Holiday Happenings

Cozy season is here! And while you may want to tuck your feet into warm slippers and cuddle at home by a warm fire, there is so much to see and do in our beautiful downtown core. For those willing to brave the cold and even for those who prefer the great indoors, we have a full line-up of activities throughout the entire holiday season.


Festival of Trees
November 18 to December 18

Where? Burlington Performing Arts Centre, 440 Locust Street

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s 5th Annual Festival of Trees will be sparking yuletide joy in patrons who visit BPAC between Nov 18th and Dec 18th. Pre-lit artificial Christmas trees, generously donated by Canadian Tire – Burlington Stores and sponsored by local businesses, will light up BPAC’s Lobby for 4 weeks – until their silent auction ‘winners’ take them home for the holidays.

During the Festival of Trees, donations of unused toys will be accepted in the BPAC lobby.

You will also have the chance to take home one or more of the beautifully decorated trees by entering their Silent Auction. All proceeds support the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. More details here.


Festival of Lights
November 26 to January 8
Where? Spencer Smith Park & City Hall

The Festival of Lights illuminates Burlington’s waterfront through December to early January each year. Come share your holiday spirits with family and friends while strolling through the 60+ magical lighting displays. Thousands of local residents and visitors from across the region, and beyond, have made it a seasonal tradition to wander through the park with family and friends to view the themed displays. Tens of thousands more take in the attraction while driving along Lakeshore Road at the City’s waterfront throughout the holiday season.

Visit daily from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. with extended hours on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Orthodox Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. View website here.


Bright Nights
Dec 1 through January
Throughout Downtown Burlington

The streets and businesses of Burlington’s downtown core are getting whole lot brighter. Starting December 1st and running through January 2021, downtown Burlington will be illuminated by impressive new light installations designed to create a magical experience within the downtown business area. It’s the perfect time to celebrate and enjoy the season safely with those we hold dear. Bright Nights, presented by Lisa-Marie Winning, Winning & Associates, IG Private Wealth Management, is the perfect opportunity to do just that. Thank you to our proud sponsor Creature Comforts HVAC Inc.


Handmade House Holiday Markets
Every Saturday until Christmas  | 10am – 5pm
Where? 460 Pearl Street

It’s that time of year again… The Handmade House is bringing back their weekly Outdoor Holiday Market every Saturday until Christmas! Each week will feature new makers offering handmade holiday gifts and decor! This event allows you to meet the faces behind all the beautiful goods in their shops. Artisans from both the Burlington and Dundas locations with be in attendance with new items you have not seen before! Support 125+ small businesses and secure your spot on the nice list! Stay tuned to their social media accounts for vendor announcements.


Cocktails & Cuppas Crawl
December 1 to December 31
Where? Various restaurants and cafe’s in downtown Burlington

Our annual Cocktails & Cuppas crawl returns for the 2021 season! Throughout December our cafés, restaurants, and bars in Downtown Burlington will be mixing up their favourite holiday concoctions. So get ready to sip and savour boozy cocktail delights alongside specialty coffees and non-alcoholic hot chocolate cuppas mounded with whipped cream. There’s a festive libation for everyone! Participation is easy – just download the free pass to your phone!

Then, start checking in at participating businesses. The more check-ins you make, the greater your chances are to win weekly $50 gift certificate giveaways. There’s also a grand prize, where the lucky winner will be treated to $500 in various downtown Burlington restaurant gift certificates of their choice.

So bundle up, enjoy some festive drinks in an outdoor après-ski type fashion and celebrate the holiday season while supporting local! Sign-up here to download your free passport and see all participating businesses!


Santa’s Holiday Magic Trail
December 4 & December 5
Where? Throughout Burlington

Back by popular demand, Santa’s Holiday Magic Trail will be happening in 2021. Santa will be driving a route throughout Burlington neighbourhoods on an antique firetruck on Dec. 4 and 5, 2021* from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Santa will not be stopping to accept letters, milk, or cookies or posing for photos. Please use caution and stay safe when near the road. View the 2021 trail map here!


