There’s nothing more magical during the holidays than quaint small towns decked out in twinkling lights and fresh snow.
Head to one or all of Grey County’s downtowns for seasonal shopping, tasty treats or to just soak up the sights and sounds of the season. Check this list twice to get your holidays started.
Thornbury is your coffee, sip and stroll destination. Hot beverage in hand, stroll through the historic main street, while you check off great gifts on your holiday shopping list.
This bookstore is an absolute gem. A busy location, you’ll find yourself pleasantly perusing the shelves and getting lost in the pages of your next great read. Sharing an entrance with Good Grief Coffee, this location is the perfect spot to spend a cozy morning escaping winter, hot coffee in hand.
Cheese please! Have a foodie on your list? The Cheese Gallery is the ultimate place to find both local and international cheeses, artisanal foods, preserves and fine oils. Don’t forget to treat yourself at their tasting bar while you’re there. You’ll love the taste of winter when you sample their daily grilled cheese feature or French onion soup.
Holiday hostess with the mostest? Score a gift the host will be thrilled to receive from Birch Cabin. Purchase décor, eco-friendly items for the home, or unique Christmas pieces and you’ll certainly get an invitation to next year’s party.
If you are in the neighbourhood December 14th, enjoy Thornbury’s 44th annual Olde Fashioned Christmas with activities and excitement for the whole family.
Neustadt is the epitome of a quaint small town. Once named one of the prettiest towns in Ontario, explore the historic downtown stone buildings and you’ll feel the same way.
This country boutique is inspired by modern farmhouse living and offers an elegant selection of locally-sourced craftsmanship and natural products. Score the perfect hostess gifts such as vintage jar soy wax candles, hand knit pillows, and beautiful ornaments. If your shopping is complete, we still suggest you visit this store and treat yourself to something nice.
Do you need to bring something to your office Christmas party? This bakery has you covered. Pies, trays of cookies and squares, mincemeat pies and tarts you can purchase or pre-order to take a little stress out of the season. Have a favourite family recipe you want made but don’t have the time? Stop in and chat. They are happy to make it.
Come see beautiful pieces created by local artisans on display. While you shop, level up your gift giving thoughtfulness by getting a personalized ornament made onsite that you can double as a gift tag.
Make sure you stop at Granny’s General Store before you leave and pick up your porch planter for your front door.
Though not technically a town, Owen Sound still has that small-town feel. Take a walk along the main strip and enjoy these great downtown gems.
This is Canada’s oldest independent toy store. This store rivals Santa’s workshop and is a great spot to check off items for all the little ones in your life who’ve been (mostly) good this year.
Are you shopping for someone who prefers natural ingredients or is trying to be more environmentally conscious? Nakd Basics has a selection of skin care products made right in store that you can personalize with your choice of scents. Fill up your own jars to make that gift extra special and environmentally friendly.
Located on 9th Street East, Sugar Dust is the place to order your cookies for Santa. Pre-order your holiday treat tray in store or online but honestly, we suggest going into the store so you can view, smell and savour all their cakes, caramel oatmeal cookies, pies, fresh baked scones…and treat yourself to one, two..or three treats this season. Sugar Dust is also making Christmas treats available for purchase on Sunday December 15th and 22nd in-store.
Make sure you find time to explore Owen Sound’s downtown. Check out Graffiti Alley for a photo op and the seasonal Festival of Northern Lights along the Sydenham River once the sun goes down.
Beautiful Clarksburg, also known as “Artsburg” is a creative cultural destination in the region. Just a few kilometers up the road from Thornbury, you’ll be inspired to stop downtown and get creative with your holiday shopping.
Do you like to spoil your furry friend? Then this boutique pet store is a must visit. Huron + Hound sources the highest quality and Canadian made goods with you and your pet in mind.
This is a community hub for local artisan makers to showcase their art and fine craft. Inside the bold blue door, you’ll find handmade creations from approximately 20 artisans including paintings, baskets, pottery, and jewelry. If you’re lucky, there’s a chance you will meet a Blue Mountain Maker in the studio creating some magic while you’re there.
Step inside the honey house, the retail outlet for Beaver Valley Gold Honey. All products in store are produced by their local bees including honey, beeswax candles, honey soaps, healing skin balms and other products direct from the hive.
There are more galleries you can visit in Clarksburg by appointment only in the winter months. Make sure you check ahead to avoid disappointment.
Good things come in small packages and downtown Flesherton is no exception. Let Flesherton businesses fill your holiday table with delectable treats so that you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the tastes of the season.
This store has everything gourmet you need for your holiday charcuterie boards including Canadian and International cheeses, cured meats, homemade dips, smoked fish and olives, as well as a well-stocked pantry for that adventurous chef on your list.
You will not find made in China in this gallery boutique. Everything is one of a kind and fun original art including paintings, wood craft, paper mache and steel sculptures. Perfect for that art lover you know.
Grab a coffee and start shopping in this local coffee shop. You will find lots of goodies to stuff your stockings including a selection of nine flavoured coffees, teas and 17 flavoured hot chocolates. Having troubles making a decision? Not a problem, the Highland Grounds team is happy to assemble a gorgeous gourmet gift basket for you.
Flesherton is a designated “walking village” and is a great place to take a stroll, snowshoe or post meal excursion to make room for even more deliciousness this season.
Winter is perfect for ice….cream and Markdale is home to Canadian made Chapman’s ice cream. To avoid brain freeze, warm up downtown in any of these cute stores where you can treat yourself and ensure you get what you actually want this holiday.
If you need a gift for a teacher or colleague, Peek thru my Window has a selection of housewares, unique gifts and Christmas décor to choose from. You will probably find something for you while you’re there too.
A connecting store to Peek thru my Window, you will find a collection of women’s lifestyle apparel, active wear and accessories such as hats, bags and jewelry. They also have a great selection of stylish boots for when Grey County turns into a winter wonderland.
This store has everything you could need for all the children from ages 0-99 on your list. You will find boutique clothing, toys, games, puzzles, books and lots more. You will have lots of fun as you peruse through everything looking for that perfect gift.
After shopping Markdale’s downtown warm up at Fire & Ice, located in Markdale’s original firehall, with your choice of freshly brewed coffees and a bite to eat.
Hanover is like extended family getting together during the holidays. A little bit of history, a lot of local celebrations, highly entertaining and an all-around good time.
Do you know someone who loves games? The Giddy Goblin has a huge selection of board games to choose from. Or try something new this year and buy a game for the whole family to play when everyone gets together.
We all know someone who loves to knit. Llama Laine Yarn Shop is where you will find everything they’ll need such as wool, patterns, hooks, needles and other accessories. We suggest buying a pattern you like; who knows they might knit you something.
Before you leave, make sure you stop at Shultz’s Bakery to pick up a selection of Christmas goodies, and of course- their famous donuts.
Blue Mountain Village
Nothing gets you more excited for the holiday season than walking through Blue Mountain’s Village. Heck they even have a store that is completely dedicated to Christmas.
As soon as you walk through the doors you will feel like you’ve been hit with the Christmas spirit. This year-round Christmas store has a huge selection of holiday home décor, specialty ornaments and unique seasonal gifts.
Are you looking to celebrate all things Canada this holiday season? Reiner’s prides itself in being a Canadian company and all of the products found in its store are 100% Canadian made. If you’re looking for that unique gift, purchase their handcrafted leather ottomans.