Are you in the mood for a little Christmas Spirit? You need not look any further than the Durham Region. In fact, there is no better place to be than the Durham Region at Christmas time.
When Santa “comes to town” he is certain to make a stop in most locales. Starting November 15th, the Santa Claus Parades offered included early morning, afternoon and even candlelight schedules. Bowmanville started it off this year with “A Toyland Christmas” early in the day. Then at noon, Beaverton had their “Winter Wonderland” themed parade. Newcastle took over on Sunday, November 16th and started off their sunset parade with fireworks. The following weekend saw Uxbridge showing off their “Winter Wonderland” parade in the morning. Oshawa thrilled us at six in the evening with their “Santa’s Parade of Lights” and Pickering took the morning spot on November 22nd. Then, Ajax had their “Santa’s Magical Parade of Lights” in the evening, immediately followed by a tree-lighting event at the Town Hall. The morning of Saturday Dec. 6th was Whitby’s turn, while in the evening, Port Perry celebrated the “Past, Present and Future” as their parade theme. Courtice closed out the parade schedule on Sunday the 7th at noon. So you see, there really is no excuse for missing Santa’s arrival.
Every year the CP Holiday Train travels through dozens of communities to raise food and cash donations for food banks. We are really lucky that the CP Holiday Train stops here. In fact it makes two stops in the Durham Region — the first in Bowmanville and then in Oshawa. All the contributions collected in an area stay within the local community. Mincom Jo and her trusty Aunty Elf had a great time at the Oshawa stop with Roxanne Potvin and the Odds providing terrific entertainment from the boxcar stage. People came out in droves and a good time was had by all.
Speaking of trains…did you know you could take a ride with Santa Claus on the Santa Train in Uxbridge? Every weekend, you and your family can board the train in Uxbridge for a round trip on the York-Durham Heritage Railway, the Greater Toronto Region’s only family tourist train. Each trip lasts approximately one hour and has on-board entertainment for children of all ages. Including the adults! Santa visits each child at their seat and distributes goodies to each and every one.
In Pickering, The Millennium Square Skating Rink is now open for the season! Located at the bottom of Liverpool Road South, at the lake, this new outdoor skating rink officially opened in 2013. You can skate for free on the synthetic ice surface seven days a week all winter from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. And, you can have fun while enjoying a breathtaking view of Lake Ontario.
Not everyone is cut out for the outdoors in the winter. Some like to bundle up in their car with a thermos of hot chocolate and just drive around looking at the Christmas lights. With gas prices lower than they have been in years, this is a great option. If you live or are visiting in the Durham Region, may we suggest you head over to Ilona Park Road in Pickering for a spectacular Christmas display. Each year they put on a magnificent presentation and collect money and food for the local food bank. Guaranteed, as soon as you pull up you will be wandering around the magical winter wonderland they have created. If you’re lucky you may even be entertained by a Steele Drum Band or even bump into Santa Claus himself. Give a little and get a lot!