Great Rainy Winter Day Activities For The Whole Family  

Do you know those days when it’s not cold enough to snow but not sunny enough to spend it outside? The days where the rain doesn’t stop pouring, but it’s not warm enough for you to splash around in the puddles? Well, in Canada these days happen more often than not, especially in the Collingwood Area. 

If you have recently moved into the neighborhood and looking for something to do, the list below has got you covered. When the days are lovely, you can get excited to indulge in some of the most fantastic outdoor scenery that Ontario has to offer. 

Indoor Treasure Hunt

If you have kids and live in the Collingwood area, an indoor treasure hunt is a perfect activity for a cold and rainy day. While you may want to get some fresh air still, you probably don’t want to spend too much time outside, so why not spend what little time you do outside on a cold rainy day, collecting natural treasures. 

Head outside with your outdoor gear and have your kids collect unique stones, driftwood, or other tiny treasures. You can then head inside, make some hot cocoa, and hide the objects around the house. Your kids will be excited to find their outdoor treasures inside. 

Living Room Camping

While Blue Mountain and Collingwood are prime areas for camping and enjoying the outdoors, you won’t be getting to do much outdoor adventuring when the winter is cold and rainy. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring that camp atmosphere indoors. 

Bust out your old tent, get some flashlights and sleeping bags, and set up a campsite in your living room. Your kids can camp out for a night or two, or the whole family can snuggle up for a movie marathon. Once you’re enclosed in the tent, the rain pattering away at the window, it will feel like you are deep in the woods. 

Make A Rain Gauge

If you have young kids, they may be studying science and learning about the weather and atmosphere. What better way to help progress their learning while having fun than by seeing if the weather channel predictions are accurate. You can create a rain measuring device by merely attaching a ruler to a bottle or can with a flat bottom. You can then measure the rainfall over a day and see if it matches up with weather reports. You can give away prizes to whoever has the closest guess.

While rainy days are not the most enjoyable, you may have more fun than you think if you try the above activities. Once the snow starts falling, you can grab your skis and head to one of Collingwood’s gorgeous resorts. While they may be closed for a short period, they will undoubtedly be back up and running in no time. 

If you are not a skier, no need to worry. The spring and summer present just as many opportunities for enjoying the fresh air in Collingwood. With a bit of time, you will soon come to realize you are living in the best place in Ontario. 

 

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How To Stay Social, Active, & Outdoors This Winter

With the days getting colder and with outdoor activities being more limited, people are wondering how to navigate the months ahead. While you will want to stay active and social, with indoor gatherings limited, you might have some trouble. During a year that has seen multiple hurdles, finding ways to interact from afar while outdoors will undoubtedly be more challenging this winter.

If you and your family or group of friends are trying to rethink the months ahead and find ways to stay safe and connected while simultaneously enjoying the fresh air, you might need some help. Thankfully, Collingwood is a perfect spot to make the most of the outdoors. 

Explore Collingwood Area Hikes

The Collingwood area is a natural wonderland and home to many popular destinations that attract Canadians from coast-to-coast. For those currently living in the Collingwood area or thinking about relocating here from the city, luckily, there are many hiking trails that you can still enjoy during the winter months. 

Many people often balk at the idea of hiking in the winter, claiming it will be too cold or snowy. If you prepare, though, you can make it just as fun, if not more so, than hiking in the summer. Prepare yourself some hot drinks, bundle up, and put on a good pair of waterproof shoes. Once you eliminate potential discomfort, you can head out and enjoy the Georgian Trail, Loree Forest Loop, The Beaver River Trail, or one of the many other scenic hiking spots. 

Lake Skating

While there are many outdoor rinks and community centers that offer places to skate throughout the winter, it does not compare to the wild feeling of skating across a glass lake with nothing but trees and snow surrounding you. Skating on lakes can be an excellent activity for the whole family, but you have to make sure it is cold enough before settling on a destination. 

There are various places to get ice thickness reports, which can let you know if it’s safe to skate. When it’s cold enough, you can skate on Georgina Bay, Lake Simcoe, or you can head to Eugenia Lake just a bit south of Collingwood. 

Campfire Cookouts

There’s something special about having a roaring fire amidst a snowy landscape. The smell of the fire, the cool air on your cheeks, and good company at your side can transport you to another time and place. There are many places to have a bonfire throughout Collingwood, whether it’s at your friend’s country house or a provincial park. 

