Whether your favourite part of the holidays is waiting for Santa to arrive, purchasing one-of-a-kind gifts for your loved ones, or walking around town sipping a cup of hot cocoa – you’re in luck, because this year the City of Waterloo has something for everyone and anyone!

With Christmas right around the corner, you may be a looking for a way to lift your holiday spirits and spread some Christmas cheer. That’s why we decided to create a holiday calendar, which can be found below. It offers you a run-down of some of the most popular festive celebrations that are taking place in and around the city.

Here are our top five favourite events that are not-to-be-missed:

Wonder of Winter’s opening fireworks display
Date: Saturday, November 29th, 2014
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Waterloo Park

Description: To kick off the holiday season, Waterloo residents are invited to attend the annual Wonder of Winter’s opening night fireworks display. This event will be taking place at Waterloo Park, which boasts 45 hectares (111 acres) of prime parkland. Taking a stroll through Waterloo Park and exploring the ‘Wonders of Winter’ with your friends or family is a beloved holiday tradition in the Region of Waterloo; every year, guests can enjoy 100,000 lights and more than 100 holiday displays.

The main entrance to Waterloo Park can be found off of Young Street West. You can also drive into the park from Westmount Road North (between Father David Bauer Drive and University Avenue West) and from Seagram Drive. Guests are encouraged to arrive early, because parking at this location is very limited.


Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
Date: Monday, December 1st , 2014
Time: 5:15p.m.
Location: CP Crossing, Inglis Street in Ayr, Ontario

Description: In an effort to raise food and monetary donations for local food banks, Canadian Pacific (CP) is hosting a holiday train tour. It will last 3-weeks and it will include 150 stops; luckily for Kitchener-Waterloo residents, one of this stops this year is Ayr, which is located approximately 30-minutes outside the city of Waterloo. The Holiday Train is almost 1,000 feet in length, and visitors will be able to enjoy 14 brightly decorated rail cars and a half-hour concert that includes a mix of traditional and modern holiday-themed songs. The event is free but attendees are encouraged you to bring a donation for your local food bank — either a non-perishable food item or a cash donation.


Christkindl Market
Date: December  4th– 7th, 2014
Time: Thursday, December 4th, 2014 – 10am-9pm, Friday December 5th, 2014 – 10am-9pm, Saturday December 6th, 2014 – 9am-9pm, Sunday December 7th – 10am-4pm.
Location: Kitchener City Hall

Description: For the last 18 years, Kitchener City Hall has been home to the Christkindl Market, which is known as Canada’s original Festival of German Christmas. This 4-day indoor/outdoor event is full of various sights, smells and sounds of Christmas. Visitors can enjoy delicious food, unique shopping opportunities and fabulous entertainment.


Country Christmas at Waterloo Region Museum
Date: Every Sunday, December 7, 14, 21, 2014
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Waterloo Region Museum

Description: Waterloo Region Museum is the largest community museum in Ontario. At this festive event, visitors young and old will be able to enjoy Christmas in the country from the early 20th century. Highlights from this event include: sights and sounds from Christmas past, horse drawn wagon rides, music and a visit from Father Christmas. Adult admission is only $10.00 and senior admission is at the discounted rate of $8.00.


Christmas at Castle Kilbride
Date: November 18th – January 4th, 2014
Time: Regular Hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 1 pm – 4 pm until December 21st
Special Holiday Hours: December 22-23, 27-30 & January 2-4 from 1pm- 4pm
Location: Castle Killbride


Description:  Castle Kilbride was built in Baden in 1877 by James Livingston and named after his birthplace in Scotland. The home is now used as a monument to their heritage and traditions. Almost every floor of this grand Victorian home will be decorated in Christmas décor! Visitors will be able to tour the home, enjoy a cup of hot apple cider or place a bid on one of the silent auction items. Admission price is only $6.50 and seniors are $5.50.


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