There is nothing better than celebrating Christmas in Parry Sound! From the lack of frenzied crowds to the opportunities abounding to purchase unique, hand-made gifts, it couldn't be better!
The first event that makes it official it is "Christmas in Parry Sound", is the annual Light Up the Park. This event showcases the beautiful Christmas lights adorning the many trees in Parry Sound's Market Square. This year, the special feature is the opportunity to see "Pete's Christmas", a Hallmark movie shot in Parry Sound last year.
Another big feature that everyone looks for is the CP Holiday Train. Since 1999, Canadian Pacific Railways have sent brightly lighted and decorated railcars across the country to help raise funds for local food banks. Every train includes a modified boxcar that has been modified into travelling stages for musicians who perform free concerts at various stops along the way. In Parry Sound, while the train is visible from the train trestle just up from 40 Bay Street Bed & Breakfast, the place to be is the CP Station Gallery, so you can hear the music!
As with most towns and cities, the annual Santa Claus Parade always brings out people to view the usual - and unusual Christmas floats! From Santa with his reindeer, you will find floats representing churches and kids activities to the local ATV club riding down the street, the Canada Post truck accompanying some walkers, to the gem pictured here - a tug boat decorated for the season!
The Stockey Centre embraces the season through a variety of different musical shows - whether it's a brass band, choirs or country and western musicians singing old and new favourites, there is always something to bring Christmas alive.
There is nothing like glistening white snow to reflect the beauty of Christmas lights, and you will see lights and decorations everywhere - from lamp posts in downtown Parry Sound to individual houses and businesses decked out in their finery. I love to stroll around the town after dinner to appreciate all the work that has gone into recognizing the season.
Something that has amazed me is the compassion that lives in the hearts of Parry Sound residents - and Christmas is no exception. There are a number of fundraisers that occur - from the traditional Salvation Army kettles to the Festival of the Trees, which raises money for the food bank, to Soup for the Soul, for Parry Sound's hospice program.
Craft sales and bazaars pop up on the weekends throughout the area, offering you a chance to purchase unique handcrafted goods; from knitting to jewelry; woodworking to materials to create your own special gifts.
Churches also get decorated and seem to have more people attending during the Christmas time. Is it the children's pageants, the season, or just the fact that since Parry Sound is a tourist area, and more of us now have time to attend? Whatever the reason, the music seems to be more uplifting - and definitely louder!
And if it is the out-of-door activities that draws you to the Parry Sound during the Christmas holidays, check out all the recommendations we have on 40 Bay Street B&B's Things to See and Do page.
I meet many people who come to the Parry Sound area to re-visit places they have great memories of. Most of those memories come from when they were kids, and families took the time to get away on vacations.
If you think you are just too busy to take time away from your job to have a get-away, here are 5 tips to help you do just that!
1. Plan – everything!
Like everything else in life, if you don’t plan for it, it won’t happen! And don’t let your ego get in the way – delegate tasks to other people on your team. And, let everyone know the dates you will be away…
Besides planning for the trip, start planning your work in advance – especially the first few days when you are back. Don’t schedule meetings etc so that you have time to catch up with everything that went on while you were away – phone calls, e-mails, documents, etc.
2. If you must, stay in touch via the internet
Most accommodations offer access to the internet (it's free at 40 Bay Street B&B) so that you can check e-mails, skype and even participate in meetings via video-conferencing. Just set aside a specific time every day to work, and just as important, set a limit to how much time you will spend doing work.
3. Combine Business and Pleasure
If you have to travel for business, book a few extra days to check out the area. And, if you are attending a conference or other business event, make plans to network with colleagues after hours – this will strengthen relationships both personally and professionally.
4. Downtime is important for top performance on the job!
How many professionals ever have nothing to do? If you wait for that to happen to take time off, you will burn yourself out – because it will never happen! Taking a break from work has proven to be beneficial for both the employee and employer. You come back relaxed and energized, and just putting space between you and some of the issues you are grappling with - and giving your mind a break may provide a new clarity.
5. Take a mini-vacation
It’s amazing how an extra-long weekend can make a difference. Not all get-aways have to be a week – what about taking a Friday (or Monday) off in addition to the weekend?
And you don’t need to travel far…you can even plan day-trips if need be. Just start thinking about all the local places you said you’ve wanted to check out, but never have; create a list…and start back at Tip#1 to make sure it happens.
One of the things you learn as a painter is that if you want to make colours pop, you use a "complementary colour" or, a colour that is opposite a particular colour on the colour wheel.
That made me think about why so many people want to come to the Parry Sound area to see our beautiful fall colours - the oranges, reds and golds are off-set by the beautiful blue water and skies that are all part of the package!
Once again this year, Explorer's Edge is offering people an incentive to come and see our extravaganza of colours...all you have to do is to book a two-night stay at 40 Bay Street Bed & Breakfast for a visit from September 16th until November 15th - you MUST make your booking by September 15th in order to qualify - and if you are among the lucky 500 people to qualify, you will receive a $50 gas card plus $50.00 worth of cash vouchers to use at local attractions, restaurants and stores.
I have lots of suggestions for ways to enjoy those two days...and make the most of your time in Parry Sound. There are numerous ways to enjoy the fall colours - from the water by taking a cruise on the Island Queen, from the sky with Georgian Bay Airways or through the woods on an ATV with Bear Claw Tours. If your preference is for going under your own steam, why not try a canoe or kayak with White Squall, bike portions of the Park-to-Park Trail or hike the Fitness Trail or paths in Killbear Provincial Park.
So, don't wait - these Fuel and Fun Fall packages sell out fast!