There is plenty to do in London and in the surrounding areas during the winter months. Whether you are a skier in need of an adrenalin rush or prefer a more laid back outdoor activity, there is something here for everyone. This list of attractions will guide you in exploring a variety of London’s winter attractions and will keep you physically engaged and mentally inspired.
1. Boler Mountain is a popular destination all year long. In the winter, come ski, snowboard or tube here with your friends or family.
2. The indoor and outdoor Covent Garden Market, conveniently located in the heart of London, is a pleasant way to spend the afternoon shopping for local produce, meats, cheeses and even wine. Stop by one of the cafés for a bite and a fresh coffee before heading back home with a fresh bouquet of flowers from one of the market’s flower stalls. The market is open Monday-Saturday year round. Outdoor skating rink at the market is open weather permitting.
3. Victoria Park was once site inhabited by prehistoric people and in the 1800s was occupied by the British military. Today it is an important gathering place for locals and a memorable spot for visitors. Every winter, the park is decorated with holiday lights and the outdoor skating rink is open to the public.
5. Say goodbye to winter and welcome spring at McLachlan Syrup Farm. The farm offers self-guided tours of the maple forest, horse drawn carriage rides and the onsite Pancake Restaurant serves freshly made pancakes dripping with sweet maple syrup. Check their website to see what’s open before you go.
6. In the summer Storybook Gardens is a popular destination for families with young children and in the winter the trails of the park are transformed into a winding outdoor skating rink adorned by characters from popular fairytales.
7. The Western Fair District is an entertainment hub in downtown London. With the Gateway Casino on one side, the Sports Centre across from it, and the Market in between there is something here for everyone. Check each venue’s website before hand for hours and a list of available activities. (Subjective to COVID-19 restrictions)
8. In addition to Christmas trees, Tree Lane Farms is open for wagon rides and bonfires. The youngsters will enjoy meeting the farm’s alpacas and sliding down the tractor themed playground.
9. Situated around the Thames River, the Thames Valley Parkway offers over 25km of trails. The area is popular with hikers and bird watchers. Some trails are paved and are wheelchair and fat bike accessible. Backcountry trails are ideal for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
10. City of London operates many free and nominal fee indoor and outdoor skating rinks. The rinks are dependent on weather conditions and attendant availability. Check the website for fees, parking info, and cancellations before attending.
11. Circle R Ranch, located just 20 minutes outside of London, is a one stop shop for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and horseback riding. Skiing and riding lessons are available, as well as a variety of wilderness and nature programs. Call ahead to reserve a spot.
12. The steep hills of Doidge Park make it a popular place for tobogganing in the winter.
13. The Basil Grovel Park is another spot to go tobogganing in London. The on-site playground is very popular, especially during the summer months; some local families admit that they spend more time here during the winter.
14. One of the few remaining drive-in theatres in Ontario, The Mustang plays movies year round. Although outside food is not allowed, the theatres concession stand offers a wide variety of treats for sale. Visit the theatre website to see what’s playing and to order your tickets online.
15. West Meadow Stables, located in South London, is an equal opportunity riding school, where beginners and advanced riders can indulge in a therapeutic horseback riding activity.
16. Rich in architectural history, the city’s churches are even more stunning under a light blanket of snow. With so many churches to choose from, you can spend an entire Sunday morning following the bells and organ sounds around the city. Some must see churches include St.Peter’s Cathedral Basilica, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and St. John’s Evangelist Church.
17. Located within walking distance of some of the churches, the Blackfriers St. Bridge is another one of London’s historical and architectural landmarks. Spanning the Thames River, the bridge carries single lane vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. Constructed in 1875, it is one of the longest wrought iron bridges in North America to still carry vehicular traffic.
18. Built in 1878, Western University grounds, framed by the picturesque Thames River, are full of history and culture. While students are studying for exams or taking a holiday break before their next term, the campus is pretty quiet and makes for a nice setting for a winter stroll.
19. Gibbons Park is one of the many parks maintained by the city of London. It’s location along the banks of the Thames River, make it perfect for a relaxing winter walk with a friend or a furry companion.
20. Step into the Winter Wonderland at Victoria Park. Illuminated with festive lights and displays, Victoria Park will sparkle cheer and delight in all visitors.
21. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city at the Komoka Provincial Park. Located west of London, the park’s trails can be used for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, but be aware that the trails are not maintained or track set during the winter months.
22. It is believed that David Suzuki first experienced his love for natural history at the Coves. This designated Environmentally Significant Area is one of the few remaining places where you can spot the Savannah Sparrow & the Brown Thrasher, while walking through the provincially rare black walnut & hackberry forest. Although the Coves are located on private land, the surrounding area has many multi-use city trails and unofficial pathways.
23. Located down the hill from Harris Park, the Eldon house and gardens are open to the public. The historic garden urns and benches, the conservatory and the green house will transport you back to the turn of the 20th century. A self-guided tour of the house can also be arranged with advance notice by email.
24. London’s Museum of Ontario Archeology is open year round. With prior reservation you can tour the galleries and the 500 year old village, known as Lawson archeological site.
25. From plough to pint, end your day with a visit to the London Brewing Co-op, where you can visit the tap room and support the local businesses and farmers by indulging in a pint of cold beer.