Christmas Fun Guide for Cornwall and SD&G

November 12, 2018

Alight at Night

Alight at Night

Looking to get into the Christmas spirit? Look no further than Cornwall and SD&G to get you hyped up for the holidays!

From Santa parades to holiday-themed concerts, Christmas markets and the magical Alight at Night, there is no shortage of Christmas-themed events to help you ring in the holiday season.

Here’s your ultimate Christmas Fun Guide for Cornwall and SD&G!

Santa’s Coming to Town

There is no greater tradition than ringing in the Christmas season with a visit from Santa himself. St. Nick will make his first trip from the North Pole to the area on Saturday, November 17th for the Cornwall Santa Claus Parade. The parade will start at 5 pm at St. Lawrence Secondary School (1450 Second Street East) and continue west along Second Street, wrapping up at Augustus Street. The fun will continue at the Cornwall Civic Complex with hot chocolate and awards for parade entrants. For more information on the Cornwall Santa Claus Parade, please click here.

Before the parade, why not enjoy Breakfast with Santa on parade morning from 8:30 am – 10:30 am at the Cornwall Civic Complex, hosted by the Optimist Club of Cornwall. Children are free and adults are asked to made a goodwill donation. Enjoy breakfast with St. Nick and other fun activities to ring in the holiday season!

Santa returns for the Morrisburg Santa Claus Parade on Saturday, December 1st (11 am – 2 pm) and makes a second stop in the area with the Martintown Santa Claus Parade on the same day, starting at 6 pm. Santa will also be in action at the North Dundas Parade of Lights in Winchester on Saturday, December 1st (7 pm – 9 pm) and the Williamstown Santa Claus Parade on Saturday, December 8th (6 pm). There’s also the Alexandria Lions Club Lighted Christmas Parade on Sunday, December 2nd (6 pm – 8 pm) followed by fireworks at Island Park around 8 pm!

Santa’s stops continue with Free Pictures with Santa at the Cornwall Public Library on Saturday, December 1st (10 am – 12 pm) and, prior to that, Santa Arrives at Cornwall Square on Saturday, November 24th. From 9:30 am – 10:45 am, children 12 & under are invited to a pyjama party breakfast with Santa and The Paddling Puppeteers in the Food Court. Children will enjoy a free breakfast sandwich, juice and gift, while supplies last!

Light Up the Holidays

Christmas comes alive at Upper Canada Village with Alight at Night, eastern Ontario’s biggest outdoor light festival. Bundle up for an evening stroll through this picture-perfect postcard setting! Close to one million lights adorn the heritage buildings, trees, and fences of Upper Canada Village creating a one-of-a-kind magical backdrop. The event runs select dates from November 30th to January 5th. To find out more and purchase tickets online, please click here.

Another annual tradition is the Cornwall’s Community Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Justice Building (360 Pitt Street), which is slated for Friday, November 23rd. Stop by this evening celebration and enjoy Christmas carols with special guests, hot chocolate and pictures with Santa and be among the first to the see the giant tree lit up!

The Alexandria Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held on November 30th at 7 pm in Mill Square.

Find more Christmas cheer on Wednesday, November 28th with the arrival of the CP Holiday Train in Finch! The beautifully-decorated train will stop in Finch at 2:30 pm and there will be performances by 3-time JUNO Award winner Terri Clark, Kelly Prescott and Sierra Noble. Admission is free, and attendees are asked to bring money or a heart-healthy donation for their local food bank.

Christmas on Stage

There’s plenty of live theatre and music to help ring in the holidays.

Take in a free screening of the Franco-Ontarian Christmas film Noël en boîte on Tuesday, November 27th (7 pm) at the Port Theatre. Author and director Jocelyn Forgues will be on hand to meet and greet after the screening. It’s free admission with a donation of a non-perishable good for the Agapè Centre.

You can also usher in the Christmas season with the Seaway Winds Concert Band’s Alleluia Show at St. John’s Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 2nd at 2:30 pm. The performance will feature vocal soloist Danielle Vailliancourt along with guest conductor Glenn Morrison.

