One of the unfortunate downsides to winter is the shorter days and the long, long nights. But the holiday season breaks up all the darkness with spectacular lights at every turn, and, if you are looking for some illumination, we have you covered. Every year, First Light, Sainte-Marie Among The Hurons' magical winter event transforms the 17th-century village into a Christmas wonderland.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, First Light offers many activities surrounded by the heartwarming glow of 5,000 candles.

Located about two-and-a-half hours north of Toronto, the mission features 25 reconstructed buildings that reflect 17th-century Upper Canada life. 

But it transforms in the wintertime.

Heading into the mission, you'll find yourself drawn to the amber glow from the thousands of candles within. Lit paths guide you through a journey to the past in a location overflowing with history and culture.

Did we mention that it's also one of the prettiest things you're likely to see all winter?Once you've accustomed your eyes to the mesmerizing glow, your ears will be next. The sounds of Indigenous drumming and singing, Franco-Ontarian folk songs, and choirs echo through the air.

After fully immersing yourself in the atmosphere, get in some early Christmas shopping!

With more than 50 crafters and artisans offering gift ideas for someone special, you'll have plenty of choice for presents.

If you find yourself feeling a bit hungry, don't worry, it's also covered. Grab some pulled pork, poutine or smoked burgers at the Les Trois Soeurs Cafe.

But if sweetness is more the craving, then simply think of these two words: maple taffy. 

On two select nights, the entracing candle glow will switch to an explosion of colour in the sky.

First Light hosts a fireworks show on Friday, November 29 and Saturday, December 7.

It's important to keep in mind that parking at Sainte-Marie is limited and fills up quickly. However, there are shuttles that run from a local Walmart and downtown Midland.

While it's a bit of a drive from a major city like Toronto, First Light is definitely a bright holiday event worth making the trip for.

Lights up! 

First Light at Sainte-Marie Among The Hurons

Price: $10 per person with donation of a non-perishable food item

When: November 28-30, and December 5-7, 2019

Address: 1614 Hwy. 12 East, Midland, ON

Why You Need To Go: Take a journey back in time while soaking in a magical Christmas wonderland with 5,000 glowing candles. 

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