50 Christmas Lights in Ontario to Brighten Your Holidays [2023]

Christmas Lights in Ontario: Your Ever-Growing List of Holiday Cheer :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

To say these past few years have been some of the most trying is an understatement. However, there’s no better way to get in the spirit of the season than with some beautiful Christmas lights! It seems like more displays pop up across the province each year – and I’m here for it. If you’re looking for a dose of holiday cheer, you won’t want to miss these stellar destinations for Christmas lights in Ontario!

Wide View of the Dufferin Islands Light Display at WFOL :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

You can quickly see why I absolutely love the Winter Festival of Lights – so many displays!

Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls

When: November 18 – January 7
Cost: Free (Dufferin Islands by Donation)

I couldn’t resist starting with the mecca of all holiday celebrations – the Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls. It’s also near and dear to my heart as this Ontario light festival has been a family tradition for as long as I can remember. Though as Canada’s largest illumination festival, it’s really not to be missed. Enjoy the +3 million lights as they’re sprinkled throughout the tourist area of Niagara Falls for 101 nights just like last year.

Since the Ontario Power Generation became its title sponsor, the festival continues to more each and every year. Take a drive along the Niagara Parkway to admire the displays in Queen Victoria Park, catch a view of the Horseshoe Falls and finish your visit with the Dufferin Islands loop. The last is easily my favourite stretch of the festival with the large animal displays including moose, bison, Inukshuks and more!

RELATED: Check out my post for more information on the Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls.

This year, the Winter Festival of Lights is celebrating its 40th anniversary! To celebrate, a  brand new illumination light show has been created by the Niagara Falls Illumination Board, “Sparkling Winter Lights”. This display highlights the spectacles we can witness come winter from snow falling to the aurora borealis. A part of the typical illumination of the Falls each night, this five-minute long display will play on the hour at 6:00 pm, 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm.

Another new addition for 2022 is the Niagara Winter Festival of Lights Hot Chocolate Trail. This brand new self-guided trail is sure to warm you up from the inside out with 17 stops scattered throughout Clifton Hill, Stanley Avenue, Lundys Lane and more. Check out the map here and pop into the participating restaurants and bake shops in the city.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out the Floral Showhouse! Their annual poinsettia show is pretty spectacular.

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Holiday Lights at Casa Loma in Toronto :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Holidays Lights Tour at Casa Loma

Casa Loma Holiday Lights Tour in Toronto

When: December 1 – January 8
Cost: $45 per person, Purchase Your Passes Here

Wander through two kilometres of spectacular light displays as you make your way through the gardens and tunnels of Casa Loma. Everything is thoroughly decked out for the festive season with forests of illumated trees with the Grinch making an appearance to singing penguins. There is even live entertainment from stellar performers throughout the evening. I promise their talent will blow you away!

On top of that, you can say hello to Mrs Claus, send a letter to Santa as you make your way through the tunnels and even snap a photo with jolly ol’ Saint Nick himself. Dare I say that this is the best Christmas lights display in all of Toronto?

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Tree and Reindeer Light Displays at the Lakeside Festival of Lights in Burlington :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Photo of the Lakeside Festival of Lights in Burlington Courtesy of Tourism Burlington

Burlington Festival of Lights

When: November 24 to January 8
Cost: Free

Spencer Smith Park might be a hotspot in the spring for cherry blossoms but in the winter, it shines bright in a more literal way! For over 25 years now, the Burlington Festival of Lights (previously known as the Lakeside Festival of Lights) has brought holiday cheer to downtown Burlington. You’ll find over 60 light displays peppered across Burlington’s waterfront. 

Whether you choose to stretch your legs and walk through the park or enjoy the views safely from your car along Lakeshore Drive is up to you. This year though, the displays are set up to make it easier to see them if you do choose to drive. Whatever you do, be sure to keep an eye out for the Burlington Festival of Lights’ mascot, Twinkle, and say hello if you see him!

INSIDER TIP: Since you’re already in Burlington, you won’t want to miss the city’s Bright Nights festival in the heart of town. Head up Brant Street towards City Hall and you’ll see a number of gorgeous light displays along the way!

Exploring the Burlington Festival of Lights is the perfect holiday date night or family outing, especially since there are so many great restaurants close by. Why not enjoy a lovely meal and then take a stroll to fight off your food coma? Sounds like a great way to get into the spirit of the season to me!

