It’s officially the holiday season in Toronto and we sure do love the way our city looks when it’s all dressed up in festive colours. There may be Christmas cheer around every corner, but there’s a whole lot more to do this December than celebrate the holidays. Toronto might be the only city where you can skate on a rooftop rink, sip festive drinks with your dog, and wander through a 360-degree painting all in the same day. This is easily one of the most eventful months of the whole year in the 6ix, so don’t be a scrooge — get out there and make the most of it!

Here are 31 of the best things to do in and around Toronto this December.

Editor’s note: Some of these events may be modified or cancelled in light of COVID-19. You can check the event page or reach out directly for the latest updates.

Arts & Culture Events


A new immersive art experience has officially opened its doors in Toronto. Joining the ranks of Immersive Van Gogh and Beyond Monet is Immersive Klimt, a colourful new exhibition curated by the “world-renowned master of digital art” Italy’s Massimiliano Siccardi. Through vivid 360 projections, the revolutionary works of Gustav Klimt come to life all around you. Klimt is described as a “rebel, genius and legend” of a painter, and now you can be swept up in his electrifying world.

Where: 1 Yonge St
When: Various times


This breathtaking exhibit is now open for the first time in the world —  here’s a sneak peek so you know exactly what to expect. Over 400 of Claude Monet’s works come alive before your eyes through vivid 360-degree displays that swirl all around you, enhanced by sound effects and music. Forget the world and get lost the mind and masterpieces of this great painter.

Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St W
When: Reopens December 1st


Joining the ranks of Monet and Van Gogh is Pablo Picasso, with a landmark celebration of his iconic modernist masterpieces. The Picasso exhibit now running at the AGO takes visitors through the early projects from his signature Blue Period with over 100 works sourced from 15 countries. You’ll get to experience the world as he interpreted it as a young artist in the early 1900s.

Where: 317 Dundas St W
When: Until January 16, 2022


Ah, live music. How we’ve missed you! And this weekend, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra performs holiday classic Home Alone’s Oscar-nominated score live to picture. Could the holiday season start any better? For more information or to purchase your tickets visit the link above!
When: December 3 & 4
Where: Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St, Toronto, ON, M5J 2H5
Cost: $61+

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Toronto is known for having “one of the finest versions” of this magnificent two-act ballet, which premiered in Russia in 1892. The set design, costumes, and orchestra give the whole experience such a magical feel. The show will be taking place at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts as it does every year. There’s no better way to make the holiday season feel complete in Toronto than this enchanting show.

Where: 145 Queen St W
When: December 10th — December 31st, 2021


Nothing’s more romantic than flickering candlelight — add a dreamy live performance inside a stunning church and you’ve got yourself the ultimate holiday date night. The intimate venue is bathed in the glow of candles and the sound of the string quartet playing holiday songs just adds to the special atmosphere.

Where: 115 Simpson Ave
When: Various dates in December 2021

Food & Drink Events


A magical tradition has returned to Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York. The Fairmont has created the perfect home for you to celebrate the holidays this festive season. From tree-lighting to over-the-top cocktails, you’ll want to stop The Thirsty Elf pop-up in Toronto. Christmas sweaters are encouraged as you enjoy kitschy décor while sipping on cheerful, festive cocktails.

When: Until December 18th
Where: Fairmont Royal York, 1OO Front Street W


Well jingle our bells and call us Nick. This November, pre-order an Uber and get your Mariah Carey on at the Miracle Toronto pop-up bar, a Christmas-themed haunt that will knock your stockings off. With kitschy decor and over-the-top festive drinks, those looking to get holly jolly among friends and gift boxes can visit the Miracle as long as they’re vaxxed and can handle their liquor.

When: Until December 26th
Where: 875 Bloor St


Surfs up for Santa Claus! Toronto’s holiday bar is infused with the tropics this festive season and it’s Old Saint Nick like we’ve never seen him before. Sippin’ Santa is the companion pop-up to Miracle, and you can expect the festive signature flair of the Miracle experience with a tropical twist. Rock your best Hawaiian shirt or your ugliest Christmas sweater, or incorporate both into one confusing festive look.

When: Until December 26th
Where: 866 Bloor St W


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A beloved patio spot in the downtown core is transforming for the holiday season! Sweaters n’ Snowflakes is pulling out all the stops for an extra special season this year, including festive photo ops, delicious eats, and, most importantly, boozy bevvies galore. The bar will serve up spiked hot apple cider and hot chocolate to keep you nice and warm, plus mulled wine, Grinch sangria, gingerbread whiskey sours — the list goes on.

