24 things to do this Christmas in Toronto

Dec 7 2017, 5:07 am

Tis’ the season for everything Christmas in Toronto.

From Santa to carolers, and holiday markets to , there is something for everyone. Naughty or nice, these events are for you!

Toronto Christmas Market

What: The always crowd-filled and equally as photo-worthy Christmas Market returns to the Distillery District, offering boozy holiday cocktails, comforting food stations, no shortage of shopping and a few rides.

When: Now until December 23
Where: Distillery District, 55 Mill Street

Polar Express

What: This holiday season, you’re invited to embark on a magical holiday journey as you take a ride on the Polar Express.  Operated by the Waterloo Central Railway, passengers will be whisked away to the sounds of the beloved film’s motion soundtrack, enjoy freshly prepared hot cocoa and holiday treats and they will also receive a very special visit from Santa, and each child will be given their first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell.

When: Now until December 23. Select times available, check the website for details.
Waterloo Central Railway Train Museum Platform, 50 Isabella Street

Black Creek Pioneer Village Old-Fashioned Christmas

What: If you’ve grown a little tired of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you might want to pay Toronto’s Black Creek Pioneer Village a visit this December to experience the Village’s annual Old-Fashioned Christmas. Here you can experience the sights and sounds of an authentic Victorian Christmas as you discover old traditions and perhaps even start some new ones of your own.

When: November 18 to December 23
Where: Black Creek Pioneer Village, 1000 Murray Ross Pkwy, North York

Holiday Fair in the Square

What: This massive holiday market and winter carnival located outside Toronto City Hall kicks off on December 1 and runs until the day before Christmas Eve. Look forward to holiday shopping, an ice bar, and plenty of festive foods including a two-handed festive feast dubbed Deep Fried Christmas, plus Beavertails, poutine, fudge, and more.

When: Now until December 23
Where: Nathan Phillips Square

Evergreen Winter Village

What: Roast s’mores over the open campfire and enjoy warm beverages from the Sipping Container while shopping or playing street curling at this Winter Village. Hungry for more? Look forward to a rotating line-up of food trucks serving up comfort foods ranging from crêpes to gourmet grilled cheese, and more.

When: Weekends in December and weekdays from December 26 to 29, 10 am to 5 pm
Where: 550 Bayview Avenue

A Christmas Carol

What: The beloved holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, is taking the stage at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre this evening. Ross Petty Productions will be putting on their unique take of the story this holiday season. Cyrus Lane will make his Petty Panto debut as everyone’s favourite Christmas curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge.

When: Now until December 30
Where: Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge Street

12 Trees: Let There Be Light

What: Now in its 27th year, 12 Trees is a beloved holiday tradition in Toronto that features unique installations from Canada’s leading designers and artists where they will have the chance to re-imagine the traditional Christmas tree.

When: Now until January 7
Where: Gardiner Museum, 11 Queen’s Park

I Heart BEER Holiday Festival

What: I Heart Beer Festivals is introducing a holiday edition that promises to be an “epic holiday extravaganza” complete with ugly sweaters and tipsy caroling to make this a hoppy holiday to remember.

When: December 9, 3 pm to 9 pm
Where: Queen Elizabeth Building, 160 Princes Boulevard, Toronto

iHeartRadio Canada Jingle Ball

What: The iHeartRadio Jingle Ball will be returning to Toronto this month and will be bringing a star-studded lineup of performers. The first round of performs have been revealed, which includes the Backstreet Boys (who will hopefully be singing a few of their holiday hits), as well as Cardi B, Fergie, Fifth Harmony, Kelly Clarkson, Noah Cyrus, and more.

When: December 9
Where: Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay Street

Terre Bleu Lavender Farm’s Holiday Popup

What: The cutest and coziest holiday pop-up is happening at a lavender farm just one hour north-west of Toronto this month. In addition to fashionable farm animals, look forward to sipping lavender apple cider around a fire pit, wandering through a forested trail, and shopping the farm store for essential oils, teas, and lavender teddies.

When: December 9 & 10, 10 am to 4 pm
 2501 25 Side Road, Campbellville

Milton Pop-Up Holiday Market

What: Milton’s pop-up Holiday Street Market, from the founder of Toronto’s Mac and Cheese Festival, is putting on “Ontario’s largest authentic outdoor holiday market.” Expect an open concept street market complete with 242 artisan vendors selling all the holiday classics from gingerbread cookies to hot apple cider to one-of-a-kind gifts and crafts.

When: December 9 & 16, noon until 7 pm
Where: Along Main Street from Brown Street to Commercial in Milton

The Nutcracker

What: The National Ballet of Canada brings back the classic to the stage, with a multilayered version of the famous ballet. Choreographed by the National Ballet’s former Artistic Director James Kudelka, the spectacular re-imagining has been welcomed by audiences of all ages.