RELATED: If you’re looking to spend a decent amount of time in town, don’t miss my guide to all the great things to do in Burlington.

Overhead View of RBG's Hendrie Park during Winter Wonders, Just One Spot for Christmas Lights in Ontario :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Views of Hendrie Park at the Royal Botanical Gardens During Winter Wonders Courtesy of Tourism Burlington

Winter Wonders at RBG in Burlington

When: Thursday to Sunday, November 23 to January 7
Cost: Varies with Age and Membership, Click Here for Details

Head to Hendrie Park as visitors meander along the picturesque pathways decked out with festive lights in this unique outdoor experience. This year, the Royal Botanical Gardens have added three new interactive light-to-sound displays to make the show even more magical. Plan to spend at least an hour enjoying the beautiful views.

If you start to feel chilly, pop by one of the three pop-up stations serving holiday-themed eats and treats to keep you fuelled. Or if the winter weather is getting to be a little too much, head inside to cozy up with the Botanical Train display or pop into the greenhouse to take a gander at some of RBG’s Mediterranean plant collection. Of course, stopping by the gift shop is never a bad idea either.

RELATED: Read more about why you need to visit Ontario’s only royal botanical gardens.

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Mountain Village Facebook Page

Photo Courtesy of the Blue Mountain Village Facebook Page

Holiday Magic at Blue Mountain

When: November 18 – January 7
Cost: Free

The Holiday Magic at Blue Mountain Resort is always in full force. Stroll through Blue Mountain Village and admire the sights and sounds of Christmas, adorned with garland and bows. Add a dash of snow and you’ll have picturesque views that will be perfect for next year’s Christmas card!

You’ll find a number of interactive light displays scattered throughout Blue Mountain Village. Pop by the Events Plazas and join in with the singing trees Friday and Saturday nights. Be sure to check out the Holiday Light Trail along with live performances on Saturdays and Sundays. Plus visitors will be treated to fireworks over the Mill Pond on Saturday evenings from November 19th until December 24th!

Not all fun is to be had at night though! During the day the lights might be dim, but you could catch a glimpse of Santa as you do a little shopping or enjoy a bite to eat.

RELATED: Grey County (where Blue Mountain is located) has a plethora of fantastic winter activities to enjoy. Check out my guide for some of the great things to do and make a weekend of it!

Close Up of the Lights at the Festival of Lights in Sudbury :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

One Thing I Love About the Festival of Lights in Sudbury is That You’re Almost Always Guaranteed to Have Snow!

Festival of Lights in Sudbury

When: December 1 to 31
Cost: Free

Science North is a must-visit whenever you’re in the Nickel City, and that’s even more so come Christmas time! In partnership with the Sudbury Charities Foundation, Science North sponsors an incredible light displays which takes over the museum’s front parking lot. From reindeer to trees to hockey (of course!), your family will love the variety of displays and the photo opportunities that come with it. It’s a 20+ year tradition that locals and visitors adore!

In addition to the Festival of Lights in Sudbury, they also run the Festival of Trees. Set up inside Science North’s lobby, beautifully decorated trees are donated by local businesses and organizations which you can bid on! All of the funds raised by this event go to support initiatives at Science North as well as groups supported by the Sudbury Charities Foundation.

RELATED: Sudbury is a fantastic winter destination and you’ll agree once you see all the cool things to do in the city!

Photo Courtesy of the Winter Festival of Northern Lights Facebook Page

Festival of Northern Lights in Owen Sound

When: November 18 to January 7
Cost: Free

At the southern tip of Georgian Bay, you’ll find the city of Owen Sound which shines bright come Christmas time. Home to the Festival of Northern Lights, you’ll find a wide variety of light displays lining the heart of town. 1st Avenue is the place to be for a serious dose of holiday cheer! You’ll find over 400 displays shining along both 1st Avenue East and West as well as 2nd Street East.

That’s not all, though! You’ll also want to visit Harrison Park for even more Owen Sound Christmas lights. This is where you’ll find the winter wonderland walking path. Enjoy a stroll as you take in the lights and don’t forget about the infinity tunnel! The lights are on every evening from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

RELATED: Harrison Park is home to one of the many beautiful waterfalls you can find in Grey County. Don’t miss my ultimate guide to visiting the natural beauties in the area!

