10 Things to Do in December in Prince Edward County 🎁
Ever notice how nearly every Hallmark Christmas movie has a small town in it?
A place of wonder and magic inhabited by delightfully quirky locals, where (let’s face it) women wearied by the demands of big jobs and undeserving boyfriends come to win a baking competition/attend a frenemy’s wedding/avert a family crisis?
Live your own version of the small town miracle – finding the Christmas spirit – in The County this month.
Start with the Wellington Santa Claus Parade on Dec. 1. Santa’s already made two stops in The County, but this parade is populated largely by Whos, of Dr. Seuss fame. So keep an eye out for wacky onesies and gravity-defying pink hairdos, in addition to the jolly guy in the red Dr. Dentons.
Of course, Santa saves the best for last, stopping in at Christmas in Consecon on Dec. 2, a delightful day-long event featuring breakfast with Santa, crafting, cookies and caroling. Plus, a reindeer food station!
Wassail in The County continues on December 1 and 2. Catch the bus and visit more than 15 participating vineyards who’ll offer a cup of good cheer. On Dec. 1, By Chadsey’s Cairns welcomes choristers Cor Aut Mors for acapella concerts at 2 p.m. and 4.45 p.m. Dress warmly, as the concert will be held in the heritage barn!
If the Christmas spirit is still slow to arrive, grab a ticket for the Snow White Panto at the Mount Tabor Theatre. Panto is an English tradition, featuring sight gags, physical humour and absolute slabs of makeup. Dressing up is considered part of the experience, so think Sleepy, Happy or Grumpy and dress accordingly!
Step back to an old timey Christmas at Ameliasburgh Heritage Village. Pop by the Log Cabin to immerse yourself in a traditional Christmas, complete with vintage decoration, treats and beverages to sample too. There will be horse-drawn wagon rides, crafts at the Victoria Schoolhouse and story time at the Ameliasburgh Library Branch.
If there are holes on your Christmas shopping list, cross off what you’ve yet to get at the Christmas Market at Picton’s House of Falconer, weekends throughout December, at Bloomfield’s Nick of Time Market or Wellington’s Town Hall Christmas – both on Dec. 15 – or the beloved Busy Hands market on Dec. 8-9, featuring all County-made products and gifts for the holidays.
While winter’s slush may have you questioning the beauty of the season, the Winter Show at Arts on Main will have you seeing winter’s potential again. Twenty-five County artists have work in the show, including sculpture, painting, pottery and more. The show runs until January 28.
County photographer Phil Norton will also host a one-day photography workshop, on Dec. 9, encouraging would-be photographers to go slow and find abstract images in simple things. In this hectic season, anything that encourages a little more reflection and meditation is welcome!
Good Things in Small Packages, on until Dec. 30 at Mad Dog Gallery, is a diverse show of miniatures and other small, affordable art by local artists, including painters Celia Sage, Susan Wallis and Julie Duff and quilter Marianne Sanders.
There’s plenty of Christmas music, if you prefer to celebrate the season with song. On Dec. 2, The Regent Theatre hosts Toronto’s All-Star Big Band Swinging Christmas, a holiday revue fashioned in the tradition of the classic Christmas Show of yesteryear. On Dec. 12, Sultans of String brings an exotic, global flare to Christmas classics.
If you weren’t lucky enough to see Bruce Dow‘s Cabaret during Festival Player’s summer season, catch him in a holiday show on Dec. 9. There’s nothing his voice can’t do and if your heart is stubbornly remaining two sizes too small, try his musical sort of medicine and get it sorted out.
On Dec. 20, Canadian Fiddle Champion Scott Woods and his band present a masterful two hour presentation of seasonal songs, inspirational stories and lots of family fun that will open your heart to the joy of the Christmas spirit. And on Dec. 21, The County’s community choir, Command Performance Choir, offers a collection of holiday hymns and seasonal songs at Aefensang.
Spend the winter solstice – the longest night of the year – at a Yule Dinner hosted by Karlo Estates, where plant-based Chef Chris Byrne will plate a five-course dinner, paired with vegan wines.
After all that running around, take a deep breath and head to the nearest beach. The sound of the waves will push any lingering holiday music from your mind and if there’s a brisk, bracing breeze coming off the lake, it’ll put a little colour in your cheeks and blow away the cobwebs in time for the new year!