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19 things to do in Toronto this weekend: January 4 to 6

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Ainsley Smith Jan 04, 2019 5:00 am

Hopefully, you’re not feeling too tired from the holidays because it’s going to be another action-packed weekend in the city.

From Friday to Sunday, there are tons of fun events taking place throughout the city including a number of seasonal ones that are only in town for a few more weeks.

So bundle up, grab a friend and make the most of the first weekend of 2019.

Friday, January 4

Chris Redd in Toronto

Ryan Dillon/Twitter

What: Nothing beats the post-holiday blues than getting your laugh on. Empire Comedy Live presents the hilarious Saturday Night Live star Chris Redd for five shows starting this Thursday through to Saturday.

When: Now until January 5
Time: Friday, 8 pm to 9 pm, 10 pm to 11 pm; Saturday, 7 pm to 8 pm, 9 pm to 10 pm
Where: Live at Comedy Bar 945 Bloor Street West (at Ossington Station)
Price: $25

A Nutcracker Christmas at the Castle

What: Toronto’s iconic castle is being transformed into a magical winter wonderland this month and will feature a wide range of activities and thrilling performances that are sure to be fun for the whole family.

When: Now until January 6
Time: 9:30 am to 5 pm
Where: Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace
Price: From $22.15 to $32.49

Cinesphere Winter Film Series: Black Panther

What: Toronto’s Cinesphere theatre at Ontario Place will be screening several iconic films over the next few months as part of its fall and winter programming. The theatre is kicking off the month with a screening of Black Panther.

When: Now until January 6
Time: 7 pm
Where: Cinesphere at Ontario Place, 955 Lake Shore Blvd West
Price: $15 for adults

Simcoe Christmas Panorama

What: Although this is a bit of a trek from Toronto, it’s perfect for those wanting to go on a festive road trip. Each year, Simcoe puts on an incredible light display called Christmas Panorama that features over 60 dazzling light displays. The spectacle shimmers with thousands of lights transforming the downtown parks into a winter wonderland, attracting visitors from across the province and the US.

When: Now until January 6
Time: 5:30 pm to 11 pm
Where: Wellington Park, 50 Bonnie Drive, Simcoe
Admission: Free

Burlington Festival of Lights

festival of lights

Burlington Festival of Lights/Facebook

What: The Burlington Festival of Lights is the city’s longest-running festival, which lights up the waterfront from dusk to dawn over the holiday season. Now in its 23rd year, the festival will feature 60 festive displays that can be viewed up close or from the warmth of your car.

When: Now until January 8
Time: After sundown
Where: Spencer Smith Park, Burlington, Ontario
Admission: Free

Winter Flower Show

What: Add some much-needed colour to your life this winter at this annual flower show. Breathtaking floral scenes with thousands of colourful blooms, vines and lush plants from around the world will transform Alan Gardens into a memorable, must-see winter destination.

When: Now until January 9
Time: 10 am to 5 pm; with extended hours on select dates to 7 pm
Where: Allan Gardens Park and Conservatory, 19 Horticultural Avenue
Price: Free

Class of 2019 Concert Series

What: If you’re in the mood to hear some awesome new local talent, Class of 2019 is a Canadian show series featuring the new year’s most promising musical talent.

When: Now until January 26
Time: Various show times
Where: Various venues throughout the city
Price:  Varies by the show

Happy Place Toronto

What: Happy Place is an interactive, 20,000-sq-ft immersive exhibit with larger-than-life installations and multi-sensory themed rooms, and it’s on a mission to spread happiness here in Toronto and around the world.

When: Now until January 27
Time: Thursday, 11 am to 7 pm; Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 8 pm; Sunday, 10 am to 7 pm
Where: Harbourfront Centre
Price: 
From $32

Winter at Ontario Place

December 28

Ontario Place/Facebook

What: Following last year’s successful inaugural winter program, Ontario Place will once again come alive this winter season. Running from now to March 17, the West Island of Ontario Place will be home to the Winter Light Exhibition, free public skating on a synthetic rink and community bonfires. This year, visitors can also look forward to a series of DJ nights at the iconic waterfront venue and bring a range of beloved films to Cinesphere.

