No holiday plans this year? Check out our wishlist of things to do in Toronto that are festive yet pocket-friendly. From skating to sipping hot chocolate, this holiday itinerary is guaranteed to add some joy to your holiday season in the city, without breaking the bank.
Skate as you admire the Cavalcade of Lights
If gazing up at an enormous Christmas tree and light installations inspired by cultural festivals from around the world while skating is your idea of a great night, you need to check out the Cavalcade of Lights in Nathan Phillips Square. It's a true Toronto holiday tradition and it's totally budget friendly. Physical distancing protocols are in place this year and there will not be a fireworks display.
Skate under the Gardiner
Not as established a tradition as Nathan Phillips Square skating, Bentway skating is also a fun and affordable holiday activity to enjoy this year. Plan a trip to explore the bentway trail and glide along with its fun figure-8 shaped skate trail under the Gardiner expressway. Don't own your own skates? No problem! You can rent them there and even take skating lessons while you sip on hot chocolate. If that's not cultural enough for you, you can admire Inuvialuk artist Maureen Gruben’s installation of sculptural sleds titled "Moving With Joy" while you sip.
Explore Window Wonderland
If you find yourself in the Junction area, enjoy a fabulous free art crawl that's on now until January 2nd. The neighbourhood is transformed into a free outdoor gallery featuring breathtaking works from local and international artists. Download the ARTvive app to elevate your experience via augmented reality!
Become a hot chocolate connoisseur
Is there anything that hits the spot quite like hot chocolate during the holidays? We think not! It's ok to be a hot chocolate snob, especially in a city like Toronto where you have so many fabulous places to enjoy it. Check out Destination Toronto's list of the top 10 cups of hot chocolate across the city in 2021. From traditional drinking chocolate from ChocoSol Traders to dairy free hot chocolates at Delight Organic Fair Trade Chocolate, there's something truly fabulous for everyone to enjoy. Why not try them all?!
Visit the Distillery Winter Village
Where can you find festive entertainment, artisanal food and vendor cabins, hot drinks, great cocktails, bonfires, a 50 ft Christmas tree, twinkle lights and more? At the fabulous Distillery Winter Village, of course! Usually, home to the Toronto Christmas Market, also known as the Distillery District Christmas Market, at this time of year, the Distillery District is changing things up by playing host to a new holiday event this year running from November 18th to December 31st! Prepare for a magical holiday experience for all the senses. Expect incredible food (like raclette cheese melted gently, crispy schnitzel, and crepes), expertly mixed cocktails on heated patios, ample shopping opportunities with free gift wrapping and more! It's open 7 days a week and admission is free Monday through Thursday (weekends are $8 / ticket).
Check out Taste of Iceland
Whether you have or haven't been to Iceland, there's a lot to love about the magical land of fire and ice. You can experience a glimpse of its wintery splendor during the four-day Taste Of Iceland festival in Toronto which includes a concert, a film screening, a DJ skate night, and a literary round table. It's free and runs from December 2nd to 5th at venues across the city.