If you’re looking to get into the Christmas mood, we have a whole host of events going on in Toronto that are fun (and often free) for all the family. And the festive spirit doesn’t have to end on December 25—with most kids not back at school until the second week of January this year, you have even longer to sample everything that’s going on this holiday.
Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillips Square
Let the allure of a winter carnival draw you in to Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillips Square, where you’ll find unique gifts, ride the carousel, enjoy a dazzling display of lights, go ice skating, and be welcomed into the home of Santa.
Location: 100 Queen St. W., Toronto
Date: December 7–23 (closed Mondays)
Toronto Christmas Market
Bringing the holiday spirit to life, the Toronto Christmas Market has returned to the Distillery District. Rediscover the romance and magic of Christmas as you stroll by gorgeous light canopies, dance performances, and fun shopping experiences that the whole family can enjoy.
Location: The Distillery District, 55 Mill St.
Date: November 14– December 22 (closed Mondays)
Cost: Free Tuesday to Friday; $8 when purchased in advance, $12.00 when purchased on the day-of.
A Nutcracker Christmas at the Castle
Illusionist Professor Wick and ice skating performers Glisse on Ice entertain at Casa Loma during December, along with other family-friendly entertainment. Children are invited to visit Santa in his castle workshop, participate in arts and crafts, decorate tasty treats, and marvel at the 40-foot tree and decorations and lights throughout the castle and gardens.
Location: Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace, Toronto
Date: December 1–January 6
Cost: General admission applies ($33 adults, $27 youth, $23 kids; free for ages 3 and under)
Soulpepper Theatre Family Festival
Enjoy the magic of Soulpepper Theatre this holiday season with your family and catch a performance of A Christmas Carol, Peter Pan, Tweet Tweet!—a fantasy-based aerial show just for young children—and other fantastic shows.
Location: Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane, Toronto
Date: December 6–December 29
Cost: Tickets from $18
Gingerbread Make and Bake at Fort York
Stroll through Fort York while the kids join the cooks and learn how to make delicious and traditional gingerbread cookies in the Officer’s Mess Kitchen. The hands-on workshop allows them to use period cooking utensils where they’ll pound sugar, sift flour, crush cinnamon, and grate ginger and nutmeg—all towards making an 1800’s gingerbread recipe! Be sure to sign up at the Museum Store when you arrive.
Location: 250 Fort York Blvd., Toronto
Date: December 27–31 Time: 11 am and 2 pm
Cost: Regular admission applies ($14 adults, $8 ages 13–18, $6 ages 6–12, free for ages 5 and under)
Evergreen’s Winter Village
Evergreen’s Winter Village has a tasty street food market, where you’ll also find unique and wonderful gifts at the holiday market and have a chance to play outdoors all through December. Celebrate the holidays with a walk through the market and a cup of hot cocoa to keep you warm.
Location: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave, Toronto
Date: Weekends November 30–December 22
Aurora Winter Festival
New this year is Canada’s largest winter festival at Ontario Place. The main attraction at the Aurora Winter Festival is without a doubt the 180-foot-long tube park (ages 4+) but other attractions include giant ice sculptures and lighting displays—ice “villages”, castles, and even an ice den with an LED disco ice floor—as well as rides (train, carousel, and Ferris wheel); a vendor village; and Santa’s workshop, with crafts and storytelling for kids.
Location: 1 Ontario Place, Toronto
Date: November 22–January 5
Cost: $20 adults, $15 kids ages 4–12, $60 family pass
What The Elf?!
A Christmas-themed musical extravaganza just for kids from The Second City. Bring all your little elves down to the Second City for a fun & interactive afternoon at our legendary mainstage theatre, where laughing, dancing and singing along is highly encouraged!
Location: The Second City, 51 Mercer St., Toronto
Dates: Weekends from November 30–December 29
Cost: Tickets $14 kids, $18 adults
The Quest To Save Christmas
Work together to solve this Christmas-themed escape room experience with friends or family. Your car breaks down in a blizzard and when you go for help, you find that you’re the one who is tasked (by one of Santa’s elves) with saving the day—Christmas Day, that is!
Location: Looking Glass Adventures, 2944 Danforth Ave., Toronto
Date: November 14–January 31
Cost: $25 youth and adult, $20 children (ages 4–12)
This production of Tchaikovsky’s quintessential Christmastime ballet, The Nutcracker, is the version to see if you only see one. Principal dancers from Canada’s premier ballet company perform along with talented child dancers at the Four Seasons Centre.
Location: Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., Toronto
Date: December 12–January 4
Cost: Tickets from $72
Christmas By Lamplight
Celebrate Christmas Victorian-style at Black Creek Pioneer Village. Explore the village and sample traditional holiday treats including mulled cider and real chestnuts roasted by an open fire. There will be carollers and other entertainment. Add on a traditional Christmas dinner or a haunted holiday walk through the village.
Location: 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, Toronto
Date: December 7, 14, 21
Cost: Tickets from $27