To top off your winter bucket list, add this free holiday village in Ontario, which is well worth the nearly seven-hour road trip from Montreal. It'll make you feel like you've been transported into a Christmas story among the 3 million colourful lights.
The Winter Festival of Lights is back for its 39th edition with its 8-kilometre-long route through the city of Niagara Falls.
The light installations will be in place from November 13, 2021, to February 21, 2022, for 101 nights of magic where you can go for a walk without paying a penny.
This edition is divided into two parts: The first will take place until January 9 with 3D animal structures and installations related to the holidays. After that, the focus will be on winter wonders and the festival of love with new paintings.
Since the location is about seven hours from the city, it's the perfect opportunity to reserve a weekend with your favourite person to enjoy the attraction. The falls and the course will be illuminated from 5 p.m. to midnight, every day including holidays.
The most wonderful time of year is here and that means it's time to plan your winter road trips from Montreal. If you're a fan of all things festive, this amusement park that feels you've stepped into a Christmas wonderland is worth the five-hour drive from the city.
Canada's Wonderland in Vaughan, Ontario has transformed into WinterFest until December 31 and it's magical enough to put a smile on even the Grinchiest of souls.
At WinterFest, you can walk through 525 Christmas trees that are decorated in every colour of the rainbow and admire the 1,100 L.E.D. lighted trees that make the whole site sparkle.
There's simply no chance of getting bored while there — between ice skating on Snow Flake Lake, dozens of holiday shows and walking under the stars at Northern Starlight, a 100-foot-long colourful tunnel of light.
Your inner child will come out as you wander through the several themed worlds that have been set up throughout the course, including Candy Cane Lane, decorated with huge candies that'll make you as happy as a kid in a candy store.
As for pricing, it's $29.99 for one person or $22.99 per person if you hit up the spot with a group of 15 friends — as they say, the more the merrier.
Have you ever wondered what Santa's village looks like during the holiday season? We're guessing WinterFest is a pretty close replica. It would be an elfin' shame if you didn't go check it out!
It's that time of year again where you can wave goodbye to Montreal's construction and look forward to nothing but beautiful foliage and the calming sounds of nature on the open road.
If you're seeking relaxing vibes, good food and the opportunity to immerse yourself in local culture, consider putting Ontario's picturesque towns — and one in particular — on your fall road-trip list.
Kingston is a small, vibrant city that's just a three-hour drive from Montreal and a stone's throw from Thousand Islands National Park. Here, you'll find historic sites, unique dining experiences, art galleries, charming boutiques and even hidden alleyways containing antique markets and delightful patios. And because everything is within just a few blocks of each other, it's all walkable.
When it comes to finding a place to rest your head for the night, Kingston has plenty to offer, from endearing historic inns to classic hotels. There are various packages available, and you have the option to enhance your visit with culinary or outdoor experiences, vineyard or brewery tours and shopping excursions.
Address: 203 Wellington St., Kingston, ON (Sally's); 326 King St E., Kingston, ON (Harmony Flavours)
Why You Need To Go: Fuel up for your big day with a delicious lunch at Sally's Roti Shop. This local favourite is known for its authentic Caribbean roti wraps, made by Sally herself. Inspired by her mum's recipes from her childhood in Trinidad, Sally offers fillings like jerk chicken and curry eggplant and spinach.
Alternatively, head to Harmony Flavours to pick up a sandwich made on fresh focaccia or a charcuterie tray. This gourmet food store offers local Ontario and Quebec artisanal foods (perfect for picnics!).
Price: $19.95 per hour (cheaper rates for longer rentals available)
Address: 25 Fort Henry Dr., Kingston, ON
Why You Need To Go: Why walk when you can e-bike? Enjoy the thrill of exploring a brand-new area while doing good for the environment too. Locally owned i-Cycle Electric Bike Co offers e-bike rentals starting around $20 for the first hour, and the longer you rent, the more you save (full-day rentals are $69.95).
Once you're set up with your ride, head off on a self-guided tour of Kingston — from the downtown waterfront trail to the Barriefield Village and Fort Henry area.
Take A Trolley Tour & Learn About Kingston's History
Why You Need To Go: The best way to see Kingston in a short amount of time is by booking a tour with the Kingston Trolley. You can get a great overview of the city while taking in historic sites and visitor attractions in the downtown core and along the waterfront. Just sit back, relax and let the tour guide fill you in on over 300 years of Kingston's history.
