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December 01, 2018

Experience the Aurora Winter Festival

Earlier this week, my family and I previewed the new Aurora Winter Festival at Ontario Place, and in the spirit of giving, I want to share my thoughts and experience with you. As everyone knows, I'm always looking for new and exciting experiences for our family; the Christmas season is already full of many local events and markets, so I was curious to see how Aurora would stack up.

Aurora is a brand new outdoor winter park, and the largest in Canada. Think of the CNE, but smaller, which is interesting, because the 24-day festival is presented in partnership with the Canadian National Exhibition. In addition to the vendors selling everything from socks to cannoli, there are also a few (3) rides -- Carousel, Ferris Wheel and Choo-Choo Train. There's also a tube slide (not a tube park as indicated on the website) and an ice-rink where you can skate for free, or rent skates on site. Food-wise, there are about 8 food trucks where you can order anything from pizza in a cone (I had it and it was good!) to burgers, roti and Tiny Tom Donuts. 

But, the biggest attraction, and the reason worth going, in my opinion, are the Mystic Worlds. 

Included with the price of admission ($14.99 for kids, $19.99 for adults and $59.99 for a family), the Mystic Worlds create the oohs and aaahs I was hoping for, and is what really separates this winter festival from others. 

Frolic in the willowly bright trees, meet mystical creatures and take tons and tons of photos, cause THIS is what social media is made of. 

You can also catch up with Santa, the kids can colour and craft, and you can pick up a hot chocolate or mulled wine as you explore. You'll need about 1.5-2 hours at Aurora, and you need (should) buy your tickets in advance online. It's not a full evening adventure, but it is a unique one. 

And while the Mystic Worlds are included in the cost of admission, the rides and tube slide are not, so factor that in before your visit. Parking at Ontario Place is $15. 

Overall, I think it's a cool new addition to the holiday offerings in Toronto, enjoyable for kids and adults alike. It would make a super cute and romantic date night and is a good way to spend a few hours with your fam. Bundle up, 'cause it's all outside and it can get super windy by the lake!

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