Weekend Fun Guide (January 25-27, 2013)

Winter is in full swing and the activities happening across Ontario prove it.  Whether you want to stay inside to stay warm or get out and enjoy the winter wonderlands, there are SO many events to choose from.  Have fun this weekend and stay warm!

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Family Literacy Day is this Sunday January 27th! Literacy is so important for our children so be sure to celebrate this day with your family and make it special. For events in your area click here, contact your local public library for a list of their events or check your local paper.


Every Saturday until the end of March, Cineplex theatres show Family Favourites at 11:00 am for only $2.50.  Feel like you need to escape the cold?  Then check out what they’re showing this weekend http://bit.ly/ZygvF5


Want to spend some time with the family on the slopes or screaming your head off as you head down a tube slide?  Find all the great resorts in Ontario that offer skiing and tubing!

Around Town this Weekend…


Acton Winter Carnival – Happening on Sunday January 27th, this event has fun for the entire family including: Pancake breakfast, dog sledding demonstrations, horse & wagon rides, mini putt, kids crafts, face painting, hockey tournament, obstacle course, ice skating, food vendors and MORE!


Dinosaurs: Battle of the Titans @ Royal Botanical Gardens – A formidable clash between a Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops. Discover the astounding truth about how nature can both create giants and send them off to oblivion.

Lowville Winter Games @ Lowville Park (Sunday January 27th only) – Lots of family fun to be had including:Horse drawn wagon rides, fabulous food options, tobogganing, Crafts, Halton Birds of Prey show, log sawing competition and much more!


Horse drawn sleigh rides @ Mountsberg Conservation Area – You can enjoy a wagon or sleigh ride through the fields and forests of Mountsberg on a crisp winter day. The jingle of the harness and the sound of the horses tromping along the trail will make for an enjoyable trip to our outdoor camp fire. Marshmallows for roasting and hot chocolate for sipping are included in the price of your ticket!

Season of the Snowsnake @ Crawford Lake Conservation Area – Explore the beautiful snowy landscape on a pair of snowshoes courtesy of Crawford’s rental program. Join staff for guided tours of the reconstructed Iroquoian Village at 11am1pm and 3pm.  Each tour will have a unique focus such as games, archaeology or storytelling.   Warm up after the tour with a complimentary cup of nature’s tea. Children can create a craft or enjoy a discovery hunt from 10am to 4pm.

Moonlight Snowshoe Hike @ Crawford Lake Conservation Area – Discover the magic of winter at night, the snow illuminated by moonlight and the stars bright in the night sky. Our knowledgeable guides will lead you on a snowshoe hike through this beautiful landscape. Hikes take place every Saturday evening in January and February from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Each hike begins with basic instruction and some historical background on the sport of snowshoeing.


Cannington Dog Sled Races and Winter Festival – Cannington Dog Sled Races & Winter Festival for a fun-filled weekend of pancake breakfasts, ice sculptures and outdoor activities as top teams from across North America take to the field for a fun-filled weekend.


South Georgian Bay Winterfest – South Georgian Bay is kicking off the New Year with 10 full days (and nights) of Winterfest … a festival that celebrates our area’s finest outdoor winter adventures, local food and fun family entertainment from January 18th to the 27th. South Georgian Bay WINTERFEST is 10 days of jam-packed fun, dining, live entertainment and outdoor winter activities for the entire family to enjoy!


Winter Carnnival – Saturday January 26th – 9 am to 2 pm Broomball 11 am Euchre Tournament 1 pm Pool Tournament Finals Div. A & B 2 pm Come for the outdoor parade (floats, costumes) 3-5 pm Outdoor skating 3 pm Kiddies corner 5-7 pm Broomball 8 pm Pick up Hockey for everyone 9 pm Carnival Dance with live band – Misty

Lanark Village 

Frosty Fling Winter Carnival – This annual family event features skating and costumes. Family outdoor activities on Sunday feature sleigh rides in Lanark Village.
Info: 613-259-2220


Winter Carnival – Fun for the entire family.  Activities include pancake breakfast, Skating, Bed races, curling, tricycle races, Free hot dogs and hot chocolate, Horse drawn wagon rides, free family movie and popcorn!

Niagara Falls

Winter Festival of Lights – Get bundled up, gather your kids, fill their memories with winter fun as you enjoy the Winter Festival of Lights from November 3, 2012 to January 31, 2013. With over three million sparkling lights, fireworks, concerts, amazing performance of great artists, water parks, casinos and wine tours, the CAA Winter Festival of Lights is the most enchanting of Niagara attractions and has become a tradition for over one million people from around the globe on winter getaways.


Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Celebrations – Located on historic Queen Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake, your favourite wineries will be pouring liquid gold all weekend long. Icewine will be served with the swinging sounds of Canadian Jazz and culinary pairings to delight the palate.


Winter Carnival – Get outdoors and enjoy a week full of fun, food and family at the annual Odessa Winter Carnival.  There’s plenty of great things to do throughout the week.


Winter Bites Ottawa – The event will lure you out of your home and into the warmth of Ottawa’s restaurants.Visit as many as you like, as often as you like. And check www.ottawamagazine.com/winterbites-2012 occasionally; the list of participating restaurant is growing daily. WinterBites runs Thursday, Jan. 12 to Saturday,Jan. 28.


Frostfest – Join a fun-filled week of events with Pakenham’s celebration of winter.


Snofest – Family snow games and activities such as; 2 Ball toss game, Tug of war, Board Walk activity game, Capture the Flag, Scavenger Hunt, Tic Tac Sno, Hockey shoot out, snow shoe egg race and tobagganing. Refreshments such as hot dogs, chili, coffee and hot chocolate will be available for sale. There will also be an Endurance Run for the winter runner organized by Fit Corps Boot Camp.

