Must-Do Winter Activities In and Around Barrie


As we approach the Winter season and prepare for Christmas, it is important to be aware of all the activities that you can find not too far away from home to help you get into the Christmas spirit.  Why not get out your Christmas sweater, pour some eggnog in your travel mug, and get out to explore some wintertime adventures!


Noella Festival – Barrie

Although Winterfest has been cancelled this year due to planning delays, there will be a Christmas festival on the 20th of November 2021 in Barrie. Santa Claus is still coming to town! Santa will be touring residential neighbourhoods throughout the city on Saturday, November 20th, 2021.  The full route map is available here so you can track when Santa will be passing through your neighbourhood. After his travels through the city, Santa will arrive back at Open Air Dunlop to kick off the Noella Festival.  Families will be allowed socially distanced photos with Santa between 4 pm – 8 pm.  There will be live music at Meridian Place, hot cocoa, and a winterized patio. You will be able to enjoy the decorated window displays, shopping and get your picture taken in front of downtown Barrie’s 35ft Christmas tree.  This will be a great afternoon to kick off the Christmas season and spend some time in the great outdoors.


Holiday Magic at Blue Mountain

The enchanting Blue Mountain Village is located less than an hour’s drive from Barrie.  When better to visit Blue Mountain than in the winter as the Village transforms into a winter wonderland.  The entire village will be dressed up in garlands and bows. There will be holiday music paired with interactive light displays sparkling through the night.  This experience is free and every Saturday between 12 pm and 3 pm there will a chance to see Santa.


First Light

Around a 50-minute drive from Barrie, you will find Sainte-Marie among the Hurons at Midland.  Going back in time for a must-see holiday event.  “First Light” will allow you to rediscover the historic site with glowing candlelight illuminating the famous 17th-century mission.  The historic buildings will be decorated for the holiday season.  You will be able to take home crafts, treats from the cookhouse and there will be a good selection of vendors showcasing a variety of products for sale.  Advanced reservations are required. You can also get a dinner package to make the evening extra special. Further information can be found here



Step into a world of holiday magic at Canada’s Wonderland WinterFest Attraction which will be running on select nights from November 13th, 2021 until December 31st, 2021.  The event will feature ice-skating on Snowflake Lake, more than a dozen live shows, millions of spectacular lights, hundreds of beautiful Christmas trees, festive food, and Christmas merchandise galore.  Prices for WinterFest tickets start at $29.00.



Tubing at Horseshoe Valley

Located just under half an hour’s drive from Barrie, you will find Horseshoe Valley.  When the snow season comes, why not take your family for an afternoon or evening to experience the winter fun of tubing. Here lies Ontario’s longest snow tubing hill.  Get that adrenaline pumping and fly down the hill, then let the magic carpet whisk you right back up to the top. Tubing passes start from $26 for a midweek timeslot.


Winter Village at the Distillery District

It would not be right to not venture into Toronto at least once during this festive period.  You will not want to miss out on heading down to the Distillery District this winter.  Here you will find a picturesque holiday experience to share with your friends and family.  You can stroll the cobblestone streets under the twinkling lights, grab a selfie with Santa and enjoy the vendors offering shopping and dining options.  Tickets are not needed and admission is free if you visit before 4 pm.  After 4 pm tickets will be required to limit the number of visitors and will be charged at $8, kids under 5 are free.


York-Durham Railway

Does your family love the movie the Polar Express? Well, take yourself just over an hour’s drive away from Barrie to a journey on the York-Durham Railway to experience some holiday magic.  Board the North Pole Light Up Express where every guest will be served hot chocolate and cookies during a magical train ride that takes the whole family to the NORTH POLE.  There will be dances and songs and during the ride back Santa will give each child a gift.  It is advisable to book your tickets early as this is a popular event and one not to be missed!


Niemi Family Farm

At Just under an hour’s drive from Barrie, you will find the Niemi Family Farm located in Mount Albert.  Here at the farm, you can enjoy a Scandinavian Christmas Market on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 am to 7 pm.  You will find lovely handmade crafts, traditional Finnish baking, Ontario-grown Christmas Trees & more. Tickets are $14.99 for people of all ages with seniors 65 and over getting a reduced rate of $9.99.  You can also purchase additional tickets such as a private bonfire with smores kit and a professional photography session. This is a great Christmas experience for the whole family!


Arrowhead Skating Trail

If you are willing to travel a little farther this winter then this attraction should be at the top of your to-do list!  At Arrowhead Provincial Park you will be stepping into what looks like a scene from a Christmas movie. Put on your skates and experience the 1.3km long trail with friends, family, and loved ones.

When the trail is lit up, it is referred to as “fire and ice night” which is perfect for those Instagram-worthy moments.  The opening date of the trail will be dependant on the weather. Keep an eye out for this attraction when the temperatures dip!


Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you have any more winter activities that you would like to share, please comment below!

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Michelle Stevens


RE/MAX Hallmark Chay Realty Inc. Brokerage

112 Caplan Ave. Barrie, ON L4N 9J2

Email: michelle@jewelhouserealestate.com

Phone: 705-970-6137

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