As we near the end of November it’s getting closer to the holiday season. Regardless which holiday you celebrate, it’s nice to get together with family and friends and attend special events that are not available at other times of the year. These unique Christmas Light Shows are so spectacular they are worth the road trip if you live out of town! So pick a city you have always wanted to visit and consider staying a few extra days. Or if one of these events is in your hometown, grab a hot apple cider, ensure the kids are dressed in warm clothing, and get ready to see the world illuminated in sparkling holiday lights.
On December 2nd the 31st edition of Christmas Lights Across Canada ceremony will take place on Parliament Hill at 7pm. This exquisite lighting festival was created to showcase Canada’s Capital Region and highlight landmarks and sites along Confederation Blvd, and of course to kick off the holiday season. There is an official lighting route where you and your family can witness thousands of sparkling twinkling lights. Some of the best places to see them are the front lawn of Parliament Hill, Confederation Square, and the Alexandra Bridge. You can see these magical lights on display until January 7th 2016. The cool thing about this event, and why it’s called Lights Across Canada, is because each province and territory decorates its capital city to celebrate the holidays with a lighting festival that in turn links all Canadians together in unity.
On Saturday November 28th the 49th annual Cavalcade of Lights celebration presented by Great Gulf will take place. Nathan Phillips Square in the heart of downtown Toronto celebrates this holiday tradition in style with exceptional Canadian musical talent, an exciting fireworks display and skating parties! (Skate rentals are available or bring your own) All the fun starts at 6pm and later in the evening thousands of twinkling lights will glow and the sky will become illuminated for the holiday season.
The opening ceremonies for this unbelievable family friendly light festival take place on November 21st in the Niagara Parks Queen Victoria Park. They open their season with two entertainment shows, at 6pm and 7pm, on a stage in the middle of the park. The original show called Chromatique blends art, music, and technology with special effects. If you miss opening night don’t worry, you will have plenty of other chances to observe Niagara Falls turn into a winter wonderland. This festival of lights runs until January 31st, 2016, and includes over three million sparking lights along the 5 km route past the falls.
This event takes place over six days – November 26, 27, 28 and December 3, 4, 5, from 5:30pm to 9pm. This family friendly event is in its 16th year of thrilling its guests with an impressive glow of over 5,000 candles. The event also features activities and performers at this historic site located in Midland on Highway 12 East, along the shores of Georgian Bay. There will be Native drumming and singing as this was the ancestral homeland of the Huron-Wendat nation, part of the Iroquoian family.
This festival is described as a magical winter wonderland with over one million lights that decorate the beautiful winter garden. You can walk through interactive themed areas; see a dancing light show on a lake, a gnome performance plus more. You will need tickets to this event and can purchase them online. The festival runs from December 1st to 31st and VanDusen Garden is located on Oak Street.
This special event runs from November 19th – 21st and November 26th – 28th from noon to 8pm in Huron Ridge in Zurich, Ontario. At this greenhouse location you will be surrounded by fresh natural plants and trees. The red color of the poinsettia’s are stunning during the day at night the candles are lit and everything glows like magic at this special event. The candles are lit around 5pm.
The opening night ceremony is on November 21st at Lakeside Pavilion in Kingsville Ontario, but the fun continues until January 8th 2016. It’s called the Flick Of The Switch and it begins their annual winter celebration with everything lighting up magically. There is also outdoor entertainment and fireworks that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Dress warmly!
On November 28th at 5pm families can drive by the largest Christmas Lights showcase in Calgary. There are over 115,000 LED light bulbs and almost 3 km of power chords along 14th Street NW. And guess what? This festival is 99% green and put together by committed volunteers that attract over 55,000 visitors each day. This event runs until January 8th, 2016.
Feel free to add your favourite Canadian lighting festival in the comments! Happy Holidays!