If you’re looking for a true holiday experience like those in Hallmark Christmas movies, these small Ontario towns offer just that. The holiday magic lives within these small towns during the season and for some all year round. That means a road trip is in order and if you’re in need of recommendations, we got you covered!
From local holiday markets to full-blown light shows and village transformations, these small Ontario towns have the most holiday cheer and they don’t play around.
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This whimsical village in Temiskaming Shores promises to be “eventful, dynamic, musical, and imbued with the joy of living,” according to its website.
It’s the most festive French-Canadian experience you’ll ever attend!
You’ll feel like you’ve been whisked back in time to the 16th century as costumed performers sing, dance, and play music in the traditional style of New France.
When: November 23rd to 25th, 2023
Where: New Liskeard Fairgrounds, May Street South, Temiskaming Shores
Though small, Dresdon’s beloved event was recently added to Festival and Events Ontario’s list of the top 100.
The one-night experience offers some of the best local shopping experiences, along with delectable eats, warm drinks, and more.
And there’s even a pop-up bar that features breweries and beverage crafters from Chatham-Kent and neighbouring communities, according to organizers.
When: November 25th, 2023 – pop up from 3 PM to 11 PM & marketplace from 3 PM to 8 PM
Where: 485 St. George St – Dresden, Ontario
According to Destination Ontario, the town of LaSalle, which is located just south of Windsor, hosts a much-anticipated Holiday Lights Heritage Nights event at the Civic Centre.
You can expect “beautiful outdoor light display will transform the area into a magical outdoor walk-through holiday wonderland, including numerous ornamental and holiday lighting displays and a forty-foot-tall walk-through tree,” states the town. If you plan to check it out, the lights will be on daily from 5 pm until 10 pm.
When: November 24th to January 7, 2024
Where: LaSalle Civic Centre, 5950 Malden Road, LaSalle
Nestled in the gorgeous forest landscape of Muskoka, Santa’s Village is a Christmas-themed amusement park that’s open year-round for kids and families, but in the wintertime, it transforms into a charming festive experience known as Santafest, which kicks off on November 18.
When: November 18th until December 23rd, 2023 (select dates)
Where: 1624 Golden Beach Road, Bracebridge
Cost: $32.95 per person, Children under 36″ tall FREE
Experience the fun and wonders of the most joyous season of all at Blue Mountain’s Holiday Magic. The entire Village transforms into a winter wonderland this month and you’ll certainly feel like you’re at the North Pole.
From November 18th to January 7th, check out Holiday Magic at Blue and experience the festive Village draped in garlands and bows, illuminated from head to toe in the most stunning holiday lights.
When: November 18th to January 7th
Where: 156 Jozo Weider Blvd, The Blue Mountains
There’s a dazzling holiday trail featuring thousands of twinkling lights in Ontario. And it’s on an island! The River of Lights holiday experience kicks off this month and is sure to transport you to a magical winter wonderland.
From November 25th to January 2nd, The River of Lights holiday light display will take over Blockhouse Island in Brockville. You can enjoy this trail from the comfort of your own car.
Feast your eyes on the stunning array of lights that adorn the entire island.
When: November 25th, 2023 to January 2nd, 2024
Where: Blockhouse Island Parkway – Brockville, ON
Described as “everyone’s favourite candlelit holiday event,” the award-winning First Light at Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons is what the magic of the holidays is all about.
First Light is an enchanting festival illuminated by thousands of glowing candles.
The cozy ambiance will be accompanied by a great lineup of family activities and live musical performances.
When: November 16th to December 2nd, 2023 (select dates), 5:30 PM to 9 PM
Where: Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, 16164 Highway 12 East, Midland
Cost: $15 per person
Whoville is coming to life for one day only, this holiday season! You’ll have to travel about two and a half hours north of Toronto, to the town of Georgina for this festive experience. Whoville on High Street will transform the local road with whimsical displays and installations you can explore.
When: November 25th from 5 PM to 9 PM
Where: High Street, Georgina Ontario (Sutton)
This adorable family-run farm has turned Christmas tree shopping into a cozy holiday experience.
The farm has a huge variety of farm fresh trees that are pre-cut, but you also have the option of cutting one yourself if you’re up for the challenge.
There’s also a variety of greenery for sale to decorate your home for the holidays.
When: Opens November 12th, 2023
Where: 1962 Regional Road 3 Hampton
Celebrate the holidays the old-fashioned way! This December, Moreston Heritage Village is transforming for its annual holiday event, Moreston by Candlelight.
Picture this: horse-drawn wagon rides through the twinkling village and a soundtrack of live music filling the air with festive cheer.
The heritage village will be decked out in holiday decor, welcoming you to explore the heritage buildings and feel the Christmas magic.
When: Saturday December 2nd and Saturday December 9th, 4 PM to 8 PM
Where: Moreston Heritage Village, Georgian Bluffs
Cost: $10.50 per adult
Ontario’s Cumberland Heritage Village Museum will transform into a festive holiday destination, adorned with lights and festive activities that date back 100 years.
Vintage Village of Lights at Cumberland Heritage Village Museum kicks off from November 24th to December 17th. Experience the Christmas traditions of yesteryear in what is called a “postcard-perfect scenery” of a 1920s and 30s village.
The village will shine bright in stunning light displays and seasonal decorations. “Chat with the villagers and get an up-close look at carpentry, leatherwork, and blacksmith demonstrations,” shared organizers. “Join us for a song around the player piano then send a telegram to the North Pole. ”
When: November 24 to December 17, 2023 – Friday to Sunday from 4 PM to 9 PM
Where: Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, 2940 Old Montreal Road, Cumberland
And there you have it! Which one of these small towns will you be visiting this holiday season?