The Best Family-Friendly Christmas Events in Niagara
Christmas is a pretty magical time for everybody, but when you’re a child it’s extra-special. Don’t you remember back when you were a kid? All that hot cocoa, those toasty drives through the neighbourhood to check out all the local lights, the excited anticipation for Santa that started weeks before December 25th? None of this is to say that Christmas isn’t a big deal for adults, too — for most of us, it’s one of the few times during the year when we can really kick back and spend time with the people we love without worrying about work. But in this article, we’re going to be focusing specifically on family-friendly Christmas events to be found in Niagara.
1: Glow Niagara
Glow Gardens is back again, and this year’s extravaganza promises to be even more amazing than all those that came before it. Boasting a phenomenal display with more than a million sparkling Christmas lights, a 30+ foot Christmas tree, and dozens of lighted ornaments, there’s more than enough to keep every child’s imagination captivated. But the fun doesn’t end there!
Adults will be able to find plenty to keep them entertained while the little ones are enjoying themselves as all their Christmas dreams come true. Tons of Christmas lights, all your favorites Christmas songs, and Santa’s presents are all joining forces are all joining forces to make sure that Glow Niagara truly is fun for the whole family — and the whole family can join in the hunt for Santa’s lost presents. If you come across one, snap a quick picture and share it to social media with the hashtag #GlowNiagara for the chance to win an extra-special present!
This year, the Seasky International Light Show is finally coming to Niagara, so residents can look forward to the kind of visual spectacle that memories are made of. With more than 30 magical light displays spread out across an illuminated trail, the trip you’ll wind up taking will be every bit as magical as it is unforgettable.
Officially opening on December 9th, make sure to book in advance so you don’t miss out on the chance to get familiar with some of the best work local craftspeople have to offer, while the illuminations themselves (some of which contain animations that are actually triggered by motion as you walk past) are unlike anything else you’ve ever seen. Get ready for the Christmas experience of a lifetime!
The Ultimate Christmas Village is known as the Heritage District for the rest of the year, but when that special holiday season rolls around all bets are off as it transforms itself into the kind of wonderland that nobody wants to miss out on. Featuring theatrical productions (like A Christmas Carol) as well as unique ice wine and food pairings, it’s a fantastic combination of the traditional and the modern, culminating in a truly unique experience that you’re not likely to find elsewhere.
Kick back at one of the ugly Christmas sweater parties, go for ghost walks, take a candlelit stroll accompanied by all your favourite carols — the list of things to do at the Ultimate Christmas Village is endless. There will even be outdoor ice skating available every single day of the week. Running all the way through the Christmas season, start planning your adventure early so nobody has to be disappointed on the big day out.
The Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights, aka “The Longest Festival in the World”, has been going strong ever since its inception in 1982. With more than 3 million tree lights and 120 different animated displays on offer, the 8km route — which takes in Niagara Parks, Dufferin Islands, and a few other nearby tourist areas — can be walked, biked, or driven along, depending on how much time, energy, and enthusiasm you’ve got.
As well as highlighting local landmarks, there will also be exclusive event-only displays that you won’t be able to catch once the festival is over, so make sure you leave a little room in your calendar for this one-of-a-kind Christmas festival. The best part of all is that the Festival of Lights is completely free; and with a ton of other nearby events worth checking in on, there’s really no reason not to spend a day or two seeing the sights with the people you love most.
You might be wondering why the 5th entry in our list doesn’t actually sound like an event at all. That’s because each and every Christmas, the entire town of Pelham, Ontario, turns itself into a holiday bonanza. With events like craft bazaars, outdoor Christmas markets, gingerbread house contests, and free carriage rides — not to mention ice carving demonstrations, free ice skating sessions, live music, and socially distanced visits with Santa Claus himself — there really is nothing quite like Pelham once that special time of year rolls around again.
It’s a little out of the way from Niagara, but it’s more than worth the trip if you can spare the time. Do be sure to check out the town’s community calendar to figure out what’s going on and where everything’s happening. The whole community gets together to deck themselves out in Family-Friendly Christmas Events in Niagara, so a quick drive through the town is in order to make sure you can get themes out of what local businesses have been setting up for your enjoyment.
If beautifully lit displays, delicious food, and handmade arts and crafts from local artisans sounds like your cup of tea, you’ll find plenty to keep your Christmas spirit kindled this holiday season in Niagara. As ever, remember that outdoor events are heavily weather-dependant, so you may want to spend a few minutes checking out the forecast on the day you’re planning to attend one of the events above to ensure disappointment doesn’t have a part to play in 2020s’s Christmas festivities. And don’t forget to bring a nice, warm coat!