*I was provided with complimentary admission to Alight at Night to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own, or those of my family. Read my full disclosure here.*
2018 is the 18th season of Alight at Night at Upper Canada Village. Believe it or not, I had never been before this year.
Mom confession: My youngest daughter was a go-to-bed-at-7pm kid for a very long time. Just now (age 7) she’s able to stay out later. I would not take her to an evening festival before now because she would turn into a whiny handful that is way too big to be carried.
This festival of lights is an amazing, beautiful spectacle to marvel over. As a photographer it took me a bit of time to figure out camera settings (my husband finally got it just right for me) but I took a TON of photos!
Things to do:
Did you know once you pay admission, all the other things to do inside Upper Canada Village are included during Alight at Night?
We took the horse drawn carriage ride first thing when we got there. It takes you around the entire village – great if you have small children who may not be up to walking the whole thing!
You can do some Christmas caroling in the church. This is a led sing-a-long complete with printed carols so you don’t have to remember all the words. A great stop to warm up after taking the carriage ride!
Carousel Corner is new this year. There is a merry-go-round (for riders under 100 lbs) and some classic carousel horses set up for photo ops. A cookie and hot chocolate hut and seating area are set up here as well.
There’s a photo op with a Victorian style Santa in Crysler Hall. We took a look in the windows, but we chose not to wait in the lineup to get inside. You are able to take your own photos, or purchase one from the photographer set up inside.
Ride the toy train around Crysler Heritage Park! In the summer season this historical train ride through the park tells the story of the Battle of Crysler’s Farm. During Alight at Night it’s included with admission and it takes you through a decorated building and past some other light displays. If you’re planning on taking this trip, be sure you’re bundled up!
Dress warmly – It’s cold along the St Lawrence River. Layers are your friend!
Watch your step – The ground is muddy, trodden on by horses, sometimes snow covered, and frozen in ruts and footprints. Wear good footwear and an extra pair of socks.
Eat first – There are food options at Upper Canada Village, but my picky girls wouldn’t enjoy it. We had a late lunch at home, then drove out and had hot chocolate in the village.
Alight at Night runs nightly, Thursday through Sunday from now until December 23rd, then it runs daily from Dec 26 through Jan 5. Visit the website for more details, and to buy your tickets. I recommend buying online and skipping that part of the line when you get there!
(We didn’t get in any long lineups during our visit. Everything we did – which was everything except visit Santa – had us wait through one round before we were able to get on. Perhaps later in the evening, or later in the season, lines may be longer, but we had a great night!)
Gear I used for my photos (affiliate links):
- Nikon D500 body
- Tokina 12-24 F4 lens
- No flash at all
- I didn’t wear gloves, but I could have used some!
Have you been to Alight at Night? I wan’t fully prepared for the awesomeness of it all. I’m sure it takes a lot of people a lot of time to string the lights, but the effect is amazing!