Ready for the holidays? While the weather in Toronto may not be ideal in December, this is also the month where the city becomes alive, with lights, Christmas markets, and family-friendly activities. Below, we’ve created a roundup of all the best holiday activities to do in Toronto (which we’ll keep updating as the weeks pass and more information is released.) Without further ado, here are 13 festive things to do for the holidays in Toronto.
1. Toronto Art Crawl Christmas Market
Starting Saturday, November 4th, the Toronto Art Crawl Christmas Market will open its doors to families! The 8th annual outdoor Christmas market takes place at the Bentway where you can stroll through dozens of vendors of 180+ Toronto artists and artisans. If you’re looking for jewelery, fashion, home decor, art and sculptures, you’ll be able to peruse their stalls and do a little early Christmas shopping while you’re at it.
2. Cavalcade of Lights
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Looking for something magical to do this Christmas in Toronto? We’d recommend you head to Nathan Phillips Square for a magical display of Christmas lights that will be on display from late November to early January. The festival will have an ice rink, a Christmas tree, and dozens of dazzling lights to enjoy.
If you’re wondering what to do for the holidays in Toronto these enchanting candlelit concerts are the perfect way to spend a chilly evening indoors. In December, a whole new variety of candlelight concerts will be available, from a Candlelight Holiday Special featuring “The Nutcracker” to Christmas holiday R&B classics.
Every year, Union and TD excite families in Toronto by bringing back their popular ice rink and this year is no different. The opening of the ice rink starts on November 28th until January 29th and best of all, they’ll be offering free skate rentals. The station will also have a variety of music pop us throughout the months for shopping. On Fridays and Saturdays from 4-9pm, there’s DJs playing music for some extra weekend excitement this holiday season in Toronto.
5. Holiday Fair in the Square
From December 1st to December 23rd, families can go to Holiday Fair in the Square in Toronto. This year, Mel Lastman Square is the venue that will be transformed into a winter wonderland with a fire pit, artisan marketplace, holiday treats like hot chocolate or mulled wine and a chance for a photo-op with Santa.
Every winter in Toronto, Canada’s Wonderland transforms for the holiday season. WinterFest, as it’s called, is happening on select nights from November 17th to January 6th. If you’re interested, we’d recommend you buy tickets online for a big discount (at the time of writing, admission is $29.99 when purchased online.) WinterFest has ice skating, cookie decorating, and even a VIP Igloo Package, on top of their thrilling rides, holiday-themed food and drinks, and performances.
7. The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
This magical train is pulling into the station at Toronto for another holiday season with dazzling lights and live performances, all for a good cause. There’s plenty of scheduled times available during the CP Train’s season, from November 21st to December 19th, andthe full calendar is online so you can schedule your journey. While aboard, you can listen to live performances or just watch the train roll through the station.
8. Distillery District Christmas Market
Starting Thursday, Nov. 16, the annual Christmas Market at the Distillery District will kick off with the annual tree lighting ceremony that you won’t want to miss. As usual, you can expect live performances, photo-opps, and holiday snacks and drinks to warm you up. Winter Village is one of the most highly anticipated markets in Toronto, so don’t miss out.
9. Pingle’s Farm ChristmasFest and Ugly Sweater Party
The year-round, family-friendly Pingle’s Farm has a lot of activities to enjoy this winter season. Not too far from Toronto, head over to Pingle’s Farm for their annual ChristmasFest, happening from December 2th to 17th. Santa will be there for a photo-opp (capture the special memories on your phone or camera), a Mistletoe Market to do your shopping, festive-themed food, and even a Christmas Tree lot where you can take a tree home to center at home. GA tickets cost $25 online for 2 and up.
Their Ugly Sweater Party is adults-only with themed-drinks, an all-you-can-eat-“merry menu,” live music and cozy campfires in their Greenhouse. This event is happening every Friday in December with drinks like their Gingerbread Martini. Tickets must be pre-purchased and are for adults 19+. They cost $59.99 and include the food, but drinks are an additional cost.
10. Stackt Market’s Holiday Hills
Toronto’s most innovative market is transforming again into Holiday Hills. Expect 6 weeks of holiday festivities, like their massive tunnel of dazzling 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. The launch party is on November 17th.
11. Bloor Yorkville Holiday Magic
The village of Yorkville Park will light up on November 25th for a spectacular holiday display that will take place all through November and December. The lively neighborhood will become even more enchanting with festive lighting, continuing an annual tradition that residents and visitors can take in while doing their holiday shopping or trying the neighborhood’s many restaurants or bars. The annual lighting ceremony kicks off on Saturday, November 25th from 5-7pm with perfomances by Matt Dusk and special guest Barbra Lica.
12. Eaton Centre’s Christmas Tree Display
Toronto’s tallest Christmas Tree is returning to Eaton Centre on November 15th with their annual tree lighting at 6pm. The tree has returned annually to the Eaton Centre since 2016, with only a small hiatus in 2022 to accomodate the centre’s renovated glass roof of the mall’s central atrium.
You can also enjoy this new interactive art exhibit, ‘Canadian Chroma’ that’s just opened in the old Nordstrom, complete with a gorgeous light exhibit that represents the Northern Lights.
13. Go to a holiday-themed pop-up bar
Holiday-themed pop-up bars are an excellent after-hours activity to do in Toronto during the holidays. Spend a cozy December evening indoors at The Thirsty Elf or Miracle Bar, sipping on holiday cocktails in joyous ceramics, enjoying jolly music, and taking in the over-the-top Christmas decorations from holly to garland to dazzling trees that remind us why this is the most joyful season of them all.