Winter has officially arrived and this means that the most wonderful time of the year is around the corner. Let us take you on a journey through Christmas activities in Toronto and feel you up with Christmas spirit. Check these Christmas activities and experiences in Toronto and definitely make to one the locations cause Christmas is once a year.
“At Christmas play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year.” (T. Tusser)
Distillery District Christmas Village
Santa Claus Parade
Ice Skating at Nathan Phillips Square
Winterfest at Canada’s Wonderland
Cavalcade of Lights
Northern Lights of Toronto
Doggos Howliday Market
The Bentway Ice Skating
Christmas-Themed Pop-up Bar - Bad Santa
Lumina Night Walks at Toronto Zoo
Hockey Games - Christmas Edition
Distillery District Christmas Village is a miraculous spot inspired by European Christmas markets. It’s filled with immaculate vibes at Christmas time. A twinkling Christmas tree, people singing carols, imported Christmas ornaments and traditional European treats are here to try. There is even a Santa Clause that’ll carefully listen to the wishes of your offspring while you’ll be warmed up by delicious food and beverages.
WHEN: The Distillery District Christmas Market usually starts at the end of November and runs through the last weekend before Christmas. It is open 7 days a week from 10 am.
HOW TO GET THERE: decide between public transport and your car.
Public Transport: get off at King Station, then take tram route 304 and take a 5-minute walk to the Distillery District Christmas Village OR you can get off at the Union Station and enjoy a 20-minute walk at Christmassy Toronto.
By Car: going by car is not recommended since the place gets overcrowded at almost all times of the day and it might be hard to find a parking place. There are several parking lots, though.
ADMISSION: free of charge except for Fr, St, Sun after 4 pm as well as December, 27 - 31. Tickets should be bought ONLINE. Entrance is free of charge for kids under 9
NOTE: arrive for the event on time because otherwise admission is not guaranteed.
Santa’s magic is back in town. The parade has taken place for over 100 years since 1905 and it’s back this year after all the Covid restrictions. Celebrate the merry occasion with millions of other people. Come to see the miracles at the end of November (November, 20 in 2022) and see the parade on December, 3 on TV.
WHEN: at 12:30 on November, 20
WHERE: it starts at Christie Pits
Ice Skating is among those leisure activities that you necessarily must go for when the winter season rolls around. Cheerful laughs, loud sizzling sounds of ice and lots of people trying their luck on the rink. Come to Nathan Phillips Square for this wintery experience.
The rink is open from November 26 (as of the year 2022) till March,19.
SKATE RENTAL: provided
HOURS OF OPERATION: from 10:00 am - 10 p.m.
FEES: skating is free but you need to pay for ski rental
Holiday Lights - Christmas at Casa Loma
Experience the wintery magic at Casa Loma. From holiday decorations and twinkling lights illuminating the garden to magicians showing the tricks and fire, Christmas-esque atmosphere pervades Casa Loma. Festive food and drinks can be purchased on site to warm up the atmosphere. And don’t forget your Christmas Wishlist, Santa is there to fulfill your dreams this Christmas. The man of the year is here right until Christmas Eve.
WHEN: from 5 pm - 10 pm daily
ADMISSION TICKET: $45 (if purchased online up to December, 18). From December, 19 $50 (if purchased online)
NOTE: There’s an entrance fee for Holiday Lights and Christmas at the Castle which is not included in a general admission ticket. You can purchase the tickets here.
photo credit: @unacubanaencanada
If you’re looking for a place for the who family to get into a festive mood, Canada’s Wonderland with its magical experiences is what you must visit. Everything there tells you that it’s Christmas around the corner and you simply cannot resist this spirit. First, a 50-foot-tall Christmas tree welcomes you, then you wander through themed areas, meet Santa and St. Nicholas, enjoy Christmas food and delight in all the possible Christmas activities.
CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES ON OFFER:
- Ice skating on Snow Flake Lake
- Tree-lightning ceremony with songs and dances
- Cookie decoration with Santa Claus
- Photoshoot with Santa Claus
- Winterfest Rides
- Christmas Crafts
- Letters to Santa
WHERE: Vaughan, near Toronto
FEE: daily tickets start from $29.99 (+ applicable taxes and fees)
NOTE: Skating is free for those guests with their own skates. Booking online is required, otherwise you’ll have to register on-site (first come, first serve basis).
PARKING: provided for a fee. From $25 for autos and vans. Registration required.
Photo Credit: @kevin.braganza
One of the essential symbols that make us think of Christmas is Christmas lights. Come to Nathan Phillips Square and enjoy the magical display of lights and fireworks. Over half a million LED lights illuminate the City Hall. Besides, you’ll enjoy art installations, tasty holiday specialties, musical and ice skating performances as well as Christmas tree lightning.