Port Sydney 

Winter Carnival – Family skating, bonfire, pancake breakfast, BBQ on the beach, dance, free snow shoeing and cross country skiing.


Community Winterfest @ Port Union Community Recreation Centre & Charlottetown Park – Curling, TPL ‘Bingo’ Marathon, Face Painting, Outdoor Games, Outdoor Giant Games & Rides, HawksShadow, Winter Golf, Snow Clues & Snowshoes, Ice Sculpting, Maple Candy Station, Snow Sculpting, Indoor Entertainment, Clowns, BBQ, Popcorn, Bonfire, Cotton Candy and Prizes

St. Catherines

Winterfest in the Square – Celebrate the magic of winter in St. Catharines wtih VQA wines, gourmet cuisine, live entertainment by Jonsey and the hottest trend in culinary, food trucks. Purchase tokens for wine and Dairy Farmers of Canada wine glasses.


Imax Festival @ Sceince North- Explore the unbelievable! Ten films and ten exciting adventures to choose from!  Nothing brings you closer to the action and adventure than IMAX®, the most powerful and immersive movie experience in the world! The Festival’s flexible screening schedule offers you a great combination of giant screen excitement and show times!


Toronto’s Ultimate Travel Show @ Direct Energy Centre – As our famous winter weather arrives, what better way to escape the winter blues than exploring warm and exotic vacation opportunities, or home-grown escapes?  Discover cultures from around the world through our exciting exhibitors, seminars and entertainment from around the world. Toronto’s Ultimate Travel Show has  everything you need to inspire you to plan your best vacation ever!

The Natrel® Rink at Harbourfront – Tucked away behind York Quay Centre and set against the beautiful shore of Lake Ontario, the city’s most scenic rink awaits! The Natrel® Rink has a heated indoor change room with lockers and washrooms. Hot food and drinks are available at our rink-side restaurant, Lakeside EATS. Best of all – skating is FREE! Part of Skate Culture.

Nature Walk @ Rouge Park – Rouge Park invites you to join us for a guided walk along many of Rouge Park’s trails and discover parts of the Park you might not have visited yet, or learn and share a bit more about your favourite spot in the Park. Whether it’s a Sunday stroll, a fitness walk, a family outing, wildlife spotting or just to get out on the trail, we have the outing for you! With trained leaders to guide the way, we promise you’ll have a ‘natural’ Rouge Park adventure!

Winterlicious – Winterlicious 2013 is Toronto’s biggest winter culinary celebration to date. Discover unique culinary events and 191 exciting local restaurants offering prix fixe menus.


Winterfest – Come to WindReach Farm and enjoy the wonders of winter! Explore our accessible trails and pathways, go tobogganing, skating, and take a wagon ride, feed the farm animals, crafts for kids and more. Some adaptive sports equipment will be available for use. Enjoy all winter has to offer, then warm yourself by the outdoor fire. Food and beverages available for purchase. $20/vehicle

Ski Ontario Guide

Get on the slopes with your family this Winter and create some amazing memories!!


Barrie – Horseshoe Resort – Situated in a natural snow belt area and surrounded by miles of beautiful forest, Horseshoe Resort prides itself on great snow making and even better conditions, making us one of the top ski resorts in Ontario. Enjoy the magic of winter with exciting snow tubing, or experience one of our 26 Alpine runs or 35 kilometres of groomed Nordic Trails. Our Ontario ski resort is a place where nature is as real and true as the scent of pine or snow in the wind.            416-283-2988 or 705-835-2790

Barrie – Snow Valley Resorts Limited – Snow Valley Barrie is Ontario’s FAMILY Resort. Celebrate winter with family skiing, snowboarding, tubing & snowshoeing.  705-721-SNOW or 416-366-7669

Barrys Bay – Madawaska Mountain – Mount Madawaska features the 6th highest elevation in the province. We have some of the longest runs, ready for the novice or expert, alike!   613-756-1-SKI

Batawa – Batawa Ski Hill – Three lifts and seven runs with state of the art snow making and grooming.   (613) 398-6568

Bethany – Devil’s Elbow – Meander down the Bunny Hill or accelerate down Satan’s Run. Discover Paradise. It’s just around the corner from Purgatory. With the addition of 2 terrain areas, there is something for everyone! The state of the art snowmaking and grooming equipment ensure the best possible conditions every day of the ski season.   705-277-2012

Brampton – Mount Chinguacousy – We are very excited to provide you our awesome ski and snowboard programs and tubing excitement. Best of all, our 2 story chalet has that winter feel, with the smell of cedar, a large cozy fireplace to warm up to, a great view of the hill and lots of hot chocolate for those cold winter days.  You won’t want to miss this!   905-874-2367

Calabogie – Calabogie Peaks Resort – The ultimate family mountain in Eastern Ontario and the Outaouais Region. Offering the best ski & ride programs, terrain, snowmaking and ski in/out accommodations – ski, ride, skate, tube, snowshoe, cross country ski and more…   613-752-2720 or 1-800-669-4861

Coldwater – Mount St. Louis/Moonstone Ski Resort – The resort is located just north of Barrie in the snow belt region of Ontario offers great ski hills for skiing and snowboarding.  Today, it contains 36 slopes, 9 chairlifts and 3 carpets. The resort is known for being family friendly and prides itself on accommodating the beginner skier to the most advanced skier.   705-835-2112

Collingwood – Blue Mountain – This winter enjoy 36 trails, ranging from beginner to double black diamond, stretching across the scenic Niagara Escarpment, and reaching 720 vertical feet. You’ll maximize your on-snow time with 15 lifts, including four high-speed six-person chairs. And there’s plenty of action after the sun sets, with 22 trails and 10 lifts under the lights.   705-445-0231 or 416-869-3799

Elliot Lake – Mount Dufour – Mt. Dufour is a professionally operated facility with a full service chalet including a fully licensed, fireside lounge, ski and snowboard equipment rentals and lessons provided by certified instructors.   (705) 848-6655

