20 things to do in Toronto today: Sunday, December 23

Dec 21 2018, 8:13 pm
FEATURED EVENTS IN TORONTO

It’s the perfect day for a Sunday Funday in Toronto. And luckily there are plenty of exciting events happening all day throughout the city!

If you haven’t checked out the Toronto Christmas Market or Holiday Fair in the Square, today is your final chance to do so.

So be sure to get outside and enjoy the final day of the weekend.

Toronto Christmas Market

Image courtesy of the Toronto Christmas Market

What: Always festive, always fun, always filling, you can count on the Toronto Christmas Market for your food and drink fix. Whether you’re craving savoury sausage, sweet sugar cookies or warming mulled wine, there’s something here to satisfy you.

When: Now until December 23 (closed Mondays)
Time: Tuesday to Thursday, 12 pm to 9 pm; Friday and Saturday, 12 pm to 10 pm; Sunday, 12 pm to 9 pm
Where: The Distillery Historic District
Price: $6 admission fee on weekends only

Holiday Fair in the Square

What: Now in its third year, Holiday Fair includes an open-air artisan village with over 50 talented vendors selling gifts and special treats, just in time for you to cross off your list. Don’t forget to swing by the JP Wiser’s booth where you can sample some delicious whisky and #HolditHigh to your friends by recording a toast to them. Find the booth at the Polar Point bar area, right behind the Toronto sign.

When: On now until December 23 (closed Mondays)
Time: Tuesday to Thursday, 4 pm to 9 pm; Friday to Sunday, 12 pm to 10 pm
Where: Nathan Phillips Square
Price: No cover

Opening weekend at The Bentway

What: The Bentway’s unique figure-eight skate trail opens for its second season this weekend, just in time for the holidays! Once again, skate rentals and skating lessons will be offered, in addition to “curated” food and beverage options on select dates, and an expanded winter village full of snuggly blankets, warming lounges and fire pits.

When: Now until December 23
Time: 12 pm to 9 pm
Where: 
Below the Gardiner Expressway at 250 Fort York Blvd
Price: Free

Cinesphere Fall Film Series

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 Cinesphere will screen a number of iconic films including Ghostbusters, Alien, Aliens, Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Blade Runner 2049 in IMAX, The Fifth Element and Die Hard. 

When: Screenings running till December 23
Time: Showtimes vary by day
Where: Cinesphere at Ontario Place, 955 Lake Shore Blvd West
Price: $15 for adults

Miracle on Queen Street

What: This Christmas-themed bar is popping up on Queen Street West is officially open. Bring your Grinchiest-friend along… this spot’s sure to get everyone in the holiday mood with their elaborate decor and seasonal cocktails.

When: Now until December 26
Time: Monday to Friday, 5 pm to 2 am; Saturday and Sunday, 12 pm to 2 am
Where: 251 Queen Street West
Price: Pay for what you order

Aurora Winter Festival

Aurora

@aurorafestto_/Instagram

What: For the first time ever, Aurora Winter Festival will transform Toronto’s Ontario Place from November 29 to December 30 into a hidden village with enchanting elements inspired by the North Pole including magical characters, captivating light displays, endless fun, games and activities.

When: Now until December 30
Time: 4 pm to 10 pm
Where: Ontario Place, East Island
Price: $19.99 for general admission

Evergreen Winter Village

What: Glide around the free skating rink, shop local vendors at the holiday market, and feast on festive foods during your visit. Hungry for more? The food vendors will change week to week, featuring appearances from Chocosol Traders, Get Your Own Taters, The Arepa Republic, Fully Loaded TO, The Food Dudes, and many more.

When: Now until December 31 (open every weekend)
Time: 10 am to 5 pm (10 am to 3 pm on December 24)
Where: 550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto
Price: Entry is free

Bloor-Yorkville Holiday Magic

What: Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville will be transformed into a winter wonderland this holiday season. The annual event will illuminate the neighbourhood this December, creating a unique destination for patrons of the neighbourhood to shop, dine and take in the area’s art and culture while surrounded by festive lighting.

When: Now until December 31
Time: After sunset
Where: Bloor-Yorkville Village
Price: 
Free to attend

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 1
Time: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11 am to 8 pm; Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 8 pm (closed Tuesdays)
Where: Harbourfront Centre
Price: 
From $32

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.

Daily: Now until January 6, 9:30 am to 5 pm
Nightly: December 17 to December 23, 5 pm to 9 pm
Where: Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace
Price: From $22.15 to $32.49

Simcoe Christmas Panorama

Simcoe Christmas Panorama

@kidof65/Instagram

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

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

The Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls

What: The annual Winter Festival of Lights stretches over eight kilometres in Niagara and will run through to the end of January. Attracting over one million visitors annually, this incredible spectacle is Canada’s largest lights festival. Just imagine a breathtaking, colourful scene with millions of sparkling lights and animated displays that extends to Dufferin Islands.

When: Now until the end of January
Time: After sundown
Where: Niagara Falls
Admission: Free

Light Up the Beach

What: Now in its 11th year, Light Up the Beach features more than 80,000 twinkling lights along the Toronto Beaches boardwalk to support The Michael Garron Hospital Foundation. The light display is truly a sight to see and a holiday tradition that every Torontonian should enjoy.

When: Now until mid-February
Time: 7 pm
Where: At the foot of Leuty Avenue, The Beach
Price: Free to visit

Winter at Ontario Place

November 30

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

Breakfast with Santa

What: Enjoy a delicious breakfast, followed by arts and crafts, cookie decorating and ice cream for the kids. Santa will be arriving from the North Pole at 12:30, and there will be a special treat for those who come dressed in an ugly Christmas sweater!

When: December 23
Time:  10:30 am to 2 pm
Where: Joe Bird – 207 Queens Quay West
Price: $25 to $30

Fashion Santa’s Not So Silent Night

What: In support of SickKids hospital, and anchored by Paul Mason (Fashion Santa), the evening will feature musical performances, top DJs, and an interactive fashion show from celebrated Toronto designers.

When: December 23
Time: 7:30 pm to 2 am
Where: 192 Adelaide Street West
Price: $200

Hot Docs’ Home Alone Quote-Along

What: Come and get into the holiday spirit at a screening of one of the best Christmas movies ever made: Home Alone. Throw on your favourite ugly Christmas sweater and attend the 5th annual Home Alone quote-along featuring with subtitles, karaoke-style, so you can get rowdy and shout out your favourite lines (“Buzz, your girlfriend, WOOF!”)

When: December 23
Time: 9:30 pm
Where: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West
Price: Start at $13

It’s a Wild, Rowdy, Wonderful Life

What: The Second City invites you to laugh along as its comedy crew skewers all the washed up, broken down traditions that tend to plague the holiday season.

When: December 23
Time: 10 pm
Where: Second City Toronto, 51 Mercer Street
Price: $27 for general admission

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