The ultimate guide to family-friendly events and activities in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (the GTA) this holiday season. Things to do in Toronto Christmas 2022 that the entire family will enjoy and a couple that are just for adults.
Christmas season in Toronto is the most magical time of the year for families. Everyone is in the mood for celebrating and there are many fun festive events taking place over the coming weeks. Here’s the ultimate guide for things to do in Toronto Christmas 2022 – a list of family-friendly events and activities in the city of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (the “GTA”) for the 2022/23 holiday season.
UPDATED FOR 2022
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The Toronto Santa Claus Parade
The Original Santa Claus Parade is back in person in 2022 with amazing floats, bands, marchers, the Celebrity Clowns and of course, Mrs. Claus and Santa!!! The Toronto Santa Claus Parade kicks off the city’s holiday celebration in mid-November when thousands of people line the streets along the route for the annual running of the parade that has become a Toronto Christmas tradition. Can’t make it to the parade? It airs on television on CTV.
Where: Starts at Christie Pits and ends at the St. Lawrence Market
When: Sunday November 20, 2022, 12:30pm
More Info: www.thesantaclausparade.ca
Santa Claus Parades in the GTA
Smaller parades in other communities in the GTA include:
- Santa’s Parade of Lights, Oshawa – Saturday November 19, 2022, 6:00 pm.
- Ajax Santa Claus Parade – Santa’s Spectacle of Lights, November 26, 2022 evening parade.
- Santa Claus Parade, Whitby – Whitby Santa Claus Parade returns to the Brock Street parade route on Saturday December 3, 2022, 10:00 am.
- Milton Santa Claus Parade – Saturday November 26, 2022, starting at 1:30 pm. The 2022 Parade Theme is Christmas Around the World.
- Santa Claus Parade, Oakville, Santa Claus is landing his sleigh in Oakville for this year’s in-person parade on Saturday, November 19, 2022 beginning at 9 a.m.
- Burlington Christmas Parade – Burlington’s annual Santa Claus Parade will return to an in-person event this year. Sunday December 4, 2022 at 2:00 pm in downtown Burlington.
- Brampton Santa Claus Parade is back in person with a new route due to ongoing construction. Saturday November 19, 2022 at 5:00 pm.
- Newmarket Santa Claus Parade, Saturday November 19, 2022, 11 am – 1 pm. Attendees are encouraged to bring their letters for Santa Claus and a non-perishable food item for the Newmarket Food Pantry.
- Markham Annual Santa Claus Parade – November 26, 2022, 11 am – 1 pm, Main Street Markham.
- Unionville’s Olde Tyme Christmas Parade – Saturday December 3, 2022, 5 – 6 pm.
For a complete listing of Santa Claus Parades in the GTA refer to www.ToDoCanada.com
Santa at the Eaton Centre
Enjoy the decorations at the mall during the Christmas season and while there enjoy a visit with Santa. In-person Santa visits are taking place in 2022 but it’s still not quite back to the pre-pandemic experience. Santa will be on Level 4 of the mall instead of in his log cabin and will be sitting in an oversized chair with room for visitors to sit next to him on the chair. There will also be small stools next to Santa’s chair or you can stand next to the chair if you’d prefer to maintain more distance. Masks are not mandatory under current health and safety guidelines.
Visits are are approximately 5 minutes and are by reservation only in 2022. Pre-book your visit online for $10 to reserve your spot. Time slots are limited to 8 people. Tickets include your visit and up to 5 professional digital photos.
Reservations may also be made for visits with Sensitive Santa in conjunction with Autism Speaks Canada. Sensitive Santa provides a sensory friendly environment with lower lighting and quieter surroundings for children with autism and their families.
Where: Level 4, near Indigo
When: November 19 – December 24, 2022
More Info: CF Toronto Eaton Centre
Merry Merry Music at the Eaton Centre
Head to the Eaton Centre this holiday season for a magical Merry Merry Music holiday experience featuring Canadian artists from communities across Canada. These performances are free to attend and open to all mall visitors.
Where: Eaton Centre, Level 1 near MAC
When: November 17 – December 24, 2022
More Info: www.shops.cadillacfairview.com
Visit with Santa at Sherway Gardens
In-person visits with Santa (by reservation only) are back at Sherway Gardens but not quite the same experience as pre-pandemic. Santa will be sitting in an oversized chair with room for visitors to sit next to him on the chair. There will also be small stools next to Santa’s chair or you can stand next to the chair if you’d prefer to maintain more distance.
Each visit will be approximately 5 minutes. Masks are not mandatory under current health and safety mandates. Each ticket is $10. Sensitive Santa experiences are also available for children with autism and their families in conjunction with Autism Speaks Canada. Numbers are limited so book as soon as possible.
Where: Sherway Gardens – Centre Court, 25 The West Mall, Etobicoke (QEW and 427)
When: November 19 – December 24, 2022
More Info: CF Sherway Gardens
The National Ballet of Canada – The Nutcracker
James Kudelka’s stunning version of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic The Nutcracker has been performed by The National Ballet of Canada since 1995.
Prices vary by performance – discounted children’s tickets are available.
Masks are strongly recommended but not required. Staff will continue to wear masks.
Where: Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen Street West, Toronto
When: December 10-31, 2022
More Info: www.national.ballet.ca
Ross Petty Pantomime
One of my family’s favourite holiday traditions was attending a performance of the annual pantomime staged by Ross Petty Productions at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto. Pantos are fun for the whole family – children love the audience participation where they can cheer on the heroes and boo the villains and parents love the jokes and ad-libs!
