Festivals & Events
Visit Burlington for fun, family activities and great events all year round! From road races and sports tournaments to free community-wide music and cultural festivals, Burlington is alive with activities for visitors and residents alike.
Festivals by Season
A Winter Wonderland
When the snow falls, Burlington is a winter wonderland of events: Museums host holiday activities, Santa drops into the Christmas Parade, and the downtown and waterfront is ablaze with the Festival of Lights. The cold weather doesn’t deter participants in the Santa 5K run, Robbie Burns Run, Chilly Half Marathon and the internationally recognized Around the Bay Road Race. Our winter A Taste of Burlington gets you out of hibernation by offering prix fixe dining at numerous restaurants in late February and into March.
Spring is in the air
The first signs of spring appear in our parks and conservation areas, which host maple syrup festivities. Bronte Creek Provincial Park and Mountsberg Conservation Area celebrate throughout March with wagon rides, demonstrations, tours, and of course pancakes. Cheer on participants in Hamilton’s Around the Bay Road Race, the oldest in North American, first run in 1894. Whether hiking, bird watching or just a love of nature, spring is blossom time at the world-renowned Royal Botanical Gardens, one of Canada’s National Historic Sites. “Stop and smell the flowers,” and experience the spectacular Tulip, Lilac, Iris, Peony and Rose gardens and celebrations. Be sure to add the Canada Netherlands Friendship Day and the Sakura Festival in May and Art Gallery of Burlington’s exhibits to your list of spring activities.
In the summertime …
A summertime visit must include some time at our waterfront! The annual Sound of Music is one of Ontario’s top 100 festivals and Canada’s largest free music festival held up to and including Father’s Day weekend. Canada Day celebrations on July 1 include music and a spectacular waterfront fireworks display. And for kids of all ages, check out the Children’s Festival in August. Canada’s Largest Ribfest is truly the “Super Bowl” of Ribfests, held every Labour Day weekend, featuring many “ribbers,” music, crafts, carnival rides for the kids, and so much more.
Fall Harvest Fests
Fall is harvest time in rural Burlington where farms offer great fare, fun and family events. Our conservation areas and Bronte Creek Provincial Park provide guided walks and educational sessions – a great way to see the fall burst into orange, red and yellow. Doors Open showcases heritage and architectural buildings that are open to the public. Culture Days promotes local arts, culture and heritage the last weekend of September. October brings a range of Thanksgiving and Halloween events. Also in October, enjoy prix-fixe dining during the Taste of Burlington at restaurants across Burlington.
Sound of Music Festival
The annual Sound of Music hosts free music on multiple stages throughout the downtown core and along the waterfront – a can’t miss event!