One-Tank Trip for Dec. 21/19
(c) By Jim Fox
Looking like a scene right out of a Hallmark Christmas movie, Blue Mountain Village is sparkling for the season.
This cobblestoned pedestrian village near Collingwood is framed by turn-of-the-century architecture and alight with the Blumination Dream Trail’s “awe-inspiring” displays.
The spectacle lasts until March 28 and after last year’s popular inaugural year, there is more inventive technology with one-million lights that are bigger and brighter.
|A scenic winter scene at Blue Mountain Village.|
This is a “complimentary experience for all to enjoy,” with a one-kilometre winter stroll through the heights of innovation to the edge of your imagination, said Patti Kendall of the Blue Mountain Village Association.
“Follow the trail along beautiful, tree-lined pedestrian streets and pathways through the village and around the mill pond to discover magical, mega-watt light displays,” she added.
There’s the Frozen Garden, Enchanted Forest and the Mind Warp in the interactive adventure.
The journey ends in the Events Plaza where the illuminated Dream Tree is the focus of an hourly visual and musical display.
New are the creative installations dancing on the hour from dusk to 10 p.m.
|Enjoying the light displays at Blue Mountain.|
Don’t miss the fireworks at 8 p.m. on Saturday nights this month and well as Tuesday, New Year’s Eve at 9:30p.m. at the Mill Pond and midnight over the mountain.
"We’re thrilled to see so many families enjoying Blumination and we’ve been very surprised by how many couples are making it into a date night," Kendall said.
Located between the foot of the Niagara Escarpment’s scenic Blue Mountains and the rugged shores of Georgian Bay, the picturesque village is a natural four-season getaway destination.
There are numerous winter events, attractions, activities, family accommodations and 50 “unique shops and restaurants” open daily and the Iwa Spa.
|Horse-drawn wagon rides are offered at Blumination.|
At Blumination, there are also horse-drawn wagon rides, scavenger hunts and Magnone’s Winter Igloo to be wrapped in a blanket beside the fire and sipping on mulled wine or hot cocoa on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
There are 42 ski and snowboard trails, a mountain-top skating trail with lights, new snowshoe trails and the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster.
Start the magical light journey at the Visitor’s Information Centre to pick up a map or download one online.
Just launched is the Blue Mountain Village app, allowing visitors to make dinner reservations, check the snow conditions and get information about the Blumination Dream Trail before they arrive, Kendall said.
|“ Girl’s night out” at the igloo bar at Magnone’s Italian restaurant.|
Oh, Christmas tree
For those still considering getting a “real” Christmas tree, time is running out.
This weekend will be a busy one for tree farms for the tradition of harvesting your own.
Pushing the initiative on behalf of the 530 farms across Ontario is the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
|Harvest your own real Ontario Christmas tree|
“There's nothing like the fresh smell of a real, Ontario Christmas tree in your home to spark the fond memories of past Christmases,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.
As well as being festive, locally grown trees “are a sustainable agricultural group,” he said, adding: “For every Christmas tree harvested in the province, 10 more trees are growing in its place.”
Fraser fir, scotch pine and white spruce are the top three trees because of their classic shape and good needle retention.
|Toronto has its huge natural Christmas tree yearly in Nathan Phillips Square. (Barbara Fox photo)|
Tips include measuring entranceways to avoid buying a tree that’s too big, cutting two inches off the trunk before setting it up and watering daily so it will last through the holidays.
To find a local tree farm, check out https://christmastrees.on.ca
Jim Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca