10 Things to do in Toronto during the Holiday Season

1. Visit the Toronto Christmas Market

The Toronto Christmas Market happens in The Distillery District every year and it is one of the best places to celebrate the Christmas season. Expect to see the cobblestoned streets lit with twinkle lights and a giant Christmas tree right in the centre. Little wooden cabins are erected and they become home to handmade goods and food vendors. Also, there are always hot cups of spiced mulled wine and apple cider to keep you warm as you walk around.

2. Watch The Nutcracker by The National Ballet of Canada

The Nutcracker is a performance that returns to The National Ballet of Canada each Christmas. Watch this classic tale performed by some of the best dancers Canada has to offer at the beautiful Four Seasons Theatre. Ornate costumes and a beautiful set are paired with the high caliber dancing.The Nutcracker is a perfect outing for the whole family to enjoy and tickets tend to sell out.

3. Watch Home Alone in Concert by The Toronto Symphony Orchestra

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has a lot of special programming during the holiday season. One of the many shows offered is a live concert of the popular Christmas movie, Home Alone. Instead of watching it on television this year, families can enjoy it backed by the whole Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Other special holiday performances include Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker & More, TSO Holiday Pops and the ever popular Handel’s Messiah featuring the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

4. Visit the One of a Kind Show

The One of a Kind Show happens twice every year and the fall show is perfect for finding unique handmade gifts. With over 1000 vendors, there is always something for everyone. Expect to see a range of Canadian art in different disciplines, such as ceramics, visual arts, textiles, and more. Don’t miss the ever expanding food aisles which always has many delicious items to sample like handcrafted chocolates, shortbreads and sauces to name a few.

5. Go Ice Skating at Nathan Phillips Square

A fun and inexpensive activity is to go ice skating outside Nathan Phillips Square. The rink is in the heart of downtown and right beside the iconic Toronto sign. During the holidays, there are always timely decorations and skating at night under the city lights is a beautiful sight. There is no fee to use the rink and you are welcome to bring your own skates or rent them from the kiosk on site.

6. Visit Canada Wonderland’s new Winterfest

This year, for the very first time, Canada’s Wonderland is turning their fairgrounds into a magical winter festival. The amusement park will be decked out in festive lights and have a variety of activities for all ages. Expect to be immersed in the holiday spirit with a 70-foot Christmas tree decorated with over 40,000 ornaments. Children can visit Mrs. Claus’ kitchen for decorating cookies and there will be plenty of musical performances spreading Christmas cheer.

7. Have a laugh at Second City

Beat the winter blues and watch some comedy at Second City. Second City offers a variety of sketch comedy throughout the year and in the winter time you can expect to see some seasonally themed shows. This year, they will be presenting a satirical take on the holidays through sketches and songs with It’s a wild, rowdy, wonderful life. For a more family friendly show, they will also have The Naughty Listers a musical suitable for all ages with a mix of puppets and live action.

8. Enjoy festivities at Casa Loma

What is more magical than spending a snowy evening at Toronto’s very own castle. Each year Casa Loma offers a variety of seasonal events that can be enjoyed by the entire family. In the past, the castle has been decorated with stunning light displays and guests could sip on hot cocoa as they explored the grounds. We can’t wait to see what Casa Loma has in store for this holiday season.

9. Admire ice sculptures at the Bloor-Yorkville Icefest

2019 will be the 14th year the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood becomes an outdoor gallery of ice sculptures. 70,000 lbs of clear ice will be carved by local artists around this year’s theme of Medieval Times. Icefest is free to attend and a live ice carving competition is always one of the highlights of the event. There will be many photo opportunities and an ice carving demo as well.

10. Spend some time under the sea at the aquarium

The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is open year round and it is a great place to spend some time indoors when Toronto is covered in snow. The beautiful sea creatures will make you feel like you are on a tropical getaway. Ripley’s Aquarium also offers a variety of interesting events like paint nights, diving, photography classes and more. In the past, programming during the holidays included seasonal live music additional to their Friday jazz nights and family friendly events with Santa Claus as the special guest.

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