Family Fun Things to Do During Christmas Break in Kitchener-Waterloo Region

Family Fun Things to Do During Christmas Holidays in Kitchener-Waterloo Region

Credit: Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

WINTER BREAK 2018 – 2019

Here’s a list of fun activities to enjoy as a family during the winter break from December 21, 2018 – January 6, 2019.

I. Kids Activities

Flight of White: Experience a Snowfall of Butterflies

This truly unique holiday exhibit transforms the tropical butterfly conservatory into a magical oasis featuring 1000’s of additional Rice Paper butterflies flying freely through the Conservatory. With a wingspan of up to 14cm, the Rice Paper Butterfly, a large white relative of the Monarch, is impossible to miss as it floats through the air moving gently from flower to flower. The Flight of White experience also includes lush white poinsettia flowers, 1000’s of sparkling white lights, and soft strains of classical music playing in the background. Details

December 1, 2018 – January 31, 2019
Tuesday to Sunday | 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Last entry at 4:00 PM); Mondays | Closed
December 24 – 26 & 31 – January 1 | Closed

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, 2500 Kossuth Road
Cambridge, ON

Flight of White is included with paid admission

Holiday Themed Events

Christmas Events in Kitchener-Waterloo

  • Starry Night – Enjoy the sights, sounds and flavours of a Christmas past as you see the village in its finest lamp-lit beauty. Over 100 lanterns and lamps light up the village and buildings so you can visit each building and activity at your leisure. Saturday, December 22, 2018 | 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM @ Doon Heritage Village
  • Santa Trains – Celebrate the Christmas holiday season with us while onboard our historic train for a fun, lively ride with Santa and his helpers singing all your holiday favourites! December 22 – 23, 2018 | 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM & 2:00 PM @ WCR Train Museum Platform
  • Christmas at the Castle on November 20, 2018 – January 6, 2019 | 11:30 AM – 4:00 PM @ Castle Kilbride
  • Santa at the Kitchener Market on Friday, December 21, 2018 | 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM & Saturday, December 22, 2018 | 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
  • Christmas at Snyder’s Farm – Stop in at the North Pole, and enjoy this indoor Christmas Wonderland as your child visits with Santa, don’t forget your camera! Spend family time around a camp fire enjoying complimentary S’mores with us, then end the visit playing in the Candy House Jumper and outdoor Snyder Tree Fort and Peddle Carts. Saturday – Sunday, December 22 – 23, 2018 | 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM @ Snyder’s Family Farm
  • Victorian Christmas – Savour the seasonal delights of a Victorian Christmas and learn how the King family celebrated this festive time of year. November 28 through December 23, 2018 @ Woodside National Historic Site

Holiday Family Fun Days

Looking for something to do with the kids during the Christmas holidays? Bring the whole family out for a visit with us and take part in the daily activities and our exhibit galleries. Details

December 27, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Thursday – Friday | 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday | 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Monday | 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Wednesday – Friday | 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Waterloo Region Museum, 10 Huron Rd., Kitchener

$11 Adults, $8 Seniors/Students, $5 Children, Children four and under free, all admissions plus HST.

Holiday Activities for Kids

Escape the cold and step into the tropics this holiday break! Join us for fun, self-guided programming for kids!

This fun program is self-guided. Details

December 27, 2018 – January 7, 2019
January 1 | Closed

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, 2500 Kossuth Rd, Cambridge, ON

Included with General Admission

Holiday Programs @ Waterloo Public Library

Get in the festive spirit! We have 21 fun, free holiday programs happening in December and January. Ugly Holiday Sweater Party, Winter Survival, Holiday Parties, Noon Year’s Party, Family Board Game Cafe, Star Party, free skating and so much more. Details

Various dates in December & January

Waterloo Public Library, Waterloo, ON

We have drop-in programs, registered and ticketed for all ages. All programs are FREE!

