When the holiday decorations go up in December the whole world begins to shimmer with magic. Every car ride or stroll is filled with wonder as we drink in the night filled with sparkling holiday lights of all colours.

For the next month or longer, villages, hamlets, and towns in Ontario’s Highlands will be lit with the festive spirit and an invitation to come wander here and feel merry for a while. Come feel the magic of the season and drink in the sights that will warm your heart and spread good cheer and good will this season.

Celebrate the Lights in Smiths Falls

Where: Centennial Park, Smiths Falls
When: December 2022
Cost: Free

Each December, Smiths Falls comes to life with festive displays that make for a true Celebration of Lights. Walk or drive through the displays alongside the Rideau Canal and bask in the community’s holiday spirit, on full and brilliant display. Afterwards head for a hot toddy for the grown-ups and a hot chocolate for the kiddies at Bowie's just a short walk from the lights.

Bask in 120,000 Lights in Ompah 

Where: Riverhill Farm & Fine Food 
When: Nov. 26 to Dec. 30, 2022, 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.
Cost: Free, donations accepted

Every December when the sun sets, Riverhill Farm in Ompah comes to life with brilliant displays of more than 120,000 lights that blink, sing Elvis songs, and literally light up the night.  Drive through the rolling farmland and wonder at the magic of the season. Wagon rides and hot chocolate will keep you warm and cozy while you wander. Wagon rides are available Friday to Sunday along with hot drinks and mini donuts. 

Walk Through a Holiday Movie Set in Almonte

Where: Downtown Almonte
When: December
Cost: Free

Wander downtown Almonte during the month of December and be treated to a Hollywood-style display of festivity. Almonte is so picture-perfect it has been the location for more than a dozen holiday movies and one stroll down the cute downtown streets dusted with sparkling snow and you’ll see why. Check out their holiday events that include the long running Light up the Night (Dec. 2, 2022) celebration or one of their holiday parades. 

Visit a Holiday Night Market in Haliburton

Where: Abbey Gardens, Haliburton
When: Dec. 4, 2021, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: Free (donations accepted)

This is the very first Holiday Night Market and promises to be an epic event. Head to Abby Gardens for an evening of festive cheer beneath the holiday lights as you browse the works of local artists and artisans. Don't forget to grab a festive cocktail from the Holiday Spirits Bar for the perfect accompaniment to a magical evening.

Sing O Christmas Tree in Pakenham

Where: Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm, Pakenham
When: All season
Cost: Free

Walk or take a wagon ride through a wintry evergreen forest at Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm and pick out a Christmas tree to take home for your very own. Stop on the covered bridge over the Indian River to see the Christmas lights light up the farm store and property and reflect off the water. Santa also makes an appearance each year. 

Join the Festival of Trees in Tweed

Where: Tweed-Hungerford Agricultural Building, 617 Louisa St.
When: Dec. 1 to 4, 2022
Cost: Free (donations accepted)

Create magical moments and have a chance to win one of more than 80 trees, wreaths, or holiday decor, decorated by locals and businesses and on display for maximum holiday spirit. This event raises funds for community charities so you can be festive while knowing you are supporting a good cause. 

Peek Inside a Festival of Lights in Perth

Where: Crystal Palace, downtown Perth
When: December
Cost: Free

Each December the Crystal Palace in downtown Perth is the scene for a community festive display that will warm your heart. Wander around the all glass structure and peek in on dozens of Christmas trees, all decorated and lit up for all to see.

Bask in the Glow of Fireworks in Beckwith

Where: Beckwith Park, Beckwith, Lanark County
When: Dec. 31, 2022, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Cost: Free

Kick the New Year off right with a family-centred party in the rural hamlet of Beckwith, Lanark County. Fireworks begin at 6 p.m. and you can expect to take part in a free family skate, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and to warm up in front of a roaring bonfire. Fun for the whole family to celebrate the coming new year.