Etobicoke – Centennial Park Snow Centre – Experience winter in the City, featuring ski & snowboard school, snowboard & downhill rentals, limited helmet rentals, hi-tech snowmaking, t-bar, carpet lift, night skiing and snack bar.  Toronto ski & snowboard programs are a great way for the entire family to stay fit and have fun this winter.   416-394-8754

Haliburton – Sir Sam’s Ski & Bike – Get out for a day of family fun on the slopes at Sir Sam’s!  Features include 12 runs, 5 lifts, rental shop, pro shop, terrain park, snow school and CADS program for disabled skiers.  Warm up in the Chalet with some warm eats and drinks. 705-754-2298

Huntsville – Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area – A long-favoured destination for generations of skiers and snowboarders, Hidden Valley has something for everyone. Gentle slopes, challenging runs and a terrain park. Warm up and relax in the newly-renovated chalet. Experience it all, and then repeat. 705-789-1773 or 1-800-398-9555

Keswick – Georgina ROC – 33 metre high man-made hill that features a state of the art chalet, tube, terrain, ski and toboggan activities in winter with fantastic views of the Lake Simcoe country side year round.   905-476-4301

Kitchener – Chicopee Ski Club – 14 trails, 2 terrain parks and 6 lifts are awaiting you at Chicopee Ski Club.   519-894-5610 or 1-877-CHICOPEE

London – Boler Mountain – Come visit Canada’s most southerly alpine ski area.  Lots of runs for all different skiing abilities and some awesome snowboarding terrain   519-657-8822

Milton – Glen Eden Ski & Snowboard Centre – Glen Eden offers a rental shop, skiing, a fully-equipped terrain park for snowboarders, snow tubing and lessons for all ages and skill-levels.   905-878-5011

New Liskeard – Tri Town Ski & Snowboard Village – 14 runs to get your fun on the slopes!   705-672-3888

North Bay – Laurentian Ski Hill – 300 Ft vertical right in North Bay. Terrain Park with lift, moguls, rentals, beginner area, Certified Instructors. Something for everyone!   705-494-7463

North York – Earl Bales Ski & Snowboard Centre – Earl Bales features ski & snowboard school, snowboard & downhill rentals, limited helmet rentals, hi-tech snowmaking, chair lift, rope tow, night skiing, snack bar and fireplace.   416-395-7874

Onaping – Onaping Ski Hill – Onaping Ski Hill is equipped with 12 runs and a t-bar lift for downhill skiing and snowboarding. It is privately owned and is generally open mid-December to mid-March depending on weather conditions. Ski equipment rentals are available.   705-966-3939

Orangeville – Hockley Valley Resort – Whether it’s your first time on skis or a snowboard, or you’re a real enthusiast, we offer 15 scenic runs for all levels, including an upper and lower freestyle terrain park. With our state-of-the-art snowmaking capabilities, you can enjoy an even longer season. And whether you’re here for the afternoon or on a romantic escape or a family weekend getaway, a warm and cozy seat awaits in our lounge for a relaxing après-ski.   519-942-0754

Orono – Brimacombe – Rated “The Best in the Snow Business” by the Canadian Ski Council, Brimacombe caters to the traditional skier as well as the snowboarder who wants to jib all day long in one of our terrain parks.  Featuring 21 runs, 2 terrain parks, multiple lifts, equipment rentals, professional instruction and 2 chalets to warm up in.   905-983-5983

Pakenham – Mount Pakenham – Mount Pakenham is Eastern Ontario’s premier family ski, snowboard and tubing area. We have two of the newest lifts in the region and we’re just a short drive from Ottawa   613-624-5290

Sault Ste. Marie – Searchmont Resort – 750 feet of vertical mountain terrain. Long runs, short lift lines, real snow. A place to hang with family & friends.        705-781-2340

Sudbury – Adanac Ski Hill – 240 vertical feet of skiable terrain, beginner hill with carpet lift, terrain park, 2,400 square foot chalet.  Services include skiing and snowboarding lessons, equipment rental, holiday programs and school visits.   705-671-2489

Thamesford – Cobble Hills Golf & Ski Club – 140 vertical ft, 7 runs, quad chair lift, lessons, equipment rentals and a terrain park.  What more do you need this winter for a fun day?   519-461-1720

Thunder Bay – Loch Lomond Ski Area – Loch Lomond offers skiing, snowboarding and tubing. We are 10 minutes from Thunder Bay off of Highway 61 North on the majestic Nor’Wester Mountain Range.   807-475-7787

Timmins – Kamiskotia Snow Resort – Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding, tubing, clinics and lessons, or just fun at the resort lodging – Kamiskotia snow resort is the place to be this winter. We offer many services including memberships, group events, and complete rental of skiing and snowboarding equipment.                 705-268-9057

Uxbridge – Lakeridge Ski Resort – Skiing and snowboarding is for every one of all ages! Featuring 23 runs spread over 70 acres, we offer a wide range of trails for skiers and snowboarders, from novice to expert, including mogul runs, 3 dedicated snowboard terrain parks, and separate snow tubing park.   905-649-2058

Uxbridge – Dagmar Resort – Alpine Skiing, Snowboarding and Cross country skiing! 17 Runs, 4 Chairlifts, 2 Magic Carpets, 2 Amazing Terrain Parks, Lessons, Programs, and much more!   905-649-2002

Uxbridge – Skyloft Resort Inc – Skyloft boasts 21 runs and trails, multiple lifts, high end food and beverage service, snow school and rental shop.   905-649-5160


Weekend Fun Guide (Nov 30th – Dec 2nd 2012)

Another weekend ahead  filled with family fun!  So many different light displays to see, Santa Claus parades to attend, craft shows to do some Christmas shopping and lots of other activities for Holiday fun.  Check out what’s happening Around Town this Weekend!

