Holidays in Wellington County

Experience the Holiday Season in Wellington County

Warm up in Wellington County this holiday. Our cozy, friendly communities transform into festive, wonderful winter wonderlands and offer unique experiences for all ages and interests.


We're known for local food and gifts - and for good reason! Here are some scrumptious ways to treat your taste buds this holiday season:

1. Sign up for a Holiday Farmers’ Market Box - SOLD OUT!

2. Sign up for a Upcycled Holiday Food Box - Smart Cities

3. View the Taste Real Holiday Food and Gift Guide

4. View CW Chamber's Love Local Holiday Gift Guide


Festivities Across the County

Discover Wellington County's many festive season highlights - from outstanding Holiday shopping to Christmas tree farms and local events. Explore all the exciting holiday happenings for each community.

Fergus Elora Erin Guelph/Eramosa Mapleton Minto Puslinch Wellington North

*Please check with individual locations as opening hours may vary.


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Holiday Happenings in Fergus and Belwood

Visit Fergus and Belwood for unique shops, wintery views, and tasty dining experiences. 

Holiday Shopping made easy

Find personal items and home décor at the One and Only Handmade Marketplace or Home Basics just up the street. Shop sweets at the Fergus Scottish Corner Shop, Made in Holland, or see how chocolates and other confections are made at I Love Chocolate! Find unique pieces for that special someone at Kitras Art Glass and Local Pieces Art Gallery. You can even design your own blown glass ball or take an art class! Don’t forget the kids – head up to Brighten Up Toys and Games for a variety of STEM activities, crafts, puzzles, and more. They are even offering pictures with Santa!

Warm up while Downtown

Stroll the riverwalk to see lights in Templin Gardens and enjoy refreshments during your outing at The Vault Café Bar or grab a pint at The Outpost Bottle Shop. Psst… they are also offering craft beer advent calendars!

Butter Tarts and Alpacas

Make a note to stop into Belwood Country Market just outside of town, and pick up one (or a dozen – we don’t judge) of their infamous butter tarts. While there pop over to Harmony Meadows Alpaca and get close up close and personal with some furry animals. Be sure to book in advance!

Holiday Events:

  • November 24, 25, December 1, 2: Late Night Sip and Shop downtown Fergus. Stores will be open late for last-minute shopping. The event showcases horse-drawn carriage rides, carollers, a holiday DJ, and even food trucks.
  • December 3: Fergus Santa Claus parade. A traditional float and walking parade through the downtown streets of Fergus. Food bank donations are being accepted during the event.
  • December 15, 16, 17, 18: The Enchanted Forest of Fergus’ Festive Forest. Get transported this holiday and enter a fantasy world. Meet woodland characters beneath the trees, take a picture with Magic Santa and enjoy giant illuminated life-size art as The Forest comes alive for the holidays!
  • December 21: Elora Farmers' Market Night Market. Shop for all the fresh, local foods you'll need for the holiday weekend, 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm. The Grinch will be there!

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Holiday Happenings in Elora

Wander the winter wonderland of Ontario’s most beautiful village - Elora.

Boutiques and Specialty Shops

Pick up festive treats and stocking stuffers such as candies, chocolates, and butter tarts at Sweet Distractions. Seasons Home and Gift is a home and lifestyle destination, and they go all out for Christmas! They carry a variety of home décor, gifts, and cozy fashion. At Karger, they have travelled the world to offer customers a curated selection of modern and eclectic furniture and home accessories, jewellery, and fashions. Visit the quaint shop of Magic Pebble Books for a variety of books and gifts for all ages. Be sure to stop and pick up a glass candy cane for your tree, or gift someone a private glass-blowing class from Blown Away Glass.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

The Lost and Found Café is where the community comes together. Warm up with a steamy beverage or enjoy their all-day breakfast. The Wild Tart offers the finest café style dining, exquisite afternoon teas, delicious light fayre, bubbles, and cocktails. Stop for dinner at the Elora Mill, a one-of-a-kind destination, and pick up a spa certificate for that special someone while you are there. Join Elora Brewing Company for farm to table experience; grab some beers from their retail shop, or check out a concert or activity night. Taste and pick up handcrafted spirits infused with local flavours at Elora Distilling Company. They also offer cocktail classes - a unique gift!

