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  • Writer's pictureAlison Golding

Exploring the Magic of the Holidays in Simcoe County

As the snowflakes start to fall and the air turns crisp, the spirit of the holiday season comes alive in Simcoe County. One of the most popular holiday traditions in this beautiful region is the celebration of the holidays through festive holiday activities and markets. Join me on a journey through some of my favourite holiday activities in Simcoe County and discover the magic that awaits!

Magic of Lights

What- Drive your car through a unique and magical light display in Springwater Park, showcasing themed light exhibits on a 2 km loop featuring over a million twinkling lights illuminating the evening sky. A great event for the whole family. Visit the website to purchase tickets.

Where- Springwater Park, Midhurst ON

When- November 17, 2023 - January 6, 2024

Website and Tickets

Quayles Brewery Outdoor Holiday Market

What- Join Quayles Brewery for their second annual, family-friendly holiday market. Nestled among the tree- lit beer garden, visit for food, drinks, and shopping with over 60 vendors. Free Parking and admission

Where- Quayles Brewery, Coldwater ON

When- November 18, 19, 25 and 26 (11am-5pm)


Friday Harbour Holiday Market

What- Visit Friday Harbour where the boardwalk and promenade transform to a Holiday Market, reminiscent of the European tradition. There is also food, drink, music and even a 40 foot Christmas Tree. Free admission and parking.

Where- Friday Harbour Resort, Innisfil ON

When- November 23 - December 30, 2023 (November 25- Tree Lighting)


Sugar Plum Fair

What- This holiday show features over 100 vendors from across Ontario selling a variety of items including chocolate, jam, fudge, sauces, quilts, candles, ceramics, stained glass, wreaths, folk art, woodwork, children's toys, body care products, pewter, Christmas decorations and more! Taking place in the 21 000 sq. ft. resort trade centre, the event is fully wheelchair accessible. $7.50 adult admission and free parking.

Where- Nottawasaga Inn, Alliston ON

When- November 11-12, 2023


Bradford Greenhouse Christmas Soirée and Workshops

What- Each Holiday Season, both locations of Bradford Greenhouses come alive with gorgeous displays, a Christmas Soiree and various workshops including wreath and urn making, children’s classes and more. If you’re looking for pictures with Santa, they are also offering those as well at both locations. Visit their website for tickets and to read more about their offerings this holiday season.

Where- Bradford Greenhouses (Barrie and Bradford Locations)

When- Christmas Soiree- November 7-10, 2023. Various dates for workshops between November 12-December 17, 2023. Photos with Santa- December 9 (Bradford), December 10 (Barrie)

Website (see “Events” tab)

Ice Skating

What- Time to tie up those laces and go for a skate! Once weather permits, the rink at Barrie City Hall is open from 10am until 10pm daily and is free for use. There are also several other outdoor rinks, including the beautiful Simcoe County Museum Skate Trail that charge a small fee for use.

Where- Barrie City Hall, Simcoe County Museum

When- Weather dependent

City Hall Rink Information, Simcoe County Museum Rink Information

Spice Holiday Market

What- Spice Holiday Market is a favourite Holiday Shopping Destination featuring 40 Makers from Ontario, Live Music, Surprise Swag Bags, Artisan Workshops, and more! Tickets are $5 and children 12 and under enter for free. Purchase your tickets at the door or head to @SpiceHolidayMarket on Instagram or Spice Holiday Market on Facebook to purchase your tickets for entry and workshops.

Where- Southshore Centre, Barrie

When- December 1-2, 2023

Website- Instagram, Facebook

First Light

What- An award-winning, must-see holiday event with a great lineup of family activities, an artisan market, food vendors and live musical performances, all amidst the spectacular glow of thousands of candles lighting up the decorated buildings of Sainte Marie Among the Hurons. Visit the website for tickets and additional information.

Where- Sainte Marie Among the Hurons, Midland ON

When- November 16, 17 and 18; November 23, 24 and 25; November 30, December 1 and 2 – from 5:30 to 9 pm


Braestone Holiday Market

What- With close to 80 vendors, the holiday market at Braestone Farm is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Free parking and admission.

Where- Braestone Farm, Coldwater ON

When- Saturday November 18, 9am-3pm

Facebook, Instagram

Whether you're searching for the perfect gift or simply looking to immerse yourself in the magic of the season, these activities provide a heartwarming experience that captures the true spirit of the holidays. So, bundle up, embrace the winter wonderland and make a visit to Simcoe County for a season filled with warmth, community, and holiday cheer!

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