Looking for Christmas activities in Alliston, Beeton or Tottenham?
You’re in the right place. As the fall season wraps up and the weather cools, many of us are looking for themed activities to do in the area during the months leading up to the holidays.
We have the scoop on all things Christmas in New Tecumseth – where you can enjoy the festivities with family and friends, where the festivals and markets will be held, and where Santa’s going to be hanging out.
While there’s a ton going on in larger cities like Toronto leading up to the holiday season, there’s so much to do in our neck of the woods too.
Whether you’re in Alliston, Beeton or Tottenham or just outside of them, you don’t have to travel very far for some authentic, festive holiday events.
So, let’s dive in – Christmas activities in New Tecumseth!
New Tecumseth Christmas Activities
Here are the winter and Christmas related activities going on around New Tecumseth in 2023 to look out for !
1. Scandinavian Bazaar in Cookstown
The annual Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar at the Laestadian Lutheran Church in Cookstown is the first Christmas event to kick off the holiday season in the area. It’s a 2-day event that will be running for the 19th year.
If you love Nordic, Scandinavian-style Christmas, then this might be for you! On the Friday night, there is an authentic Finnish meal served, a craft and bake sale, along with sweets from Scandinavia.
You can also watch the choir perform and listen to some joyous tunes, in both Finnish and English.
The Saturday morning features a traditional Finnish breakfast, and more opportunities to grab Finnish baked goods such as Pulla coffee bread, rice pies and prune tarts.
No registration is required, but be aware that the event can get very busy, especially on the Friday night. Show up early (before rush hour) to get a parking spot. The church address is 5579 on Hwy 27 in Cookstown.
Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar 2023 Dates
Friday, November 10th: 3-9pm
Saturday, November 11th: 9am -11am
2. Sugarplum Fair
This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the Sugarplum Fair at the Nottawasaga Inn. Here you can find 100s of vendors from the area and the GTA selling a huge variety of artisan crafts, food items, handmade ornaments, and other great gift ideas.
The Sugarplum Fair is one of my favourite places to do Christmas shopping every year. The busiest time is by far, the Saturday morning, and a lineup starts forming an hour before opening time.
If you want to shop with less crowds, consider coming on Saturday afternoon or on the Sunday. (The only downside is that sometimes the most popular products have run out by then.)
Entrance is first-come, first-serve and costs $7.50 at the door to get in.
Sugarplum Fair 2023 Dates
Saturday, Nov 11th: 9am to 5pm
Sunday, November 12th: 10am to 4pm
3. Family Fun Day at the Gibson Centre
The Gibson Cultural Centre has an Artisan Market and Holiday Family Fun Day planned for mid-November.
There will be 40 different vendors, a live DJ, food trucks, free treats and kids activities, balloon arches, glitter tattoos, DIY photos with Santa, and much more. Admission is FREE of charge!
Gibson Centre Holiday Family Fun Date
Sunday, November 12th from 2pm -7pm
4. Alliston Santa Claus Parade
Alliston’s Santa Claus parade is a lit-up event with festive holiday tunes. It’s the only holiday parade I’ve ever been to that happens at night.
Similar to the Potato Festival Parade in August, the Santa Claus parade allows you to get to know about plenty of businesses and organizations in the area.
Keep in mind that it can get chilly at night at this time of year and many of the stores and businesses along Victoria Street are closed by the time the parade starts.
I recommend bringing some lawn chairs, lots of warm clothes, snacks, and hot drinks in thermoses.
Alliston Santa Claus Parade 2023 Date
Saturday, November 18th, 2023
5. Christmas & Holiday Village at Drysdales
Drysdale’s Tree Farm provides a great day out for individuals and families in the New Tecumseth area. With acres of sprawling evergreen trees and a Christmas store that reminds me of Niagara on the Lake, Drysdales is the perfect place to get into the Christmas spirit.
Many families head to Drydales for the authentic experience of cutting down their own Christmas tree. However, you can also visit just to enjoy bonfires and marshmallow roasting, horse-drawn wagon rides, and of course – meet Santa.