Holiday Events

  • November 24, 25: Starlight Shopping in downtown Elora. Enjoy in-store promotions, and festive entertainment, and be sure to stop at one of the many restaurants to warm up with a cozy lunch, dinner, or beverage.
  • November 25, 26: Christmas Market at The Wellington County Museum and Archives. Ring in the holiday season with a handmade market, live musical entertainment, delicious local food, a visit from Santa Claus, and more family fun!
  • November 26, 27: Elora Centre for the Arts Christmas Studio Open House. Meet the artists and find unique and one-of-a-kind artist-made gifts. The event runs 10:00 am - 4:00 pm both days.
  • November 26: Elora Santa Claus Parade, a spectacular light parade through Elora's historic streets.

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Holiday Happenings in Erin

Visit the Town of Erin for Christmas tree experiences, festive window displays, and boutique shopping.

Shop

There's no shortage of unique gift shopping in Erin! Sample and purchase artisanal, farm-crafted ciders at Heartwood Farm and Cidery. Shop for eco-friendly daily living products at the Erin General Store and RefilleryDebora’s Chocolates has been making handmade chocolates, candy, and fudge for 20+ years - only the freshest ingredients and preservative-free! Amorettos is the place to shop for wraps, capes, shawls, and one of a kind, chic clothing. Brighten Up Toys offer quality, affordably priced toys, games, puzzles, brainteasers, and more. And The Weathervane offers an imaginative selection of gifts and home decor for life's many special celebrations.

When you get Hungry

At Tin Roof Café, find locally roasted coffee along with a selection of rotating cookies, squares, and other goodies baked from scratch in house. If tea's more your thing, Maddy Hatter Tea Room has an extensive selection along with fabulous lunches (and yes, they do high tea). Jess For You Café is in Hillsburgh, but well worth the trip for one of THE best butter tarts (in the world?) and a great breakfast. 

Christmas (Tree) Experiences

With Christmas Trees (cut your own or freshly cut), the Heritage Barn gift shop, winter bonfires, and more, Elliot Tree Farm is a winter destination.  

Erin Hills Acres comes alive with a festive atmosphere during November and December - take tractor rides, make smores, and take in holiday-themed events - and pick out your Christmas tree.

Holiday Events: 

  • November 12: 12 Wonders of Christmas is offering a special swag bag to the first 12 customers at participating businesses in the downtown area.
  • November 18: Town of Erin Winter Fest - Window Wonderland. Gather around on Main Street to unveil the beautiful window displays and enjoy all the amazing local shopping for everyone on your list.
  • November 19, 20: Christkindlmarkt - A Christmas Market. Presented by the Erin Ag Society, the event will feature a large outdoor market of craft vendors, petting zoo, horse and buggy rides, outdoor entertainment (for kids and adults), beer tent, outdoor fire, and so much more.
  • November 26: Erin District Lions Club Santa Claus Parade. This year’s theme is The Kid In All of Us!
  • November 26: Erin Hill Acres' Winterfest is an outdoor market at an iconic Christmas tree farm. There will be many vendors, food trucks, Live music, Magician, Face painting, wagon rides, fire pits and more. Come enjoy Christmas traditions with family and friends in a Hallmark movie like setting.
  • December 2: Town of Erin Winter Fest - Family Favourites. The community comes together on Main Street to unveil the beautiful window displays and enjoy all the amazing local shopping for everyone on your list.
  • December 3: Hillsburgh Annual Tree Lighting. Visit for a treat, hot cocoa and a little gift from Santa! Donations always welcome as all proceeds are put back into the community.
  • December 16: Town of Erin Winter Fest - Apres Village. Enjoy a night out on the town. Sit around our warming stations and share a couple laughs, snacks, and delicious drinks!