Polar Express

Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the story as they are whisked away on THE POLAR EXPRESS™. A short pre-show inside the station will entertain ticket holders prior to boarding. Once onboard, hot chocolate and treats are served by enthusiastic cheerful dancing chefs as passengers read along with the classic children’s book, THE POLAR EXPRESS™, by Chris Van Allsburg. Santa and his helpers greet passengers at the North Pole and then board the train, where everyone is given the first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell. Chefs aboard each car will lead passengers in singing Christmas carols for a lively return ride. Families are encouraged to wear their pyjamas for the ride! Details

December 20 – 22, 2018
Thursday – Saturday | 5:30 PM, 7:00 PM & 8:30 PM

WCR Train Museum Platform, 50 Isabella St., St. Jacobs

$49.99 – $69.99

Programs @ TheMuseum

Enjoy various programs including Creation Station, Science + You, Maker Passport, Robot hour, The Physics Road Show featuring Orbax and Pepper Do Science, Animation Day, Stema DayTot Time, Animal Adventure and more. Details

December 22, 2018 – January 6, 2019
December 24 – 26, 2018 | Closed

THEMUSEUM, 10 King Street West Kitchener, ON

Regular admission

Holiday Hours at Attractions

Chicopee Tube Park:

Projected opening: December 26, 2018

Tuesday to Thursday | 4:00 PM to 9:30PM
Friday to Saturday | 9:00 AM to 9:30 PM
Sunday | 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

TheMuseum:

Winter hours start from December 16, 2018

December 31 | 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
January 1 | 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
December 21 & 24 – 26, 2018 | Closed

Bingemans FunworX:

Monday – Thursday | 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Friday & Saturday | 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday | 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Schneider Haus National Historic Site:

Till December 23, 2018
Wednesday – Saturday | 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday | 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Closed from December 24 to January 16

McDougall Cottage Historic Site:

Closed until March 6, 2019

Waterloo Region Museum and Doon Heritage Village:

Museum Gallery hours Until December 31 | Monday – Friday | 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday | 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Doon Heritage Village is closed Saturday and Sunday
January 1 | Closed
January 2 – 5 | 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
January 6 – 7 | 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Woodside National Historic Site:

Until December 23, 2018 | Thursday to Sunday | 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Bell Homestead National Historic Site:

Tuesday – Sunday | 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
December 22, 2018 to January 1, 2019 | Closed

Castle Kilbride:
Until December 23 | 11:30 AM – 4:00 PM
December 27- 30 | 11:30 AM – 4:00 PM
January 2 – 7 | 11:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Mondays and Holidays | Closed

OUTDOOR SKATING RINKS

Movies in Theatres

II. Live Music

Blue Rodeo

When fans lined Toronto’s Queen Street to get into clubs where Blue Rodeo was performing in the mid-1980s, the band felt as though they had achieved success. And, in fact, they had. But that success has grown exponentially through the ensuing three decades since they formed, and by staying authentic and true to themselves, Canada continues its enduring love affair with Blue Rodeo. Details

Saturday, December 29, 2018 | 8:00 PM

Center in the Square – Main Theatre, 101 Queen Street N, Kitchener

$48.50 – $89.50

III. Live Theatre for the Whole Family

Shear Madness

Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as America’s longest running play, Shear Madness continues to delight audiences with its unique blend of madcap improvisation and spine-tickling mystery.

Hairdresser Tony Whitcomb and manicurist Barbara DeMarco comb through the tasks of a normal day until concert pianist Isabel Czerny is murdered. Tony, Barbara, and the Shear Madness customers – Eleanor Shubert, Eddie Lawrence, Nick Rosetti and Mikey Thomas – are all suspects.

But whodunit? Witness the fun, put your detective skills to the test, and take a stab at solving the crime! Recommended for all ages. Details

September 12 – December 23, 2018

St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre, 11 Albert St. W., St. Jacobs, ON

$27 – $46

Holiday Inn

Check in for a tap-happy musical about a crooner and a hoofer vying for the affections of a beautiful up-and-coming performer in this new stage adaptation of the beloved 1942 Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire film.

Twenty iconic songs from Irving Berlin’s phenomenal musical catalogue are featured in this celebratory musical spanning four seasons, including “Blue Skies,” “Cheek to Cheek,” “White Christmas,” and more. Details

November 22 – December 30, 2018

Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge, 46 Grand Ave., S., Cambridge

$27.00 to $46.00

Jack and the Beanstalk: The Panto

Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, a giant panto your way comes!

