Gorgeous Christmas Lights Drive-Throughs And Displays Across The Country

Maija Kappler
·Associate LIFE Editor, HuffPost Canada
·7 min read

2020 is making it clear why Christmas lights became such a thing in the first place. When the days are short and so many people feel lonely and isolated, seeking a brightly-lit tree can cause a surprising difference in our moods.

Luckily, there are a lot of Christmas light displays all across the country. Many are drive-throughs or outdoor walkways, and all say they intend to follow provincial COVID-19 safety protocols.

Here’s your guide to Christmas light drive-throughs and displays in Canada.

One note: Many of these are outside the cities themselves, so keep that in mind when you’re thinking about travel time.

Toronto

Bluffs Winter Wonderland

Where: Scarborough

When: Nov. 27 - Dec. 20

What: “You will pass by Reindeer Way, Snowman Alley, The Enchanted Forest and end at Santa’s House for a distanced meet & greet with Santa Claus.”

Glow Gardens

Where: Niagara

When: Nov. 18 - Jan. 2

What: “Take a leisurely cruise and enjoy larger-than-life reindeer, teddy bears, ornaments and a deLIGHTful 30+ foot tree.”

Journey into Enchantment

Where: Markham

When: Nov. 20 - Jan. 7

What: ”Enjoy the enchantment of over a million lights, bright animated and static displays, music performances, starburst virtual illumination, and the dazzling lights in your vehicle convenience and comfort.”

Night of Lights TO

Where: Vaughan

When: Nov. 20 - Jan. 7

What: “A socially distanced, fully contactless drive-thru experience, featuring more than 1,000,000 LED lights animated and synchronized to your favourite holiday tunes.”

Polar Holiday Drive-Thru

Where: Toronto Pearson Airport

When: Nov. 27 - Jan. 3

What: "Each of the six levels of the drive-through features its own themed environment, filled with iconic holiday elements that are loved by all generations.”

Santa’s Drive-Thru Village

Where: Concord

When: Nov. 26 - Jan. 17

What: “Families will experience magic itself looking through the car’s rolled down windows and listening to beautiful music selection on the tuned radio frequency designed for the complete 25 minutes of the drive-through ride.”

Sherway Gardens Holiday Drive-Thru

Where: Sherway Gardens, Etobicoke

When: Nov. 25 - Dec. 24

What: “Take a magical journey to the North Pole from the comfort of your own vehicle! Gather up the family to safely enjoy this guided, immersive drive-thru experience that will take you on a mission to help save Christmas.”

Window Wonderland

Where: The Junction, Toronto

When: Nov. 14 - Jan. 31

What: “An immersive urban art-walk that uses augmented reality to transform the Junction neighbourhood into an outdoor gallery that is interactive, engaging, and magical.”

Winter Festival of Lights

Where: Niagara

When: Nov. 14 - Jan. 10

What: “The festival transforms Niagara Falls into a palette of breathtaking colour with millions of sparkling lights and animated displays.”

Winter Wonders

Where: Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington

When: Nov. 18 - Dec. 23

What: “This unique outdoor experience guides visitors along Hendrie Park’s picturesque pathways adorned with charming festive lights, including 7 magical displays that tell the stories of unique winter wonders.”

Calgary

Airdrie Festival of Lights

Where: Airdrie

When: Dec. 1 - Dec. 31

What: “Western Canada’s largest, free, outdoor walk-through Christmas Light Display.”

Legacy Christmas Light Parade

Where: Legacy, Calgary

When: Nov. 16 - Jan. 10

What: “Drive through the community, tour a decorated show home or bundle up and take a walk along the many lit-up streets, parks and through tunnels of lights.”

Lions Festival of Lights

Where: Calgary

When: Nov. 29 - Jan. 8

What: “The largest drive-by holiday light show in Calgary.”

Noel Christmas Indoor Light Park

Where: BMO Centre, Calgary

When: Dec. 18 - Jan. 3

What: ”From an impressive Interactive Light Park, to artisan gifts, craft beer and spirts in the Noel Market, there’s something special for everyone. With nearly one million twinkling lights, you’re sure to capture the perfect ‘Instagrammable’ moment at Noël.”

Sparkle Sparkle

Where: Calgary Science Centre

When: Nov. 27 - Jan. 3

What: “Walk through a massive shimmering northern lights cave, warm up by a towering LED bonfire, and be spellbound by shooting stars in one of Canada’s largest dome theatres.”

