Alight at Night returns
Popular Upper Canada Village attraction is back for Christmas season
MORRISBURG — Alight at Night is underway at Upper Canada Village near Morrisburg, and the first, already sold out accessibility night of the season is Wednesday.
“Accessibility nights are offered for people to drive through the village accompanied by a staff person,” said St. Lawrence Parks Commission acting director of marketing Susan Le Clair, noting a second accessibility night is slated for Dec. 19.
On Monday morning, Le Clair said there were still booking times of 7:30, 8 and 8:30 p.m. for the second night that’s coming up in two weeks.
“We usually put about six cars or vehicles in each of the time slots,” she said.
The two nights allow people to ride in their own vehicle, with cars and accessibility vans permitted– though coaches and school buses cannot be accommodated due to their size.
For safety, the village provides a trained and licensed staff person familiar with the roadways and paths in the dark, to lead the vehicles through the site.
Note that reservations are required for an accessibility night visit, and that admission is $15 per person (plus HST).
The popular annual lights festival attraction opened on the weekend, and over 4,500 attended. “It’s a good start,” Le Clair said. The village is decked out in over one million lights, helping to ignite the holiday spirit, and it’s the biggest winter light festival in Southeastern Ontario.
The 24-hectare (60-acre) acre heritage site is transformed into a magical winter wonderland each holiday season that can be explored by foot, horse-drawn wagon or romantic carriage ride.
Just as the popular early fall attraction Pumpkinferno continues to evolve, there’s always something different to enjoy at Alight at Night, with the fairground this year becoming “Carousel Corner.”
“(It’s) a vintage (1965) merry-goround of 20 prancing horses with rides for youngsters,” Le Clair said, adding the outdoor Carousel Corner Café is a spot to grab a hot beverage and warm up in one of the new holiday huts.
Note that carousel rides are for visitors under 100 pounds in weight, and that parents or other guardians can stand alongside the horses their children will be riding upon.
“It’s a beautiful area and a good place to stop and have a break,” Le Clair said. “There are some beautiful spots set up for photos as well.”
Le Clair said Carousel Corner is being made possible through Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport Celebrate Ontario funding.
An annual popular stop at the village this time of year is Saint Nick’s Merry Mansion, where Alight at Night’s Victorian Saint Nick will be residing – but only for a few weeks.
“Families looking for the ultimate Santa visit experience should plan to visit before Dec 23,” Le Clair said.
Alight at Night is open Thursday to Sunday nights, until Dec. 23. The festival is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and is open nightly from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.
The festival has all-inclusive pricing with one admission price including entry to the village, the horse-drawn wagon ride, toy train ride, Saint Nick’s Merry Mansion, Carousel Corner, singing at Christ Church and a visit to the bakery.
Adult (13+) admission is $16, youth (5-12 years) is $12 and children four years and younger are admitted free. Advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended, to speed entry into the festival.
More details on the festival can be found at www.AlightatNight.ca or by calling the customer service unit at 613-543-4328 or 800-437-2233. thamble[email protected]media.com
A beautifully-lit walkway at Alight at Night, on Dec. 1, 2017. The 2018 edition opened Friday.