Bring the entire family and cheer for Jack and boo the evil giant as one of the most popular children’s stories of all time becomes larger than life. Details

November 28 – December 30, 2018

St. Jacobs Country Playhouse, 40 Benjamin Rd. E., Waterloo

$27.00 to $46.00

A Very Leila Christmas

Green Light Arts presents the award-winning, lovable, and effervescent artist Leila in her hit show about the adventures of her first Christmas in Canada.

There will be dancing, singing, tree decorating, and sugar cookies… No matter who you are, where you come from, or what you celebrate Leila will capture your heart and show you how we are all much more similar to each other than we are different. A Very Leila Christmas will get you in the Holiday spirit, make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and absolutely leave you in stitches. Details

Wednesday – Saturday, December 19 – 22, 2018 | 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Sunday, December 23, 2018 | 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

The Registry Theatre, 122 Frederick Street, Kitchener, ON

General Admission $20; Student/Senior (65+) $15

The Nutcracker: A Canadian Tradition

Step into Klara’s magical dream journey as she experiences the Canadian winter landscape for the first time in Canada’s Ballet Jörgen’s holiday classic, The Nutcracker, A Canadian Tradition. Created by acclaimed choreographer Bengt Jörgen to Tchaikovsky’s well-loved score, the show is a holiday favourite for families across Ontario. Details

Friday, December 28, 2018 | 2:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Center in the Square – Main Theatre, 101 Queen Street N, Kitchener

$28.00 – $95.75

Big Nate: The Musical

Nate Wright, a detention-riddled sixth grader (and drummer for the greatest garage band in the history of the galaxy, Enslave the Mollusk!) hopes to woo beautiful Jenny away from her boyfriend Artur by winning “The Nickelodeon”, the first prize in his school’s Battle of the Bands. But when Artur and Jenny team up with Nate’s arch-rival Gina to form the sap-pop band, Rainbows and Ponies, he’s gotta take his game to an all-star level. What will he do? Based on the hit comic strip series by Lincoln Peirce with Book by Jason Loewith and Lincoln Peirce, Music by Jason Loewith and Christpher Youstra and music by Christopher Youstra, a family favourite jumps off the page and onto the stage – live in living colour! Details

Saturday, January 5, 2019 | 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM

Center in the Square – Studio, 101 Queen Street N, Kitchener

Adult $15- $17.10; Child $10 – $11.70; Family 5-Pack $35 – $40.60

Dancing with the Stars Live!

TV’s biggest dance show returns on tour this winter with “Dancing with the Stars: Live!” featuring fan favorite professional and troupe dancers in a brand-new production showcasing every type of dance style as seen on ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars, ranging from ballroom and jazz to modern and hip-hop. Details

Sunday, January 6, 2019 | 8:00 PM

Center in the Square – Main Theatre, 101 Queen Street N, Kitchener

$76.50 – $210.50

IV. Sports

You might like:

University Challenge Cup in Elmira

Looking for something to do over the holidays? Bring the family out to watch the 2018 University Challenge Cup Ringette Championship. Thirteen university teams from across Caanada will be competing for the gold medal. Details

December 27 – 31, 2018

Woolwich Memorial Centre, 24 Snyder Ave. South, Elmira, ON

Free Admission

Kitchener Rangers

vs Barrie Colts on Friday, December 28, 2018 | 7:30 PM
vs Peterborough Petes on Tuesday, January 1, 2019 | 2:00 PM
vs Owen Sound Attack on Friday, January 4, 2019 | 7:30 PM

The Aud, Kitchener

Tickets

V. Winter Camps and Other Activities

Winter Break Camp: Lights, Camera, Action!

Our winter break camp features lessons on film, animation, vision, and perception! In honour of two popular exhibitions – TIFF digiPlaySpace and BRAIN: The World Inside Your Head – we’ll be creating a paper flip-book, 3D stop motion puppets, and animation using clay. Ages 4 – 12. Details

December 27-28, 2018 & January 2-4, 2019
Drop Off Time | 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Pick Up Time | 4:15 PM – 5:30 PM

THEMUSEUM, 10 King Street West, Kitchener

Members $45; Non-members $50; Register

Christmas Day Camps @ Bingemans

All our programs include: full use of the FunworX facility, with the addition of bowling, Rocks & Ropes Course, arts and crafts, games, outdoor time (weather dependant). Lunch and snacks will also be provided each day. All programming is designed for ages 4 – 12 years. Details

December 27-28 & 31, 2018 & January 2-4, 2019
Camp hours | 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Extended Care hours | 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM & 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Bingemans FunworX, 425 Bingemans Centre Drive, Kitchener

$47.95 – $55.95

Winter Camp: Not So Ugly Holiday Wear

Join us for a fun week of camp in The Underground Studio MakerSpace! ‘Tis the season to sew and design something special! On December 27 & 28, campers will be making not-so-ugly holiday hats and from January 2-4, it’s holiday sweater time!

