Christmas is one of the most magical times of the year, so be sure to spend it in the most enchanting town in Ontario. Here is a preview of some of the seasonally-inspired events that will be taking place during the Christmas celebrations in Stratford.
Breakfast with Santa at The Parlour Inn
Start your day in Stratford, Ontario with a fun visit with Santa Claus. Your little-loved ones can let the big guy know what they’re hoping to find under the tree and we’ll have a photographer ready to snap a digital photo so you have a keepsake from your special day.
After your visit with Santa, enjoy a great breakfast that combines fresh ingredients and exceptional service, as well as special Christmas features. This family-fun event is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season, so come and enjoy making great memories with your kids and grandkids.
Date: Sunday, November 26
Santa’s Parade of Lights
After you enjoy a hearty breakfast, take part in a variety of festive activities throughout Stratford, including one of Southern Ontario’s best Santa Claus parades. Starting in the late afternoon, you can hear carolling at City Hall and indulge in free refreshments. At 5 PM, the first float, expertly designed by Christmas enthusiasts, will arrive. From that moment on, you and your family will get to see a parade of beautiful and illuminated floats that aim to warm attendee’s hearts and remind them what the holidays are all about.
The parade will run for just over an hour, and the final float will feature the main event – Santa and his reindeer! Don’t miss the unparalleled Santa’s Parade of Lights, it’s sure to brighten your evening and get you all ready for a fabulous Christmas season.
Date: Sunday, November 26
Santa and Live Reindeer at Market Square
One of the most exciting elements of The Night Before Christmas is the promise of Santa’s reindeers’ hooves tapping on the roof. Children and adults alike love the idea of these mythical creatures who help Mr. Clause deliver all the toys to the kiddos on the nice list. Join Santa and his furry friends in the heart of Stratford at the Market Square. Bring some hot chocolate and enjoy the festive magic of these special guests, as well as Christmas carolers who will help to get you in the holiday spirit.
Date: Saturday, December 2 from 12 PM to 4 PM
Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade and Lighting of the Festive Outdoor Light Display
The holidays are just around the corner, so it’s time to start the festive fun. Make the 15-minute drive to St. Mary’s to enjoy a wonderful Christmas tradition – the Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade and festive outdoor light display. Santa and his holiday-themed floats will brighten up the centre of St. Mary’s, traveling from James Street South through the downtown core. This is a great event for families, and it’s a crowd-pleaser year after year. Don’t forget to bundle up, and get ready to enjoy handcrafted decorations that will transform the floats into conduits of the Christmas spirit.
Date: The Santa Claus Parade takes place on November 17, and the festive lights shine from that evening through to the New Year. The parade starts at 7 PM.
Horse-drawn wagon rides
After the Santa Claus Parade, check out the amazing light display at Milt Dunnel. Also known as the Flats, Milt Dunnel is decorated by passionate community members each year with thousands of stunning Christmas lights. From Nativity scenes to dinosaurs, you will find countless sparkling scenes that will highlight the enjoyment of a lively and festive sleigh ride throughout Stratford’s winter wonderland. You can experience the light displays by car or on foot, but we highly suggest opting for a horse-drawn sleigh ride instead.
There is nothing more festive (or romantic) than a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the brightly lit field where you’ll be treated to the townspeople’s awe-inspiring creativity and dedication to making Christmas in Stratford a spectacular event for guests from far and wide.
Dates for the sleigh rides: December 16, 17, 23 and 24
St. Mary’s Museum Christmas Open House
The St. Mary’s Museum is a celebrated heritage site with quality displays that pay homage to a simpler time. During the Christmas season, the museum looks back to long before online shopping when Christmas catalogs were a very popular way to shop for loved ones, as you flipped through the pages to find the perfect gift from local artisans, bakers and more. During the Open House, you’ll be treated to live music, festive treats, a silent auction and wonderful door prizes.
Date: Sunday, December 3
Downtown Carriage Rides
If you can’t hold your horses and want to enjoy a stroll in a horse-drawn carriage before the holiday season is in full swing, you can hitch a ride in an ornately decorated Victorian carriage in the heart of Stratford. The businesses in downtown come together to support this special treat, so it is free for all guests, but that means, it’s first come, first serve.
Experience Ontario’s loveliest town at a slower pace and see why Stratford draws so much attention from across Canada for its heritage buildings, carefully manicured greenery and other pleasant aesthetics that will increase your appreciation for the renowned theatre town.
Stratford is the perfect place to spend Christmas. There are so many amazing family-friendly and romantic activities that you can take part in to ensure this is your brightest and best holiday season yet. You can have the perfect Christmas getaway by booking accommodations at The Parlour Inn, located within walking distance from many of Stratford’s Christmas events. Be naughty or nice in Stratford this Christmas – we promise you’ll enjoy great food, special beverages, and festive activities regardless of which list you’re on.