You won’t want to miss Seaway Valley Theatre Company’s presentation of Elf The Musical Jr. on Saturday, December 8, 2018 (1:30 pm & 4:30 pm) and Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 1:30 pm. Watch as young Buddy, raised an elf but actually a human, helps his family to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. Tickets can be purchased online.

Take a trip back in time with a live performance of the classic It’s A Wonderful Life on Tuesday, December 11th and Wednesday, December 12th (7 pm) at Schnitzel’s European Flavours. Performers Kyle Beaudette, Jamie Carr, Nicholas Seguin, Nancy Sylvester and Angela Youngs will bring to life the dozens of characters in the radio play and Cameron Forrester will create all of the sound effects in the style of a 1950’s radio broadcast live on stage!

There will be more Christmas magic at Aultsville Theatre on Friday, December 14th (7:30 pm) with the Centennial Choir of Cornwall’s Christmas Concert, Together at Christmas. Enjoy a night of beautiful holiday music in a world-class venue.

That will be followed on Saturday, December 15th with Wayne Rostad’s popular Christmas in the Valley show at Aultsville Theatre. You’ll hear favourites from the radio series and many recordings that made Christmas in The Valley such a lasting success. Tickets are now on sale!

Theatre lovers won’t want to miss Upper Canada Playhouse’s annual Christmas show, The Christmas Express, running from November 30th to December 21st. It’s a wonderful all-ages show with a fabulous concert of Christmas music performed by singers, dancers, musicians and a large community choir. For ticket info, please click here.

Christmas on Show

Ring in the Christmas season with The Very Big Christmas Show on Sunday, November 18th from 10 am to 4 pm at the Cornwall Civic Complex! There are thousands of dollars in door prizes and every child gets a gift. Over 50 vendors will be on hand to help with your holiday shopping needs. There will be a wrapping station and ornament station as well – and don’t forget to get your free photo with Santa! For more information, please click here.

One-of-a-kind vendors will be selling their products at the first-ever Pop Up Christmas Market on Sunday, December 2nd from 12 pm to 5 pm at the South Stormont Community Hall in Long Sault. Discover amazing handmade products and unique Christmas gifts that are sure to please! For more info, please click here.

There’s also the Christmas Craft Sale & Vendor Fair on Saturday, December 8th at Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School. Do some Christmas shopping and check out the silent auction and bake sale for all your Christmas goodies.

Outdoor Fun

Santa’s Street Hockey Challenge is back on Saturday, November 17th in Le Village. This three on three tournament features a School Challenge division with cash prizes up for grabs! For more information, please click here.

There’s also lots of holiday family fun to be had at Countryside Adventures in Moose Creek (weather permitting). Enjoy skating in the forest, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, a petting zoo, hot chocolate and much more! Keep an eye on the Countryside Adventures Facebook page for information on opening dates and times!

Christmas Causes

Ring in the holidays with the sixth annual Holiday Wine & Gourmet Tastings at the NAV Centre on Saturday, November 24th. Enjoy amazing wines, signature cocktails and gourmet tastings along with a performance by magician David Jans and live music and dancing with the Kealy-Greer All-Star Band. The event is in support of the United Way. For more info and ticket details, please click here.

You can also take your Christmas spirit to the next level by putting on your elf suit and taking part in the 2018 Santa Shuffle in Lamoureux Park! It takes place Saturday, December 1st from 9 am – 12 pm and family-friendly event features a 5k Run or a 1k Elf Walk. Best of all, you’ll be supporting a great cause at the same time with proceeds supporting the Salvation Army Food Bank. For more info and to register yourself or a team, click here.

Additional Events

Looking for other fun things to do in Cornwall? Make sure to check out our Events page for info on upcoming events in the area!

Stay with Us!

Planning to explore Cornwall? Extend your stay at one of our many great accommodations! For a listing of local accommodations, click here.

Additional Information

Planning a visit to Cornwall? Cornwall Tourism can help. Email us at to request a copy of our Visitor Guide or contact us at (613) 936-0842. You can also stop by the Cornwall Tourism office inside the Cornwall Civic Complex at 100 Water Street East. The office is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

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Article by Kevin Lajoie