Toronto lights up in December with an amazing variety of holiday-themed events you can enjoy as a couple, as a family or with friends. From the city’s long-running classic Christmas celebrations to new and innovative pop-up events, here’s what we’re looking forward to this year.

Cavalcade of Lights

The Cavalcade of Lights is Toronto’s classic holiday activity and the official kickoff to the Christmas season. The annual event will be held on November 30th at Nathan Phillips Square. Celebrate in style with a DJ skate party, a live musical performance by Canadian singer-songwriter Riit and an amazing fireworks show. The main event is the lighting of the giant Christmas tree – a Toronto tradition for over 50 years!

A Nutcracker Christmas at Casa Loma

Ring in the Christmas season with a little holiday magic at the Casa Loma! Live performances by illusionist Professor Wick and ice skating performances by Glisse on Ice are just some of the festive activities you can look forward to at this stunning historical venue. The castle will dazzle with holiday décor, including nine signature Christmas trees, each by a different Canadian designer. Cookie decorating and arts and crafts stations plus a beautiful light display and outdoor market in the gardens make this one of Toronto’s top holiday events.

Toronto Christmas Market

The Distillery District is one of Toronto’s favourite holiday destinations. Home to the Toronto Christmas Market, the pedestrian-only neighbourhood is the perfect place to shop for stocking stuffers and enjoy a steaming cup of mulled wine while strolling through cobblestone streets resplendent with thousands of twinkling lights. The Christmas Market runs from November 14th to December 22nd and is free during the week, so get out there and enjoy some holiday cheer!

Aurora Winter Festival

Ontario Place will be transformed into a winter wonderland this December, with a skating rink, tube park, lights displays and a Christmas market featuring one-of-a-kind artisan gifts. Visit mystical worlds like the Arctic Retreat and Candy Cane Lane, stop at the Candy Shack for a festive treat, and let loose with an impromptu dance party in the Disco Den. Kids can enjoy story time with Santa and his elves and make personalized gifts in the craft tent.

Glow Gardens – Santa’s Lost Presents

New to our city this year, this family-friendly indoor playground invites you to experience the magic of Christmas under the twinkle of a million lights at Toronto Congress Centre. The seasonal community festival launched in Vancouver two years ago and features illuminated playgrounds, sculptures and interactive features, all designed to elevate your Instagram profile with stunningly sparkly backdrops. Even the drinks are served in special illuminated cups! Kids will love helping Santa’s elves uncover lost presents over 80,000 square feet of exhibition space. More than 1.5 million visitors are expected this year, so get your tickets early.

Outdoor Skating

New this year, Toronto’s historic Union Station will have an outdoor skating rink, complete with lessons, skate rentals and hot chocolate. Located just around the corner from the Strathcona Hotel, it’s the newest addition to Toronto’s holiday entertainment lineup and a great way to enjoy the magic of the season in the heart of downtown.

With so many holiday activities to look forward to, we’re delighted the cold weather has finally arrived. Let it snow!

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