Traditions for a Non-Traditional Christmas

Tired of the same old thing? Try these new traditions out with family or friends this holiday season.


People are eager to get outside and start exploring all the great things to do in YDH. But don't's still important to stay safe while you are having fun supporting our local businesses and communities.

If you are lucky enough to live in YDH (we are biased) or you want to come for a visit, we've got some great ideas for you to get active outside, explore your inner artist, learn something new and celebrate this awesome season...virtually or in-person. Please note that many conservation parks and trails are over capacity, so ensure you pre-book your visit or even better...step off the beaten path and find discover a new terrain to enjoy.

Remember safety is a choice you make and we look forward to seeing all visitors again soon.

Please check with all businesses for updated hours of operation, programming, COVID-19 policies, and restrictions.

With Christmas on the horizon, it’s time to get into the holiday spirit! Whether or not you celebrate the holiday, trying something new is always a great way to get out and have some fun. This year, take a chance with your family and give one of these winter adventures a go. We might be biased but we think you just might find a new and unique holiday tradition!

Decorating the tree is a staple for many during the holiday season, but what about trekking amongst them? That’s right – Treetop Trekking in Stouffville is open even when the snow has fallen! Bring the kids and watch them frolic from treehouse to treehouse along wooden bridges, nets and 8 foot tall hammocks. With plenty of forest games to enjoy, it’s a great way to get the entire family outside for some winter fun.

Treetop Trekking

The holidays are a stressful time of year for many. Between the busy hours at work, figuring out plans with friends and family, rushing around for Christmas eats and treats… the list is never ending. If just reading that last sentence makes you feel exhausted, might we recommend a little staycation in YDH?

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, escape the everyday with a glamping experience at Alabaster Acres. Here you’ll find three gorgeous tents but the Copper Retreat, Gunmetal Getaway and Platinum Hideout are much more than just “tents”. Each of these beautiful abodes is exploding with rustic charm. You’ll sleep soundly surrounded by the forest on your luxury king size bed as you’re kept cozy by the woodstove. Don’t worry, there’s additional propane heating, a heated mattress pad and two duvets for those chilly winter nights! Guests are also supplied with a mini fridge, cast iron pots and pans, kitchen sets and anything else you may need for a spectacular stay – even a bluetooth speaker! Take a look at their website and we think you’ll agree that a night at Alabaster Acres is a new tradition you’ll want to continue for years to come!

Alabaster Acres

Looking for another way to treat yourself this holiday season? A spa day is always a good idea! Hockley Valley Resort in the Headwaters Region offers a number of spa services including a wide variety of facials, full body treatments, manicures, holistic treatments and more. You can also treat yourself to one of their packages like their De-Stresser or their Hockley Refresh. Another fantastic option is The Briars Resort and Spa in York Region. The idyllic views of Lake Simcoe will have any holiday season stress rolling off your shoulders. Help that process along with one of their spa packages including localized or full body treatments, hydrotherapy and more. Even better yet – why not make it an extended stay and take advantage of Hockley Valley Resort’s midweek spa getaway specials or an overnight spa package at The Briars Resort and Spa!

The Briars Winter

‘Tis the season to eat very well and if you’re in need of a break from the usual holiday treats and turkey, YDH is fortunate to have a plethora of culinary options! However, there’s no better place to go than Markham for some incredible Asian flavours. Kiu Japanese Restaurant is where you’ll find some of the best sushi in town. It doesn’t get any more authentic than having the fish flown in straight from Japan! Looking for a unique gift? Kiu’s ramen and udon subscription boxes are the perfect way to enjoy these tasty flavours for months to come. For authentic Thai dishes, Lanna brings a taste of Northern Thailand to York Region. Their team has gone the extra mile by working with Michelin-starred chefs to street vendors so they can bring you unique flavours straight from Thailand. As for Cantonese fare, dim sum is always a fan favourite. Eat like a king (or queen!) at Casa Victoria in their luxurious dining hall adorned with crystal chandeliers and marble pillars. If you’re really looking to switch things up, these restaurants are all open during Christmas!

The holiday season is certainly a busy time of year but what’s most important is carving out time to spend with friends and family. With these unique YDH experiences, you’re guaranteed to create memories you’ll reminisce about for years to come!

By Lindsay Davis

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