Celebrate Christmas coast to coast
Story by Michele Sponagle
‘Tis the season, right? Work takes a backseat while fun and frivolity rule in celebration of the holidays. Where to go? Snow or no? What happens when the weather outside gets frightful? You better not pout. You better not cry. We’ve got you covered in every direction.
West Coast wonders
Ain’t no mountain high enough, so head to fun-packed Grouse Mountain, just a short drive from Vancouver. Christmas means skating on a frozen pond 3,700 feet above the city and visiting an enchanted gingerbread village. If you are into great scenery, stroll over to Bright Nights in Stanley Park (until January 4). Snag tickets for the train to see dazzling lights, breath taking displays and live performers along the way.
Sweet on Edmonton
It’s back! The popular Candy Cane Lane with its spectacular display of lights and decorations, from glittering ice sculptures to Mr. Potato Head, returns to the west end until midnight on January 4. Bring the kids and a donation for the Edmonton Food Bank (bins on site).
One, two, tree in Saskatoon
Saskatoon residents eagerly await this annual event – The Enchanted Forest Holiday Light Tour. In fact, it’s Saskatchewan’s top winter attraction. Take a drive to the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park. In its 16th season (now until January 11), the lights shine bright under the dark winter sky to depict everything from the beloved Saskatchewan Roughriders football team to Santa Claus and his reindeer. Make it a true event and book an old-fashioned horse-drawn wagon.
Winnipeggers say: “Let it snow!”
The city’s residents aren’t afraid of a bit of cold weather or snow. They embrace it, especially at Christmas. The Arctic Glacier Winter Park at The Forks is a winter playground. Bundle up the family for a skate at the outdoor rink (rentals available on-site), snowboarding, and tobogganing. When you get worn out, chill out at the snow lounge on couches and chairs made of snow.
Jolly in Toronto
Something magical takes over in Toronto over Christmas, transforming the city into a festive paradise. Find it at places like Casa Loma, the popular majestic castle that draws visitors with special history-themed exhibits such as the 10 Decades of Christmas Trees Display and 100 Years of Christmas. Or sign up for a Kensington Market Christmas Food Tour, a walking trip through this ethnically diverse area and the fantastic array of culinary delights. Or snap up tickets for the family-themed show, Disney on Ice: Treasure Trove at the Rogers Centre.
Montreal’s bright skies
The city’s reputation for loving a great party extends into the holiday season with flair. At the Old Port, Saturday night means it’s time for TELUS Fire on Ice, a pyro-musical show featuring a fiery combination of choreographed fireworks and great tunes. You can still catch it on December 27 or January 3. Believers and non-believers alike can’t help but be awed by a traditional Christmas mass at one of its impressive Catholic churches. Reserve tickets for the one at St. Joseph’s Oratory (both December 24 and 25).
Party hearty Nova Scotia-style
Ever been to a ceilidh? “A what?” you may ask. This very traditional Celtic party blends music and dance together to create one epic social event. At the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre in Judique, Cape Breton, you’re sure to pick up a few words of Gaelic. Book now for the ceilidh on December 26, 28 and January 4. Epic fun!