Photo: Rosedale Cavalcade of Lights

Santa Claus is coming to town—to many communities within Toronto and, of course, downtown. The holiday season is getting into full swing, with Christmas markets and light show, festivals, and outdoor walks. Check out what’s on in the city for the whole family!

Top Picks This Weekend

Here are our top picks for this weekend, November 16–18, 2018. See the full events calendar for even more fun things to do this weekend.

Toronto Christmas Market (Distillery District)

Visit Santa’s House, marvel at the massive Christmas tree and seasonal decor and lighting, and take your turn on the Ferris wheel and the carousel. And, of course, check out all the vendors and their seasonal products. Opens Thursday; through December 23.

The Babytime Show (Downtown)

Prize packs, giveaways, seminars, and entertainment are all packed into The Babytime Show this weekend. Little ones will love the Reading Nook, performances by Paw Patrol, Toopy and Binoo, and Masha and the Bear, and animals of Hands On Exotics. Friday–Sunday.

Holy & Holly Christmas Festival (Midtown)

Experience a Bethlehem Market and enjoy crafts, a dress-up photo booth, carol singing, puppet shows, and a variety of treats and homemade gifts. Saturday 10 am–2 pm.

Bloor-Yorkville Holiday Magic (Yorkville)

Shawn Hook and The Rosedale Day School Choir perform at the official tree lighting in the heart of Yorkville. Enjoy refreshments and the magical lights. Saturday 5–7pm.

Illuminate (Downtown)

Yonge-Dundas Square hosts an evening of live music, dance, and carolling, culminating in the holiday tree lighting ceremony. The Devin Cuddy Band and Ori Dagan perform. Saturday 5:30–7:30 pm.

Breakfast & a Movie at the Regent Park Film Festival (Regent Park)

A free breakfast is served, followed by a screening of the critically acclaimed Canadian co-production, The Breadwinner. This animated film is rated PG. Saturday 9–11:30 am.

Baby It’s Cold Outside (Baby Point)

Baby Point’s annual Open House and Sidewalk Sale features a Birds of Prey demonstration, bouncy castle, face painting, balloon animals, strolling carollers, a live band, and, of course, Santa! Treats and discounts abound in the local shops and restaurants. Saturday 10 am–5 pm.

Etobicoke School of the Arts Winter Craft Fair & Silent Auction (Etobicoke)

Over 85 vendors and a 100+-item silent auction offer seasonal gifts, as kids enjoy the bake sale and Brix4Kidz play area. Saturday 10 am–3 pm.

Community Christmas Market and Tea Room (East York)

Local artisans and crafters populate this Christmas Market, which includes delicious baked goods, a cafe and tea room, and a children’s craft table. Saturday 10 am–2 pm.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in Concert (Downtown)

Watch the popular film featuring your favourite wizard as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra performs Patrick Doyle’s unforgettable score, live. Thursday–Saturday 7:30 pm.

Nutcracker Fair (High Park)

This Christmas bazaar features a silent auction, homemade jams and preserves, a BBQ Breakfast and Cafe, and artisans vendors. Kids can decorate cookies or buy a surprise grab bag. Saturday 10 am–2 pm.

Scottish Holiday Traditions (North York)

Enjoy the traditions of the Scottish holiday season that were observed in the Victorian era at Gibson House, and sample some tasty treats by the open fire. Museum staff will lead guided tours. Through December 30.

Sleep, Stay or Fly Away (East York)

This guided walk through Todmorden Mills’ Wildflower Preserve explores how the birds, plants and animals prepare for the cold winter months. Enjoy provided refreshments after the walk. Saturday 1:30–2:30 pm.

Royal Cinema’s Baby Friendly Screening (West End/Little Italy)

House lights stay on and the volume is not too loud for this tot-friendly screening of the animated 1997 film Cats Don’t Dance. Saturday 2 pm.

Rosedale Cavalcade of Lights (Midtown/Rosedale)

Live music, horse and carriage rides, photos with Santa, and (for the parents!) a festive drinks lounge complement the annual tree lighting. Saturday 2–6 pm.

Toronto Santa Claus Parade (The Annex and Downtown)

The world’s longest-running children’s parade, the 114-year-old Toronto Santa Claus Parade, is an annual favourite for many Torontonians and out-of-towners. A fantastic start to the festive season, the parade is comprised of more than 25 animated floats and 2,000 costumed participants. Saturday 12:30 pm.

Coming Soon

Don’t leave your dog, hamster, or pet squirrel out of the seasonal celebrations! Toronto Christmas Pet Expo comes to the International Centre next weekend. Cabbagetown kicks off the holiday season with wagon rides, music, and refreshment on November 24, and The Beach welcome the big guy with its own Beaches Santa Claus Parade on November 25.

Plus, City of Toronto public skating rinks open next weekend, so it’s time to get those skates sharpened!


For more upcoming events, search the full Toronto and GTA events calendar.

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