December 2019 in Muskoka: Fun Holiday Events for the Whole Family

Nothing beats the sights and sounds of Muskoka during the holidays. Throughout the month of December, the entire Muskoka region has plenty of holiday events to help you and your family get into the Christmas spirit. Whether it’s bringing the kids to Santa’s Village, taking in a holiday favourite stage show, or checking out New Year’s Eve fireworks, there’s no shortage of great holiday entertainment in Muskoka this year.

December 7th/8th, 14th/15th, 21st/22nd – SantaFest at Santa’s Village
Where: Santa’s Village in Bracebridge ON
When: Weekends of December 7th/8th, 14th/15th, and 21st/22nd
Cost: $14.95, free admission for children 3 and under

Each year, Santa Claus take a break from his busy pre-Christmas schedule to stop by Santa’s Village in Bracebridge, visiting with kids and families from all around the area. SantaFest is the perfect opportunity to bring out the entire family to meet Santa Claus, and to take part in a full day of Christmas fun. In addition to meeting Santa, kids can enjoy fireside hot chocolate, ride a horse drawn carriage through Whispering Pines Campground, decorate gingerbread cookies, make Christmas crafts, and take part in the unique VR dog sledding experience.

Grab your tickets to SantaFest on the Santa’s Village website.

December 11th – Warren Miller’s Timeless
Where: Algonquin Theatre in Huntsville, ON
When: Wednesday, December 11th
Cost: $18.08 for adults, $14.13 for children

The late Warren Miller was the world’s most famous skiing and snowboarding filmmaker, helping to advance the popularity of these winter sports throughout North America. Warren Miller’s Timeless, presented by Volkswagen, celebrates 70 years of skiing and snowboarding films with some of the sport’s leading athletes and personalities. Warren Miller’s Timeless brings viewers on a wild adventure to some of the world’s most popular skiing and snowboard destinations, including Arlberg, the Matterhorn, Jackson Hole, and Eldora, Colorado.

More information about this very special screening can be found on the Algonquin Theatre website.

December 14th – A Christmas Carol
Where: Algonquin Theatre in Huntsville, ON
When: Saturday, December 14th
Cost: $20.00 for adults, $10.00 for children, $50.00 family pass

Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas tale comes to the Algonquin Theatre in Huntsville, presented by Dufflebag Theatre. This family friendly stage show sees the iconic penny-pinching curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge be visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future on Christmas Eve. As with any good adaptation of A Christmas Carol, all your favourite characters from Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit to Mr. Fezziwig and Jacob Marley will be present.

Tickets to A Christmas Carol can be found on the Algonquin Theatre website.

December 14th/15th – Noel North
Where: The Annex in Bracebridge, ON
When: Saturday, December 14th and Sunday, December 15th
Cost: Donations accepted

The holiday season is the perfect time to shop locally and celebrate the wonderful artists and artisans of the Muskoka region. The first ever Noel North brings some of the region’s finest creators to The Annex in Bracebridge, giving shoppers a great opportunity to pick up hand-made jewellery, fine art, pottery, home goods, artisan food and clothing, and so much more. The show runs on Saturday, December 14th from 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday, December 15th from 10 AM to 4 PM.

More information about this great event can be found at the Noel North Facebook page.

December 24th – Torchlight Parade
Where: Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area in Huntsville, ON
When: Tuesday, December 24th
Cost: Free

On Christmas Eve, Huntsville’s Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area is bringing back an annual holiday favourite – the Torchlight Parade. The Parade features ski patrollers and snow school instructors descending the Flying Dutchman with brightly lit torches to create a gorgeous procession of lights. The annual event is capped off by a special appearance by jolly old Saint Nick. The Parade will begin at 6:00 PM, with hot chocolate, cookies, and live music in the Chalet beforehand.

More information about the Torchlight Parade can be found at the Hidden Valley Highlands website.

December 31st – New Year’s Eve Fireworks
Where: Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area in Huntsville, ON
When: Tuesday, December 31st
Cost: Free

Ring in the new year in style with New Year’s Eve fireworks at the Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area in Huntsville. Bring out the entire family for an evening of live entertainment, cookies, hot chocolate, and fireworks. The fun begins at 5:00 PM and ends at 8:00 PM, with fireworks kicking off at 6:00 PM. For more information about the New Year’s Eve Fireworks, visit the Hidden Valley Highlands website.

Habitat for Humanity Plays an Important Role in Muskoka

Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has worked to bring communities together with the goal of helping families in need to get access to affordable homeownership. Last year, 238 families found a new home with Habitat, including 612 children and 16 newcomers to Canada. Thousands of Canadians have volunteered their time with the nonprofit to make these efforts possible, helping to add millions of dollars to Canada’s affordable housing portfolio. Recently, Muskoka Window & Door Centre was lucky enough to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North, working alongside other volunteers to help out local families in need.

A total of 54 Habitat for Humanity chapters can be found in every Canadian province and territory, helping local families in 400 different communities become homeowners with the generous support of volunteers and donors. Habitat for Humanity’s Ontario Gateway North has helped families all around the Muskoka region achieve stability and independence through affordable homeownership.