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Holiday Happenings in Guelph/Eramosa

Unique Shopping

What could be better than spending a cold winter's day in front of a roaring wood fire while drinking delicious wine? Cox Creek Cellars offers award-winning wines and ciders located on a picturesque farm. Visit for a tasting or to pick up that perfect dinner-warming gift. Stop by Styll Gallery down the road, a destination gallery with unique and beautifully made gifts. Visit us during regular business hours or book a private shopping experience. Don’t forget Yolanda’s Fashion Boutique, they carry unique fashion and accessories with a personalized experience. And you can get a taste of Greek at Tithorea. Grab someone (or yourself) fresh cooked meals, desserts, honey, spices, pottery, and so much more.

When you get Hungry

Warm up and fill up in the town of Rockwood. At Bistro Barolo you can experience the feel of a quaint Italian bistro with food to pair. Chompin' at the Bit, is the perfect spot to relax, laugh, and enjoy while they serve comforting food, drink, and hospitality. Heaven on 7 Bistro and Pub is cooking up your new cravings with their delicious gastropub menu. Hangout Kebab and Curry House is known as one of the Rockwood area's most beloved places to eat. If you prefer a coffee and dessert destination, Eramosa River Café is an excellent rustic spot for breakfast and lunch. They also have great vegan options!

Holiday and Christmas (Tree) Experiences:

A great way to start your Holiday Season, bring the family to enjoy a truly unforgettable day in the country.

Head over to Madeira Farms, grab a sled, and select your own unique Christmas Tree. Visit their shop to browse beautiful wreaths, sturdy tree stands, and their selection of beautiful pre-cut trees. Evergreen Tree Farm offers cut your own trees, fresh cut or simply browse through the gift shop. Choose from a selection of fresh wreaths, green arrangements, birch poles, and urn fillers. Their shop features the work of local artisans and includes chocolate, candy, and preserves in a warm and inviting barn gift shop. Enjoy outdoor firepits where families are invited to roast marshmallows, relax and enjoy the warmth. Try something different and visit All In Alpacas. Get an up-close experience, and while you are there you'll have an opportunity to visit a fibre studio, sink your hands into the luxury of alpaca fleece and learn how it's prepared for processing. Please note: advance bookings only.

Events:


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Holiday Happenings in Mapleton

Visit Mapleton Township for rare farm toys and unique baked goods.

Mapleton’s Organic Dairy is worth a visit year-round (is it ever actually too cold for ice cream?). They also offer gift cards for the local food lover on your list, or you can pick up pastured pork, certified organic chicken, turkey, and eggs, as well as organically raised beef and lamb.

Jolley’s Farm Toys in Alma carries a wide selection of farm and construction toys, plus collectibles, including many one-of-a-kind items and rarities. Moorefield's The Pretty Penny is a women’s consignment boutique offering current and in-season ladies' clothing and accessories, bath and body care, locally made goods, and decorative pieces for your home. 

Refreshments during Shopping

Drayton's A La Mode Café loves all things local, from suppliers to the ingredients in their food. They cook most items from scratch, from homemade soups, ice cream cakes, and waffle cones to the dressings on salads, wraps, and sandwiches. They're also passionate about good coffee. 

The Right Spot in Alma is famous for pies, tarts, and homemade breads and buns. The Moorefield Diner prides itself on serving delicious country-style portions at affordable prices and has a great all-day breakfast.