The show returns in person this year for the first time since the pandemic, however, Peter’s Final Flight will also be Ross Petty’s farewell production and the end of a Toronto holiday tradition.
Where: Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge Street, Toronto
When: December 2, 2022 – January 7, 2023
More Info: www.rosspetty.com
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra – Handel’s Messiah
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra will perform the must-see classic, Handel’s Messiah, at Roy Thomson Hall this holiday season.
While masks are no longer required, they are strongly encouraged for the safety of everyone attending a TSO concert.
Where: Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto
When: Saturday December 17 – Wednesday December 21, 2022
More Info: www.tso.ca
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra – TSO Holiday Pops
TSO Holiday Pops is back for four performance at Roy Thomson Hall December 6 – 8th. Broadway stars Nikki Renée Daniels and Paul Alexander Nolan shine brightly beside Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke, Lucas Waldin, and the Orchestra as they make merry with holiday hits and classic carols. And with cheer that’s off the charts, the big man in red won’t be able to resist popping by to say, “ho ho ho!”
While masks are no longer required, they are strongly encouraged for the safety of everyone attending a TSO concert.
Where: Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto
When: December 6 – December 8, 2022
More Info: www.tso.ca
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra – Elf in Concert
The TSO’s popular Film with Live Orchestra is back in 2022 with Elf in Concert performances on Friday December 9 and Saturday December 10, 2022 at Roy Thomson Hall. Buddy was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler, and raised among Santa’s elves. This holiday season Buddy travels to New York—with a live symphony orchestra! Experience John Debney conducting his wonderful score as the full film plays on the big screen.
While masks are no longer required, they are strongly encouraged for the safety of everyone attending a TSO concert.
Where: Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto
When: December 9 and 10, 2022
More Info: www.tso.ca
Other Theatrical Performances in Toronto
Second City Toronto presents Jingle Bell Ruckus – a heaping serving of seasonal satire that’s the perfect alternative to those same old holiday shows. Nothing’s off-limits: holiday film classics, family gatherings, beloved Christmas carols, and of course all things wickedly funny about winter get a seasonal skewering in this fast-paced, interactive, original comedy revue filled with style, wit, and plenty of that famous (and festive) Second City improv! Approximate running time is 2 hours with a 15 minute intermission. Rated R. Performances at Theatre ’73, 1 York Street, December 1, 2022 – January 1, 2023. www.secondcity.com
The Second City’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays – Celebrate over sixty years of sketches, songs, and comedic conviviality as the next generation of comedy superstars perform our greatest holiday hits. Approximate running time is 2 hours with a 15 minute intermission. Rated R. Performances atNew Theatre, 1 York Street, December 3, 2022 – January 2, 2023. www.secondcity.com
The Second City’s Improv Holiday Brunch – comedy and brunch for three weekends only at 1 York Street, Toronto. Approximate running time is 80 minutes with a 15 minute intermission. Rated R. December 4, 11, and 18, 2022. www.secondcity.com
Snow White onstage at Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front Street East, Toronto – November 21, 2022 – January 7, 2023. Run time approximately 85 minutes. Recommended ages 6+. www.youngpeoplestheatre.org
The Mississauga Living Arts Centre generally presents a number of holiday performances during the holiday season. In 2022 live performances include Christmas with the Clemons; O Christmas Tea: A British Comedy; Holiday Stories; The Nutcracker; The Gift of Christmas; A Merry Motown Christmas; and performance by the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra and the Mississauga Symphony Youth Orchestra. Check website for details. www.livingartscentre.ca
Cavalcade of Lights Tree Lighting Ceremony
The Cavalcade of Lights is a free event which is held annually in Nathan Phillips Square. Inspired by international lantern, fire and light festivals, this year’s festivities will transform City Hall and its surrounds into a dazzling wonderland each night. Opening Night celebrations on Saturday November 26th feature family-friendly activities, live entertainment, food vendors and a tree-lighting at 8:30 p.m. There will also be a skating showcase and public skating on Toronto’s iconic rink.
When: November 26, 2022 – January 7, 2023
Where: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West at Bay Street.
More Info: City of Toronto – Cavalcade of Lights
Light Up the Square – Mississauga
Mississauga kicks off the holiday season with an annual free event at Celebration Square featuring the official lighting of the Christmas tree, live entertainment, public art installations, photos with Santa and his elves, gourmet food trucks, the opening of the skating rink and more – all surrounded by twinkling lights.
Also ring in 2023 at Celebration Square with with high energy performances by international recording artists, grab a bite to eat from one of the many delicious food trucks, and enjoy an explosive fireworks show at midnight.
Where: Celebration Square, 300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga
When: Opening Night – Saturday November 26, 2022, 5 – 9 pm
More Info: www.mississauga.ca
Holiday Window Displays
One of my favourite things to do during the holiday season is browse holiday window displays. Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue on Queen Street in Toronto hold an annual unveiling of their holiday windows in early November. It can get a bit crowded here at times but the magical Christmas windows are a must-see each holiday season. It’s also worth heading up to Bloor Street as well to check out upscale shops such as William Ashley China, Roots, Holt Renfrew and others that go all out on their spectacular window displays.