Bring your skates or rent a pair on site and have fun.
WHEN: November, 26 to January, 7
WHERE: Nathan Phillips Square
PARKING: available under the square
Indulge in the delights of Christmas with Toronto Northern Lights. Northern Lights cover over 80 000 square feet of Christmas-themed experiences. A dazzling Christmas tree, amazing lightning installations, a Christmas vendor market, lots of amazing Instagram spots, Santa, Christmas lights and music everywhere. Everyone who comes here immediately gets the Christmas spirit.
WHEN: December, 1 - January, 8 (from 5 - 10 pm nightly)
WHERE: Grand Bizarre, Exhibition Place
TICKETS: $22.95 (for adults), $17.95 for kids (aged 2-12), family and friends 4 packs available
This one is for dog owners and admirers! Do you want your doggo to feel the Christmas atmosphere to the fullest extent? This year, there’s a unique opportunity. Shop for your doggo, let it meet other doggies and leave with complimentary photos with Santa. The only requirement: keep your doggo on a leash.
WHEN: December, 10-11
WHERE: Heritage Court at the Exhibition Place
ADMISSION: $15 for an online ticket, 4 Ticket Passes available. The event is free for dogs
PARKING: 2 parking lots at CP853 and the other one directly across from the BMO Field and Horse Palace
The Bentway Ice Skating - Skate under the Highway
What about venturing winter ice-skating under the Gardiner, an expressway in downtown? What if I say that no ice skating skills are required? Sounds like an extreme experience, doesn’t it? In fact, you’ll chill out at the ice rink and if you’re the one who haven’t mastered ice skating skills yet, skate classes are provided. Besides, these classes are free on Tuesdays after January 10 for both kids and adults. Just don’t forget to register. Besides, if you’re ready for a super wild skating, register for Polar Bear Skate and skate in your Skivvies. The warm clothes raised will be distributed between newcomers and refugee families that experience their first winter in Toronto.
WHERE: 250 Fort York Blvd, Toronto
WHEN: December, 17 - January, 8 (Holiday Period)
January, 9 - February 20 (Post-Holiday Period)
HOURS OF OPERATION: 12 - 9 pm (Holiday Period)
5 - 9 pm (Post-Holiday Period) but on weekends and holidays 12 - 9 pm
SKATE RENTAL and SHARPENING: PROVIDED
ENTRANCE FEE: no entrance fee, skating is free for public
PARKING: paid parking at Fort York Visitor Centre and 800 Fleet St
photo credit: @badsantaonqueen
Jolly Santa awaits you for festive cocktails at Bad Santa up until December, 31. Bring your friends and get filled up with Christmas spirit. All the decorations, cocktails and their name, music and dancing will attract Christmas vibes to you. Reservations for 4+ people are available.
WHERE: 512 Queen Street West
Illumi Mississauga - Overnight Outdoor Adventure
A dazzling world of lights will make your Christmas even more sparkling. Within approximately 75 minutes you’ll be wandering through 13 magical universes where more than 20 million of lights, some great music and multimedia performance create a festive atmosphere in everyone’s heart. Come to the show and light up your world✨
WHEN: November, 1 - January, 31. Every night, starting with nightfall; hours might vary daily. Check the schedules here.
WHERE: 7174 Derrycrest Drive, Mississauga (on the intersection of Hurontario St and Derry Rd)
ADMISSION: tickets are available exclusively online.
PARKING: free parking is available. However, the usage of public transportation is encouraged.
![Lumina Night Walks - Toronto Zoo
Come to the Toronto Zoo Night Walks after dusk and transfer for an hour to the future and back. During this magical journey, you’ll experience a utopian but hopeful future where man and nature live in harmony. With a brilliant illumination program and sophisticated video projections, you’ll easily picture the bright future.
WHEN: hours vary depending on sunset times
WHERE: 2000 Meadowvale Rd
TICKETS: purchase your tickets here. No tickets on site.
PARKING: available for $14. If you have a Zoo member parking pass, no fee is applied.
Although cliched, but every Canadian has something to do with hockey. Whether you’d prefer to watch a game or play one, Toronto gives you many opportunities. If your family members also play hockey, come and enjoy a family hockey session. No hockey experts except for you and maybe your SO, no problem! Pick-up games and adult skills sessions can be booked.
WHERE: Locations might differ according to the type of game you choose. Check out the links above.
Toronto and GTA bristle with wintery experiences that make you absorb the Christmas spirit to the fullest. Come by and enjoy this wonderful time of the year. If you want to give a Christmas experience for your loved ones or yourself, check out our collection of Christmas gifts and experiences. For gift experiences under $100, go here.