The Christmas & Holiday Village this year will run from mid-November to mid-December, with special activities happening on weekends.
The weekends are the best time to take advantage of all the special holiday festivities going on. You can shop at the Christmas Village store if you head there during the week.
Drysdale’s Christmas & Holiday Village 2023 Dates
November 18th – December 17th, 2023
Festive activities on weekends from 10am to 4pm
6. Rurban Christmas Crawl in Downtown Alliston
A Christmas Crawl is held annually on Victoria Street in downtown Alliston, and it’s organized by Rurban, who also runs the Monster Mash at Halloween.
On the Friday night, shops on Victoria Street are open later than usual (until about 8pm) and have some good deals, as well as hot drinks, and food tastings to get into the holiday spirit.
The event continues into the next day where you can get some great deals from local businesses. Here’s a rundown of some of the current downtown Alliston shops and what you can find there:
- Concession Road -Home decor items, gifts and snacks that are locally made, artisan and rustic. You can find stuff for babies, kids, men and women. (Psst – they’re also hosting a Ladies Night on November 16th.)
- Everything for Babies – Books, toys, and good quality clothing and footwear for children from age 0 to school age
- Beau Home– home, lifestyle and cosmetic essentials
- VK Modern Kitchenware – high-quality, well-made kitchen items imported from Turkey
- Northern Blush – flowers, and a cafe (called Northern Expresso Bar) but also has some plants and home decor items
- The Next Chapter – inviting atmosphere where you can shop for used books, including new releases
- + much more
With the above variety, downtown Alliston is a decent place to do Christmas shopping and support small businesses!
Alliston Rurban Christmas Crawl Dates
Friday, November 17th – Saturday, November 18th, 2023
7. Diwali Gala
Diwali, the Festival of Lights falls in mid-November this year, and the South Asians of South Simcoe are putting on their annual celebration at the Alliston Memorial Arena.
I attended last year with my family, and we had so much fun! The food was delicious, there was dancing, activities for children, speeches, and live entertainment.
Everyone is welcome and tickets can be purchased online. It was a full room last year, so I highly recommend grabbing your ticket in advance if you want to be attend the Diwali Gala.
Tickets are $25 per adult (children 12 and under are free); it includes a buffet dinner and all the activities. Tickets can be bought through Event Bright here.
Diwali Gala in Alliston Date
Sunday, November 19th from 5:00-9:00pm
8. Beeton Christmas Market
Beeton hosts an annual Christmas at the Rotary Hall in town. There will be a variety of sweets, handmade crafts, Christmas ornaments and so much more.
Stop by on the Black Friday weekend to pick up some Christmas gifts and become acquainted with some small businesses in the area.
Beeton Christmas Market Dates
Saturday, November 25th from 9am – 4pm
Sunday, November 26th from 10am – 4pm
8. Shopping around Treetops
Head to the Treetops subdivision to meet business owners who will be outside their homes in their driveways.
There will be lots of holiday gift shopping opportunities from small businesses who make a variety of things. Not all of the business owners necessarily have an ‘item’ to sell, but might be promoting services that they offer.
Between beauty services, travel agents, bakers, food artists, personal trainers and chefs – there’s no shortage of talent in Treetops.
Treetops is about a 10 minute drive west of Alliston, and 10 minutes south of Beeton.
Shopping around Treetops Date
Saturday, November 25th from 1-4pm
9. Light Up the Night in Cookstown
Aside from the Scandinavian Bazaar, Cookstown has another exciting day planned for the end of November.
Light Up the Night is organized by the Cookstown Chamber of Commerce and involves activities throughout the day, a tree lighting and a parade at night. While not technically a part of New Tecumseth, Cookstown is only a 15-minute drive west of Alliston.
