The most wonderful time of the year is almost here! It’s no secret that York Durham Headwaters fully embraces the spirit of the season but this year, plan to check out East Gwillimbury on a weekend for some small town holiday charm!
Start your day off right and pop into the Lighthouse Café. Tara, the owner, is often there slinging coffee and whipping up some great eats and treats. With festive offerings like their Egg Nog latte, Crème Brûlée latte and Peppermint Mist, there’s no better way to kick off your visit! If you’re looking for something a little more hearty, you have to sink your teeth into their turkey panini. You’ll also see items from local artisans for purchase, making it a great spot to also do a little Christmas shopping.
Once the snow falls, East Gwillimbury turns into a winter wonderland. Why not enjoy your warm beverage as you stroll along some of the fantastic trails in town? Close by is the Vivian Creek Trail where you can meander amongst the trees into what feels like a land out of fairy tales. Or if you’re looking for something a little longer, the Nokiidaa Trail is always a fantastic option.
Next, a visit to the Niemi Family Farm’s Holiday Market is a must! Running Fridays and Saturdays from November 12th until December 17th and then December 20th until the 22nd, take in the sights and sounds of this festive wonderland. Enjoy a ride on the Polar Express, stop in at Santa’s Workshop and say hello to the adorable farm animals. Then, warm up by the bonfire and roast some s’mores. Before you go, don’t forget to indulge in some festive treats like their incredible gingerbread cookies and homemade pies!
Mark your calendar for December 4th as the Sharon Temple National Historic Site and Museum celebrates their Old Fashioned Christmas Event! Cross some names off your list as you peruse the stalls of their local artisans inside the Temple and the Hall. Bring your best smile and get your photo taken with Mr and Mrs Claus. Horse and wagon rides will be happening as well as a holiday craft station for the kids. Grab a cup of hot chocolate or some mulled wine and enjoy everything this festive event has to offer! Admission is free with the donation of a non-perishable food item.
Chances are you’ve worked up an appetite with all that holly jolly fun, so time to grab a bite to eat! There’s no better spot than The Lloyd House. Originally built in 1885 as the church manse (or clergy house), its old world charm is something straight out of a Hallmark movie. Admire the stunning architecture before stepping inside to solid wood interiors and signature accents like their phone from the 1800s, standalone clock and more. Enjoy an intimate meal inside these historic walls where you’ll find hearty pub features like their curry, beef stew and meatloaf. Make sure you try some of their festive cocktails like The Lloyd House’s candy cane martini!
Last but certainly not least, no holiday-themed day is complete without some Christmas lights! Head to Brooks Farms for their festive nights where every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you can explore their magically lit Christmas forest full of holiday displays – and plenty of photo opportunities! Roast marshmallows at their bonfires, dance along to the live music featuring local artists and even say hello to famous faces like Elsa and the Grinch! If you’re feeling peckish, their Hungry Hut will be serving plenty of goodies including ginger snaps, cocoa crackle cookies and peppermint cheesecake candy canes. The fun begins November 25th.
So, what are you waiting for? Round up the family or tag in some friends and celebrate the best of what East Gwillimbury has to offer this holiday season.
Story by Lindsay Davies
Lindsay Davies is a crazy Canuck who’s been bit by the travel bug. Proud to call Ontario home, she loves exploring the province and beyond. As a graphic designer and social media marketer by trade, she travels the world while sharing her adventures to inspire others on her blog, I’ve Been Bit! When not behind her computer screen, Lindsay is in her natural habitat when she’s chasing waterfalls, exploring new trails, frolicking on ice roads (don’t knock it until you try it!), and indulging in the odd glass of wine, beer, or cider. Chances are you’ll be able to spot her by some funky coloured hair or a wacky pair of tights she’s wearing! Follow her adventures on Facebook (@IveBeenBit), Twitter and Instagram (@IBBtravel).