‘Tis the season to put on your biggest scarf and soak in the holiday season with a warm glass of mulled wine. To help you get into the holiday spirit, we’ve rounded up our favourite events from across North America that will fill you with joy. From Christmas markets to festive dinners to the best spots to snap a photo with Santa – here are 18 holiday events for you to explore.

Willard InterContinental Washington D.C.

The Willard’s nightly caroling program now include a wide array of highly accomplished choral and vocal ensembles from around the D.C. metropolitan area. Between December 1 and December 23, city dwellers and visitors alike can enjoy the sounds of the season with complimentary, nightly chorale performances from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m in the hotel lobby.

The annual holiday gingerbread display at the Willard InterContinental will also be unveiled on November 29 in the lobby of this iconic D.C. hotel. This year, Willard Executive Pastry Chef Jason Jimenez’s picturesque display will pay homage to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)  with a detailed replica that will include all terminals, lighted runways, a control tower and even parts of the Washington Metro made from edible materials.

Enjoy the magic of The Nutcracker

Before seeing The National Ballet of Canada perform The Nutcracker, drop by the Ritz-Carlton Hotel for their Nutcracker Afternoon Tea with menus for children and adults. Stay in the holiday spirit by visiting their in-house restaurant TOCA to try their four and five-course holiday dinner menus and a legendary brunch buffet.

Christmas Carol Come to Life in the Finger Lakes

Throughout the month of December, Skaneateles in upstate New York undergoes a town-wide transformation, taking you back to 1842. Every weekend between American Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, “Dickens Christmas” celebrations include appearances by some of your favourite characters from the novel and age-old teats like warm figgy pudding.

Explore the Vancouver Christmas Market

The Vancouver Christmas Market returns to Jack Poole Plaza, with more than 80 huts stuffed with delicious bites to eat and handcrafted gifts. Don’t forget to snap a selfie at the Instagram-worthy Lovers’ Lane adorned with 10,000 twinkling lights and mistletoe.


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A Sasquatch-themed Christmas

Harrison Hot Springs is overflowing with Christmas cheer this year from a Whoville-esque Village to a new winter Sasquatch-themed light festival called Lights on the Lake. Enjoy the winter weather by hiking, biking, paddling, skiing and more.

Visit the Village du Père Noël

In the Laurentians, the Village du Père Noël is a great spot to visit Santa and his elves with plenty of holiday games set up. While in the area, be sure to swing by the Christmas Market at Place Rosemère.

Christmas in Canada’s Capital City

Ottawa is filled with the holiday spirit this year with a number of craft markets and holiday stalls popping up at the Canadian Museum of History and the Magic of Lights at Wesley Clover Parks.  Mark on your calendars the Christmas Lights Across Canada illumination ceremony and enjoy the lightshow on Parliament Hill.

A seasonal stroll through Charleston

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There is something magical about Charleston, South Carolina around the holiday time. The whole city is transformed with yuletide cheer and everyone is humming along to Gullah spirituals and holiday tunes.

The Holiday Festival of Lights returns to James Island County Park in Charleston for a three-mile driving tour filled with holiday popups.

Seasons greetings in Sun Peaks

Celebrate the holiday season in Sun Peaks with live music, ugly Christmas sweaters, the Holiday Artisan Market, and the Grand Gingerbread House at the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel.

Christmas market hop around Halifax

Enjoy the outdoors in Halifax with some skating at the Halifax Oval. The largest artificial ice rink in Atlantic Canada, this is a great space to learn or practice your skating right in the heart of the city.

Get your holiday shopping done at The Market Collective


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Pop by the indie Market Collective to shop local this holiday season. They have rounded up some of the best local artists, makers, artisans and bakers at the BMO Centre on the weekend. The hall will be filled with live music, interactive workshops, galleries, food and beverage, and over 150 local vendors.

Feel festive at The Chelsea Hotel

Having FOMO from the holiday parties people are posting on Instagram? The Chelsea Hotel in Toronto is hosting a holiday party  complete with a buffet lunch and a chance to win a two-night stay at the property.

Shop during Macy’s Christmas Light Show in Philadelphia

Travel to one of America’s most historic cities, Philadelphia, to tour the Christmas village in the centre of the city, skate down the BlueCross River Rink, and then get all of your holiday shopping done while enjoying the Macy’s holiday light show.

Wintertime in Whistler

Soak in the holiday season in Whistler at the Whistler Holiday Market on November 24 and 25, or stop by the Whistler Holiday Experience.

Drop by for  Santa Day on the slopes – the first 100 people dressed as Santa or Mrs. Clause will receive a complimentary lift ticket.

Order a family-style meal at The Drake Commissary


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Drop by The Drake Commissary to dine family-style this holiday season, with large platter dishes like their smoked brisket or a whole chicken to share. This location has a large dining room, making it the perfect space for holiday parties or large get-togethers. Don’t forget to snap some photos in their photobooth before you go!

See the sets of your favourite Christmas movies in Cleveland

Castle Noel, is located less than an hour away from Downtown Cleveland, where visitors can see Hollywood props and costumes from Christmas films like “The Grinch,” “Elf” and “A Christmas Carol” up close.

Celebrate at Universal Studios

Head over to Universal Studios Hollywood or Orlando for movie-themed holiday events such as “Grinchmas” and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter bringing the magic of Christmas from your favourite holiday films to life.

Dress up at SantaCon in California

With events in San Francisco, Los Angeles and all over California, Christmas lovers have a chance to dress up as their favourite jolly character, Old Saint Nic, at SantaCon.

Travel to the Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain

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Throughout the holiday season Grouse Mountain is transformed into the North Pole where you can have breakfast with Santa, visit his workshop or vote for your favourite creation in the Gingerbread Village. Save some time to skate under the stars on the 8,000-sq-ft skating pond on top of the mountain.


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