Don’t hibernate – get out and explore Hamilton Halton Brant this January and February. From Family Day fun to once in a lifetime sporting events, our calendar offers plenty of ways to beat the winter blues. Here are 9 great trip ideas to get you started:
Head to Hamilton for the Good Ol’ Game
Two great events for hockey fans are coming to Hamilton’s First Ontario Centre. The 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, hosted by the Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Club on January 16, showcases top NHL Draft eligible talent. You’ll see players from across the OHL, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League competing before hundreds of NHL scouts in attendance. February 16 is a fun-filled Hockey Night in Hamilton, with Hockey’s Greatest Family, part of the NHL Alumni Benefit Tour. This charity event features former NHL legends from the Original 6 classic teams, Stanley Cup winners, Team Canada heroes and local hometown heroes. This memorable night showcases world-class hockey skills, on ice pranks and old-fashioned hockey nostalgia, giving fans a chance to see the lighter side of their favourite hockey greats while raising money for a great cause.
Visit a Wildly Interactive Exhibit
Enter the fascinating world of Wildlife Rescue, an eye-opening, inspiring and wildly interactive exhibit for all ages at Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens. Starting January 18 and running through April, the exhibit gives visitors the chance to step into recovery efforts and “meet” the people who dedicate their lives to saving and releasing endangered animals. Take a simulated flight to guide young whooping cranes along their first migratory route, learn the methods used to milk Lake Sturgeon and reintroduce them to the Great Lakes, then journey to Africa and Indonesia to witness efforts to successfully raise and release young elephants and orangutans to the wild. Family activities like story time, outdoor walks and interactive animal shows are on offer and weekends feature live animal guests from local wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centres.
Make Science Fun
A magician never reveals their secrets…but science can! Head to the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology to learn all about the magic of static electricity and the science behind different magic tricks and illusions. Part of the “STEAM Saturdays” kids workshop series (for children between the ages of 7 and 12), this staff-led and supervised event takes place on Saturday, January 18. Participants will leave with a kit of magician supplies and a secret booklet of illusions to amaze audiences with magic tricks using the mysterious power of static!
Stop and Smell the Flowers
Winterblooms brings together beautiful floral displays and great art to brighten spirits in the midst of winter. This much anticipated annual collaboration between the Dundas Museum & Archives and the Carnegie Gallery is a four-day event taking place January 23-25. Enjoy exhibits of original artworks and precious artefacts, accompanied by fresh floral arrangements designed by local florists and students from the floral design program at Mohawk College.
Cheer On World Class Cyclists
Spectators will be treated to truly world-class cycling when the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup comes to The Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton from January 24-26. The race schedule includes sprint, endurance and combined events that promise to combine outstanding spectacle, tactical manoeuvring and sheer speed. If you’ve never visited the velodrome or experienced a live track racing event, expect excitement, drama and non-stop action.
Be a Film Buff
Film lovers won’t want to miss the best of local, Canadian, and international films planned for the seventh annual Milton Film Festival, Jan 24-26 at The FirstOntario Arts Centre. The three days of jam-packed entertainment includes eight regular screenings, short films by local and regional filmmakers, audience Q&A sessions with special guests, and discussion panels with industry professionals.
Celebrate Winter in the City
Winterfest comes to Hamilton from January 30 to February 17 with more than 100 events across the city. Skate at the waterfront and local arenas, and enjoy concerts, live comedy, craft shows and classes. This year’s big draw is the Winterfest Hub at the Hamilton Waterfront Trust Centre/Pier 8, featuring a massive light projection animating the works of the 2020 Dorset Fine Arts Inuit Print Collection.
Seek out Fun on Family Day (February 17)
Families will get a laugh out of Family Day Comedy Classics, a chance to share the fun of classic family entertainment of the 1930s at Whitehern Historic House & Garden National Historic Site. Tour one of the finest examples of an intact historic home in Canada, enjoy an eye-spy game looking for film and cartoon characters, then head over to the renovated Stable to enjoy short comedy classic films such as The Little Rascals, The Three Stooges, and Flip the Frog. For more history, head to Battlefield House Museum & Park National Historic Site, where families can tour the 200-year-old Gage home and experience the work and play of an early Upper Canadian family.
Take in Some Home Grown Talent
Some of Canada’s most beloved musical artists are performing all over Hamilton Halton Brant this January and February. Gen X’ers, 80’s survivors and Canadian country crossover fans can all get their fix with this line-up: 54 40 (January 11) and Kim Mitchell (February 27) at Milton’s First Ontario Arts Centre, and Blue Rodeo at FirstOntario Concert Hall in Hamilton on February 21 and 22 .