If there is one thing Niagara-on-the-Lake knows how to do well, it’s celebrate and honour each season with grace, elegance and fanfare. And the Christmas Season is the crown jewel in its cap as the historic town turns into an old-fashioned Christmas Wonderland.
By mid-November, storefront windows along Queen Street in Old Town are all dressed up for the festive season. Twinkling lights, theme-decorated trees and favourite Christmas songs fill the air to set the mood. It’s a sight to behold! And one that brings us back to a simpler era at a time when the world desperately needs a ray of hope.
Niagara-on-the-Lake invites you to unite in sharing the Christmas cheer and a soulful prayer for world peace.
Shaw’s Holiday Shows Light up the Season
On November 5, the Royal George Theatre opened its doors to the all-time holiday favourite by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. As an extra special treat, following the performance, audience members have the opportunity to take a photo with the cast.
Starting November 15, Brigadoon, a musical production by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, takes centre stage at the Festival Theatre. This romantic celebration of song and dance features classic tunes like “Almost Like Being in Love” and “I’ll Go Home with Bonnie Jean.”
Both shows run until December 23.
Two Heartwarming Traditions
The Holiday Season in Niagara-on-the Lake kicks off on December 1 with the 34th Annual Candlelight Stroll. It all begins with an afternoon showcase featuring multiple talented musical performances from 2 to 6 p.m. in front of the Old Courthouse. Even Jolly Old Saint Nick will be on hand for pictures from 3 to 5 p.m. The guided stroll begins at 6:30 p.m. from the Old Courthouse on Queen Street and winds through historical Old Town, accompanied by local choirs and seasonal entertainment. Candles are $5 cash and non-perishable items are welcome in support of Newark Neighbours, which provide Christmas hampers for more than 50 families in the area.
Tired of fighting the crowds to catch a glimpse of Santa? Set aside Saturday, December 9 and treat yourself and the kids to the sweetest, most enjoyable, old-fashioned Santa Claus Parade this side of the North Pole. It all begins at 11 a.m. at the intersection of King and Centre Streets and winds its way down Castlereagh, Wellington, Byron/Prideaux, Simcoe and Queen Streets in Old Town.
House Tours and Holiday Markets
On December 1 and 2, six beautifully decorated homes in Niagara-on-the-Lake will welcome more than 3,000 guests. If you like interior design, architecture and seasonal decorations, the annual Niagara-on-the-Lake Rotary Holiday House Tour is for you. Later, take advantage of the specially priced luncheons available to attendees. Your day ticket is good for both Friday and Saturday.
Looking for something special for everyone on your list? Niagara-on-the-Lake invites you to poke around some of the holiday markets happening in December.
From December 1 to 10 (except Monday, December 4), the Holiday Market at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre will feature a wide range of one-of-a-kind, handmade holiday gifts, ornaments and décor creations crafted by more than 25 artisans. The assortment of products includes personal care, wood carvings, jewellery, pottery, glass, candles, birdhouses, textiles, treats, baked goods and more. Proceeds from the event benefit children and seniors’ programs. Admission is free with a food item donation to Newark Neighbours Food Bank. Debit, Visa and Mastercard are accepted.
On December 2 and 3, the Reif Estate Winery promises a fun-filled weekend when it hosts a unique and creative Holiday Market featuring more than 25 vendors, live music, art classes, Tarot reading, food, and of course, wine.
Niagara-on-the-Lake Shops Are Open
A multitude of gift ideas are on display in the variety of shops, spas and art galleries in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake. To get into the mood, make your first stop Just Christmas, a longstanding year-round emporium dedicated to all things Noël.
From there, the options are endless. How about a stylish winter hat or gloves from Beau Chapeau? Or a beautiful knit sweater, scarf or shawl from Irish Design? Maybe someone on your list loves body lotions. A basket of NEOB Niagara or One Earth products may be just up their alley. Might the chef on your list appreciate a bottle or two of flavoured olive oil from Oliv? Browse through the many antique shops in the area to find that perfect gift for your avid collector. A gift certificate from any of the many spas in town would surely have someone on your list grinning from ear to ear.
Speaking of gift certificates, maybe you’d like to gift a Niagara-on-the-Lake getaway to someone who really would appreciate some much-needed R&R. All of our STAY Niagara member properties, which range from comfy cozy B&Bs and cottage rentals to upscale apartment and villa rentals, are happy to sell you a gift certificate… or two. Why not book a stay for yourself while you’re at it? (Tip: Niagara-on-the-Lake is introducing a 3% accommodation tax effective January 1, 2024. If you book before then, the tax won’t apply.)
Niagara-on-the-Lake loves the Holiday Season! Why not join in the fun?
Parking is free in Old Town and at Fort George during the month of December.
Did you lose something while you were in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Contact the lost and found centre at the NOTL Chamber of Commerce located at 26 Queen Street in the lower level of the building. Or call 1-905-468-1950 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.