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Winter light show coming to Toronto Zoo

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The Toronto Zoo is getting a massive lights show this winter, giving the public yet another Instagrammable experience to add to their holiday bucket list.

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This winter, zoo patrons will be able to venture through the Lumina Night Walk, a 1.5-kilometre light show, expected to take 45 to 60 minutes to navigate, complete with projections, storytelling, music, sound and other multimedia effects.

The show promises to transport participants to a hopeful, fantastical rendition of the year 2099, a time when humans and nature have learned to live in harmony.

The installation, named Terra Lumina: An Enchanted Night Walk into A Bright Future, is a project from a Montreal-based studio that has created similar custom lights walks in places like Singapore, Japan, Whistler, Kingston and Mont Tremblant.

If you were a fan of last year’s heated dome trend in Toronto, never fear, it’s not gone forever. InterContinental Yorkville is officially bringing back their “Igloosive” experience, just in time for what is expected to be one of the harshest winters ever.

Last year’s dome experiences included bread bowl menus and boozy drinks served inside clear tents.

You should be able to get into one of these domes starting Nov. 21.

Pickle lovers will definitely want to check out PickleFest at Kitchener’s The Museum on Nov. 15. The event will provide pickle-centred or inspired dishes from more than 10 local restaurants, to be complemented by cucumber-flavoured beer from more than 10 local breweries.

Additionally, the $35 admission gets you a sample from all of them, along with a novelty tasting glass and a ticket to a number of games and activities.

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More than 60 quality vendors, artisans and crafters will be selling their wares Nov. 16 in the greenhouse at DeGroot’s Nurseries on the outskirts of Sarnia. The annual event attracts hundreds of Christmas shoppers.

The annual Blue Mountain Christmas Gift Show is slated for Nov. 16 and 17 at Blue Mountain Village just outside Collingwood. This marks the 5th annual event taking place at the Blue Village Conference Centre.

Eight area wineries are participating in a Wine And Fries weekend Saturday and Sunday in support of the Red Shoe Society of Windsor and Ronald McDonald House in Windsor.

The event, presented by Essex County Wineries and Breweries, allows participants to receive a passport good for gourmet French fry creation and wine pairing at Muscedere Winery, Colio Estate Winery, Pelee Island Winery, North 42 Degrees Estate Winery, Sprucewood Shores Winery, Colchester Ridge Estate Winery, Mastronardi Estate Winery and Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards.

More than 30 kilometres of trails in Hilton Falls Conservation Area near Hamilton are ideal for wildlife viewing and birding.

After exploring the area’s old logging roads and beaver meadows, Kelso Conservation Area is only a short hike away. There you can rent a boat, fish, visit the historic  lime kilns or continue to follow the trails through nature’s playground.

Another great adventure can be had at Crawford Lake Conservation Area. Visit the Iroquoian Village and participate in cultural and learning adventures focused on First Nations history or take a walk on the boardwalk around a meromictic lake that is home to paddling turtles. This conservation area is linked by a hiking trail to Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area which boasts numerous photo-worthy escarpment lookouts.

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A Toronto restaurant has nabbed the position of second-best Italian restaurant in the world.

Don Alfonso 1890, located at 19 Toronto St., has earned the runner-up position behind only Passerini in Paris, France and ahead of Tokyo’s Heinz Beck which landed third spot.

With a menu that offers the classic Italian dishes you know and love, plus a selection of contemporary eats including ice creamed eel and bison in rustic bread crust, Don Alfonso is a must-go for Torontonians and visitors to the city alike.

So the next time you’re roaming the city’s downtown core, trying to decide where to grab a bite, consider checking the second-best Italian eatery on the globe off your list.

Honour your grandmother by helping Ethel and Mary’s open its doors. A new restaurant planning to bring refined home-style cooking to uptown Saint John is asking the public to be a part of their journey with an online campaign to raise start-up funds. Choice of perks for donors is the “Grandma Wall” where for $50 the restaurant will hang up a picture of your grandmother.

Credit cards are widely accepted in most destinations, but it’s always a good idea to have cash on hand. Not all vendors and suppliers are credit card friendly.

For example, taxi cabs in Aruba do not accept credit and using an ATM there is pricey.

Always call your credit card company and let them know you will be travelling. This prevents your account from being flagged for unusual activity and helps avoid embarrassing mishaps. Separate your financial resources and never carry them altogether. Distribute them between your travel partners and leave some behind in the hotel safe while you’re out and about.

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And it’s also a good idea to have photocopies of your passport and any other important documents you’re travelling with. The only thing you can’t plan for is the unexpected. Travel insurance is your best option for saving money if something comes up but not all unexpected circumstances are negative. Some of the best travel moments happen spontaneously.

Life is a journey – make the best of it.

According to a recent travel survey, Internet/WiFi access is the single most important accommodation amenity outranking traditional must-haves like TV and air-conditioning. WiFi is so important that 75 per cent of more than 1,000 travellers surveyed said they’ll seek lodging with Internet/WiFi access while only 59 per cent said they expect to get a TV.

The survey also determined that Australia is the top dream vacation destination.

Get ready for the ultimate journey down memory lane with Mickey Mouse in Disney On Ice presents Celebrate Memories Feb. 20-23 for eight performances at Budweiser Gardens in London.

Tickets go on sale today. Grab your mouse ears and get ready for a worldwide party as Mickey Mouse is joined by Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy on a journey to discover his favourite memory of all time.

Tickets start at $15 and are available at or or by calling 1-866-455-2849.

Air France is vying for more Canadian customers – especially those who fancy flying lying flat in business class on overnight flights to Paris – with investments to increase the number of flights to and from Toronto on its newest Airbus aircraft.

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The airline owned by Air France KLM Group plans to increase capacity on the Toronto-Paris route by 15 per cent by next summer on top of a 20 per cent increase over the past three years. Much like Calgary-based WestJet Airlines, which is ramping up transatlantic flights with its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Air France is moving upmarket to try and attract business class passengers with its brand new planes.

It may be hard to believe but there are only 27 more Saturdays until the 2020 boating season starts and I can’t wait.

The 10th annual Toronto Christmas Market officially opens Nov. 14 at 763 Front Street East, and the Cavalcade of Lights in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto begins Nov. 30 at 6 p.m.

WinterFest at Canada’s Wonderland opens Nov. 22 and the 115th annual Toronto Santa Claus parade is set for Nov. 17.

The 15th annual Windsor International Film Festival runs from Nov. 1 to 10 and offers something for everyone. There will be more than 277 screenings, 165 features and documentaries and 13 short films and also features some exclusive opportunities like sing-alongs and celebrity appearances.

Readers are invited to submit questions and suggestions on travel close to home and far away to travel writer Bob Boughner at

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