Image Courtesy of the Lights On Stratford Facebook Page

Image Courtesy of the Lights On Stratford Facebook Page

Lights On Stratford

When: December 15 to January 13
Cost: Free

The city known for its elaborate theatre productions, Stratford goes all out for the festive season. The downtown core is transformed with a sense of whimsy and wonder with beautiful light displays and projections. Harnessing the expert craftsmanship of their local artists, lighting designers, prop builders and creative minds, you’ll be blown away by their enchanting works.

What makes Lights On Stratford really unique is that everyone gets in the spirit. You’ll find light displays in popular areas of the city like Market Square and the Shakespearean gardens, but you’ll also see local businesses sporting their own gorgeous spectacles. Follow the snowflake stars as they lead you to all of the winter wonder Stratford has to offer.

RELATED: Lights On Stratford isn’t the only thing going on in town. Check out my Stratford guide and see all the great activities this destination has to offer!

Image Courtesy of the Simcoe Christmas Panorama Facebook Page

Christmas Panorama in Simcoe

When: December 2 to 31
Cost: Free

Attracting over 60,000 visitors each year to Norfolk County, the Christmas Panorama in Simcoe is definitely a favourite amongst Ontarians!

Said to be Ontario’s oldest light festival, Simcoe Panorama has been sharing their Christmas spirit for decades. In a typical year, this festive display takes over Wellington Park with its signature River of Lights. Trolley rides will take you on a jovial tour around the park and you can enjoy a number of holiday eats and treats from local vendors. In the past, there have been llamas in pyjamas, character meet and greets and even a Christmas Market!

Lights are on every evening from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm with the trolley rides happening Saturday December 10th and 17th for just $2 per person. Christmas Market vendors will be waiting for you Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the Christmas Panorama.

Image Courtesy of the Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant Facebook Page

Lights at Glenhyrst in Brantford

When: December 1 to January 1
Cost: Free (Donations Appreciated)

Back in 2012, local Brantford resident Jeff MacDonald moved his huge light display from his home on Joysey Street to Glenhyrst. Ever since then, it’s become a celebrated experience that many look forward to each year. The Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant is thrilled that the event not only gets bigger and better each year but that attendance continues to increase. Some even drive through the display on their way home from work daily!

Glenhyrst is once again encouraging visitors to walk through the grounds as they take in all the brilliant displays. Parking on-site is limited so be prepared to park close by and walk-in. Please bring along some non-perishable food items as there is a donation bin for the local food banks.

For 2022, Glenhyrst is partnering with The Ugly Mug who will be serving up fantastic hot chocolate from their drink truck on Friday and Saturday evenings!

RELATED: Looking for more things to do in Brantford? Don’t miss my guide to the telephone city!

Photo Courtesy of the Winter Festival of Northern Lights Facebook Page

Photo Courtesy of the City of Belleville Website

Festival of Lights in Belleville

When: November 17 to January 7
Cost: Free

What started with tragedy has become a beloved festival for many locals and visitors alike. On Christmas Eve in 1958, the Foster family lost their son to a senseless car accident. They coped as best as they could and as a result, built a Christmas display dedicated to him. With the help of the Culloden family who also lost their son in the accident, they have created a festive legacy that the young and young at heart both love and adore.

Hop in your car and head to downtown Belleville for a Christmas sensation you can enjoy from your vehicle. Follow the waterfront roads as you’re treated to 5 kilometres of gorgeous displays and holiday music. Afterwards, head to enchanted downtown Belleville and support the local shops and restaurants with a little holiday shopping along with a bite to eat. Don’t forget to vote for your favourite holiday decoration display as they could win some cold hard cash!

RELATED: Belleville makes a great home base for exploring the area around the Bay of Quinte. Check out my guide to Belleville for some ideas of other things to do!

The Parliament Buildings in Ottawa Surrounded by Christmas Lights :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Photo of the Parliament Buildings Courtesy of Ottawa Tourism

Winter Lights Across Canada in Ottawa

When: December 7 to January 7
Cost: Free

If you’re looking for a truly festive destination, look no further than our nation’s capital. Ottawa is absolutely decked out for the holidays with thousands of colourful lights adorning city buildings, parks and streets. Winter Lights Across Canada is a big hit year after year!