These screen printed designs are made extra festive by adding a few twinkling lights that are sure to make each creation sparkle. Ages 9 – 14. Details

December 27-28, 2018 & January 2-4, 2019
Drop Off Time | 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Pick Up Time | 4:15 PM – 5:30 PM

THEMUSEUM, 10 King Street West, Kitchener

Members $100 – $235; Non-members $110 – $265; Register

Winter Break – City of Waterloo

Our winter break madness camp for kids aged 5 to 10 years old includes days spent doing a variety of exciting crafts, sports, songs, games, visits from special guests, possible outings (not all days) and more. It fills up quickly, so sign up as soon as possible. We look forward to keeping your kids enthused and exhausted this winter break! Details

December 27 – 28, 2018 & January 2 – 4, 2019 | 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

RIM Park, Waterloo

$44.76/day/child OR $197.15 all 5 days

Winter Break Adventure Camp @ Apps’ Mill Nature Centre

Regardless of the weather your camper will spend a lot of time outdoorsexploring the fields and forests that surround the nature centre. Winter Adventure activities may include snow shoeing, crazy carpeting, snow sculpture building and animal tracking. Our highly skilled team will share their passion and knowledge of nature and outdoor adventure with your child. Our goal is to connect your child to a lifetime of appreciation for nature and the outdoors. Ages: Children 6 – 12. Details

January 2 – 4, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Apps’ Mill Nature Centre, 308 Robinson Road, Brantford, ON

$50 – $150

Winter Adventure Days @ Shade’s Mills Nature Centre

Winter Adventure Days will get the kids outside enjoying the outdoors. Activities may include snow shoeing, crazy carpeting, snow sculpture building, hiking, shelter building and animal tracking (depending on weather conditions).

These programs feature nature-themed activities and adventures through hikes, games, seasonal crafts and activities. Participants actively go outside daily to explore the fields and forests that surround our nature centres. Our highly skilled team will share their passion and knowledge of nature and outdoor adventure with your child. Our goal is to connect your child to a lifetime of appreciation for nature and the outdoors.. Ages: Children 6 – 12. Details

January 2 – 4, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Shade’s Mills Nature Centre, 450 Avenue Rd, Cambridge, ON

$150

Winter Break Adventure Days @ Laurel Creek Nature Centre

Winter Adventure Days will get the kids outside enjoying the outdoors. Activities may include snow shoeing, crazy carpeting, snow sculpture building, hiking, shelter building and animal tracking (depending on weather conditions).

These programs feature nature-themed activities and adventures through hikes, games, seasonal crafts and activities. Participants actively go outside daily to explore the fields and forests that surround our nature centres. Our highly skilled team will share their passion and knowledge of nature and outdoor adventure with your child. Our goal is to connect your child to a lifetime of appreciation for nature and the outdoors. Ages: Children 6 – 12. Details

January 2 – 4, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Laurel Creek Nature Centre, 525 Beaver Creek Rd., Waterloo, ON

$50 – $150

Winter Break Adventure Days

Winter Adventure Days will get the kids outside enjoying the outdoors. Activities may include snow shoeing, crazy carpeting, snow sculpture building, hiking, shelter building and animal tracking (depending on weather conditions).

