The Bring-The-Kids Guide To Holiday Season In Niagara

Posted on December 5, 2022

Getting through your holiday to-do list AND spending some quality time together as a family can seem like a tall order. This year, multitask your way to a happier holiday season by spending a day or two together enjoying all St. Catharines and the surrounding Niagara Benchlands communities have to offer. Blend some fun family activities with holiday shopping and a few meals out, and everyone will head home feeling recharged, reconnected and ready for the season.

Take It Outside

Head to Downtown St. Catharines and Port Dalhousie from December 2 through January 8 to celebrate the magic of winter at Let It Glow: A Celebration of Light. This free, accessible, family-friendly outdoor festival features interactive light installations, entertainment, winter workshops and cultural programming.

After the fun, enjoy a delicious family meal together. Restaurants the kids will love in Downtown St. Catharines include HambrgrLudology Boardgame Café, and Taco Embassy.


If your crew prefers a vibe that’s a little more country, head to the Niagara Benchlands. This December, there’s a magical addition to the natural beauty and spectacular scenery of Ball’s Falls Conservation Area. A special Holiday Trail sparkles with thousands of lights and holiday décor. Hiking through this conservation area and its heritage buildings from the 1800s is guaranteed to leave your family filled with the holiday spirit.

When you’ve completed your Holiday Trail experience, warm up with a cozy family meal at Smoke and Moonshine Authentic BarbequeLake House Restaurant or Just Cooking Rustic Italian.


Get Kids In The Spirit

Having kids make their own gifts for loved ones is a great way to teach them what the holiday season is all about.

  • 4 Cats Art Studio in St. Catharines has an extensive lineup of hands-on workshops that guide kids through crafting everything from winter glow trees to pottery gingerbread houses and more.
  • Crock A Doodle in St. Catharines invites families to come in and create hand-painted pottery pieces together.
  • The Watering Can in Vineland offers winter floral and craft workshops for kids between the ages of four and 12.
  • The Creative Bug in Beamsville offers a variety of art-based activities for artists of all ages and abilities.



Enjoy A Well-Timed Treat Break

If having a hot chocolate and cookie break is on your family’s holiday bucket list, you have plenty of tasty options in Niagara.

  • St. Catharines has so many hot chocolate hotspots there’s an entire blog post sharing all the local favourites.
  • In Beamsville, Conversations Café is an excellent option.


Divide And Conquer

Splitting up your crew so one adult can do some holiday shopping while another keeps the kids entertained is a great way to make the most of your time away. Excellent activities to keep the kids busy for hours include:



Stretch Out Your Stay

Rather than rushing home at the end of the day, surprise the kids with an overnight stay at a place that offers fun evening activity options.

If you spend the night, don’t forget to take advantage of the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit. This limited-time credit allows you to claim up to 20% of your accommodation expenses on your 2022 income tax return.


Supported by the Tourism Partnership of Niagara

Get even more ideas for enjoying the holiday season in St. Catharines and the Niagara Benchlands.

2023 City Guide

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