Best 2020 Christmas Events for Kids in Toronto & GTA (Virtual and In-Person)

HolidaysFamily Fun
Winter Festival of Lights (photo: Ontario Power Generation)

As we all know, the holidays are going to look a little different this year. Because of COVID, many in-person events have been cancelled or modified, and those that are running are hot tickets — some have already sold out!

But have no fear: There are still plenty of ways to celebrate Christmas, and some of them may even become a new tradition. Drive-through tours and socially distanced Santa make the holiday fun while still keeping everyone safe.

And, if you can’t see the big guy in person, Santa has also stepped up his cyber game, going online to greet his faithful fans with a merry — but virtual — ho, ho, ho!

Reservations are required for all in-person events. Events are listed in chronological order.

Live, In-Person Events

Festive Nights on the Farm — East Gwillimbury

Enjoy a story time tractor ride, a magical sugar bush of lights and music, tasty treats, and socially distanced visits with Santa.

Nov. 20–30 (weekends only)

Christmas at the Farm – Caledon

Santa is booking weekly appointments at Downey’s Farm and they are going fast! Your all-outdoor experience includes a cookie and hot chocolate from Mrs. Claus, visits with farm animals, a tour of the elves’ workshop and a socially distanced Santa visit.

November 21–December 20 (Fridays only)

Christmasland Family Experience – East Gwillimbury

Bring your mask to take part in wagon rides and the Christmas Market, and enjoy a Scandinavian Christmas, complete with bonfires, twinkling lights, hot chocolate, and Santa in his Kota.

November 20–December 19 (weekends only)

Storytime Magic with Santa – Milton

Enjoy a scavenger hunt in the woods, visit Santa’s magic village, create a Christmas craft, and sit down to a virtual story from Santa in Mrs. Claus’ cabin kitchen at Mountsberg Conservation Area.

November 20–December 24 (Closed Mondays)

Holiday Films at Ontario Place Drive In — Downtown Toronto

Watch The Polar Express, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and more of your holiday favourites from the cozy comfort of your vehicle in front of the big screen.

Sundays, starting Nov. 22

Magical Christmas Forest – Vaughan

Colourful lights along a wooded trail, holiday music, campfires, fun activities, delicious treats, creative crafts, and exclusive (distanced) time with Santa make for a magical experience in the great outdoors at the Kortright Centre for Conservation.

November 27–December 23

Christmas on the Farm – Whitchurch-Stouffville

This one-day-only, drive-thru adventure includes a “life-size” I-spy, activities-to-go bags, a Christmas market, and Santa and his elves.

November 28

Holly Jolly Christmas – Clarington

Pingles Farm, near Oshawa, is hosting an in-person holiday experience with holiday crafts, storytime with Santa’s helpers, hot chocolate, wagon rides, and a socially distance photo with Santa.

November 28–December 13 (weekends only)

Oshawa Museum Christmas Tours – Oshawa

Henry House is decorated for a traditional Victorian Christmas and small bubble groups are invited to tour it and the rest of the historical buildings of the Oshawa Museum.

Dec. 2–30

Whitchurch-Stouffville Santa Claus Parade

This year’s parade will be a drive-through edition. Drive down the parade route and see the many stationary floats and vehicles celebrating Santa and the holiday season.

December 5

Drive-Thru & Walk-Thru Holiday Light Displays

Celebrate the season as you drive or walk beside and under thousands of sparkling lights in many shapes and configurations throughout Toronto and the GTA.

Winter Festival of Lights – Niagara Falls

November 14–January 10

Gift of Lights – Kitchener

November 14–January 3

Glow Gardens – Niagara

November 18–January 2

Journey Into Enchantment – Markham

November 20–January 4

Holiday Nights of Light – Vaughan

November 20–January 7

Polar – Toronto

November 27 –January 3

Fantasy of Lights – Uxbridge

December 5–January 2

Toronto Light Fest – Toronto

January 17–March 1

Virtual Christmas Events

Prefer to stay home for the holidays this year? You have your pick of Santa visits, virtual parades, Christmas markets and more, all online for 2020.

Santa using laptop

Virtual Visit With Santa

All the Santa experiences at Cadillac Fairview malls (including Fairview Mall, Sherway Gardens, Shops at Don Mills, and Eaton Centre) have moved online this holiday season. Story time with Santa will be on Facebook Live, or families can chat with the big guy via video link.

November 28–December 24

Christkindl Market

As well as celebrating a German Christmas with delicious holiday foods and specialty treats, this year’s online event will offer stories, crafts, recipes, entertainment, and interviews through it’s 24-day advent calendar.

December 1–24

Virtual Santa Canada

Chat one-on-one with Santa, let him read you a story, tell him your wish list, and take a virtual photo, all on Zoom. Each session is 15 minutes. Opt for a small-group or private VIP visit.

December 3–6 and 10–13

The Santa Claus Parade

This annual Toronto event, the world’s longest-running children’s parade goes virtual this year, with the floats and Mr. and Mrs. Claus televised for your viewing pleasure.

December 5

Fair in the Square

Nathan Phillips Square’s holiday fair will be going virtual this year. Typically, the event includes a marketplace, Santa visits, rides, and games. This year will be a market-only event, with more than 140 online vendors selling Canadian-made gifts.

December 7–23

A Virtual Xmas Concert

The Stairwell Carollers bring their celebratory holiday music to the masses in this virtual concert.

December 19

Home for the Holidays

In support of Kids Help Phone, Ross Petty brings back his holiday pantomime, this year in COVID-aware, virtual form. Toronto’s Roberta Battaglia, of America’s Got Talent fame, is featured in this “twistered” sequel to The Wizard of Oz. Use the promo code HAPPYHOLIDAYS to get $5 off the ticket price. (Valid December 2–4.)

December 19 and 20

Christmas Party with Elsa, Anna, and Santa!

This live, online party includes story time, games, jokes, holiday wishes, and sing-alongs to Christmas and Frozen songs with Elsa, Anna, and Santa.

December 20

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