Come Wander
Winter Events

New Year, new you –that’s what we all say, right? Each year as party hats are donned, horns blown, toasts made, and the countdown starts, the resolutions start piling up. A new year means a fresh start, a clean slate, and a chance to improve.

These resolutions are of course made with the best of intentions. Did we know when we resolved to eat healthier last New Year’s Eve that three weeks into 2017, we’d be sitting in our house with a foot of fresh snow out our window and a pan of brownies fresh from the oven, just promising to warm us up? Of course not.

Sometimes, resolutions are difficult to keep, but for 2018, we’ve decided to take them more seriously. We’ve resolved to be more resolved (you won’t break us, brownies), and we want to help you do the same! Below are our suggestions for festivals and events across Ontario’s Highlands that will help you keep your New Year’s resolutions.

Resolution #1: Be More Active

Winter in Canada is cold. This means it can be tempting to hibernate a bit; to retreat inside and wait for the warm sunny days of summer to entice us to get outside and get moving. But this doesn’t need to be the case! Dress for the weather and get outside to get your blood pumping, fill your lungs with fresh air, and find out just how fun this season can be.

Hardwater Festival

Location: West Guilford Recreation Centre & Abbey Gardens, Municipality of Dysart et al., ON
Date: January 27, 2018
Time: 10:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m.

With ice sculptures, climbing, skating, fishing, crafts, and more, you can discover just how cool ice really is. Get your heart pumping by registering for Running into Winter – a Snowshoe Race, learn how to rough it in the wilderness this season during winter camping demonstrations, groove to the sounds of ‘cool jazz,’ and keep your mind active by discovering the Science of Ice.

Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships

Location: Pinestone Resort, Haliburton, ON
Date: Open Weekend January 26-28, 2018 & Masters Weekend February 2-4, 2018

This event captures the true essence of growing up in Canada –the sound of skates scraping against the ice, of sticks connecting with pucks, and of joy at each hard-won goal. Whether you’re participating or spectating, you can celebrate the Canadian sport of pond hockey, feel your heartbeat race as you cheer on teams from near and far, and be amazed by the 700-1000 players who gather to embrace the chill and battle for victory over these two weekends.

Resolution #2: Take Better Care of Yourself

Sometimes we get so busy that our well-being, our ‘me time,’ gets put on the back burner, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You deserve to be a top priority; you deserve to be pampered.

Rejuvenate Yourself

Location: Various locations downtown Perth, ON
Date: January 27, 2018
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Feel restored with massage, reflexology, Reiki treatments, and more while you shop downtown Perth. With practitioners onsite at various businesses for your wellness pleasure, you can search for the perfect find to refresh your life and sign up for a treatment to reenergize your spirit.

Resolution #3: Spend More Time with Family

Time flies; it’s one of the most precious commodities we have. This year, make it your top priority to spend time together, to watch smiles light your kids’ faces, to witness every inch they grow, and to create memories with your family.

Braeside & White Lake Winter Carnivals

Location: McNab/Braeside Township, ON
Date: Braeside Winter Carnival February 3, 2018 & White Lake Winter Carnival February 24, 2018

Discover the friendly hospitality of locals and feel a part of the community at these outdoor carnivals. Indulge in warm breakfasts, strap on your skates, tuck in together for a sleigh or wagon ride, and enjoy a day filled with activities perfect for the whole family.

Dorset Snowball Winter Carnival

Location: Dorset Recreation Centre, Dorset, ON
Date: February 16-17, 2018

Gather together to watch the Snowball Parade; smash, crash and laugh in inflatable body zorbs; and learn about birds of prey before belting your hearts out at karaoke. Transform yourself with face painting, and document the day by donning zany outfits and fun props in the photo booth.

Winter Magic & Maple Harvest

Location: Fulton’s Pancake House & Sugar Bush, Pakenham, ON
Date: February 17-April 15, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m.

Indulge in some of the sweetest traditions around and watch the delight that spreads through your group with each slice of pancake, pull of maple taffy, or bite of maple cotton candy. Bundle up and take a trip down the tobogganing hill, pile into the back of a horse drawn sleigh or wagon for a tour of the sugar bush, or visit the Sugar Shack to learn about the tradition of making maple syrup together.

Resolution #4: Learn a New Skill

In a world where an overload of information is available right at our fingertips, there are still some things that are better to learn in person. Enjoy the authentic personalities of artisans and professionals during a food workshop this winter, sample local flavours, and learn new skills directly from the experts.

Artisan Cheese Making Workshop

Location: Back Forty Artisan Cheese, Mississippi Station, ON
Date: January 27 & February 10, 2018
Time: 9:30am-4:00pm

Get your hands dirty and discover the fundamentals behind artisan cheese making with Back Forty Artisan Cheese. Learn about the ingredients, explore your favourite lactic and rennet cheeses, and get a sense for the art of ageing and caring for cheese.

Winter Workshop Series

Location: Abbey Gardens, Haliburton, ON
Date: Various dates and workshop topics throughout January, February, and March

Discover the malts and hops that combine to make your favourite brews, the care behind selecting and roasting coffee, the process to create authentic thin crust Italian pizza, or the steps to make no-knead sourdough bread during a workshop at Abbey Gardens this winter.

Resolution #5: Be a Better Partner

Remember what we said earlier about how precious time is? Make time for each other this year to laugh until it hurts, hold hands, and bask in the glow of the moonlight.

Live Music at Sharbot Lake Crossings Pub

Location: Sharbot Lake Crossings Pub, Sharbot Lake, ON
Date: Various dates and shows in January and February, 2018

Grab tickets for dinner and a show at Sharbot Lake Crossings Pub. Be amazed by the musical talent of Shawn McCullough and Wade Foster as they fiddle and pick the night away January 13, become captured by the folksy entertainment of Valdy on February 1, and feel a special connection as your toe starts tapping along to the palpable authenticity of the East Pointers on February 13.

Moonlit Snowshoe

Location: Abbey Gardens, Haliburton, ON
Date: January 31 & March 1, 2018
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Bundle up for an outdoor date, strap on some snow shoes and explore Abbey Gardens under the light of the full moon before splitting cheesy wood-fired pizza and indulging in a pint of craft beer.

Live Laughs with Mike MacDonald

Location: The Village Playhouse, Bancroft, ON
Date: January 26, 2018
Time: Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Spend an evening tucked into cozy theatre seats and laughing out loud together with the King of Canadian Comedy, Mike MacDonald.

Ontario’s Highlands Insiders

Knowledgeable in uncovering hidden gems, making fresh tracks, embracing new perspectives, and disconnecting from the everyday, this group of experts is happy to share their wisdom with you. With a passion for local stories, a love of delicious food, and a thirst for unrehearsed days, this team is made up of creative minds and wandering souls.


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