Follow the Pathway of Lights as it leads down Confederation Boulevard, Wellington Street, Mackenzie Street, Elgin Street and Sussex Drive. It continues across the Alexandra Bridge and onto Laurier Street in Gatineau, Quebec. New for 2022, a gorgeous multimedia projection will be displayed across the Parliament Buildings Thursday through Monday. 

Screenshot of the Virtual Trees of Hope Tour :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Screenshot of the Virtual Trees of Hope Tour

Ottawa’s Trees of Hope

When: November 27 to January 5
Cost: Free

Ottawa’s iconic Fairmont Château Laurier becomes an absolutely breathtaking sight as the main lobby is completely decked out with gorgeous Christmas Trees. The Trees of Hope raises funds for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario to help support the important work done in pediatric care and research.

Can’t visit in person? One of the silver linings of these past few years is that you can still enjoy Trees of Hope virtually! That’s right, you can take your own online tour of these gorgeous Christmas trees from the comfort of your own home. There’s also a silent auction on Monday, November 28th if you’re looking to do a little holiday shopping.

Shot of the CP Holiday Train in Cambridge, Ontario :: I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train Crossing the Grand River in Cambridge a Few Years Back

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

When: Late November & Into December
Cost: Free

I’d be amiss to not include this bundle of travelling holiday cheer! The CP Holiday Train brings lights across Canada and the USA as it stops from city to city, bringing the Christmas spirit along with it. For two decades now, the train has been collecting donations in every destination it stops which is then donated to the local food bank. All donations gathered in that community stays within it – and CP donates on top of that!

At each and every stop, you’ll also be treated to live music as musicians travel along the train! It takes a bit of coordinating as the stops vary each year depending on the schedule but it’s something you should try to visit at least once in your lifetime.

While things are a little different this year, the CP Holiday Train is still gathering donations to the communities typically involved along the CP Holiday Train Route. However, you can now tune in from wherever you are across the country and even the globe! Find out more on their Facebook page here.

Unionville Light Displays :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Stephanie and Lindsay Enjoying the Light Displays in Unionville

Main Street in Unionville

When: Early November Into January
Cost: Free

If you’re looking for some small town festive fun just a hop away from the big city of Toronto, Unionville is a no-brainer! This adorable stretch of Markham turns into a scene from a Hallmark movie each year during the holidays. It’s the perfect spot for a Christmas getaway in Ontario!

Stroll down Main Street as you enjoy the dolled-up street lamps and beautiful light displays. The combination of gorgeous architecture and Christmas lights is sure to put a smile on your face! Be sure to pop into some of the local shops like Old Firehall Confectionery for a hot chocolate bomb or Pretty Thingz for some holiday shopping. 

For 2022, Old Tyme Christmas is back on December 3rd from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm! Visitors can enjoy a pedestrian-friendly Main Street with plenty of photo opportunities, a Christmas train, holiday characters, carollers and the Christmas parade to round out the event starting at 5:00 pm!

Festive Light Displays at Christmas in the Park in Orangeville :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Just a Small Taste of the Displays You’ll See at Christmas in the Park in Orangeville!

Christmas in the Park in Orangeville

When: December 1 to 31
Cost: Free (Donations Encouraged)

Head to Kay Cee Gardens where you’ll find the brilliant light displays of Christmas in the Park. Organized by the Optimist Club of Orangeville, bundle up for a stroll around the park. With snowmen, reindeer, penguins and more, there are so many beautiful scenes to enjoy! Don’t miss snapping a photo with some of the cutouts and posing with the sleigh under the gazebo.

With its close proximity to downtown, it’s a great spot to go for a stroll during your visit. I’m always a fan of a walk to fight off the food coma after a great dinner! The gates are open nightly from 5:30 pm until 10:00 pm.

RELATED: Orangeville might not be the biggest but it has lots of offer. Take a peek at my guide to the city and see how you can spend a day exploring!

Photo Courtesy of the Canadian Pacific Facebook Page

More Christmas Lights in Ontario That Are Free

The above destinations are what I’d consider the top light displays in the province. This does not mean that’s all there is, though! Here are a few more local ideas if you’re looking to explore some holiday lights that are off the beaten path.

