Christmas and New Year’s Fun in Ontario’s Cottage Country

Make this Christmas and New Year’s Eve the most memorable ever by booking a delightful holiday getaway to Ontario’s cottage country.

Enjoy great shows, fine dining, soothing spa treatments, outdoor adventures and spectacular accommodations – all to be found against a picturesque country setting.

Holiday Fun Just North of Toronto

The Huntsville Theatre Company present Ken Ludwig’s holiday play Twas The Night Before Christmas Dec. 11-19 in two locations – matinees at the Stockey Centre in Parry Soundevening shows at the Studio Theatre in Huntsville.

Slider - Christmas 4Take the kids for a magical ride to visit Santa on an antique steam trainThe Portage Flyer, which will be decked with sparkling Christmas lights in Huntsville, Muskoka on the night of Dec. 19. Experience the pride and joy of Muskoka Heritage Place as this historic treasure chugs merrily along through a winter wonderland.

santafestChristmas comes early at the world-famous Santa’s Village in Bracebridge, Muskoka, during SantaFest, Dec. 19-22, with sleigh-rides, petting zoo, marshmallow roasts and much more. It’s a final opportunity for the kids to let Santa know what they’re hoping for under the tree!

(You can also take the kids there on the Thank Santa Days, Dec. 27-28).

Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area presents its annual Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade: the club’s experts (including Santa!) create a beautiful procession of flames down the slope, while you sip hot chocolate and listen to live guitar by Tobin Spring. Starts at 5pm. on Dec. 24.

Visit Arrowhead Provincial Park’s famed Ice Skating Trail, which usually opens towards the end of December (weather permitting). The 1.5-km. river of ice through the trees is particularly magical on a holiday night, lit up by tiki torches. Call the park for days and hours of operation.

The region’s craft breweries and wineries all offer tours and tastings, including during the holidays. Click on the links below for days and times:

More Great Holiday Fun

Work off holiday calories with some epic outdoor adventures:

Or perhaps you just want warmth, wellness and pampering at one of the relaxing spas in the region – you’ll find many to choose from.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations

Just Dinner

There are hundreds of outstanding dining establishments that are open year-round in the region. Here are just a few suggestions to whet your appetite. (For a complete listing of dining opportunities in the region this winter, visit 

Inn at the Falls in Bracebridge, Muskoka will serve up a delicious New Year’s Even dinner of Surf ‘n’ Turf, braised pork or primavera: click here and scroll down for the menu.

marriott dinner

The charming Sherwood Inn near Port Carling, Muskoka will be serving an eclectic menu, from Arctic char to Cornish hen to prime beef tenderloin and more.

Dinner & Party

Hidden Valley Resort in Huntsville, Muskoka is offering a great package that includes a one-night stay, fabulous buffet plus DJ party with balloon drop and champagne on the stroke of 2016. Since it’s right next door to Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area, you can slip over for the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks at 6 pm., plus live music by Sean and Shane Connon from 5-8pm.

Crossroads Restaurant of Rosseau in Seguin Township will ring in the New Year with an 80s & 90s theme, and by presenting a very special menu. Or you can book your fun at the Northridge Inn & Resort in the beautiful Almaguin Highlands with their “Celebrate Package,” which includes night skating under a northern sky.

Show & Party

green river revivalFor a rocking New Year’s Eve in the style of Creedence Clearwater Revival, get your tickets for Peter’s Players in Gravenhurst, Muskoka for the incredible tribute band, Green River Revival.

And it’s all about the dancing with The Sunny Slope Bootleggers, at the Charles W. Stockey Centre in Parry Sound.

Dinner, Show & Party

The Cottage Country Comedy Festival starts off the New Year at the Gravenhurst Opera House in the best way: with great food and great laughs.

Headliners include Jim Nasiopoulos, Mike Rita & Adrian Cronk. After-party with live music by WinnieBrave. For more details, click here.

Dine, dance and delight at all there is to enjoy this holiday season in Ontario’s cottage country. To plan your very special getaway, click here. To check out some Special Offers in the region, click here.


Got another recommendation? Email

Guest Blogger: Karen Wehrstein
A resident of Muskoka, Karen Wehrstein is a freelance writer and published novelist whose work has appeared in the National Post, Montreal Gazette, as well as Muskoka Magazine, What’s Up Muskoka and other regional publications. She lives on thirty acres of beautiful forest near Lake of Bays.


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