They say it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and it’s easy to see why. From warm cups of cocoa around the fireplace to baking festive cookies and family home decorating sessions, there are so many seasonal activities to enjoy.
Without a doubt, one of our favourites has to be visiting local holiday markets. The good news is, whether you’re in Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, or Toronto, there’s no shortage of these fun events to check out.
Here are 8 holiday markets that are worthy of your attention…
1) Mississauga Festival of Trees
This new Mississauga holiday event is a must-see for kids and adults alike and is sure to become an instant classic in the community. Taking place at the historic Small Arms Inspection Building in Mississauga, you can expect artisan and culinary markets, contemporary tree and woodpile art installations, and more.
The festival is meant to celebrate the “joy of the winter season.” You also won’t want to miss the entertainment, public workshops, and fantastic ambience permeating the venue. The Festival of Trees is taking place from December 9-12 and tickets can be purchased here.
2) The Kerr Village BIA Holiday Market
Oakville residents will love this holiday market, which is now in its 27th year. On Friday, December 3rd, or Thursday the 4th, you can find the event at Westwood Park. First off, there’s the tree-lighting ceremony. The Kerr Village BIA planted a Christmas tree to prepare for the big moment—and it’s bound to be magical.
Of course, the main event is the pop-up market, where you can start crossing people off your holiday list! Enjoy some live music while you’re there, or (if you have little ones) meet Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their elves on Saturday afternoon.
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3) Polar Winter Festival
This is certainly not your average holiday market! Polar Winter Festival is more of an experience than anything else. Located in Bandshell Park just off the Gardiner Expressway, this stunning display of Christmas magic offers something for everyone.
For the kids, there is the opportunity to have their picture taken with the real-life Santa or Elsa from Frozen, and for the grown-ups there’s a fantastic artisan marketplace and the Hotel X Toronto Lounge with delectable cocktails.
Interested in learning more about some of our favourite neighbourhoods? Check out our in-depth community guides here.
4) The Distillery Winter Village
If you live in the GTA, chances are you’re aware of the Christmas Market in the Distillery District. It’s one of the liveliest annual events in one of Toronto’s most exciting communities—but this year, it’s going to look a little bit different.
Cobblestone streets and Victorian architecture are a wonderful backdrop for the Distillery Winter Village. From the moment you arrive, you’ll also see a beautifully-lit, 55-foot Christmas tree. Along with enjoying the scenery, visitors can shop at the eight on-site vendor cabins, which will be selling a wonderful selection of local and artisanal gifts.
We also suggest arriving hungry, because there’s going to be a lot of food—from the area’s restaurants to its 12 food cabins. From tacos to doughnuts to savoury jerk chicken, there’s a little something for everyone.
5) Outdoor Holiday Market
Every Saturday in November and December, Burlington residents can enjoy the Outdoor Holiday Market. There’s something special about a handmade gift—and the items you’ll find from local makers and artisans at this must-attend event.
Check out over 125 small businesses at the Outdoor Holiday Market, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 460 Pearl Street.
6) Bloor-Yorkville Holiday Magic
From now until December 31, the Bloor-Yorkville BIA is lighting up the neighbourhood with beautiful displays of holiday cheer. Visitors can stroll the neighbourhood and enjoy shopping, dining, and the area’s cultural art and attractions all while taking in the captivating Christmas light decorations lining the streets.
Make sure you check out the Urban Campfire Benches along Bloor West, these are permanent fixtures that light up to resemble a campfire when in use–only adding to the magic of the season while providing a great option for selfies!
You can learn more about Bloor-Yorkville Holiday Magic right here.
7) The Burlington Holiday Market
This all-new event is one of the must-attend holiday markets for Burlington residents and visitors alike. Taking inspiration from traditional European Christmas Markets with a Canadiana spin, The Burlington Holiday Market is taking place from December 9-12 this year.
Featuring concerts, choirs, interactive features, a HERO’s lounge, and advent-style art displays, you don’t want to miss this brand-new Burlington tradition in the marking.
Learn more about The Burlington Holiday Market here.
8) Light Up the Square
Mississauga’s second new holiday event kicked off on November 20 and is running until January 2, 2022. Visit Celebration Square from 9-10pm to see the stunning artwork and snap a pic in front of the 40-foot Christmas tree!
While you’re there you can enjoy tasty treats from the various food vendors, skate on the city’s biggest outdoor rink, or relax in the outdoor heated patio.
The best part? This all-ages event is completely free! Learn more about Light Up the Square here.
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