  • River Lights Festival in Amherstburg [November 18 – January 8] – Enjoy hundreds of custom LED light displays in Toddy Jones Park and the King’s Navy Yard Park in downtown Amherstburg. With carolers, angels and more, there’s plenty of lights for all to enjoy! The downtown businesses are also decked out with holiday displays so be sure to stop in and shop local as you warm up during those chilly winter nights.
  • Centennial Park in Ayr [Early December to Early January] – Head to the heart of town where you’ll find 45 Christmas trees, each uniquely decorated thanks to members of the community including local businesses, schools, community groups and more.
  • Old Scugog Road in Bowmanville [dates vary] – Thanks to the gusto of local residents, Old Scugog Road becomes a top holiday destination in the city of Bowmanville. Enjoy the beautiful Christmas lights as they adorn the houses that line the street. You can get a taste of it in the video above!
  • Downtown Brampton [dates vary] – If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas date night in the Toronto area, you’ll want to head to downtown Brampton. There’s not one but TWO outdoor skating rinks and plenty of festive Christmas, a perfect way to end the night after a romantic dinner in the city.
  • River of Lights in Brockville [November 25 – January 2] – Take a drive along the Blockhouse Island Parkway to see the thousands of lights on display across the river. Set to music, the show is approximately 40 minutes long so get cozy in your car and tune into 88.1FM and enjoy the show!
  • Rural Lights & Winter Nights in Clearview Township [November 27 – February 24] – Over 20 light displays are spread out across 14 locations including Creemore, Stayner and more! Hop in the car with your immediate household and enjoy this self-guided ride as you’re captivated by the gorgeous 3D light displays across Clearview Township. You can find the map of the route here.
  • Christmas Fantasy of Lights in Frankford [November 25 – January 1] – For two decades, Frankford Tourist Park has been a go-to for holiday fun for locals and visitors alike. One of the highlights is the Memory Tree where loved ones (with a small donation) are honoured and featured on the tree. Be sure to check out the displays along the riverbank of the Trent River!
  • Light Up the Hills in Halton Hills [December 1 – January 14] – What started with the vision of a towering evergreen covered from tip to base with sparkling Christmas lights has grown into what is now known as Light Up the Hills. For over a decade, this massive tree in Georgetown’s Dominion Gardens Park has been a beacon of hope, created from the desire to bring everyone together for a dose of holiday cheer.
  • Lights at Lansdowne in Ottawa [November 24 – December 23] – Head to the Ottawa Christmas Market at Lansdowne Park for some brilliant light displays and the largest tree in the city! You’ll find a number of brilliant light displays that make for the perfect holiday photo opportunity at Casino Lac-Leamy Plaza.
  • Festival of Lights in Perth [November 16 to January 5] – Feast your eyes on the brilliantly decorated trees inside the Crystal Palace as they are lit each night from 5:00 pm until dawn.
  • Winter Nights, City Lights Illumination in Pickering [November 24 – January 31] – Enjoy a yuletide stride through Esplanade Park and admire the light displays throughout.
  • Holiday Home Tour in Quinte West [December 11 – 25] – Enjoy a self-guided tour of the best-decorated homes across Quinte West! Don’t forget to vote for your favourite homes as those participating can win a prize.
  • Celebration of Lights in Sarnia [November 25 to January 28] – This long-standing tradition is something locals and visitors both look forward to in the city. Completely organized by volunteers, many flock to Centennial Park to get in the festive spirit.
  • Let it Glow in St Catharines [December 1 to January 7] – Meander the streets of downtown St Catharines as well as Rennie Park in Port Dalhousie as they’re transformed into a twinkling wonderland! There are plenty of fantastic photo opportunities to be had as well as a holiday market, workshops and more on various dates throughout this celebration of light.
  • Rio Lane in St Catharines [December 1 to January 1] – This is truly a hidden gem for festive lights in Niagara. Tucked away off of Linwell Drive you’ll find a culdesac with displays galore! The folks living on Rio Lane have been spreading holiday cheer for over 40 years and it’s one of my favourite spots to check out during the holidays. Be sure to bring some non-perishable food items as they collect donations for Community Care!
  • Doug Whitney Christmas Fantasy of Lights in Trenton [November 26 – January 1] – What began as a passion project in 2002 has grown into a beloved holiday tradition. In 2015, it was dedicated to Councillor Doug Whitney who passed away earlier that year.
  • Wonders of Winter in Waterloo [November 25 to January 1] – For almost twenty years, the Wonders of Winter has brightened Waterloo Park for the month of December. Beginning with a modest 5000 lights and one creative citizen, it has since grown to include a number of light displays with local clubs, the city and generous citizens getting involved to give the park some holiday magic.
  • THEE Farmers Parade of Lights [December 6] – The towns of Tyrone, Haydon, Enniskillen and Enfield decorate farm equipment as a way of saying thank you to their communities for sharing the roads with them year-round. Hop in your car and check out this self-driving parade of light displays by following this route through the municipality of Clarington!
Lindsay Enjoying the Festive Displays at Country Bright in Milton :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

You Can’t Help but Smile with All the Festive Displays at Country Bright (now Twinkle After Dark) in Milton!