Canadian Tire Christmas Trail
In celebration of Canadian Tire’s 100th birthday, The Canadian Tire Christmas Trail is back to make this the Christmas of the century. The drive-along experience takes guests on an enchanted 1.5-kilometre journey through thousands of twinkling lights, interactive displays, and live entertainment featuring new and familiar faces. Guests will be immersed in the magic of Christmas and can capture their beloved annual photo with Santa in a memorable way, all from the comfort of their own vehicle.
Tickets must be purchased online in advance and all sales are final. This is not a rain or shine event – you will receive an email in the event of cancellation due to inclement weather. Cost per vehicle is $25 + HST. Pets are not allowed on the premises – guests with a pet in the vehicle will be turned away. Blocks of tickets will be released on Sunday November 6, November 20 and December 4th at noon. All proceeds donated to Canadian Tire Jumpstart charities.
Where: Black Creek Pioneer Village, 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, North York
When: Saturday November 12, 2022 – Friday December 23, 2022
More Info: www.ctchristmastickets.com
York Durham Heritage Railway Santa Train Ride
All events are on specified dates – check the event calendar on the YDHR website for details and to book tickets.
Each year the York-Durham Heritage Railway operates a popular Santa Train on specified Saturdays and Sundays during the holiday season. The trains leave from Uxbridge Station and ride through the beautiful Oak Ridges Moraine. The ride lasts approximately one hour with onboard entertainment for children of all ages. Santa visits each child at their seat on the train. Seating is limited and by reservation only so book early to avoid disappointment. November 26 – December 18, 2022.
This year the York-Durham Heritage Railway will also be providing service to the North Pole onboard the North Pole Light UP Express! Every guest will be served chocolate milk and cookies during this magical train ride that takes the whole family to the North Pole. During the journey to the North Pole, Mrs. Claus will greet guests and friends of Santa’s will share stories, dances, and songs. November 25 – December 23, 2022.
Also available this year is Bethlehem Express: The Nativity on Rails – a one hour performance of the Christmas story filled with music and drama. December 20, 2022.
For the first time ever, Mrs. Claus is cooking up Breakfast for a select few families at this year’s Santa Train Pancake Breakfast Event! Join in the singing of some of Santa’s favorite Carols, enjoy a beautiful meal and of course a visit from Santa with a special gift for each Child. November 27, 2022 – December 18, 2022
This year YDHR will also present Murder at the Christmas Station Dinner for ages 19+. Enjoy a four course dinner, live music and a fun-filled evening solving a murder mystery. The train is static for this event. December 7 and December 14, 2022
Another festive event is the Victorian Christmas Tea – A Dickensian Classic where you can watch the countryside roll by as you travel through the beautiful Oak Ridges Moraine in all its winter wonder while listening to delightful music and enjoying the Christmas tea white glove service. December 7, 14, 21, 2022
Where: Uxbridge Station, 19 Railway Street, Uxbridge, Ontario
More Info: www.ydhr.ca
Halton County Radial Railway Christmas on the Rails
Celebrate the holiday season by riding the Halton County Radial Railway historic street car on two kilometres of scenic track through the woods with snow on the trees (hopefully), Christmas carols in the air and a visit from Santa! Weather permitting. Tickets sold at the door.
Where: 13629 Guelph Line, Milton, ON
When: December 4, 2022, 1 – 8 pm.
More Info: www.hcry.org
The CP Holiday Train
The CP Holiday Train is happy to be back in 2022 celebrating its 24th year!! The Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train will return to the rails this season on its first cross-continent tour in three years, following virtual concerts in the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. The CP Holiday Train program launched in 1999 and has since raised more than $21 million CAD and collected 5 million pounds of food for communities along CP’s routes in Canada and the United States.
The CP Holiday Train program has two trains, one that travels exclusively in Canada and another with stops in both Canada and the U.S. The two trains will depart Montreal (US Holiday Train on November 22 and Canadian Holiday Train on November 27) on a festive journey through the U.S. and Canada bringing holiday cheer and concert performances to communities along CP’s network. Stops in the GTA include Bowmanville, Oshawa, Milton, Hamilton, Toronto and Vaughan.
The Holiday Train is about 1,000 feet in length with 14 brightly decorated rail cars and each car is decorated with hundreds of thousands of technology-leading LED lights and holiday designs. Holiday train events are free but food or monetary donations to the local foodbank are requested.
Each train stop lasts about 30 minutes and includes a band performing a mix of traditional and modern holiday-themed songs for the crowd. Entertainers on the Canadian Holiday Train this year include Tenille Townes, Aysanabee, McKenzie Porter, and Virginia to Vegas. Performers on the US Holiday Train are Alan Doyle, Kelly Prescott, JoJo Mason and Lindsay Ell. Check the CP website for information about additional stops across Canada.
Where: 750 Runnymede Road, Toronto
When: November 29, 2022, 8:15 pm
More Info: www.cpr.ca
One of a Kind Show and Sale
Purchase unique, handmade gifts at the annual One of a Kind Christmas Show & Sale – one of the largest and best attended craft shows in North America. Since starting in 1975, the show and sale has been celebrating craftsmanship, cultivating creativity and connecting the community with the aim of delivering a shopping experience that is truly ‘one of a kind’.
This year’s Christmas show runs for 11 days and features 600+ artisans from across the country. Accessible by GO Transit and TTC. Children 4 and under are free, discounted admission for children/youth aged 5-17.
Where: Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto
When: November 24 to December 4, 2022
More Info: www.oneofakindshow.com
Polar Winter Festival
Polar Winter Festival is taking a break in 2022 but plans to return in 2023.
