Q: “How does Santa get down the chimney?”
Q: “How does he deliver presents to all the kids around the world?”
A: “To all the good kids? Magic.”
Q: “How are you going to pay off your credit card balance?”
Magic is indespensible as an easy explanation, but it was starting to feel like a bit of a cop-out before I experienced Lumina Borealis in Kingston, Ont. That’s when everything changed: If you want to restore your faith in magic, while providing proof to your offspring that magic is real, I can think of no better way than by visiting the new multimedia installation in the Fort Henry National Historic Site.
I included Lumina Borealis in my recent Globe and Mail roundup of nifty winter holiday diversions sight unseen. It opened after my deadline, but previews of the project sounded compelling, what with the stirring outdoor setting and the $3 million spent on projection, light and sound equipment. So when I had a chance to validate my own suggestion at the tail end of my family’s circuitous holiday road trip, I jumped at the opportunity and brought the brood along.
In short, it obliterated our expectations. Lumina Borealis is well worth an overnight excursion or, believe it or not, a day trip from Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal. If you are driving past Kingston en route to anywhere between now and Feb. 4, checking it out is pretty much essential. Who couldn't use a bit of magic while driving down the 401?
The walking tour of the lower fort takes about an hour, and I could spend at least that long describing the interactive wonders that unfolded as my family strolled, awestruck, around the yawning dry moat and courtyard.
Instead, I’ll leave you with the photos below and the entirely accurate video above. After all, the key to magic is leaving at least some of the mystery intact.