The Holiday Train is coming!! The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train has hit the rails again and will be visiting over 150 communities across our network.  Each event features a boxcar stage, a lineup of great musical talent and a contribution to the local food bank.  Everyone who attends is encouraged to donate food and money which stays in their community. When is the Holiday Train coming to your town?

Santa Claus Parades

Bancroft Santa Claus Parade
- December 1st

Barry’s Bay Santa Claus Parade– December 1st @ 12:00pm

Bolton Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 11:00am

Bracebridge Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade
-December 2nd @ 1:00pm

Brussels Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 5:00pm

Burlington Santa Claus Parade – December 2nd @ 2:00pm

Deep River Santa Claus Parade of Lights – December 1st @ 5:30pm

Dundalk Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 6:00pm

Elliot Lake Santa Claus Parade – November 30th @ 7:00pm

Etobicoke Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 10:00am

Fergus Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 1:30pm 

Gananoque Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 6:00pm

Gatineau Santa Claus Parade – November 30th @ 7:00pm

Gravenhurst Santa Claus Parade
- December 1st @ 11:00am

Grimsby Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 5:15pm

Hanover Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 7:00pm

Harrow Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 7:00pm

Hawkesbury Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 7:00pm

Hespler Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 12:00pm

Huntsville Santa Claus Parade – November 30th @ 7:00pm

Kincardine Santa Claus Parade
- December 1st @ 

Lancaster Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 2:00pm

Lion’s Head Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 1:00pm

Markdale Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 1:00pm

Marmora Santa Claus Parade
- December 1st @ 2:00pm

Meaford Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 6:30pm

Midland Santa Claus Parade
- December 1st @ 11:00am

Mildmay Santa Claus Parade – November 30th @ 7:45

Napanee Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 6:30pm

Neustadt Santa Claus Parade – December 2nd @ 4:00pm 

Paisley Santa Claus Parade – November 30th @ 7:00pm

Perth Santa Claus Parade
- December 1st @ 5:00pm

Peterborough Santa Claus Parade
- December 1st @ 4:45pm

Picton Santa Claus Parade
- December 2nd @ 1:00 pm

Port Colborne’s Annual Lighted Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 6:30pm

Port Hope Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 1:00pm

Sarnia Santa Claus Parade – December 1st

Seaforth Santa Claus Parade – November 30th @ 7:00pm

Stoney Creek Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 2:00pm

Whitby Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 10:00am

Wiarton Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 6:30pm

Windsor Santa Claus Parade – December 1st @ 6:00pm

Around Town this Weekend …


Alexandria Festival of Lights – 7th Annual Alexandria Festival of Lights. Barbecue fundraiser for North Glengarry Youth Centre from 5 to 7 pm. Music. Opening festivities begin at 6 pm at the Bandshell with local talent performing.  Official “Lighting up of Island Park” at 7 pm marks the beginning of the month-long event.


Trek to Bethlehem @ Bala Community Centre – Small group guided tours between 6pm and 8:30pm. It’s an outside walk, so dress for the weather. There is no charge. Refreshments following the walk.

Belle River

Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration– Santa Claus is coming to town!  Bundle up and come out to the Optimist Park on Friday November 30 at 5pm to help us celebrate the holidays!  We will be turning on all the lights in the park! Donations and canned goods are welcome!


Santa’s Moonlight Shopping Party & Festival of Lights (November 30th) – So much to do on one FUN night!  Get your picture taken with Santa, watch the fireworks, shop in the stores, enjoy a wagon ride, sit around the fire and make smokes or all of the above and so much more.  Don’t forget a toy for the toy drive!


Holiday Traditions @ Royal Botanical Gardens – RBG’s annual holiday season event featuring an ALL NEW and extensive botanical model train installation throughout RBG Centre and cleverly themed, decorated doors. Weekends are filled with seasonal activities, musical entertainment, local school and adult choirs, light and model train displays, and of course, a traditional Santa and his reindeer.


Christmas in Cambridge – The Christmas in Cambridge Festival of Events has an event for all ages! Throughout the Christmas season dedicate some family time to enjoy the city & the winter atmosphere.

Fort Erie

Festive Forts @ Old Fort Erie – Come learn about Christmas in the early 19th century! Crafts for kids and Father Christmas! For info call 905-871-0540.


Light Up the Hills – Light up the Hills is a Winter Festival that showcases our community during the holiday season. It embraces the essence of joy, the spirit of giving & the season of hope by contributing to HALTON HILLS’ reputation as a friendly, family community.


Festival of Lights – Let Goderich brighten your mood and delight your heart with yuletide joy, glittering lights, magical displays and special events during this annual salute to the festive holiday season. Catch the spirit with all Goderich has to offer.


Victorian Christmas @ Dundurn Castle – Enjoy the beauty of a mid-19th century family Christmas celebration at Dundurn Castle. The Garden Club of Hamilton decorates the Castle in Victorian splendour with cedar boughs, ribbons and dried flowers. Bring your family and share a Hamilton holiday tradition.

Honey Harbour

Christmas Carolfest – Every year in early December since 2000, to herald the arrival of the Christmas season, the Co-op has decorated the trees and the library with Christmas lights and invited everyone to the park landing to watch as the lights are lit for the first time and to join in singing a whole bunch of carols. Hot drinks and tasty treats are served and everyone has a Dickens of a time!


Festival of Lights – This is one of the more popular events in Kapuskasing. It kicks off mid-November and continues until mid-January. The festival consists of several winter activities including the lighting of thousands of Christmas lights in the Riverside Park.


Winter Wonderland @ Victoria Park – Each holiday season London residents and visitors can stroll through Victoria Park and enjoy the glittering display of lights that create our city’s Winter Wonderland. In addition to more than 75,000 lights decorating park trees, there are a variety of displays including Santa and his reindeer, tin soldiers, a jack-in-the-box and the nativity.


