Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the warmth of family and the joy of the holiday season are so delightful! As a parent, I know how important it is to make every Christmas special for my children. Canada, with its snowy landscapes and festive spirit, offers numerous opportunities for families to create cherished holiday memories. So, this year, I've put together a list of five suggested places to bring kids before Christmas in Canada. From twinkling lights to hot cocoa, these destinations are sure to bring a twinkle to your child's eye.
1. Santa's Village in Bracebridge, Ontario
Ho, ho, ho! Bracebridge, Ontario, is home to one of the most enchanting Christmas destinations in Canada - Santa's Village. It's the North Pole come to life! This magical village opens its doors every holiday season, welcoming families with open arms.
The journey begins with a ride on the Santa Express Train, which takes you through a winter wonderland of frosted trees and snowy landscapes. The kids will be wide-eyed with wonder as they meet Santa's reindeer, visit Santa's house, and even have a chat with the big man in red himself.
The main attraction, of course, is Santa's Village, which is decked out with sparkling lights, festive decorations, and a Christmas market that's perfect for finding unique gifts. Your little ones can also enjoy holiday-themed rides, cookie decorating, and storytelling sessions with Santa's helpers. Don't forget to warm up with some hot cocoa and freshly baked gingerbread cookies - it's all part of the magic!
2. Quebec City, Quebec - A Winter Wonderland
If you're dreaming of a white Christmas, Quebec City is the place to be. The charming, historic city transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. Old Quebec, with its cobblestone streets and European flair, is a storybook setting that your kids will adore.
Take a leisurely stroll through Quartier Petit Champlain, which is beautifully adorned with twinkling lights and holiday decorations. Don't miss the impressive German Christmas Market in Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville, where you can find unique gifts and savor delectable treats. Your kids can also enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides and ice skating at Place D'Youville, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
For a true Christmas immersion, visit the Musée de la Civilisation, where a spectacular exhibition about Christmas traditions around the world awaits. And, of course, you must explore the iconic ice hotel, Hôtel de Glace, just a short drive from the city. It's a breathtaking experience that your children will talk about for years to come.
3. Vancouver, British Columbia - Enchanting Christmas Market
Out on the west coast, Vancouver lights up with the spirit of Christmas a few events from Santa Claus Parade along Columbia Street, downtown Chilliwack, and Surrey to Christmas lights at Stanley Park and Capilano Suspension Bridge that promise to captivate the hearts of your little ones.
The enchanting Vancouver Christmas Market transforms Jack Poole Plaza into a whimsical wonderland every year, where children can explore festive stalls, indulge in mouthwatering treats, and enjoy the magical atmosphere. The Christmas Market boasts a diverse range of holiday activities, including ice skating, a stunning light maze, and the chance to meet Santa Claus himself.
With its enchanting displays and charming entertainment, this market is a perfect destination to make your kids' Christmas dreams come true in the heart of Vancouver. The breathtaking beauty of Enchant's light displays and the warmth of this Christmas celebration make Vancouver a magical place to bring your kids before Christmas.
4. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island - The Christmas Capital
When it comes to holiday charm, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, deserves a special mention. This picturesque coastal city is known as "The Christmas Capital of Canada," and for good reason. The entire town gets into the festive spirit, making it a delightful place to share the holiday season with your kids.
The Charlottetown Christmas Festival kicks off the season with a parade featuring Santa Claus, and the city is beautifully adorned with twinkling lights and decorations. Take a leisurely walk along Victoria Row, where you'll find boutique shops perfect for holiday shopping. Your kids can enjoy festive performances and horse-drawn wagon rides, all against the backdrop of historic architecture.
One of the highlights is the Christmas Festival of Lights at Victoria Park, where you can take a stroll through a magical display of over 25,000 lights. It's a perfect opportunity for family photos and creating lasting memories. And don't forget to check out the holiday theater productions, which include classics like "A Christmas Carol" and "The Nutcracker." Charlottetown truly brings the magic of Christmas to life!
5. The North Pole, Northwest Territories - A Real Christmas Adventure
For a Christmas adventure like no other, why not take your children to the true North Pole? In the Northwest Territories, there's a place called North Pole in the community of Yellowknife. While it may not be Santa's official residence, it's still a magical destination that your kids will treasure.
Start your adventure with a visit to the Yellowknife Ice Castle (Will be back in MARCH 2-29, 2024) , a sparkling structure made entirely of ice. It's like stepping into a real-life fairy tale! Your kids can marvel at the ice sculptures, slide down ice slides, and even meet Ice Princesses. Afterward, take a magical walk through the twinkling Ice Village.
For the ultimate Christmas adventure, embark on a guided tour to witness the Northern Lights. The Northwest Territories are one of the best places on Earth to see this natural phenomenon. Imagine your children's faces lighting up as they gaze upon the dancing colors of the Aurora Borealis.
While it's not the North Pole, the Northwest Territories offer a unique and enchanting Christmas experience that your kids will talk about for years to come.
In conclusion, Canada is a vast and diverse country with a multitude of fantastic destinations to bring your kids before Christmas. Whether you choose to visit Santa's Village in Bracebridge, the winter wonderland of Quebec City, the enchanting Christmas Market in Vancouver, the Christmas Capital in Charlottetown, or the real Christmas adventure in the Northwest Territories, each place offers a unique and memorable experience for your family. So, bundle up, grab some hot cocoa, and get ready to make this holiday season the most magical one yet!