Get out the mittens and bundle up for your chance to see Old Saint Nick as a number of towns in the GTA celebrate their Santa Claus Parades this weekend. The holiday season is getting into full swing, with Christmas markets, tree lighting ceremonies, seasonal window displays, skating parties, and so much more. Check out what’s on in the GTA for the whole family!

Here are our top picks for this weekend, November 16–18, 2018, and check out the full events calendar for even more fun things to do this weekend.

This Weekend

Home For the Holidays (Markham)

Over 130 vendors offer everything from decor and decorations to food and jewelry, with strolling carollers, Santa, and free ECE-monitored childcare. Friday–Sunday.

Christmas Lighting Display (Belleville)

Celebrate the season with live music by The Stir, horse-drawn carriage rides, and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, as the switch is flipped on an elaborate Christmas Lighting Display. Friday 5:45–7:30 pm.

Christmas at the Safety Village (Whitby)

The Kids’ Safety Village is decorated for Christmas with colourful lights and exciting projections. It’s free entry to enjoy hot chocolate, crafts, and visits with Santa, police officers and firefighters from across the region for nine magical nights. Starting Friday, every evening 5–8 pm until November 24.

Winter Wonderland (Erin)

A dramatic unveiling will reveal the magical holiday displays in the previously blacked-out windows of the village shops. Enjoy horse and carriage rides, the Christmas tree lighting, seasonal activities, food vendors, and shopping specials. Friday 6–9 pm.

Tree Lighting Ceremony (Oakville)

Oakville kicks off the holiday season with carolling, entertainment, and appearance by Santa, and outdoor market, and, ultimately, the lighting of their majestic Christmas tree. Friday 7–9 pm.

Holiday Traditions at Royal Botanical Gardens (Burlington)

Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens begins their Holiday Traditions with a trip on the RGB Express to enjoy a visit with Santa, and storytelling and crafting with Santa’s helpers in Santa’s Signature Experience. Winter Lights at the Rock allows you to enjoy an evening stroll along lit pathways through the gardens. Also enjoy the Escarpment Train Exhibit and Botanical Train Display. Starting Saturday, Santa’s Signature Experience to December 23, Winter Lights at the Rock to December 30.

River Lights Festival (Oakville)

Oakville kicks off the holiday season with carolling, entertainment, and appearance by Santa, and outdoor market, and, ultimately, the lighting of their majestic Christmas tree. Friday 7–9 pm.

Santa’s Parade of Lights Oshawa (Oshawa)

There may be numerous Santa Claus parades to choose from this weekend, but here’s one with a twist! Oshawa’s Parade of Lights is a spectacular parade making its way through the downtown core at night, lighting the way with colourful and brightly lit floats, dancers and marching bands. Saturday at 6 pm.

Free Fun Skate for Food (Mississauga)

Celebrate the start of the holiday season by thinking of others! Bring the whole family (and your skates!), along with a non-perishable food item, to enjoy an afternoon of skating while also helping out the Mississauga Food Bank. Sunday noon–1:30 pm.

Celtic Family Christmas (Port Credit)

Listen to the lively tunes of a Celtic Family Christmas at the Port Credit Legion. Sandy MacIntyre & Steeped in Tradition perform at this annual event. Sunday 2–4 pm.

Coming Soon

Santa Claus keeps coming to town in the GTA. The Santa Train calls “all aboard” next weekend on the York-Durham Heritage Railway and runs until December 17, and Santa Claus Parades take place in Pickering, Orono, Markham, Ajax, Aurora, and Cannington next Saturday. There’s enough Santa to go around!


For more upcoming events, search the full Toronto and GTA events calendar.

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