We’re almost ready to put a wrap on 2022 but we can’t do that without first making it through the holiday season! Our team is feeling festive and ready to celebrate everything that this time of year has to offer. Of course, Hamilton plays host to so many different events and activities that will get you into the holiday spirit in no time and we’ve pulled together a list that Santa would be proud of. Get your friends and family together and set out to explore as you celebrate your way through the city!
Take in a Show
Looking for something a little more lowkey this season? Sit back, relax, and let the entertainers put on a show for you! Hamilton is abuzz with shows and concerts that you and your family will enjoy. Theatre Aquarius’ annual holiday show is always a hit – this year, “A Hamilton Holiday” brings the festive spirit to the stage with a “Hamilton-proud” cast sharing music and stories until December 24th. Another favourite, The Nutcracker returns to First Ontario Concert Hall on December 3rd. The holiday classic is the perfect way to kick things off! Other great performances include Elvis Jingle & Rock at Carmen’s Banquet Centre, Barenaked Ladies: Hometown Holidays at First Ontario Concert Hall and Holiday Dreams: A Spectacular Holiday Cirque at First Ontario Concert Hall, among many others!
There’s never been a better time to support local! Get all of your holiday shopping done and find unique gifts for everyone on your list at some of Hamilton’s best holiday markets – you’ll have plenty to check out at various venues from now until Christmas! Find the stocking stuffers they’ll love at Stuffed!, discover homemade goods from local makers and artisans at Craftadian, and check everyone off your list at the Holiday Night Market, featuring 20 local BIPOC and 2SLGBTQIA+ vendors. The 5th annual Christmas Market at Shawn & Ed Brewery is always a great time – enjoy a fresh pint while you browse goods from 35+ local vendors. No matter which market you visit – and there’s no shortage of them! – you’ll be sure to find one-of-a-kind gifts that they’ll be sure to love.
Making Spirits Bright
Of course, a little fun for the adults in December is always a must! This year, Hamilton has two festive bars for you and your friends to check out if you’re in the mood for some festive cocktails. First, Bad and Boujee has transformed into The Naughty List, a fun pop-up featuring drinks that you have to see to believe like the Winter Wonderland and Poinsettia Mojito. MaiPai Tiki Bar is also feeling the spirit – and the spirits – with their Sippin’ Santa popup. As you enjoy your holiday cocktails, you’ll also be happy to know that a dollar from every cocktail sold this season will be donated to the Hamilton Tiny Shelters pilot housing project, providing cabins for those experiencing homelessness in the community.
Want to check out different neighbourhoods while you get in the festive mood? There are lots of different events taking place that will give you the perfect opportunity to get out to explore, starting with A Dickens of a Christmas in Dundas. This event takes place on weekends leading up to Christmas, with activities like horse and trolley rides, carolers, hot apple cider, and breakfasts with Santa at local establishments for you to enjoy. Gore Park is one of the best spots to feel festive with the Christmas Tree of Hope taking centre stage for the season, turning downtown into a magical winter wonderland. While you stop by to check out the tree don’t forget to take a spin on the special umbrella ride that will be in place until December 11th.
Another local tradition that you’ll want to get in on? A Victorian Christmas at Dundurn Castle. Take a trip back in time during this magical experience as you see what Christmas was like in the 19th century. The castle will be transformed and decorated in Victorian splendour for you to enjoy.
The Reason for the Season
Of course, while we enjoy all of our celebrations this time of year, it’s also important to share this spirit with others. There are many ways to get involved and give back this year and we wanted to highlight a few ways that you can do so in our community:
- Help a child smile by donating a new, unwrapped gift (or making a monetary donation) to the CHCH Christmas Toy Drive and Operation Santa Clause Toy Truck.
- Donate non-perishable food items to those in need at Hot Hands for Hope on December 10th at 1:00 pm at Gore Park. If you’re unable to make it, you can also donate non-perishable food items to organizations like Hamilton Food Share, Food4Kids, Neighbour 2 Neighbour, and Good Shepherd Centres.
- The Children’s Fund is currently accepting donations via the Christmas Tree of Hope. These donations will be distributed to local organizations in Hamilton and Burlington.
No matter what you’re celebrating or who you’ll be celebrating with, we hope that you enjoy a fun and safe festive season. From our family to yours, we’re wishing you the happiest of holidays and all the best for the new year.
See you in 2023!