Southern Ontario Tourism Holiday Lights and Magic...
in Southern Ontario

Contact Southern Ontario Tourism at 1-800-267-3399 or, for your free travel guide and information about other exciting travel experiences.

Enjoy the Festive Season at Southworks Outlet Mall beside the Grand River in the historical Galt section of Cambridge. A 150 year old foundry converted into 130,000 sq. ft. of outlet shopping plus an additional 30,000 sq. ft. of antiques and collectibles. We offer Brand names such as Kodiak, Mattel Toys, Jones New York, Cambridge Towel, Paderno, Campus Crew, Saucony, Corning and Black & Decker marked way under regular mall prices. Southworks offers something for everyone on your holiday shopping list. We have extended hours for you shopping enjoyment during the Christmas season Mon.-Fr. 9:30 a.m. - 9:00p.m, Sat 9:00a.m. - 6:00p.m., Sun. 11:00am to 6:00p.m.

The town of Simcoe, which is, located in Norfolk County hosts its annual Christmas Panorama for the entire month of December. Since 1959, Christmas Panorama has invited crowds to enjoy the spectacular vision that turns Simcoe's Wellington Park and Clifton Park into a celestial delight. Over 90,000 twinkling lights form canopies overhead as visitors sip hot chocolate by the warmth of blazing fires. Whimsical displays, the traditional lighthouse, windmill and tiny chapel are all illuminated. Simcoe's Carillon Tower, built as a memorial to lost soldiers, guards the bridge separating the two parks. Each year dedicated carillon players, chiming the bells by hand, add to the magic of Christmas Panorama.

Relive an extraordinary, 700-year-old German tradition this year at the 7th annual Christkindl Market at Kitchener's City Hall, December 3-7, 2003. This "Festival of German Christmas" recreates the religious and commercial element of its ancient German parent, bursting with free entertainment, tasty German food and drink, and craft vendors from Canada and Europe. If you're looking for an unusual gift, this is the place! Join us for a candlelight parade. Sing your favourite carols in the shadow of an enormous Christmas tree. Or simply enjoy mulled wine and watch children twirling on the skating rink.

Ontario's West Coast - Huron County is sparkling. For the best in Christmas shopping, festive parades, shimmering Christmas lights, fine food and dining. Treat yourself to four-diamond experience while dining at the Benmiller Inn and the Little Inn of Bayfield - their award-wining chefs will create a memorable seasonal feast. Enjoy the Festival of Lights in the historic Port of Goderich. Shop the scenic main street of Bayfield on sunny winter days. The villages and towns on Ontario's West Coast offer unique gift shopping in a sparking clean and entertaining setting.

Niagara-on-the-Lake's 14TH Annual Candlelight Stroll will take place this year the night of Friday December 5th, with caroling from the Court House steps beginning at 6:30 pm. A favourite tradition for many families, the Candlelight Stroll is part of the 12 Days of Christmas promotion presented by the Chamber of Commerce. The 12 Days of Christmas offers special shopping and family celebrations for all to enjoy. The Chamber of Commerce is delighted to be able to continue this well-loved tradition of sharing in the joys of the Holiday Season with neighbours and friends and looks forward to welcoming new visitors this year.

Theatre Aquarius, Hamilton's professional regional theatre has a tradition of presenting a Holiday Family Musical with spectacular set, costumes, singing and dancing. Meredith Willson's "The Music Man" runs from December 6 to 28, performances at 1pm and 7pm. The award winning story of rascally travelling salesman Harold Hill (David Mucci), who sells music and boys' bands to small towns and finds love with Marian (June Crowley), a small-town librarian, features the well known songs: Seventy-six Trombones, Till There Was You, and Gary, Indiana.

Travelodge Hotel Burlington on the Lake is offering Get-a-Room, Get-a-View, Give-a-Donation $109. * Donation Rate with the proceeds going to Halton Women's Place Holiday Hamper Program 2003, from November 15 to December 25. The 8th Annual Burlington Lakeside Festival of Lights will transform Burlington's downtown lakefront at Spencer Smith Park into an enchanting winter wonderland from November 30 - January 11, 2004. Our FREE, community Festival is the perfect setting to spend time with friends and family. A number of displays featuring elaborate detail and impressive sizes will pepper the park at this year's festival including Eiffel Tower, a polar bear and two cubs playing ball, and windmill, as well as the traditional Nativity Scene and Santa's sleigh.

