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3 Clutter Free Gift Ideas in Barrie

5 Clutter Free Gift Ideas in Barrie


There is a great joy to watching your loved ones tear open their gifts on Christmas morning. Seeing them revel in the gifts you picked is rewarding and fun.

And yet…the copious amount of paper waste that Xmas generates can weigh on your conscious.

But it doesn’t have to be all shiny wrappers and bows!

Consider these reduced materials ideas that you can right here in Barrie to cut the clutter.


3 Clutter Free Gift Ideas in Barrie




Barrie’s recreation centres offer gift cards that can be preloaded and applied to swimming, workouts or any number of leagues and classes. And keep in mind that the locally owned gyms and health centres can still be open in the red zone, with strict restrictions. 



Take advantage of the dozens of great eateries in town and grab some gift cards for a night out.

The Farmhouse, Barnstormer’s, Limoncello and 147 Dunlop are just a few of the locally owned joints that offer passes. And great grub.



Both the Barrie Film Festival and Cineplex have gift cards for purchase if you want to give the gift the big screen, from the comfort of your own home! 

What did you think of our 3 Clutter Free Gift Ideas in Barrie? Let us know if we missed any spots or experiences! 

The Uncovered Holiday Movie Guide

Every year, the TV powers that be (we’re looking at you Hallmark) curate a selection of Christmas movies for families to enjoy over the holidays. Alot of your selections matched up with those.

And yet, there are a plethora of alt-Christmas movies out there. Films set in the Holiday universe… but decidedly contrary to the traditional warm and fuzzies we expect from festive cinema.

So we’ve compiled the best of both worlds! A Traditional and Uncovered Holiday Film Guide; with picks from either side of the aisle.

Spice up your holiday viewing with selections from both categories this year. (Just check the ratings beforehand)

The Uncovered Holiday Movie Guide



In what must be the most watched claymation movie ever, the well known tale details Rudolph’s quest  to overcome intolerance and a perceived deformity to rescue Christmas. And helps an Elf become a dentist.



In Tim Burton’s quasi monster movie, similar themes of tolerance and acceptance are explored, as Edward tries and fails to assimilate into American suburbia. The movie culminates in a Christmas Day showdown involving an angelic ice sculpture where, like Rudolph’s nose, Edward’s perceived impediment wins the day.



Featuring every working actor in the UK, this now classic rom-com weaves together a series of overlapping stories and interrelated characters navigating obstacles on the way to a Happy Christmas. Also, Hugh Grant dancing.



Doug Liman’s 1999 cult movie tells a similar set of intertwining plots and cross story characters. Although instead of a school play, GO culminates in an ecstasy-fueled Christmas rave gone awry.



We can only assume that James Stewart’s iconic role as the self pitying George Bailey is by now legally mandated watching in North America. His journey from suicidal to spirited is bridged by a guardian angel showing him alternate universes devoid of his good deeds, leading to a renewed lease on life. And every time a bell rings…



Yes, we found a way to insert geek culture into this list! Like Bailey, in Iron Man 3 Tony Stark is forced to confront his past and recognize what’s important in life. He is aided by a pseudo guardian angel (in the form of a smirking side kick kid). And by the end of the movie he gets a literal renewed lease on life through an operation to repair his heart.



Whoville’s resident super villain pulls off the ultimate holiday heist, but is charmed to the good side by his victim’s purity of souls.



In this Christmas heist story, Ben Affleck follows a similar Grinch like path from hardened criminal to loved holiday bringer. Although in this case, he’s robbing Casino owners instead of innocent townfolk. But you get the idea.

What did you think of The Uncovered Holiday Movie Guide? Did we miss any gems? Let us know! And if you are a Barrie based business looking to expand your digital footprint, we want to hear from you! We will get you Uncovered! 



‘Tis soon the season to celebrate Christmas, but COVID is changing many of our traditions this year.  When it comes to family time, it may be best to preplan the holidays a bit more this time around.  As adults, there’s a very strong desire to fight change, and the kids in our lives feel our anxieties.

I spoke to Angel Powers of Mainstream Therapy today about how we can create a different yet meaningful Christmas this year.(  Angel is a clinical social worker/therapist who has been in the trenches helping so many work through the changes that COVID has been creating.

The first advice Angel gives is to turn negative thoughts into positive ones.  We can only think one way at a time and should always work at keeping everyone on the right track.  In Angel’s words; “Where focus goes – energy flows…if we’re constantly focusing on what’s missing and how disconnected we are, we’ll amplify those feelings.  Instead, if we focus on reframing the way we look at connectedness, we can turn a negative into a positive.  For instance, if I close my eyes and imagine I’m walking to the fridge to get a lemon, imagine that I’m cutting and smelling the lemon, even biting into it I will always salivate.  The reality is that our brains don’t know if we’re imaging the lemon or actually eating it…perhaps this could be a key component to helping fill the void of disconnectedness.”

She asks everyone to create new family traditions that can replace not being able to gather in our larger family groups this year.  Keeping close to home there are still wonderful activities to do as a family.  Angel has given us a few ideas, but we’d love to hear from you as well.  Share your ideas in the comment section…your thoughts may help someone in a difficult time!

