There’s plenty to see and do in Stratford, Ontario outside of festival season. This picturesque hamlet comes alive during the holidays, with pure white snow adorning its historic buildings and riverside walking paths. 

There’s no better way to experience the town’s cheer, quaint charm, and unique artisans than by exploring the Stratford Christmas Trail – a self-guided tour that gives visitors and residents the chance to see how 25 local businesses bring in the yuletide! 

From authentic, Scottish shortbread, to organic, artisan bath bombs, to Fireshine Cinnamon Moonshine, every stop on the Stratford Christmas Trail has something special to offer. Many are also celebrating the season with festive storefronts and displays that would put Santa’s own workshop to shame. 

Each Stratford Christmas Trail pass also offers holders the chance to enjoy six curated gifts from among the two dozen plus stops on the tour – so long as they’re not on the naughty list of course. Here are just some of the amazing stores to see on the Stratford Christmas Trail. 

Macleod’s Scottish Shop

Get a glimpse of the highlands (as well as all the tartan you can handle) at Macleod’s Scottish Shop. This family owned business features rich kilts imported from Scotland and the UK, each bearing unique colours and designs handed down through the ages by each of the Scottish clans, as well as many other accessories. Macleod’s also offers those on the Stratford Christmas Trail a taste of Scotland, with a pack of authentic Scottish Shortbread. 

Junction 56 Distillery

Find the perfect gift for the whiskey lover on your list at Junction 56 Distillery. This renowned craft distillery is family owned, with locally sourced ingredients including grain from the owner’s cousin’s farm. Housed in a century-old lumber yard, the distillery takes its name from the town’s history as a railway stop, as well as its founding year: 1856

If you need something to warm up your belly on those cold winter nights, Junction 56 offers a very special holiday gift in the form of their patented Fire Cinnamon Moonshine – Guaranteed to put some pep in your step. Alternatively, less adventurous visitors can opt for the Mint Smoothie Vodka Liqueur. 

La Osa Jewelry + Vintage 

High fashion meets classic style at this retro boutique specializing in Canadian-made goods. La Osa’s unique collection features hippieriffic fashion inspired by the best of the 50s, 60s and 70s, as well as kitschy jewelry you won’t find at the mall. The centerpiece might be the X FREIGHTHOUSE POTTERY collection, a special line of necklaces and earrings made with porcelain. 

Visitors on the trail of great gifts will find themselves treated to a two-pack of organic, mini botanical bath bombs. The perfect stocking stuffer, or maybe a little present just for you. 

Seeing the Stratford Christmas Lights

Once the ultimate holiday shopping trip is complete, there’s nothing more relaxing than grabbing a cup of hot cocoa and taking in the sights and vibrant light displays of the Lights on Stratford Festival. All along main street and beyond, the festival features a stunning display of Stratford Christmas lights, holiday storefronts and dynamic light sculptures. 

This is just a small selection of the awesome, locally owned stores participating in the Stratford Christmas Trail. To learn more, go to Vis​it​Strat​ford​.ca.

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