5 fun ways to ring in the New Year in cottage country

New Years

One thing that never seems to change year after year? The debate about how to spend New Year’s Eve. Whether it’s one of your favourite nights of the season or you simply see it as forced fun, these events in cottage country will help you end 2012 on a high note.

Evening après
Muskoka’s Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area will be opening for skiing and snowboarding any day now, and for Christmas and New Year’s Eve they will be hosting some special après events. On the 31st, the ski resort will offer live music alongside an outdoor bonfire. Between musical acts, guests can also enjoy an exhilarating fireworks display, all while munching on the free cookies and hot chocolate that will be offered. If you’re looking for a more adult evening, you can also grab something at the bar. And, unlike many New Year’s celebrations, this all-ages event is free!

Light up the night
Owen Sound’s renowned Northern Festival of Lights is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. What better way to ring in the New Year than a stroll through this town’s myriad of light displays? While the festival started small, dozens of buses now visit the town to take in its more than 200 light displays. If you’re hoping to make the night even more special, or even add a little romance, you can also take the nearly 20 km tour by horse and carriage, which can be booked ahead of time for a fairly reasonable price.

Laugh 2012 away
This annual New Year’s Eve bash in Gravenhurst is sure to have you laughing, which certainly isn’t a bad way to end the year. Held at Peter’s Players on Muskoka Road, the Cottage Country Comedy Festival will be featuring Tyler Morrison, an award-winning Canadian comedian and writer known for his fearless brand of working-class comedy. Morrison has also been featured at The Boston Comedy Festival, CBC’s Winnipeg Comedy Festival, and on the CBC’s two hit shows The Debaters and Laugh Out Loud.

Get winterized
If you’re looking for something low-key, nothing beats a cottage getaway, especially when it’s half snowed in and the woodstove is fired up. For those of you who don’t have a winterized cottage, you could try venturing into new territory and renting a place. For a variety of cottage rental options across the province and country, visit cottagelife.com/rentals.

Relax at a world-class resort
Muskoka is known for its world-class resorts, and if you’re looking for an upscale way to ring in the New Year, it’s the perfect place to go. Whether you’re spending the night at Touchstone on Lake Muskoka for an eight-course meal and live music or a getting a dinner, show, and dance party at Deerhurst Skyline Resort, a night spent a one of these year-round resorts isn’t cheap, but it’s a great way to see what the region has to offer, no matter what season it is.