With mystical worlds, brilliant light displays, and thrilling rides waiting to be explored, you’ll discover the Aurora Winter Festival is a place where “holiday magic comes to life.”
This winter wonderland is transforming the PNE into Canada’s largest winter festival with over a million lights from November 22 to December 31. (The festival was originally scheduled to run until January 5, but that date was moved up after they concluded there was significantly less interest in January.)
And as the largest festival, the things to see and do are endless. Here’s our guide to making the most of the 2019 Aurora Winter Festival:
Aurora Winter Festival
Mystical Worlds and Characters
Through the grounds’ many worlds, you may run into the Ice Elves, the Ice Queen or Yin the Yeti. These characters always enjoy sharing their magical world with visitors, so feel free to say hi.
The four worlds where you may find them include:
- Polar Passage – as you trek through this world you will pass by the Yeti Cave, where Yin and Zaos are often spotted. This world of ice and snow features light sculptures, a family of polar bears, and icicles scattered throughout.
- Luminous Gardens – the most alluring of the worlds. It features the palace and ice throne, along with Thyra and Rivera. This world also boasts giant willows, beautiful gardens, and the kissing swans. If you’re lucky, you might even see a unicorn.
- Whimsical Forest – a quirky world with many curious things. Be sure to check out Fairy Hollow, Gnome Village, and the Talking Tree. There is also a family of foxes and a Pegasus that live in this world.
- Land of Giants – The Land of Giants is filled with giant animal sculptures including a family of moose, bighorn sheep, polar bears, and reindeer. It is also home to the Disco Dome which features DJ Elyon, an LED dance floor, and an all ages lounge and bar.
Rides, Slides and Games
After you’ve explored the Mystical Worlds within the Aurora Winter Festival, take a spin on the Berry Go Round, the Choo-Choo Charlie, the Bulgies and more.
You can get a great view of the city lights on the Ferris Wheel or the Super Shot, before you make your quick descend back down.
And based on popular demand, the 200-foot tube slide is back, and bigger and better. So climb up to the top and enjoy an exhilarating ride back down.
The Tim Horton’s Skating Pond is located at the heart of the festival. Guests can glide along beside beautiful light installations with holiday music playing in the background. The Skating Pond does not cost extra to access, but if you don’t have your own skates, you can rent a pair for $6.
The North Pole
You’ll find Santa Claus roaming through the North Pole, where you may be able to meet him yourself. You’ll also be able to hear him tell some of your favourite holiday tales through a magical storytelling performance with his elves.
After your visit with Santa, get your imagination going at the Craft Tent. Here, you can make your own holiday cards. Or you can visit the letter writing station to craft up your own letter to Santa.
Don’t forget to check out the Candy Cane Lane, which features the Gingerbread Hut, Candy Shack, and giant candy installations.
Food & Market
While you’re perusing the Holiday Market for gifts, stop by the Food Gardens for a holiday treat or a warm meal.
How to Get There
If you’re heading to Aurora Winter Festival by bus, there’s several buses you can take that will drop you off around the corner from Hastings Park. This includes the 16, 130, 14 or the 95 buses. Parking is also available on site.
Ticket prices vary, starting at $12.99 for children and seniors and $17.99 for the General Admission pass. Family passes are also available starting at $49.99.
Soak in the magic at the Aurora Winter Festival before December 31.
This article was updated on December 29, 2019 to reflect changes in the festival’s closing date.
For more fun things to do in the city, check out our Travel & Outdoors section.
This is branded content and was sponsored by our advertising partner. To learn more about the Aurora Winter Festival, visit them online.
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