Christmas is on our minds and I know that the kids are excited to attend the Christmas events in Toronto. We missed many of them last year as we were travelling through Sri Lanka for most of December and so we’re trying to make the most of it this year. Christmas is slowly making its appearance in downtown Toronto as the underground PATH is getting their Christmas decorations up and the department stores have already unveiled their Christmas windows. If you’re looking for a list of our favourite Christmas events in downtown Toronto for families, we’ve got you covered!
If you’re looking to get your “Ho!Ho!Ho!” on and get in a holly jolly mood, these kid friendly Christmas events in Toronto are what you need in your life!
Toronto Christmas Market : The Distillery District in downtown Toronto gets transformed and the Christmas market in Toronto will have you thinking you’re in Europe! Complete with beer gardens, a gingerbread house and Santa’s log cabin, the space is stroller friendly but does get VERY busy on the weekends that I recommend baby wearing if you visit at night.
When : November 16 – December 23, 2017. Opens at noon on weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends.
More Details : Free entrance during the week and $6.00 on weekends, starting at 5:00 p.m. on Fridays. Historic Distillery District. http://www.torontochristmasmarket.com/
Eaton Centre Santa : We’ve always loved our visit with the Eaton Centre Santa as our best holiday pictures are from here. Tickets can be purchased now and all proceeds are in benefit of charities. In addition to the regular Santa visits they also have an Autism Speaks Santa program which is designed for individuals with autism and their family members. Santa will read a story and give your child a small gift during the 30 minute visit and there’s a cute backdrop outside for family pics.
When : November 18 to December 24, 2017. Most weekend slots are booked up but there’s quite a few week day options.
More Details : Purchase $10 tickets. All proceeds will be donated to Eva’s Initiatives and Autism Speaks Canada. Trinity Square. https://www.cfshops.com/toronto-eaton-centre/news-events/events/santa-experience-2017.html
Santa Claus Parade : The parade takes place on November 19th and while the Momofuku restaurants have an awesome view of the parade, standing at the street level with other families will give you a much needed Christmas vibe this year.
When : November 19, 2017. Starts at 12:30 p.m. at Christie Pits and ends at Lawrence Market.
More Details : Free entrance. Get there early to secure a good spot. http://thesantaclausparade.com/
Cavalcade of Lights : It’s always fun to witness the tree light up for the first time each season and the fireworks are always SPECTACULAR! Last year we took in the experience from the Sheraton hotel across the road and it was great not being pushed and shoved in the crowds below. Definitely worth checking into a room there, just mentioned you want to watch the fireworks from your room at the time of booking.
When : November 25, 2017. Celebrations from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fireworks at 8:30 p.m.
More Details : Free entrance. http://www.toronto.com/events/cavalcade-of-lights/
Spectacle of Lights : The Toronto waterfront comes alive with a fully animated lighting experience where music notes, harps and a canopy will be shining bright from dusk to dawn all winter long.
When : November 2017 to April 2018
More Details : Free entrance. Peter Street Basin, the Fire Hall and Toronto Music Garden. http://www.waterfrontbia.com/event/spectacle-of-lights/
Santa Brunch Cruise : We did a Mother’s Day cruise with Mariposa a couple years ago and think this Santa themed cruise would be a great way to see Toronto from the water and have your Santa pictures taken.
When : December 10, 2017. 2 hour cruise from noon to 2 p.m.
More Details : Purchase tickets online. https://mariposacruises.com/public-cruises/special-event-cruises/santa-brunch-cruise/
Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillips Square : Along with eating, drinking and shopping, the market will include a midway with rides, including a merry-go-round and kids can meet with Santa, build a stuffed toy, meet an elf and have their pictures taken. It’s a winter fair meets holiday wonderland.
When : December 1 to 23, 2017. Closed on Mondays. Opens at 4 p.m. on weekdays and noon on weekends. Goes on until 10 p.m. every night.
More Details : Free entrance. Nathan Philips Square. http://fairinthesquare.ca/
Canadian Pacific Holiday Train : This holiday train will be at stopping in Toronto and all they ask in exchange for their awesome 30 minute light show is that you bring food or a monetary donation for your local food bank. I KNOW this isn’t downtown technically but it’s a great one in Toronto.
When : November 28, 2017. Arrive at 8:15 p.m. for the 8:30 to 9:00 p.m. show.
More Details : 750 Runnymede Road, in front of Lambton Yard. Free entrance with non perishable food item donation. http://www.cpr.ca/holiday-train/healthy-donations
Craft fair lovers will definitely want to check this site out for a full list of awesome spots to get your holiday shopping on at. If you’re looking for theatrical events this one has you covered! While these are just a few of the merry events happening in Toronto ( click here for more Toronto holiday events!). I’d also like to highlight that the Christmas season is a time for giving and so, if you’re looking for volunteer opportunities in Toronto be sure to check this site out!