How to keep kids busy in Hamilton during the holidays
A list of family-friendly activities in and around the city during Christmas holidays
For parents looking for a getaway from the Boxing Day bonanza with their kids and keep them occupied for the rest of the holiday break, CBC Hamilton has compiled a list of family-friendly holiday activities in and around the city.
The Royal Botanical Garden is a treasure trove to explore during the holidays. Its annual holiday season event Holiday Traditions features all-botanical model train installation. Also, starting on Dec. 27, the five-day Winterfest offers games, crafts, camp fire and activities at the Nature Interpretive Centre. The admission to Winterfest will also get you into Holiday Traditions on the same day.
Whitehern Historic House and Garden has a special Christmas exhibition as the McQuestens look back on the Christmas of their childhood. Join the family’s holiday celebration marked by a Christmas tree with whimsical decorations from the 1880s and a table set with the china from the 1850s.
For a taste of Christmas in the early 19th century, visit Battlefield House Museum and Park and look for evergreen boughs on the mantles and enticing aromas in the air.
For the sportsy type, the annual Boxing Day 10-mile run is a family-friendly activity for both the runners and the spectators in your family. Pre-registration is closed, but race day registration is available at $60. The race starts at noon at the east corner of James Street and Hunter Street and finishes at Main Street and King Street.
YMCA Downtown Hamilton, one of the sponsors of the run, is open on Boxing Day. The open gym runs from 8 a.m. to 5 a.m. For the rest of the holiday break, YMCA offers soccer, cyclefit, aerobic training and other classes. The pool is closed for annual maintenance until Jan. 2.
The city's recreation centres are closed on Boxing Day, but will be reopened on Friday. Check the city's website for schedules for gyms, swimming pools and skating rinks.
Further away, Glen Eden has re-opened as of 8:30 a.m. Thursday; all other Conservation Halton Parks remain closed due to the ice storm damage.
For the so-called Beliebers, Justin Bieber’s latest concert documentary Believe opened on Christmas Day. It offers a behind-the-scene look at the Canadian teen’s rise to mega-stardom and his strings of antics, such as scuffles with paparazzi. The documentary was filmed during his most recent tour. If your children have been to one of his many concerts, they don’t want to miss this.
Also noteworthy is Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, paying tributes to the recently deceased anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.
Whether you will be putting on comfortable shoes to survive the mall walk or lacing up for a 10-mile run, tell CBC Hamilton how you plan to spend Boxing Day and the rest of the holiday break with your kids. Tweet us your photos and thoughts at @CBCHamilton.