18 things to do in Toronto today: Saturday, January 5

Jan 5 2019, 3:02 am

The weekend is finally here.

And to ensure you celebrate the first Saturday of the new year in style, we recommend checking out the top events happening in the city today.

From a number of delicious foodie events to fun seasonal attractions, here are your top Toronto events for Saturday, January 5.

Free Fried Chicken


Gdous Fried Chicken House

What: Gdous Juicy Chicken House is celebrating the grand opening of their second location this weekend. Starting Friday and going through to Sunday, the first 100 customers each day will receive a piece of free fried chicken. Choose between the BA chicken leg or a crispy chicken steak… either way, you’ll leave satisfied.

When: Now until January 6
Time: Beginning at 11:30 am
Where:¬†Gdous Juicy Chicken House Bloor ‚Äď 495 Bloor Street West
Price: Free

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

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

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

Cinesphere Winter Film Series: Black Panther

Black Panther/IMDb

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

Burlington Festival of Lights

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

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
From $32

Winter at Ontario Place

December 24

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)

Eat Famous French Pastry

What: Nadege is bringing back a limited-edition favourite. The Galette de Rois is filled with a rich and velvety almond pastry creme… and a small trinket called the fève. The trinket is hidden in one of the tart’s slices, and the person who finds it gets to keep it! The pastry will be available for three weeks at all locations starting from January 5. 

When: For three weeks starting January 5
Time: Varies by store location
Where:¬†780 Queen Street West; 1099 Yonge Street; Richmond Adelaide Centre ‚Äď 120 Adelaide Street West
Price: $35

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

Beach Hill Smokehouse Turns One

January 5

Beach Hill Smokehouse/Instagram

What:¬†Beach Hill Smokehouse has its first birthday this weekend and in honour of this exciting milestone, it’s throwing a party to celebrate. There will be plenty of delicious food, a raffle to win a dinner for 10, live entertainment and complimentary brisket sandwiches to the first 100 customers.

When: January 5
Time: 11 am to 8 pm
Where: Beach Hill Smokehouse, 172 Main Street
Price: Free to attend

Close Encounters: The Cinema of Steven Spielberg

What: The filmmaker who redefined American popular cinema receives his first-ever TIFF Cinematheque retrospective this winter. See the classic film ET: The Extra-Terrestrial on the big screen this holiday season.

When: January 5
Time: 12:30 pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West
Price: $14 for general admission

Après Skate Saturdays

What:¬†If you‚Äôre in the mood for ice skating, head to the Bentway¬†where¬†skaters over 19-years-old can enjoy complimentary samples of¬†Kahl√ļa¬†with coffee or hot chocolate on Saturday evenings from 5 pm to 9 pm. Apr√®s 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

Chris Redd in Toronto

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: January 5
Time: 7 pm to 8 pm, 9 pm to 10 pm
Where: Live at Comedy Bar 945 Bloor Street West (at Ossington Station)
Price: $25

DJ Skate Nights: Cherry Bomb on Ice

Toronto Events

Harbourfront Centre/Instagram

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

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