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Niagara’s Must-see Holiday Lightshow

This month, head to the granddaddy of all holiday light shows: The Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls. Established in 1983, this festival grows each year to include new spectacles, including laser light shows at special times, from mid-November to the end of January.

Visit anytime from dusk to midnight and join the line of slow-moving cars weaving along the eight kilometres of illuminated Niagara Parkway. Start at Clifton Hill and head toward Dufferin Island. You’ll pass the grand attraction: the Niagara Horseshoe Falls, once the star of this event. Yes, the colours projected on the cascading water are beautiful, but what’s flanking you in and around the park distracts even more.

Almost every Victoria Park tree is laden with lights and illuminated cartoon characters fill the gaps between – all backlit by the giant glowing Clifton Hill Ferris Wheel.

Stop at the Floral Showcase. The indoor conservatory is open until 5 p.m. each day, but the outdoor gardens sport limbs of lights too. From the parking lot, you can see the musically choreographed projections on the Toronto Power Plant across the street.

Then follow the trail of cars and turn into the Grand Finale: The Niagara Falls Winter Wonderland at Dufferin Island. This is a semi-circle meandering drive through a showcase of lit shapes such as elk, moose, deer and strangely jumping monkeys. If there’s one thing kids remember, it’s those monkeys.

Sherri Telenko is a freelance writer and blogger living in Southern Ontario. Sign up for travel ideas at www.dogtrotting.net or follow her on twitter @SherriTelenko.


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