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22 Things To Do In Ontario That You Have To Add To Your Winter Bucket List

Bundle up and have some fun this winter!
Ontario Associate Editor
22 Things To Do In Ontario That You Have To Add To Your Winter Bucket List

If you haven't already noticed, sweater weather is fading fast and scarves and mittens are now necessary when stepping outdoors. This means it's officially acceptable to start planning all of the winter activities you want to experience this season. Ontario transforms into a snowy wonderland every year, and there are so many fun things to do and magical places to explore. Enjoy frosty events in both cities and countrysides, and fall in love with winter all over again. These Ontario winter activities need to be on your bucket list this year.

From magical skating trails to glowing light festivals, this winter promises to be anything but dull. With Christmas approaching, there are loads of festive markets, enchanting events, and tons of twinkling lights to see. After the holidays, the fun continues with ice sculptures, snowy adventures, and more. 

Put on your warmest toque and adventure outdoors this season. It's easy to want to wait out the cold weather inside, but Ontario is just too beautiful in the winter to stay indoors. Grab a group of friends, loved one, family members, or go solo and enjoy these spectacular winter sights and events. You can always treat yourself to a hot chocolate after!

Toronto Lights Festival

Price: Free

When: TBA

Address: Distillery District, Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Adventure through an illuminated exhibition in the picturesque Distillery District this winter. Massive glowing sculptures and installations will warm your heart for completely free.

Glide Down the Rideau Canal

Price: Free

When: TBA

Address: Rideau Canal, Ottawa, ON

Why You Need To Go: Skate down the biggest naturally frozen ice rink in the world this winter. Don't forget to stop by the many booths along the way to indulge in some beaver tails and more!

Unwind at Scandanave Spa

Price: Prices vary per service

Address: 152 Grey Rd. 21, Blue Mountains, ON

Why You Need To Go: Relax in a forest paradise with steamy baths to keep you warm on the coldest of days.

Arrowhead Skate Trail

Price: $12.25 to $21 for entrance

When: TBA

Address: 451 Arrowhead Park Rd., Huntsville, ON

Why You Need To Go: Skate down a magical ice trail through a snowy woodland. On select nights, the pathway is lit with flickering torches.

Explore the Upper Canada Village Lights

Price: $16 per adult

When: Select nights between November 29, 2019 - January 4, 2020

Address: 13740 County Rd. 2, Morrisburg, ON

Why You Need To Go: Stroll through an enchanting village lit with nearly a million lights. Ride on an adorable toy train, romantic horse-drawn carriages, indulge in gooey cinnamon rolls, and more.

See the Northen Lights

Price: Free

Address: Southwood Rd., Gravenhurst, ON

Why You Need To Go: See stunning views of the starry sky, and on special nights glimpse the colourful Northern lights at Torrence Barrens Dark Sky Preserve

Marvel at Frozen Waterfalls

Price: Free

Address: Shermans Falls, Hamilton, ON

Why You Need To Go: Sherman's Falls spectacular waters freeze over every winter, offering stunning glassy views.

Dine Inside a Transparent Igloo

When: November 1, 2019 - March 31, 2020

Address: 220 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Enjoy a magical dining experience inside a glowing igloo at the InterContinental Yorkville hotel.

Get Covered in Hot Chocolate

Price: $150

Address: 1009 Massey Rd., Grafton, ON

Why You Need To Go: Ste. Anne's Spa offers a wintery treatment where you can get your whole body wrapped in chocolate. Banish dry skin with this seasonal moisturizing experience.

See The Nutcracker

Price: Prices vary depending on seating

When: December 12, 2019 - January 4, 2020

Address: 145 Queen St. W., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Watch this holiday classic come to life on stage at the National Ballet's thrilling performance.

Go Dogsledding at North Ridge Ranch

Price: $135 - $205 per person

Address: North Ridge Ranch, Muskoka, ON

Why You Need To Go: Ride through a winter wonderland on the back of a dog sled. You'll fall in love with the adorable pups and can enjoy steamy cup of hot chocolate after.

Barrie Winterfest

Price: Free

When: February 1, 2020 - February 2, 2020

Address: Various locations around Barrie

Why You Need To Go: Take part in one of Ontario's top festivals with tons of ice sculptures, a polar plunge, winter kites, maple taffy, and more.

Go Winter Glamping at Alabaster Acres

Price: $225 per night

Address: 18692 Hurontario St., Caledon Village, ON

Why You Need To Go: Spend the night in a frosty forest paradise. It's the perfect getaway to spend time with that special someone or friends.

Niagara Ice Wine Festival

Price: TBD

When: January 10, 2020 - January 26, 2020

Address: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

Why You Need To Go: Get in the winter spirit in the best way possible, by sipping frosty ice wine at this boozy festival.

Go For a Sleigh Ride

Price: $150 - $200

Address: 1222 Apple Grove Rd., Waterloo, ON

Why You Need To Go: Take an enchanting horse-drawn sleigh ride through a glimmering sugar bush with St. Jacobs Horse Drawn Tours. Sip on warm apple cider by the crackling fire afterwards.

Visit WinterFest

Price: Starting at $21.99

When: November 22, 2019 - December 31, 2019

Address: 1 Canada's Wonderland Dr., Vaughan, ON

Why You Need To Go: See Canada's Wonderland transformed into a winter wonderland for the first time ever. Glide across the massive ice rink, explore Christmas installations, and more.

Stroll Through Frozen Niagara Falls

Price: Free

Address: Niagara Falls, ON

Why You Need To Go: During cold winter days, Niaraga Falls becomes an icy paradise that's magical to adventure through.

Fly Down Snowy Slopes in Tubes

Price: $25 per adult

When: TBD

Address: 1600 River Rd. E., Kitchener, ON

Why You Need To Go: Speed through the snow at Chicopee's Tube Park. This experience takes tobogganing to the next level.

Aurora Winter Festival

Price: $17.99 per adult

When: November 22, 2019 - January 5, 2020

Address: 955 Lake Shore Blvd. W., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: Step inside an enchanting festive wonderland presented by the CNE. Ride on the Ferris wheel, speed down the tube park hills, explore winter villages and more.

Visit Terra Lumina

Price: TBA

When: TBA

Address: 2000 Meadowvale Rd., Toronto, ON

Why You Need To Go: This year, the Toronto Zoo is transforming into an illuminated night adventure. Travel to the future and back as you stroll along this 1.5 km glowing path.

Indulge in Hot Chocolate at Cacao 70

Address: Various locations

Why You Need To Go: Cacoa 70 serves some divinely delicious hot chocolate in all sorts of flavours, and it's a great way to warm up during cold winter days.

Spend a Day at Wheeler's Maple

Price: Free

Address: 001 Highland Ln., McDonalds Corners, ON

Why You Need To Go: Take a winter walk through a charming sugar bush, eat delicious pancakes with homemade maple syrup, and explore the many museums and installations on site.

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.

    Madeline Forsyth
    Ontario Associate Editor
    Madeline Forsyth is an Associate Editor for Narcity Canada’s Ontario Desk focused on Toronto restaurants and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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