These programs feature nature-themed activities and adventures through hikes, games, seasonal crafts and activities. Participants actively go outside daily to explore the fields and forests that surround our nature centres. Our highly skilled team will share their passion and knowledge of nature and outdoor adventure with your child. Our goal is to connect your child to a lifetime of appreciation for nature and the outdoors. Ages: Children 6 – 12. Details

January 2 – 4, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Guelph Lake Nature Centre, 7677 Conservation Rd, Guelph, ON

$150

Interactive Storytelling with Stephen Van Vugt

Join singer and storyteller Stephen Van Vugt for an afternoon of fun interactive storytelling. Help him create a story of adventure you can go on together! Stephen will give you the opportunity to create your own stories through games and activities for all ages. Details

Saturday, December 22, 2018 | 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Schneider Haus National Historic Site, 466 Queen St S, Kitchener

Included in your General Admission

Christmas LIGHTS

Christmas Events in Kitchener-Waterloo

  • Gift of Lights – A family-friendly 2 kilometre drive-thru holiday light display featuring a 200+ foot light tunnel, over 30 full light static & animated displays! November 16, 2018 – January 5, 2019 @ Gift of Lights, 425 Bingemans Centre
  • Come see the Wonders of Winter. There are over 100,000 lights and more than 100 displays. December 1 – 31, 2018 @ Waterloo Park
  • Enjoy spectacular Christmas lights in four locations throughout Cambridge during the month of December.
  • Watch visual effects transform the Old Post Office! This spectacular light show is projected on the Water Street side of the digital library. December 20 – 22, 25 – 31, 2018

Holiday-Themed Carols/Music

  • Advent & Christmas Carols & Readings in the German Language on Saturday, December 22, 2018 | 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM @ Mount Zion Lutheran Church
  • Let it be Christmas is packed with memorable Beatles tunes and “Beatleized” Christmas carols that serenade you through the story of the nativity on the long and winding road to Bethlehem. Sunday – Monday, December 23 – 24, 2018 | 7:00 PM @ Highview Community Church
  • Jason White plays the complete “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on Saturday, December 22, 2018 | 8:30 PM – 11:30 PM @ The Jazz Room
  • The Tom Nagy Christmas Experience – With dancing bears, samples of snake-flavoured jello and a full set of all new-old tunes the 2018 Tom Nagy Christmas Experience promises to be the everything you never wanted to write home about! Friday, December 21, 2018 | 8:30 PM – 11:30 PM @ The Jazz Room
  • Let it Be Christmas is packed with memorable Beatles tunes and “Beatleized” Christmas carols that serenade you through the story of the nativity on the long and winding road to Bethlehem. December 23 – 24, 2018 | 7:00 PM @ Highview Community Church

New Year’s Eve Events

NYE in Kitchener-Waterloo

  • Noon Year’s Party – Hear stories, make party hats, blowers & then count down to the noon-year! Monday, December 31, 2018 | 11:30 AM12:00 PM @ Waterloo Public Library
  • New Year’s Eve Kitchener – 2019 will mark the 35th anniversary of Ghostbusters, so we’re celebrating with cool decorations, photo opportunities and lots of fun! Monday, December 31, 2018 | 6:00 PM – 12:10 AM @ Kitchener City Hall – Rotunda
  • Bingemans New Years Eve 2019 – FunworX with Mommylicious and 91.5 TheBeat, are hosting a family-friendly New Year’s Eve! Monday, December 31, 2018 | 03:00 PM – 9:00 PM @ Bingemans FunworX
  • Canadian ToyCon New Year’s Eve Celebration – Featuring an Action Figure, Comic, and Collectors con. Monday, December 31, 2018 | 06:00 PM – 09:00 PM @ Kitchener City Hal
  • New Year’s Eve at Kingpin Bowlounge – Bowl your way in to the new year with a bowl, hors d’oeuvres, party favours, and a champagne toast at midnight!!! Monday, December 31, 2018 | 08:00 PM – 11:45 PM @ Kingpin Bowlounge
  • Noon Year Celebration at THEMUSEUM – Join us for a variety of fun activities throughout the day. Join us for a Balloon Drop, Toast & New Year’s Dance Party! Monday, December 31, 2018 | 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • City of Waterloo NYE Celebration – New Year’s will feature music, and skating at the rink. Agnes from Mindful Makers will be on site with an interactive activity, think LED lights + Paper Crowns. Monday, December 31, 2018 | 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM @ Waterloo Public Square
  • Christmas in Cambridge NYE Party – The night includes ice skating, photo booth, games and free live enterainment with Cambridge’s own Bob Cates Comedy in Motion! Monday, December 31, 2018 | 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM @ Hespeler Arena
  • New Year’s Day Skating Party – Join us to celebrate a new year with some skating, crafts entertainment and more! Tuesday, January 1, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM @ Kinsmen Arena, The Aud

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