Come and see what Guelph has to offer this Christmas Season! Christmas Lights and Music takes place November 14. This wonderful evening includes trolley rides, a candlelit procession, carols, a live nativity scene and the lighting of the Salvation Army Tree of Hope. From November 19 to December 7, the Festival of Trees features daily viewings of the beautifully decorated trees. Downtown Guelph welcomes Santa with the Santa Clause Parade on November 16, 1:30 pm. Rotary Club's Sparkles in the Park, from December 20 - 31, you can see Christmas light displays, go on a sleigh or wagon ride, ride the carousel, listen to carollers, and enjoy some hot drinks.

Visit the Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview & Spa from November to January during the Winter Festival of Lights for an enchanting winter getaway. Experience the wonder and magic of Niagara's largest winter festival! View Fireworks displays from your room, see illuminated night parades and enjoy hundreds of lighting displays along the Niagara Parkway. Celebrate a new year with the annual New Years Eve Outdoor Concert. Or stay indoors for an elegant evening at the Marriott Niagara Falls for a New Year's Eve Gala event to remember.

The Parade of Lights celebrates the transformation of Stratford's park and downtown to a sparkling wonderland. This magical event on November 30 includes a winter walk from Tom Patterson Island to City Hall and the singing of carols. Enjoy the reading of A Christmas Carol, fine festive meals, unique shopping and public skating throughout the season. Music concerts, art and craft shows and seasonal exhibitions at Gallery Stratford and the Stratford-Perth Museum will enchant you. Hear the bright sounds of The Canadian Brass on December 22 in the beautiful Festival Theatre. Make Stratford your destination for a relaxing holiday getaway.

Experience brilliant shades of autumn and the sparkling crispness of winter in St. Marys, Ontario! With a picturesque and historic downtown, St. Marys boasts a nostalgic past and warm and inviting community spirit. Nestled along the Thames River, and established in 1841, St. Marys became known as 'The Stonetown' due to it's wondrous architectural structures rendered in local limestone. Today, fine examples of the early stonemasons' craft include the town hall, museum, opera house, library, the old water tower, and railway viaducts. Stay at one of our charming bed & breakfasts, dine in style at a variety of tantalizing restaurants and cafes, and enjoy specialty shopping for antique or one-of-a-kind gifts.

As the temperature drops and the chill of winter tightens its icy grip, escape into the warmth of the Mediterranean setting of Casino Windsor's award-winning hotel and casino. Delight in the sight of palm trees adorned with twinkling holiday lights and a 60-ft waterfall, as you make your way to our front desk where our helpful staff is always ready to serve you. You'll enjoy our comfortable and beautifully decorated hotel rooms as well as the fun and excitement of the gaming floor only a few steps away. With five restaurants to choose from and live entertainment nightly, Casino Windsor is everything you're looking for in a mini-vacation before the hectic holiday season is upon you!

Come celebrate an 1875 Christmas at Ridge House Museum located at 53 Erie Street South in Ridgetown. Ridge House Museum is a middle class working man's home that was built for $200.00 in 1875 for a family with eleven children and opened in 1975 as a memorial to all children, during Ridgetown's centennial year. Join us for a 1875 Victorian Christmas November 22 - December 23, December 27 - December 30 with a special Christmas evening celebration on both November 29th and 30th. Staff from Maggie's flowers will help with the décor. The gallery will brag of model trains, complete with a working module and a telegraph switch. Open daily 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The Days Inn in Owen Sound is the perfect location to relax and enjoy small town Ontario. Our award winning Festival of Lights displays thousands of "twinklers" set against the snow-covered banks of the Sydenham River. Stroll old fashioned downtown streets and find that unique gift. For the more adventurous, try a guided dogsled adventure through some of Ontario's most spectacular scenery or try a horse drawn sleigh through a maple bush. After your eventful day, wind down in our hot tub, warm up in the sauna, take a dip in the pool and enjoy a fine dinner in our restaurant. "Georgian Bay Hospitality at its Best".

