Bring on the snow! Are you excited for winter and all the new seasonal activities it brings? You can go sledding, skating, skiing or just have a low-key adventure seeing all the twinkling lights. This year if you’re looking to shake things up, there are plenty of secret places in Ontario to enjoy once the province turns into a winter wonderland.
This winter surprise your favourite person and discover somewhere new. There are plenty of stunning sights and experiences to be had such as skating along a path through a forest illuminated by tiki torches or you could go for a hike to discover a magnificent frozen waterfall. Or you could book a stay at an adorable tiny cabin in the woods or visit an icewine festival.
In Kerwood, you can take a fluffy alpaca for a walk in the snow or snowshoe across a suspension bridge at Blue Mountain near Collingwood. How about dining in an igloo on Bloor Street in Toronto or shop at a store that celebrates Christmas all year called Tinseltown Christmas Emporium in Ottawa?
In Scarborough, you can visit a sculpture park or see a frozen waterfall called Tiffany Falls in Ancaster.
Another great adventure is a visit to a tubing park in Kitchener or a dog sledding adventure in Huntsville.
The Niagara Falls Festival of Lights is now underway for a new season. For 37 years, visitors to Niagara Falls have had the opportunity to appreciate its natural beauty in an innovative way. Light art exhibits and interactive displays stretch eight kilometres from Queen Victoria Park to the Dufferin Islands.
Since 1982, Ontario Power Generation has put on what is now described as North America’s largest illumination festival which attracts close to two million visitors annually and runs to Jan. 12.
If your preference is a warm sunny beach there are plenty to choose from down south. Among my favourites are Pink Sands Beach in the Bahamas, Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday Islands in Australia, Radhanagar Beach in Havelock Island in India, Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida and Bamboo Island Beach in Thailand.
Finding your own private beach is every beachgoers dream. Despite Florida’s population growth here are five tips to still make it a reality.Access to a boat makes getting away from the crowd so much easier. Rent or buy a boat or kayak and utilize the Florida state park system. And don’t follow the herd. Look for other alternatives and research maps and even read TripAdvisor for reviews and advice. With award-winning beaches like Clearwater Beach and Caladesi Island to family-friendly Fort Desoto, you can find your new favourite beach in St. Pete/Clearwater, Florida.
All-inclusive vacations are the perfect way to travel in my opinion. You can indulge in relaxation, score beautiful hotel digs, explore new destinations with fun activities and enjoy delicious food and drinks all without worrying about paying for every activity or meal. But many people think an all-inclusive vacation is far too expensive for budget travellers. The fact is they are much cheaper than you think. Check them out this winter.
The brand new adults-only Valentin Cayo Cruz hotel is now open bringing contemporary Caribbean charm to Cayo Cruz, a small island known for its white sand beaches and coral reefs. Part of the King’s Gardens archipelago on the northern coast of Cuba, Cayo Cruz sits alongside other popular Cuban beach destinations such as Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria. The hotel is only a 60-minute drive from the Cayo Coco International Airport. All 546 rooms include a balcony or terrace.
Canada has more doughnut shops per capita than any other country as Canada’s capital, Ottawa certainly represents! Whether you like traditional and simple or gourmet and decadent, not to mention dairy-free and vegan, you’ll find the right match for your doughnut craving.
Among the best known shops are Mimi’s in Manotick, Little Jo Berrys, Maverick’s and SuzyQ Doughnuts. Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton also have no shortage of gourmet donut shops.
Enter today for your chance to celebrate the holidays inside The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor with five giveaways. It’s your chance to win tickets to some of the best holiday entertainment in Windsor-Essex including A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage on Saturday, A Magical Cirque Christmas Dec. 14, The Tenors on Dec. 15 and The S’aints Sleighing Hunger on Dec. 20, plus a grand prize draw including a one-night stay and gourmet dining experience.
To learn more visit caesarswindsor.com or yqgholidays.ca.
Pho-lovers are you up for the challenge of finishing a giant bowl of pho?
In Toronto there is a restaurant that sells a bowl of pho that is so big that it feeds at least four people. At Ginger Pho in North York, they sell what they describe as the world’s largest bowl of pho. The bowl is 16 inches wide and weighs 16 pounds including the bowl, noodles, meats and vegetables.
The bowl costs $45.
Edmonton’s famous Candy Cane Lane opens Dec. 12 and will feature sleigh rides this year. In addition there are more than 20 light displays to check out in the Edmonton area this winter.
Dresden’s annual Santa Claus parade is slated for Dec. 14 beginning at 6 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Kinsmen Club.
The annual parade coincides with Dresden’s annual Winter Market, an event that has in past years attracted thousands of people to the Chatham-Kent community.
The eighth annual Christmas Bazaar at Walpole Island Sports Complex is taking place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday also marks the opening ceremonies for the Celebration of Lights in Sarnia featuring a free evening of family fun including live bands, horse and trolley rides, face painting and free hot chocolate and popcorn. Santa will arrive at Centennial Park by fire truck.
Christmas on the Farm at Sarnia’s Canatara Park is slated for Dec. 6 and 7. There will be horse and wagon rides, singalongs, roasting chestnuts on an open fire and decorating a Christmas tree. The event is sponsored by the City of Sarnia and the Seaway Kiwanis Club.
The annual Petrolia Santa Claus parade will take place Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.
Readers are invited to submit their questions and suggestions on travel close to home or far away to travel writer Bob Boughner at firstname.lastname@example.org.