While Discovery Landing and the Burlington waterfront are irresistible on hot summer days, they have their charms in winter too. One of the best things to do, and it costs nothing, is to walk along the waterfront in the evening to enjoy the Festival of Lights. I know a little boy who can’t get enough of seeing Santa in his helicopter. It’s beautiful, and if it gets too chilly, there are cafes and shops just a short step away. Discovery Landing is also close by to warm you up.
The Observatory at Discovery Landing, with its timeline of the waterfront, and magnifying lake viewer, is open daily from 10 am-10 pm. There’s a gorgeous Christmas tree in the main floor window, and behind it the view of the lake and the Skyway is one of the best, especially at sunset. It’s actually a pretty cool place to be when there’s a storm too – the waves crashing on the breakfront and the wind sweeping across the water allows you to feel the power of Mother Nature from a safe warm place. You’ll see the lake in a whole new perspective.
The Ice Skating Rink
Right now, the ice is perfect at the Rotary Centennial Skating Rink, and there are wind breaks to protect skaters from the gusts off the lake. If you get too chilly, The Bite is close by for hamburgers and coffee, or for a more sophisticated skate-break, Spencer’s at the Waterfront is right there, and you can dine while you watch other skaters do their turns. The rink is lit at night, making it a unique and romantic place to take a date.
Admission to the Discovery Landing and to the skating rink is free. Discovery Landing will be closed on Christmas Day but will be open on all other days over the holiday.
For information about ice conditions, there’s a hotline you can call (Dec – March) at 905-634-7263.
This holiday, promise yourself a healthy encounter with the beauty of nature and the bracing freshness of winter. It’s affordable family fun that will make your time together special. Burlington is Winter-Wonderful.
Barbara Ramsay Orr is a freelance journalist, author of the Frommer’s Guide to the Niagara Region, third edition (2010), Day Trips from Toronto for Globe Pequot and a lifetime resident of Ontario. Her work has appeared in many national and international publications, including Chatelaine, Canadian Living, The Globe and mail and Readers Digest. She is the Local Expert on Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Wine Country for Nile Guides, and is launching a travel app for Niagara Falls and on International Wine and Food Festivals. She has been the food writer for Hamilton Magazine for more years than she wishes to admit. You can follow heradventures, tune in to her tweets @Orracle, or visit her Niagara Falls andNiagara-on-the-Lake Blogs.