Once you have a spot, call up some friends and have a socially-distanced cookout. You can wrap up some sweet potatoes in foil, roast sausages, or even throw some hamburgers on a grill. A cookout will be an excellent way to get a hefty dose of fresh air and social time. 

As you look ahead to the winter months, rather than get discouraged by the various pandemic-restrictions, try and look on the bright side. There are still great ways to get together with friends while also enjoying the fresh air. 

By checking out the Collingwood hiking trails, lake-skating, and having a campfire cookout, you can be sure your winter won’t feel too different from past years.  

 

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Preparing For A COVID-19 Collingwood Ski Season

With an unprecedented year coming to a close and some cold and unpredictable months ahead, more people are thinking about how to get their daily recreation and leisure in during the winter. Skiing, the perfect combination of exercise and recreation, has long been a winter pastime for many Canadians throughout the country (primarily on the West Coast, in Quebec and Ontario.) 

Collingwood, one of Ontario’s most coveted ski destinations and the home of some established mountain resorts and private clubs, is witnessing a changing tide that could change not just the face of the mountains, but skiing accessibility in general. As more mountains prepare for a busy winter and try to navigate COVID-19 protocols without going under, skiers try to comprehend how they should approach the snowy season. 

If you are a skier and wondering what you can do to stay safe while also skiing regularly, you will need some advice. Whether you plan on moving to the area or are a long time visitor, these tips will help you feel more confident about the months ahead. 

Contact Hills Individually

A big mistake you might make this ski season is assuming the rules are the same at each ski hill. While past winters were as easy as driving up to a resort, unloading your gear, and hitting the lift, things are different now, much different. As most hills will be swamped trying to invoke a new system for booking and renting, you need to ensure you have the correct details before jumping in the car. 

If you are already living in the Blue Mountains area, currently looking for homes, or coming in from the city, knowing how each hill is approaching the season will help you prepare. You can find out what their scheduling system is like, what their COVID protocols are, and other information that will better inform your excursion. 

Avoid Renting

For tourists and people looking to try skiing for the first time, renting equipment is useful, especially if you realize you never want to do it again. However, if you tend to ski every year, even if only once or twice, but have never bought yourself gear, this is the year you should. Renting requirements could make your ski excursion more complicated, increasing wait times or costing you more money than usual. 

If you invest in some good skis or borrow from a friend, you will be better prepared for the Collingwood ski season. As you might also have to ski somewhere further from home or at a hill you’ve never visited, having your own equipment will ensure you actually ski and aren’t just waiting for your friends and family to finish.

Stay Updated

If there was ever a time to listen to the news, it’s now. With COVID-19 protocols in constant flux and more news regarding the months ahead being released every second, you should be staying up to date. Keeping informed about the issues and the state of various winter activities like skiing in the Collingwood area will ensure you don’t miss any critical information. 

Preparation will be necessary if you want to ski this winter in the Collingwood area. If you contact the various hills and find out their protocols, avoid renting and stay informed, you will plan your trip more effectively. While the upcoming months may be different than others, if there’s anything Canadians handle best, it’s the unpredictability of winter.

 

 

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What’s Going on in Collingwood This December?

During the winter, it is important to get out of the house and join in on community events. Thankfully, the town of Collingwood has no shortage of fun and interesting events for its residents. Be sure to make some room in your calendar for these great events this December.

 

Essential Oils Workshop for the Holidays

 

Essential oils are a great way to improve the smell and quality of the air in your home. Be sure to swing by the Essential Oils Workshop for the Holidays hosted by AromaTouch certified practitioners Eda Redmond and Linda Teeter. This workshop is the perfect way to incorporate aromatherapy into your winter schedule. The workshop takes place on December 3rd at 7 PM at the Collingwood Library. Anyone interested in registering needs to call Dorothy at 705-445-1571.

Technology for Beginners

 

Technology is constantly changing, making it difficult to stay updated and on top of the new trends. This is especially true for some of the older Collingwood residents. Thankfully, there is a multi-week program at the Collingwood Public Library called Technology for Beginners. This program is made to help the residents of Collingwood have a better understanding of their devices. Technology for Beginners covers a number of great topics like using PayPal, precautionary safety measures and more. The event takes place on December 5th, 12th, and 19th at 10:30 AM.

 

A RatPacked Christmas Comedy Hour

 

The winter blues can be all too real in December; that’s why it’s important to go out and laugh once in a while. Anyone in need of a good chuckle should head over to the Simcoe Street Theatre for A RatPacked Christmas Comedy Hour. This is a 2-day comedy event that takes place from December 7th to the 8th. Hosted by comedians James Godfrey and Kevin Finn (along with a “crooner” Thomas Finn), the event is sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face. The event also features Rebeca Rain as a special guest. Anyone interested in going can contact [email protected] for more information.

 

Frozen in Time Ice Festival

 

Nothing is better than ending off the year with a good time. Anyone in Collingwood should head over to the Frozen in Time Ice Festival. The festival is filled with fun activities such as the Ice Sculpture Celebration and the Winter Wonderland Village. The festival runs all day from December 28th to the 30th.

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Collingwood in the New Year

As we enter into January, and the prime of the winter season, in many ways Collingwood is just starting to come alive.  The days may be short, and the darkness comes early, but there are lots of fun and exciting events to get you through the winter and into spring.  Not to mention, a great line-up of exciting things to come in the latter half of the year, and plenty of events to look forward to for kids and adults alike as we embrace a new year with new possibilities as a community.  Get out your calendar to mark down some dates and get ready to join in on the fun!

Celebrating Winter

As a town located at the foothills of the Blue Mountains, and spending much of the time in winter mode, there are still several months of snow and snow activities to look forward to as we kick off 2018.    The Skate Trail through Discovery Harbour will open on the weekends until (hopefully!) mid March, and this year, in addition to skating, will be offering a snowshoe trail and a snow tubing hill.  As has become an annual event, Locations North will host their annual Winter Blast fundraiser as a ski and snowshoe day in February.  Book your tickets now to enjoy a day of outdoor winter fun and support a good cause at the same time. And finally, for all the pie lovers and food connoisseurs in town, don’t miss out on the Apple Pie Trail Feest!  For an evening combining snowshoeing, wine, and pie, strap on your snowshoes and trek across moon-lit trails and stop at fire-lit cabins where you get to enjoy food and drink featuring local chefs and local products.  Definitely an evening not to pass up!

Take in the Arts

We have mentioned before about the amazing arts scene available in Collingwood, and this year will be no different.  With an exceptional line up of plays and on-stage performances happening at Theatre Collingwood, and Meaford Hall, and the Elvis Festival taking over the scene in July, if your heart lights up when you see shows on stage, you’re in for a delight in the year ahead.  The call for artists has gone out for the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts annual Juried Art Show, and awards will be presented on April 22.   Put your talent to the test and submit your artwork for the whole community to enjoy.

collingwood in summer

Let’s Do Summer

While there may be lots to love about Collingwood in the winter, things come alive in the summer too!  The prime location on the Georgian Bay means there are endless options for beach days, spending time with the kids building sand castles and swimming.  And don’t think that the mountains are only best when they are covered in snow.  In fact, the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster is a summer-only activity in the Blue Mountains and is a must-do in the warmer months – if you dare!  While you’re there, go on a hike or enjoy a gondola ride, and then enjoy a beer at one of the many local breweries once you reach the bottom.  Summer has lots to offer and spending it out in the community in the sunshine is the best way to take it all in.

With 2018 just around the corner, start now to plan your year, book your vacation and secure your theater tickets.  Collingwood is sure to live up to your desires for a year of fun.

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Community in Collingwood

The holiday season is the time of year where we catch up with friends, spend time with family, meet the neighbors for the annual neighborhood potluck, and take the kids into the town square for the tree lighting.  In essence, the holidays are about community and about cultivating connections.  They’re about coming together, uniting and celebrating. This holiday season – and in the New Year ahead – make every interaction count. Here are some fantastic ways to embrace your Collingwood community:

Support the Community

While many community events this time of year are holiday and Christmas themed, participating in any events organized by the community supports community mentality and of course, encourages community economic growth.  Head to the Collingwood Winter Farmer’s Market, where you can support local farmers and local small business owners. Happening every Saturday, it’s a great way to get out in the community, plus get some fresh food for the week ahead.  You can also take part in the local art scene. The Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts Annual Winter Gift Show and Sale is on until December 31st at the Arts Centre, and the Broadway Tenors are visiting Casino Rama on December 2nd.

