Burlington is an evergreen destination. No matter the season, there is always a reason to play – whether it be taking in dinner and a show at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre, or taking a stroll along our beautiful waterfront. Let us inspire your next adventure in Burlington.
Burlington by the Season
No matter the season, there’s always something to see or do in Burlington. Rain, shine, or snow, there are festivals & events, art & culture, indoor & outdoor activities, and more.
The waterfront and downtown come to life with the annual Sound of Music Festival, Canada’s largest free music festival that kicks off our summer during the week leading up to Father’s Day in June. Enjoy an invigorating mix of acclaimed Canadian and international performers. Canada Day celebrations on July 1 include music and a spectacular waterfront fireworks display. Canada’s Largest Ribfest is truly the “Super Bowl” of Ribfests, held every Labour Day weekend, featuring many “ribbers,” music, crafts, and carnival rides for all ages.
The food truck festival is another time of year when you can find delicious treats in Spencer Smith Park. This festival sees over 30 food trucks in the park providing a truly diverse collection of flavours and choices.
Starting in late May until Thanksgiving, farmers’ markets and on-farm markets across the city are bursting with local produce so be sure to visit and take home some delicious treats. The Centro Farm Market is open Sundays from 9 am to 11 am in Downtown Burlington. Also, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays the Burlington Centre Farmers’ Market can be found with fresh fruit and veggies, baked goods, and more. If you are looking for a great market on the west side of the city, the Aldershot Village Community Market pops up every other Tuesday from 3 pm to 7 pm at White Oaks Plaza.
Nestled between Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment, fall is a truly magical time here in Burlington where fall colours are ablaze, trails are most serene, seasonal events are bustling, and our patios are toasty warm.
Come, Fall in love with Burlington.
The autumn season also means the spectacular splendour of our conservation areas and Bronte Creek Provincial Park as the Niagara Escarpment is on full display. They offer guided walks and educational sessions – a great way to see the fall burst into orange, red and yellow. Burlington’s Mount Nemo Conservation Area is one of the most popular rock climbing destinations in southwestern Ontario and nearby Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area attracts climbers from Greater Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe.
Fall is harvest time in rural Burlington where farms and museums offer great fare and fun family events. Doors Open showcases heritage and architectural buildings that are open to the public. Culture Days promote local arts, culture and heritage later in September. October brings a range of Thanksgiving and Halloween events at the Royal Botanical Gardens and downtown Burlington. The popular Art in Action Studio tour showcases local artists the first weekend in November, the perfect time to pick up holiday gifts for those hard to buy for on your list.
Bring the family out for a day of downhill skiing and snowboarding on the slopes at Glen Eden Ski Centre. Hike, trek or stroll the Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest footpath with over 890 km of nature waiting to be explored. Do something quintessential Canadian by lacing up a pair of skates at one of our indoor or outdoor skating rinks (weather permitting). When the snow falls, Burlington is also a winter wonderland of events. Cold weather doesn’t deter participants in the Robbie Burns Run, Chilly Half Marathon and the oldest race in North America the Around the Bay Road Race.
Looking for an oasis to shake your cabin fever? While at the Art Gallery enjoy a respite from the cold in the conservatory with its lush tropical plants and whimsical sculptures. Your visit to the RBG would not be complete without a stop at the Mediterranean Garden where you can identify species native to the Mediterranean and have a quiet moment watching koi in the pond.
This festive season starts early with the annual Soup Bowl event at the Art Gallery of Burlington, the magical candlelit stroll downtown and Winter Wonders events at Royal Botanical Gardens all kicking off in November. Celebrate times gone by at our local Museums, and Bronte Creek Provincial Park’s Victorian Christmas. Looking for the jolly old elf? The annual Santa Parade is a family favourite. Celebrate the holiday season and sip hot chocolate as you walk through the Festival of Lights in Spencer Smith Park on the downtown waterfront.
Spring is a lovely time of year to visit Burlington with spring bulbs and shrubs blooming in our parks and gardens. There are also always many outdoor activities and events to enjoy.
The first signs of spring appear in the Burlington, Ontario parks and conservation areas, which also host our maple syrup festivities. Bronte Creek Provincial Park and Mountsberg Conservation Area celebrate throughout March with wagon rides, demonstrations, tours, and of course pancakes. You may also be able to glimpse our native plant trillium in bloom in woodlots. Enjoy but please do not pick!
Whether you prefer hiking, bird watching or just enjoying nature, the spring is blossom time at the world-renowned Royal Botanical Gardens, one of Canada’s National Historic Sites. Come to Your Senses and experience the spectacular displays of tulips, lilacs, iris, peonies and roses throughout the season.