Now that the leaves have fallen and we’ve had our first snowfall, it’s safe to say that the holiday season is fast approaching. The holiday season is Muskoka is unlike any other, featuring dozens of fun festive events for the entire family. This year’s season officially kicks off on Friday, November 29th, when communities throughout the Muskoka region will be celebrating in style with Christmas walks, tree lighting, night shopping, and so much more. If you’ve never experienced the start of the holiday season in Muskoka, this is the perfect year to join in on the fun!

Huntsville – Christmas Tree Lighting and Santa Claus Parade
Where: Downtown Huntsville ON
When: Friday, November 29th: Tree Lighting at 6:15 PM, Santa Claus Parade at 7:00 PM
Cost: Free

Bring the whole family for an unforgettable night in Huntsville’s historic downtown. The festivities kick off at 6:15 PM on the steps of Huntsville’s town hall, where the annual Christmas tree lighting will take place. This year’s tree measures 15 feet tall and will feature plenty of lights and ornaments to adorn the steps of the town hall throughout the holiday season. Once the tree has been lit, the focus will shift to everybody’s favourite jolly old Saint Nick as the annual Santa Claus Parade kicks off at 7:00 PM. The Parade route will go along Main Street and King William Street, beginning starting at Centre Street and ending at Huntsville Mall. This year’s holiday kickoff celebration is sponsored by Downtown Huntsville, the Rotary Club of Huntsville, and the Town of Huntsville.

More information about the Christmas tree lighting and the Santa Claus Parade is available on the Downtown Huntsville website.

Gravenhurst – Christmas Tree Lighting and Black Friday Deals
Where: Gravenhurst Opera House, Gravenhurst ON
When: Friday, November 29th from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM
Cost: Free

The holiday season kicks off at the Gravenhurst Opera House with the annual lighting of the Christmas tree. The tree will be beautifully decorated with lighting and ornaments and is sure to wow everybody in attendance. After the tree has been lit, the whole family can explore the downtown area and take advantage of some great Black Friday deals. Stores are set to be open late, giving shoppers an opportunity to stock up on Christmas gifts until at least 8:00 PM. Add in carollers and delicious treats, and you have a recipe for a perfect holiday season opener.

For more information about the Christmas Tree Lighting, visit the Downtown Gravenhurst website.

Bracebridge – Santa’s Festival of Lights and Shopping Party
Where: Downtown Bracebridge ON
When: Friday, November 29th from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Cost: Free

Santa’s arrival in Bracebridge will kick off the holiday season on a high note, bringing with it fireworks, beautiful sights, shopping, and so much more. Santa is set to arrive in town at 6:00 PM, with fireworks to follow at 6:45 PM. You and the entire family can enjoy sleigh rides all night long, running from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. In addition to Santa’s arrival, downtown Bracebridge will get an opportunity to enjoy caroling, living window displays, live entertainment, kid’s activities, and some late night shopping. There’s a little something for everyone to get you into the Christmas spirit.

For more information about Santa’s Festival of Lights, visit the Downtown Bracebridge website.

Bala – Bala Tree Lighting and Carol Sing
Where: Bala Community Centre, Bala ON
When: Friday, November 29th from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Cost: Free

Bala gives Muskokans another great chance to witness the magic of a tree lighting festival with the annual Bala tree lighting event at the Bala Community Centre. A barbershop quartet will be in attendance to help you ring in the holiday season, singing all your favourite Christmas classics. All are welcome to attend and sing to their heart’s content! Find more information about the Bala Tree Lighting event at the Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce website.