It’s beginning to look a lot like…well, you know. There are so many yuletide celebrations coming down the pipeline in December, it can be overwhelming.
We’ve done the heavy lifting for you and come up with our top picks for not-to-be-missed holiday events this season. Enjoy!
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See A Christmas Carol or The Nutcracker
Seeing a magical theatre or ballet performance as a child is an experience that will last a lifetime. These classic shows are a wonderful tradition to start (or continue) and look forward to with your family year after year.
Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is being performed at many venues in the city, including Solar Stage Children’s Theatre, Todmorden Mills historic site, Black Creek Pioneer Village (Humber River Shakespeare Co.), and at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts (Soulpepper Theatre production). Look for productions in the Durham, York, Halton, and Peel regions, too.
Two notable performances of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker are Ballet Jörgen’s production and the big one that everyone should see at least once: The National Ballet of Canada production at the Four Seasons Centre.
See Bloor-Yorkville’s Holiday Magic
The Yorkville neighbourhood along Bloor Street West and around Bay Street and pedestrian pathways are transformed with holiday lights, decorations, and an enormous Christmas tree (Cumberland and Bellair). But the real fun is peeking in at the elaborate storefront window displays, with animatronic puppets, holiday scenes, reindeer, Santa sightings, and more. See a map of all the storefront displays—and don’t miss Hudson’s Bay and Holt Renfrew!
Time Travel to Christmas Past
There’s something about historic Christmas celebrations that just seem extra…Christmas-y, no? Unplug from your i-everying and take the kids back in time this holiday season for some good old-fashioned fun with the Victorian Christmas at Dundurn Castle in Hamilton; Christmas in the Pioneer Spirit in Stoney Creek; Victorian Christmas at Mackenzie House in downtown Toronto; Christmas in the Park at Colborne Lodge in High Park; or a Victorian Christmas in the Village at Black Creek Pioneer Village.
Peruse the Toronto Christmas Market
You know all those lovely pictures you see of Old Toronto, strung with Christmas lights, and bundled-up folks cupping their mittened hands around cups of hot chocolate? About 99 percent of them are images of the Toronto Christmas Market in the historic Distillery District. And it is just as picturesque as the photos suggest. But for kids, too, there’s lots of fun to be had: live entertainment (Santa’s Elves’ Sing-Along is a good bet with little ones), Grimm’s Brothers fairytale storytelling, plus a Ferris wheel, a carousel, and visits with Santa himself.
Dance at Fezziwig’s Family Christmas Ball
Technically it’s another historic celebration, but we couldn’t resist mentioning this very cool family-friendly re-creation of Fezziwig’s Ball from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on December 14. Adults and children (age 7+) can learn social dances of the day, eat food from the time period, and hear live traditional fiddle music. A cold lunch plus cider and cookies are included, along with a tour of the 19th-century Montgomery’s Inn. Get tickets by Dec. 8.
Get Your Santa Photo Op
You could take your child to any mall in the GTA for his or her photo op with Santa, but none of them beats Sherway Gardens’ The Santa Experience: a 30-minute Santa show with 20-minute private photo session. And a Santa with a real beard! It sells out quickly. If you miss it, Santa will also make appearances at Eaton Centre and other malls. Reserve now.
IMAGE: JONESING1/FLICKR CC
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