New in 2021, last year’s drive-through festival is now walkthrough in a new location! Polar is Toronto’s first and biggest walkthrough holiday winter festival since the start of the pandemic! The winter wonderland on the Exhibition Grounds includes holiday decor like giant teddy bears at Santa’s Toy Shop, tunnels of starry lights at the Polar Ice Tunnel, selfies with Santa, a Christmas carousel, Santa train ride, an outdoor cocktail lounge with roaring firepits, a food market and more.
Guests are invited to explore the festival grounds at their own pace while maintaining social distancing. The proper use of masks is required on all rides and when physical distancing isn’t possible.
Ticket entry times are sold in 30 minute time slots but once inside you can stay as long as you like – most guest stay about 1.5 hours. Purchasing tickets online in advance is recommended. General Admission for 13+ is $19.99 plus fees and HST; 12 and under is $14.99 plus fees and HST; 2 and younger is free. Rides and Santa Photo are not included in the general admission fee.
Where: Exhibition Grounds – Bandshell Park, 100 Prince Edward Island Crescent, Toronto
More Info: www.polarwinterfestival.com
Holiday Fair in the Square
Holiday Fair in the Square returns to Nathan Phillips Square in 2022! This year, the Fair will be working in association with the City of Toronto’s Cavalcade of Lights to transform Nathan Phillips Square into a magical winter wonderland!
Holiday Fair in the Square combines the charm and elegance of a Christmas market with the excitement of a winter carnival and light show. The fair features an artisan marketplace, visits with Santa, a winter carnival with midway rides, entertainment, food trucks, gourmet merchants and the Polar Point ice bar.
Check out #HolidayFairTO on social media!
Where: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto
When: December 2 -23, 2022 (Closed Mondays)
More Info: www.fairinthesquare.ca
Nights of Lights
Holiday Nights of Lights is an immersive walk-through experience like none other, featuring more than 1.5 million LED lights animated and synchronized to everyone’s favourite Holiday tunes. Back for the third year, the event will be bigger and brighter with new displays and interactive activities!
This year, upon exiting the light show, visitors can enter Mistletoe Lane – the newest interactive holiday pop up experience and nighttime hotspot in the GTA. Mistletoe Lane includes a holiday market with themed Instagrammable photo spots, Santa’s Den, Blizzard Bar, a fireside lounge, midway rides, food trucks and more!
Where: Assembly Park, 80 Interchange Way, Vaughan
When: November 25, 2022 – January 7, 2023 (Wed – Sun; daily starting December 21st)
More Info: www.nightsoflights.ca
Swedish Christmas Fair
The live Christmas fair is back in 2022 after two years of online sales! The Swedish Christmas fair is a two-day holiday extravaganza that attracts thousands of people each year who come to experience Swedish Christmas food, design, folk art, crafts, and traditions.
Visitors to the fair can enjoy children singing carols at the Lucia procession, folk dancing and singing, craft making and more. It’s also the perfect place to sample delicious Scandinavian food and do some Christmas shopping from vast selection of Swedish design products and folk art for sale. There will also be the traditional Glögg stand (Swedish mulled wine), Swedish candy, and the traditional Swedish dance around the Christmas tree to celebrate the holidays!
Admission to the event is free.
Where: Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas St. East, Toronto
When: Saturday November 19, 11 am – 5 pm, Sunday November 20, 11 am – 4 pm.
More Info: SwedishChristmasFair.ca
The Distillery Winter Village
Toronto’s historic Distillery District is inviting visitors to experience a charming Winter Village once again this holiday season. Visitors this holiday season will enjoy starlit canopies, a 51 foot tall Christmas Tree designed by Parfums Christian Dior in Trinity Square, a gingerbread hunt, and festive music throughout the district.
Distillery District shops, galleries, and restaurants will be open, offering a unique blend of specialty gifts, art, cuisine and fashion in our open-air, safe environment of pedestrian-only streets – perfect for holiday shopping! There will also be more than 20 vendor cabins in place this holiday season, Santa will be strolling the site with his team of elves and there are a number of photo walls that are perfect for holiday Instagram pics to round out the seasonal fun!!
Tickets are required on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays after 4:00 pm, and December 27-31 after 4:00 pm. Tickets are $11 + HST each. Kids 9 and under are FREE of charge. All other times, access is free of charge and tickets are not required. Tickets must be purchased online ahead of your visit. Ticket indicates entry time – there is no limit to how long you stay.
Where: Distillery Historic District, Toronto
When: November 17 – December 31, 2022
More Info: www.thedistillerywintervillage.com
Royal Botanical Gardens – Holiday Traditions
Winter Wonders is a unique outdoor experience that guides visitors along Hendrie Park’s picturesque pathways adorned with charming festive lights, new interactive light to sound installations, and magical displays that celebrate the magic of the winter season. Timed tickets required for 5-7 pm or 7-9 pm entry time must be purchased online in advance. Food and drink available for purchase throughout the experience. The walk is 1.5 km and takes approximately 1 hour. Adult admission $20 (+HST + Service Fee); Child age 4-12 $16 (+HST + Service Fee); Babies/Toddlers 0-3 Free but ticket required for entry. Wednesday to Sunday, November 23 to January 8
The ever-popular RBG Botanical Train Display returns in 2022! Huge planters made from almost 700 kg of cedar filled with 2,500 plants create a seasonal backdrop for seven different lines of model train tracks. Follow the trains on their journey past scale models of iconic Canadian landmarks constructed entirely from plant materials! Included with General Admission ticket. Display remains open during Winter Wonders evening hours and requires a Winter Wonders ticket during that time period. November 23 to January 8
Don’t miss a ride on the RBG Express during your day visit the Gardens. Purchase tickets at the door to take a round-trip train ride through beautiful Hendrie Park to round out your RBG experience. $5 per train car with a maximum of 4 people per car. First train at 10:15 and last train at 2:30. November 23 to January 8
Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus – Pre-registration is required for this popular breakfast event which sells out quickly. December 4 and 11
Where: Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Road West, Burlington, Ontario
When: November 23, 2022 – January 8, 2023
More Info: www.rbg.ca
Allan Gardens Conservatory Winter Flower Show
2022 – Allan Gardens Conservatory is undergoing renovations – there are holiday crafts session for families scheduled as well as a holiday plant sale but no Christmas Flower Show again this year.
