16 things to do in Toronto this weekend: December 24-26

The wait is over, Christmas is finally here! If you’re celebrating with your close friends or family and want something fun to do, look no further.

There are tons of things to do in Toronto that are sure to make this holiday season a special one.

Before you go out, be sure to check out what’s open and closed on Christmas Day in Toronto.

Here are some ideas to keep in mind this holiday weekend:

Explore the Distillery Winter Village during the holiday season

The Christmas season has arrived in Toronto with the official opening of the Distillery Winter Village. The famous and renowned Toronto Christmas Market opened at 6 p.m. on November 18, lighting up its 55-foot-tall Christmas tree. Visitors can wander the cobbled streets under star-studded canopies, gaze at the dazzling tree, feast on delicious food, and tick every gift off their holiday shopping list.

When: From November 18 to December 31 and certain days until December
Or: 55, rue du Moulin

Discover Holiday Hills from stackt market

Toronto’s Stackt Market hosts its massive six-week holiday festival, Holiday Hills until December 31, and it’s packed with shopping, live music and more. It will feature live music showcases, art, holiday-themed and craft-themed workshops, a drag brunch, and vendor market weekends in time for Christmas shopping.

When: November 23 to December 31
Or: stackt market – 28, rue Bathurst

Explore Toronto’s largest outdoor holiday festival

Toronto’s largest outdoor vacation festival is hosted by the Concierge Club and features 16 festive vacation zones and a huge photo station for taking photos with Santa Claus. The event runs until December 26. It is open Wednesday to Sunday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

When: Until December 26
Or: Bandshell Park at Exhibition Place

The immersive nutcracker, a winter miracle

Toronto has a new immersive experience, but this time it’s festive. The city hosts the world premiere of The immersive nutcracker, a winter miracle. Guests are placed in the middle of the classic Nutcracker story as dazzling projections swirl around the hall and dancers from the Bolshoi Theater twirl to the music of Tchaikovsky.

When: Until December 24
Or: 1 Yonge Street

Enjoy a Dino Vacation

Have you ever been faced with the difficult decision of choosing between seeing dinosaurs and seeing Santa Claus? Well, a Markham festival found a solution for that. Dino vacation is a huge indoor event filled with massive dinosaurs fully dressed for the holidays. There are over 45 animatronic dinosaurs to make every Jurassic Park (or Jurassic World) fan’s dreams come true. There are also games and rides! As if that wasn’t enough, everything is inside, so you don’t have to worry about getting cold as winter approaches.

When: December 17 to January 2, including Christmas Day
Or: Markham Fairground, 10801 McCowan Road, Markham

Visit the Grinch Cave

If you’re not in the holiday spirit, you probably aren’t the only one. December 24 is the last day to visit The Grinch Cave in downtown Scarborough. It was created by the creators of The experience of Dr. Seuss.

When: Until December 24
Or: Downtown Scarborough

Eat and Drink at Papi Chulo’s Mistletoes & Margaritas

It’s all about the joy of Christmas at Papi Chulo’s in Toronto! The spot known for its margarita towers has transformed its space into a quintessential festive pop-up. They decorated the interior space from head to toe in holiday cheer, welcoming the season with open arms.

When: Until January 2
Or: 121 avenue Ossington – Papi Chulo’s

Get into the holiday spirit at Canada’s Wonderland Winterfest

Canada’s Wonderland brought back its holiday theme Winter party This year. The immersive vacation experience includes millions of lights, numerous Christmas trees throughout the park, over a dozen live shows, and ice skating on Snow Flake Lake.

When: Certain nights between November 13 and December 31
Or: Canada’s Wonderland – 1 Canada’s Wonderland Drive, Vaughan

Explore this life-size Candyland

A life-size Candyland installation featuring a huge gingerbread house has been unveiled at Toronto’s Dufferin Mall for the holiday season. Until January 3, shoppers will be able to explore Candyland’s magical installation and snap photos in a life-size snow globe and candy cane selfie stations.

When: Until January 3
Or: Dufferin Shopping Center – 900 Dufferin Street

Support women-owned businesses in this holiday market

This new holiday market in Mississauga features vendors from over 35 women-owned businesses. The co-founders of Run The World Summit presented their Run The World Holiday Market at Square One and will run until December 24.

When: Until December 24
Or: Square One Shopping Center

Eat at Holiday Street Market

Street Eats Market is back this holiday season with a massive 40,000 square foot Holiday Market with food, rides and the Christmas spirit in Scarborough this weekend. The festival street market Return in downtown Scarborough on December 3 for three festive weeks. Managed by the popular Street Eats Market, the holiday event will feature a lounge with a marshmallow fireplace, sweet and savory food trucks, a hot chocolate bar and a maple syrup sugar shack.

When: December 3 to 24
Or: Downtown Scarborough, 300 Borough Drive, Scarborough

Free outdoor skating rink at Union Station

Get ready to don a pair of skates and head to Front Street – Toronto’s beloved outdoor skating rink is back at Union Station this holiday season, and it’s completely free. In collaboration with Union Holiday and TD, the rink opened to the public on November 29 and will remain open daily until January 2, depending on the weather.

When: Until January 2
Or: Union Station – 65 Front Street West

Go ice skating on the Bentway Trail

The Bentway Skate Trail reopened in Toronto this season and welcomes the public for special events and lessons. Sharpen those skates and get ready to hit the ice.

When: Starting December 18, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Or: The Bentway – 250 Fort York Blvd

Journey into enchantment

Forget walking around your neighborhood for Christmas lights this holiday season. Journey to enchantment is one of the biggest Christmas driving events in the GTA, and this year you have two locations to choose from.

When: Until January 8
Or: Mount Joy Go Station – 1801 Bur Oak Ave, Markham; Meadowvale Go Station – 6845 Millcreek Drive, Mississauga

Take a look at the Picasso exhibition

AGO presents Picasso: Painting the blue period. This is the first exhibition in Canada that focuses on the early works of the modernist artist. It will present more than 100 objects from 15 different countries. There will be paintings, sculptures and works on paper by Picasso, including works by artists that the Spaniard is known to have studied before and during the Blue Period.

This exhibition is curated by Kenneth Brummel of AGO and Dr Susan Behrends Frank and co-curated by AGO, the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and the support of the Musée national Picasso-Paris.

When: Until January 16, 2022
Or: 317 Dundas Street West

Get tickets for Sweaters ‘n’ Snowflakes

The Sweaters’n ‘Snowflakes pop-up is here this winter for the ultimate vacation experience. Guests will dive into a winter wonderland and experience the fun and joy of a vacation. When it comes to food and drink options, it seems almost endless. There’s a cocktail and wine bar where guests can order vacation-inspired cocktails and mulled wine. For larger groups they also have wine tastings available.

When: December 3 to 26 and 31
Or: 621 Richmond Street

Joshua B. Speller