One-Tank Trip for Dec. 8/18
(c) By Jim Fox
Hit the trails for some holly, jolly fun this month.
Several offerings are the Blumination Dream Trail at Blue Mountain Village, Waterloo Region’s Mistletoe Trail and Stratford’s Christmas Trail.
Blue Mountain’s event runs from now through Jan. 6 every night from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
It’s described as a one-kilometre “magical, illuminated winter stroll through the village, around the Mill Pond and straight through your imagination.”
|Horse and wagon rides around Blue Mountain Village on the Blumination Dream Trail. (Blue Mountain)|
The highlights are “interactive and entrancing light installations” called Blue Mountain “through the looking glass, a snow globe with you in it.”
This free mega-watt winter experience ends in the Events Plaza, with “incredible light shows” daily at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
On Saturday nights, there are fireworks over the pond at 8 p.m. (weather permitting) that can be paired with the light show and dinner at a restaurant in the village and/or an overnight package.
Weekend special events include free horse and wagon rides Saturday and Sunday afternoons around the scenic base of Blue Mountain.
Visits with Santa are Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. until Dec. 22 on the village stage.
A Canadian tradition is making maple taffy on the snow in the Events Plaza Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Plunge Aquatic Centre has indoor and outdoor swimming pools and an indoor water playground.
Visitors can relax in the hot tubs or on the dock while the kids play on the rope swings, docks and water slides Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster glides along the tracks on twists and turns with riders controlling the speeds of up to 43 km/h, year-around on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Another popular pastime is strolling the village shops, with most open daily until 9 p.m. and a selection of restaurants. More information at bluemountainvillage.ca
Waterloo Region checks in with the Mistletoe Trail.
|Bishop and Mercy Ken sharing a smooch at the West Montrose covered bridge. (Explore Waterloo Region)|
This comprises seven “Instagramable locations” where the mistletoe has been hung and “you and someone special are invited to visit to share a kiss – and a picture.”
“The Mistletoe Trail is a fun way to encourage everyone to explore places in the region they may not have visited before,” said Minto Schneider, ceo of Explore Waterloo Region.
“Take a picture under the mistletoe we’ve placed in seven scenic locations, post your picture to social media and share some fun while celebrating the season,” she added.
One lucky trail participant will win a romantic Mistletoe Trail Date Night Package valued at $350.
It includes dinner at Red House bistro in Waterloo and an overnight at the iconic Walper Hotel in downtown Kitchener.
|Share a kiss along the Mistletoe Trail on the Victoria Park bridge in Kitchener. (Explore Waterloo Region)|
The locations are the pedestrian bridge in Cambridge (Galt); Victoria Park bridge in Kitchener; Mistletoe Lane across from the Waterloo Public Square; and the West Montrose “Kissing Bridge.”
Others are in the gazebo at Castle Kilbride in Baden; in Wellesley at the Very Vintage Christmas display outside of Lucy Pearlle Studio and Vintage Market; and Ayr’s gazebo at Centennial Park. Details at explorewaterlooregion.com/explorewrmistletoe
Happy trails to you
The Christmas Trail runs through Stratford to “discover unique and individual gift ideas when you stroll our festive streets.”
So says Cathy Rehberg of the Stratford Tourism Alliance, adding they’ve “made it easy to kick off your holiday shopping” with six gifts for just $30.
“Shopping in Stratford presents a unique joy as you happen upon funky finds, eclectic shops and edgy boutiques,” she said.
|Stratford City Hall
is all decked out for the season on its Christmas Trail. (Visit Stratford)
To take part, gift certificates are exchanged for trail vouchers that can be used at six of the 25 participating locations for a holiday gift until Dec. 20.
“And don’t forget to take a break in one of our many cafes and coffee shops for some freshly roasted coffees, hot cocoa or a hot toddy and wonderful lunches and snacks,” Rehberg added. visitstratford.ca/christmastrail
Jim Fox can be reached at email@example.com
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