The winter festival season in Ontario is approaching and the fun only intensifies as the temperatures drop and turns the landscape in into a frozen wonderland. Every year there are nearly 3,000 events across the 7 regions of Ontario, we’re not very outdoorsy types, and I’m not sure we would go for the annual polar bear swim but the icewine martini bar is a must isn’t it? Anyway you can’t take it away from the Canadian’s, the scenery in winter is absolutely fantastic.
Here are some of our favourites:
Ontario’s Winter Wonderland
Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights
The Winter Festival of Lights is set to cover Niagara Falls with vibrant colours. With over three million sparkling lights along a 5km route, this enchanting attraction has become a popular family tradition. Millions of locals and tourists from around the globe gather to see the extravagant light displays and unique performances such as the annual Christmas Concert Series. A popular location for viewing the lights against the captivating backdrop of majestic Horseshoe Falls is the "Rink at the Brink", Niagara Falls’ outdoor skating experience.
Niagara Icewine Festival
For two weekends in January, the Niagara Wine Region comes to life during this celebration of Ontario’s famous Icewine. Just steps away from the magnificent Niagara Falls, visitors can enjoy an outdoor winter wonderland featuring fire pits to roast icewine marshmallows, amazing ice sculptures and a signature icewine martini bar. The region is home to over 90 distinctive wineries, many of which take part in the festival. Visitors can sample seasonal vintages and delicious culinary creations. There are mini festivals within the main festival, including Sparkle and Ice, held in a grand, century-old courthouse ballroom where guests can enjoy an exquisite evening of culinary creations and live entertainment.
Winterlicious, one of Toronto's favourite winter foodie events is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the winter season mixed with great culinary treasures. Winterlicious offers three-course menus at more than 200 top restaurants around the city. This culinary event series offers an assortment of experiences including cooking classes and demonstrations, dinner theatre, tastings and pairings and intimate chef dinners.
Winterlude has been recognised as the greatest winter celebration in North America, and it is not hard to see why. This three-weekend outdoor event offers excitement for the whole family, attracting more than 650,000 fun-seekers each year. Get in the winter spirit with a spin around the Rideau Canal Skateway, at 4.8 miles long it is the largest ice skating rink in the world. Afterwards, grab some Canadian winter fuel, a cup of piping hot apple cider. Food and drinks stand including Canadian favourite, Beaver Tails, open alongside the frozen river creating a unique wonderland for the whole family to enjoy. Winterlude also features the world’s biggest snow playground, the Snowflake Kingdom. Here visitors of all ages can enjoy frozen fun including zip lines, a giant maze, go-carts and many more exciting activities at Jacques Cartier Park in downtown Gatineau.
Bon Soo Winter Carnival
With more than 75 indoor and outdoor events for the entire family, Bon Soo is one of the largest winter carnivals in Northern Ontario. Taking place in Sault Ste. Marie, activities including the annual polar bear swim, giant slides, made entirely of snow and ice and a wide variety of performances make the Bon Soo carnival a must visit event this winter.