The holiday season is finally here with Christmas being just days away. An exciting time of year that’s for sure, especially if you’re celebrating Christmas in Toronto. Similar to Christmas in New York, the city of Toronto transforms itself with sights and smells of the holidays. You’ll find both traditional and modern activities spread out all throughout the city. From winter festivals and craft markets to national ballet performances and light shows — there’s no shortage of things to do. Toronto is sure to accommodate all interests! Brace yourself for a holiday treat.
Experience the Toronto Christmas Market
A quintessential part of Toronto’s holiday experience, the Toronto Christmas Market is located in the historic, cobblestoned Distillery District. Resembling the style of Christmas Markets in Europe, you’ll find whimsical holiday displays, mulled wine and hot cocoa, and incredible foods both savoury and sweet. This is also the perfect location to snap a photo with a great big Christmas tree. While it’s free on weekdays, there is an admission fee on weekends. To avoid long (very long) lineups, consider purchasing tickets online in advance.
Gaze at the Christmas lights at Casa Loma
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Explore the Aurora Winter Festival
New to Toronto this year, the Aurora Winter Festival features activities for all ages! Transformed into a winter wonderland, the festival at Ontario Place runs until December 30th. This is your chance to escape to a hidden village where you’ll find a tube park, festive light displays, a skating rink, a market and more. You’ll even find rides here — but be sure to dress warm as it’s mainly outdoors. Purchase your tickets online in advance and secure your time slot!
See The National Ballet of Canada’s The Nutcracker
A classic experience for the entire family to enjoy, The Nutcracker put on by The National Ballet of Canada is a treasured holiday tradition. As the National Post claims, “The National Ballet’s Nutcracker is for kids from one to 92.” Created in 1995 as a re-imagined version of the evergreen Christmas spectacular, the show is full of both thrill and emotion. It runs between December 8 – 30 at The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in the heart of downtown Toronto. Definitely a must-see if you’re spending Christmas in Toronto.
Skate with a view
Get ready to lace up and go skating! You can choose from a variety of skating rinks depending on what part of the city you’ll be in and what your preferences are. There’s nothing more iconic than skating in Nathan Phillips Square at City Hall. Here, you get to skate underneath a beautifully lit arch. However, you might choose to skate by the lake at Harbourfront Natrel Rink where you get an incredible view of the CN Tower while listening to live music. If you feel like doing some holiday shopping, visit the Evergreen Brickworks Winter Village. Here, you can shop and take a break to skate through what feels like a small forest in the Koerner Gardens.