Zoo Lights

Where: Calgary Zoo

When: Nov. 20 - Jan. 3

What: ”This year’s Zoo Lights will feature exciting new activities including Polar Wonderland, Journey to Wechiau, Enchanted Gardens ... and of course, we’re bringing back all the classic activities we have come to love like the Skating Rink, Firepits, Rival Axe Throwing, Lovers’ Lane, and a (physically-distanced) visit with Santa.”

Edmonton

Glow Gardens

Where: Edmonton Expo

When: Dec. 18 - Jan. 3

What: “Bring together the people you love to stroll, laugh and play under the twinkle of a million lights.”

Luminaria

Where: University of Alberta Botanic Garden, Spruce Grove

When: Dec. 1 - 31

What: “Stroll through candle-lit pathways, look at light sculptures, catch a glimpse of illuminated snow sprites, and be charmed by a miniature winter village.”

Magic of Lights

Where: Castrol Raceway, Edmonton

When: Nov. 20 - Jan. 2

What: “You’ll embark on a 2.5 km ‘drive-through’ experience from the comfort of your own vehicle. Be mesmerized as multiple holiday themes come to life with hundreds of thousands of sparkling LED lights.”

Winter Wonder Forest

Where: Rainbow Valley Campground

When: Dec. 1 - Jan. 3

What: “We will be transforming over 115,000 square feet of campground into a stunning and breathtaking holiday light display to look at from the warmth of your own vehicle.”

Zoominescence

Where: Edmonton Valley Zoo

When: Nov. 26 - Jan. 3

What: “We’re ready to light up the night and show you the Edmonton Valley Zoo’s sparkle.”

Montreal

Illumi

Where: Laval

When: Oct. 9 - Jan. 31

What: “A one-of-a-kind magical nocturnal adventure that offers drive-through or walking options.”

Mohawk Light Celebration

Where: Peel St., downtown Montreal

When: Mid-November to mid-February

What: This one’s a little different: rather than the usual Christmas decorations, this busy downtown street will instead be decorated with lights depicting the bear, wolf and turtle clans of the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) people who are the traditional caretakers of the area that’s now Montreal.

Christmas Village

Where: Ormstown

When: Dec. 3 - 5

What: “Take a drive through our merry village, and enjoy the lights and sights of a Christmas wonderland.”

Ottawa

Magic of Lights

Where: Wesley Clover Park

When: Nov. 13 - Jan. 9

What: “A dazzling, drive-through holiday lights experience featuring favourite holiday scenes and characters of the season using the latest LED technology and digital animations.”

Saskatoon

Enchanted Forest

Where: Forestry Farm Park

When: Nov. 20 - Jan. 9

What: “Visitors can enjoy the Holiday Light Tour from the comfort and safety of their own vehicles.”

Vancouver

Bright Nights Christmas Train

Where: Stanley Park

When: Dec. 8 - Jan. 1

What: “Kids of all ages will be singing along to their favourite carols as they take in the whimsical displays in the sparkling magically-lit forest of Stanley Park along their ride.”

Glow Gardens

Where: Harbour Convention Centre

When: Nov. 21 - Jan 4

What: “Experience a family-friendly indoor winter festival as you celebrate the magic of winter with interactive light gardens, illuminated structures, delicious food, drinks and daily live entertainment all under the twinkle of a million lights.”

VanDusen Festival of Lights

Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden

When: Dec. 8 - Jan. 3

What: “A magical winter wonderland with more than one million lights decorating 10 acres of land in a magical outdoor garden setting with themed areas, unique light features, and holiday music.”

Winter Lights

Where: PNE grounds, Vancouver

When: Dec. 11 - 27

What: From the warmth of your car, you’ll be transported through nine enchanted lands filled with glowing lights in your mission to discover Santa, with special characters and festive performers to help you along your way.

Halifax

Evergreen Festival

Where: Downtown Halifax

When: Nov. 28 - Dec. 21

What: ”Enjoy four weeks of outdoor family-friendly festive fun.”

Glow Gardens

Where: Halifax Exhibition Centre

When: Nov. 26 - Jan. 2

What: “Laugh, stroll and play under the twinkle of a million lights as you explore our light gardens and illuminated structures.”

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost Canada and has been updated.