Where Are You Christmas?: Unexpected (but Exceptional) Holiday Events

With the holiday season upon us, it comes as no surprise that the city has become a hot spot for festive events. For those wishing to avoid the large crowds of the Distillery District’s Christmas Market and the multitude of events taking place in Young-Dundas Square, discovering new, festive things to do can be difficult. Below, we have a list of some of the less crowded holiday events and activities happening in and around Toronto.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail Cruise

Ugly Christmas sweaters have become a staple of the holiday season and this cocktail cruise provides the opportunity to don your favourite hideous holiday attire and celebrate the season while enjoying gorgeous views of the city. The two-hour cruise travels within the Toronto Harbour and features drinks, dancing, a Bad Santa photo booth and poutine stations. Attendees will enjoy a night of cheesy holiday fun. The Cocktail Cruise takes place on December 18th, 2015 with both an early (6:30pm) and late (8:30pm) departure time. Event is 19+.

Magic of Christmas Celebration

If you’re looking for something closer to home, the Magic of Christmas Celebration is happening  in Greektown at the Alexander the Great Parkette on December 5th and 6th. This event is the perfect place for some family holiday fun as it offers free horse and carriage rides, pictures with Santa, hot chocolate, and a variety of live entertainment. Firefighters from the Toronto Firefighters Calendar will also be present for a meet and greet. Don’t forget to bring a toy to donate to the CP24/CHUM Christmas Wish campaign for the chance to win dinner on the Danforth.

12 Trees of Christmas

If gorgeous decorations are you favourite part of the holidays, the 12 Trees of Christmas should definitely be on your “Must Visit” list. This 26-year-old tradition at the Gardiner Museum displays 12 breathtaking Christmas trees (or interpretations thereof), decorated by renowned designers and companies. Some of the designers this year include Hermès, Susanne Shaw on behalf of Holt Renfrew, and The Stratford Festival. To top it off, the 40-foot tree in the lobby makes for the perfect background for festive pictures. The display began November 12, 2015 and runs until January 3rd, 2016.

Gage Park Skating Trail

While slightly out of the city, the Gage Park Skating Trail is the perfect place to spend the day if you enjoy spending time outdoors. The park offers a 250-metre figure-eight skating trail through a scenic winter wonderland. The trail is surrounded by a beautiful gazebo and a forest of 100-year-old trees all lit up with festive lights. The trail is also equipped with a sound system, where a DJ plays holiday music from Friday to Sunday. For those who do not want to skate, time can be spent sitting around the park’s many fire pits and roasting marshmallows. The park also offers a snack bar, heated change rooms, and skating areas for beginners. Skate and Helmet rentals are also available on site. The trail is expected to open December 12th, weather permitting.

Second City “Unwrapped”

If comedy if your thing, Second City’s presentation of “Unwrapped” is the perfect addition to your holiday social calendar. The show is a presentation of songs and satirical sketches, all with a festive twist. The performances take a comedic look at the realities of this time of year, illustrating the “hilarious un-frosted truths about the holiday season”. Second City is presenting the show in both matinee and evening performances, running until January 1st, 2016.

Michelle is the editor-in-chief for the summer edition of On the Danforth. Her life is dictated by her colour-coded agenda, and in her free time she can be found baking up a storm. You can follow her on twitter here

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