Winter festivals and events in Ontario

Jul 29, 2010 at 12:45 a.m. ET

There's nothing like celebrating the season, and Ontario is home to some of the most exciting winter festivals and events around! Check out these must-dos if you are spending the winter season in Ontario.

Winter festival of lights

1Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

Held in Exhibition Place, Toronto, from November 5 through 14, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair includes exciting animal attractions, the world-class Royal Horse Show, Pizza Pizza Petting Farm, Horse Show Matinees, the President's Choice SuperDogs, and fine food an drink at the Vitners' Terrace Restaurant.

2Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls

From November 6 through January 31, Niagara Falls comes alive with the festive season. The Winter Festival of Lights features more than 125 animated light displays, 3 million tree and ground lights, a Niagara Parks Winter Wonderland – including the Enchantment of Disney displays – and the world's largest illuminated Canadian-American flag. A must-do is ice skating at the Rink at the Brink, like Rockefeller but at the "brink" of Horseshoe Falls.

3First Light

This year marks the 11th anniversary of Sainte-Marie's First Light event, held in Midland from November 25 through 27. More than 2,000 lights illuminate the evenings surrounding visitors with the glow of the holiday season. Enjoy hands-on activities, 17th century crafts, treats from Sainte-Marie's Cookhouse and more.

455th Annual Wiarton Willie Festival

February 1 through 6, 2011, marks the 55th anniversary of the Wiarton Willie Festival. Events include live music and entertainment, Wake Up Willie LIVE comedy/variety show, and more. The festival pays tribute to Groundhog Day and on February 2 everyone anxiously awaits Willie's prediction – an early spring or six more weeks or winter? Don't miss it!

5Bon Soo Winter Carnival 2011

The largest winter carnival in northern Ontario, The Bon Soo Winter Carnival runs from February 4 through 13. This carnival has something for everyone – check out the Polar Bear Swim Day at Bellevue Park complete with sleigh rides, tractor shuttle rides and snowmobile rides, enjoy premier concerts, and a Kid Zone with age appropriate performances.

6Voyageur Winter Carnival

Held at Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay from February 12 through 14, the Voyageur Winter Carnival includes events such as The Chilly Willy Pond Hockey Challenge, an amazing fireworks display, tubing runs, sleigh rides, dog sled rides, a sugar shack, snow sculpting, and a variety of contests. Live music will entertain the crowd.

7Winterlude 2011

Winterlude 2011 will include three weekends – from February 5 to 21 – of winter fun for the whole family, including ice carvings, breathtaking snow sculptures, a snow playground, exciting outdoor shows and more. Don't miss the Rideau Canal, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also the world's largest skating rink.

More things to do in Canada