Welcome back to our Social Series! As the season begins to change from fall to winter and the holidays approach, there’s no better time to explore the Kitchener-Waterloo area and its fantastic local festivities. Whether you’re touring the local markets or satiating a sweet tooth, this list of things to do in Kitchener-Waterloo this November will surely get you in the holiday spirit. Continue reading to learn more about things to do this holiday season!


woman enjoys christmas market

Enjoy a festive holiday market

St. Jacobs Village Sparkles is on November 16th-19th and November 23rd-26th! Come out to see the village transform into a winter wonderland with a large amount of activities, shopping options, and more!

Willibald Winter Market, is hosting its annual Winter Market on the farm this year and they are extending it to two weekends – November 25th & December 2nd from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm! Enjoy holiday drinks, food, and a fun day with friends and family.

Holiday Book Fair & Market is a literature-themed holiday market for the book lovers in your life! Located at THEMUESUM in Kitchener, on November 19th, you can meet with 30 different authors, small business vendors and artisans.

Holiday Sip n’ Shop annual market is back at the St. Jacob’s Market District on Friday, November 17th from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm! You won’t want to miss it. This is a great way to get started on your holiday shopping while enjoying live music and sipping on a hot drink.

KCA Christmas Market is on November 25th from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm and is featuring over a hundred local vendors from the Bloomingdale area.


santa claus marathon

Wave to Santa (or a hundred of them) during the KW Santa Claus Parade

For fans of parades, be sure to check out the Kitchener-Waterloo’s annual Santa Claus parade on November 18th. You won’t just see the float featuring the big man himself – you’ll also get to wave to the hundreds of jolly runners passing by in the Santa Pur-suit! This yearly run raises money for the YMCA of Three Rivers, and acts as truly unique way to open the town’s Santa Claus parade.

Attend a local play

For lovers of the performing arts, there is no shortage of theatrical productions to enjoy this month in Kitchener-Waterloo.

  • Celebrate the Elmira Theatre Company’s new location’s inaugural performance of Ed’s Garage, a thought-provoking comedy about rural life in Southern Ontario. Performing from November 10th – 19th.
  • “Before the Kardashians, there were the Mitfords!” Laugh at the biting dark humor of The Funeral to End All Funerals, as performed by the Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre from November 17th to December 3rd.
  • If you’ve never enjoyed a panto performance before, now’s your chance as the St. Jacob’s Country Playhouse puts on a production of Peter Pan. Bring the whole family to loudly boo at Captain Hook and cheer for Peter with the rest of the audience for this unique experience, opening on November 29th and running until January 7th.


Fans cheering at hockey game

Root for the Kitchener Rangers during a local OHL game

Hockey fans will want to keep an eye on the Kitchener Rangers‘ home schedule for the month of November, as they will face off against the Windsor Spitfires, the Erie Otters, and the Owen Sound Attack this month at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. The team is currently atop the OHL standings, so there’s no better time to attend a game!

Warm up with a holiday-themed drink

During the colder days in store for us this November, be sure to check out the Baden Coffee Company‘s seasonal offerings, like the “Sleigh All Day” latte or the Gingerbread House latte. And for those wishing for something with a little more kick, stop by Murphy’s Law Moonshine to try their hot chocolate and hot cider with a splash of moonshine. That should warm you up quick!


christmas themed box of chocolates

Enjoy delicious local chocolates

It’s hard to beat the combination of chocolate and the holiday season. For those with a stubborn sweet tooth, check out Reid’s Candy and Nut Shop. The local chocolaterie offers an impressive assortment of festive packages – including an advent calendar featuring downtown Galt at night.

In addition to Reid’s, be sure to visit Esta Chocolates for signature holiday boxes of chocolate truffles, chocolate stocking stuffers, and once again, custom advent calendars.

Be awed by the Gift of Lights Festival

Gift of Lights & Jingle Rock festival is one you won’t want to miss! Experience the magic and wonder of the Region’s most spectacular and dazzling light displays this holiday season! Visit Bingamens from  November 17th – January 6th, 2024.

Fun fact: this is the Region’s biggest and brightest light display!

Get Social With Us

The holiday season is a truly unique time of year to explore the sights and sounds the Waterloo Region. This list of activities barely scratches the surface on all the area has to offer. If any of these caught your eye, be sure to let us know on @builtbyactiva on Instagram or Facebook for a chance to be featured.

See what else is happening on our inspiration page to learn more about Activa!