Where: 621 Richmond St
When: December 3rd — 26th & 31st


Feliz Navidad! Toronto’s Papi Chulo’s is hosting their own pop-up, Mistletoes, and Margaritas this holiday season. It’s the perfect holiday foodie pop-up for those of you looking for a holiday celebration that’s a little more unique. You can enjoy all your old-time Papi Chulo’s favorites like tacos, nachos, elotes, and much more. Of course, you’ll also be able to sip on some festive cocktails to really help you get in the holiday spirit.

When: Until January 2nd
Where: 121 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON


Are you looking for a holiday experience that’s a little more glam? Well, La Maison Rose certainly has something for you. Their Pink Christmas Event is chock full of holiday spirit with a splash of pink. The event menu has items like pink hot chocolate, rose hot chocolate, and freshly made gnocchi. If you want to check it out be sure to make reservations ahead of time online and bring your proof of vaccination and ID.

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 10 am- 5pm
Where: 420 Winston Road, Grimsby

Holiday Festivals, Markets & Outdoor Events


Over a course of 30-minutes, this magical performance – which kicks off November 20th – will take its guests into the story of a girl, the mouse king and a heroic nutcracker using projections, special effects and more. Written by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker has delighted, dazzled and enchanted families all over the world for over 130 years – but never like this.

When: Until December 26th
Where:  1 Yonge St


Is there anything better than a pup-centric event? Toronto’s getting a festive event just for dogs and dog-lovers called the Doggos’ Howliday Market, and it’s the perfect excuse to get in the holiday spirit with your four-legged friend and over a thousand other like-minded folks. . You can also sip festive drinks and shop for gifts for yourself, your family, your friends, and of course your pup.

When: December 11th
Where: Daniel’s Spectrum, 585 Dundas Street East, Toronto, ON


It’s shaping up to be a wildly exciting holiday season here in Toronto, and joining the festive fun this year is the Holiday Street Market at Scarborough Town Centre. Between unlimited rides, incredible food and unique attractions, you’ll be feeling as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. New to the event this year is the walk-in Christmas tree, plus returning favourites like the food market, Lover’s Lane, and fire pit lounge.

Where: Scarborough Town Centre
When: December 3-5, 10-12, 17-19, 21-24, 2021


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Soak up the magic of the holidays with the city’s beloved annual event, the Cavalcade of Lights. This year, the event will run until January 2 at Nathan Phillips Square. The “reimagined festivities” will transform City Hall and its surroundings into a dazzling wonderland every single night of December. Plus, get ready to lace up your skates and glide along the iconic twinkling rink at the square.

Where: Nathan Phillips Square
When: Nightly from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. until January 2, 2022


Something magical has arrived at Ontario Place and it’s like a snow globe come to life! Snow Magic is inviting you to “explore a wonder-filled adventure inspired by fire, ice, and light.” Drive your way through 1.7 km of magical sights, including 18 art installations, crystalline caverns, awe-inspiring creatures and “mysterious sights that only dreams are made of.”

Where: 955 Lake Shore Blvd W
When: Until January 16, 2022


Toronto’s biggest walkthrough holiday market and festival has opened its doors for the holidays. Not only is it a vendor market with all kinds of treats and gifts to shop for, but it’s also an immersive walkthrough experience with larger-than-life displays, an amusement park with rides, an outdoor cocktail lounge, and a destination for all things festive.

Where: Bandshell Park, 210 Princes’ Blvd
When: Until December 26th


Ready for a road trip to the North Pole? Thankfully, you won’t have to travel too far because it’s coming right to us this year. The Canadian Tire Christmas Trail is returning for the holiday season and you’ll see Santa’s village come to life from the warmth of your car. In addition to thousands of twinkling lights, the 1.5 km trail will take you past bright interactive displays, carolers singing your favourite holiday songs, “magically curated Christmas vignettes,” including real elves making toys in Santa’s workshop.

Where: 1000 Murray Ross Pkwy
When: Until December 23rd


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Canada’s Wonderland has transformed into a holiday fairytale for its annual WinterFest event. Tickets are on sale for this year’s festival and from the sounds of it, we’re in for a real treat this holiday season. In addition to hundreds of twinkling trees and millions of spectacular lights strung throughout the amusement park, this season’s WinterFest will feature ice-skating on Snow Flake Lake, tons of live shows and entertainment, two 50-foot Christmas trees, and carolers singing from old fashioned cable car trolleys.

