Christmas and Winter Events in Cambridge and the Waterloo Townships
Season’s Greetings! Welcome to another wintery edition of the WRX Property Group blog. Santa Claus is coming to Cambridge and the Townships of Waterloo, and in anticipation of his arrival, there are a plethora of wonderful, seasonal events to choose from. Which events are you keen to attend?
Well, why don’t you take a peek at some of the highlights we’ve selected!
First (and, for some people, foremost), there are the Santa Claus Parades. Cambridge proudly hosts two distinct parades: the Cambridge Santa Claus Parade and the Hespeler Santa Claus Parade.
But you can read more about these, as well as other parades in the Waterloo Region (and Kitchener-Waterloo) in our parade article.
Cambridge once consisted of three distinct communities (four if you include Blair); in order of population: Galt, Preston, and Hespeler. And it just so happens that each location has its very own Christmas event!
The Cambridge Christmas Market (and Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night) in Galt
Once a year, for around four days, Cambridge City Hall (and the nearby Market Square) host the Cambridge Christmas Market. There’s much to love about a high-quality Christmas Market like this one: talented local artisans; a wide variety of vendors; and an infectious, festive spirit, just to name a few.
The Cambridge Christmas Market will run for about four days in early December, but if you’re keen to get even more Christmas fun, be sure to visit on the opening day. Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night is a unique, and incredibly fun, modern twist on carolling, in which participants can stroll through downtown Cambridge and enjoy the public music, played over whatever device the participants wish to use.
Find out more about the fascinating project (and download the carolling music) here.
80 Edwards Street, Guelph, N1E0H7
Guelph, Ontario N1E0H7More
59 BAYNE Crescent, Cambridge, N1T1E2
59 BAYNE Crescent, Cambridge, Ontario N1T1E2More
306 DANIEL Crescent, Elora, N0B1S0
306 DANIEL Crescent, Elora, Ontario N0B1S0More
216 RIVER BIRCH ST, Kitchener, N2C2V2
216 River Birch Street, Kitchener, Ontario N2C2V2More
3073 COUNTRY LANE, Whitby, L1P1M3
3073 Country Lane, Whitby, Ontario L1P1M3More
32 INLET BAY DR, Whitby, L1N9P4
32 Inlet Bay Drive, Whitby, Ontario L1N9P4More
110 WAY ST, Whitby, L1M1B8
110 Way Street, Whitby, Ontario L1M1B8More
136 SILVERTHORNE DR, Cambridge, N3C0A8
136 Silverthorne Drive, Cambridge, Ontario N3C0A8More
Candyland in Preston
Once a year, Central Park (located right beside downtown Preston) becomes something very magical indeed. It becomes a land of candy, fun, and games; it becomes Candyland. And what more could you want?
The whimsical and wonderful Candyland decorations stay up in Central Park for most of December (and until just after New Year’s Day), but there is always one day in particular that sees the main festivities.
There are games galore (many of them candy-themed), giant candies to enjoy, cheap carousel rides, and even a maze. Live performances, and music at the gazebo, are another staple to Candyland. It’s a perfect event for families, and one that kids will surely look forward to each year. Candyland information available here.
Music and Lights in the Village in Hespeler
Hespeler is growing at an impressive rate, and many families are choosing to call this diverse part of Cambridge home. The Hespeler Village neighbourhood, in particular, has become a very popular place indeed.
Music and Lights in the Village is the perfect event for Hespeler, as it takes advantage of the area’s strengths.
The family-friendly festivities make use of the beautiful Hespeler Idea Exchange facilities (with its sleek glass exterior, it is certainly one of the most impressive libraries in Ontario).
Highlights from past Music and Lights in the Village events include hilarious Christmas plays put on by local school children, choir performances, and a tree-lighting ceremony. Get more details here.
Cambridge is a fine city whatever the season, and winter is clearly no exception. Now let’s move on to the Townships!
Woolwich: St. Jacobs Sparkles
With acres of beautiful farmland and the ever-popular St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market, St. Jacobs (in the Township of Woolwich) is always a great place to visit.
And every Christmas season, there is one event in particular that gets a great deal of attention: St. Jacobs Sparkles. What is St. Jacobs Sparkles, you ask?
St. Jacobs Sparkles sees the village of St. Jacobs’ beautiful downtown area transformed into a picture-perfect Christmas market. Stores and restaurants up and down King Street North participate in the festivities, keeping longer hours and often offering special promotions and draws for prizes.
Downtown St. Jacobs is decorated with green garlands and thousands of lights, and carollers fill the air with many a merry tune. There’s a free horse-drawn trolley festooned with festive bells, and delicious apple cider available courtesy of the Township of Woolwich volunteer firefighters.
All in all, it’s wonderful opportunity to support the community, to get some serious shopping done, and to enjoy a Victorian-flavoured Christmas market. St. Jacobs Sparkles typically runs for four days, starting in the late morning and running to the evening each day. Find all the details here!
Winter Sleigh Rides
Also in St. Jacobs, but in the Market District as opposed to the village of St. Jacobs, is a season-specific offer from St. Jacobs Horse Drawn Tours.
Hop in a horse-drawn sleigh with friends and family and embark on a 45 minute tour, sliding along a scenic route through frosty fields, forests, and sugar bush. The tour ends at a wooden sugar shack with a wood-burning stove and cider (it’s a lovely place to sit and chat). Find out more here!
Waterloo Central Railway Themed Train Experiences
Wow – it’s another St. Jacobs event! St. Jacobs clearly really does winter right. We actually cover these events in greater detail in the Top 5 Christmas Events and Locations in Kitchener-Waterloo article, so simply: there is a Polar Express Train Ride, and a Santa Train. They’re great!
Christmas at Kilbride (A Merry Victorian Christmas)
Taking the Victorian-flavoured Christmas even further is Castle Kilbride, in Baden (the Township of Wilmot). Castle Kilbride itself is an interesting, historic place, quite worth a visit. Built in 1877, it is in fact a product of the Victorian age (and a National Historic Site of Canada).
The building is beautiful on its own, but come Christmas, the Castle Kilbride staff truly outdoes themselves.
Victorian decorations adorn the historic building, both inside and out (seeing the façade illuminated at night time is really quite something). Strolling through the building’s interior is a true Christmas delight: from the impossibly ornate, brightly-lit tree, to the period-appropriate settings at the dinner table, it’s like entering a portal to a bygone age.
Castle Kilbride will be decorated, and running regular visiting hours, from the middle of November to late December, with additional hours after Christmas and New Year’s Day.
But wait – there’s more! One day a year, Castle Kilbride celebrates ‘A Merry Victorian Christmas.’ It’s an evening of live music, delicious apple cider, and even a silent auction. Find out more here!
Christmas Tyme in Wellesley
We mentioned Christmas Tyme in Wellesley in our parade article, and a Santa Claus Parade is indeed one component to Christmas Tyme in Wellesley.
However, it’s actually that and more! Other highlights to this festive day include the lighting of the tree, carolling, and hot apple cider. It’s the most Tyme of the year!
There’s plenty more to see and do in winter, throughout the Waterloo Region. From free skates in Ayr (North Dumfries) to Christmas Pageants in Elmira (Woolwich), you’re sure to find something close to you to enjoy, whether on your own, with friends, or with family.
Written by Will Kummer