First Light – Now in its 13th year, Sainte-Marie’s “First Light” is a must-see event with a great line-up of family activities and performers, all amidst the spectacular glow of over 5,000 candles. Visitors stroll the candlelit paths which leads them to a variety of fun family activities.


Hanging of the Greens – Santa will visit between 5:00pm and 7:00pm! Non profit organizations selling “pigs in a blanket”, hotdogs, hamburgers and beef on a bun and lots more goodies on main street! The Lighted Santa Claus Parade begins at 7:45. The streets will be lined with campfires to keep warm


On the Way to Bethlehem @ Country Heritage Park – An outdoor Christmas Nativity Pageant. Arriving anytime from 6:30 until 8:30 pm, visitors will enter the large reception area in Gambrel Barn, where they will enjoy the music of the mass choir. When ready, groups will travel the road to Bethlehem with a “guide.” On their 30–45 minute outdoor journey, visitors will witness King Herod’s court, interact with Roman soldiers, shepherds, magi, innkeepers and fellow travelers to reveal the Christmas story.  At the end of their journey, visitors will follow a lamplight walkway to the refreshment area, where their “passports” will be stamped, and they can enjoy a warm drink and a cookie.  When ready, they will be given a wagon ride to the exit. This is primarily an outdoor experience so it is important to dress warmly and wear comfortable walking shoes or boots.

Christmas Open House with Santa @ Springridge Farm –  Visit with Santa, decorate a gingerbread man or ornaments, shop in the country store or sample on of the many yummy bakery treats.


Alight at Night  @ Upper Canada Village – Bundle up for an evening stroll through this picture-perfect postcard setting! Come experience the enchantment of horse-drawn wagons and romantic carriage rides for two; and hop on board a life-size Toy Train. Holiday music, festive dining, shopping and other seasonal surprises all add to the ambience of the event. Now in its 12th year, the Alight at Night Festival has become a favourite family tradition

Niagara Falls

Christmas by the Falls – Featuring over 100 juried artisans at the 15th Annual Christmas Art & Craft Show. Join us for a wonderful holiday shopping experience in Niagara. All proceeds go the Rotary Club of Niagara Falls Sunrise.

Winter Festival of Lights – Get bundled up, gather your kids, fill their memories with winter fun as you enjoy the Winter Festival of Lights from November 3, 2012 to January 31, 2013. With over three million sparkling lights, fireworks, concerts, amazing performance of great artists, water parks, casinos and wine tours, the CAA Winter Festival of Lights is the most enchanting of Niagara attractions and has become a tradition for over one million people from around the globe on winter getaways.

Niagara on the Lake

Stocking Days of Christmas 2012 @ Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake – Take a step away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and let the Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake help you with your shopping.  Enjoy access to new and limited releases – the perfect gifts for the hard to please wine lover on your list.


Bronte Creek Homestead Christmas – Wander at your leisure around the barns of Spruce Lane Farm where you will find the barn where the reindeer recruits train to be part of Santa’s sleigh team. Next get ready for your family to visit Santa by slipping into your Victorian costumes. Your Victorian portraits will be captured during your visit with Santa and are yours to take home on a souvenir USB stick. Creating memories which will last a life time! Your Homestead Christmas experience will include traditional Christmas games and activities, tours of the elegantly decorated Spruce Lane Farmhouse and seasonal stories and songs in the parlour. Learn about the holiday traditions of the Victorian era!


Ottawa Tea Festival – The Ottawa Tea Festival will provide you with a one of a kind experience. This day is all about fun, musical performances, expert presentations about tea and coming together for an important cause!  It is an ultimate foodie destination, where you can find artisanal food producers in Ottawa. There will be lots to taste from delicious teas to sweets, chocolates and honey from local companies.

Christmas in Merrickville – The CP Holiday train arrives on Thursday, Tree lighting on Friday and all day activities for the whole family on Sunday.  Family fun at its best!

A Fairfields Christmas @ Fairfields Heritage Property – This year step back in time and experience Christmas through the ages with our costumed interpreters at Fairfields Heritage Property. Join us for an afternoon of programming, hot chocolate and refreshments and then at 5:30pm, a special tree lighting ceremony to officially kick off the holiday season.

Vintage Christmas Village of Lights – ‘Tis the season of family, friends and good will! Create cherished family memories experiencing vintage Christmas treasures. Make a keepsake ornament for your own Christmas tree, decorate gingerbread men, and take a nostalgic horse-drawn wagon ride through our illuminated village. And of course, have a word or two with Santa Claus! By 5 p.m. each evening, the village will sparkle with lights in the night, a beautiful sight to behold. Be sure to stop by our gift shop to purchase unique, hand-made Christmas gifts!

Christmas Market @ Ernst & Young Centre – Christmas has come early this year. We will be hosting 4 amazing Christmas Markets full of great produce, meat, cheeses, baking, arts and crafts. Getting your holiday meals and gifts in one location – is there a better way to get ready for the holidays?

Owen Sound

Festival of Northern Lights – No grinch can resist the magic of the lights as they gradually illuminate the Sydenham River  from the Sound to the downtown city core on opening night!  Join thousands as we enter The Gateway to the Holiday Season together on Friday November 16th. Continues until January 6th, 2013


Christmas in the Park – Family event, chill cook-off, live nativity scene, lighting of the lights and jingle carolling walk!


A Country Christmas – Downtown Picton will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland with a live Walk-Thru Nativity Story, a Downtown Carnival, and a “Celebration of Christmas” Concert.

Festival of Trees – Come and see the world of Christmas Trees, visit Santa, buy Bake Goods, Special Items from the Second Time Around Store and take part in the Silent Auction on the Trees or enter the “Bucket Draws”. Food and beverages are available and admission is free. Experience the festive spirit and make this a family event.

