Complaining about the harsh winter weather is basically a rite of passage here in Ontario. But, with all the cold, snow, and freezing rain comes some truly magical Ontario Christmas light displays that make leaving the house totally worthwhile. So get ready to bundle up and drop the infamous "cold enough for you?" line, because you won't want to miss any of these spectacular events. 

Are you ready to give your holiday season the glow-up it deserves? With millions and millions of illuminations across the province, this winter is going to be seriously lit.

Many of the best light festivals offer so much more than just spectacular displays, too.

From free hot chocolate to horse-drawn sleigh rides, skating rinks, trains, and amusement park rides, there's so much fun to be had.

If you're looking for affordable things to do in Ontario this winter, or you want to start making memorable holiday traditions, then take a look at the list we've gathered below. 

You can make winter the hottest season yet by soaking up all of this festive fun. 

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your mitts, a scarf, and your person of choice and head out to see some breathtaking holiday lights ASAP!

Winter Festival of Lights

Price: Free admission, donations accepted 

When: November 20 until January 12

Address: Queen Victoria Park, Niagara Falls, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can wander through 8 km of enchanting holiday light displays. Don't forget to stop and look at the falls as they light up and catch the nightly fireworks display while you're at it. It's been going strong for 37 years now, and you can see why.


Aurora Winter Festival

Price: Starting at $17.99

When: November 22 until January 5

Address: Ontario Place, Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Amusement rides and Christmas markets? Check. Skating rinks and tube parks? Check. Fantastic light displays, tasty food, and more? You got it. You can't go wrong with a visit to the amazing. Aurora Winter Fest.


Glow Gardens

Price: Starting at $34.99

When: Various dates

Address: Multiple locations, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can sip festive cocktails from giant sparkling light bulbs as you wander through an indoor sea of lights. There's one in Ottawa and, now, in Toronto too after relocation from Barrie.


Magic of Lights

Price: Starting at $20

When: November 21 until January 4

Address: 401 Corkstown Rd., Nepean, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can go on an enchanted journey through a tunnel of lights and see charming holiday light displays from the comfort of your car. 


Alight At Night

Price: $16

When: Various dates 

Address: Upper Canada Village, 13740 County Road 2, Morrisburg, ON

Why You Need To Go: You'll feel like you've stepped inside of a wonderful winter postcard as you wonder this village of lights. With festive dining, horse-drawn rides, and more the holiday magic is real.


The Festival of Northern Lights

Price: Free

When: November 16 until January 5

Address: Owen Sound, ON

Why You Need To Go: In addition to incredible light displays you can also take part in a festive scavenger hunt. With awesome prizes to be won, there's no better way to lift your Christmas spirits.


Christmas Lights Across Canada

Price: Free

When: Opening December 4

Address: Parliament Building, Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: More than just lights, this multimedia light display is on a whole other level of festive holiday fun. Check this out.


Winter Lights At The Rock

Price: Starting at $10

When: Weekends from December 6 until January 5

Address: 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington, ON

Why You Need To Go: The Royal Botanical Gardens offer a breathtaking walk through any time of year. But something magical happens when the rock garden is covered in a blanket of sparkling lights.


Bingemans Gift of Light

Price: Starting at $15

When: Until January 4

Address: 425 Bingemans Centre Dr., Kitchener, ON

Why You Need To Go: No one likes the cold, so why not stay in your car and drive through this twinkling tunnel of lights? You'll be mesmerized.


Burlington Festival of Lights

Price: Free

When: November 29 until January 8

Address: Spencer Smith Park, Burlington, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can marvel at dazzling Christmas lights as they reflect off the water at Spencer Smith Park.


Winter Wonderland

Price: Free

When: Fridays from December 6 until January

Address: 200 Doug Duncan Dr., Newmarket, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can sip hot chocolate, ride the Tim Hortons train, skate, listen to live entertainment, and more at this enchanted wonderland of lights. These activities are only available on Fridays, but the lights will be up for you to see daily until February 17.


Simcoe Christmas Panorama

Price: Free

When: November 30 until January 5

Address: 50 Bonnie Dr., Simcoe, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can explore a magical display of 300,000 lights at one of Ontario's longest-running holiday light festivals. Some nights even offer free horse-drawn trolley rides too.


There are stories everywhere. If you spot a newsworthy event in your city, send us a message, photo, or video @NarcityCanada on Twitter and Instagram.



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