Events

  • November 17, 18: Drayton Kinettes Sip and Shop features a holiday handmade market with over 25 vendors and live music.
  • December 2: Drayton Santa Claus Parade. Join Santa for this evening parade.
  • December 3: Moorefield Santa Claus Parade. Parade-goers are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item.
  • December 3: Christmas Craft Market. Presented by the Alma Optimist Club, enjoy a warm lunch while shopping local vendors.
  • December 18: Alma Santa Claus Parade. Along with Santa, this daytime parade hosts decorated tractors and farm implements, volunteer fire department trucks and township snow plows, a troupe of unicyclists, heavy horse hitches with wagons pulled by Percherons and Clydesdales, and ponies prancing down Main Street.

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Holiday Happenings in Minto

Visit the Town of Minto for specialty toys, decor, and a holiday street party!

Things to Shop and Explore

Alpaca Time, between Clifford and Harriston, has built a reputation of manufacturing premium alpaca products since 2005. Shop for quality outerwear, yarn, gifts, and more. Pop into The Barrel House for woodwork, decor, and barrel-aged ingredients used in Pete’s Products. 

Oranje Grove sells a wide assortment of top-quality Dutch specialty food, imported from Holland. Clifford Country Store sells locally and regionally grown produce, bakery items, prepared foods, meats and eggs, artisan cheeses, and pantry items. Plus, they support local artisans by providing a brick-and-mortar venue to showcase their work including pottery, textiles, glass, and jewelry. Clifford's The Red Express sells home accents and gifts, flowers, and grocery items for last-minute pick-up.

The Perfect Piece Home Shoppe in Harriston specializes in high quality, trendy, modern home decor items. Palmerston's What’s the Occasion has a variety of giftware, handmade candles made on-site, helium balloons and so much more

The Teenie Tiny Tots Children Shop in Palmerston is the area's leading provider of new and gently used children’s clothing, toys, equipment, and maternity wear. Kidding Around offers a destination to find innovative and interesting toys and board games.

Regenerate while Shopping

When you're in need of a sugar fix, the Harriston Bakery is the spot to grab a grab doughnut or Christmas desert or stop by Feel Alive Wellness Station and choose a thoughtfully curated winter drink. For the coffee lovers, they use only premium espresso beans. Also available are freshly made smoothies loaded with fruit, veggies, and other superfoods.

Events and Campaigns

The Think Minto First Gift Card Programme launches in November and gives away $500.00 at each downtown shopping event, plus $500.00 in shop local contests in Clifford, Harriston, and Palmerston.

  • November 13: Breakfast with Santa. Head to the Palmerston Community Centre, enjoy a Pancake Breakfast and get the kids picture with Santa. By donation only.
  • November 16: Harriston Ladies’ Night offers holiday shopping with promotions from participating downtown businesses, rockin' tunes, flair bartenders, special treats, and so much more.
  • November 18: Light Up the Park Palmerston. Hot drinks, fireworks, photos with Santa, wagon rides, meet and greet Santa’s reindeer, and more.
  • November 19: Harriston Santa Claus Parade. This evening parade features cars, bikes and walkers. Everyone is welcome.
  • November 24: Kris Kringle Market in Palmerston hosts a pop-up craft market, downtown shopping, food trucks, photo ops with your favourite holiday characters, music, firepits, and more.
  • November 26: Christmas in the Street in Head downtown Clifford before the parade for extended shopping hours and special promotions, vendors' market, maple syrup taffy and other Christmas goodies, music, horse and buggy rides, firepit warming stations and more!
  • November 26: Clifford Santa Claus Parade. Stay after the parade for photos with Santa, treat bags and a BBQ.
  • December 3: Palmerston Santa Claus Parade. Hosted by local firefighters, the evening parade will wind its way through the town. The local Kinettes will be accepting donations to the local food bank.
  • December 10: Harriston Let’s Light It Up hosts horse-drawn wagon rides, family-friendly games, rockin' music, hot drinks, sweet treats, food trucks, and more!
  • December 18: Winter Solstice at the Farm. Come for an afternoon of winter fun at the farm. The winter solstice marks the longest night of the year after which we celebrate the return of the sun. 

