Burlington is quite possibly the best place to be in the Ontario fall and winter months! We know that sounds bold, but there are so many things to back up this claim that we feel perfectly secure in making it. Having just let go of the heat and humidity, this city really comes alive with cultural festivities, beautiful walks through the trails, and a dazzling colour show compliments of our stunning tree canopy!
Although, that’s just the beginning. With many of the benefits of a great urban centre and yet that extra bit of breathing room that comes with not being so tightly packed together, Burlington will keep you engaged, whether you’re two or ninety-two.
Let’s take a stroll through some of the great things coming up right here in our own backyard.
So this is that perfect time of year to wander about outdoors. Living in southern Ontario, the summers can sometimes leave you scrambling to beat the heat, but the autumn here lets you pull on a sweater and soak in the crisp air. That is until the Winter drops by.
If you haven’t been to the Royal Botanical Gardens, this is the right time to do it. All told, you’re looking at 900 hectares of land, filled with every imaginable plant getting set to do their final performance before they switch completely into winter mode. Plus, there are more than 250 species of transcontinental birds, making their annual pilgrimage south, who use the Nature sanctuaries at RBG as a stopover point.
Now, if you’d prefer to plan something a little more structured, and you’re a fan of hot chocolate, cookies, storytelling, and crafting, tickets are available for Santa’s Signature Experience. Your ticket includes a meeting with the big guy, a ride on the garden’s express train and some time working with the elves!
Of course, if you’ve taken in the gardens and you’ve still got walk left in your legs, LaSalle Park along the waterfront, and Mount Nemo Conservation Area with its panoramic view of the escarpment both offer two very different, but beautiful strolls. If you’re feeling super adventurous, Mount Nemo is also one of the most popular spots for outdoor rock climbing in southern Ontario, with a range of inclines for differing skill levels. It may still be warm enough to climb those rocks!
Time to Go Inside
Now that you’ve walked your legs off, it’s time to head inside and warm your bones. And, what better way to do that than the Halton Waldorf School Christmas Fair! Perfect for the whole family there will be festive activities, delicious food, and gift shopping with local vendors. Not to mention, cookie decorating, a puppet play, candle dipping, a forest quest, and a candy cane fairy. If that’s not enough, you will there is also candle holder decorating, gnome home treasures, and a knight in training obstacle course. Adventure for all ages guaranteed! Sunday, November 18 from 12 until 4.
If after all this, you’re still looking for something to do with the kids, look no further than Burlington Theatre. This year they are mounting a production of Rumplestiltskin that’s perfect for kids and adults alike. Based on the classic, this show lights up the stage with colourful costumes, lights, and excitement in our very own New Street theatre!
Time to Get Crafty
You may already know that Burlington has a pretty incredible art scene! But what you might not know is that the Art Gallery of Burlington also has some really amazing interactive classes to completely immerse yourself in the arts and engage your inner creative spirit. Whether as a solo artist or with the whole family, the Family Clay Session on Sunday, November 18 may be just what you need. Suitable for anyone over 6, this class will help you understand the art of ceramics before giving you a chance to try it yourself. The artist instructor will first take you on a tour of a current exhibition to provide the inspiration you need and then teach you to shape and create an object of your own out of clay. Depending on how it turns out, you may have the perfect holiday gift for someone on your list. An additional material fee of $30 is payable to the instructor at the class to cover cost clay, glaze, and firing.
Now that you have a feel for being an artisan, you’re probably ready to venture out to Burlington Made’s Holiday Market, happening Saturday, November 24, 2018, for 10 am to 4 pm. This is the place to find that great holiday gift from the thousands of unique creations, all made close by. Not to mention, gourmet food and drinks, with free kids crafts provided by Girls Inc. Halton.
Let the Celebrations Really Begin!
As autumn officially starts to come to a close, we here in Burlington know how to do it right. November 30 kicks off the 23rd season of Burlington’s Festival of Lights at Spenser Smith Park! This fantastic light display runs until January 8, 2019, but the opening night promises to be perfectly festive with a kick off candlelight stroll starting at 6:00 pm in Civic Square. You’ll be able to enjoy festive Burgers served hot from the grill by the Works Gourmet Burger Bistro, free hot chocolate, visits with Santa, and so much more.
Once you’ve started down that festive path, there is really no turning back. So after the Festival of Lights on Friday, you get to relax Saturday and be ready for the Burlington Santa Clause Parade on Sunday, December, 2! There will be bands, amazing floats, mascots, and of course, the big man himself!
And then later in the evening, now that you’ve excepted that the autumn has officially come to a close, what better way to welcome the holiday season than with famed tenor John McDermott as he continues to enchant audiences with his beautiful voice, festive holiday renditions, and ballads of old times since.
There is just so much to do in Burlington these next few months, it’s almost hard sometimes to choose. However, should you feel yourself getting a little overwhelmed, we also have Community Mindfulness Burlington offering free sessions, on several Sundays, throughout the autumn and into the new year at Mountainside Recreation Centre, from 10 am to 11 am.
No matter what you end up getting up to this autumn, the most important thing to remember is just to breathe, embrace it, and enjoy it!