'Tis the season for Christmas markets and all things adjacent. Atwater Market opened its Village de Noël on November 26, Jean-Talon Market followed with its first-ever Marché de Noël on December 4 and, on December 5, a magical winter garden opened downtown.
But if you're looking for a Christmas outing with its own unique touch, here's another one to put on your radar: the Desjardins Village in Lights in Drummondville, about an hour's drive from Montreal.
Not only is it special because it's illuminated by over 25,000 sparkling lights but also because it's located at Village Quebec D'Antan, a replica of a Quebec village from 1810 to 1930 — giving it that quaint, old-timey, picture-perfect storybook feel.
The 2020 edition just opened last weekend, but we managed to get our hands on recently posted photos — some from this year, some from previous years — that give you a glimpse of what to expect.
"Walk the streets and immerse yourself in the magic of the Holidays, thanks to our enchanting decor," reads the website.Village Québécois d’Antan | Facebook
Activities include outdoor fires, animated displays and chats with villagers "to help Mother Christmas unveil a mystery surrounding the teasing elves."Village Québécois d’Antan | Facebook
There are also sleigh rides pulled by horses, a general store where you can stock up on "treats of yesteryear," a doughnut shop with old-fashioned doughnuts and a Christmas market.
The website says COVID-19 safety measures are in effect, including social distancing and masking.
Asked on Facebook if Santa would be there this year or if he's on a COVID-19 break, the village responded it would still be possible to hand-deliver him letters — but only from a two-metre distance.
Desjardins Village in Lights
Price: $20 for adults; $16.09 for teenagers; $15 for children; and free for toddlers 2 and under. Season passes are also available. Buying tickets online in advance is encouraged.
When: 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.
- December 4 and 5
- December 11 and 12
- December 18 to January 2
- Closed on December 25 and January 1
Address: Village Québécois d'Antan, 1425, rue Montplaisir, Drummondville, QC
Why You Need To Go: Christmas fun with a traditional twist and the magic of 25,000 lights.