Grab yourself a hot cocoa, cuppa tea or coffee and head into downtown Burlington for the festive season. The downtown core of the city has much to offer (for little to no money), I recently spent an entire Saturday afternoon by myself wandering through the shops, the lakeshore, nibbling on goodies and sipping on warm festivities. So, after taking in much of the festivities, I have decided that these are some of my favourite things:
I don’t know if there is a cuter space in all of downtown Burlington. I recently wandered through this area; located at 423 Elizabeth Street and fell in love with the old town motif. The area is quite small but really reminds me of a quaint town I explored in France a number of years ago. There are a few shops, salons and restaurants scattered throughout but I think just taking a walk through this area during the holidays really makes you feel like Christmas. There are some outdoor decorations but the real feeling comes from the buildings themselves. I have read that the square doesn’t see enough foot traffic and I can see that it is a little out of the way from the core of downtown but that shouldn’t stop you from grabbing a hot chocolate and wandering, it really is worth it.
Grabbing a sweet treat for the Holidays
Kelly’s Bake Shoppe
Is there a sweeter place in downtown Burlington? I don’t think so. The fact that this bakery is giving out free cupcakes to everyone who takes a photo with their mural (during the month of December) is a great excuse to indulge. Try one of their Christmas cupcakes, I recently had the gingerbread lemon; adorable and delicious. They have mint chocolate brownies, ginger cookies as well as festive teas and other hot beverages. This place is always popping but the service is top notch, don’t let a line deter you from your god damn cupcake!
A little outside of the downtown core, this tiny donut shop is well worth the trip. When I went they hadn’t got into the full festive swing of things but I have seen on their Instagram that they are now popping out flavours such as Stuffed Eggnog and Smores. I had a Blueberry Basil and my partner had the Dulce de Leche, so delicious and great for sharing since they happen to be giant donuts that even Homer Simpson would approve of.
Downtown Burlington has some incredibly cute (albeit pretty pricey) boutique shopping. However, during the holidays the store fronts participate in a friendly competition for best decorated front window. This is a great time of the year to see what local products are offered as well as throwing some festive glitter into your day.
I personally enjoyed taking a gander through Pure Boutique, a quaint modern shop that specializes in refinishing pieces of furniture. Throw in some lovely trinkets and decently priced home decor, think trendy candles and ironic coffee mugs, you have the makings for a great stop for gift shopping.
Making my way up Brant street, coffee in hand, I stepped into Centro Garden. A really beautiful shop inside and out, they have seasonal plants in their garden centre that make for lovely photo opportunities. Follow the crowd through the store for some pretty and unique items (strippers on tall glasses, quirky name plates, various cooking supplies, succulents, crystals and much more) all of this along with very festive decorations. I will say that while beautiful this store was quite pricey.
The Festive of Trees
I took a moment to enter the Burlington Center for Performing Arts to check out their cute display of Christmas Trees. This is a charitable competition for local vendors, they decorate a tree and the public can participate in a raffle for each tree. I should clarify that these trees are decked out with the vendor’s products, making them well worth the loonie for a ticket. This display is happening until December 19th, check it out they are quite adorable.
Yoga on Brant
I didn’t actually go in for a yoga class but I wanted to mention that they are promoting free classes in exchange for new unwrapped toys. Events like this one are my favourite part of the holidays. Tis the season for giving.
I had a nice time exploring the downtown area and since I am so new to the area I am quite certain that my list does not do the festivities in downtown Burlington justice. If I didn’t mention one of your favourite things to do it is probably because I don’t know it exists, you should definitely tell me about it in the comments below. I really enjoy Christmas as an adult, I feel as if I get to turn to the holidays into whatever I would like and what I love to do is explore new things. This gives me a great reason to take an afternoon for myself and do just that. Keep warm, keep safe and try something new during the festive season.