Port Colborne

Tugboat Santa – Santa Claus gives up his sleigh in favour of arrival Port Colborne style-on a tugboat!  After arrival and meet and greet with the kids, Santa prepares to crown the end of the nighttime Parade held later in the day.


Twas the Night before Christmas @ Westfield Heritage Village – Enjoy Westfield by candlelight and feel the warmth of the season through music, food samples, fireworks and a visit from Father Christmas. Christmas shopping is available at the Gift Shop and the rest…


Start the Holidays Art Show and Sale – Start Stratford Arts & Culture Magazine is proud to be hosting Start the Holidays Show & Sale.  Purchase unique gifts made by local artists from various genres, live music, coffee bar and more. Cost: $5/General admission, $4/SR, 12 and under free

Visit with Santa and Comet – The big man himself and his faithful reindeer Comet will be visiting town to take special orders! Just make sure you’ve been good this year. Presented by the Businesses of Downtown Stratford!


Kidzfest @ Yonge-Dundas Square – A dynamic line up of performers at this year’s Kidzfest certainly won’t disappoint!  Experience the excitement of the big top, join a dance party with Puss In Boots,  watch the casts of Pinkalicious and Freckleface Strawberry, take in the magic of Rick Rossini Magic and “Birds of Prey” will be there as well. With these acts, as well as many other free games and activities offstage, Kidzfest truly offers something to entertain children of all ages!

Toronto Christmas Market – The annual holiday street market takes over the Distillery District with local vendors, craftsmen, family friendly entertainment, shopping & more.

Christmas at Black Creek Pioneer Village – Create a new Holiday family tradition with Victorian Christmas activities throughout the Village. Don’t miss the special family programs on weekends in December including horse drawn wagon rides, visits with Santa, cookie decorating and more

Winterfest @ Toronto’s Waterfront – Visit Santa’s Workshop in Queen’s Quay Terminal weekends from November 24 to December 16  for FREE arts and crafts where children can create holiday ornaments and greeting cards or decorate an elf hat with our elves from Artbarn School.


Tweed Festival of Trees –  Enter a wonderland of beautifully decorated trees & wreaths, enjoy some seasonal music while sipping a warm drink and tasting a delicious homemade cookie.


Christmas Craft Show @ WFCU Centre – Come out and see the Christmas Craft Show.  Find something for everyone, including: baked goods, wreaths, native art, beaded trees, jewellery, candles blankets and so much more


Puddicombe Polar Express – Experience the magic of Christmas at Puddicombe Farms.  Train ride on “Little Pudd” our seasonally decorated train, hot chocolate and cookie, visit our Pullman car (just like the one in the movies) and visit the north pole-meet Santa and Mrs. Clause. Children’s crafts and story time also available. Advance Tickets required


Santa House and Sleigh Rides – Santa makes a special trip to Downtown Woodstock to see all the boys and girls! Visit him in his House in Museum Square every Friday night in December from 5 PM to 8 PM and Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM. He’s reserved a place on his knee, he always has a candy cane ready and, if you wish, you can even have your picture taken with Santa! While there, make time for a free horse drawn sleigh ride throughout the Downtown


Weekend Fun (September 28-30, 2012)

The weekend is right around the corner and there are so many wonderful things going on in a town near you.  Get out and get some fresh air with the family and enjoy your weekend… you deserve it!

Ajax Doors Open Ajax – Take a glimpse inside our diverse and historical buildings and discover our rich and unique heritage.

Ayr – Family Fall Festival at Snyder’s Farm – There’s something for everyone, puppet shows, petting zoo, hayride, corn maze, and so much more. Fall treats to tempt anyone, freshly made caramel apples, deep fried mars bars and pumpkin pie. Over 16 activities to enjoy, come out to Snyder’s Family Farm and create memories to last a lifetime.


Carnegie Days Festival 2012 – Carnegie Days offers visitors of all ages great events that explore the role language plays in contemporary art. Exhibitions, public art projects, performances, author readings, artist talks, film and video screenings, guided tours and hands-on workshops take place at the MacLaren and across the city of Barrie

Chappell Farm’s Fall Festival – Now until October 31st!  Farmyard animals, Hay Maze, Corn Maze, The Boo Barn, Trike Track, Sand Diggers, Play Area, Pick  your own Pumpkin, Magic Shows, Live Entertainment, Jumping Castle (weather permitting), The Haunted Barn “theme changes yearly”

Bobcaygeon – Fall Fair – Horse show, Tractor pull, Parade, Exhibits, Midway, Live stock shows, Entertainment, Derby and more.

The Blue Mountains – Fall Colours Weekend – Local wine and cider tasting, guided hiking, Meaford Scarecrow Invasion and Craft Show, Apple Pie Trail adventures and country road and river touring.  Follow the apple pie trail from Collingwood past Meaford

Burlington –  Applefest Fall Fair  (Sunday only) – An old-fashioned fair right in the city! The day kicks off with a Pancake Breakfast from 9am-11am. The fall harvest celebration, from 11am-4pm is held at Ireland House at Oakridge Farm and features a wide variety of apple themed things to see do and eat along with all the traditional country harvest fair activities, artisans, music and live entertainment all day.

Brampton – Downey’s Farm Pumpkinfest (until October 31st) Unlimited Wagon Rides, Live Entertainment, Super-Cat-Super-Curve, Dump Truck Slide, Balloon Typhoon, Trike Track, Face Painting, Straw Jump, Farm Animals, Super Corn Maze, The Black Hole

Brighton Applefest – Most Applefest activities are centred around the main street and nearby King Edward Park. Events include BBQs, a dog show, children’s village, dances, a street fair, car show, arts and crafts show, dinners and a mammoth Saturday afternoon parade.