Face masks are required on the trolley and reservations are required (the hop-on hop-off service isn't available in 2021 but is returning in 2022).
Why You Need To Go: If you're in for a scare, you can join the Haunted Walk of Kingston for a tour through the city's historic (and possibly haunted) buildings and alleyways. Follow the light of your guide's lantern as they lead you on your ghostly walk and tell stories about Kingston's famously haunted courtyard, hidden burial grounds, grave robbing and more.
Not everything has to be scary if you're not up for it though. With impressive light displays, Pumpkinferno is the perfect Halloween activity for those who prefer to steer clear of the creepier side of Halloween.
Why You Need To Go: Downtown Kingston has a bunch of breakfast and brunch spots to stop for a bite to eat. Pan Chancho Bakery and Café caters to both early birds and late risers, serving brunch from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day.
A popular dish is the El Chancho, which features chorizo, two kinds of bacon, eggs, roasted corn salad, potatoes and brioche. Is your mouth watering yet? Many of the dishes here can be made gluten free, vegetarian or vegan.
Why You Need To Go: The Kingston Penitentiary opened in the 1830s and is Canada's oldest maximum-security prison. If the stories behind the forbidden walls intrigue you, you won't want to miss a guided tour. Your tour guide will walk you through the prison and tell the tales of prison breaks, infamous inmates and more.
If you love movie and TV trivia, you can sign up for the 90-minute Film Tour that explores the history of filmmaking at the penitentiary — TV shows like Murdoch Mysteries and Alias Grace have been filmed here.
Why You Need To Go: Art aficionados will love this stop on the Kingston itinerary. Better known as just "Agnes," the Art Centre at Queen's University has collections spanning Indigenous art, contemporary art, and historical art from Canada, Africa and Europe (including four Rembrandts).
New works are being exhibited all the time at Agnes, so don't miss your chance to see some great artwork from Canada and around the world.
Address: 338 Princess St., Kingston, ON (What'll I Wear); 165 Princess St., Kingston, ON (YGK Thrift); 39 Montreal St., Kingston, ON (Montreal Street Collective)
Why You Need To Go: Thrifting during autumn is an opportunity to start switching up your wardrobe for the seasons to come. Plus, you might find a few hidden treasures you can take home with you to Montreal.
Why You Need To Go: Step up your thrifting and head over to Martello Alley. Here, at Ontario's only alleyway art gallery, you'll come across tons of locally made arts and crafts to admire and purchase.
Nearby, there is also Antique Alley, which features antique furniture, clothing, toys, books, vintage jewelry and memorabilia.
Wrap Up Your Road Trip With Local, Organic & Sustainable Nibbles
Address: 103/171 Wellington St., Kingston, ON (The Everly); 286 Princess St., Kingston, ON (Miss Bao)
Why You Need To Go: To finish off your short-but-sweet getaway, grab dinner at one of many Kingston restaurants. Sustainable and stylish, The Everly works with farmers and producers to create a rotating menu of seasonal dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.
Before you head off on your trip, it's important to note that, as of September 22, Ontario's vaccine passport regulations require you to show proof of vaccination when eating indoors. This doesn't apply to takeout or patio services.
Kingston has a little something for everyone, from exciting outdoor experiences and delicious dining to thrift shopping and fun fall activities (spooky or not). If you're looking for a not-too-far escape from Montreal, you'll be pleased to discover what Kingston has to offer.
It features medieval-style wine cellars, enchanting scenery and, of course, grapes galore.
Best of all, Domaine Dumont Chapelle Ste-Agnès offers guided tours for groups of six to eight people for $50 a person, taxes included. This includes parking, a guided tour of the vineyard, wine cellars, and chapel, ice wine tasting and access to the outdoor site after the tour.
There are a few picnic tables on site if you want to bring your own picnic.
You can also stay overnight at the hotel. Rooms cost $350 per night.
As far as we know, there's no rule against singing Adele songs at the top of your lungs so you can totally live out your best mega pop star fantasy. But maybe don't let dozens of loose papers fly out of the window and onto the grounds like she does since... well... and don't hate us for saying it, but... you're not actually Adele.