The Alight at Night Festival at Upper Canada Village is one of our favourite events to go to at Christmas time. We went for the first time a few years ago and we loved it so much that we will definitely be making it an annual event for our family.
We will give you all the specific details of the event in a minute but first we wanted to tell you about our experience. We decided to go on a Friday night and leave Ottawa at 3:30. The drive itself only took about an hour (maybe a teeny bit longer). We got there shortly after it opened (4:30) so there was plenty of parking and there wasn’t a line up to get tickets. We ended up going on the train ride first.
The first train sets off at 5pm so we go there just in time. The kids loved the train ride. When we got back to the Village, we took a horse drawn wagon ride all around so we could see all the buildings lit up. It is a great way to travel around when you first get there because then you could see exactly which buildings you want to visit when the wagon ride was over.
Our favourite building was the Church. The lights outside were spectacular and changed colours gradually but it was what was on the inside that made it so special. There were 3 very sweet ladies singing Christmas carols. There was a song sheet so you could sing along and you could request Christmas songs (English or French). They even handed out little jingle bells for the kids to use while in the Church.
Besides having fun singing Christmas Carols, it was also a great place to get in from the cold and warm up a bit. We even visited it one more time that night before we left. We walked around a bit more and went to the Gingerbread House and, of course, we had to buy the kids a gingerbread cookie. Yummy!
After that we headed to the Sound and Light Show. It took place at Crysler Hall every half hour. It was spectacular and the kids loved it. A few of the kids were having fun dancing to the music as well. There really was so much to see and do at the Village. There were people of all ages enjoying themselves.
After visiting the Alight at Night Festival ourselves, we have a few suggestions:
- if you are bringing your children, try to get there as early as you can so you can enjoy everything before the young ones start getting too tired;
- if you are traveling with your significant other, take a private sleigh ride through the village. We saw so many couples taking private sleigh rides and it looked so romantic;
- dress up warm. It was only -7 when we went but some parts of the Village were very chilly (i.e. specifically the train ride). The kids were dressed up warm but I should have had a pair of snow pants on too;
- definitely make your way to the Church. It was so festive with the Christmas Carols. Everyone was joining in. It was very magical. Just make sure to check in advance if there will be singing on the night that you go because they don’t every night;
- if you have a good camera, bring it. The camera I brought did not take good pictures because of all the Christmas lights. I’ll know better next year;
- plan to spend a bit of extra money because there are nice treats in the Gingerbread House and you may want to buy something at the Shop when you are done;
- and last but certainly not least…HAVE FUN!!
Here are some of the additional activities at the Alight at Night Festival at Upper Canada Village:
- the Sound & Light Spectacular at Crysler Hall
- Romantic Carriage Rides for Two
- various food and drink available at Willard’s Hotel, Cook’s Tavern or The Harvest Barn
- and so much more
Alight at Night Festival at Upper Canada Village
County Road 2, Morrisburg
1-800-437-2233 or 613-543-4328
Have a great time at the Festival! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.