Presented by the CNE, this magical winter wonderland veers towards the Disney-esque with four unique worlds to explore. There’s so much on offer at the Aurora Winter Festival, it’s guaranteed to get any scrooge into the holiday spirit.
You might not be able to hit all the sights with a single visit, but starting off with the Arctic Retreat world is a good place to begin. It features a digital dome, giant polar bears, and a ‘yeti cave’ where Yin, a friendly giant is said to roam. Beware – you might be seduced to dance alongside Yin of the Yeti Cave who is a well-known disco fan.
Kids will adore the colourful Candy Cane Lane quarter. It features a giant gingerbread hut, oversized lollypops, cup cakes and all things candy. There’s also a candy shack where you can stock up on Christmas-themed sweets and snag some Aurora-coloured cotton candy.
The Luminous Gardens wraps around a fairy-tale-like palace ensconced in lights with a unique ice throne – perfect for photo ops. You might also see a few characters such as Thyra, Queen of the Ice Elves, and Rivera (an ice elf) there!
The Whimsical Forest provides a little mystery with Fairy Hollow and Gnome Village – but it’s also home to a family of moose and some sly foxes.
Bring your wishlist, cause Santa and his elves make regular appearances. A letter-writing station is set up in the craft tent with a mailbox that delivers your letters straight to Santa.
There’s an app for that! Yes – the Aurora has developed its own interactive venue app which highlights when and when story time with Santa is and other scheduled events.
Any child at heart will love the tube slide park, ferris wheel, carousel or sea ray ride – all outfitted with Christmas lights. For the smaller kids, there are still the classic CNE rides like the berry and bumble bee rides.
For those with a competitive streak, the hoops games, balloon darts, and bowler roller will also be open.
There are more than 25 vendors for some late night shopping for some Oktoberfest beer nuts or Knitting Legend apparel.
A frozen pond sits at the heart of the festival with huge light decorations for the whole family to enjoy. Skates can be rented out for $7 each – or bring your own.
It’s the holiday sensory overload that only a CNE-presented event can deliver! Make sure to bring change for the churros.