Burlington Brings the Holiday Spirit to Life
December in and around Burlington is packed with events and activities of all kinds and for all tastes. Here’s how to enjoy the holidays in Burlington!
Make Way for Santa
The December calendar begins with one of the city’s most cherished events: the Burlington Santa Claus Parade on Sunday, December 4th. After two years in COVID lockdown, the crimson-clad chap will carefully comb his beard for a long-awaited local appearance in all his pre-pandemic festive glory. Stake out your position early for the 2 p.m. starting time, and have your hot chocolate in hand. The route begins steps away from Paradigm Grand, at the intersection of Guelph Line and Prospect St., crosses New St. and finishes at The Promenade at Elgin and Brant St. We can hope for a mild afternoon but prepare to dress for the season to make sure you’re comfortable.
The Nutcracker and More at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre
The Molinaro Group can’t take credit for Santa’s visit but it does take pride in its ongoing role in the annual Festival of Trees now in its sixth year at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre (BPAC). TMG joins up to 30 other local businesses in sponsoring this major fund-raiser for the city’s foremost cultural and performance hub. It’s a truly interactive event including a silent auction in which you can bid on one of the pre-lit artificial trees on display in The Family Lobby. You may take it home for the holidays if you’re the high bidder! The event runs through December 17th during regular box office hours, and it’s a mood-boosting Christmas tinsel-fest the whole family will enjoy. Again, all proceeds benefit BPAC which will be offering a schedule of events for all musical tastes throughout the season.
Come visit the Festival of Lights at Spencer Smith Park
Combine that event with a stroll down to the waterfront and Spencer Smith Park where our gorgeous little town always puts on its best face. And the Festival of Lights is nothing if not the perfect excuse to get off the couch and walk off any holiday excess – not that we’re pointing fingers. There is no guilt associated with indulging yourself in the spectacular lakefront setting and dazzling technical presentation. The program runs from late November until January 8th of the New Year, from 4 p.m. to midnight daily. It’s a showcase for everything that makes Burlington a great community and attracts visitors from all around the Golden Horseshoe. So, if you’re hosting friends or relatives from out of town, it’s a must-see. But depending upon the weather and amount of snow, the lighting effect could be dramatically different from week-to-week so we recommend repeat visits.
Have yourself a Merry Molinaro Style Holiday in Burlington
We’ve covered the headline events. Here’s our carefully curated list of other activities, formal and informal, to help you tailor holiday plans for yourself and your loved ones, ‘Molinaro-style’:
- Bright Nights – from December 1st through January the downtown shopping district is lit up at night with festive arbors, walkways and brilliant decorations to complement the seasonal storefront window displays. Catch a meal at a local restaurant then take a stroll amid the twinkling stars
- Explore an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Burlington. Some long-running exhibits draw to close at year-end while others continue into 2023.You’ll be glad you came in from the cold
- Local history and indigenous culture come together at the Joseph Brant Museum located on the waterfront. It’s a monument to one of Burlington’s greatest historical figures, a local landowner and Canadian icon. And his story is worthy of more than one lengthy visit.
- Burlington Teen Tour Band – 75th Anniversary Holiday Concert/BPAC Main Theatre, Wed. Dec. 14th at 7 p.m.
- State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine: THE NUTCRACKER/BPAC Main Theatre, Dec. 2-3rd
- Ugly Christmas Sweater Market: Burlington Centre, Dec. 3-4th
- Hello Holidays! Sip & Shop Artisan Bazaar/RBG Centre Auditorium, Dec. 9th
- Burlington Holiday Market: Downtown, Dec. 8-11th
- A Christmas Spectacular- BSO/BPAC, Dec. 11th
- Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus: Royal Botanical Gardens, Dec. 11th
We’ve by no means captured every event that’s going on in our immediate area this holiday season, but we hope you’ll find time to enjoy some of them. And please consider masking-up if you’re out amongst the crowd at busy indoor venues. Health and family have always come first at The Molinaro Group. We encourage everyone to spend time with loved ones and appreciate what Burlington offers as a vibrant, welcoming city with a small town atmosphere. From midtown, to downtown to the waterfront, it’s yours to explore at this grand time of the year.