Involve the Kids

The holiday season has an array of special activities and events that happen only once a year, and this is especially exciting when you’re a kid and have been waiting for it all year long. There is something special and heart-warming about being out in the community, surrounded by snow and seeing storefronts all aglow with their Christmas displays. It is the perfect setting to share with your family.  Head out to the streets for several Holiday Gift Market and craft fairs around town, or take in a performance of The Nutcracker.  You can visit Santa and his reindeer, or enjoy the Festival of Lessons and Carols.  All of these are kid-friendly events so they are a great chance to get the whole family out into the community as well as meet other families who live within the Collingwood bounds.

Relish in the Rich Culture

Whether you are learning about the history of the town, or attending culturally supportive events, holding onto culture and history is an important part of building a strong community.  You can think of it as building a foundation: when you understand the culture and seek to preserve it, this acts as the building blocks for a community everyone wants to support and maintain.  Support cultural awareness by attending events at the Simcoe County Museum, such as Christmas Past and Present or at the Meaford Hall Arts and Cultural Centre.  The cultural centre regularly has plays and concerts on, so be sure to check the schedule and get your tickets!

 

Despite the busyness of the upcoming weeks, put in an extra effort to show your support and get involved in the Collingwood community.  You’ll have fun, meet new people, and in the process, contribute to helping support this charming place we all love and call home.

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HoHo Holiday 5K

This weekend, a very fun event is happening right before the Santa Claus Parade in Collingwood. The HoHo Holiday 5K is five-kilometer run through the streets of Collingwood, with some fun activities thrown in.

Starting at the parking lot at 2nd and Pine Streets, meet with over 1000 of your neighbours dressed in Santa suits (which include pants, belt, jacket, hat and even a big, white beard!) to take part in the run. Registration starts at 8am and the race starts at 10am. After you pre-register online, you’ll come down and register downtown and get your free Santa suit to run in! You thought you had to bring your own, didn’t you?

Not only that, you’ll get:

  • a limited edition bracelet
  • 365 sports string bag
  • free photos fro downloading
  • race bib
  • finishers medal

Any age can participate and kids four and under are free. Children do need a guardian with them if they under 13.

Once the race is over and you’ve patted yourself on the back for a job well done, head over to the festival area for more fun! Here you can check out the Christmas tree toss, hay bale road hockey, Christmas light tug of war, vendor alley, beer tent and Santa’s village. The beer garden will open at 11am until 4pm. After that, you’ll want to get your seat and get ready for the Collingwood Christmas Parade.

Not only is the HoHo Holiday 5km fun, it is for a great local cause. All net proceeds from the event go straight to Collingwood’s Healthy Kids Community Challenge for their You’re the Chef program. This program takes action to promote the health of local kids through healthy eating and physical activity. The You’re the Chef is an after-school program for kids in grades 4 to 6 that teaches kids and parents how to prepare healthy snacks. The program runs at various Collingwood public schools.

Even if you aren’t interested in doing the run, be sure to go down and cheer on the racers, visit with the Claus family and engage in all the family fun. While you’re there, be sure to visit some of the amazing businesses downtown for a bite to eat or to pick up a unique Christmas gift.

 

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Collingwood Santa Claus Parade and Other Festivities

Whether you were elated or depressed by the sign of that white stuff falling from the sky this week in Collingwood, the first signs of winter are definitely here. And with winter inevitably comes Santa Claus, right down the streets of Collingwood, for the annual Collingwood Santa Claus Parade.

The festivities get started on November 18th at 5pm for this night parade and you truly don’t want to miss the fun.

There will be a tree lighting downtown on this day, where the city will be magically lit and stay that way for the rest of the year. Fireworks will complete the night. Who doesn’t love fireworks!

This year’s Santa Claus theme is Christmas in Canada, which is very timely during the year of Canada’s 150th birthday.

Not only will Santa be making his way down the streets during the parade, there will be much more to see and do. Many of the downtown merchants will be having open houses and you can start doing your Christmas shopping at many of the unique shops and of course stop for a bite to eat before the parade. There will be carolers serenading the crowds and dancers and clowns will delight all of the little kiddies while they await Santa’s arrival. Storefronts will feature unique Nutcracker dancers along Hurontario Street before the parade, from 3pm until 5pm.

You don’t have to wait until evening to join the fun. Head to the Town Hall between 12:30 and 3:30 that day so kids can visit with Santa’s reindeer in training.

The parade itself will feature floats from all over the community, as it makes its way down the downtown streets of Collingwood. Find a spot anywhere along Hurontario from Hume to First Street, but get there early for the prime spots. The Christmas tree lighting ceremony will happen at the end of the parade. The fireworks will happen at the harbour and your best spots for viewing will be by the Sidelaunch Basin Ampitheatre.

