Alights at Night opens December 5

Upper Canada Village will light up with over one million lights for its 14th annual Alight at Night festival on Friday, December 5, 2014. The Alight at Night festival at Upper Canada Village is one of Ontario’s premiere winter events where the heritage site is transformed into a magical winter wonderland that you can explore by foot, horse-drawn wagon or by romantic carriage ride. The festival will be open on select nights from Friday, December 5 through Saturday, January 3, 2015 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Complete festival details, dates and times can be found or by calling the Customer Service Unit at 613-543-4328 or 800-437-2233.  Upper Canada Village continues to innovate with expanded laser lighting effects, a new Ferris wheel, and a transformed Crysler Hall into Saint Nick’s Merry Mansion.  

Visitors will have the chance to get a stunning view of Alight at Night from fifty feet high in a new Ferris wheel set in the Village fairgrounds.  Rides on the Ferris wheel will be included with admission and will be on a first come, first served basis for the duration of the festival, weather permitting.  Saint Nick’s Merry Mansion will greet visitors with a brand new Sound & Light Show with three new Santa themed songs including “Here Comes Santa Claus”, “Run Rudolph Run” and “The Man with the Bag”.  Inside, a Victorian Saint Nick dressed in a luxurious red suit with rich brocade will be available to hear your Christmas wishes until Tuesday, December 23, 2014; a great photo opportunity for the whole family! Saint Nick’s Merry Mansion is sponsored by Leon’s.  

Streamlined pricing provides affordable family fun with one price for all activities including entry to the festival, horse-drawn wagon rides, a ride on the Toy Train and Ferris wheel and a visit with Santa.  Adults (13 yrs +) $13; Senior’s (65 yrs +) and Youth (6-12 yrs) $10; Children 5 yrs and under FREE.  Pricing is plus HST.  

“We attribute much of the success of Upper Canada Village’s Alight at Night to our constant innovation.  Almost every year we add something new, make improvements to existing elements and just try to improve the overall experience for our visitors.  For many, a visit to Alight at Night is part of their family holiday tradition” said Geoff Waycik, Manager, Upper Canada Village.  “We look to holiday traditions for inspiration.  A great example of this is how we have transformed the visit with a new Santa experience.  This year Saint Nick’s Merry Mansion will leave families wondering if they just visited the ‘real’ Santa Claus …” 

Special Needs Night on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 will be an evening where groups of people with special needs can ride in the comfort of their own vehicle to view the Village adorned in lights.  Only “special needs” vans or parabuses are allowed.  Coaches and school buses cannot be accommodated due to their size. For safety, Upper Canada Village will provide a trained and licensed staff person familiar with the Village roadways in the dark, to lead these vehicles through the site.  Reservations are required.  

A Fun & Lunch with Santa event will be held at the Harvest Barn restaurant starting at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 13.   Saint Nick will be available to meet families and hear everyone’s special wishes.  Enjoy a hot sandwich combo (drink and fries plus hot turkey sandwich for adults/hot dog for children) and decorate gingerbread men.  The Village Store will be open for shopping following lunch.  Fun & Lunch with Santa also includes evening admission to Alight at Night. Reservations are required.  Adult (13-64 yrs) $37.50, Senior (64 yrs+) $34.50, Youth (6-12 yrs) $27.50 and Children (5 yrs & under) $7.00.  Prices are plus HST.

Romantic Pommier Carriage rides are an ideal way to have a private tour of the lights and make engagements, anniversaries, or other events extra-special!  The Pommier Carriage ride is $80.00 (tax & administration fee extra) which includes admission for two, half hour romantic tour of the lights, gourmet departing gift (includes Village made bread, cheese, sparkling cider and a 20% off discount for Pommier Jewellers in Cornwall).  Carriage rides are very popular and book up quickly.  Reservations are required 

Get in the spirit of the season and join in for carol singing in Christ Church. Different performers will be on site each night along with select nights featuring guest choirs. Visit the website for performers, dates and times.

And of course, no visit would be complete without holiday treats and festive dining.  Follow the tantalizing smell of fresh bread and cinnamon rolls baking in the wood-fired oven at the Bakery.   You can find the fresh baked cinnamon buns and bread for purchase at the Village Store. Cinnamon Buns are also available for purchase in Cook’s Tavern or at the Snack Shack next to the Bakery.

You can also relax over a heartier meal, full service dining at Willard’s Hotel or at the Upper Canada Golf Course restaurant (just across the road) or cafeteria style service at the Harvest Barn.  Traditional turkey dinners with all the fixings along with many other menu options will be available.  Groups are welcome and reservations recommended.  To make reservations at Willard’s Hotel or the Harvest Barn call B & A Foods at 613-543-0660.  To make reservations at the Upper Canada Golf Course restaurant call Stephanie at 613-543-2035.

Alight at Night has been named one of Ontario’s Top 100 Events three times by Festivals & Events Ontario.  Advance ticket purchase, particularly during the holidays, is strongly recommended to speed entry into the festival and reduce time waiting in line.  Purchase tickets online at  

For more information or to make reservations for Special Needs night, Fun & Lunch with Santa or for the Pommier Carriage, call the Customer Service team at 1-800-437-2233 or locally 613-543-4328 to make a reservation.

Major event sponsors of Alight at Night include Celebrate Ontario and Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation.

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