The Christmas Flower Show is the highlight of year at Allan Gardens Conservatory which is decorated with flowering plants and poinsettia and topiary creations inspired by the holiday season. The event also features horse and wagon rides, carolers, hot apple cider and a visit from Santa. The grand opening of the show is the first Sunday in December and it runs until mid-January. The conservatory can also be enjoyed by candlelight on several weekends. There is also a Christmas Chrysanthemum Show held at Centennial Park Conservatory.
Where: Allan Gardens Conservatory, 19 Horticultural Avenue, Toronto (south side of Carlton Street between Jarvis and Sherbourne Streets); Centennial Park Conservatory, 151 Elmcrest Road, Toronto (west of Renforth Avenue and north of Rathburn Road)
More Info: www.toronto.ca
Northern Lights is an outdoor immersive walkthrough experience that wraps you up in the lights, sights, sounds, and feeling of the holidays. Bring your festive spirit and explore everything you love about the most wonderful time of the year including larger-than-life holiday decor, light installations, incredible photo opportunities, a vendor market, and selfies with Santa and the Grinch.
Where: Grand Bizarre at Exhibition Place, 15 Saskatchewan Road, Toronto
When: December 1, 2022 – January 8, 2023, 5:00-10:00 pm most nights
More Info: www.northlightsto.ca
Casa Loma at Christmas
My favourite time to visit Casa Loma is at Christmas when it’s decked for the holidays and there are special activities and entertainment for guests. This year visitors can celebrate and take part in the holiday magic at Casa Loma during Christmas at the Castle and the Holiday Lights tour.
This December experience the magic of the season at Casa Loma’s Christmas at the Castle. Casa Loma will host a wide range of activities and thrilling performances that are sure to be fun for the whole family. Guests will be surrounded by holiday magic throughout the castle which will be resplendent with holiday décor. As always kids are invited to visit Santa in his castle workshop and participate in festive arts and crafts, visit with wintery holiday mascots, and much more. December 2, 2022 – January 2, 2023
Visitors will also be able to experience the magic of the season this year at Casa Loma’s Holiday Lights Tour through the gardens and tunnels of the property all decorated for the festive season. Designed as a self-guided walk, guests stroll through the property’s grounds while enjoying the spectacular decorations, outdoor lighting displays and live performances. Select dates December 1, 2022 – January 8, 2023, 5-10 pm
The Holiday Lights Tour is not included with a general admission ticket to Casa Loma and there is a discount for booking online in advance. Please note the entrance is on the southwest corner of the property at Davenport Rd. and Walmer Rd. This event is primarily outdoors and in the tunnels and requires walking approx. 2km.
Where: Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace, Toronto, Ontario
When: December 1, 2022 – January 8, 2023
More Info: www.casaloma.ca
Holiday Activities at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre
Holiday Bricktacular will take place at the Legoland Discovery Centre Toronto beginning early December when the Centre will be completely transformed into a winter wonderland with a LEGO® twist! Take a family photo with a giant holiday LEGO® tree, witness the breathtaking MINILAND, and celebrate the holidays with unique seasonal build activities.
Where: LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Toronto, 1 Bass Pro Mills Drive, Vaughan
When: December 3 – 31, 2022
More Info: www.toronto.legolanddiscoverycentre.ca
Toronto Zoo Holiday Activities
The Toronto Zoo has a number of fun activities planned this holiday season and will also be open on Christmas day!
Santa’s Winter Workshop & Holiday Tour is a 2 hour adventure that includes creating gifts for some animals, a Winter Zoomobile ride and plenty of opportunities for family photos.
Parent and Tot – Winter Wonderland is a fun interactive experience for parents and children age 18 months to 4 years to learn about the animal world.
Free photos with Santa will also be available outside the Zoo’s entrance on Sunday November 27th as part of the Coca-Cola Holiday Caravan.
Holiday Drop and Shop is also back this year on Saturday, December 10th for any parents who need time alone to do some holiday shopping!
The Toronto Zoo Holiday Marketplace will take place Saturday November 19 and Sunday November 20, 11 am – 4 pm. This 2-day indoor/outdoor market will showcase over 40 amazing artisans, processors, and producers from our local and surrounding communities. Shop local for gifts for the upcoming holiday season and enjoy festive photo opportunities while exploring the Zoo with friends and family. Holiday-inspired food and drink will be available for purchase. Free with Zoo admission.
Another fun activity at the zoo which will be available during the holiday season is Terra Lumina described as an “enchanted night walk into a bright future”. After nightfall at the zoo this winter, visitors can enjoy this immersive experience which includes vibrant lighting, multimedia effects, breathtaking video projections and an original score along a 1.5 km walking path. Terra Lumina is an outdoor event and requires a separate ticket. Select dates in November and December beginning November 25, 2022.
