If you celebrate the holidays, you probably aren’t lacking activities to do. Between final exams, decorating, shopping, visiting your relatives and finding the time for all your favourite movies and traditions, it can be difficult to find time to breathe in December. But, if you are looking for something to do for a few hours to relax, or even just want to do your Christmas shopping somewhere that isn’t a mall or online, this list might be of some assistance.
Wonders of Winter
Nov. 27, 2021 to Jan. 1, 2022
5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
50 Young St. W., Waterloo, Ont. N2L 2Z4
Located just across campus, enjoying the lights in Waterloo Park, Wonders of Winter is, by now, a staple of the University of Waterloo Christmas experience. This brief walk around the park features lighting displays from groups and organizations — including students — from all around Waterloo. Due to the pandemic, the opening and closing night ceremonies, as well as trolley rides, photos with Santa and beverage sales, have been cancelled. Regardless, with a hot beverage and some friends, this free event is a lovely way to spend an hour or so this December.
Dec. 2, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec. 3, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec. 4, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Dec. 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Gaukel St., Kitchener, Ont.
Centred on Gaukel St. in Kitchener, Christkindl Market is home to an outdoor village of 22 huts hosting various shops and artisans. During the day, visitors can enjoy music from concerts, bands and choirs. In the evenings, the Market features a video wall, that plays various musical highlights from the Market’s history. If you want to combine your Christmas shopping with a walk through downtown Kitchener while listening to some holiday tunes, this event is for you. Even if you can’t attend in-person, Christkindl Market has an online advent calendar with a new video and concert every day from Dec. 1 through Dec. 25. Both in-person and online events are free.
Dec. 5, 12, 19
12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum
10 Huron Rd, Kitchener, Ont. N2P 2R7
Offering warm apple cider, treats and outdoor demonstrations, this event at Doon Heritage Village — a 60 acre living history village that replicates life in Waterloo in 1914 — is the perfect opportunity to take a nice walk, enjoy something sweet and learn some history.
The museum is also currently hosting an interactive exhibit, Amazing Pollinators, that allows patrons to engage with the world of bees, bats, and butterflies.
Student tickets are available on EventBrite for $10.74. The museum recommends that patrons reserve their place in advance, as the event is selling out quickly!\.
Winter Artisan Market
Dec. 11, 2021, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
300 King St. E.
Kitchener, Ont. N2G 2L3
If you can’t make it to Christkindl Market, or you really want to buy local gifts while sipping hot beverages, the Winter Artisan Market has plenty to offer. In addition to a free-to-use ice rink, the market features “a curated selection of the best artisan vendors in the region, along with delicious food and drink favourites from the local vendors and restaurants that you love” — including mulled wine and seasonal craft beer. Like many of the other events on this list, the market is free to attend. Registration is available but not necessary.
Drunken Cinema: Die Hard
Dec. 17, 2021 at 9:30 p.m.
Finally, if you are sick of Christmas shopping, bundling up, drinking warm beverages or hearing Christmas music, you can always go to the Apollo Cinema to enjoy the ultimate non-Christmas Christmas movie: Die Hard. As the event page describes: “40 Stories. 12 Terrorists. 1 Cop. Many Drunken Cinema attendees. The odds are against John McClane…That’s just the way he likes it.”
Popcorn and a themed cocktail will be available; a customized game card and a glowstick are also included in the price of admission, which is $13.27 for non-members and available on the Apollo Cinema website.