Paid Holiday Light Shows in Ontario

As you may have noticed, the above Ontario Christmas lights are all free! The holidays can be a time when money is tight, especially with everything that’s happened this year, so I focused on displays that can be enjoyed by all. However, if you are able to spend a little cash, here are some more paid Christmas lights across the province.

  • A Country Christmas at Saunders Farm in Ottawa [December 1 – 23] – You may know Saunders Farm for its ghouls and goblins as it’s a popular spot around Halloween, but you’ll see it in a whole new light come Christmas time! Take a walk through this 180-year-old farm as you explore hedge mazes, Christmas displays and the ever-amazing Saunders Farmshop! Santa will be on hand alongside his elves for photo opportunities. Tickets are $20 per person when purchased online in advance.
  • Alight the Night in Ottawa [December 1 – January 6] – Head to Upper Canada Village for Alight the Night – Eastern Ontario’s largest outdoor light festival! Historic meets modern as you’re transported back to the 1860s with this holiday event. Throw on some layers and enjoy an evening stroll as over a million lights deck out this historic site. Tickets are $15 per person, children under 5 are free.
  • Balls Falls Holiday Trail in Lincoln [December 2 – 30] – Meander along the Niagara Escarpment in the area of Twenty Mile Creek as the Ball’s Falls Conservation Area gets in the festive spirit. Walk along the 1.5 km long path past beautiful light displays and through the 1800s heritage village of Glen Eden. With scavenger hunts, skating under the starts, music and more, it’s bound to be a holly jolly good time! Check out their Facebook event for more details.
  • Christmas Trolley Tour in Kingston [December 1 – 31] – Enjoy a 75 minute trolley tour throughout the city of Kingston as you admire the beautiful displays from the comfort of a classic red trolley. A unique way to see some Christmas lights in Ontario! Tickets are $25.
  • Clow’s Christmas Trail in Brockville [Select Dates December 1 – 23] – Enjoy a 1.5 kilometre stroll through the woods as you enjoy the lovely displays featuring a winter sports lane, the North Pole post office, candy shop, elves at the lodge, and more. Tickets are $15 and can be used any time throughout the season.
  • Fairway of Lights at Angus Glen Golf Club in Brampton [TBD] – Bundle up as you stroll the illuminated kilometre-long walking path through the North Course as you admire the spectacular interactive displays and decorations that will enchant you with the wonder that comes with the festive season. Tickets are $30 with discounts for families and children.
  • First Light at Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons in Midland [Select Dates from November 24 – December 2] – This historical site and living museum recreates what it was like for the French Jesuit settlement who lived here from 1639 to 1649. Enjoy a cup of cedar tea, listen to the first Christmas hymn of what is now Canada and listen to the stories told by the Huron Wendat Nation. As one of Ontario’s signature experiences, it’s not to be missed.
  • Holiday Lights in Kitchener [November 17 to January 6] – Head to Waterloo Region for this 2 km long drive through light display. It now features 300 individual light displays, including two light tunnels making it the biggest its ever been. However, you may find the fee is a little steep, especially as it gets closer to Christmas with a price tag of $40.
  • Holiday Nights of Lights in Vaughan [December 1 to January 7] – Enjoy this brilliant immersive walk-through experience featuring over 1.5 million LED lights synchronized to the best holiday tunes around! Once you’re done, head over to Mistletoe Lane aka the newest holiday popup experience you don’t want to miss. Get your tickets here.
  • Illumi in Mississauga [September 14 – January 7] – Mississauga will be seen in a whole new light as Illumi ignites over 20 million brilliant lights that are crafted into 13 magical universes spanning the equivalent of 10 football fields! You’ll be blown away by the sights and sounds.
  • Journey Into Enchantment in Mississauga & Richmond Hill [Select Dates from December 1 to January 1] – Enjoy this Christmas drive-through in two locations for your convenience! Tickets are issued per vehicle though there are some dates at the Mississauga location that offer walk-through experiences.
  • Magic of Lights in Nepean [November 17 – January 6] – Considered one of the favourite festive traditions in the Ottawa area, Magic of Lights is a fabulous drive-through display that will brighten your evening as well as the hopes of others with some proceeds going to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. 
  • Safari Lights in Fort Erie [November 19 – January 7] – Hop in your vehicle and feast your eyes at over one million twinkling lights during this 3-kilometre drive-through light extravaganza! Tickets are either $25 or $35 per vehicle depending on the date.
  • Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm Holiday Trail near Ottawa [TBD] – Enjoy a beautifully lit stroll through a gorgeous forest on this heritage farm in Edwards. Plan for plenty of photos and the odd pit stop to warm up by the fire along this 2+ kilometre long trail. Save $2 on entry when you purchase in advance online.
  • Vintage Village of Lights in Ottawa [Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays from November 24 – December 17] – Roll down your windows and take in the sights of the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. Walk through the 1920s and 1930s village as you explore the festive light displays and true-to-era buildings at the museum. Tickets are $25 per group.
  • WILD Winter Festival of Lights in Orono [TBD] – Head to the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park where Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue has partnered with the Orono Agricultural Society to create this brilliant drive-through holiday light display! There’s a $25 entry fee with funds being raised for JumpStart Canada as well as J.A.G Village. Tickets must be purchased in advance online.
Some of the Displays at the Fantasy of Lights in Trenton :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Photo of the Fantasy of Lights in Trenton Courtesy of Bay of Quinte Tourism