Beneath snow-capped trees and skyscrapers, Hamilton offers many warm festive experiences to entertain a range of visitors to the city. Families can travel through Hamilton's portals to Christmases past. Relive the holidays as celebrated through the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, authentically replicated at one of Hamilton's many historic homes, full of garlands and the scent of hot-spiced cider. The city's theatres will play host to both beloved Christmas classics and exciting new performances. Fans of The Nutcracker are sure to be entertained by our city's distinctive rendition, which replaces the Stahlbaum family with the made-in-Hamilton MacNab family.

The St. Clair River waterfront and neighbourhoods of Sarnia are brightly lit for seven weeks each winter for the Celebration of Lights. Centennial Park features more than 200 displays and the river route including the Point Edward Charity Casino and Blue Water Bridge set the waterfront aglow with festive cheer. A runner-up for the Canada WinterLights competition in 2002, the 19th annual Celebration of Lights runs from Nov. 14 to Jan. 4, daily 5-10 p.m. Opening night features fireworks and entertainment. The Parade of Lights is Dec. 6. Petrolia Discovery, the world's only public oil field, hosts the Splendour of Christmas Nov. 28-29.

The award winning Holiday Inn Fort Erie is minutes from the Peace Bridge, Racetrack and Slots and a short drive to Niagara Falls. Let us pamper you with uncompromising comfort, service and style in our spacious guests rooms, Executive Business and luxurious Fireplace Suites. Whether you're here to spend the night or to taste our culinary offerings, you have picked the right spot. For the athletic type, we offer a fully equipped fitness room, indoor pool, whirlpool and sauna. The Atrium Spa provides a full range of relaxing massages, facials, and body treatments. For the kid in all of us we have a newly renovated games room.

Winter sparkles in Kitchener! Christmas Fantasy in Victoria Park creates a winter wonderland downtown. A magical candlelight parade down Gaukel Street ends at the Clock Tower where the lights are officially turned on - November 29th till January 1st. Christkindl Market is a festival of German Christmas at Kitchener City Hall. Enjoy food, music and vendors selling homemade crafts - December 3-7. Festival of the Night is an alcohol-free New Year's Eve family event with bands, activities and ice-sculptures in Victoria Park and Kitchener City Hall, held December 31. The Santa Claus Parade is Saturday, November 15. Come and be enchanted!

Celebrations abound in Niagara throughout the holiday season. Angelfest, Festival of Lights, and Winterfest of Greater Fort Erie, are just a few of the many events to delight the family! Christmas celebrations, Santa Claus parades, theatre, shopping and spectacular scenery are ongoing. Niagara's Great Escapes, your free seasonal guide to the Niagara Region offers exciting accommodation packages, a winter events guide and more! If you are visiting Niagara, stop at Gateway Niagara at the Casablanca exit in Grimsby and visit our Information and Welcome Centre open 7 days a week year round. Speak with one of our friendly, knowledgeable travel counsellors for Niagara information; discount attraction tickets and room reservations.

Here is something a little different to do during the Christmas Break. Join the Fiesta at Wings of Paradise Butterfly Conservatory December 27, 2003 to January 4, 2004. This year's "Bugfiesta" theme adds a Latin flair to the menu. With culinary expert Professor Jeff Stewart of the Niagara College's School of Hospitality and Tourism and the Niagara Culinary Institute, we have created a truly authentic Mexican feast that will have you saying "Ole" to insect tasting. Visitors can sample dishes, which will feature grasshoppers, crickets and mealworms. Bugfeast is an educational opportunity since in many parts of the world insects are considered a delicacy or staple. Open daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (last admission sold at 4:00 p.m.)

In a well-hidden corner of southwestern Ontario, the night skies sparkle with a celebration of lights. The Town of Kingsville flicks the switch on November 30, 2003 for its annual Fantasy of Lights festival. Lakeside Park is the picturesque setting for the increasingly popular event. In addition to the lighted displays, a craft show and marketplace is open to the public December 5th - 7th and December 12th - 14th. Warm up after your evening under the stars at the Seacliffe Inn, where every luxurious room boasts a cozy natural gas fireplace in a romantic nautical setting. Enjoy regional wines and fine local cuisine in a casual atmosphere in the lower level dining room. Getaway packages.