Ideas from Angel

  1.  Take a walk through some of Barrie’s beautiful trails – taking pictures.  We are blessed with a wide variety of trails limiting no one.
  2. Take a drive as a family to check out the Christmas Lights. (Maybe even open your windows and sing carols as you go…could be fun!)
  3. On the East Coast, they call this “Mummering” – visiting neighbours to sing, play music or act silly – only because of COVID you’ll need to stay outside.
  4. Set up a “minute to win it” afternoon or evening.  The short games can be hilariously funny with little to no cost.  If you’re not sure of the games, search online, there are great ideas to be found.
  5. Start a Christmas movie tradition during the holidays.  The memories made watching movies as a family can last a lifetime.
  6. Create stories and relive funny Christmas memories.  We all have one or two of those.  You might be tickled pink at what wee ones come up with!
  7. Put away the electronics for an evening and drag out the board games -Who remembers the last time you played Risk?
  8. At the times you would have been together with other family and friends, arrange to get together via Face time or Zoom.  The seniors in your life may really appreciate that.

Most of all remember, Love has no bounds – focus on that.”  Keeping your thoughts on togetherness and closeness will help everyone to make this a Christmas to remember in a great way!

Spread The Holiday Cheer – OPACC Virtual Holiday Market


t’s the most wonderful time of the year…although for many of us it can be a difficult and even depressing few months.

And given that Covid has thrown a wrench into everything, it’s even more important to help those who might need it.

Fortunately, Barrie has always been a beacon of support for those in need during Christmas and the holidays. Many businesses, stores and local companies routinely provide donations or host fundraisers for the many causes geared toward lifting up those in need.

We want to help! If you are partnering with a charity/cause, run a charity/cause or have an event coming up that in some way contributes, let us know! We can post it to our events calendar and share it through our social channels.

By spreading the word, we can help these events reach a few more eyeballs. And even one or two more people can make a difference.


Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer (OPACC), a registered charity that has been supporting families of children with cancer throughout Ontario since 1995, is running a virtual holiday market to support childhood cancer families. 

Buyers can support the charity by shopping at the virtual holiday market from a variety of vendors throughout Ontario that have pledged to donate part of their sales to OPACC. Buyers can feel good knowing that part of their purchases are going to support charitable programs and services for childhood cancer families in Ontario.

OPACC is also looking to add more vendors, who will receive promotion for their businesses and a charitable tax receipt for their donations. Vendors include home-based businesses, artisans, and independent consultants in addition to traditional storefront businesses. The market runs until mid-December (each vendor has a different end date). Vendors can register at the event webpage.

All proceeds go towards supporting the charity’s free programs and services for childhood cancer families in Ontario, including in-hospital support through its Parent Liaison program, community-based childhood cancer parent support groups throughout Ontario, hospital parking reimbursements, distribution of gift cards for gas and food, and advocacy on issues of importance to childhood cancer families.

Learn more at

Winter Wonderlands: Outdoor Holiday Road Trips

As the clock ticks down on 2020 (mercifully) we can turn our attention to the holiday experiences in and around Barrie.

Unfortunately, that whole pandemic thing is making things trickier for getting out and celebrating.

Luckily, there are a number of drive thru and outdoor experiences to ring in the season, happening within driving distance of Barrie.

Winter Wonderlands: Outdoor Holiday Road Trips

The Bluffs Winter Wonderland Drive-Thru Experience 

The Scarborough bluffs are a great destination regardless of the season. But this holiday the iconic natural attraction will include an entire kilometre of over than 50,000 wintry lights.

The trip includes Reindeer Way, an Enchanted Forest, and Santa’s House. Here the kids can stop for some pics and have a socially distanced meet-and-greet with the red hatted man himself.

Entries are pre-booked and timed so that participants can enjoy what feels like a private, fully contact-free show while also maintaining plenty of physical distancing.

The entire experience is complemented by a customized radio station dedicated to cheery holiday tunes (expect Mariah Carey) to keep everyone in the spirit. There are over 100 decorated Christmas trees, a light tunnel, and a vast array of illuminated Yuletide fixtures.

Tickets are $25 per car for the event. It’s running on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings after dark. It kicks off on Nov. 27.

Blue Mountain Enchanted Village

Blue Mountain turns decidedly red and green this holiday. The entire Village will be decked out in garlands and bows, ideal for a family trip full of festive sights and sounds.

Aside from the festive décor, there will be fire pits to warm by, holiday music and carolers and horse drawn carriage with Santa every Saturday. At night, you can take the one kilometer pedestrian pathways through the Village and around the Mill Pond to discover interactive Christmas light displays.

There’s also music at the Wish Bubble, Dream Tree and Singing Forest, and plenty of spots to stop for hot chocolate and treats. Running Nov. 14 to Jan. 3.

Holiday Nights of Lights

Happening in Vaughan, Holiday Night of Lights is an immersive, drive-thru experience featuring more than 1 million LED lights animated and synchronized to your favourite Holiday tunes.

This was also the location of a cool Halloween themed light show last month. Perfect for the entire family, it’s a car trip through over 2 km of dazzling light display and scenes. The entire experience is synchronized to 30 minutes of your favourite festive tunes.

Tickets are $25 per car for 1-2 persons; $40 per car for 3-5 persons; $65 per car for 6-8 persons.

What did you think of Winter Wonderlands: Outdoor Holiday Road Trips? We want to hear from you! Send us an email of connect on our FB page!