Get ready to make some holiday memories—drive-thru style. Because of COVID-19, the events and festivals we know and love will look a little different for Christmas 2020. Though some have unfortunately been cancelled altogether, many more are being modified to satisfy social distancing requirements. Even more exciting is the fact that new events are being developed and launched so that our families, residents and local visitors will have plenty to do and experience. Our organizers here in York Durham Headwaters have put their heads together to come up with new and exciting ways to keep our time-honoured traditions alive, while still observing health and safety measures. Check out these drive-thru events happening in our region this season.
Improve Canada, 7250 Keele St.
Santa’s Drive Thru Village is a must see experience for all ages bringing hope, happiness and joy to Canadian families when it is most needed. Along this magical drive thru ride, families will experience “magic itself” looking thru car’s rolled down windows and listening beautiful music selection on the tune in radio frequency designated for the complete 45 minutes drive thru ride.
This event is starting Thursday, November 26th and ends January 17th so be sure to visit their website to book in advance.
2365 6th Concession Rd.
Greenwood, ON L0H 1H0
This year’s Uxbridge Optimist Fantasy of Lights is going to be another special winter holiday! For the past twelve years, it has been an honour and privilege to host this event put on by the people of Uxbridge for the people of Uxbridge. The light display is one of the biggest exhibits of Christmas lights in Ontario. The 2020 Uxbridge Optimist Fantasy of Lights will be a Drive-Through event only this year. The “walk-through” Fantasy Trail will be temporarily closed for the year. There will be no horse-drawn wagon rides or hot chocolate. But fear not… the Optimist Club of Uxbridge is committed to making this year’s display more brilliant than ever to make up for it, and to brighten your mood this holiday season!
The Fantasy begins on Saturday Dec 5th, 2020 and continues until Saturday Jan 2, 2020. They are open from 6pm to 9:30pm nightly. (Yes, even Christmas!) For more information, visit the website.
80 Interchange Way, Vaughan, ON
Immerse yourself in the magic of the holiday season with a drive-thru experience like no other. This all-ages event, which runs from November 20, 2020 to January 7, 2021, features over a million lights that have been synchronized to the most popular holiday songs of our time. You simply have to see the wonder for yourself to believe it. This display is laid out over a 2.25 km-long route and is animated to follow 30 minutes of the Christmas and seasonal songs you know and love. So turn up the volume, roll down your windows, and prepare to be dazzled!
Tickets can be purchased online, and pricing is $25 per car for up to two people, $40 per car for three to five people, and $65 per car for six to eight people. For vehicles over eight people, please contact for special pricing.
Angus Glen Golf Club
10080 Kennedy Rd., Markham, ON L6C 1N9
Another wonderful light display is happening in Markham this season. It’s the Journey into Enchantment, where acres of the Angus Glen grounds are illuminated by more than a million lights. Prepare to encounter dazzling animated and static displays, music shows, simulated starburst firework lights and a spectacular tunnel. All of this can be enjoyed from the safety of your vehicle over this 1.5-kilometre route.
Tickets range from $25.45 to $34.95 plus HST depending on date and time. Pricing is per vehicle for up to eight passengers. This event runs from November 20, 2020 to January 4, 2021. And, to feel extra special about your illuminated adventure, Journey into Enchantment is working with Sick Kids and Toronto Animal Shelter as their new charity partners. Organizers will be dedicating up to $120,000 total from funds generated by this event. ’Tis the season for giving, after all.
Bonus: Locals Know—Old Scugog Road, Bowmanville
Don’t you find that, even though we’re social distancing during COVID-19, we’re still pretty busy in our daily lives? We don’t always have the time to commit to a scheduled event, as much as we may want to. If this sounds familiar, then we’d like to tell you about a local tradition in Durham that residents are well aware of, but which is not officially organized by any municipality or group. Instead, residents of Old Scugog Road in Bowmanville commit to decorating their houses with wonderful lights and displays to delight passersby.
Dubbed “the ultimate Christmas lights display” and a “Durham holiday tradition” by online news outlets, the lights of Old Scugog Road is not so much an event as a friendly competition amongst neighbours. Happily, anyone who wants to take a drive east of Toronto will be treated to a magical experience for the whole family—whenever it suits you best.
To enjoy this experience, here are a few etiquette tips: www.tiptopauto.ca/blog/old-scugog-road-driving-etiquette
Story by Katherine Ryalen