Caledonia – 140th Caledonia Fair – Entertainment, Pet show, Baby show, Demolition derby, Crafts, Midway, Food and more…

Chatam-Kent – Doors Open

Coldwater – Fall Fair – Entertainments, craft, competitions, midway, vendors, food, Animals, Tractor pull, Derby, Parade and much more

Egmondville – Ciderfest -Flea market, rope making, weaving, rug braiding, carving, heritage demos, tea cup reading, hot and cold cider, apple fritter, beef on a bun, hot dogs, etc. House open for tours.

Elmvale – Pumpkin Mania at Rounds Ranch (running until October 28th) Participate in here’s Pumpkin Seed Spitting for the older men, Pumpkin Hockey for the sportier types, Pumpkin Bowling for the ladies, Pumpkin Pie Eating contest for those with a big appetite and Oooey Gooey pumpkin for kids who like to play in guck.They also offer a petting zoo to pet and feed animals, pedal cart racetrack, western playground with ziplines & slides & a buckin’ bronco, barrel train boxcar rides, Moo Maze, huge cornfield maze, Ghost Town, pony rides, wagon rides to pick your own FREE pumpkin and more fun for all ages!For more information: 705-322-6293 or visit www.roundsranch.com

Fonthill –  Pumpkin Festival at Howell’s Farm – Straw barn, Forest Walk, Play area, Animals, Pumpkin slingshot, Ducky races, Lots of funny shows and so much more that you’ll want to go see in person!


Cultural Days (Saturday only) – Artisan demonstrations, family fun and costume dress-up

Doors Open – The Town of Gananoque invites you to experience some of the most intriguing and charming heritage sites in eastern Ontario.

Guelph – Graffiti Fest (Saturday only) – Cork Street will be closed to traffic, but bustling with activity as we showcase Guelph’s creative and artistic talents. There will be food and drink and music too

Halton Hills – Doors Open Halton Hills – Join in the excitement of the first Door Open in Halton Hills

Hamilton –  Touch a Tractor Charity Event  (Sunday only) – Taking place at Robar Centre the festivities include  The Hamilton Tiger Cat Players and Cheerleaders, Many Might Machines, Face painting, BBQ and much, much, more!!!

Hampton – Fun Farm Fall Weekends at Pingles Farm – Play areas, Straw Maze, Trike Track, Farm Animals, Bunnyville, Face Painting, Bugsy Balloon, Pumpkin Balloon, and Pedal Cart Track with more new carts! Don’t forget to check our newest addition to the Fun Farm, Pingle’s Barn Bouncer.

Kawartha Lakes – Kawartha Farmfest is Sept 29! A great 1-day self guided driving tour of farms and rural attractions!

Kitchener – Bingeman’s Scream Park – Bingemans will open the haunted gates of Screampark for the 7th year on September 28th to mark the start of the screaming season. Last year our park was filled with the shrieks and curdling screams of petrified guests that left them wanting more! Our chicken count has never been higher which left a total of 817 guests who couldn’t bear the thought of what might lie around the next corner.  Think you can you handle it?

Lambton County – Door Open Lambton County – Visit historic homes, performing arts venues, national historic sites, innovative businesses, green industries and more!

London – Doors Open London – 2012 is the 11th year that Doors Open London (DOL) has participated in the provincewide Doors Open Ontario program. This year, DOL will commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812. DOL will feature sites that have architectural, historical, social and cultural significance to this commemoration. Doors Open London is proud to be a part of Doors Open Ontario!


Fall Fair – Monster trucks, vendors, competitions, midway, Interactive agri-food tent, Demolition derby, horse show, Petting zoo, children’s entertainers and lots of yummy food

Whittamore’s Farm Pumpkinland – Thousands of pumpkins, hay rides, animals, spooky forest, farm maze, lots of play areas and climbers and much much more

Metcalfe –  Fall Fair – Entertainment, Midway, Derby, Animals, Agricultural displays, Tractor Pull, Classic car show and much more.

Middlesex –Doors Open Middlesex – Step back in time and experience our area’s history as we Defending a nation –celebrating the bicentennial of the War of 1812, a significant and defining event in Canadian history.

Milton – Springridge Harvest Festival – Running on weekends until the end of October.  Families will enjoy: A Professional Puppet Show “The Great Pumpkin Mix-Up” (Show Times: 11, 12, 1, 2:30 & 4), Wagon ride to the 5-acre Corn Trail, Spooky Boo Barn, Spiderweb Climber, Farm Yard Pipe Slide,Access to the Fun Farm Yard: Farm Animal Barn, Escarpment Educational Lookout, Giant Sandbox, Plywood Milking Cow, Witches Mouth Corn Trail, Tricky Trails Corn Maze, Straw Bale Jumping & Pyramids


Doors Open Mississauga – The 9th annual Doors Open Mississauga event will highlight unique architectural, heritage and cultural buildings, with a special focus on the Mississauga Civic Centre’s 25th anniversary. A selection of sites will also support the national Culture Days celebrations by offering performance and/or exhibiting venues to our local arts and arts groups.

Culture Days – Over 70 free things to do in Mississauga this weekend


Doors Open Oakville – Join us for our 5th year of Doors Open Oakville

Culture Days – Culture Days is a free, interactive celebration of arts and culture from coast to coast. Culture Days was conceived in response to the growing recognition that a vibrant arts and cultural sector contributes directly to a healthy and stable society.  Queen Elizabeth Community and Cultural Centre will be the hub for Culture Days 2012 in Oakville

Orillia – Downton Orillia Harvest Festival (Saturday only) – Food, Merchandise and Entertainers will be on-hand. There will be activities for all ages: Free Hay Rides, Restaurant Chili Cook-off, Farm Equipment Displays, Live entertainment, Food Drive supporting the Sharing Place Food Bank, and Lots More!!