Here are some of the specific activities that are planned for Light Up the Night, and the times:
- Photos with Santa offered by Trish Beesley Photography at The Photographer’s House from 2-4 pm
- Holiday Gift Market happening at various places around town
- Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6pm
- Light Up the Night Parade at 6:30pm – starts from Home Hardware and ends at the Cookstown library
Cookstown Light Up the Night Date
Saturday, November 25th from 2pm to 8:00pm
10. Lost Meadow’s Christmas Celebration
This family-owned meadery just north of Alliston will be hosting its annual holiday event in early December, called The Lost Meadows and Friend’s Annual Christmas Celebration. This is an all-age event with live animals, treats, and some shopping.
There will be alpacas, hot drinks, bonfires roasted marshmallows, and a holiday sale in their farm store.
If you haven’t been to the Lost Meadows store, I highly recommend it. It’s a great place to get some unique, high-quality holiday gifts. Their maple syrup is superb, and their cranberry mead pairs well with Christmas dinner (my husband prefers the original mead.)
Regardless of which you choose, you can’t go wrong. I’ve tried several of their mead flavours, maple syrups, homemade lip balms and soaps – nothing has ever been a disappointment.
Lost Meadows Apiaries & Meadery is located in Egbert, just a 15-minute drive north of downtown Alliston.
Lost Meadows Christmas Festival Date
Sunday, December 3rd from 10am – 3pm
11. Beeton Santa Claus Parade
This year, Beeton will be hosting a Santa Claus parade along the main street. It is run by the Beeton Agricultural Society (the same organization that runs the Beeton Fair.)
The parade is sure to be as much of a hit as the fair always is.
Bring the kids and friends and make your way out to Main Street in Beeton on December 9th to watch the floats of small businesses and of course, to see Santa at the end!
Beeton Santa Claus 2023 Date
Saturday, December 9th at 11am
12. See “That December Show” at the South Simcoe Theatre
The historic theatre in Cookstown is playing Snow White and the Seven Aliens between December 8th – 17th.
If you’re never seen a show at the South Simcoe Theatre before, they’re very good – full of talented actors, and engaging scripts with catchy songs.
Snow White and the Seven Aliens is a holiday favourite that they’ve been performing for 10 years, and its suitable for all ages. Check ticket prices and availability on their website here.
13. Christmas at the Gibson Centre
The Gibson Centre, a historic building in downtown Alliston, never lets us down with fun holiday events every year.
It’s a great place to get photos with Santa against the old brick wall interior and beautiful Christmas tree that they always have displayed.
A Christmas Market at the Gibson Centre will be held in early December where kids can meet Santa and you can shop for handmade items by local vendors.
On a non-holiday note, there’s also a Celtic music performance held on December 10th. More information can be found on their website here.
Gibson Centre Christmas Event 2023 Dates
Santa Visit and Christmas Market: December 9th
Holiday Events in New Tecumseth that are TBA
These are events that have taken place in previous years, but I haven’t received confirmation that they’re going to be happening this year. Stay tuned!
Brunch with Santa
Santa comes to the Nottawasaga Inn every year for breakfast. You pay a fee that includes your food, as well as the unique experience of having kids enjoy meeting Santa at breakfast time.
All you need to bring is your kids, cameras and appetites.
Reservations for Breakfast with Santa generally aren’t mandatory but are recommended. If this event is running this year, the information will be posted on the Nottawasaga Inn website.
Conclusion: New Tecumseth Christmas Activities
I hope this guide on Christmas Activities in New Tecumseth was helpful for you in seeing the holiday fun happening in Alliston, Beeton and Tottenham and surrounding areas. If you’re running an event that you feel should be included, please feel free to contact me.
There are many places around Canada that are beautiful during the Christmas season – Quebec City, Toronto, and Ottawa to name a few. But you don’t have to travel far to experience the holiday magic. There’s a lot of it right here in our small towns.
The Christmas events in New Tecumseth give you the opportunity to experience the small-town Christmas and enjoy the festivities with neighbours and friends. We’re lucky to have so many community events within our reach. It’s for this reason that I see New Tecumseth as one of the best places to live in Ontario.
After the holiday season wraps up, you can start planning your winter getaway in Ontario.