When: Now until March 17
Time: 6 pm to 12 am
Where: 955 Lake Shore Blvd. West
Price: Free to attend

Skating at Nathan Phillips Square

What: Skating at Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto is a quintessential winter activity for anyone who lives or is visiting this city. And it’s all in the heart of our beloved downtown core. Throw in change rooms, washrooms, a snack shop, and skate rentals and you’ve got everything an entire weekend afternoon needs.

When: On now until March 17
Time: 9 am to 10 pm
Where: Nathan Phillips Square
Price: Free (skate rentals are available on-site)

Vintage Patch Pop-Up Sale

What: Whether you have a jacket that needs jazzin’ up or you’re just a vintage patch collector, this is a pop-up sale you won’t want to miss. You can browse through the largest selection of vintage patches in Canada in downtown Toronto this weekend.

When: January 4 to 6
Time: 9 am to 6 pm
Where: 438 Queen Street West
Price: Free admission

Saturday, January 5

January Really Really Free Market

What: You read the event name correctly, everything is free. No money. No swapping.
If you do bring items to share, bring them before 3 pm and make sure they are clean and in working condition. During the Market, there is a limit to the number of items you can take, which is one large shopping bag per person (two bags for families of three or more people).

When: January 5
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Campbell Park, 225 Campbell Avenue
Price: Everything is FREE

Après Skate Saturdays

January 4

Marlene Here and There/Instagram

What: If you’re in the mood for ice skating, head to the Bentway where skaters over 19 can enjoy complimentary samples of Kahlúa with coffee or hot chocolate on Saturday evenings from 5 pm to 9 pm. Après Skate Saturdays run every Saturday until February 16.

When: January 5
Time: 5 pm to 9 pm
Where: The Bentway, 250 Fort York Blvd.
Price: Complimentary samples, but skate rentals are available on-site for $10

DJ Skate Nights: Cherry Bomb on Ice

What: Sharpen your skates and skills at Toronto’s number one outdoor winter party. This year you can expect another stellar lineup of DJs that will bring the heat to your Saturday nights. Cherry Bomb, Toronto’s hottest monthly party for queer women and friends, returns to Natrel Rink this weekend.

When: January 5
Time: 8 pm to 11 pm
Where: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
Price: Skating is free

Empire Records 90s Dance Party

What: If you’re looking for the quintessential 90s dance party, this is it. Celebrate Rex Manning day early this year and dance all night to your favourite 90s jams. Shaving your head is optional.

When: January 5
Time: 10 pm to 2 am
Where: Sneaky Dee’s, 431 College Street
Price: $5 online

Sunday, January 6

Yoga, Beer and Brunch

What: Start your 2019 off right with 60 minutes of Vinyasa Flow yoga led by Becki Charles, followed by a well-deserved flight of People’s Pint beers with a tutored tasting with owner and Prud’homme Master Sommelier Doug Appeldoorn.

When: January 6
Time: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
Where: People’s Pint Brewing Company, 90 Cawthra Avenue (Unit 101)
Price: $25

Bootcamp + Beer

Bootcamp + Beer

What: Working out and beer? This sounds like a bootcamp we could get used to. Junction Craft Brewing is hosting this fun workout that combines strength, conditioning and motivation to work off the calories you’ll consume after class, Post workout you’ll raise a pint to all the hard work you just put in.

When: January 6
Time: 11 am to 1 pm
Where: Junction Craft Brewing, 150 Symes Road
Price: $22 to $52

Paint Pouring with a Pint

What: Get your creative juices flowing this Sunday as you sip on a pint at this fun abstract art workshop. During the workshop, you’ll develop and refine your paint pouring skills and incorporate wax to add details using negative space. No experience required!

When: January 6
Time: 12 pm to 2 pm
Where: Fresh Paint Studio (Danforth East), 1849 Danforth Avenue
Price: $42, $48 with beer

Sunday Night Live Best of 2018

What: If you’re in the mood to get your laugh on, Sunday Night Live returns to Toronto’s Comedy Bar this Sunday. Sunday Night Live is written by and features The Sketchersons and is modelled after SNL featuring all-new sketches, live music, and a special guest host every week.

When: January 6
Time: 9 pm to 11 pm
Where: Comedy Bar, 945b Bloor Street West
Price: $10

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Ainsley Smith
Ainsley is a Staff Writer at Daily Hive. She's a former Vancouverite turned Torontonian who is passionate about avocado toast, aesthetics, and avocado toast aesthetics. Story idea? E-mail her at [email protected]

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