Posted : November 15, 2021
Our blog is chock full of great ideas for fun things to see and do in York Durham and Headwaters. We are always adding new content and updating old posts, but sometimes you might stumble upon something from our vault. If this article has inspired you to hit the road, be sure to double-check that the featured stops in this post are still welcoming visitors.
We all love a good arts and culture event no matter what the time of year. But there’s something extra special about the ones that happen during the holidays. Here in York Durham Headwaters, there is no shortage of Christmassy happenings this season to make your days merry and bright. Support local, enjoy unique entertainment, and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit with these local and community events that celebrate the warm Christmas culture, heritage and traditions we treasure across our beautiful region.
Museum of Dufferin’s Christmas Market
Shop local this year and support your favourite artisans and makers at the 17th annual Holiday Treasures Arts and Crafts Sale at the Museum of Dufferin. With over 50 artisans displaying everything handmade from jewellery to woodworking to textiles and artwork, you will be sure to find that one-of-a-kind gift for your loved one (or maybe even all of your loved ones) this holiday season. Throughout the year, this “high-class country museum” is dedicated to preserving and teaching the local history of Dufferin County. But from December 1st to 12th, the main exhibit space will be transformed into a wonderland of holiday cheer. Admission is free, but you must reserve your timed entry ticket online in advance, as capacity is limited due to COVID-19: https://www.dufferinmuseum.com/holidaytreasures/
Museum of Dufferin
936029 Airport Rd., Mulmur
Theatre Orangeville Presents: A Christmas Carol
From December 1st to 23rd, Wingfield Series performer and Stratford Festival favourite Rod Beattie tells the classic holiday tale of Ebenezer Scrooge. But if you know Rod Beattie, you know there’s a twist: He’s performing all the characters! That’s right—from the miserly title character to the kind-hearted Mr. Fezziwig to the beloved Tiny Tim, this one-man show will delight and entertain you, while immersing you in the Christmas spirit… literally. All three, in fact: Past, Present and Future! This lively adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol embodies all the warmth, redemption and hope that you know and love from this traditional tale, and is presented by our own fully professional, uniquely Canadian theatre company right here in YDH: Theatre Orangeville. Evening and matinee performances are available. To book your tickets, visit Theatre Orangeville online: https://www.theatreorangeville.ca/our-shows/a-christmas-carol-starring-rod-beattie
87 Broadway, Orangeville
Photos with the Grinch at Alton Mill
From Saturday November 28th to Sunday December 13th, The Grinch of Whoville will be making his annual stop at the Alton Mill Arts Centre in Caledon for a Christmas photo op. Photos by Femke Photography make a great Christmas card, and while we all love to see our kids sitting on the knee of Jolly Old Saint Nick, your holiday photos will be unique with The Grinch’s green face gracing your mantelpiece. Your children don’t have to be naughty to take advantage of this beloved activity, though—we have it on good authority that The Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes since he tried to steal Christmas that one time. Come for the photo op, stay for the culture. The makers, artists and artisans of the Alton Mill Arts Centre welcome you to their little corner of Holiday Heaven this Christmas season.
Alton Mill Arts Centre
1402 Queen St. W., Caledon
Christmas Festival at The Briars
You won’t believe the transformation of the historic Briars Resort and Spa for the much-anticipated Christmas at The Briars festival. From November 26th to December 19th, the whole family is invited to this outdoor event that has lots to see and do. Whether you cozy up to a campfire, browse the booths of local artisans for those unique, handmade gifts, stroll through the trail of lights or take in the live entertainment, you will be enthralled with the magic of the holidays in one of Jacksons Points most beautiful and scenic locations. Don’t forget to give: bring a toy to donate to The Briars toy drive. Book your ticket to Christmas at The Briars to reserve your spot: www.briars.ca/en/things-to-do/events-at-the-briars/
The Briars Resort and Spa
55 Hedge Rd., Jacksons Point
Sharon Temple’s Old Fashioned Christmas
It’s back! The beloved annual Old Fashioned Christmas returns to Sharon Temple this year on Sunday, December 5th. This event features many wonderful activities including a vendors’ market, holiday crafts, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, carriage rides, and an outdoor scavenger hunt. Taking in the wonder of this traditional holiday festival is like stepping back in time, in this open-air museum which is dedicated to preserving and teaching about the pioneer days of York County and The Children of Peace Quaker sect in Upper Canada who constructed the temple in the early 1800s.
18974 Leslie St., Sharon
Black Creek Christmas in the Village
Speaking of stepping back in time, join Black Creek Pioneer Village as Christmas visits once again. Learn all about the Victorian traditions of the holidays with several themed experiences. Immerse yourself in the Christmas of Yesteryear with Christmas on High Street, where all the historic buildings will be decked in their festive finest. Or visit in the evening for Christmas High Street by Night, where the main street at Black Creek will be lit up by oil lamps as you enjoy a Victorian dance, bonfires, twinkling Christmas lights in the trees and other 19th century holiday delights. Black Creek also offers self-guided visits and guided family experiences for you and your loved ones to learn all about what this holiday and winter were like in Victorian times. To learn more and to book your tickets, visit: https://blackcreek.ca/december/#self-guided%20visits
Black Creek Pioneer Village
1000 Murray Ross Parkway, Toronto
Parkwood Estate Christmas Tours
Parkwood Estate, home of General Motors Canada founder and philanthropist R.S. McLaughlin, cordially invites you to experience Christmas at the turn of the century. Take a guided Christmas tour of Parkwood Estate to see the mansion you know from big and small screen productions like Billy Madison, Murdoc Mysteries, Anne of Green Gables, and X-Men decorated from floor to rafters in holiday cheer. There are also workshops for you to enjoy. Sadly, the wildly popular Cooking in the Kitchen series is sold out for this year, but there are still spots available for the Holiday Ornament Painting and Holiday String Art events. Christmas a century ago was a simpler time. Experience the joys of this era during the festive season at Parkwood Estates. For available workshops and tours, visit: https://www.parkwoodestate.com/events-calendar/
Parkwood Estate National Historical Site
270 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
Christmas Tours at Lynde House Museum
The Lynde House Museum is another of Durham’s beloved historic sites, and this holiday season, you are welcome to experience Christmas as the Victorians did it. Join a guided tour to see how the Holidays in the 1800s were celebrated, with a focus on the family that called this historic house a home: Jabez and Clarissa Lynde. You’ll be dazzled with the festive spirit when you take in the twinkling lights hung from fragrant boughs, laced with golden antiquities, just like the holiday was celebrated over two hundred years ago. Admission is by donation. For more information, visit: https://www.lyndehousemuseum.com/visit/
Lynde House Museum
900 Brock St. S., Whitby
Holly Jolly Christmas Drive-Thru
This holiday season, the Pickering Museum Village will be transformed for a drive-thru journey into Christmases of the past. This 45-minute tour takes place from the safety of your vehicle. Play the PMV heritage Christmas trivia game with your family and friends, and learn all about popular winter traditions and where they originated—including how Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer came to be. Your will love singing carols as a family, and your kids (whether they’re one or ninety-two, as the carol goes) will be thrilled with their safe-distanced visit with Santa Claus at the end. There is nothing like the Christmas Days of Yore!
Pickering Museum Village
2365 Concession Rd. 6, Greenwood
For more holiday events to keep your spirits merry and bright, be sure to check out the events calendar at York Durham Headwaters: https://yorkdurhamheadwaters.ca/events/
Story by Katherine Ryalen