What a year it has been! December is already here and our hearts are full of Christmas cheer. Hey, we rhymed! If you loved that then you’ll definitely love all the festive things to do in Toronto this December. That’s not to mention all the art, film, and cultural events worth checking out.

There’s never a dull moment in Toronto, but you already know that. Especially in the winter.

Now, let’s jump right into the holiday season and dive into this list of the best things to do in Toronto this December.

Recent Posts:
New Toronto restaurants & bars to try this December
Ontario’s first snow squalls are on their way & with it comes wind chill season

Toronto Botanical Garden Holiday Market

If you’ve got some green thumbs on your holiday gift list this year, then you’ll want to pay a visit to the botanically-themed market this December.

Shop for eco-friendly and nature-inspired products including home décor, fine chocolates, fresh seasonal greens, along with amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs.

Plus, the TBG Bloom Cafe will be serving up hot beverages and light bites during the market. Friday from 2 PM to 8 PM, Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM.

When: December 15th to 17th, 2023
Where: Toronto Botanical Gardens, 777 Lawrence Avenue East
Cost: FREE

Christmas at the Castle & Holiday Lights

The holiday magic is coming back to Toronto’s Casa Loma for the festive season, transforming the castle grounds into a winter wonderland. Christmas at the Castle and Holiday Lights Tour experiences will take over Casa Loma this December.

Get ready to experience a holiday event like no other starting December 1st. Embark on a Christmas journey as you wander outdoors, through dazzling light displays in the gardens and throughout the castle grounds and tunnels.

Holiday Lights is a self-guided walk that will delight guests as they encounter the almost endless holiday decorations, lights, and live performances. There will be a magic show, a fire performer, roaming mime artists, mascots, and silt walkers. We can’t for the Christmas carolers and of course, Santa.

When: December 1st to January 6th
Where: Casa Loma – 1 Austin Terrace
Cost: Starting at $45+tax

Sponsored Pick: Breakfast with Santa at the CN Tower

Forget cookies and milk- this year, Santa’s upgrading to a full breakfast at the CN Tower. Join the big guy for a ho-ho-whole buffet of fun! Your tickets include a delicious breakfast buffet, a special gift for the kiddos, a photo with Santa himself, and a view from the Main Observation Level that even Rudolph hasn’t seen. Secure your spot on Santa’s nice list while you still can!

When: Saturday, December 9th and Saturday, December 16th, 2023 from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM.
Where: CN Tower, 290 Bremner Blvd, Toronto
Cost: $80 per adult (14+), $65 per child between the ages of 6 to 13, $15 per child between the ages of 3 to 5.

Wonka’s Sweet Escape

Have you ever thought of what it would be like visiting Willy Wonka’s factory? Well, now you can finally explore the world of the famous fictional chocolatier at this new immersive Wonka experience in Toronto. And you don’t need a golden ticket for this sweet adventure.

Visitors will have the chance to tap into the candy maker’s imagination and experience the magic firsthand through visual content displays and even replica props.

When: Until January 2nd, 2024
Where: Yorkdale Mall

Sponsored Pick: Moxies Winter Menu

‘Tis the season for cozy eats, which is good news because Moxies just announced their new menu for the colder season. Check out tasty new additions, like Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts, Short Rib Bolognese, and Rigatoni Arrabbiata, along with some returning favourites from last year, like the Mushroom Mosaic Dip and Sticky Toffee Pudding. This new winter menu is available for a limited time, so don’t wait to book your reso and try it for yourself!

When: Available now until Sunday, January 14th
Where: Moxies restaurant locations across Canada

Christmas Glow Toronto

Colder weather is setting in, so why not step out of the icy chill and into a cozy world of enchantment at Christmas Glow Toronto? Known as Canada’s premier indoor Christmas festival, Christmas Glow is a massive indoor experience with everything you love about the holidays.

This year, instead of taking you on a trip to Santa’s village, you’ll be taken on a trip around the world. The indoor experience will take visitors on an illuminated journey to six different countries. No passport required!

Where: Toronto Congress Centre, 1020 Martin Grove Road
When:  November 30th, 2023 – December 31st, 2023
Cost: Weekdays $30 & Weekends $32 (General Admission)

Sponsored Pick: CF Winterville at CF Toronto Eaton Centre

Stop by selected CF shopping centre locations across the GTA between Friday, November 17 and Sunday, December 24, to get your pictures taken with Santa! His schedule looks pretty full already, so make sure to book in advance!

Pictures with Santa

When: Friday, November 17 until Sunday, December 24
Where: 

  • CF Toronto Eaton Centre, 220 Yonge St, Toronto
  • CF Fairview Mall, 1800 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto
  • CF Shops at Don Mills, 1090 Don Mills Rd., Toronto
  • CF Markville, 5000 Hwy 7, Markham

Cost: $15 for groups up to 6

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by One Of A Kind (@ooak_toronto)

One Of A Kind Show

The One Of A Kind show is coming back to Toronto and there’s no better place to cross gifts off your list!