Thank you for your contribution

How Habitat for Humanity helps families in need
Habitat for Humanity helps families in need by giving them a path to homeownership that requires hard work and dedication, but ensures long-term success. Qualified families who are accepted to the program become homeowners through an interest-free mortgage that requires no down payment, volunteering a minimum of 500 hours with Habitat for Humanity in return. In order to qualify for a home through Habitat, families must be able to prove that they are in need of better housing, willing to volunteer their time with Habitat, and must be able to make affordable mortgage payments that don’t exceed 30% of their gross annual household income.

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Another way that Habitat for Humanity has been able to help families in need is through Habitat ReStores, which act as home and building supply stores. ReStores accept new and used building materials, reselling it to generate funds for local home building projects. Donating to ReStores is an environmentally conscious decision, helping to avoid products from ending up in a landfill. ReStores accept many items including furniture, home appliances, electronics, floor and tile, lighting, windows and doors, clothing, and so much more. Rather than putting these items to waste, you can donate them to your local Habitat ReStore and contribute to a building project!

Our involvement with Habitat
In 2017, Muskoka Window & Door Centre was lucky enough to get involved in a local Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North project. The new development was a duplex situated in Huntsville, and would house two families in need. The team was excited to be part of such an important community initiative, and went to work to provide families in need with quality windows. Our workers donated their time to install windows in the home, with all window units donated to the project by Andersen Windows & Doors. Andersen has a long history of supporting Habitat projects in the United States, and they were happy to help.

How you can help
The holidays are the perfect time to get involved with local and international charities. There are a number of ways you can give back to Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North, including making a holiday donation, volunteering your time with a local home building project, or donating new and gently used home and building materials to our local ReStore in Bracebridge or Huntsville. The Bracebridge and Huntsville ReStores are the perfect place to visit when clearing out holiday clutter before and after the new year, with your donations going a long way to support those in need. Our local ReStores can be found at:

Bracebridge ReStore
505 Muskoka District Road 118 West, Unit A3
Bracebridge, ON P1L 2G7
(705) 646-0106
Monday-Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

Huntsville ReStore
70 King William St,
Huntsville, ON P1H 2A5
(705) 788-0305
Monday-Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: Closed To find out how you can make a difference to families in need by making a donation or volunteering your time this holiday season, visit Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North’s website today.

How to Eliminate Winter Window Condensation

Interior window condensation is one of the most annoying things to accompany the arrival of the heating season, obstructing the view to the outside and causing homeowners to constantly have to wipe down their windows. During the cold winter months, some homeowners will find that condensation is produced on the inside of windows. This problem can be extremely damaging not only to the affected windows, but to everything around it. If you’re plagued by winter window condensation, there are a few ways you can reduce or eliminate this annoying problem.

What is interior window condensation and why is it a problem?
Condensation happens when water vapor or moisture in the air is turned into liquid water. It happens after interior air that has been able to warm up and hold more moisture cools down and contrasts, reaching a saturation point where the excess moisture turns into liquid water.

Condensation happens on windows so regularly because the warm air circulating around your home makes contact with cold window panes, causing the air to quickly cool and reach its saturation point, releasing excess moisture as liquid on the surface of the window. Condensation regularly happens on window exteriors, especially during more humid summer months – that condensation is considered to be normal, whereas excess interior window condensation is not.

Condensation on window interiors can quickly become a major problem for homeowners, as it means that there may be excessive moisture in your home. This can eventually cause problems that include mold growth on and around the window, as well as visible rot and decay around the windows. The unchecked spread of mold, rot, and decay can cause damage to your home and to the health of those within it. If this is not remedied, it can cause irreparable damage to the windows and surrounding parts of the home, demanding costly repairs.

Monitor internal humidity levels and adjust accordingly
One of the first steps in eliminating window condensation is to monitor the humidity in your home with a hygrometer, a device that allows you to easily gauge internal humidity levels. Being able to determine how much humidity is in your home is key to deciding how to tackle the problem. If your home contains higher than normal humidity levels, purchasing a dehumidifier is recommended, as it will regulate internal humidity levels which has been shown to reduce internal condensation on windows. If you have a modern thermostat in your home, it may come with a built-in humidity meter.

Lower the temperature
While it may seem counterintuitive to lower the temperature during the winter months, doing so will go a long way to reducing buildup of condensation on windows. Warm air in your home contains more moisture, so lower the thermostat by even a degree or two will greatly reduce its ability to carry excess moisture. If you can spare a couple degrees, lower the temperature inside will reduce some of the humidity and condensation.

Improve ventilation and seal leaks
Improving the ventilation is another major way to reduce condensation on windows. To do this, homeowners can run fans while using appliances like ovens or dryers, or even during showers. Unblocking covered or blocked vents is another way to improve the ventilation in your home – this can be done by moving furniture away from vents and cleaning ventilation covers to ensure that air can easily move around your entire house. Vents should be cleaned if you notice large amounts of dust, as dust can impair ventilation and reduce airflow.

Changing filters and monitoring filter health is another recommendation to improve air quality and ventilation. It’s also recommended that you seal any leaky ducts that may exist in your home, as these leaks are responsible for a huge amount of air loss from your home. Fixing these leaks can improve the flow of air and improve air circulation, reducing humidity and condensation. With the right strategy, your windows can be free of condensation this winter. The winter season provides the perfect opportunity for homeowners to install new windows in your Muskoka home or cottage. Not only will upgrading windows reduce interior condensation, they also work to prevent energy loss, keeping you more comfortable and increasing your home’s overall energy efficiency. To find out more about the high performance window products offered by Muskoka Window & Door Centre, contact us today.