Here are some fun activities for you to check out in downtown London over the holidays | CBC News

London will be in full festive mode for the winter holidays starting this weekend.

The city has plenty of activities and events planned throughout December for Londoners to enjoy, part of the city’s ‘Downtown for the Holidays’ celebration.

The holiday season kicked off with the annual tradition of the ‘Lighting of the Lights’ at Victoria Park Friday evening. There was live entertainment, followed by a countdown to the lighting of more than 75,000 lights in the park. 

Some of the other activities that you can do are:

Holly Jolly Holiday Market

This year, the Holly Jolly Market at Covent Garden Market will be both indoor and outdoors with music and activities for families, and vendors selling crafty clothing and handmade items.

New additions include Santa’s House on Rotary Square, with a giant holiday tree at the centre of it all. There will be fire pits scattered around for people to warm up, free hot chocolate, and a licensed holiday cocktail garden. 

“This is sort of the typical type of Christmas market that happens in cities all over the world,” said Ryan Craven, the city’s manager of core area programs.

“This is about supporting small scale, local artisans and small businesses and if people are interested in doing that then this is the market for them.” 

Londoners can get on a horse and carriage and explore parts of the city’s downtown through rides from the Covent Garden Market to Victoria Park. 

The market runs from Thursday to Sunday for three weeks until Dec. 18. After this, a skating rink will be installed in front of the market starting in January when temperatures get colder.

New Year’s Eve in the Park makes a comeback after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. (Downtown for the Holidays)

Magical Carousel

You can take a ride on a free 40-foot carousel that will bring hit all the right nostalgic notes. The carousel will be open Dec. 9 and Dec. 10.

“I want there to be busy sidewalks, like the song Silver Bells and Christmas in the City,” Craven said. “We’re trying to recreate Christmas songs, there’s a lot of really specific lyrics that we happen to be reproducing.”

The free carousel will be on Dundas Place right outside Fanshawe College and runs between the hours of 12-9 p.m.

LED Swings and Light up Lounge

If you’re looking to take the perfect selfie among the bright lights, the 12ft by 12ft  LED Swings might be the spot for you. The city describes them as having “a nostalgic feel and modern appeal”.

For more lights, there will be interactive light-up installations curated by Prevail Media Group at the night market. It will have colourful lit-up couches, cocktail tables, and benches for an in-person experience. 

New Year’s Eve in the park returns

New Year’s Eve in the park will be making a comeback after being on pause for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To bring a close to the holiday season, a celebration to welcome the New Year is set to take place at Victoria Park, with a countdown at midnight. There will also be free outdoor skating, live music and entertainment. 

A full list of a variety of other events with their date and timings can be found online. 

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