From November 24th to December 4th, the OOAK show will take over the Enercare Centre and more than 600 artisans from all over Canada will showcase their extensive selection of goods.

You can expect to find a wide range of craft goods including houseware items, clothing, art pieces, sweet treats, and jewelry.

When: Until December 3rd, 2023
Where: 100 Princes’ Blvd – Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place
Cost: $18 per adult

Outdoor skating at City of Toronto rinks

Get ready to lace up your skates!

There are tons of City-run public rinks opening for the season in November. In past years, that has included Christie Pits, College Park, High Park, Kew Gardens, and Mel Lastman Square, Nathan Phillips Square.

So, grab your favourite people and glide the day away at the rink.

When: November 2023 to March 2024 (select rinks)
WhereSee all locations
Cost: FREE

The Distillery Winter Village

Get your holiday plans in order because the iconic Distillery Winter Village is back.

This iconic festive village welcomes all to experience the joys of the holidays through delicious food, drinks, gift shopping, carols, cozy fires, and all the jolly vibes.

And you’ll want to be there for the grand opening on November 16th as the village unveils its tallest Christmas tree of all time!

When: Until December 31st, 2023
Where: 55 Mill Street, Toronto
Cost: $15 General Admission, $18 Flex Ticket, $30 Express Gate Entry

Holiday Market Sip ‘N’ Shop at the Kimpton Saint George 

The Kimpton Saint George Hotel’s 2nd annual Holiday Market Sip ‘N’ Shop is back with complimentary wine, coffee, light bites and new this year, Santa Paws!

Tickets are free: Reserve a spot here, and you’ll receive a glass of wine courtesy of Pilliterri Esetaes Winery and a holiday coffee beverage from Chaveta Coffee.

Event Description: Enjoy a glass of wine, holiday coffee sips, light bites and live music while shopping from Toronto’s luxe, local brands to find the perfect holiday gifts for friends and family. New to the market this year: Santa Paws! Get into the howl-iday spirit with a special photo-op with Santa Claus from 12 pm – 2 pm for you and your furry friend. All people and pets are welcome.

When: December 3rd, 2023 from 11 AM to 4 PM
Where: Kimpton Saint George – 280 Bloor St W
Cost: FREE

MOCA Free Friday Nights

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) has a Free Friday Nights tradition that brings art lovers together on everyone’s favourite night of the week.

Visitors are invited to celebrate contemporary art and community and enjoy live performances, installations, pop-ups, activations, and more.

You can book your spot in advance to guarantee entry or drop in on the day. The last time slot for entry is 8:45 PM.

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art, 158 Sterling Road #100
When: Fridays from 5 PM to 9 PM
Cost: FREE

Holiday Afternoon Tea at the AGO

Book a reservation at the AGO’s The Grange for a celebratory holiday afternoon tea. Enjoy flavours from across the Caribbean diaspora. This experience includes UK classics too. The holiday afternoon tea experience is inspired by Life Between Islands.

Seatings are available Wednesday through Sunday until December 17th.

When: Until December 17th, 2023 – 11:30 AM, 12 PM, 2:30 PM, 3 PM
Where: 317 Dundas Street West
Cost: $95 + tax per adult and $45 + tax per child (10 and under)

Bata Shoe Museum Access Sundays

Toronto’s iconic shoe museum is open to all visitors for free on Sundays.

Explore the BSM’s nearly 15,000 artifacts, learn about the fascinating history of footwear, and participate in educational activities, all for free every Sunday.

Where: Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor Street West
When: Sundays from 12 PM to 5 PM
Cost: FREE

Bound Book Arts Fair

Check out the selection of letterpress, linocuts, wood engravings, handmade paper, limited edition books, cards and more at the Bound Book Arts Fair.

Support local!

When: December 3rd from 11 AM to 4 PM
Where: Arts & Letters Club – 14 Elm St
Cost: FREE

Holts Café Afternoon Tea

Holts Cafe on Bloor has partnered with Jo Malone for an extravagant Holiday Afternoon Tea now to December 31st.

The menu draws inspiration from Jo Malone London’s trio of exciting holiday fragrances. Think Ginger Biscuit, Orange Bitters, and Pine & Eucalyptus! You can expect the menu to include both sweet and savoury items. Reservations are required.

When: Until December 31st (Saturdays and Sundays only)
Where: Holt Renfrew Bloor, 50 Bloor St W
Cost: 
$65 + tax per person

Aga Khan Museum

The Aga Khan Museum also offers free admission to the public on Wednesday evenings from 4 PM to 8 PM.

No pre-registration is required, just show up in person to receive your free ticket and enjoy!

