Happy December! The holiday season has officially arrived, and for many people, the countdown to Christmas is on. While you may be eager for the 25th to arrive, don’t miss out on all the holiday experiences Barrie and the surrounding areas have to offer. After all, it’s about the season, not just the big day! We’ve rounded up a list of some things to check out this month to get into the holiday spirit. Whether you go with kids, friends, or family, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this December!

Holiday night market 

Night markets add a fun twist to the classic market experience. In December, nighttime is perfect for admiring the festive glow and lights as you browse around. The holiday night market in Barrie brings together a group of the best local vendors and small businesses in the area. Visitors can complete their Christmas shopping, or treat themselves, by supporting local businesses. The market will feature sellers with products ranging from candles and jewelry to food, body care, and home accessories. With more than 25 vendors set to participate, there’s something for everyone. You can enter the market either through a cash or non-perishable food item donation.

When: December 15, 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Where: Lions Gate Banquet Centre, Barrie

Website: https://allevents.in/barrie/holiday-night-market-barrie/200022908037932

Orillia Silver Band

If you love Christmas, there’s a good chance you enjoy carols during the season too. The Orillia Silver Band is ready to provide you with classic carols at their Sleigh Bells and Brass concert. The performance will include songs from the Nutcracker Ballet, along with other favourites to get you in the holiday spirit. This brass music band has been part of the Orillia community for over 60 years, providing entertainment for all.

When: December 18, 2 pm

Where: Orillia Opera House, Orillia

Website: https://www.orillialakecountry.ca/event/orillia-silver-band-sleigh-bells-and-brass/

Innisfil Christmas craft show 

The Innisfil Christmas craft show is celebrating its return after two years of COVID-19 restrictions. This event brings together 20 local vendors for a fun little holiday activity for you and your friends or family. You’ll find businesses selling jewelry, home goods, and more at this festive display. You’re likely to find some unique items to take home, either as gifts or to keep in your own house.

When: December 10 and 11, 10 am – 3 pm

Where: The Lions Hall, Innisfil

Website: https://parkbench.com/event/innisfil-christmas-craft-show

Christmas light hunting

A tried and true classic, exploring your own neighbourhoods to admire other people’s lights is one of the best holiday experiences, and it’s free! This is a perfect idea for a date night, or for an activity to do with kids. Everyone loves journeying around town to find the best light display in the area. If you want the full experience, bundle up and take to the streets on a long walk with a hot chocolate. Or, you can take a drive instead, so you can cover more ground and stay warm. In most communities, there’s one house people always talk about that’s known for having the best lights in town. You can also look online for the best places to check out. Barrie 360 has published several posts over the years on Christmas light displays and some of the best spots to find them, so take a look at some of their past suggestions!

We also suggest checking out Magic of Lights at Springwater Provincial Park! Until January 1st, this drive-through experience offers you fantastic views of light displays and digital animations as you make your way through the path. Since this is a drive-through event, you don’t have to worry about frigid temperatures, either! This is a great way to view some of the best holiday lights around.

When: November 18 – January 1

Where: Springwater Provincial Park

Website: https://magicoflights.com/events/barrie/

Holiday Magic at Blue Mountain

Blue Mountain is a bit of a further trek from Barrie than these other suggestions, but it’s one of the coolest festive experiences around, so we have to give it a mention. This all-day event is already in full swing right in Blue Mountain Village. Visitors will enjoy Christmas carols, beautiful lights and decor, and plenty of shopping. At night, you can explore the Holiday Light Trail, a fun one kilometre stroll through the village. On weekends, you’ll find live music and street performances, and on Saturdays until Christmas Eve fireworks round off the night. Of course, if you’re a skier or snowboarder, you can also hit the slopes while you’re visiting!

When: November 18 – January 8

Where: Blue Mountain Village

Website: https://www.bluemountain.ca/things-to-do/events/holiday-magic

There’s endless holiday experiences you can enjoy this season. Barrie and the surrounding areas have lots of offerings, so make sure you take advantage of all the options! Whether you choose to support local businesses at a market, or kick back with some classic carols, you’re bound to have a great time celebrating this month. I hope you have a happy start to December!

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