The festive season in St. Jacobs gets a bright kick-off when St. Jacobs Sparkles November 13 - 16. Each day is themed: Thursday is "Ladies' Day: Doing it Up in Style", Friday evening is "Gentlemen's Night", Saturday is "Family Day" and Sunday features an "Old-Fashioned Christmas". Stores will be open until 9:00 PM on the Thursday and Friday evenings - perfect for planning that girls' shopping getaway at Benjamin's Inn or the Best Western St. Jacobs Country Inn. Twinkling white lights in trees, bushes and on store facades will be turned on Thursday the 13th. Country Livery Services will convey shoppers up and down King Street with their horse-drawn trolleys as carollers invite you to join them in song.

From the latter part of November to the end of December, Pinafore Park in St. Thomas turns into a spectacular display of Christmas lights. In 1993 the St. Thomas Holiday Fantasy of Lights started with 23 displays. Today there are over 120 displays. The displays represent young and old, groups and individuals, churches, social clubs, businesses, industries and professional groups. Several of the trees in the park are lit up as well. Local musicians donate their time and talent to provide Christmas music for our many visitors. The lights are turned on at 5PM daily and go off at 10 p.m.

Holiday lights are aglow during Brantford's Christmas season at the Bell Homestead National Historic Site "Lamplight Tours" December 13th - 14th, 5 - 8 p.m. The Victorian homestead where Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone is trimmed for the yuletide with their "Ringing in the Holidays" Christmas celebration December 1st - 24th from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts hosts the magic of Christmas with The Nutcracker on Saturday December 6th - 7:30 p.m., followed by A Don Messer Christmas on December 11th & 12th at 2:00 p.m., Handel's Messiah Friday December 12th performed by the Elora Festival Singers, 8:00 p.m. Bring in the New Year with April Wine concert at 10:00 pm.

It's always perfect weather inside Southwestern Ontario's FUN Indoor Resort - the Wheels Inn in Chatham! During the Holiday season, enjoy 11-acres of exciting indoor/outdoor recreational facilities. Choose one of our fun-filled family Adventure Packages or an all-inclusive New Year's Package! For wonderful stocking stuffer ideas, we offer gift certificates, ticket books and seasons passes! Wheels Inn has 350 guest rooms, twin 100' waterslides, indoor/outdoor pool, miniature golf, Bowling Centre, Health Spa, Fitness Centre, 4 eateries, video game reserve and is home to Ontario's largest indoor amusement park and outdoor seasonal attractions.

Discover Cambridge during the holiday season! One of our main attractions is the selection of factory outlets, antique shops and farmers markets. Browse through more than 28 stores at Southworks Outlet Mall like Jones New York, Black & Decker, Cambridge Towel, Revlon, Corning and Tiger Brand. And antique hunters can browse 30,000 square feet of treasures. Ten Grand Antiques specialize in collectibles and unusual items, perfect for that hard to buy for person. If custom pine and oak furniture is what you're after, visit Waterloo County Reproductions or the Pine & Oak Shop. For regional handicrafts, from quilts to pottery and candles, stroll our Farmers Markets. And, don't forget chocolates at Reid Candy & Nut Shop!

Catch the magic! Two-time national champion of the Winter Lights Celebration, Owen Sound's 16th annual Festival of Northern Lights, with its 15 km of light strings and over 200 displays, is an impressive sight for young and old alike. The Lights are on daily from 5 - 11 pm, November 14 to January 18, with a full slate of events. Owen Sound is a popular all-season destination offering visitors a variety of restaurants, accommodation, gift and clothing boutiques.

Radisson Hotel Kitchener presents a winter fantasy St. Jacobs Getaway! Browse in quaint shops and boutiques featuring unique items and clothing. Savour the freshly baked bread and pastries in the Stone Crock Bakery and Restaurant! Then relax at the Radisson Hotel Kitchener featuring indoor pool, fitness room, Library Café and indoor walkway to 3 popular restaurants. Package includes: 1 night accommodation - best available room; free breakfast; welcome gift; free in-room movie; St. Jacobs umbrella; $50.00 gift certificate for the Stone Crock Restaurant, Stone Crock Bakery, Vidalia's Market Dining or Benjamin's Restaurant; voucher for two complimentary coffees at the cappuccino bar in La Crème boutique. $169.99 plus applicable taxes. Valid until December 31, 2003.

Southern Ontario… It’s the Place to Play!
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