December in Toronto

Fun and Interesting Activities During the Holiday Season

christmas-market
••• Toronto Christmas Market. Toronto Christmas Market

December is full of festive events, and not everything is about bringing your kids to sit on Santa's lap. The city of Toronto offers a variety of activities, from dinner in a Victorian village to a holiday market in a historic district. You can also treat the kids to a parade, or to seeing the city's waterfront lit up in a fun and festive display.

There are also plenty of Christmas craft shows in Toronto.

 To name a few, City of Craft at the Theater Centre happening December 8 to 10 features over 70 different organizations, artists, and individuals. Admission is $3 and good for the duration of the craft show. Another good option is the Artisan's Gift Fair at the Annex, offering unique, quality, handmade gifts. The show happens every weekend in December leading up to Christmas abdruns from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

Here are several festive ways to celebrate this holiday month.

Toronto Christmas Market

When: November 16-December 23, 2017

Visit the Distillery Historic District for one of the top 10 holiday markets in the world. Feel the magic of Christmas as you stroll through the shops and streets lit up with holiday cheer. You'll find family-friendly entertainment, beautiful lighting displays, locally handcrafted products, walking tours, and of course visits with Santa. Warm up with a cup of hot chocolate and treat yourself to something sweet.

There are also plenty of savory choices as well. The heated hospitality lounges allow for visitors to enjoy traditional Glühwein (mulled wine), craft beer, or a hot toddy. Open every day but Monday. Weekdays are free, but starting 5:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday tickets are required ($6); children 2 and under are free.

Spectacle of Lights on Toronto's Waterfront

When: Beginning late November

Toronto's revitalized waterfront comes alive at night with several magical light installations. The Toronto Music Garden, Westin Hotel, the Fire Hall, and the Tall Ship on Amsterdam Bridge will all be aglow with thousands of artistically displayed LED lights. Check out the Waterfront's website for more information.

Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade

When: Saturday, December 2, 2017

Santa visits Etobicoke —and there is a parade in his honor! A tradition since 1991, the Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade has been getting bigger and better every year. The parade begins at Dwight Avenue and heads west along Lakeshore Blvd. West. Top off the fun-filled event with a few turns on the ice rink with Santa at Samuel Smith Park.

Christmas at Black Creek Pioneer Village

When: Beginning December 3, 2017

Step back in time into a Victorian Christmas at Black Creek Pioneer Village. Enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner every Sunday during December. Seatings are at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Half Way House Inn. On December 9 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. the village will be all aglow and dressed in its holiday best for Christmas by Lamplight. Tour the village at your leisure by the light of lanterns, candles, and warming fireplaces, visiting the homes and workshops while listening to Christmas carols and traditional folk music.

You can even create seasonal ornaments and savor holiday food samples. Storytime with Santa is more than just a classic Christmas tale read by Old St. Nick—the kids will also spend the morning decorating cookies and creating crafts, followed by an afternoon of seasonal activities throughout the village.

Kensington Market Winter Solstice Parade

When: December 21, 2017

Formerly known as the Kensington Market Festival of Lights, this participatory lantern parade is preceded by lantern-making workshops for those who are interested. (May be subject to weather - check event website for updated information). You can also buy lanterns for the parade for $12 between 5 and 6:30 p.m. on the stairs of St. Stephen's Community House. The parade begins at the corner of Oxford and Augusta and starts at 7 p.m.

Holiday Fair in Nathan Philips Square

When: December 1 to 23 (closed Mondays)

Make your way to Nathan Philips Square this December for another take on a traditional Christmas market. This one will feature multiple food vendors, artisans selling handcrafted holiday items, visits with Santa, a licensed bar selling beer, wine and other beverages, and a midway with rides for kids of all ages. 

If you are looking to continue the festivities into the New Year, there are plenty of fun options for New Year's Eve, from events for families, comedy shows, and other performances to choose from.