Oktoberfest – WUNDERBAR!!! Oktoberfest Ottawa 2012 is Ottawa’s premier Oktoberfest celebration and music festival. With many local performers such as The Bushpilots, Good 2 Go and Canadian chart toppers The Julian Taylor Band, Oktoberfest Ottawa 2012 is a party you won’t want to miss!

Ottawa home and design show – Meet the professional designer, staging experts, and local suppliers that will point you in the right direction this design season.  Every portion of the home can be explored, from information on home building and renovations, to construction, and home materials.  Professionals will be on hand to share their valuable information to bring your ideas to life or inspire you with new ones.

Parry Sound – Doors Open Parry Sound – Enjoy the beautiful colours of Georgian Bay country as you enjoy Doors Open

Picton – TASTE Community Grown (Saturday Only) – Prince Edward County’s annual one-day epicurean experience featuring regional chefs, gifted growers, wonderful winemakers and the best beers, cider and cuisine.

Port Elgin – Pumpkinfest – Entertainment, Pet show, Baking contest, Science fun, Car show, Agricultural tent, Helicopter rides, food vendors, Pony rides, Petting zoo and much much more

Port Stanley/Sparta – Doors Open Port Stanley – Sparta – Our Doors Open event is a joint program of Port Stanley and Sparta in Elgin County. Port Stanley is a lakeside village of 2,200 residents on the shore of Lake Erie. The historic village of Sparta is located just north of Port Stanley, in rolling wine country. Sparta began as a Quaker community in the early 1830s and has preserved much of its local history and architecture.  We have been part of Doors Open Ontario for eight years, adding new venues and revisiting favourites each year.

Port Sydney – Annual Turkey Dinner and Fireworks at the Port Sydney Community Hall and Port Sydney beach (Saturday only, 3:30-7:30)  For more details, contact 705-385-2722.

Ripley – Ripley-Huron Fall Fair  (Friday and Saturday only) – Parade, Tractor pull, Texting Competition, Contests, Karaoke, Animals, Clowns, Car & Truck show, Dance and much more

Ruthven – Apple Festival – Bring the entire family and enjoy two spectacular fun filled days that will include weekend long musical entertainment, a host of rides and games for children, the Apple Festival Car Show, over 100 craft and food vendors and the popular Farmers Market filled with all the bounty of Essex County.

St. Thomas – Doors Open St. Thomas – Join us in 2012 when we rediscover the St. Thomas Street Railway. This railway began operating in 1879 as a horse-drawn service. It facilitated train connections between the stations of the Michigan Central, London and Port Stanley, Grand Trunk and Père Marquette railways, as well as commuting to work and shopping. The line was electrified in 1898.

Sturgeon Falls –  Cranberry Festival –  The Sturgeon River House Museum will be hosting the 13th Annual Cranberry Festival on Saturday  and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Local artisans craft sale, live entertainment, cranberry pancake breakfast, kids activities and so much more. For more information, please call 705-753-4716 or e-mail info@srhm.com

Temagami – Dream Catcher Autumnfest – Art classes, house boat tours, food, scavenger hunt, Community market, games and more

Toronto – The King East Design District Exhibition – This weekend long event will combine various aspects of design found in the city of Toronto. The event takes place on King Street East and in the Distillery District. The exhibition will allow the opportunity to explore all things decadent from furniture, accessories, cars, food, wine and dining. Attendees will have the opportunity to obtain a passport by making a $10 donation to Habitat for Humanity Toronto which can lead to fabulous prizes. This passport will record your journey to the various showrooms that will feature unique interactive and educational experiences.

Vaughan – Doors Open Vaughan–  Eleven Sites Each one specially selected because of its historical, architectural, cultural and/or environmental significance – will open their doors to the public free-of- charge for this two-day event.

Waterdown – Fall Artisan & Craft  Show (Saturday only) – Featuring local handcrafted and handmade items


Fall Home Show & Healthy Living Expo – Check out all of the latest products and services being offered to you!  It’s a great way to spend a family weekend outing together.  There will be something for everyone!

Doors Open Windsor – Windsor’s Sandwich Town saw a number of skirmishes during the war – two private homes and one church that are featured on our tour were standing at that time. We also feature sites that tell the story of prohibition and the Underground Railroad, and churches that paint a picture of Windsor’s wide ethnic diversity. Our event takes place over two days and is set up in clusters so that our guests can easily move from place to place.

Fall is in the air

School is back in full swing and that means fall is upon us. Summer goes too quick doesn’t it? After i’m done doing my happy dance that the kids are back in school I start to think of all the fun things that comes with fall. My favourite jacket can come out of hiding, we do our annual trip to the apple farm, attend a fall fair or 2 and yep I start my Christmas shopping.

Before the snow begins to fly though there are so many awesome activities you can do with your family. So throw on your favourite sweater gather up the family and head for a day of fun at one of the following orchards, fairs or fall festivals. Please add any additional ones we may have missed.

Apple Orchards in Ontario (compliments of our friends at Orange Pippin)


Harvest Festivals


Fall Fairs


Conservation Areas

So today was a beautiful day in Ontario so we decided to take the kids for a hike at a local conservation area.  No more than 2 minutes in our 6 year old wipes out and rips his knee open.  Oh the horror of the dirt and blood on his knee.  One would think his head had fallen off and rolled away.  Once cleaned up we proceeded on and had a lovely day.  At one point we ended up on a crazy rocky and rooted trail that was hard to maneuver and our 4 year old daughter asked “Mommy are we ever going to make it out of here?” .  “Of course we are silly” was my response but in my head I was thinking of ways to survive if we had to stay the night!  An hour later we made it out and truly can’t wait to do it again as we had some great chats with the kids and it was a lot of fun.  

There are so many great conservation areas in Ontario that have walking trails, festivals, winter activities and family fun.  Check out your local conservation areas … http://www.ontarioconservationareas.ca/index.php/ontario-conservation-areas

Have fun in nature with your fam!