Christmas is coming you guys!!! T’is one of my favourite seasons EVER and as usual I’ve spent a good portion of a week trying to narrow down the festive events in downtown Toronto I plan to visit with the kids this year. We’re planning some travels for most of December so I figured I should really be on top of my game this year so that we can visit as many of the Santa appearances and general merriment that floods downtown Toronto for the holiday season. One of my favourite things to do in the lead up to Christmas is to roam around the Toronto underground PATH because they have the best decorations and funky light up trees at every corner but the kids aren’t always into that. They want more excitement and the chance to spot the big guy.
If you’re looking to get your “Ho!Ho!Ho!” on and get in a holly jolly mood, these kid friendly Toronto events are what you need in your life!
Cavalcade of Lights : While I’m not a fan of standing in the crowds during this particular event, I do love seeing the tree light up for the first time each season and the fireworks are always SPECTACULAR! This year I’m seriously considering checking into a room at the Sheraton hotel across the road to watch the activities on November 26th between 7 and 9 p.m.!
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. Also, they have an Autism Speaks Santa program which is designed for individuals with autism and their family members. This is in addition to the regular Santa visits and is designed with less wait times and lighter crowds.
Santa Claus Parade : The 112th parade takes place on November 20th 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.
Spectacle of Lights : I’m pretty excited for this one too! The Toronto Music Garden will come alive with a fully animated lighting experience where music notes, harps and canopy will be shining bright and there will also be installations at The Westin Hotel, the Fire Hall and the Tall Ship on the Amsterdam Bridge at Harbourfront Centre.
Toronto Christmas Festival at the Harbourfront : There’s a bunch of activities taking place by the waterfront between December 9 and the 18th including a Polar Express Train, light up igloos and of course meet and greet with Santa.
Christmas Market at the Distillery : I love strolling through the Distillery District during a light snowfall in December with mulled wine in my hand. That’s for sure! Avoid the weekends as it gets way too busy to be pushing strollers through there (though with the $5 fee that may reduce some traffic!). Kicks off on November 18th and goes until December 23rd.
Christmas Market at Nathan Phillips Square : Epilepsy Toronto has plans to put on the Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillips Square from December 8 to 23 and I’m excited for this new one in the core downtown area but will sadly be missing it. 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.
Canadian Pacific Holiday Train : On November 28th the train will be at 750 Runnymede Road, in front of Lambton Yard at 8:30 p.m. 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 Toronto but how cool is this one?
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!
Now tell me, what’s your favourite holiday event in downtown Toronto?