Get Ready for Winterfest 2016

One of Barrie’s most loved events and one of Ontario’s Top 100, Winterfest is almost here to offer fun for every family. Join the City of Barrie downtown at Heritage Park and Memorial Square on Saturday February 6th from 10am to 5pm and Sunday February 7th from 10am to 4pm to take part in all of the fun family activities you won’t want to miss. If you don’t want to spend your day outdoors, Barrie still has something for you! Check out the Partner Events and Other Activities in Barrie below. But first, here’s a sneak peek at just a few of the adventures you can enjoy this Winterfest!



The outdoor fun is endless at Winterfest. Get Out & Play in the snow at Heritage Park and Memorial Square and take part in a variety of exciting activities. With horse-drawn wagon rides, an ice maze, a mini tube slide, BodyZorbs, Barrie Ball Hockey’s shoot out, Simcoe County Museum’s Fact or Fiction, dog sled rides ($2/person), dog cart rides (min. $2/person, Sat 10am-3pm), a midway ($), and helicopter rides ($50/person), this is the place to be on February 6th and 7th!

A variety of food vendors will be there to keep you well fed. Keep your eyes peeled for anything special the merchandise vendors might have for you. There will be a bonfire warming zone to heat up those fingers and toes (if you aren’t too distracted by all of the fun adventures), roaming performers to keep you entertained all day long, snow and ice sculptures to marvel over, lumberjack shows, snowboard, snowshoe, and cross country ski demos, and a guided walking tour with Barrie’s own Town Crier (Saturday only). Don’t forget to try a sample of the traditional French-Canadian treat, maple taffy, before you head home!

Please keep in mind that many of these activities are weather dependent.

Family Entertainment


This Winterfest, don’t miss the great family entertainment including music and performances by popular characters and performers you’ll be sure to fall in love with (if you haven’t already). Meet Doo Doo the Clown, who has been performing for over 30 years at events throughout the world. Your kids will recognize Doo Doo the Clown from the Daniel Cooke Show on Treehouse TV and you might even remember him too from the movie Billy Madison.

Catch Pandora’s Sox presenting Puppets & Songs with a series of skits, songs, and poetry. With the wild antics and silly jokes, fun is sure to be had and the performance is suitable for all ages. Music by Jake is sure to bring some excitement to your day by having you singing, dancing, playing instruments, and laughing. If you want to bring a little education into your kids’ day, make sure to stop by and hear Please & Thanks’ playful music and educational lyrics.

Stay tuned for timing and location details; check for updates here.

Partner Events


The City of Barrie has planned everything perfectly. February 6th and 7th is a great weekend to spend in Barrie. With so much going on, you’ll be asking if the fun ever ends! Check out these other great winter events that are occurring during Winterfest 2016. Trust us, you’ll want to make time for them all!

If you find yourself needing to warm up from your outdoor Winterfest adventures, Downtown Barrie has got you covered! Their Winterfest Hot Chocolate Trail is back, inviting you to explore the downtown cafés to scope out your favourite unique creation. Click here to find and follow the trail map.

Barrie Jazz & Blues is back with their 19th annual February Blues Festival. Click here to find the performers, dates, times, and locations (restaurants, bars, libraries, and concert venues).

Just up the road from all of the Winterfest excitement is Collier Street United Church (112 Collier Street) where the Huronia Symphony will be performing their annual Family Concert. This year, Tales & Legends will feature popular children favourites. The symphony’s youth program members will also perform as featured guests. When you’re just a few steps away, how can you turn down such an inviting event? Click here for more details.

You’re in the right seat if you’re at Uptown Theatre for the 12th year of Reel Stories Film Series. From February 5th to 7th, catch thought-provoking and award-winning documentaries from Canada and around the world. The line-up sounds incredible from films like He Named Me Malala, Al Purdy Was Here, and Trumbo. Click here for times and more information.

Other Activities in Barrie


If you aren’t so into the winter activities, Barrie has you covered! We promise that there is something (or many things) for everybody, indoors or outdoors.

Check out the Grey & Simcoe Foresters Regimental Museum Tour. Located just up the road from Memorial Square, you can bring the whole family in to the museum to warm up with a hot chocolate and check out the amazing memorabilia and exhibits. Sgt. Murray, dressed in 1880s period uniform, will host the tour, relating the history of Barrie’s Militiamen and speaking about Barrie’s own military heritage.

The Barrie Public Library (60 Worsley Street) is offering creative fun for your children. Located on the children’s floor, there will be Storytime and drop-in Valentine’s Day crafts for all ages. Click here for times and details.

Similarly, the MacLaren Art Centre (37 Mulcaster Street) is hosting all kinds of fun events throughout the weekend. View the gallery and current exhibitions, put on your imagination and try snow painting with your friends and family, join artist Will Morin for an interactive story experience about the First Nations myths, be guided in the creation of a unique snow globe, and lastly take part in an afternoon dance performance. Click here for times and details.

Skating at Barrie’s outdoor rinks (for free) is always great fun for the whole family. If you prefer indoor rinks, the City of Barrie recreation centres are offering a $2 public skating opportunity. The times for public skating indoors differs per rink – click here for times and details. If you’re skating at Barrie’s City Hall (or even if you’re not), stop by the Farmer Market, located inside City Hall during the winter months (Saturday 8am-12pm). Pick up some great produce, artistry, and homemade treats. If you need to warm up on Sunday, you can also head to City Hall for some delicious soups made by local restaurants (and take part in voting for your favourites!) from 11am-3pm. All proceeds go to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. For more information, click here.

If you’re feeling extra brave this Winterfest, try the frosty dip in Kempenfelt Bay. Hosted at Centennial Beach on Sunday the 7th at 12pm, show up ready to take the plunge into the icy lake water. All spectators are welcome!

What event are you most looking forward to this Winterfest?

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