Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Grab your mittens, put on your toque and celebrate winter! The City of Barrie is proud to present the community’s annual celebration of all things winter – Barrie Winterfest


Named one of the Top 100 Festivals in Ontario by Festivals and Events Ontario, Winterfest takes place Feb. 7 and 8 in venues throughout downtown Barrie.

Kids both big and small will be able to take part in outdoor activities such as the horse-drawn wagon rides, dog sled rides, ice maze, lumberjack shows, mini tube slide, midway, helicopter rides, and family entertainment.  Try something new with cross-country ski, snowshoe, and fat bike demos along Barrie’s beautiful waterfront. 

The spectacular ice and snow sculptures are sure to impress and this year’s theme will celebrate Canada’s East Coast. Outdoor activities take place in Heritage Park and Memorial Square in downtown Barrie.  For the brave, no Winterfest would be complete without the popular polar bear swim taking place Sunday at noon at Centennial Beach.

On Saturday evening, programming extends until 8 p.m. with a line-up of activities not to miss, including amazing fire and light performers, beautifully lit ice and snow sculptures, and a skating party hosted by the Rotary Club of Barrie.

Join Barrie’s Town Crier for a walking tour highlighting stories of fire, ice, sailors, and wrecks from Barrie’s past. A finale of fireworks will close out the evening.  Visible from all waterfront parks, the show will start at 8 p.m.


If indoor activities are more your style, there’s no shortage of places to warm-up.  Start your Winterfest weekend with a hearty pancake breakfast at Central United Church on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or enjoy skating at one of Barrie’s arenas during select times for only $2 per person. 

Visit the Grey and Simcoe Foresters Museum, Barrie Public Library downtown branch, and MacLaren Art Centre within walking distance of Heritage Park, all hosting family activities throughout the weekend.  Plus there are many exciting events taking place across the city in partnership with Winterfest, including the Barrie Film Festival’s Reel Stories, Soup’s On!, the February Blues Festival, and ChiliFest.

For more information, including a full schedule of activities, please visit

Article and photos courtesy City of Barrie.


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