Inspired by the support her son received from KidsAbility, Nicole Guse created The Sounds of Christmas, a multi-generational musical variety show that has raised more than $180,000 over the last ten years. The production features traditional, country, and gospel versions of all your favourite Christmas classics.
A Very Merry Indigenous Art Market | November 25 & 26
IAM Kitchener presents A Very Merry Indigenous Art Market where you can shop from more than 70 local Indigenous creators.
Bring your reusable bags, multiple forms of payment, masks and holiday spirit!
Willibald Winter Market | November 25
Take a drive to Ayr for the Willibald Winter Market at the Willibald Farm. Explore their amazing lineup of vendors and treat yourself to a delicious craft cocktail at their restaurant.
New Friends Concert at Emmanuel United Church | November 29
From his birthplace in southwestern Ontario, Jesse Rivest has brought his musical talents to British Columbia, Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil. On November 29, he’ll bring his music and a few friends for a wintery evening of folk music with Sammy Duke and Mitch Szitas.
Peter Pan: The Panto | November 29 – January 7
You haven’t truly seen Peter Pan until you’ve seen the Panto version. The St. Jacobs Country Playhouse presents Peter Pan: The Panto, a traditional British panto production where you cheer for the hero and boo the villain in a fun-filled audience participation production.
Insider tip: The panto is great for everyone in the family! After the show, walk over to the Crazy Caunck‘s Waterloo location just across from the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market for a dinner that everyone in the family can enjoy together too!
A Merry Victorian Christmas | November 30
Experience a Victorian Christmas at Castle Kilbride this November. Take a self-guided tour of the historic house, mingle with costumed staff, listen to live entertainment in the parlour, and sip on hot cider.
There may be single-digit temperatures in the forecast, but don’t let that keep you inside as we transition from fall to winter. We’ve put together a winter road trip to help your family embrace the best of the season in Waterloo Region!
Find your winter road trip home away from home in St. Jacobs. We recommend booking a night or two at the Courtyard by Marriott Waterloo St. Jacobs, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Waterloo-St. Jacobs, or any of the other amazing hotels located within a short walking distance from the St. Jacobs Market District.
Day 1 – Friday
When we think winter, we think hockey. You’ve got two great ways to experience hockey in Waterloo Region on this road trip. Experience the game like never before with THEMUSEUM’s Hockey: Faster Than Ever exhibition at The Glovebox in downtown Kitchener. The interactive exhibition will take you through the evolution of hockey and the remarkable tech advancements and scientific breakthroughs that have shaped hockey over time.
If that’s not enough hockey action for the family, don’t worry. You can experience live OHL action as the Kitchener Rangers play at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium (known as The Aud). Check their schedule to find a game that fits with your road trip itinerary.
For those who prefer shopping over skating, take a stroll and explore the merchants at the St. Jacobs Market at the Sip n’ Shop night market. On November 17 and 24 and December 1, the market opens from 4 to 9 p.m. for evenings of live music, festive drinks, and the chance to connect with old friends and make new ones.
Day 2 – Saturday
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your hotel or at the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning to fuel up for the day. After breakfast, we’ve got two ways for you to experience the warmth Waterloo Region has to offer.
First, you can take a drive to Kitchener for an experience you won’t forget at KW Sauna. This European-inspired sauna offers walk-ins, guided sessions, and private rentals. As the season starts to become a little more hectic, this is a magical way to relax, unwind and get warm together. There’s also a cafeteria on the second floor that serves beer and light snacks if you need to re-fuel.
For those who prefer warming up around a campfire, Snyder’s Farm in the lovely village of Bright offers an amazing Winter Campfire Experience on Saturdays and Sundays. Your campfire experience includes a s’mores kit, table and chairs, and you can even order a hot dog roasting kit or gourmet pizzas right to your fire. Sit back, relax and enjoy time together outdoors in Waterloo Region’s beautiful countryside!
For dinner, head to Cambridge for dinner at Beertown Public House. While Beertown has grown to include 10 locations throughout Ontario, their location in Cambridge is the restaurant that started it all. Beertown Public House is the leader in the craft beer dining revolution and offers a wide menu that includes plant-based and gluten friendly options, as well as an expertly curated beer and beverage list.
After dinner, head to the Old Post Office – a Canadian National Historic site that overlooks the Grand River in downtown Cambridge. While the architecture of this building is beautiful by day, it’s at night that the Old Post Office truly shines when a digital light show is projected onto the façade of the building. The show takes place four times a night, Thursday through Sunday, at 8, 8:30, 9, and 9:30 p.m.
Insider Tip: The Old Post Office is part of the Cambridge libraries and is an award-winning, all-digital public library. Each floor in this restored building offers a unique area of exploration, including the Creative Studios, Children’s Discovery Centre, Makerspace, and Riverview Reading Room – a beautiful space if you want to pop in to read and relax during your road trip!
Day 3 – Sunday
On Sunday morning, take a tropical trip without driving south at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. Even if the weather outside is frightful, the conservatory’s 10,800 square-foot indoor tropical garden is filled with warmth and features thousands of free-flying butterflies.