Between witnessing the first snow fall of the year and putting up our Christmas trees, I’d say that many of us are ready for our winter festivities to begin. To guarantee that your holiday is filled with glee, we’ve put together a list of the best things to see this year. So, round up your friends and family, pack on the layers to stay warm and get ready for a holiday that’ll be hard to forget.
1. Toronto Zoo Marketplace
When: November 19 – December 23, 2021
Where: Toronto Zoo
This year, the Toronto Zoo will be hosting its annual Holiday Marketplace, featuring over 90 local vendors and an abundance of festive décor. Get the last of your holiday shopping done while taking in the sights of the various attractions at the zoo. You won’t want to miss out on this fun-filled event, so be sure to grab tickets while you can. It’s only a 25-minute drive from Empire Maven.
2. The Winter Village
When: November 18 – December 31, 2021
Where: The Distillery District
If you’ve never visited the Distillery District’s Winter Village, this should be on the top of your list. It’s the perfect place to walk around and take in beautiful decorations near the holidays. With a variety of local shops, craftspeople, restaurants and cafes, there’s an abundance to do. Marvel at their 55-foot tree decked out in over 600 giant ornaments, while you listen to busker’s carol. It’s a three-minute drive from Empire Quay House.
3. Winter Wonders
When: November 24, 2021 – January 9, 2022
Where: Royal Botanical Gardens
The name says it all — Winter Wonders is a winter wonderland of nature and light. This one-of-a-kind outdoor experience gives visitors access to seven magical displays along Hendrie Park’s winding pathways. Festive music will be played, and holiday treats will be available on site. At every corner, there will be something new to admire with trees and structures lit from bottom to top. It’s only a 30-minute drive away from Empire Avalon.
4. Hamilton Winterfest
When: January 29, 2021 – February 15, 2022
If going out to a festival doesn’t appeal to you because you’d rather stay home and cozy up next to your living room fireplace, we’ve got you covered. The Hamilton Winterfest is an eighteen-day virtual experience featuring over 50 events. From concert streamings to author readings and pop-up art virtual tours, there’s an abundance of content for you and your family to explore.
5. Winter Festival of Lights
When: November 13, 2021 – February 21, 2022
Where: Niagara Falls
Since 1982, Niagara Falls has hosted a Winter Festival of Lights — Canada’s largest illumination festival, attracting over one million visitors each year. For the first time ever, the festival is spanning 101 nights, 58 more than last year. There’s three walking routes to suit your needs, whether you’re out with the family, on a date or want to be immersed in nature. Travel just 22 minutes from Empire Legacy or Empire Calderwood.
Who says your holiday festivities have to stop here? Discover some other ways to have fun inside and outdoors this winter season.
Images courtesy of: Toronto Zoo (Toronto Zoo Holiday Marketplace); Toronto Storeys (Distillery District); Royal Botanical Gardens (Winter Wonders); OPG (Winter Festival of Lights).