10 fun things to do in Waterloo over the Christmas break

Harshitha Damodaran

Planning to stay in Waterloo over the Christmas break?  Don’t worry, there’s actually lots to see and do!  Here are some things you can look forward to doing in and around Waterloo during the holidays.

1 – Wonders of Winter Christmas Light Display in Waterloo Park

With over 100 colourful and fun displays to see, there is nothing like taking an evening walk in the snow. Admission is free, and as you stroll through Waterloo Park, you can warm up with a hot cup of cocoa or apple cider or enjoy a refreshing drink of water. Service Clubs will be open from 6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night in December plus Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve until midnight to serve up drinks ( Hot Cocoa, Hot Apple Cider & Bottled Water ) for just $2.00 each, cash only. 

2 – 1900s Style Horse-Drawn Trolley Rides

Enjoy a complimentary 10-15 minute horse-drawn trolley ride through Waterloo Park every Friday and Saturday night in December plus Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day between 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Wait for the trolley at the Trolley Stop sign at the Park Inn snack bar (in Waterloo Park) Trolley rides are free, but there is a cash box on the trolley if you would like to make a donation.

3 – Photo Frame Portraits in Waterloo Park

You can take a photo of yourself or your friends inside the huge Wonders of Winter Photo Frame as a memory of your visit from 5:30 PM–10:30 PM each evening in December in Waterloo Park, just by the barn. There is also a smaller ornate photo frame for a more intimate portrait at the Seagram Dr. entrance.

4 – Let It Be Christmas Holiday Concert

Highview Community Church ( 295 Highview Dr. in Kitchener) is presenting two shows that are packed with memorable Beatles tunes, and “Beatleized” Christmas carols to take you through the story of the nativity on the long and winding road to Bethlehem. The shows take place on Monday, Dec. 23 and Tuesday, Dec. 24, starting at 7:00 PM. No tickets needed, but space is limited, so you’d want to go early. Take the 204iexpress to Ira Needles and Highland from where it is only a 15-minute walk to the Highview Community Church.

5 – Tinder Tales Comedy Show

Twelve comedians will be sharing 12 short, real dating stories live on stage on Friday, Dec. 27, from 8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. in Uptown Waterloo ( 17 Erb St. in Waterloo ) Hosted by Ben McKay with stories from some of K-W’s top comedians. Tickets are $15 online or $20 at the door. All seating is first-come, first-served.

6 – New Year’s Eve Celebration in Uptown Waterloo – free!

You can ring in the New Year from 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. at the Waterloo Public Square and enjoy skating to music. There will also be free hot chocolate available as well as an interactive light table, and a Fire & Ice themed photo booth. You will also have a chance to make your own festive light-up crown.

7 – New Year’s Day Fireworks at Waterloo Park – free! 

At 6:00 p.m. on New Year’s Day, you can enjoy the fireworks display beside the Lions Lagoon in Waterloo Park.

8 – Star Gazing Event at Waterloo Public Library

On Jan. 2, WPL is offering an evening in Waterloo Park, where you can enjoy gazing at the stars and planets. Participants are asked to call ahead to register and meet near the amphitheatre in Waterloo Park at 7 p.m. A great way to meet new people!

9 – Hike and Hot Chocolate Event at Waterloo Public Library

On Jan. 3, WPL is offering a guided tour of Waterloo Park, during which some winter creatures and exciting sites are bound to be seen. The hike begins at 10:30 a.m. and finishes at noon with some hot chocolate at the library. Participants are asked to call ahead to register and meet at the Auditorium of the Main Library. Again, a great way to meet new people and maybe even make some new friends!

10 – Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year Exhibit

For $6, you can view this exhibit at Schneider Haus ( 466 Queen St. S in Kitchener ), which features award-winning wildlife photographs that promote the beauty, diversity, value, and vulnerability of wildlife. Exhibit hours are Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m.-5 p.m.