10 things to do in Mississauga with family and friends this holiday season

Published December 21, 2022 at 11:00 am

There’s no shortage of activities in Mississauga when it comes to figuring out what to do with friends and family this holiday season.

From attending immersive exhibits to trying new restaurants, there truly is a little something unique for everyone.

This time of year, in particular, there are even more things to do and see in Mississauga to get you into the holiday spirit.

So, if you’re visiting with friends or family from out of town or you’re simply looking for something to do on a weekend, you’ll be sure to enjoy yourself with all that the city has to offer.

Without further ado, here are 10 things to do in Mississauga with family and friends this holiday season. 


Check out Illumi

Whether you’re taking out one friend, a group or even flying solo, Illumi – A Dazzling World of Lights is the place to be this holiday season to take some festive Insta-worthy photos that you can show off on social media and cherish once the season is over.

The immersive light show, located at 7174 Derrycrest Dr., features over 20 million lights (you read that right, 20 million!) that are located throughout 600,000 square feet of space.

The show is divided into 14 universes, all of which have their own theme, soundtrack and attractions.

So, dress up in your winter best and make sure your phone is fully charged because the photo ops at this light show are endless.


Explore the World of Barbie  

Calling all Barbie lovers, festie besties, or holiday GNO (girl’s night out) party planners!

For some, this exhibit could provide major nostalgia and for others, it’s sure to be a dream come true. 

This massive interactive exhibit beside Square One Shopping Centre features the iconic Barbie doll many of us know and love, making it a great outing ahead of the holidays.

Photo: World of Barbie Tour Facebook page

Still in need of a photo for your holiday card? No problem. This installation, which is 7,600 square metres in size, is a great place to do so or even snap some photos to show off on the ‘gram.

At the exhibit, guests will have the opportunity to step foot in Barbie’s iconic Dreamhouse, take photos inside her camper van and enjoy different rooms that have all been inspired by some of her careers. 

And, for those over the age of 19, this exhibit features fancy cocktail evenings called “Sips After Sunset” where they can enjoy a beverage and photo ops after hours.

Those interested in checking out the exhibit in Mississauga have one month left to do so.


Go Shopping at Square One

Being one of Ontario’s largest shopping malls that features over 330 shops and restaurants, Square One Shopping Centre is truly a place that has a little something for everyone.

Whether you’re checking items off your holiday list, filling your boxing day basket, browsing through the shops and new pop-ups at the Food District or playing games at the Rec Room, this place is truly a one-stop shop to amaze your friends and families. 

And, this holiday season, the mall is decked out in festive décor, a giant Christmas tree and even Jolly Old Saint Nick himself, who is on-site to take photos and let you know if you’re on his naughty or nice list this year.

The shopping centre also currently has a holiday market, Vodkow pop-up and a Gay

Lea exhibit with interactive and immersive installations – perfect for showing off one of Mississauga’s most popular attractions.


Try One of Mississauga’s New Restaurants

When it comes to food, Mississauga has no shortage of restaurants and great take-out spots.

Photo: Industrial Pizza + Bar Facebook page

No matter what kind of food you’re in the mood for, you’ll be sure to find it somewhere in the city.

Over the past few months, restaurant owners and entrepreneurs have been busy opening up new spots in Mississauga offering cuisines from around the world.

This year was a busy one for restaurant openings, with the city seeing various new restaurant openings last month alone.

With food being something that brings the community together, there’s no better place to share plates of authentic and unique cuisine and create new memories with family and friends than in Mississauga.


Go Skating Outdoors

There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than a friendly game of hockey or family skate ​​at any one of the city’s 17 outdoor skating rinks.

Enjoy the ambiance of Celebration Square, on Mississauga’s largest outdoor ice rink, which is now open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Whether you’re a pro or just learning, gather friends and experience the twinkly lights and glowing installations while enjoying a classic winter activity.

Don’t have a pair of skates? Don’t fret. Skate rentals are available along with heated outdoor patios, a variation of food trucks and even lively events. 

Not only is it a great place to skate, but it’s also a place you’ll want to stay all day at to create winter memories with family and friends that you can cherish for years to come.


Try Carlo’s Bakery in Port Credit

Bring everyone you know to try Carlo’s Bakery in Mississauga, which is a famous bakery based in New Jersey which opened its first Canadian shop in Port Credit earlier this year.

Photo: Carlo’s Bakery’s Facebook page

Carlo’s Bakery serves its renowned selection of cakes in a variety of flavours such as rainbow, red velvet, carrot, cookies ‘n’ cream, vanilla confetti, chocolate fudge and more from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.

If you’re in charge of bringing dessert to a holiday party or dinner this year, Carlo’s Bakery is a place that is sure to impress all the guests in attendance. Their desserts aren’t only beautifully-decorated but are also easy on the taste buds which means they’re sure to be a hit. Plus, the bakery provides catering for a more convenient way of ordering dessert for a family dinner.

The bakery is located at 167 Lakeshore Rd. W. and is ready to satisfy those sweet cravings this holiday season. 


Experience a NERF Challenge

GYGO! (Get Your Game On!) is one of Mississauga’s newest attractions and is an innovative family entertainment venue across from Square One Shopping Centre.

Photo: Nerf Challenge’s Facebook page

The venue features several activities such as go-karts, colossal foosball and the popular touring attraction called the NERF Challenge–The Ultimate NERF Playground.

The interactive experience makes for a unique and family-friendly activity this holiday season where attendees can challenge their loved ones to an epic NERF battle.

This experience is a great way to enjoy some friendly competition and laughs and is sure to make you want to return in the new year to make new memories.


Catch a Raptors 905 or Steelheads Game 

Looking for something exciting and lively to do this holiday season? Grab your friends and family and head out to catch a live Raptors 905 or Steelheads Game. 

Sports fans can catch both teams in action by attending live games at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre in Mississauga. The entertainment facility is located at 5500 Rose Cherry Pl. and is owned and operated by the City of Mississauga. It first opened in October 1998 and was formerly known as the Hershey Centre.

The games, which offer affordable tickets, enable guests to take part in the excitement while enjoying snacks and beverages at Mississauga’s premier sports and entertainment centre.

And, for those who are still looking for something to do on New Year’s Eve, catching a Steelheads game on Dec. 31 might just be the activity you’ve been looking for.


Go Glo-Karting at K1 Speed

K1 Speed, a chain of indoor go-karting facilities, opened a location at 1330 Eglinton Ave. in Mississauga earlier this year. The 45,000 sq. ft. facility features 100 per cent electric karts that travel at speeds of up to 72 km/h.

So, if you’re looking for a place to get an adrenaline rush and try something new, Glo-Karting at K1 Speed is the activity for you.

The racetrack has state-of-the-art LED lighting to make the experience unique from any other go-karting facility by providing a futuristic take on the traditional go-karting experience. 

Think glow-in-the-dark bowling, but with go-karts. 

Glo-Karting is available every Thursday from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Mississauga track.


Ring in the New Year at Celebration Square

No plans for New Year’s Eve? No problem. Celebration Square has got you covered.

Bundle up, grab your friends and family and head to Celebration Square for the city’s annual New Year’s Eve bash.

The event is back this year for an in-person celebration which promises to be bigger and better than ever and packed with live entertainment, a fireworks display and more. 

For more information on things to do in Mississauga, click here.

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