Searching for things to do in Toronto this December? You’ve come to the right place! With the holidays at the end of the month and winter around the corner, the city is full of festive events, attractions, and activities. From mesmerizing candlelight concerts to immersive winter light shows and holiday-themed pop-ups, the options are endless. Here’s a list of 22 wonderful things to do this December in Toronto.
Experience music in a new light this December at an enchanting candlelight concert, where a talented string quartet will cover songs by some of the most recognizable artists within a gorgeous venue in Toronto. Surrounded by flickering candlelight, you can choose from a range of shows including tributes to iconic artists like Taylor Swift and Whitney Houston, to a festive Nutcracker performance. Select tributes are only in town for a limited time, so be sure to secure your tickets soon to avoid disappointment!
Candlelight: The Best of Joe Hisaishi
Candlelight: A Tribute to ABBA
Candlelight: A Tribute to Taylor Swift at Paradise Theatre
Candlelight: A Tribute to Coldplay
Candlelight: A Tribute to Queen and More at Paradise Theatre
Burlesque meets Star Wars in a one-of-a-kind experience where your favourite sci-fi characters put on a playful yet seductive performance – with a little less clothes on. Coming to The Royal Cinema at 608 College Street, you can catch the experience that has audiences raving around the world on December 29. As the show has previously sold out in cities like Seattle, Portland, New York, Chicago, LA, and Vancouver, grab your tickets soon before the Toronto dates sell out!
Immerse yourself in a multi-sensory experience of art and poetry celebrating Spanish surrealist artist, Salvador Dalí, while incorporating Dante’s “The Divine Comedy”. The exhibition at Brookfield Place will display 100 authentic artworks by Dalí, accompanied with theatrical lighting effects and music. The exhibit has been extended through December 17, and you can get tickets here.
Head to Mississauga and get up close and personal with a Brachiosaurus or Velociraptor at Jurassic World: The Exhibition. This family-friendly, immersive experience brings the popular Jurassic World franchise to life, letting you walk through the famous park gates, enter The Creation Lab, snap a selfie with baby dinos, and more. While the exhibit was already extended due to popularity, it will only be in Toronto until January 7 so get your tickets soon!
Travel through a dazzling display of twinkling lights and Christmas scenes from the comfort of your own car at Journey Into Enchantment. Commencing December 1, this 2km stretch of road in Ajax will transform into a festive wonderland, and you can even visit Santa, his reindeer, and elves at the North Pole. The experience ends January 7, and you can find tickets here.
Most of Toronto’s outdoor ice rinks officially open for the season as of November 25, and what’s more quintessentially Canadian than going for a skate in the city? If you don’t own your own equipment, you can rent skates from many of the City of Toronto rinks onsite.
Head down to Nathan Phillips Square to see the annual Cavalcade of Lights, a dazzling celebration of cultures with hundreds of thousands of sparkling lights. It is also the home of the official Christmas tree of Toronto, which will be decorated and lit up as of November 25.
Toronto is really embracing the holidays this year, and holiday-themed cocktail bars seem to be popping up all over the city. Grab a seasonal beverage of your choice while admiring the decorated setting, all while your favourite Christmas tunes play in the background. Three to check out this year are:
- Miracle Bar, 875 Bloor St West
- The Thirsty Elf, Fairmont Royal York 100 Front St W
- Holiday Bothy, Park Hyatt 4 Avenue Rd
Everyday until December 31, the Eaton Centre will become a wintery wonderland at CF Winterville, featuring daily tree light and snow shows. Synthetic snow will fall from the ceiling as Toronto’s tallest Christmas tree twinkles, and there will live musical performances on select afternoons. You can find the show times on their website.
If you’re looking for something a little different to do this December, how does dressing up in your best devil-inspired attire for an elaborate evening ball sound? The annual Krampus Ball returns December 9, and encourages attendees to dress up in their best festive attire, from demon-wear as an homage to Krampus himself, or other holiday-inspired outfits.
Festive light displays, activities, holiday decor, and even Santa himself will soon take over the gorgeous manicured grounds at Casa Loma, with the return of their annual Christmas at the Castle and Holiday Lights experiences next month. The events run from December 1 until January 6.
You can’t have Christmas without twinkling lights, and there are a number of places to find dazzling displays throughout the city. Here are five of the best places to see Christmas lights in Toronto:
- The Distillery District
- Casa Loma
- Nathan Phillips Square
- Yonge and Dundas Square
The city’s beloved Winter Village is back at the Distillery District until January 7, 2024, and there’s a reason it’s been ranked as one of the best Christmas markets in the world. With live performances, photo-opps, festive vendors and holiday snacks and drinks to warm you up, it’s the perfect destination to get you in the spirit.
Toronto’s most innovative market has been taken over with holiday spirit, with six weeks of festive events planned right up until the end of the year. STACKT Market’s Holiday Hills event will include attractions such as a huge tunnel of sparkling lights, a whiskey speakeasy, a champagne bar with gourmet smores, rotating small markets and makers to do your holiday shopping, and free live music Fridays.