There is still time to register your float and there is a chance to be judged in three categories to win prizes.

The annual Santa Claus Parade is a great tradition that helps get kids and adults into the spirit of Christmas. The beautiful and historic downtown of Collingwood is always a delight to see at this time of year, so even if you can’t make the parade and all its festivities, be sure to take a walk downtown and revel in all its beauty.

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Art Events in Collingwood

Collingwood is a town not only known for its fantastic skiing and recreation, but also a thriving art scene. During the month of November, there are a number of art events to keep anyone even vaguely interested in the arts busy while you wait for the snow to fall.

Music for a Sunday

This event has been happening since September, but if you haven’t heard of it yet, you’ll definitely want to check it out in November. It is a series of 10 concerts over five Sundays and four of them are happening this month. ZimZum, CCI Jazz Band, the Venuti String Quartet and Rowyn Campbell are all playing at the Simcoe Street Theatre this month. Ticket prices vary, but you can get through Blue Mountain Music or at the Simcoe Street Theatre box office.

Points of View: John David Anderson and Mark Hope

Head to The Blue Mountains Public Library to witness the points of view of John David Anderson and Mark Hope, as expressed through a painting exhibition. Their work will be displayed from November 3rd until the 30th.

Annual Square Foot Show

At the Loft Gallery in Thornbury, this show happens on November 4th from 4pm. You’ll start at the Corner Café, across the street, where you’ll be getting a numbered ticked for the show. All paintings sold will be 12×12 in size and sell for $144 plus tax. All work is original and gorgeous!

Candle Making Workshop

You don’t have to just view art, you can make it. Head to Serendipity Candles at 20 Balsam Street, Unit 14, for a 60-minute candle making workshop, where you’ll learn to make four candles. You’ll select your scent and jar and do all of the fun stuff yourself!

Creative Collingwood Symposium

An initiative for arts and positive change in communities, the 4th annual Creative Collingwood Symposium happens on November 8th at the Simcoe Street Theatre. This incredible event brings together what they call “creatives” from across the South Georgian Bay area for learning and networking. There will be keynote speakers, breakout sessions, plus networking with refreshments. The event is completely free and you just need to register to reserve a spot. Anyone who is a creative professional or even who has an aspiring talent is welcome to join.

Sweetwater Film Festival

Film buffs will love the lineup of 11 short films focusing on the outdoors and outdoor recreation. Happening at the Gayety Theatre, this event donates 100% of the proceeds to outdoor programs for local youth. It happens on November 11th at 7pm and tickets are $25.

Do you know of any other great arts events happening in our region? Let us know!

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The Moonlight Market

With all of the hype over the solar eclipse this week, many in Collingwood may have forgotten about an important event – the Moonlight Market. This once-a-year event happens in downtown Collingwood and is just as magical as the solar eclipse. This year Moonlight Market will celebrate its fifth year.

Our very successful Saturday morning farmer’s market holds a special event every September called Moonlight Market. In addition to the morning market from 8:30am until 1pm, the vendors will be open and ready for business on Saturday, September 2nd from 6pm to 10pm in their usual location, which is located in the municipal parking lot at the corner of Second and Pine Streets.

Have dinner at one of Collingwood’s great restaurants or buy dinner at the market, then shop the other vendors for all the best in produce, meat, baked goods, artisanal foods, crafts and artwork. The market employs the 100-mile market mantra and all of the produce is grown within 100 miles of Collingwood.

The market isn’t just about shopping either! There will be a number of entertainers for adults and kids. Jimmy and the Extractions, a local Collingwood band favourite will be there to play rock, alternative, and folk music. The Stilt Guys (who you may have seen at the Collingwood Elvis Festival) will be there as well, in glow-in-the-dark attire, to keep both adults and kids entertained.  

U-Pick Parties will have some balloon twisting and face painting for the kids (and the adults if you dare). There will be free (healthy!) treats from The Healthy Kids Community Challenge, an initiative that helps kids move, drink water and up their fruit and veggie intake with a number of great activities. If that isn’t enough, kids can play at the Imagination Playground, a block-based creative play system that kids love. The Mobile Active Play Trailer will also be there, offering free recreational activities for kids of all ages.

The regular market closes down after Thanksgiving weekend, so there isn’t much more time to enjoy this seasonal delight. Get out next weekend and check out the Moonlight Market, and revel in this time of harvest before the snow puts a damper on it!

 

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