10 Hamilton Happenings for the Holidays

Maybe I've always been too busy at this time of year to notice (shame on me), but I was shocked at how many festive events are going on in Hamilton this month! I just may allow myself to be lured away from my sewing machine for some of these. Have fun, stay warm, and shop local!

Santa Shuffle Fun Run and Elf Walk / Dec. 3 / 10am / St. Mary's H.S. / This 5k run has become a tradition with me and my friend Carla ever since we lived in Toronto together. It was the first race I ever ran and it ignited a love of running that took me through several marathons. But this is the first year I've run it so completely unprepared. I haven't had my runners on since September! But, isn't tradition  what the holidays are all about?

Maker's Market Holiday Edition / Dec. 3 / 10-4 / Christ's Church Cathedral / Skip the mall and come out to support our vibrant local art community. From handmade jewelry and art, to delicious baked goods, you are sure to find some unique one-of-a-kind gifts here.

A Kenny & Dolly Christmas / Dec. 8 / Carmens Banquet Centre / Anyone that saw me carrying around my newly purchased Kenny Rogers Christmas album at last month's art crawl can attest, I love me some Kenny. I also love me some Dolly. Unfortunately, that's a lonely island of love, so I doubt I can convince anyone to join me for this tribute so I'll throw on my record instead.

Art Crawl / Dec. 9 / James St. North / A great opportunity to pick up some unique gifts and support some amazing small businesses. I imagine the evening will be full of holiday treats and surprises.

Dundurn Castle / Dec. 9-29 / There are some wonderful events planned for Dundurn Castle this entire holiday season, from baking and craft workshops, to caroling and, of course, seeing the castle all decked out for Christmas. I've been meaning to revisit for awhile now and this unique opportunity just might get me there.

Kitestring Christmas Spectacular / Dec. 16 / Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts / This third annual bash features a holiday pageant accompanied by a candy buffet, a Cake & Loaf cookie and milk bar, a Red Hill Coffee bar, and food from Gorilla Cheese. There's also an after party complete with live music, spiked snow cones, and cupcakes. It sounds like the party of the year and all profits benefit Culture for Kids in the Arts!

Toronto All-Star Big Band / Dec. 17 / 2 pm / Hamilton Place / I had the opportunity to see this big band play a few months ago and was blown away. These kids can really belt out the oldies. When I heard they were playing a holiday show in Hamilton, this carol lover couldn't resist!

Gingerbread Holiday at the Market / Dec. 17 / 10-2 / Hamilton Farmer's Market / Perfect for the kiddies, make traditional gingerbread cookies and a unique holiday ornament with guest cooks Jennifer Haartman and Kelly McKinney. Santa just might drop by for a cookie.

The McQuesten's Childhood Christmas / until Dec. 31 / Whitehern / I have a strange fascination with Whitehern and the family that lived there, so I'm pretty excited to see this historic home decorated as it would have been for Christmas in the 1880s, complete with a whimsical Christmas tree, original toys, and a table set with special-occasion china.

Outdoor Skating Rink Pier 8 / Discovery Drive / weather permitting / Ice skating is one of my absolute favourite winter sports, but for some reason I haven't laced up my skates in years. This is such a perfect spot to do it, with a view of the bay and Williams hot chocolate only a few strides away.

Image by Andrew Joyce

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