Start a New Family Tradition this Year - Christmas in the Forest!

For the 12th year in a row, The Canadian Ecology Centre in Mattawa-Bonfield is hosting a weekend event, Christmas in the Forest. Because of the popularity of the event, they recently added a second weekend of fun. The first event runs December 4 - 6, and the second weekend is December 11-13. Click here for registration information. Laura Kielpinski at The Canadian Ecology Centre says that this event has become a tradition for many families, both local and out of town.

So what is Christmas in the Forest?

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This family-friendly event is a weekend full of day and evening activities. The Family Package includes optional accommodations in a comfortable, heated cabin for Saturday night (Friday night optional), provincial park fees for entrance to
Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park, activities, Saturday spaghetti lunch and Christmas Dinner that evening, as well as continental breakfast on Sunday.

There is also a Saturday Day Rate which includes the daytime activities, park fees, and spaghetti lunch.

The fun starts Friday evening with a movie presentation and coffee house to sit back and relax. The weekend also includes a large offering of indoor and outdoor activities, many of which are self-guided so you can choose your own and never feel rushed. Indoors are games, cookie decorating, Christmas tree decorating, a hula-hoop workshop, countless Christmas crafts, and fun programming for children.

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Outdoor activities include snowshoeing and tobogganing (snow-dependant), marshmallow roasting around a campfire while sipping on hot chocolate and signing along to classics.  If you were lucky enough to visit the Canadian Ecology Centre as a child with your school, you’ve likely participated in a wildly fun outdoor scavenger hunt, which is another activity on the roster for Christmas in the Forest – and it’s one that your kids are guaranteed to love, along with other outdoor games. When the sun sinks below the trees, night time activities include a moonlit walk with night vision, and wolf howling to burn off the last of that excited energy.

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So if you’re looking to start a great family tradition, and maybe make a full-out family reunion out of it, be sure to visit the full run-down of the weekend’s events here and register soon before this popular event is sold out!

About Candice Maitland

Candice is a staff writer at Northeastern Ontario Tourism and lives in beautiful Callander! She enjoys fishing, boating, road trips, exploring our Region and photographing it all in her spare time! Her stories aim to inspire you to visit our BIG Region.

Have any questions about travelling to the area? Visit or email us at!

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