If you are looking for a breathtaking winter escape this Christmas, you may want to get out of the city. Ontario is full of magical small towns all year round but one in particular really steps it up at the holidays!
Port Hope, Ontario is just over an hour drive from Toronto but it will make you feel like you're in a whole other world this holiday season. In December, the town transforms into a magical winter wonderland with thousands of lights, a hall full of Christmas trees, and even horsedrawn carriages.
One of the biggest Christmas events in Port Hope is actually already on. For the 21st year, the Capitol Centre theatre is holding it's Festival of Lights and Trees. The theatre is completely decked out with holiday lights and the halls are lined with over 60 beautifully decorated trees.
You get a complimentary hot chocolate and cookies to enjoy while you wander among the trees and you can even enter a raffle to win one of them. The Capitol Christmas event runs every weekday from 1 PM to 4 PM, with special times on some evenings and weekends, until December 17th. The best part is that admission is free!
In the spirit of free, this holiday season Port Hope is also offering the most romantic and festive Christmas experience ever this year. For every weekend in December, you can take a horse and wagon ride through the town and it's completely free!
The free wagon rides begin this weekend, December first and take place every single Saturday before Christmas, starting at 11 AM. The rides start at a bridge down by the waterfront and go on a tour through downtown Port Hope.
Port Hope is going all in this Christmas. On top of those free events, they also have a Christmas Farmer's Market on December 8th and a carol singing event happening on December 8th. The town also hosts a Christmas house tour in support of a local charity and a Christmas open house at their local museum, the Brimacombe House.
Port Hope is a tiny town, home to just over 16,000 people. Located on Lake Ontario, it's slightly more than 100 kilometres away from Toronto and over 150 kilometres away from Kingston.
*Cover photo used for illustrative purposes only.