Travel Brant, ON: Pawing around at the Brantford Lights at Glenhyrst

brantford-lights-victor-in-bootiesWhat’s the best part of an outdoor Christmas light show?

You can take your dog, of course.

There’s not much my crazy terrier Victor loves more than exploring (read: sniffing) new locations and corners. And if there are bright lights to amuse and distract me, all the better.

So holiday light show stop number two this season is the Glenhyrst Art Gallery in Brantford, Ontario (late November to Jan. 1, 6 to 9 pm). The gallery’s oval front gardens fill with light covered trees each year, and some freestanding displays too – such as the towering candy cane beside the white lit arch over the central walkway.

This light festival is a big draw in this small city that’s about a one-and-half hour drive west of Toronto.

The actual art gallery is open Thursdays to Sunday nights until 9pm, though not to dogs. Here’s what is cool:  Fridays nights are ‘Furry Fridays’ and the SPCA arrives showing off adoptable pets.

Many cars simply drive slowly around the circular perimeter, but Victor’s here to walk so out we get. However, tonight a deep freeze after a day of rain has left the park a skating rink. Walking, especially when pulled by a schnoodle, is precarious. (Yes, Victor pulls).

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Tonight is also the night we continue our paws protection experiment.  Victor is sporting a cute quad of Top Paw black reflective quilted booties we picked up on sale last year. With fake fur lining and rubber soles, they look like the canine galoshes he needs.

Only thing is, they’re difficult to pull over his paddle-like paws. He’s standing a bit awkwardly, but he’s willing to walk. I originally thought the reflective Velcro straps should be secured like horse ‘boots’ (actually, lower leg supports) – tight enough to stay put but not enough to impact circulation.

I was wrong.

Pull these straps tight or the boots will fly off as the dog runs upstairs. One boot escapes before we leave the house. Twenty minutes later, after boots, harness and Kurgo Loft Jacket are secured, we head out.

Outside among the light display, Victor manages to run, prance and tug his way around with paw protect boots on his feet. He slides on ice occasionally (me too) and needs me to pull the boots back on twice so he’s not walking like an elf. Otherwise, this seems to be working.

The lights are cool too.brantford-lights-victor-at-post

A half hour in the cold is my limit. We give up, head back to the car, and join the slow-moving circle of cars around the perimeter staying warm and unbruised.

Eureka, I think we’ve found Victor’s winter paw protect solution.

Until we arrive home – with only three booties still on. Sigh.

Next stop: The Niagara Falls Festival of Lights with yet another option to test: balloon-like Pawz Boots we picked up at the BlogPaws pet bloggers conference in Arizona last year. Stay tuned.

For more information about stuff to do in Brantford, Ontario visit Tourism Brantford.

Where else can you see lights with your dog? Check out our experience in Simcoe, Ontario.

Note: some of the links here are affiliate links, which means that gets a bit of $ if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you. (Please keep reading – you’re the best!)



  1. […] (20 Ava Road, Branford). I’ve taken my previous dog here, but during the winter to see the trees decked out for holiday cheer. (Check it out). Exploring the 16-acre grounds in warmer weather has been on my list for a while. Finding this […]

  2. […] the Glenhyrst Gallery in Brantford, Ontario is on the list. The gallery turns its outdoor sculpture parks into a […]

  3. […] the winter holidays, Victor and I checked out four Ontario outdoor light shows – Simcoe, Brantford, Burlington and Niagara Falls – at the peak of bone chill temperature. While there, we test […]

  4. […] wax and another brand of booties already: Check out our previous light show adventures in Simcoe and Brantford, […]

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