When: December 9 to 30, various times
Where: Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen Street West

Santa Brunch Cruise

What: Mariposa Cruises is hosting a festive two-hour cruise on the Northern Spirit with the big guy in red on board this month. Look forward to feasting on an array of baked goods, seasonal fruits, cinnamon French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, carved turkey, ham, homefries, and more while the boat tours the Toronto Harbour and caroling elves and kid-friendly activities keep the whole family entertained.

When: December 10, boarding begins at 11:30 am
Where: Northern Spirit, Toronto Harbourfront at the Queen’s Quay Terminal Building, 207 Queen’s Quay West

Black Foodie Holiday Party

What: Come through this holiday social and enjoy complimentary African Canapes, Caribbean snacks, cassava pone, and Black cake, then fill up on a festive menu created by Toronto’s newest African Restaurant’s Kiza!

When: December 14, 6 pm
Where: Kiza Restaurant & Lounge, 366 Queen Street East

Mariposa Cruises Ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail Cruise

What: Wear your ugliest Christmas outfit and enjoy breathtaking views of Toronto’s Christmas tree skyline during Mariposa Cruise’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail Cruise. During the two hour cruise, you will have the chance to win the Ugly Christmas Sweater and Santa Costume contest for having the most hideous attire.

When: December 15,  9:30 pm to 11:30 pm
Where: Northern Spirit, Toronto Harbourfront at the Queen’s Quay Terminal Building, 207 Queen’s Quay West

Holiday Cocktail Workshop with Modest Marce

What: Be a master bartender this holiday season by attending this festive cocktail workshop with Modest Marce and Kotn. Guests will learn how to create three holiday cocktails including a salted caramel bourbon cider, a cold brew white Russian featuring Station Cold Brew and a pomegranate thyme spritzer.

When: December 16, 7 pm to 9 pm
Where: Kotn, 754 Queen Street West

Hot Docs’ Free Holiday Classics Screenings

What: Come and get into the holiday spirit at a free screening of your favourite holiday movies! Hot Docs Cinema will be hosting free screenings of Elf, A Christmas Story, Love Actually, and more!

When: December 16 to 22
Where: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West

Miracle on Mercer Street

What: Miracle on Mercer Street features The Second City’s adorable puppet troupe and their funny human friends, and tells the story of a 13-year-old girl who spends the winter holiday visiting her grandmother in the town of Hollydale. But the town is being torn apart as the residents clash over their different traditions, and a dastardly mayor’s plan to chop down the town’s oldest tree!

When: December 16 to January 5
Where: The Second City, 51 Mercer Street

Toronto Winter Vegan Market

What: Toronto’s Vegan Winter Market is back for its second year this December. The indoor marketplace showcases cruelty-free products is on in time for the holidays. This event offers a festive way to warm up with seasonal treats, shop an abundance of gift options from local vegan-friendly businesses, and stock up for holiday entertaining.

When: December 17, noon to 7 pm
Where: Lithuanian House, 1573 Bloor Street West, Toronto

Casa Loma Canadian Winter Nights

What: This holiday season, the castle will be celebrating the season bigger than before by hosting a number of incredible festive events. There will also be plenty of holiday décor and lights to get you into the festive spirit, including a 40ft tall tree in the Great Hall, designed by Fashion Icon Jeanne Beker and eight other signature trees by talented Canadian designers.

When: December 18 to January 7, 5 pm to 9 pm (excluding December 24, 25, 31 and January 6)
Where: Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace

12 Beers of the Holidays

What: Come enjoy 12 local craft beers at this annual all-you-can-taste, beer-drinking extravaganza. There will be live music, DJs, and enough suds to give Santa’s village a hangover.

When: December 22, 6 pm to 9 pm
Where: Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West

The Nutcracker

What: No holiday season is complete without The Nutcracker. The classic charm and pageantry of The Nutcracker return to Toronto for its 10th annual performance for not only two shows this month.

When: December 23, 2 pm to 4 pm. 7 pm to 9 pm
Where: Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front Street East

Festivus Dinner

What: Frank Constanza’s legacy lives on with a holiday dinner that’ll leave you without a single grievance to air. On the menu, a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings!

When: December 25
Where: The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen Street West

#ROMNYE 2018

What: Inspired by the ROM’s incredible Christian Dior exhibit, the museum will be hosting a swanky New Year’s Eve bash, coined #ROMNYE, featuring the hottest bands and DJs, delicious hors d’oeuvres, a complimentary toast at midnight, and exclusive access to the Christian Dior exhibit.

When: December 31, NYE exclusive dinner begins at 7 pm and the regular party runs from 9 pm to 2 am
Where:  100 Queens Park, Toronto

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