Victorian tea parlours and reenactments of Scrooge and The Christmas Carol may not be everyone's holiday schtick. Years ago, when I was new to being an uncle, I splurged on expensive theatre tickets and took my two nephews to see a version of The Nutcracker. Thomas, the youngest, just 5 years old at the time, spent the first act playing with the zipper of his coat. Johnathan, a few years older and on his best behavior, politely asked, "Uncle Doug, how soon is intra-mission"? The outing was a bust. Then again, what was I thinking? These kids were techies to the core. If I'd had my wits about me, I wouldn't have taken them to an exhibit of electronic gizmos or, failing that, a batting cage. So, if you're looking for a holiday outing that will appeal to the entire family, young and old, head to Niagara Falls - and I don't mean for the heart-shaped honeymoon suites. Niagara Falls has something else to offer. Canada's largest illumination festival is located at one of our country's most amazing natural wonders. The Niagara Falls CAA Winter Festival of Lights sets the city blazing with 125 animated light displays and three million tree and ground lights. And there's no admission, though donations are gratefully accepted. The lights are set up along a 5km route through the city, running from early November until January 31. It makes for the perfect holiday weekend or day trip during the Yuletide season. Fireworks Over the Falls [caption id="attachment_2235" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="(Courtesy CAA Winter Festival of Lights)"] [/caption] Don't miss the evening fireworks display. Check the Fireworks and Falls Illumination schedule before you head out. Fountain of Lights [caption id="attachment_2236" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Zimmerman Fountain (courtesy CAA Winter Festival of Lights)"] [/caption] More than one million visitors arrive in Niagara Falls each holiday season to take in the impressive one-of-a-kind light displays. The Zimmerman Fountain, pictured here, is one of many along the 5 km route. A Flag for Two Countries [caption id="attachment_2237" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Home-spun Canadian Holiday Welcome"] [/caption] The world's largest animated Canadian-American friendship flag starts as Canadian flag and then transforms into the American flag to mark the 200-year-old bond between our two nations. Just for Kids [caption id="attachment_2238" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The Misty Kids Illumination"] [/caption] Worry not, the lights festival will appeal to kids as well. Designers and technicians have crafted eye-catching illuminations depicting the mascots of the Winter Festival of Lights, none other than the Misty Kids. A Blast of Festive Flare [caption id="attachment_2240" align="aligncenter" width="267" caption="Red Fireworks just in time for the holidays"] [/caption] Of course, the Christmas colours of red and green figure into some of the spectacular illuminations. And one for daytime [caption id="attachment_2243" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="A wintry view of Niagara Falls"] [/caption] Daytime in Niagara Falls in winter is just as beautiful as the fireworks at night. There's nothing so breath-taking as the ice-covered falls in daylight - one of Mother Nature's best holiday gifts. If you have any special holiday outings up your sleeve, post them below. You never know when there's a well-meaning uncle with two nephews in tow looking for some ideas.