A major attraction in Canada for the holiday season, the CAA Winter Festival of Lights is Canada’s largest lights festival attracting more than 1 million visitors. Travelers can get off the VIA Rail Corridor train at the Niagara Falls stop and visit the festival that features more than 120 spectacular illuminations, including the Enchantment of Disney displays.
This holiday season, VIA Rail will extend the all-inclusive Sleeper Plus Class offering. The Sleeper Plus Class halts service on the Ocean during the winter season, however, from Dec. 16, 2012 through Jan. 6, 2013, travelers can take advantage of this service to experience winter on the Ocean (Montreal-Halifax). This class of service includes:
• All-inclusive meals served in the dining car (alcohol is not included)
• Exclusive access to the famous domed Park car for spectacular views along its seaside route
• Informal presentations and activities on the Maritimes
For more information for this exclusive offer visit: www.viarail.ca/en/meal-inclusive-Ocean.
Visitors can also stop at Moncton and join in on Winterfesthiver for fun filled family activities. From Feb. 2-3, 2013, New Brunswick’s best winter celebration comes to Fredericton. The festival will also feature a snow maze, snow and ice sculptures, pony rides, horse-drawn sleigh rides, polar bear games of bowling, curling and golf, dog sled rides, petting zoos and much more.
Travelers can visit Halifax on the Ocean route during the “In the Dead of Winter,” an acoustic music festival held annually on the last weekend of January. The festival brings a diverse group of acoustic musicians together to perform as well as meet one another in a professional environment. The event showcases the diversity of acoustic music in the Atlantic Region, Canada and the United States.
Visitors who ride the Corridor or Ocean train should also stop at the Quebec City station in early February. The Quebec Winter Carnival offers 17 days of fun for the entire family including over 300 shows and activities, an ice palace, two night parades and a daytime parade, a 400-foot-long ice slide, and an outdoor stage with dance and music performances every Friday and Saturday night. Visitors can ride on the zip-line high above the Plains of Abraham. Ice canoe racing events will take place on the St. Lawrence River or the dogsled races. The Québec Winter Carnival begins on Feb. 1-17, 2013.
Those looking to ring in the New Year can partake in The Courage Polar Bear Dip for World Vision charity event, which will be held on Jan. 1, 2013 at the Coronation Park. Net proceeds from the Courage Polar Bear Dip have been donated to World Vision Canada since 1995. For more information on The Courage Polar Bear Dip or World Vision, please call 1-800-COURAGE (268-7243).
Moreover, visitors can attend the Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg. Literally translated as “Festival of the Traveler”, this 10-day winter festival takes place Feb. 15-24, 2013, celebrating the sights, sounds, snow and spirit of Canada. The festival’s emphasis is on the magnificence of winter with several historical, educational and entertaining activities and special events. Look-alike contests, a beard growing contest, fiddling contest, snow sculptures are on the schedule. Dubbed “The World’s Largest Kitchen Party”, food and wine from the region will be available.