Where: 2000 Meadowvale Road (north of Highway 401). Accessible by car and public transit.
When: Dates and times vary – check website for details.
More Info: www.torontozoo.com
Holiday Hills at Stackt Market
Holiday Hills will transform STACKT into a show stopping winter wonderland where you can immerse yourself in the holiday spirit with a whole roster of cozy, fun + festive activities + experiences.
Holiday Hills is a FREE festival that will take over a whole city block of Toronto with immersive photo installations and experiences, eye-catching holiday ambience, unique hospitality concepts, small business holiday shopping, community-led events, workshops + family programs. Check website for details.
Where: Stackt Market, 28 Bathurst Street, Toronto
When: November 18 – December 31, 2022
More Info: www.stacktmarket.com
Christmas at Black Creek Pioneer Village
The holidays are a great time to visit Black Creek Pioneer Village to experience some old-fashioned Christmas fun. During Christmas at Black Creek, families can tour the historic houses to learn more about the origin of Christmas traditions, take part in special activities, sample some traditional Christmas foods and sing along to Christmas carols.
There are two new holiday events at Black Creek Pioneer Village in 2022 – Santa at the Village and Festive Nights select dates in December. Santa in the Village is a daytime experience that includes crafts, music, sweets, hot cocoa, fireside story, photos with Santa and more. On Festive Nights, visitors can enjoy the holiday village warmed by the glow of twinkling lights, cozy fires, and old-fashioned oil lamps while experiencing the warmhearted festivities of the season, including live entertainment and samples of delicious holiday treats.
Where: Black Creek Pioneer Village, 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, Toronto
When: Christmas programming on weekends starting December 3 – December 18, 2022 – check website for details.
More Info: www.blackcreek.ca
Historical Sites in Toronto
Many of the historical sites in Toronto have special activities planned for the holiday season. THERE ARE NOT CURRENTLY ANY EVENTS POSTED FOR 2022
Mackenzie House – A Victorian Christmas – MACKENZIE HOUSE IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED IN 2022 – Discover the story of how families celebrated Christmas in 19th century Toronto as you tour the Mackenzie home, an 1859 row-house which is dressed in greenery for the holidays. Events include a Victorian Christmas Baking workshop, a Letterpress Card Making Workshop, Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories, and a Hogmanay celebration. 82 Bond Street, Toronto. www.toronto.ca (NOT AVAILABLE IN 2022)
Christmas Time at Colborne Lodge – PARTIALLY CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS IN 2022 -Enjoy the sights and smells of a Victorian Christmas (November 23, 2019 – January 5, 2020) – enjoy the natural greenery decorations, toast the season with a glass of hot mulled cider by the wood stove and nibble on special holiday treats. Holiday Wreath Workshops November 23 – December 21, 2019, Holiday Wreath Workshops for Families November 23 – December 8, 2019, Festive Centrepiece Workshops December 14 – December 21, 2019 and Festive Centrepiece Workshops for Families December 14 – December 22, 2019 – advance tickets required. Located at the south end of High Park. www.toronto.ca (NOT AVAILABLE IN 2022)
Scottish Holiday Traditions at Gibson House Museum – Learn how the Gibson family celebrated the season in the nineteenth century and sample some tasty treats by the open hearth. See the Victorian-era home decorated in natural greenery and take a guided tour with our knowledgeable staff. Get into the spirit of the season with a Gingerbread Afternoon Tea – 4 dates from November 23 – December 14, 2019 – advance tickets required. Also Gingerbread House and Gingerbread Sweets & Treats workshops and more. 5172 Yonge St, North York. www.toronto.ca (NO EVENTS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE IN 2022)
A Roaring Twenties Christmas at Spadina Museum – Experience a 1920s Christmas on a guided tour of Spadina, enjoy holiday treats made from original recipes and sip mulled cider. A Roaring Twenties Christmas November 19, 2019 – January 5, 2020. Other events include Holiday Greeting Card Workshops (advance tickets required), a musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol, Musical Candelight Tours and more. 285 Spadina Road, Toronto. www.toronto.ca (NOEVENTS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE IN 2022)
Christmas in the Valley at Todmorden Mills – Experience two different eras of Christmas at Todmorden Mills as we explore the holiday traditions of the 1890s and the 1940s. Tour our two historic houses, decorated for the holidays, sample historic recipes, and create a take-home craft. November 30, 2019 – January 5, 2020. There will also be wreath making workshops and holiday treat making workshops for kids with advance registration required and candelight holiday tours on set dates. Father Christmas will also be visiting on December 8, 2019 – advance registrations required. 67 Pottery Road Toronto. www.toronto.ca (NO EVENTS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE IN 2022)
Festive Weekends at Scarborough Museum – Celebrate the festive season with treats and crafts for children of all ages. There will be a holiday market this year and workshops that include holiday crackers, holiday baking, and holiday plum pudding beginning mid-November. Thomson Memorial Park, 1007 Brimley Rd, Scarborough. www.toronto.ca (NO EVENTS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE IN 2022)
Skating at Harbourfront
The Harbourfront Centre rink will be closed in 2022 due to construction to update and refresh this area of the Harbourfront Centre campus. The rink is expected to return in 2023.