Where: Canada’s Wonderland
When: Until December 31st


It’s the season of all things merry and bright in Niagara Falls with its annual Winter Festival of Lights! Known as Canada’s biggest free outdoor light festival, the 8-km trail is now open with millions of lights on display for even longer than before. This time around, the festival will run for 101 nights all the way until the end of February, so you can enjoy the breathtaking twinkling lights well beyond the holidays.

Where: Niagara Falls, Ontario
When: Until February 21st, 2022


The iconic annual tradition that takes place every holiday season in the historic Distillery District is officially back, with a brand new name, look, and feel. You can wander past festive stalls selling handmade gifts and delicious treats, marvel at the towering twinkling trees, and take in the sights and sounds of this special time of year. This year’s market is described as “Toronto’s most magical shopping and dining experience,” and it’s definitely living up to its description!

When: Until December 31st
Where: The Distillery Historic District


All aboard the Santa Express! This festive train ride is now running for the season, so get ready to make some magical holiday memories. The popular event is fun for families and people of all ages. Santa will be on board to spread joy and cheer while you settle into your seat by the window. It’s a cozy and unique way to celebrate the season and get into the holiday spirit.

When: Select dates in December 2021
Where: 19 Railway St, Uxbridge


A drive-thru holiday festival has opened at two locations in the GTA. It’s the largest Christmas drive-thru light event in the entire region, so if you want to experience an enchanting world with your seat warmer on and your favourite songs playing on the radio, this is the place to do it! Buckle up, because this year’s event will be bigger, brighter, and more over-the-top than ever.

When: Until January 9th, 2022
Where: Meadowvale GO Station & Mount Joy GO Station


Another season of skating in Toronto’s skies is about to begin. The popular Sky Skate rooftop rink at The Porch is opening up at the start of December and it’s one of the most picturesque spots in town for gliding under the stars. There are heaters all around the rink to make your skate a bit more comfortable, but you’ll definitely still want to dress for a typical Canadian winter night. You’ll also be able to warm up with a drink at the bar afterward!

Where: 250 Adelaide St. W
When: Opens December 1st


Toronto’s flagship holiday craft market is finally back and oh, how we’ve missed it! This is the ultimate place to shop for special gifts for your loved ones, and spoil yourself a little while you’re at it! The 11-day show will have over 400 talented exhibitors selling 100% unique handmade creations, plus festive decor to get you into the holiday spirit.

Where: Enercare Centre, 100 Princes’ Blvd
When: Until December 5th


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Another festive event has begun in the GTA just north of Toronto in Vaughan. The “holiday lights spectacular” sold out in 2020 and is back even bigger this time around as a walk-through immersive experience and Holiday Fair in the Square. Once you experience the dazzling lights, you can make your way to the market to do a little present shopping and warm up with something tasty to drink.

When: Until January 2nd, 2022
Where: 80 Interchange Way


The Junction’s free immersive urban art walk has returned for another holiday season, featuring unique displays by artists from around the world. There are 20 augmented reality installations that you can see come to life by pointing your phone camera at the artwork in the windows. You can spend an entire afternoon wandering past this free outdoor show and then go for a skate at High Park or check out the local shops and restaurants in the area.

When: Until January 2nd, 2022
Where: The Junction


Casa Loma’s spectacular Holiday Light Tour is one of the city’s most breathtaking sights. Wander through the glowing gardens and tunnels on the property’s grounds, enjoy the live entertainment and take dreamy holiday photos! You can even upgrade your experience to VIP, which includes line bypass, as well as food and beverage credits.

Where: 1 Austin Terrace
When: Until December 30th


We love to see a holiday classic come to life! Ontario’s very own Rusty Griswold Christmas house has returned this year and you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped onto the set of National Lampoon’s Vacation. Every holiday season since 2015, the Burlington home transforms into an “animated gingerbread house” inspired by the 1989 Christmas movie. You’ll be able to watch the dazzling light show from the warmth of your car, accompanied by festive tunes on the radio.

Where: 2176 Devlin Drive, Burlington
When: Nightly until January 2nd, 2022


Take a little trip out of the city for a breathtaking Christmas light show by the waterfront. Wander through a park filled with larger-than-life displays, twinkling lights, and multicoloured trees. Hopefully, it will be made even better with some gently falling snow. The festival is free and even dogs are welcome to join the fun!

When: Until January 8th, 2022
Where: Spencer Smith Park, 1400 Lakeshore Rd

There you have it, friends! The best things to do in and around Toronto this December.