Chantal Kreviazuk: Christmas is a Way of Life, My Dear
December 5
 Where? Burlington Performing Arts Centre, 440 Locust Street

Celebrate the holidays with Chantal Kreviazuk at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. Sing and dance along as she performs songs from her first Christmas album “Christmas is a Way of Life, My Dear”. The album features five brand new original songs, plus Chantal’s spin on classics such as “Silent Night,” “Blue Christmas,” and “Wonderful Christmas Time”.  Get tickets here.


The Burlington Holiday Market
Thursday, December 9 | 4pm-9pm
Friday, December 10  | 11am-9pm
Saturday, December 11  | 11am-9pm
Sunday, December 12 | 11am – 7pm
Where? Parking Lot 1, 431 Elizabeth Street (North of Village Square), Civic Square, The Poacher, & Elgin Promenade

The Burlington Holiday Market is a celebration of the holiday spirit in the heart of the city, downtown Burlington. 2021 will mark the first year of this annual event. Building on a tradition of bringing the community together, the Market welcomes residents, families and visitors from around the Halton and Hamilton region to come and experience a celebration of the season.

The Burlington Holiday Market has taken inspiration from European Christmas markets and infused a flair of Canadiana to deliver a unique and imaginative immersive experience. The Burlington Holiday Market will have fun, family friendly activities including concerts and choirs, interactive community art features, a holiday inspired theme and advent-style community displays.

After a tumultuous 18-months, the Burlington Holiday Market is ready to bring everyone back together and revitalize the downtown just in time for the holiday season. From December 9th to 12th, we will transform downtown Burlington into a holiday wonderland with something to excite all the senses and fun for all ages.

View more details here.


The North Coal Holiday Market
Friday December 10th from 4pm-10pm
Saturday December 11th from 12pm-10pm
Sunday December 12th from 12pm-8pm
*Hours may vary
Where? The North Coal, 399 Elizabeth Street

This year you can dine, sip, and shop some amazing local businesses at The North’s Coals mini market. Local vendors will be taking over the cozy booths on their patio selling all the Christmas essentials 🎁 There will be Mulled Wine, Fire Pits, Christmas Music, and Festive Food & Beverage. Shop local, support local, and enjoy local this year at TNC! View more details on their website here.


A Christmas Spectacular: Starring Pete Paquette and Guests
December 11
Where? Burlington Performing Arts Centre, 440 Locust Street

Enjoy and sing along to more than 30 greatest Christmas carols and songs of inspiration, a show that will surely warm your heart this season. From Andy Williams’ classic “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year”, Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”, Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas” to inspirational songs such as Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and John Lennon’s “Imagine”.

Special guests include Kay Howl and The Tonettes! Get tickets here.


Burlington Symphony Orchestra: A Christmas Spectacular
December 12
Where? Burlington Performing Arts Centre, 440 Locust Street

Enjoy a special holiday program from the Burlington Symphony Orchestra. Featuring seasonal favourites including Sleigh Ride, The Nutcracker, and sing-along carols for the whole family! Click here for tickets.


Outdoor Skating at Rotary Centennial Pond
Open NOW
Where? Rotary Centennial Pond, Spencer Smith Park,1340 Lakeshore Rd

Lace-up those skates!

The outdoor rink at Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond is open! Located at the waterfront in Downtown Burlington, the rink will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and skating is free; however, online, pre-registration is required and can be booked no more than 25-hours in advance. On Christmas Eve, the rink will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and then closed for Christmas Day.

Online registrations are open.

To pre-register, visit burlington.ca/skating. For up-to-date information on ice conditions at Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond, please call 905-335-7600, ext. 8587.



Please note, the Burlington Downtown annual Candlelit Stroll has been cancelled for 2021.