The rink at the Harbourfront Centre is a great place for families to enjoy free skating at the city’s most scenic outdoor rink over the holidays. After being closed last year, a new skating rink, provided by Synerglace Canada, is at the Concert Stage with an ice loop at Harbourfront’s South Orchard. There is, however, no longer a change room available or a secure place to store belongings while skating. Skates and helmets for both children and adults are also available for rental.
Where: The rink is located at 235 Queens Quay West
When: The rink usually opens mid to late November (weather permitting).
More Info: www.harbourfrontcentre.com
Skating at Nathan Phillips Square
During the winter months, the reflecting pool in Nathan Phillips Square outside Toronto City Hall becomes one of the most popular and largest outdoor skating rinks in the city. There is a change room facility, public washrooms and skate rentals available. Admission to the rink is free.
Where: 100 Queen Street West, Toronto (at Bay Street)
When: Generally open by early December but weather dependent. Open daily 10 am – 10 pm.
More Info: www.toronto.ca
Springridge Farm Holiday Activities
Get into the Christmas spirit with a visit to Springridge Farm to visit their brand new Christmas Gourmet Shoppe as well as the ever popular bakery and Barn Market and pick out a fresh cut Christmas tree.
Where: 7256 Bell School Line, Milton, Ontario L9E 0N7
When: Open 9 am – 5 pm daily until Christmas.
More Info: www.springridgefarm.com
Downey’s Farm Market
The Christmas at the Farm event this year will include hot chocolate & cookie as well as a socially distanced visit with Santa, wagon rides and visits with the farm animals. Visitors will also be able to see the Elves Workshop, Reindeer House, Santa’s Closet, Reindeer Flight Academy, and take pictures in Christmas scenes around the farm. The event is approximately 60-75 minutes. $21.95 per person plus HST – Nonrefundable – pre-registration online in advance is required.
Downey’s will also have fresh cut Christmas trees, wreaths and garland available for purchase in the Farm Store as well as an assortment of scrumptious Christmas baking, fresh free-range turkeys and Christmas gift baskets.
Where: Downey’s Farm Market, 13682 Heart Lake Road (north of Brampton)
When: November 25 – December 22, 2022
More Info: www.downeysfarm.com
Holidays at the Royal Ontario Museum
During ROM for the Holidays, the Royal Ontario Museum turns into a winter wonderland for parents and children with extended programming and fun activities over the winter break. Programming is designed to enhance the ROM’s major exhibitions. 2022 progamming TBA.
The popular Wildlife Photographer of the Year annual exhibition will be open November 12, 2022 – April 23, 2023.
Where: 100 Queen’s Park, Toronto (main entrance on Bloor St. West)
When: December/January during Christmas break (The ROM is closed on Christmas day)
More Info: www.rom.on.ca
Magical Christmas Forest at Kortright Centre
Once again this year, families can experience the magic of Christmas at the Kortright Centre. This self-guided experience includes a winter wonderland filled with lights, wagon rides, Santa in his cabin, festive music, bonfires, children’s activities and hot chocolate for the whole family! This is an indoor and outdoor experience so dress for the weather.
Advance tickets are required and can be booked online. Each experience is 2 hours in length based on the time slot selected when purchasing tickets.
Where: 9550 Pine Valley Drive, Woodbridge (south of Major Mackenzie Drive, west of Highway 400)
When: November 25 – December 23, 2022 (selected dates and times – check website for details)
More Info: www.kortright.org
WinterFest at Canada’s Wonderland
Canada’s Wonderland is magically transformed into a winter Wonderland full of enchantment and holiday cheer for Winterfest – an immersive holiday experience for the whole family! This event features more than a dozen live shows and holiday entertainment, millions of spectacular lights, and hundreds of beautiful Christmas trees throughout the park, including two 50-foot Christmas trees on International Street.
Wintefest activities include cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, festive food, Christmas shopping, family photos with Santa and rides. Don’t forget to bring your skates – the Royal Fountain will be transformed into Snow Flake Lake for holiday season skating. (Skating reservations must be made online in advance. $10 for 30 minutes if you bring your own skates and $15 with rental including helmets.)
Where: Canada’s Wonderland, 1 Canada’s Wonderland Drive, Vaughan, Ontario
When: November 18 – December 31, 2022 (select nights)
More Info: www.canadaswonderland.com
Safari Lights – Niagara
This dazzling 3 kilometre outdoor drive-through light festival at Safari Niagara includes immersive light tunnels, luminous motion lights, and whimsical animal light displays you won’t see anywhere else! Purchase tickets online in advance starting at just $24.95 + HST per vehicle.
Where: Safari Niagara, 2821 Stevensville Road, Stevensville, Ontario
When: November 19, 2022 – January 8, 2023
More Info: www.safariniagara.com/lights
Glow Christmas – Toronto
Glow returns to Toronto in 2022 after a 2 year pause. At Canada’s premium indoor Christmas festival, you and your loved ones are invited to savour delicious food, sip on holiday inspired drinks, shop for one-of-a-kind gifts, decorate cookies with Mrs Claus, enjoy story time with Santa’s helpers and then visit with Santa himself —all beneath the glow of a million twinkling lights.
Tickets are timed entry and it is recommended that they are purchased online in advance to avoid disappointment at the door. Get 25% off on select dates (Nov 30, Dec 1, 2, 3, and 4) with the code GlowFriday22.
Where: Toronto Congress Centre, North Building, 1020 Martingrove Rd., Etobicoke
When: November 30 – December 31, 2022
More Info: www.glowgardens.com
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada – Breakfast with Santa
Get into the fish-mas spirit at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada with the return of Breakfast with Santa! At this festive early morning breakfast, visitors will dine with some very special guests all the way from the North Pole, explore the Aquarium before opening, and snap a photo with Santa and his elves to take home!