FAQ for Christmas Light Viewing

As this is a unique year to say the least, you might be wondering if there’s anything you should know about visiting the light displays near you. Here are some frequently asked questions I’ve seen about Christmas light displays in Ontario.

How Much Does a Christmas Light Show Cost?

Well, that depends! As you saw, some of the light displays across the province are free while others may cost $10-$20. Luckily there are a variety of options to fit everyone’s budget.

What Should I Wear When Viewing the Lights?

If you’re planning on visiting a drive-through display or one with that option, I say wear whatever is comfortable! However, it’s a good idea to have a heavy hoodie or winter jacket on because chances are you’ll want to roll the window down to snap a few photos and that can get chilly.

Is getting up close and personal to the Christmas lights more up your alley? Then you’ll definitely want to bundle up. Layers are key (especially if there’s any wind!) and I recommend having a thermal layer underneath, some warm leggings or pants, a warm hoodie and a winter jacket. You’ll want to dig out the winter boots if you haven’t done so already and be sure to bring a pair of mittens and a toque along for the trip. Take a peek at my winter hiking gear guide for some ideas on how to stay warm.

Where Can I See Christmas lights in Ontario?

Easy answer – across the province! If you’re wondering what Christmas lights are close to me, I recommend just heading out for a drive to see what magical displays you’ll see in your own neighbourhood. Of course, any of the above offerings on this list are a great option for some festive fun.

Where is the Best Place to Look at Christmas Lights?

That’s a tough one! Personally, I think the best display on this list is the Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls but many of these holiday displays are fantastic in their own way.

When Should I Check Out the Christmas Lights in Ontario?

Times for the festive displays can vary, though it’s safe to say that the majority of the Christmas lights in Ontario are up by December. Weekends are always busier and the days will get busier as you get closer to Christmas. I recommend mid-week earlier in the month for planning your visit, but snow isn’t always guaranteed. Personally, I think the Ontario holiday lights are the best viewed with a layer of snow!

Some of the Displays You'll find at the Winter Festival of Lights in the Dufferin Islands Area :: I've Been Bit! Travel Blog

Ready to View Some of the Christmas Lights in Ontario?

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Don’t Forget These Destinations for Christmas Lights in Ontario & Pin It for Later!


  1. Sherri Telenko

    December 5, 2020

    This is a great list. I’ve been to a number previously but hope to get to Blue Mountain this year …with my new dog.

    • Lindz author

      December 7, 2020

      I haven’t been to Blue Mountain myself either but I’ve heard such magical things! I hope you’re able to make it! 🙂

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