Where: Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive
When: Wednesdays from 4 PM to 8 PM
Cost: FREE

Toronto Art Crawl Holiday Market

The Toronto Art Crawl Holiday Market is bringing the festive spirit to Exhibition Place on December 16th. For one day only, enjoy offerings from 120 local artists and designers. Expect handmade goods like original art, fashion, jewelry, home decor, vintage, photography, body care and more.

There will also be a live DJ, interactive demos, a food and cash bar, and free swag bags for the first 25 people.

When: December 16th, 2023
Where: 15 Saskatchewan Rd
Cost: FREE

EPOCH Bar & Kitchen Terrace – Afternoon Tea

Indulge in a carefully curated selection of pastries and finger sandwiches that pay homage to the traditional British Tea experience. Bring the family along too! There’s a children’s Afternoon Tea priced at $40 per child.

When making the reservation, book for the total amount of guests and include the number of children in the add-on section.

When: December 24th and 31st from 11 AM to 3:30 PM, December 25th, 26th & January 1st from 2 PM to 3 PM
Where: The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto – 181 Wellington Street West
Cost: $80 + tax per person

Barbara Ann Scott Ice Trail Celebration

To celebrate the Barbara Ann Scott Ice Trail, the Downtown Yonge BIA will be throwing a party on December 9th with activities, ice dances, a DJ, and even firepits to warm up.

There will also be free skate lending

When: December 9th, 2023 from 2 PM to 6 PM
Where: College Park
Cost: FREE

Canada’s Wonderland WinterFest

The annual WinterFest has taken over Canada’s Wonderland with fun and festive activities, including ice skating on Snow Flake Lake, live shows, millions of spectacular lights, and hundreds of sparkling trees throughout the park.

This one-of-a-kind event transports you to a new world, full of stunning luminous displays, ambient holiday lights and festive tunes.

When: Until January 6th, 2024 (Select nights)
Where: Canada’s Wonderland
Cost: From $29.99 per person

Roller Express – Union Station

Toronto’s Union Station is getting a free, two-month-long roller skating experience and it’s all indoors. And it kicks off this December, here’s what to know.

To keep you entertained this holiday season, Union Station has transformed its newly opened TD West Carriageway into a fun and free roller skating hub – Roller Express.

Strap on those rollerskates and glide across the 5,500 sq ft rink that includes a skating trail, carriageway tunnel, and retro vibes.

When: December 1st to February 4th – Sunday to Wednesday from 11 AM to 8 PM, Thursday and Friday from 11 AM to 10 PM, Sat from 11 AM to 11 PM
Where: TD West Carriageway – Union Station

Arcadia Earth

Embark on this experiential journey through planet Earth at Arcadia Earth. The new immersive experience is located in The Well, and offers guests a multi-sensory experience that “reimagines the way people address planet Earth’s most pressing environmental challenges.”

Expect rooms enhanced by interactive projection mapping, augmented reality, and VR.

When: On select dates – times vary
Where: The Well at 486 Front St W
Cost: $39.99 + tax

Joni Restaurant Afternoon Tea 

Stay warm this holiday season with this festive afternoon tea experience at Joni Restaurant. Treat yourself to a luxurious evening with a tasting menu of curated sweets and savories from Joni kitchen, paired with sommelier-selected teas from Sloane Tea. There are three experiences to choose from:

  • Pastry At The Park – Try a selection of sweets from Joni pastry kitchen, paired with Sloane Tea. It’s priced at $128 for two.
  • Tea At The Park – This choice features an assortment of sweets and savory eats, paired with two sommelier-selected creations from Sloane Tea. Priced at $188 for two.
  • Indulgence At The Park – This option features sweet and indulgent savory bites, two Sloane Teas, and two glasses of Dom Perignon. Priced at $588 for two.

When: December 24th to 26th, 31st, 2023 and January 1st, 2024
Where: Park Hyatt Toronto – 4 Avenue Road
Cost: Starting at $128 + tax for two

The Bentway

According to the skating trail, its winter programming begins on December 16, and this year, skaters are invited back to cruise the 220m figure-eight skate trail under the Gardiner Expressway. New will be the soaring art installation above the trail, which they say is and “inspired by the glowing hues of the northern lights.”

When: December 16th until January 7, every day from 12 PM to 9 PM
Where:
 250 Fort York, under the Gardiner

The Winter Market

The city never lacks when it comes to holiday experiences! And here’s another to add to your already long list of holiday markets. There’s a Pay What You Can winter market coming to Toronto featuring a handful of local vendors, food trucks, vintage finds, and skating.

Evergreen Brick Works’ Winter Market returns this December 10th and 17th, and both the Ontario Artisan Market and Ontario Vintage Market will be tagging along for the fun.

When: December 10th and 17th from 11 AM to 5 PM
Where: 550 Bayview Ave