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Holiday Happenings in Puslinch

What do Christmas trees, alpacas, and a Nordic Fest have in common? Holiday season in Puslinch! 

Get Holiday-Ready

Chickadee Christmas Trees in Puslinch sells cut-your-own or pre-cut Christmas trees, wreaths, and tree stands. They also have a free kids' activity area, free nature trail with activity stations, complimentary cider, candy canes, and a beautiful gift shop. 

Accents for Living in Aberfoyle offers a stunning collection of holiday (and anytime) decor and gift ideas. 

Hang out with Alpacas

Visit Brae Ridge Farm in Puslinch for luxurious and comfortable wearables made from the fibre of alpacas on-site and spun by the best mills in Ontario (don't forget to say hi to the alpacas, too). 

Find an Experiential Gift

If someone on your list prefers experiences to material goods, consider a gift certificate to rejuvenate Crieff Hills Retreat Centre or an artistic workshop at Chassagne in Puslinch. 

Work up an Appetite? 

The Aberfoyle Mill is known for its unique atmosphere and superb, traditional-style food and service. The Danish Place in Puslinch provides an authentic taste of Denmark from Chef Mark Mogensen (Mark makes his own rullepølse, as well as rye bread, and leverpostejis). Little Lake Market, Puslinch, is the place for organic, grass-fed, gut-health conscious products.

Events:

  • November 27: Puslinch Santa Claus Parade. Come out for this afternoon parade. Each child will receive a goody bag from the jolly old guy himself, and Optimist volunteers will provide hot chocolate and hot dogs. Bring your Santa letter and donations to the food bank, which will be collected along the parade route and at the ORC.
  • December 4: Sunset Villa's Annual Nordic Market. Celebrate the festive season with family favourite activities. Santa will be there, to hear your Jul wishes! This is an outdoor event, so wear your hats and gloves to stay cozy.
  • December 4: Christmas Market and Open House at Crieff Hills. Sip a cup of cider while you browse a wide variety of locally-made holiday items in our schoolhouse. You are welcome to visit the animals or hike one of their wooded trails. There is no cost and no registration required.

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Holiday Happenings in Wellington North

Visit Wellington North for unique gifts, craft distillery experiences, and an epic street market. 

Shop

Travelling through Mexico's backroads, Casa Verde Imports brings beautiful textiles, handcrafted furniture, and ceramics to Arthur. Arthur is also home to beautiful home decor at both The Plumbers Wife and Arthur Cash and Carry. Get some candy for the kids (and kids at heart) on your list at IScreamm Cone Company.

Then head to Mount Forest to find an outfit to pamper someone on your gift list at Ideal Fashion or Hometown Boutique.

Arthur's award-winning Silver Fox Distillery is an experience in itself and also sells an extremely giftable Advent Calendar

While you're there, satisfy your sweet tooth with some gourmet doughnuts from Magpies Bakery in Mount Forest or warm up with a delicious beverage from Sterre Café & Gifts in Arthur. 

Events:

  • November 17: Mount Forest Ladies Night - Deals at Dusk. Participating retailers stay open late, have special deals, demonstrations and more! Gentlemen are welcome as well. The event runs from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
  • November 19-27: Countdown to Christmas in Arthur. The Arthur Chamber of Commerce, in association with the Arthur BIA, and the Township of Wellington North, have come together to organize a series of festive events for the community to kick off the Christmas season.
  • November 25: Mount Forest Chamber Tree Lighting
  • November 26: Arthur Opti-Mrs Santa Claus Parade, Canada's Most Patriotic Village celebrating the season with an evening parade at 7:00 pm. The theme is a Tropical Christmas!
  • December 1: 24 Days of Santa Giveaways with the Mount Forest Chamber
  • December 2: Arthur OptiMrs Christmas Home Tour. Maps and tickets are available at The Plumber's Wife.
  • December 2: Mount Forest Santa Claus Parade, starting at 7:00 pm.

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