This special event will have a limited capacity and tickets are on a first come first serve basis so be sure to book early! Admission is $60 + HST for adults (age 13+) and $40 + HST for children – includes admission to the aquarium.
Where: Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, 288 Bremner Blvd., Toronto
When: December 10 and 11, 2022, 7-9 am
More Info: www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada
Miracle Toronto Christmas Cocktail Bar
Looking for a night out to celebrate during the holiday season without the kids? Miracle is a Christmas-themed pop-up cocktail bar that serves holiday cocktails in a festive setting. With kitschy holiday décor, professionally-developed cocktails and the nostalgic energy of the best office party you’ve ever been to, Miracle is sure to get even the grouchiest grinch in the holiday spirit. No reservations for groups under 20.
Where: 875 Bloor Street W. (Bloor and Ossington), Toronto
When: November 18 – December 31, 2022, Mon – Fri 6 pm – 2 am/Sat and Sun 2 pm – 2 am
More Info: www.miracletoronto.com
Winter Festival of Lights – Niagara Falls
The 40th annual Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights is Canada’s largest free outdoor light festival. Experience the spectacular displays with millions of lights and spectacular displays on an 8km route along the Niagara Parkway, Dufferin Islands and across the tourism district of Niagara Falls.
You can admire the lights on foot or you can enjoy the festive lights from the comfort of your vehicle by driving the full route. The length of the route means you won’t be able to see all of it on foot so the best option is driving then parking to get out of the car and have a closer look at your favourite displays. Be sure to dress for the weather if you plan to walk any portion of the route!
There will be a new nightly Sparkling Winter Lights Falls illumination which will celebrate the beauty and majesty of the winter season and mark the festival’s 40th anniversary. The fireworks display is also back for 2022!
The Festival will illuminate Niagara Falls for 101 nights – with 40 nights of family entertainment and 40 nights of fireworks! New in 2022 is the self-guided Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights Hot Chocolate Trail which will lead to delicious stops of chocolatey concoctions created by chocolatiers, chefs and mixologists at some of the area’s excellent restaurants and bake shops across Niagara Falls.
The OPG Santa Meet and Greet with free digital photo will take place on select nights in December at the Gingerbread House at Queen Victoria Place.
Where: Most illuminations are on the Niagara Parkway between Clifton Hill and Dufferin Islands
When: November 12, 2022 – February 20, 2023. Lights are on 5 pm – midnight including holidays.
More Info: www.wfol.com
Burlington Festival of Lights
The Festival of Lights is a free event that illuminates Burlington’s waterfront through December to early January each year. Visitors to the festival can stroll the 60 magical holiday lighting displays set up outside at Spencer Smith Park on the Burlington waterfront.
The Candelit Stroll will open the Festival of Lights on November 25th starting at 6 pm. The annual includes carolling, a tree lighting, visits with Santa, hot chocolate and more.
As part of Lights from the Rooftop you can enjoy the Burlington Festival of Lights from the rooftop at Joseph Brant Museum during the Candlelit Stroll on November 25 and every Thursday evening in December from 6-9 pm. FREE hot chocolate and popcorn will be served!
Where: Spencer Smith Park, 1400 Lakeshore Road, Burlington
When: November 25, 2022 to January 8, 2023 – Daily 4pm – midnight
More Info: www.burlingtonfestivaloflights.com
Christmas Town Mountsberg
Celebrate Christmas this year with a visit to Christmas Town at Mountsberg Conservation Area. The experience begins with a guided woodland wagon ride to Santa’s magical village Christmas Town where your little ones will enjoy a scavenger hunt, a Christmas craft, an ornament keepsake, hot chocolate & cookie, and a meeting with Santa and Mrs. Claus at their cabin in the woods. (Santa’s cabin still presents safety challenges due to size so each family will receive a private visit with Santa through the open window of his woodland cabin.)
Reservations are required and can be booked online using the Conservation Halton reservation system. This event sells out very early! Cost is $35 per adult + HST and $29 per child + HST. No charge for babies under the age of 2. Most of the program is outside so be sure to dress appropriately for the weather.
Where: Mountsberg Conservation Park, 2259 Milburough Line, Campbellville, ON
When: November 17th until December 23rd, 2022
More Info: www.conservationhalton.ca
Twinkle After Dark
Celebrate the season at Twinkle After Dark (formerly known as Country Bright), a fully-illuminated walk-through experience at Country Heritage Park in Milton. Encounter whimsical displays, life size snow globes and familiar characters as you stroll through listening to your favourite holiday tunes.
Immerse yourself in a charming country setting with 19th century barns and natural scenery brought to life through lights and sound under a winter nighttime sky. Featuring historic buildings, holiday projections, costumed actors, festive music and a main street that is truly awe-inspiring! Santa will be at his house and letters can be deposited in his special mailbox.
Snack foods such as cookies, popcorn and BeaverTails as well as hot chocolate and apple cider will be available for sale.
Tickets for the event are available online only. The 1 km walk is entirely outside and takes place rain, snow or shine so be sure to dress for the weather.
Where: Country Heritage Park, 8560 Tremaine Road, Milton
When: November 24 – December 28, 2022
More Info: www.twinkleafterdark.com
Do you have a favourite holiday activity or event in Toronto or the GTA that isn’t listed? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add it.
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